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Dear Chump Lady, I can’t get my ex’s voice out of my head

Rejection man

Hi Chump Lady,

I am heading toward the end of the divorce process for leaving my cheater.

Overall things are progressing rather well for me. I’m working hard on the the ‘gain a life’ portion of recovery to much success. While I am not quite ready to be thinking about dating again, I have occasionally run into people who I have found attractive and interesting that I kinda mentally filed away for later when I think I’m ready.

Unfortunately, despite intellectually not blaming myself for the affairs, a lot of the criticisms leveled at me by both my cheater and other people seem to have taken deep root in my psyche.

Every time I meet someone who is cute and fun and I feel my attraction for them, right behind it, whispering in my ear, is every toxic thing said to me during the whole process –“You’re not good enough. You can’t show enough affection. You aren’t interesting or fun enough. You’re boring. She’ll get tired of you and leave if you aren’t exciting enough.”

I don’t actually believe any of these things, but apparently being told them often enough lodged them in my head and now they’re there. Do you have any suggestions for exorcising these thought demons? 


Possessed Chump

Dear Possessed Chump,

Yes. Science. It’s the way the rational world has warded off superstition for centuries.

Instead of listening to hateful ghosts, conduct a series of experiments — in the real world — not in your head — and determine if you actually suck.

Hypothesis: I am not boring. Experiment: Dine with coworkers. Observations: Did anyone stuff dinner rolls in their ears to silence my nattering? Excuse themselves hastily to go alphabetize their paperclips? No? Maybe I’m not utterly insufferable.

PC, you might also notice that people actually engage with you, and like you. Consider the evidence.

If you are in fact boring, hey it’s not a fatal condition. You can learn a few party tricks or better yet, the art of conversation. Ask people about themselves! Actively listen, and ask follow up questions. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Also consider the Theory of Relativity. Boring as compared to what? Naked paragliding? A tree stump? There’s a lot of variables here. We’re all boring sometimes. (Have I mentioned my pinecone elf collection lately? Nigel and Mr. Crumblybuckets have sombreros! I considered bidding on some with sleighs, but $40 is too much…ZzzzZZZZZzzzz.)

The secret is to find someone whose boring matches your boring, or who tolerates your boring as an adorable quirk.

Case in point — my husband spend last President’s Day listening to an Andy Griffith podcast on his way to visiting the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. (I missed this riveting escapade because I didn’t have the day off.)

He came home brimming with Woodrow Wilson trivia — Guess who established the Federal Reserve? Who was racist AND president of Princeton? Mr. CL even bought a commemorative Woodrow Wilson ball cap!

(Stand back, ladies, all this dorkiness is mine.)

My point is — what your ex-wife found insufferable, some ladies might find absolutely winsome. Not every woman wants to go to race tracks with Rico Suave.

But you will never meet these people whose boring matches your boring, if you listen to the haters in your head.

Why sign up for that kind of self-sabotage? Didn’t this person steal enough from you? You’re going to give mental real estate to a ghost?

We all must perform exorcisms — critical parents, cheating exes, that 1985 clerical supervisor who told you you don’t staple right.

Fact is, haters gonna hate, and some times we’re going to suck, or be less than, and people will point and laugh. Or judge. And none of it matters. What matters is that you persevere. That you try to be your best self every day and live your life with integrity.

YOU get to measure your worth by YOUR values — loyalty, honesty, humor. And you get to jettison the shit that doesn’t matter — “boring,” doesn’t staple properly, whatever.

You’re not someone who betrayed someone you purport to love. I’ll take your lack of “excitement” over her mendacity any day. And so will a lot of folks.

Not only are you Good Enough — PC, you’re better.

Believe it, and exorcise those demons today.

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.
  • I was told it wasn’t good enough to be attractive, one also needed to be interesting, just look at sparkly XY. Ms. Sparkly was diagnosed (and medicated) as bipolar a year later. Just saying.

    • Ah, lack of insanity – so boring! What was your poor spouse to do? If you’d cared about making him happy you could have at least faked a seizure or two for your anniversary.

    • I was also not very interesting, Persephone. In marriage counseling, after his affair came to light, he complained that I don’t scuba dive and this was a major issue for him to overcome in loving me. Also, that time we were in Spain and I got a migraine one night and he had to (gasp!) find something to do alone for a few hours.

      I hope the new Mrs. Ex can handle the deployments and his constant need for attention and ego strokes…oh wait, that doesn’t matter. *face palm* She can scuba dive. She should be just fine.

      • I learned to scuba dive for the borderline I adored, and he found something else I lacked in. #goalpostssuccessfullymoved

    • one of the parting words wasband told me was that i “got boring”.. . .. it has really left its mark in my mind. Because i really am pretty boring. i go to work, and i come home. currently i do not have the financial ability to do anything except barely pay the month bills.

      THIS is NOT Where i wanted to be at in this stage of my life. i had dreamed of buying an rv and travelling the United States and then see the world. But wasband crushed my dreams way before he skipped off with the neighborhood crack head party girl.. .. .. i guess SHE was so much more interesting then i was. of course she ran off on her husband, abandoned her own 4 kids, had no job, no car, no house.. .. no responsibilities except opening a can of beer and finding meth to smoke in her crack pipe. .. .. apparently THAT is the kind of life he wanted.. .. not this stay at home, go to work, spend time and vacations with the wife and kids life he had. ..

      i am NO WHERE ready to date. most likely i will stay single for the rest of my life. It has been 5 years since my divorce and i am mostly MEH about it. But on bad days, those words “you got boring” will echo in my head. my logic will not work on bad days. no matter how intelligent i think, how i rationalize those thoughts, how sanely i think.. .. it is still a little worm in my head… .. ..of course he doesnt even remember saying that to me, nor does he remember that he was fucking her before we even got a divorce, and he now says he never cheated on me because our marriage was already over. those words meant nothing at all to him, just i meant nothing at all to him.. .. i dont know why they carry so much weight for me but i am working on it.

      • There is absolutely nothing wrong with being “boring”. Except, I call it “simple” – the polar opposite of what sparkly trash is.

        A red flag is when someone is too sparkly – it is generally a good chance that they are some variant of Cluster B.

    • I think my ex’s OWife is heavily disordered too. The disordered tap dance more vigorously for their narcs. Isn’t her desperation and need for approval invigorating?!? No one told him the desperation comes with a side of alcoholism. Bon chance!

  • I also faced a brain-full of hateful words from a mean cheater assuring me of my ineptitude and insufferability. I could say a lot on that which I wont, but will share a helpful piece of dating advice which actually helped:

    “Everyone is crazy, find someone who thinks your crazy is cute”

    I think that my (new) spouse isnt quite as committed to accepting quirks as I am but he is tolerant. Our list of goofiness reads similar to Mr & Mrs CL…my spouse tends to over-purchase laundry supplies (boo) with which he does all the laundry (yea!).

    I still have a few snarly demons who visit and whisper reminders from my nowdeadcheater (which really does give meaning to the idea of being visited by unpleasant “ghosts”) but I have honed skills at smacking them away…my life is too precious for them to wreck it.

    When I have a moment of sudden fear that either I or Colonel Greatguy (newhusband) are malignantly dull, I remind myself that having a partner who is a crack addict gambler pornographer (or some such) would likely be “exciting” yet not “good”.

    • My ex was boring and dull. I constantly chastised myself that these ‘quirks’ were workable…at least there was no cheating, drugs, violence, etc and so at least I was safe. He would one day come into his maturity and grow some ambition or take some initiative once in awhile and everything would be okay. Then I discovered that I was just his cover all along; his whole life is based on what he can get away with. I guess what I am getting at, is be careful not to put too much stock into what “boring” means.

      Disordered whackados have a whole different dictionary they run off, anyway, so the words don’t even mean the same thing. My ex cheated on me with hookers our whole relationship & post d-day, had the audacity to say that he wanted me to know that he always “respected” me. I agree that silencing the voices in your head telling you who/what you are and instead focusing on becoming the best version of yourself is your key to freedom. I’m still working in this, myself.

      “You’re not someone who betrayed someone you purport to love.” No matter what you think you are or aren’t, this already makes you more worthwhile and valuable than a LOT of people.

      • Mine from the outside was calm, quiet, faithful church going father of three. Nothing ever phased him or got him hot under the collar. He wasn’t into sport, didn’t gamble or drink in pubs he was raised better than that.

        But his upbringing didn’t hinder him from having sex with random guys in public places and hiding it for the better part of a decay. Yeah be careful of the quiet ones. Or should I say the ones who like to maintain a persona of quiet and came. I respect there are some genuine quiet ones out there.

  • PC,

    Lies cannot survive the light of truth. Remind yourself of the truth just as CL does here in this post. The reality is that your cheater has a distorted view on reality and speaks in lies as all cheaters do. Don’t forget that.

    Your dorkiness might be just the right adorableness for the next Mrs. PC!

    Pastor David (aka DM)

  • Same here… the voices get quieter, but I still hear the whispers.

    My XW rarely complimented me, so it was my inside voice telling me I wasnt measuring up. So I danced a little harder.

    I started dating sooner than I should have, but the compliments are helpful to combat the last 20+ years of “not quite…”

    PC, you’ve got game. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be here in the first place.

    • So much this… after the initial years of lovebombing by my personality disordered f*ckwit came the silent treatment. No more kind loving words or touches. No compliments. Cheap flowers and a last minute card for birthdays. A complete 180 from the man I thought I knew and married. And like you, I danced harder too.

      Now I know that is a red flag (the lovebombing)… incessant flattery and cards and over the top PDA… trademarks of a personality disordered person.

      Normal is out there for us all and I think because we are here, we might do better this time in recognizing it!

      • Now I realise what LoveBombing was with my X and his Narrccisstic personality disorder. Apparenent to are all the years of the things that made me ,stop and wonder what he was up to, why he said certain things, that were warnings or unecceptable but my trusting found ways to excuse or over look. Left me feeling like a fool. After confirming to long term cheating events , all was plain to see. This post hits home. We need to define and learn to love ourselves and be fine with who we are. I never tried to compete with my X who needed constant attention on himself. Always showing off , finding ways to get attention anyway he could. Anyone who wants to fall for that fakeness more power to em!

      • I looked up PDA as I didn’t know what it stood for as as well as Public Displays of Affection I got ‘Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a condition which is part of the autism spectrum, and is characterised by an overwhelming need to avoid or resist demands’. Ha ha they still both seem relevant right.

        The love-bombing of my ex’s new twue wuv is so public and something to behold. It’s off the Richter scale and all public of course. Limerance. Everyone is looking, including his own family going, what the feck is going on here. Pathetic, he’s a 44 year old man with a child. Not a 19 year old hormonal teenager. Cracks me up, try keeping that up.

        • Hi Dudders, this struck a chord with me – my STBX’s OW (married woman, at that) is one with inappropriate physical touching to the opposite sex. When info about their infidelity came out (as it tends to do in small towns), I was approached by a few people who apologized to me for not letting me know about her escalating behaviour with my husband – “We have seen it before with others, but were sure STBX was smart enough not to to get involved with her.” Apparently not, and I made it clear to them that he was the adult who made the decision to say “yes” not “no”. He informed me that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore, didn’t love me anymore – but respected me (really? because a great deal of lack of respect for me seemed to be demonstrated). So they are now together, and having to put up with each other – karma to them both. Oh, and they are both in their early 60s, as am I.

          • Doesn’t it make you shudder to think what “respect” means to them? They invent a series a twisted rules as if they are trying to cheat the dictionary. Gross. I hope someone “respects” them straight into a clinic.

            Their words/interpretations/etc mean nothing.

  • There’s. a saying: “Never take advice from the enemy.”

    Chumps are naturally good listeners but in this case they can feel free to put on headphones 🙂

  • Can’t argue with anything Chump Lady says, but at a personal level I find applying this really tough.

    Because the people I thought I was close to just considered me a duty to put up with. I got invited to things, and found out later they didn’t really want me to say yes to that invitation. They told me they didn’t want me to leave…and behind my back “she’ll be gone soon, love”. We’ll have lots of good conversations…and then they’ll move away and completely ghost.

    I’m left spooked and constantly second-guessing if I should just quietly stop doing anything with other people.

    • Those people are jerks. It’s not about you,

      You just have to find people who are not jerks. That’s all…


      • I’m still in the how do you find ‘good people’ stage too.

        I even left a church last year after crying on Thanksgiving weekend over all the loss. it wasnt just the jerk I lost. his smear campaign cost me my grown children, all family, and just about every person I’ve ever known. I’ve never seen my grand daughter.

        this woman said to me ” you just love wallowing in it, don’t you?” this was after many remarks from others. I looked at her and I was just done. In my stage of healing I just will no longer tolerate lack of empathy. I can’t help but know that if I’d lost my entire family thru a car wreck or house fire it would be different. it’s as if I’m not even allowed to grieve. I’ve moved to a new state alone. I even lost my home and the town where I knew people for 30 years.

        anybody know where nice people hang out?

    • I can’t imagine treating people that way. So sorry you experienced that. But I’m sure there are lots of shiny, glitzy people whose values wouldn’t line up with mine and I wouldn’t be a great fit in their [shallow] social group. It might be useful to figure out how you got involved with those people. Who were you then? Why did you choose them as “friends”? What does “close to” mean to you? Were you always giving and never getting? Or is “close to” a description of social acquaintance, not true friendship?

      If there is anything you want to fix, it’s your picker. And it is quite likely that the problem you’ve had is a matter of choosing the wrong people. Find your tribe.

    • It sounds like you are trying to socialize with the wrong people. Finding the right people is the trick. That is easier said than done but I would suggest that you keep trying new things until you find a place where you do feel like you belong. Another trick that sometimes works and that I have used myself in the past is to be the one throwing the party or organizing the outing. Not everyone you invite is going to accept the invitation, but presumably the ones who show up aren’t doing so out of some misguided sense of obligation. You might also want to reconsider what kind of friends you want. Sometimes the people who seem less sparkly in the beginning can turn out to be the best friends once you get to know them. Get to know the shy people. Also, sometimes the ones that seem standoffish are just shy. Be friendly and give them the chance to respond. If they still seem standoffish then leave them alone. Learn how to read the signs of the people who want your attention and those who don’t. Avoid the latter.

    • no – you need to consider who you are with and understand that they are insecure too. you remind them of the worst behavior they could ever have happen to them and to ward of the cooties they blameshift onto you for fear of it happening to them. Even if they are single. Add to that, if it is friends from when you were married they don’t know which side to pick. A courtesy invite is the best they can do and clearly they aren’t your people anymore. Become a monk for awhile, get used to being alone, learn yourself and what your own boundaries are when it comes to being with people, then set out again to test drive yourself and as CL says, trust the science. And go to the bottom of this site and do a search for all of the little phrases that are dancing around in your head to see what CL has posted and others have responded to – it is great therapy for a monk 🙂

    • NotEven, you need to find your tribe. While you’ve been tricked into helping your hosts feel gracious, your tribe have been missing your company! Love to you xxx

    • . Decent people don’t act this way. It’s them, not you. No wonder pets are so popular. They don’t stab a person in the back.

    • I’m with the folks above–just sounds like you’ve spent alot of time with incompatible people. It happens to us all, especially if we were paired with a disordered person for so long. We lose our sense of self. It sounds like you’re taking it very personal, but I encourage to to look at it more scientifically. Like, there’s nothing wrong with you, and probably nothing wrong with them (well, except your cheater ex), it’s just not a match. Nothing personal! My catchphrase is “I’m not for everyone!” And, I’m for sure not. I rub people the wrong way all the time. Because…they’re not my people. They’re not bad people, just not mine. When you stop caring about fitting in with people who aren’t your people, the world gets alot less stressful. It can be tough because we grow up (in America at least) adhering to this idea that life’s a popularity contest of sorts…like high school. But, it’s not. And when we truly grow up, we figure that out. But, being with a disordered person can stunt that emotional growth required to break out of that mindset–kind of like being an addict. They say emotional growth stops when you start using and maybe the same can be said for pairing with a disordered person.

      Good luck. It’s a journey. You’re free now so it’s a good time to pick up where you left off and let the emotional growth happen!

  • The thing about being human is that we are imperfect. Sometimes the voice in your head can really beat you up with the truth. Sometimes I clam up instead of communicating. The more cheating I had to pretend wasn’t happening, the less interested I became in intimacy. I waste money sometimes etc.. etc.. etc.. But what kept me from being the guest of honor at my own pity party was the knowledge that his suckiness will forever trump my being a flawed human. His disordered mind allowed him to carry out evil acts I’d never even think of. And I’m happy knowing that I’m amazing, awesome and wonderful me, flaws and all. And hes stuck having to live life being him. It’s kind of sad really.

    • This. So true. I think we forget that we have very little in common with Cheaters. We certainly did not share morals. I knew I deserved better even when x began treating me poorly. I called him out on his crap behavior, especially when our adolescents observed how he was treating me. Like, wtf, that is NOT how anyone behaves towards someone they love! There is a pattern to a cheater’s behavior (devalue, discard) and their growing list of our shortcomings is handy, especially when they are justifying crap choices and “falling in love” aka setting up their next con. X, like most of the disordered here, was a chameleon, all one needed to do was place him on a new rock, uh, kibble dispenser, and he’d adopt others’ beliefs and interests. He wanted always to be the center of attention, was entitled, and his needs and wants trumped anybody else’s. I knew that even when x was “rewriting history,” it wasn’t the truth. I do recognize now that x is truly incapable of loving another, that is what was lacking in our life together. I was all in, an honest, truthful, imperfect, faithful loving wife, right up until I knew something was off. Marriage with a cheater is a lesson in futility, and no amount of communicating will change the outcome…. Looking back, there were many red flags. Chumps are not wired to deceive, but our exes were. Too bad, so many years wasted on someone who did not deserve my love.

  • Love the Woodrow Wilson story, right down to the ballcap!

    Possessed Chump and others who are STILL in the process of divorcing,
    I do not understand the pressure you put on yourselves to be free of your cheating spouse while your still engaged in the middle of the battle!!!
    Please remember that healing and the road to peace cannot start until the legal process is over. If you share young children, it can be much longer than that.
    Of course the cheaters voice is in your head! You’re still in the foxhole with lawyers, mediators and the not-yet-ex-cheater.
    Follow CL’s advice. Keep working on the get a life part, learn how to create healthy boundaries, learn how to tell the difference between the good people in your life and those you need to get rid of, work on becoming the best you possible. And please get rid of the pressure to be done before it is even possible.
    You cannot rush this no matter how much you want to. Time is your best friend.

    • Rebecca- Thanks for the reminder that healing can’t happen until the legal stuff is done. The dissolution has been dragging out so that it will be 2 years since d-day before we are done.

      PC my self confidence took a hit after 33 years of marriage. Mean things were said during the discard. EMDR therapy has helped.

      I made a sign for my fridge that reminds me:

      Challenge negative thinking-reframe it.
      I am ENOUGH!
      Do the next right thing.
      Ride the Waves. (Recovery from triggers)
      Choose JOY!

      • Excellent thoughts! After my EMDR, my new thinking was “I have choices”. Seems so obvious now.

      • I am thinking about EDMR not as the panacea of all things but if it helps me in any way get past the pain those comments continue to cause quicker. It drives me mad that they still do and can’t seem to help it but am dying to get to a place where they don’t cause I know its all piffle but it trauma.

        It’s good that other here have mentioned as I’m keen to try. Help me re-programme that crap out of my brain. I’ve got more important things to have my brain fixate on please and thank you.

  • Cheaters are boring. So that.

    Have a relative who was in Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet. Everyone in my fam shares Mr. CL’s interest in that library. Which is in a cool town with great restaurants in the historic district. And a fun diner that is not.

    Just to back up your point. There is a match. More than one. And also – SCIENCE. After 46 years of marriage, I had lots and lots and lots of successful relationships versus the one fraudulent one. And I was actually successful in that…he wasn’t.

  • These things abusers say are from the devaluation portion of the program. But of course, you weren’t always so awful because at one point, that same abuser thought you were the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    CL often says, “know your worth.” I take that to me we should all know we are worthy of respect and what my therapist calls “normal, decent treatment” from others. Knowing our worth also means knowing what we bring to the table. A man looking for a gourmet cook or someone who wants to be subordinate to him won’t like what I bring to the table. But plenty of other people do. It’s a matter of finding your own tribe, the people who love what you have to offer.

    What we can do throughout the process is to look at how and why we’ve given away our power, or thrown away whole parts of ourselves in order to please others.

  • As an admitted presidential museum and library fanatic (who will be taking time off from work next month to spend a day at Sagamore Hill), my heart and head are swelling at the possibility that this particular bit of dorkiness increases my chances of meeting someone the caliber of Chump Lady.

  • Usually you can just look at whom they picked as your replacement to understand how skewed they are. I took it personally too at first, mortified that if that is better than me, how bad am I? We need to understand that it is not about us, it is about THEM and their empty soul and their poor self esteem & character.
    I am getting good at cutting off any thoughts I don’t want floating through my mind It takes practice, but am getting pretty good at it and so can you. The further you get away from the last thought you had about subject X, the more dim it will become. Give it a try!

  • I admire YOU brother. You, Mr. PC, are further along the path to recovery than some of us. You’ll lose those thought demons.
    Meditation may help too. Guided meditation is even better. Blessings.

  • Aw, damn. I hate it when chumps internalize cheaterspeak bullshit. Don’t let them do this to you. My cheater actually found me not boring enough (“I just don’t get you, I find you intimidating, too strong a personality, you use too many big words”). He was insecure, so he preferred some mindless dullard with no discernable personality who babbled about nonsense while he pretended to listen (I sometimes call her the Whore of Babble-On). In retrospect, he was a boring guy, but I didn’t think so at the time. I loved him and thought he loved me, so I was not bored. He, otoh, knew he was dull and thought cheating would make him a cool, urbane, youthful hipster, especially with a younger mistress who liked to party. This was a man in his 50s, FFS. A grandfather. So naturally, an epic and embarrassing fail ensued. Lives were ruined.
    The point is, you can’t win with these people. Whatever you are, they want the opposite. Whatever you do for them, it’s never good enough. They will never appreciate your fine qualities, because they are shallow, self-centered and profoundly lacking in wisdom. They’ll use you for those qualities, but never give you an ounce of credit, at least not once they decide to cheat. You’re very likely not boring at all, and your ex was projecting. After all, an affair is a drearily stereotypial thing, isn’t it? It’s something dull and empty people do to “feel more alive”. Truly interesting people are engaged with the world and with others in an honest way. Interesting, engaged, loving people don’t need to break promises, betray and dupe others in order to feel alive, because they don’t have a gaping cavern in their soul that can never be filled. Bores, otoh, just run away to Fantasy Island with other bores to convince themselves they’re actually exciting. They spend their lives trying to fill the emptiness with shallow pleasures. It never works, since in addition to being boring, they’re stupid, so they always think “THIS TIME it will be different.” The Clue Fairy just never seems to flitter their way and touch their heads with the Clue Wand. I say leave them to their vapidity and their miserable lives and motor on.

    So you’re not boring. The twit you got rid of is. Wait until you meet somebody who appreciates what you have to offer. You’ll see.

    • Chumperella, you are right on.
      Don’t listen to the serial cheater: cheaters cheat, liars lie
      They say anything to put you DOWN, so they can feel UP
      Miserable, ungrateful fucks
      I have been divorced three years and freedom is a beautiful thing
      I have an incredible job and life, I am so grateful
      Every put down from “ you have too much energy” to “you have gained some weight” ran in my head for a few years
      Every year you are on your own and do not see the serial cheater, the dimmer those comments get
      Interestly enough, I ski, play soccer, fly fish with a several male friends
      Who tell me I’m beautiful and amazing, the most fit 62 yo they know
      Work on you, love you❤️
      I know my ex husband will be doing the same thing he did for his first two marriages…
      Setting up chairs on the Titanic!

      • Awesome, Letitsnow! I’m so glad you are happy and living and active, fulfilling life and your cheater is eating your dust. Sucks to be him. They put us down because of their own well-justified self loathing. They have to feel superior to somebody in order to squelch the inner voice that’s telling them they are the inferior ones.
        My cheater was a coward who would not dare overtly insult me to my face, but put me down to his friends as well as to his mistress. He and his drunken bros had a running joke about me and what a bore I was because I didn’t live to party like them. Men in their 50s, acting like frat boys and insulting their wives. They even went on boozy boy’s trips just to get away from their wives, all perfectly lovely women whom they emotionally abused and neglected. Misogynists, the lot of them. I suspect most male cheaters are misogynists and cheating is just another way to use and abuse women.

    • After the divorce and D-Day, I realized how boring the Dickhead really was. I’m talking boring AF! He couldn’t have an intellectual or even enlightened conversation because he never paid any attention to the news or world affairs. He never wanted to go anywhere or do anything unless it interested him which was mostly about his hunting and bows & arrows.

      I realized that I dumbed myself down for him, to make him more comfortable. Consequently, I lost that part of me that could have conversations with others as well. Sometimes I feel like somebody that has nothing good to say or can even understand anything anymore. I know that is all part of the grief and the process of rediscovering me but it makes me understand just how much of me that was lost to him.

    • Chumperella, such a great post – thank you! You convey so much hard-won wisdom, especially this:

      “Interesting, engaged, loving people don’t need to break promises, betray and dupe others in order to feel alive, because they don’t have a gaping cavern in their soul that can never be filled”

      I, too, was made to feel like the problem was ME, that I was “too much,” that my expectations were too high. So I spent years making my own needs smaller and smaller, and he still couldn’t even do the bare minimum I was willing to to settle for. I guess what I wanted (honesty, fidelity, trust, communication) was too boring…….

      • Yeah, they try to convince us that expecting even basic respect from them is us being too demanding. I’m so sorry you had to downgrade your very reasonable expectations because of that asshat, but happy you have come into your own now.

        Not long before dday, my cheater angrily informed me that I was not to expect him to put his own dirty dishes in the dishwasher. He would put them on the counter instead. The extra 10 seconds it took to bend over and put them where they belonged was too much to ask.
        This was done for no other purpose than to be nasty and abusive, conveying his supposed superiority and specialness, and I called him on it, as did my daughter. That was the reason he cheated, too. He was covertly sending a message that he was special and exhalted and I was inferior and worthless.
        They are abusers, through and through.

  • I file all those negative comments under

    I will listen to your comments and take your advice when I want my life to go like yours

  • Thank God I am “boring”!!!!

    I don’t need to “explore my sexuality” at 40.

    I don’t run away from my responsibilities and take off to Vegas without telling anyone where I am going.

    I don’t steal, lie or drink like an underage teenager at a Frat party.

    I keep promises.

    I could go on. But being a half decent adult in his mind made me sooo boring ????????????.

    You will find somebody who cherishes you because of all your boring ( good ) traits and realize that it’s ok!

  • I find very little good to say about fuckwit these days but he was somewhat of a good story teller. He could captivate an audience with some of his interesting stories. My mother told me once that he was a good story teller and was fun to listen to but there was nothing with which to converse. He couldn’t talk about anything she knew. I should have known from that NARCISSIST . Only able to talk about himself.

    Anyway, he loved to tell stories about his offshore fishing adventures. Offshore fishing can be quite dangerous and to those of you who don’t know, there is a lot of risk being 70 miles off shore in the in a small vessel that operates on an engine that can break. The ocean is one of mother nature’s most dangerous features. If you have a problem on the ocean, there are all kinds of risks. That said, many people have no interest in sport fishing. My take is: you put a fucking lot of time and energy into getting a bunch of tedious tackle ready, not to mention the unending boat maintenance and then you take a 70 mile boat ride which is nauseating to a good share of the population only to have your body thoroughly abused by being bounced around for hours and if you are lucky, you catch some fish but with fuckwit as the captain your chances of that are reduced. Then you have the same hellish boat ride back and hours of cleanup. Then you get the pleasure of feeling hung over and like you are still on the rocking boat for a day or two while fuckwit brags and has the time of his life. He wants to do that over and over and over- BORING and sadistic in my mind. I certainly never thought of him that way when we were married.

    Now I love outdoor activities, boating on the river, hiking, skiing on the greens, swimming in the pool, riding a bike on a trail, riding horses on trails etc. He would say I am to boring, not a risk taker. Nope, he was just intolerant of differences and not who I want to be around. He has no real people skills. He only manipulates.

    You have to find the people who love you for who you are not because you impress them.

  • Dear Possessed Chump

    I hear you on this one where it’s not that you can’t totally rationalise that this is just the normal mumbo jumbo that these cheaters expel (thankfully we have CN/CL for us all to be aware that we are not alone in this) but even though that’s the case very hurtful comments can really bruise you.

    I look at it like this, of course it hurts, having someone turn round who you trusted who then does this it’s outright insidious abuse. It’s so low down and dirty but whichever way you look at it sometimes it’s hard for those things not to upset you.

    I feel there is very little left I can say to a therapist about my ex (I’m bored of it now) but I do want to work on this as it has caused some very significant damage and I’m worried about it affecting me longer term. I think it’s a form of PTSD. I am considering trying EDMR therapy (someone recommended this to me) as I want to be able to think of all the horrendously long list of mean things he said about me/us and think ‘meh’ instead of having an instant stress response and this can happen in the most sane moment where I am happy going about my life. Someone also suggested to me CBT can be helpful.

    As usual all CN/CL advice is right, of course you are none of those things and don’t beat yourself up if you are finding it hard to shut out those voices. And, of course, that pain will subside with time when the rest of the population you meet clearly contradict that nonsense. It’s the most awful bit of the whole cheating thing if you ask me. It’s designed to make you feel vulnerable and worthless and give justification to a POS cheater. How low can people really sink? Remember that doesn’t apply to you and you don’t measure your worth by someone capable of all they put you through. I used to say to in my head to him ‘Takes one to no one’ whenever that stuff was coming my way and just smirk. xx

  • PC – I’m going to tell you the same thing I tell my 13yo son when someone has said something to him/about him that is hurtful:

    1. Consider the source – is this a person of integrity and good character and to whom you should ascribe any value of validation of their opinions (Note: Cheaters do not fall into this category… ever.)

    2. What was your role in this situation – did you say something first or instigate it in any way (own what it yours… but NOT was is someone elses)… if not, they and their comments are coming from a place of insecurity and low self-esteem… walk away.

    3. You do you… the world requires a thick skin… you’re going to be people who aren’t nice and some who are even intentionally cruel. It is YOUR CHOICE to give their words power over your thoughts and actions.

    PC… cheaters are the lowest form of bottom dwelling scum suckers that exist. Anything they say should be treated with that in your mind. RISE UP… don’t ever let your X define you.

    Bottom line here is she was never good enough for you… remember that the next time her nagging little insults infiltrate your brain.

    Just like I tell myself daily… gee, I wasn’t compatible in marriage with a bisexual pathological lying whore… go figure. I know my “normal” boring is out there somewhere… yours is too.

  • This is one of the most difficult parts of recovery to slog through.

    At the time your cheater was saying this to you, it was on them.
    Every time they repeated it, it was their words coming out of their mouth.

    At this point, these repeated defeatist thoughts are coming from you. When you realize you are giving power to past criticisms it’s about at much sense as giving power to a ghost. (Ghosts are not real.)

    Personally, once I took ownership of that concept, pointed the “flying fickle finger of recovery” at myself, and yes, that hurt and took a while to take ownership, the repetitive thoughts abated.

    Now, five years out I still get those messages, I spent YEARS cast as the lead antagonist villain role in the marriage, hence my new MAGNETO persona (If you are going to be a villain, I’m gong to pick a cook one) JUST TO POINT OUT how ridiculous that role really is. Now I think “EXIT! Stage left!”

    A very healthier me understands that even though I remember the accusations – it is ON ME when I pay attention to them. Exit, stage left…..

  • Cheaters DEVALUE you in all kinds of ways in order to justify (to themselves) their heinous behavior. XH #1 told me I was too thin, too pale, my boobs weren’t big enough, I dressed too conservatively, or conversely, too much like a whore. My nails weren’t long enough, I read too much (what a waste of time!!), I was clearly not as intelligent as he (which was a steaming pile of BS). I was also very involved in our community, and he hated being known as Mr. Ivyleaguechump. No out of control ego, THERE.

    I, too, was “boring”, but I was the one dragging him kicking and screaming to anyplace to see or experience anything other than what was playing on HBO.

    You are NOT boring. And I agree that you need to find your tribe who finds excitement in the same things you do. They are out there, and will be so happy to have you join their ranks.

    • oh my giddy aunt.. .. . you just reminded me how many times i tried to get wasband involved with something, or to go somewhere with us or to do just anything else that did not involve getting drunk and staying up all night talking to other frunk (fucking drunk) people.. .. .. he was forever complaining but he never even tried to do anything else. .. ..

      thank you for that reminder

      • I needed that reminder, too. Everyone I invited that was not drinking was “boring”.
        He clearly never invited people to our house, it was mostly my friends.
        The one time we really seemed to like neighbors, he so overdid when we invited them over with a formal dinner (they were beer and pizza people) that they never felt comfortable to return the favor.

        He never wanted to try anything new; just the things he had always done. It was maddening.

  • The Dick could turn good qualities into bad. I know now that it must have been his guilty conscience.”you’re such a rule follower…what are you, like the perfect wife and mom?….don’t you ever get tired of being nice?…..why are you always a martyr?(when I give up something for the kids)”. He would say these things with a sneer in front of the kids.( when I pointed out that maybe he should let someone else drive the boat or car). Thousands of situations when I would do a small, kind thing….he tried to take it away from me. I do this all I want now….even better, I see my kids are kind.

    • Mine could do that too. I consider myself low maintenance and I thought that was a good quality to have but from his perspective it meant that I didn’t dress and accessorize enough like his investment banking coworker’s trophy wives and that made him look bad.

    • He resented you for setting an example that he wouldn’t bother to live up to.

      You were too good, so instead of bringing his A game, he gave up and tried to diminish you.

      What an asswipe.

      • Thankyou. Done grieving him and my marriage, but the person I was and the dad my kids deserved is taking longer. We chumps like to take responsibility for everything so they don’t have to. Asswipe is right.

  • This is what I am struggling the most with. He made very clear that I was not good enough.
    I was not giving him the attention and affection he needed. I was not nice enough to introduce his coworkers or friends to.
    As many others I know intellectually that he is disorderd and his words counts as much as a fart in the wind. However, so and so often I wake up with nightmares or catch myself thinking “what if he is right? what if I am indeed not worth it?”
    So many years of attempted brainwashing really alters ones thinking and has a very long lasting impact .

    • I rarely met coworkers…..because they were who he was cheating with( a big game with a group of them.) I found out later, he told the guys and other wives in his band that we were separated( news to me!, but a well known trick in the cheater handbook that they pass around) just shared a house for the kids(cause he’s such a great dad????). It was always him, trying to keep his lies separated. It had nothing to do with you not being good enough… was the cheater sucking, because they suck!

      • Thanks Hope Springs —
        This was indeed the hardest lesson I learned. That him saying: No other wife is included. Or: It is weird to invite them to our house, no one does that.

        Only after a few years did I realize that he had a different mask for any group he interfaced with. This is why I never saw and met any of the people he was friends with before he met me. When I moved to the town he lived in, it was basically just us. Like he never had had any other friends in this town (not where he grew up). I was allowed to interface with his Highschool friends. That is about it, but these lived a 3h drive away (if not more).

  • I mean—the cheaters select people who are willing to lie with and for them, often at great eight and in mind-bending detail, and then they continue the lies even after divorce in order to make their entirely fictional narrative publicly appealing. That’s what the cheaters chose: people at ease with deception. They choose people who will assist in wrongdoing instead of people who will help them make good and loving choices.

    Can’t speak for others, but I know I would have (and too often did) walked through fire for my cheater, and I think many chumps do the same. For our troubles, we get burnt, and that’s about it.

    They may never know or admit what they deliberately lost, but we know.

    • Yes! They could trust us chumps. The Dick married JustANumber (who left young children an husband for him) days after divorce was final. No trust there for either of them. And all those lies from the past! It took me 26 years( and counting!) to sort some of it out(oh,the skein….trying to stop). They deserve each other. Finally really accepting what some say….. the people who matter know. Their loss is huge!

  • I’m not sure what’s worse – hearing that you are too sensitive, too demanding, too argumentative or never hearing anything at all.

    I can’t remember the last time the Dickhead said anything positive about me. Wait – I’m not sure he ever did. I never heard “I’m so lucky to have you”, “you are the love of my life’, “I don’t know what I would do with you”, “the kids and I are so grateful that you are in our lives”, “thank you for everything you do”, “I love who you are”. I never heard anything that positive and affirming…never. I would have loved him even more if he had just said one of those things.

    Their words and actions are empty. They are only meant to manipulate and control people to their advantage. The Dickhead cheated, lied, gaslighted like there was no tomorrow, deceived and degraded. While I’m not sure how to gain my self confidence, I do know that his actions and words are meaningless. The minute I discovered how depraved he was, I lost all respect for him. Even in our last correspondence back in September, I could tell by his choice of words that he thought his actions and words still had the power to affect me. So clueless, so very out of touch with reality.

    • my problem was wasband DID say those things to me.. .. and i foolishly believed HIS WORDS.. ..even thou his actions showed me otherwise. .. .. those sweet little words kept me going for years. Literally before i finally figured out that he did not mean them.

      **incidentally by accident one night, after he came home skunk drunk and demanded to have a conversation with me. i told him i had no intention on talking to him while he was drunk because he would not remember anything in the morning anyways. he snidely told me “News flash, MrsVain. I dont remember anything you say to me when i am drunk AND i dont remember anything you say to me when i am sober”.. .. and the light bulb of realization FINALLY turned on.. .. his sentence just made the past 12 years make sense, STILL took me 3 more years before i finally gave up and stop dancing..

      ..completely emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and financially DRAINED so that those words did not move me anymore.

      • Same here, Mrs. Vain. All these declarations of undying love, but they were just words. He never actually DID the work to make those words true, and kept making the same “mistakes” over and over again. Even before the affair(s?), I was so drained, always trying so desperately “make” him communicate his love and respect for me, never realizing that his “communication” issues were something far more sinister. Occasionally I saw those telling glimpses of his cruel self, but usually when he was drunk, so then I could “explain” them away instead of realizing that I was being shown the real him in those moments, that the mask had slipped.

    • All the lies. I have love notes he wrote to me in the midst of his affair before I knew. Now I look at them and think no wonder I have ptsd.
      The thing he said near the end that sticks in my head is “it doesn’t matter how thin or fit or hot you are, you can’t get younger “. I was a curvy size 2 but she wasn’t even born when we started dating. I can’t fix his stupid.

      • I had boxes of cards and letters he wrote me over the years.
        After you hear the history rewritten, you can’t unhear it
        I nicely tucked them into one of his boxes.
        Go dog go

  • Understand that almost all cheaters are insecure and have “issues” and beating you down is a control mechanism and it makes them feel better about themselves.

    As others have said — Look at the source !!! Remember that it is a disordered cheating a******e telling you this !!
    With time, you learn to tune that garbage out. First make some new friends, live your life and have fun. If you were so terrible, they wouldn’t want to hang around you would they ??
    Also try to pick someone nice and understanding to date after your divorce even if it isn’t serious. Usually you will be really nervous your first sexy time after the divorce and the hateful things said about your body will echo in your head. However after your date compliments your body and you both have a good time, that stuff will go away.

    One of the best pieces of advice for a future spouse it to try and find someone a lot like yourself. I always joke that my wife is the female version of me. While we have differences (politics is a big one), we both though agree on the importance of family and friends, love pets, love to travel, love reading and having long talks about all kinds of things. I had so little in common with my Ex that I watched cooking shows with her (and I secretly hate cooking shows) but according to her I suck in oh so many ways and she’s perfect.

    • Most cheaters can’t adult because they’re basically immature and childish. This explains also at least a tad of narcissism in them (children and teenagers are at least a bit narcissistic). That’s why adults seem boring to them, talking boring adult things and about world issues, arts and similar boring things, wasting time which should be centered around and all about the narcissist. And today’s children have very short attention span and constantly need to be entertained.

  • Also deeply consider that a cheater’s view of you isn’t worth SQUAT. Cheater wife thought being at home cooking dinner and helping kiddo with Algebra and History homework was BORING thus I faithful husband/father/grilled chicken with greenbeans chef was boring. Exciting for her was adultery with massage boy at her parent’s house when she knew they would be out at bible study.

    It’s difficult to erase the bs that a cheater plants into your brain. It’s a struggle. But recognize the source of abuse. Fight on and know your worth.

    • So right, Zell. One of the indelible moments scorched into my brain was when he looked at me and said “I can’t wait to have my own place so I can have a life!”
      23 years, working and living in Japan together, my faithfully supporting his (failed) bands and never complaining because his music is so important to him, our three gorgeous young teenagers… NOT A LIFE?
      A marriage of over two decades between two (supposedly) people of faith, all that (I thought) our marriage was supposed to mean, and the well-being of our children – not a life?
      I think that was maybe the deepest cut of all.

      • They can say the cruelest things so casually. There truly is something deeply wrong with them.
        Mine once told me that he stayed with me because I was good for him financially.

        • The Dickhead basically insinuated that he was staying with me because of his 401. That was about a month before he filed. I actually laughed at him. He really thought I gave a shit about his money. I had more in mine than he did in his. What a loser.

        • What’s interesting (and difficult) is that I think most of us can remember the beginning of the relationship and how over the moon enamored spouse was with us- said so many positive things to charm us. The discard years later the exact opposite. The best cheater wife could say about me was: “I was a good person and good dresser.”

          • The strange thing is that he was always telling people how wonderful I was – until he talked to the OW, after which he said I had been ‘knocked off the pedestal’. She said she thought I was some kind of ogre, so he wasn’t telling HER how wonderful I was!! Straight after he left he was telling me how great I am. All his family (who have been superb and supported me and the kids so well) think I’m amazing. I dunno what’s going on…

  • May I chime in here to say: it is not a spouses’ job to entertain their spouse. If you’re married and bored, go to the movies! (There has to be at least one more Avengers movies about to come out. Or currently playing.) She thought you were boring because you couldn’t entertain her? Maybe SHE’S boring because she’s a grown ass woman and can’t entertain herself!
    If you think you’re interests are boring, go find ‘The Dork Forest’ podcast (I am a listener only) with Jackie Kashian. She interviews people with ‘dorkdoms’ for an hour on all different topics that initially sound boring, but they’re actually really interesting. (I’ve listened to a few twice–raising honey bees. Maritime history…who knew?)

  • I needed this article today! How’s this: you’re boring, you don’t talk right, you don’t dress right, you’re too short, too old, you’re hair is not long enough (or too long), you should grow a beard, you look better without a beard, you don’t know how to swim, you don’t drink, you’re no fun, you were bankrupt and are a credit risk, you exercise too much, you wear glasses that are out of date, you’re mean, you don’t have an edge, you’re too nice, have you tried a meetup, you should volunteer, have you tried bumble, tinder,, no one is monogomous anymore it is all an old theory, I can’t figure out what you do for a living so how can I talk about you, etc. I’m a total defect 🙂 Actually, I think my picker is broken… and there are some excellent CL articles about that issue too. This is a great website!

    • One more thing, when I really get down I read the CL article “trust that they suck” because at the end of the day I need to remember who is passing judgement on me. Trust that they suck has become my mantra these days.

  • I was told that I was boring. That I did not want to go away on all my days off. I was told that I did not give him enough affection or attention. But, he failed to see the reason why I did not go away with him was because he would insult me and make me feel horrible. Who wants to be insulted in public? As for the attention part. I used to give him loads of attention. Hug him when he got home. His response was get off me. So, I got off him. As the years went by I got more withdrawn and depressed. And he used that against me. He said he saw my cousin because she was fun. And he thought I did not love him anyway. A cheater will use any excuse to cheat.
    You are a normal women and you are too good for your cheating POS husband. It will take some time. But, you will come out of this feeling like a new women. Once the cheater is out of your life this get better.

    • She was more fun because she wasn’t married to him. God, Chuzchump, your ex talked far too much, my eyes are hurting now reading about his drivel …

    • CuzChump–that is the modus operandi of cheaters and the disordered: undercut you until you are depressed, then complain you are depressed.

      You behaved the way normal people do in abusive situations. Your X is an ass.

  • OMG, BRING ON THE BORING!!! My dating history: College boyfriend (passive, aggressive avoidant attachment asshole), 3 narcs in a row, Narc I married who turned out to be a serial cheater and sexual predator on students, followed by a nice & gentle guy who lied about his alcohol & narcotics abuse plus seemingly-innocent contact with other women for 18 months! Then, drumroll….4 dates with an interesting guy who just yesterday admitted to 10 years of rampant alcohol abuse.

    Any men who organize their paper clips by color and don’t have a DSM diagnosis, my email address is….

  • Eff that noise.
    Negative self-talk with cheater voice-over, yeah, we all collectively hate that shit here.
    I like creative visualization. Rewiring my brain.
    Hear the mental snarky comment- visualize my swift kick in his moose knuckle.
    Just think what cartoons do to solve problems.
    Buckets of boiling water. Cliffs. Large boulders, with tiny paper umbrellas.
    Humor is strong medicine.
    No-contact is magic.

  • You have been traumatized. We all have. It’s trauma coming back before we can find our footing again to heal. I was a sahm and I enjoyed it. I loved learning to cook on a higher level and listening to classical music. I also loved opening all the doors and windows on beautiful spring days and listening to the birds sing and all the nature breezes coming through the house.
    The x would complaine about this. Why, I’m not sure. I knew myself and my being in who I was, am. But I see the underside of him now too. The creepy having to remarry as quickly as he could find anyone who wouldn’t turn him down. The step downs of these women would do just to land him and share his big billfold. It’s all about him. It’s not sharing a life it’s doing as he wants. He said I didn’t appreciate him enough. I could go on but you can see when they are throwing you away they have to justify their lies.
    Strangely we were matched on Guess what all the qualities he listed as himself were the places I volunteered. And lists of things I had done or enjoyed. How sad that your life is so boring when you have to use someone else’s life to fill in the empty gaps.
    I thought I was strange to not have dated before now. Coming up 5 year divorce free from him. I have sat and learned many silent lessons. I know I don’t want to be anything like he is. I also know that he is working to tear his new wife’s apart. Bit by bit as he has done to me.
    You will recover. It’s ok too not to date. I’m still changing a lot about me. In all areas. I want a really good guy when I date again.
    The things that come out of their mouths is their own insecurities. Remember that and keep on walking away.

  • Good points! My husband goes on and on about computers (his line of work) and I literally fall asleep. I can’t even focus on it for 5 min. I have no idea what he’s talking about most of the time. I don’t think he’s overall boring though. And being boring is NOT an excuse for your partner to cheat anyway.
    Most people who are wildly entertaining are attention seeking narcissists, or have histrionic personality disorder. You don’t want to be like that. Just be your normal self and someone will appreciate you for you.

    • wasband left me for someone who was more exciting.. .. .. she beat the shit out of him many many many times… .

      so much fun (NOT). i could not, and would not ever lower myself down to that level to actually BEAT a man much less the man that i loved. i would never want to be that kind of person.. .. i would much rather be boring.

  • I was accused of a) being a workaholic, and b) not being a go-getter. Gosh I wish cheaters would stick to one theme when they bash us!

    People used to say that we should ‘consider the source’ of criticism. That advice still holds. Don’t give weight to the thoughts of a lying cheat. They are skilled in cruelty. Shudder.

    • Mine wanted me to be a SAHM or CEO of the company I worked for, otherwise it wasn’t worth it. He didn’t see being a working mom who maintained a career and still mothered he children as being successful. Of course both my job and the kids took too much time away from him.

  • My cheater XH was a thrill a minute if you count getting drunk, watching sports on TV and only going to NASCAR races on a vacation as a fun guy. I never saw him read one book in all the years we lived together. He once told me that his dream when he retired was to visit every dive bar in as many states as he could. I sure hope he hasn’t changed those ambitions now that he’s with schmoopie and she can look forward to all that ‘fun’ soon.

    • All those bar tabs add up and somebody is going to have to play nursemaid when he needs a liver transplant or has a stroke from all the drinking !

  • I heard the same bullsh*t from my ex-cheater.

    Same endless repeat of all of her spiteful, hateful crap in my brain.

    All the result of her needing to vilify others to make herself feel like less of an awful person for doing awful sh*t.

    Don’t believe that voice, and know that it eventually fades into a pathetic-sounding whisper.

  • I totally hear you man, going through the same thing. But CL was cracking me up…so true! At this stage of my life, I will take a boring accountant named Carl who has good hygiene and likes NPR podcasts and a peaceful night in eating takeout Thai food and watching Hot Tub Time Machine with me for the 10th time (cause there’s always something new that cracks me up every time!). Throw in a dinner out and musical venue from time to time…and we’re set! Even better if he wants to putter around in the garden with me on a Sunday after bathing our dogs. To many of us simple, non disordered folks, that is bliss.

    And, I hope we can all get those damn voices out of our heads. We need to Stuart Smalley ourselves more often. : )

  • Two of my exes (cheater included) fled the scene everytime I was sick, claiming it was too much for them. No shit, it’s not like im happy to get sick!! So every time im sick (and admittedly it’s more often than most people) I cant help but feeling something is wrong with me and i will always be a burden.

  • It was hard for me to understand the love bombing behavior, until I figured out the being useful part of the narc plan. Then I understood it was all a con game. Tell me what you think I want to hear, then get what you can out of me, then on to the next because you are now bored, and there is a new shiny object just over there . . .
    My problem is I understand the lack of tolerance for boredom. It gets me in trouble some times. It is one of the big things I have had had to work on, to improve myself, and my tolerance of others. But I do not pretend to be interested in someone in order to use them . I am either interested, or not. I can carry on a conversation with almost anyone, but I know myself well. If I meet someone who cannot converse, who seems to have no passions or interests, who wants me to do all the work in the socializing, I will take a hard pass on that person. Remember me? I am the one who wants any future partner to be able to read, actually reads, and can talk about what he reads.

    I realize this sets the bar a little high, but I don’t think it is unreasonable. Requiring scuba diving seems a bit extreme to me, but then, I don’t swim well. I will listen to scuba diving experiences, or how great the golf game was (I don’t golf either), or whatever they are truly passionate about IF they reciprocate and will listen to me talk about a good book I just read, or some experience I enjoy. That is courtesy. That can be entertaining. I don’t think you have to be the same to stay interested. I don’t know Mr. Chumplady’s feeling on pine cone elves, but if I remember correctly he makes great French toast and Chumplady doesn’t care for French toast. How can this union last???? Reciprocity, tolerance, respect, and oh yes, that boring monogamy thing. Humor, truly caring about each other, and being willing to work on keeping the relationship going, even on days when it is really hard, these are the things which are important. Everyone can be boring sometimes, or in a bad mood, or look like death warmed over from time to time. Don’t accept any of these reasons for ending a relationship, because as my old friend Rosanne Rosanadana said, “It’s always something!”

    • I would dawn over the Dickhead’s accomplishments and tales. For me, I was lucky to get the obligatory head nod with a “that’s nice”. I didn’t him to be a cheerleader but an heartfelt and sincere “way to go” would have made my day. It was asking too much of someone that never looked past the end of his nose.

  • Here’s the strategy I’ve used with exes to get that voice out of my head:

    1. When those old arguments clme up where you wush you said X instead of Z where you just took it and tried to be nice to them, I put up a mental STOP sign in my head. I fully envision a stop sign.

    2. After that, whether it’s an “in-your-head argument” OR just that voice where they are criticizing it, I actually envision THEM. Then I grab them by the arm, mentally take them to my front door and put them out. I mentally tell them that they aren’t welcome anymore. Then I close the door and lock it.

    3. If I hear that snipey voice again right after that, I repeat the above. I say “I told you last time you and your comments aren’t welcome here. Then I evict them out the door again. Repeat as many times as necessary.

  • Deal with the voices before you try dating again. You will make better choices.

    But DON’T try dating again as a way of dealing with the voices. You will make poorer choices.

    The order in which we do things matters.

  • I don’t know you, so I can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, but it is my opinion–based only on my own personal experience–that in the end, you don’t really need to work on you unless that is what you very much want to do for your own selfish reasons.

    What you need to do is heal, and I don’t know how that works, but it just happens over time, and meanwhile….

    You’re FREE! Yay, free at last, free at last. Nobody to drag you down, put you down, and now you can go to the mountain top where nobody can judge you based on the content of THEIR character, so fuck them.

    You know what I am going to do this weekend maybe? I think I am going to burn Kali Linux on a USB drive so I can mobile around and do things like crack WPA encryption on various access points, and see where I can go from there.

    Sound boring? Who asked you? Oh, I did. My bad. Anyway, do what you want to do. You’re free now. Be You. Bet you forgot how. Give it time.

    Peace, Love, Ski Naked,


  • What I have come to realize is that all the lovey-dovey things the Python used to say in the early years were just as made-up and inauthentic as the nasty things he said toward the end. They are ACTORS playing a role. They have so little substance of their own that they have to come up with a false self that they show to the world. Yes, it’s improvisational theater, with most of it made up on the fly, but practiced liars are SUPERB at that sort of thing.

    (They do steal from past scenes in other “plays” – from seeing text messages, I know that the Python used some of the exact same lovebombing phrases to his recent conquests as he used with me.)

    The words that come out of their mouths are all about making THEM feel good, and/or helping them get what they want. At first, the nice words are about roping us in. Making us fall for their con. They do tailor it somewhat, figuring out what we’d like to hear. But it NEVER WAS SINCERE.

    Later in the relationship, they might know what kind of insult would be particularly wounding and go that route, or they may just pull some mean crap out of the air and hurl it at us. Again, not sincere, just working toward being one-up and putting us down. Because that’s how they make themselves feel good.

    The nice and the nasty, it’s all a means to an end with them, having little to do with truth or sincerity.

    Don’t believe their B.S.

    • Actors, yes. Last year, the Chris Watts case made headlines, he was the man convicted of killing his beautiful pregnant wife and two young daughters. While an extreme example of “love gone wrong” you can clearly see a man cheating on his wife, who, while blindsided by his deception, was slowly coming to the conclusion that the man she married was not someone she really knew.

      • Yea, that story really hit me in the feels. Her ex could have been mine. Same trickle truth, same back peddling, same passivity in dealing with problems, same lying, same issues with parenthood, same same. The emails she sent to him I could have written to my ex–just imploring him for some sign of life. Heartbreaking.

  • Mine told me I was fat, old and unattractive. Among other loving anecdotes about how this was the not a life he ever wanted. How he needed to be free and I was suffocating him. I still hear all his hateful words. I have met a wonderful man…but I hear my ex telling me “he will never stay…you won’t keep him happy…you failed me, you will fail him”.

  • Mine told me I was fat, old and unattractive. Among other loving anecdotes about how this was not a life he ever wanted. How he needed to be free and I was suffocating him. I still hear all his hateful words. I have met a wonderful man…but I hear my ex telling me “he will never stay…you won’t keep him happy…you failed me, you will fail him”.

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