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Bad Apologies

If you’ve been through the meat grinder of betrayal, you’ve probably gotten some really lousy apologies.

“I’m sorry your errant chin hair has compelled me to cheat. Belinda is always perfectly groomed. My deepest regrets on not being Belinda.”

or

“Apologies for me not following my true happiness. I know you only want the best for me, and I tried valiantly to live a sham life with you, fathering five children, co-signing a mortgage, and enduring 23 years of your joyless tyranny, but now I am free. And isn’t that what matters? My self-actualization?”

or

“I’ll make this up to you! Forever! I’ll never rest a day until….” (incoming text from Schmoopie) … “Whatevs.”

Oh sure, some of you never got any apology at all. There’s a strange honesty in that. The jig is up, why bother with lame excuses? Regrets take energy that could be better spent crafting dating profiles.

But for the rest of you, tell CN about all the craptacular ways there are to say “sorry.”

TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “I’ve been a devoted husband for 25 years of my life, but now _____.” 8+ years of cheating is included in there somehow. And when he got caught the last time (while we were supposedly working on our marriage after his previous affair), “I was faithful for a YEAR and you still didn’t ______.”

    No apologies, not even one. Just a long list of where I’d gone wrong, and never once any discussion about where HE’d gone wrong.

    5 years out – I’m a MEH. And happy about that! I didn’t realize how incredibly stressed I had been for those years until (after spending a year on the floor), I could breathe again and was amazed how good breathing feels! I might be alone, but I’m not being lied to. 🙂

  • I did indeed get a written apology email, a few months after he moved out. It devastated me when I received it. He used the words “I’m sorry” a lot, and I read between the lines, as he intended, and read all the ways in which I had failed him, failed to be a good wife, compelling him to cheat and leave. Eventually I put it through my own UBT, and can read it for what it really is: an “I blame you, chump” letter, thinly disguised as an apology letter. Big long mind-fuck. He presented himself as this great guy taking responsibility for the demise of the marriage, and got his point across that it was all my fault. Win-win for him. What an asshole. I won’t put the whole thing here, but this little nugget sums it up pretty well: “I’m sorry that I was unable to express my needs to you in a way that you could understand.” See how sorry he is that I’m so stupid? It goes on like this, and not once anywhere did he apologize for cheating, ha! Like it had nothing to do with it at all…

    So I agree with Tracy a bit that “no apology at all” is more honest in a way

    • Struggling, I received an almost verbatim line to “I’m sorry I was unable to express my needs to you”. It’s from the playbook.

      I also got: “I’m sorry you feel that way”. Nothing to do with the behavior that made me feel that way. Nope.

      • Oh yes, I got that line of how he couldn’t be open with me. He just couldn’t tell me things because of this or that reason, always falling into the category of my awfulness. I call bullshit because these were not simply (daily) lies of omission with him, unable to utter the words “I am unhappy,” no, these were daily crafted deceptions and future faking from him right up until he poofed on me.

        And still I was yelled at that I needed to ‘OWN MY PART’ in the destruction of it all. This came from the 50YO man-baby asshat who hasn’t spent a single moment in a counselor’s chair while I have had extensive therapy to understand this. The lying, cheating, cowardly fucker who abandoned me while I was away on a business trip, sending me an e-mail as the only word to me that my 28 year marriage was over, has decided that I had some part to own in his massive deception and yellow bellied and cruel departure.

        As Luziana said, he had the gall to tell me that I deserved it.

        Nope.

        • I was yelled at by the OW to “Own my part” in the failure of my marriage. According to her, Ex has admitted his faults in the marriage. I would love to know what those are because he has never admitted them to me. I however have gone to extensive therapy. I own my part. I understand more than he ever will about what happened in our marriage.

          • I got the same thing “Own your part in the demise of the marriage!” No Apology, I don’t even want one.

            I have owned my part – I expected way to little from him. I did way more than my fair share of household work, earning money and childcare duties. I tolerated way to much of his lazy, selfish, lying, cheating and BS! I am at fault for being kindhearted and innocent in believing he would do the same for me. I didn’t see the red flags because I look for the best in people. I own my part- Never Again will I believe a word out of his shit spewing mouth.

          • I have read a lot about “owning my part” and yes I think about that a lot. There is no mention (that I have seen) about a sexual component. Is this what is meant by “meeting my needs?” It’s a known fact that most post menopausal women have a lower libido, and so I didn’t initiate sex. He tells me after multiple cheating incidents that he needed to be “desired,” and that there was “passion missing in our relationship,” and that he was tired of always initiating. Almost offended that I wasn’t approaching him. He tells me that he found women that “wanted” him, and that excited him. When I point out that they will say anything to get into his wallet, he just shuts down and says it was an arrangment that worked well for him. I asked him how on earth he could be offended by my lowered libido, but not offended by “bring a rent check with you when you come to fuck me.” He just acts stupid when I ask this, and I never get an answer. I’M SO FRUSTRATED BY THIS I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!

            • NeverTrust, it’s hard for you to understand, because you are a reasonable, caring human being.

              In his mind, every relationship is transactional. I give this, I get that. He ‘gave’ what he thought he was supposed to, in his relationship with you (not a lot, I’m betting. The entitlement is real!). But you stopped ‘giving’ what he expected; the adoration of the early relationship, plus the spontaneous desire for sex that came naturally to you at the time. It wasn’t about your relationship, about love and caring and history together, never mind about honesty and communication.

              The sex workers fulfilled their part of the bargain. That’s all that he was interested in, with them. But you need to understand that that was ALSO all he was interested in, with you. This painful reality is there to be seen, in his behaviour.

        • I think it’s really the only way they can live with themselves. Cheaters have to have a narrative, that they truly believe, that shows how awful and unhappy we were making them. No matter if the evidence points to the contrary.

          Mine future faked up until a week before d day. Saying how happy I made him, how he still wanted to grow old together, and I was “the love of his life”.

          5 days later(!) I find evidence of affair and confront him. Suddenly he’s “been unhappy for years, but just didn’t realize it”, but I (stupid unobservant wife appliance) “should have known”.

      • “ I’m sorry you feel that way”
        “ I’m sorry that I did it”
        “ I will do anything to fix it”( except from what you ask for”
        “ I’m here to help you deal with this trauma”( I said no thanks, just stop being an ass and stop fucking around… lol that was too much. You know- hearing how much he hurt me was an easy thing, doing something required work on himself)
        “ I’m sorry I’m such a fucked up person, but….”
        “ I’m sorry you can’t help me get better”( I kids you not!)
        “ I’m sorry you are so hurt that you are unable to see the healthy way to move forward”( me- living my values every single day, him- no values at all and hiding it from day one. Yes, he should be a judge of s healthy way 😂)

        Etc.
        “I’m sorry I screwed up… I feel so bad about myself… I feel like complete crap… help me please”

        • Just use “I was a piece of shit” as the answer to every question you have. Yeah, really!

          • Well, to be fair, that he was a piece of shit pretty much is the answer to all your questions. Pretty good insight for a cheater.

        • “I’m sorry you’re so hurt you can’t see a healthy way to move forward “????! 🤦‍♀️

          Yep. And CHEATING is a healthy solution to “marital problems”.

          THey are all such selfish, myopic, dicks.

      • I too got the same line in The Divorce Letter about how he couldn’t tell me stuff. That I was sooooo judgemental and controlling! He brought up a conversation we had had a few weeks prior to the reading of the letter. I asked him what his best friend/best man at our wedding said about him going on a date with a newly divorced whore. I thought (stupid me) that his “Christian” best friend would have told him that it was wrong to go out on a date with a newly divorced whore. He told me that his friend didn’t say anything at all. He was supporting him and just being a good friend to him; he was just listening and trying to understand. Ugh. Now I realize he probably told a lot of lies to his friend or his friend is as morally bankrupt as him! My ex said to me in the letter that he realized the night I had asked him about what his friend said, that I was not being a good friend to him by judging him and questioning his behavior. He then went onto say “that he could only imagine how much he kept from me over the years, because of my black and white thinking” and my judgey attitude. THIS coming from the man who I thought was my best friend in the world. The person I told EVERYTHING too! The person who I had lengthy conversations with about so many topics. It sure seemed like he was comfortable talking with me about just about anything. Well, I guess he omitted everything about the double life he lead for 23 years. I’m not judgemental and I’m not controlling. But now I have no problem saying to anyone that you won’t treat me like this. And if you do, I’m gone!

      • Yes, Fearful&loathing and Struggling, so grateful to hear from others who got something like, “I’m sorry I didn’t express my needs more openly.” The punch line for me, and probably for many of us, is that everything, always, was about his needs.

    • Struggling, I too received the “apology-emails-that-weren’t-sorry.” X wrote almost exactly the same thing, full of blameshifting and condescending as fuck: “I’m sorry that you were unable to meet my needs and that’s what made me do ‘certain things’ and, anyway, the marriage had been over for a long time, sorry.” News to me! I did everything and more that a wife in a married couple does …. he made sure of that….him? Almost nothing that a husband should do. And I made him be like that. Funny I had such evil powers but no power to make him stop fucking other women, lying, threatening, abandoning…..

      I’m so glad to be done with all that emotional abuse. Today is a million light years better — being divorced 2 years, rebuilding my life, and completely No Contact makes all the difference.

    • I received a handwritten “apology” letter in the mail. He was already living with his OW. I concluded the context of the letter was he was sorry for himself. It sounded more like he was sorry he didn’t live up to his ideals for himself. Not really sorry about the pain he caused me. No real acknowledgment of how his actions affected the family. It was all about him. In fact I’m pretty sure he said that he will have it harder than me in the future, because he will have to live with the knowledge of what he did. Wah wah wah…

      Was he sorry enough to provide a smooth dissolution with a fair settlement to me? No. The divorce dragged on for years, he lied in front of the judge, he got caught in his lies during depositions and through bank subpoenas. In the end he settled because he didn’t want to go in front of the judge again, this time with her knowing he lied to her before. I settled because I didn’t trust the judge, based on her ruling to deny me fees the first time. I could have paid off the mortgage and fully funded college for my children with the money I paid lawyers and forensics.

      The Ex refuses to help children with any college expenses and plays the sad sausage that I took all his money. Hah! If only that were true. After decades out of the workforce I work full-time for low wage and no benefits. I pay for college as much as I can, and the girls take out some student loans. He gives them t-shirts from his trips to Bora Bora, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaii. Oh, and I think they get invites to go out on his new boat.

      He still has the nerve to tell his children that I have it better than him in the long run. It’s true. I do. It’s because I am the person I am though, not because I took something from him.

    • You didn’t have an opportunity to express your needs to him when he was absent cheating but you still weren’t compelled to cheat. It seems it’s very much him. Why were you upset? I’d have laughed, in his face, if necessary.

  • Well, my list of fake apologies could go on forever. I’m sorry you feel bad about what I did. I’m sorry, but it was clear we had problems in our marriage, I’m sorry you are hurting so much because I stayed in the affair while we were in counseling for three months trying to work it out, I’m sorry but when you would come home from being on the road I felt like all you wanted was to have sex, I’m sorry, but I just liked the attention, I’m sorry I don’t know why I did it, can’t you just let it go and fake it until we make it………

    WTF!! I’ve said it before. Don’t give in to the RIC. I wasted two years thinking I could make it work and smooth things over. I turned into someone I did not know or recognize. Don’t think the circular equation can be figured out. It’s an endless cycle of finding out more lies, hearing more fake apologies and then finding out more lies and the cycle goes on and on and on and on. Save yourself and move on with NO CONTACT as soon as possible.

    • My apologies we so similar. But they all led back to the fact that it was actually my fault and that I practically drove him into their (multiple APs) arms.
      The only “I’m sorry” I believe from him is that he is sorry he was caught.
      I stayed for about 4 months and then packed it up. His remorse was so fake. His flirting with other women was still real.

  • ILYBINILWY, she’s always been “the one”.
    I’m sorry how all this happened.

    He expected me to nod my head to agree that this was all some happy accident and fate corrected the error; not to worry though, because he still loves me. And oh, by the way… in all our 29 years together I was simply never his “one”, but rather a lower being he settled for since “she” wasn’t available at the time. Be happy I had even that time together with him.
    All that lying, cheating and devaluation… that was just his way of letting me down easy. I was supposed to realize that he is still that ‘nice guy’ everyone loves (don’t be such a bitter bitch).

    I kicked his ass out that same day.

      • Didn’t feel like it at the time…. You and CN helped me through the worst of it, and I can’t imagine what state I’d be in on my own.
        Thank you!

        • Well, you are SUPER MIGHTY, Shell-shocked-chumped!!! When I caught my XH out on a date, that same night I told him I was done. Took off my rings and put them in his hand and told him to give them to his whore. I was devastated and soooo angry! I wish I would have kicked him out that night! But stupid me went to the pastor the next day and that lead to me losing the upper hand. And continued the Pick Me Dance and being chumpy. I wish I would have been like you! When and if you are ever feeling low. Remind yourself of kicking him out that same day!!! That took strength and courage! Be proud of yourself. You rock!

    • Shell-shocked

      After 29 years he told you that you were a consolation prize?
      Such an ass….
      I hope you don’t believe in such a bs…. it makes me cringe even reading that… just remember, memorize and remember – being a loving supporting wife, living your life based on high moral standards and practicing good values- makes you an amazing partner.
      They have to lie to themselves to justify their horrible character and by blameshifting it on you ( oh my… you were not “ the one”… wtf? Is he a 13 years old teenage girl, looking for “ the one”- with butterflies and other nonsense???) so it’s easier to swallow the crap…
      Love is based on respect, honesty, stability and support.

      Keep your head up 🐚- you are the 🏆 here.

      • Getting to a good place more so each day. Thank you for your words of support!
        Why is it so much easier to believe in the bad stuff as opposed to the good?
        Gotta work on that!
        Enjoy the weekend!

    • Someone said this phrase from an old song to me the other day about my situation:

      ‘You are an angel flying to low’

      Took me awhile to get it because to my old mind set the X was the knight in shining armor and it was my privilege to even be in his presence! I really was flying way, way too low.

      But now I know I have wings! YOU do too!

  • I never got one, not sure if it was better… I don’t justify the unnecessary psychological abused and the gaslighting that was absolutely horrible!

    • No apology or admission here either. Not during the high-pressure divorce or deposition…even though everyone at the table knew the truth.
      It wasn’t that he couldn’t be bothered with a lame excuse or the energy needed to own up – it was all about KEEPING SECRETS!!!
      If the words don’t pass through his lips, then it didn’t happen.
      That’s some sort of crazy that I don’t even want to understand.
      Shhh, years later it’s still a SECRET…

      • Mine too! She hovers in the back bedroom when I come pick up my kid…weirdos! Why do they act like that? Triangulation?

      • Yep: if you don’t say the word, it didn’t happen. I really, truly don’t expect an apology or an explanation – but I am still amazed that she won’t acknowledge that it even happened. I mean, if there’s nothing to be ashamed of – if breaking up two families for their forbidden love was really the right thing to do – why can’t she own it? At least her AP told his wife that he was leaving her for my XW. My XW left me the same week, and she still won’t even admit that she had an affair. We’re 3+ years out, they’re married, and she seems to actually believe that I don’t know.

      • Same!! We are divorced now, and so is the OW and her spouse. They still pretend nothing happened, and they still pretend they aren’t together, but they are together… my brain explodes from all the crazy. Same too, if it doesn’t pass through his lips, then that means it never happened. They are a special kind of crazy!!

      • Me too, no apologies. If he doesn’t ever admit it then he can pretend to everyone that it never happened.

        • Same, no apologies, in his mind he didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t cheat. It would have been okay if he did since we weren’t getting along, but he didn’t..,
          There must be a chapter in the cheating hand book, “If you don’t admit to cheating then it didn’t happen.”
          My cheater is honorable he claims he didn’t mess around until he moved out, he expected me to believe him because he’s a man of integrity.
          They’re not only disordered they’re delusional

          • Cheater would get highly offended if I were to accuse him of cheating, you know me Brit, I’m not that kind of guy..

    • I’m sorry for what I have done, But it wasn’t all that bad. I was still a good husband, ( while dating, fucking and spending my time with any willing hooker/ people I dated from the moment we got engaged)
      father ( except for having sex with you while pregnant, and exposing you and unborn children to deadly STDs) and my outside marriage activities were only small portion of our life together( while u were taking care of our children, house, full time school and me screwing around, gaslighting you and causing PTSD)
      And I was always the same person you married – sweet, loving, devoted, focused on good values and family ( yes, I block the abuse, psychological tortures of gaslighting, lies, cruel words and actions, abandonment, depriving you from healthy sex life, infecting you with std, etc.

      Yes. Apologies.

      • My STBX said he wasn’t going to beg me to come back (I left him on DDay). That was my apology for his cheating. I told him not to worry about it, I wasn’t asking him to beg in the first place.
        Catch you on the flip side NEVER!

      • “I’m sorry, BUT…” isn’t an apology. It means “get ready for my justification/rationalization that will keep me believing I am as wonderful as I think I am, in spite of my hideous actions.”

        During my 2 year dance, Mr. Can’t Keep it in His Pants moved from “I’m sorry you feel this way” to “I’m sorry I didn’t push harder for my ‘needs’ to be met” to ‘I’m sorry I hurt you”, which, I realize is more than many of my fellow chumps got. But here is the thing: he has never admitted remorse for actually having the affair. Oh, no. Because that was “so dear” according to his journal, and I will never be able to wipe that from his memory, and how spectacular it was to him. No regrets, no remorse. (Never mind the whores and other hookups he had while also cheating on Shmoopie.)

        And yet, that is what I required. True remorse.

        No “Buts”.

        • Same. Sorty he put me and the kids through hell, but not sorry for the deception, false promises, broken promises, leaving for the EA. When it was clear she didn’t want him anyway there was more future faking (wish I hadn’t bern taken in) but still no remorse. He’s a proud man in the worst sense.

        • Thanks, Ivyleaguechump, I had the jaw-dropping experience, too, of hearing, “I take ownership of not emphasizing my needs more.” A classic I-didn’t-know-whether-to-laugh-or-cry moment; our entire relationship–from the most miniscule minutiae to the grand and gigantic–was always and only about his needs. In restrospect, I see myself and the mental and emotional gymnastics I performed to keep up and it takes my breath away. Anyway, thanks.

        • Oh the journal! Schmoopie wrote a love letter to Xhole in HIS journal. In a way, im grateful – it was what finally made me leave. The apology I got? “I’m sorry you’re mad at me”. I actually grieved this loser. The other side is so much better.

        • This text message arrived 7 months afterD-Day, and 2 months after I signed for divorce. The STBXH found out i was dating:

          “If it makes you feel any better I now know the incredible depths of pain you must have gone through, pain like cannot be imagined, and I now understand why you said it was the most painful hurtful mean thing ever.

          No one should ever go through this and for what it is worth I am really sorry I put you through it.”

          Sounds more like he’s getting sorry for himself, or maybe Schmoopie cheated on him.

          • Wiat. You mean you actually moved ON with your life? You weren’t pining away for HIM??

            Every. Single. Guy. who ever broke up with me came crawling back after the fact, wanting desperately to get back together. It was like they finally figured out I was a treasure. Nope. I always moved on. Until Mr. Can’t Keep it in His Pants. I danced for two years.

            So, working on fixing my picker, since my issue seems to be the guys that attract me. I’m done with cheaters, with roving eyes. DONE.

      • Yes, Gerda I got the same and he still believes he was the wounded/wonderful one because all that followed his apologies – I am sorry BUT…….fill in the blank with any blame shifting statement you have or gaslighting techniques that his self-pity has immersed him into up to his neck.

        Thanks to CN and CL I now see those apologies for what they really are – more manipulation and it is chilling to see that he truly believes them and ultimately, because he believes his self-pitying lies, has no remorse for what he has done to me or our houseful of children. All about him and his sorriness. Complete amnesia as to what he did in the first place to get the ball rolling – and believe me – that ball(s) rolled for a long, long time in and out of all sorts of women whom he chose not to mention to me until Dday. No big deal – right!!!! Did I forget to mention his minimizing it all?
        Silly, silly me.

        Luckily I still have my sense of humor intact and hope that I am never that silly again in this life time!

    • I got an apology and, “I’m paying penance everyday,” and “I care about you,” and “I’ll stop by soon.” This was almost 2 months ago. I haven’t seen him or got closure for 6 months. I’m struggling how he can take a 16+ year marriage and just run away. I wish he would never have sent that email of hope. I’d rather him have say, leave me alone and I never want to see you again. While hard, it would have been my closure. But I guess not speaking to me, blocking my phone number and now probably my email, is my closure. I’m just really struggling with the abandonment.

      • Missing him,

        the DOCTOR and I were married 35 years+, on Dday and he has not reached out to me in nearly 3 years. He spent 3 hours with one of our 3 children, in all that time. He remarried Schmoopie as soon as the divorce was final.

        Last week He missed our daughter’s college graduation (but invited her to visit him and his new family later…)

        I understand why you’re perplexed as to how someone wipes out a long chunk of their life. Me too. But I remind myself that while it puzzles ME, that’s because I’m once AGAIN projecting my values and world views onto someone who obviously does not share them.

        That’s a really hard thing to understand, let alone accept. I’m not there yet but I’m working hard towards just shrugging off thoughts of someone who clearly shrugged off a family.

        I’d PREFER thinking he’s so ashamed of himself that he could not face us at the graduation. Obviously the milestone wasn’t the priority for him that it was for me.

        Even if he’d brought Schmoopie and HER child to our daughter’s graduation, I sure as hell would still have been there.

        So, he continues to make a reconciliation (with our children, that is) harder & harder. The more time that passes without contact, the harder it will be to overcome. I would not be shocked if he never does show up…surprised & disappointed, but not shocked.

        I’m really sorry Missing Him, b/c I have had moments where I miss the intimacy and sense of humor we shared, a lot.

        But when I was dating it was easier for me to put him out of my mind, even when my date was not as “good” in some way as my ex. So I think when cheaters are with APs or whomever, it’s easier for them to occupy their lives and avoid facing the void they created. Then again, every achievement or milestone they see with someone else’s child, may well remind them that out there somewhere – their own child is living a life without them.

        That ^^^thought would bring ME to my knees.

        But I can’t keep projecting MY values onto him because we clearly do not share the same values.

        My ex’s choices mystified me for a long time. But the ONE useful thing my mediocre lawyer told me about my ex is that “he’s not that unusual.”

        It’s a shitty club to belong to, but you are not alone. And life does get better.

        I can honestly say I could not be married to my ex now, (no matter what. And believe me, I’ve imagined 100 scenarios).

        But I’ve seen things in him I cannot unsee or unknow. But as devastating as that was to realize, I’m better now. He was gaslighting me and in the last few years he could be cruel. That would not have improved.

        I am free of him and that’s the truth.

        I would not reject him to punish him. I would reject him so I could look myself in the mirror with a modicum of self respect.

        Keep at this; it’s work but it’s worth it. And the alternative is hell on earth.

        • Thank you so much for this @DOCTOR’s1stWife&Kids, it is exactly what I needed to hear today.

        • Beautifully worded Drs1stwife &kids. I could not have said this better.

          I would love to know if they ever admit, even quietly to themselves. The regret about things they missed out on with their kids? Because making the effort to have a relationship with their children was either too hard or to embarrassing?

          • As far as I can tell, my bio-Dad does not regret writing me and my children off, at all. In the past 19 years, I am the only one who has given him grandchildren. He hasn’t seen them since 2008. He has never met his youngest two grandchildren, and he won’t visit because I live in Texas, which isn’t a “woke” enough place for him. He had been emailing me about once a week for the past three months, but this last month has dropped me completely. I don’t know if I wrote something that was too southern or red-necky, or if he died. It will remain a mystery, I have too much going on around me in Texas.

        • Great post Doctors1stWife..and yeah the thing I miss the most about my ex wife is our sense of humor, the busting out catch your breath laughing. I don’t have that with anyone anymore. Sucks.

        • I am grateful for this post, it is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you! Today is my 34th wedding anniversary, and my soon-to-be-ex is taking his 22 year-old “arrangement” girl to Hamilton in SanFranciso. He spent over $3000 on her this week, and that is just plain abuse. Can he wait until the divorce comes through? Not for a single minute. He actually sent me flowers at work today, telling me this day will “always be special” and he has “very good memories of the last 34 years.” Really? I can’t think of a single memory that wasn’t a lie. I will never trust anyone again. I am completely broken. I like hearing that life gets better. Looking forward to better, hoping that is really true.

          • NTA,

            Your ‘story’ is very similar to mine. The shocker for me came when I realized that all of may memories were lies too – that my whole past was being re-written and, once aware, the red flags began bouncing up everywhere.

            It has been about 2 years now and I can vouch for what others say here….it does get better but it is hell getting here. Memories bombarding at most inopportune times and tears flowing. I never thought it would stop.

            Hang tough. I read a lot which helped me grasp the enormity of the situation but I didn’t find CN until I had been hanging out with the online RIC crowd. Talk about insult to injury! Anyway, I consider myself wiser now and my future is looking better every day.

            (At the time of Dday I was literally ready to commit suicide because I felt like my life was over and I couldn’t see my way through the pain EVER. I have remarkable friends who talked me off of the cliff and remarkable kids to whom I really couldn’t have left in that way but the urges were very strong. I look back now and think what a complete waste that would have been.)

            One of the hardest things for me to grasp was that the man I though he was and loved so dearly never existed. All a lie.

            Discovering who I am is actually exciting and fun. I never knew this me existed before because he was such a substantial part of my adult life.

      • He will never give you the closure that you are searching for. I once too was waiting. But I realized that a broken person can’t heal me. It’s just not possible. Once I accepted that, i was better able to move forward. That’s a daily process. If you are attempting to reach out to him, he will forever continue to feel empowered and your reaching out just feeds his ego. If small kids are involved some contact is understandable. But please stop relying on this person too heal or give you closure. You will have to find it for yourself. It sucks. But it’s the truth

    • I had exactly the same and zero apology. Full blown Narc went into a RAGE when I told him I wasn’t tolerating infidelity!

    • Nope, never got one ever from exh2.
      Exh1 eventually did apologize to me for everything he had done; however, it was about 9 or 10 years later. By the time he got around to apologizing, I no longer needed it or even cared.

    • Hoping a reply here will get me into the conversation, Not sure how to post a new comment. Any thoughts from others on the lack of decision by husband to work on marriage – we’re two months separated. Apologies and insight have never been offered.

      • @lemonhead.
        Read the book!
        Get all financial records together FAST. and copies out of the house
        Get to a lawyer FAST.
        Actions speak louder than words and your husband HAS decided NOT to work on the marriage. Obviously (really it is OBVIOUS) you have no marriage to work on, now go work on getting away.
        Do not project your values on your abuser. If you even glance at the comments here you will read that over and over and over.

        • Amen Wilma. I know everyone has their own way of doing things, and I have tiptoed around divorce for almost 2 years, watching him cheat with 22 year-olds that he paid a lot of money (called an “arrangement”). Sooner or later you get to that point, this is not going to change, and the longer it goes on the more devastated you will be, the deeper the hurt and humiliation, and the less powerful your position will be in the divorce agreement. I couldn’t be rushed by my friends, and I guess I don’t regret that because it can never be argued that I gave up. I took a beating from having the image of “tolerating” the cheating and I never did tolerate it. I just didn’t want to throw away a 37 year relationship based on the past 2 years. There was alcohol involved, and that made it hard to sort out. Once he went to treatment and became sober, his cheating escalated and his mid-life crisis was extremely evident. It was then I knew it was over without question, and no turning back. I even wondered if he had some brain tumor that caused the extreme promiscuity, but it didn’t matter, the behavior said everything. My only goal now is to get away clean with good division of assets. He has stolen my future, I can’t see more than 10 days in front of me, but I can’t watch him slowly torture me any more. Can’t wait for my lawyer’s office to open on Tuesday.

          • Brain tumor was my first thought too! I was ready to schedule a scan for him. It seemed the only reason a formerly devoted husband would have three affairs, two with women I knew and one with a dear friend. Then I realized he was a covert narcissist, a very talented one. Apparently there’s no surgery for that, but a divorce gave me freedom.

            • It is so helpful to have someone relate…I have so much self-doubt on my judgement. How could I not have known he was this much of an ass-hole? I was completely and deeply in love with him for 35 years. I can’t even imagine wanting to have another relationship if I can’t trust my ability to assess a person’s honesty. Very depressing

              • Alcohol was a factor the last five years of my almost 25 year marriage. Narcissists fill their hollowness with whatever works short term: career success, adoring women, a killer golf game, alcohol, etc. You and I will never suffice, even though our adoration and unconditional love is the only true nourishment these narcissists will ever receive. I’m taking pride in my ability to give and receive love, even though I’m nowhere near ready to love romantically and may never be. I give and take love to and from my friends and family, my community, and God. You hang in there, and know that you are so much more than your ex or his arrangements will ever be. I think it’s tempting to let you imagination run wild and assume that he’s experiencing bliss, but he wouldn’t know bliss, true happiness, if it came up and bit him on the backside. You, however, know it. That’s why it hurts now. You know it’s value and you will have it again in a way you might not expect but will appreciate.

            • My Mom and I wondered if Dad had had some sort of stroke. We probably should have had an evaluation done when he claimed he had astral-projected through the bedroom wall into the living room.

              • Bwahahahaaa!!

                Perhaps a cognitive/mental disability could result in not knowing what you’re doing is wrong, but a mental illness – I would really love to see research on whether mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia can impair moral judgements like cheating and lying. I doubt Scientists would ever get a true answer on this one.

                I did stumble across some research indicating that people who are autistic, or have a lot of autistic traits, are less likely to be influenced by a person’s appearance and more likely to be influenced by their behaviour, when they judge whether or not they can trust that person. Not applicable to the question, but interesting! The stbx claims to be autistic to a degree, though I don’t think he’s ever sought a diagnosis.

      • And apologies or insight may never come.
        I went through every single thing I could’ve done and apologized and said I’d do better. I even took the blame for everything he did. He still refused me because he insisted I’d never truly forgive him and that he needed to be with someone that didn’t know all the wrong he had done.
        He played nice and respectful “because I was the mother of his children,” until I filed for divorce and let the consequences roll in. Then he started spreading the lies to anyone he could including to my children. He was deceptive and obstructive through the whole process. Divorce barely done and he re-filed for custody. I’ve been living this for over 4 years.
        So as Wilma said, don’t project good on someone who has proven they’re. not. good.
        Protect yourself and your kids.

    • Me neither. Just blameshifting and an atempt to justify his atrocious action. Its been 6 months since D day, but I survived, I m stronger now and I can finaly see the truth of my relationship: how toxic it was and i m kind of glad that my narcissist husband is not my problem any more. A huge hug to all of you!!! Tank you for the strenght you transmit.

  • My ex never apologized for anything ever while we were married. I was the one who did all of the apologizing every time he had a complaint. Any time I tried to call him out on his bad behavior I still ended up being the one to apologize in the end. A few months after DDay I did get “I’m sorry I didn’t ask for marriage counseling five years ago “i.e. I am sorry I didn’t try to fix you first before going shopping for your replacement”. Apology not accepted.

  • I got “Don’t make me hate you.”
    To which I said, “Challenge accepted, fucker.”

    Easiest damn accomplishment of my life.

  • I got no apology – only that he was sorry that he hadn’t ended the marriage before it got to him cheating and making her pregnant – and yes I fulfil Tracey’s second Chump example – he fathered five children with me, lived in a terrible unhappy pretence of a 19 year relationship/marriage, co-signed a mortgage, but hes not getting any younger and deserves his happiness 🙂 🙂 🙂 oh well, two years out from d-day, trying to untangle myself legally from the unintentionally unemployed moron who wont co-operate with the courts I am getting to Tuesday best I can. Looking forward to a busy weekend with my young family that he has no part in.

    • I’m sorry = I’m sorry you caught me

      I’ll never do it again = I would have kept cheating as long as I could, until you caught me

      I’ll make it up to you for the rest of my life = after a VERY brief period of time, I’ll cover my tracks better and try harder to not get caught… because I care about you

      I didn’t mean to hurt you = because you weren’t supposed to find out, silly!

      She means nothing = because she’s a prostitute

      • This^^^^^, but for me I’d change the last one to “She/they means nothing to me = They are just friends. They are sexless to me. I can’t tell whether they are male or female. They are my healthy female friends.”

        Yes, that was all said to me. And he also told me in The Divorce Letter that he wished I had “healthy male friends” too! This from a man who was EXTREMELY jealous the TWO times in 23 years that I barely came close to having a male friend. He had/has a harem of female friends and I needed to be okay with all of them!

        • Dang, that list is exactly what I got if you change #3 to I’ll have to live with this for the rest of my life.

          What? Live with what? Exposure , shame, remorse. It doesn’t seem to bother him now,he has moved on and now our grown children seem to have forgotten also.

          I can’t move past this until divorce, supposedly 8 months away.

    • I have five kids too! He was cheating during my fifth pregnancy?!? When he walked out, my kids were newborn/2/4/6/8 years old and I was a stay-home homeschooling mom. It’s four years later and I’m mostly at Meh, but some days the rage comes back, especially with his lawyers barking at me for not having a career to help pay for private school tuition, I DIDN’T ASK FOR THIS..

      • Oh my…. we made a deal about SAHMand him working until kids reach middle school… with his crazy busy schedule it made sense- to have at least one parent present from Mon-Fri
        Yes.
        What was not discussed?
        Me following our agreement filled with respect love and support and him screwing over any value, any human being and getting mad for me not working at the end.
        Yes. Lies anger and entitlement.

      • Oh my Lord, Supine!! You are mighty. Mine were 1 and 2..I can’t imagine 5!! I’ve experienced the same blame for only being able to swing a part time job as I raised 2 babies alone and got my bachelor’s degree. It’s the whole reason he hasn’t been able to afford coming to see our children in FIVE YEARS. Me. And my inability to make more money. Must also be why he’s 50k in child support arrears. Point is, blameshifting is right out of the cheater playbook, and yes, rage is the appropriate response to something so absurd and unfair, not to mention calloused and without empathy. They can’t imagine the lives they left us with for one second, but they sure feel entitled to tell us we’re somehow doing it wrong. Best to you, keep on rocking it with your kids. You owe exactly zero information about how you fix the life he broke.

      • Yes, all this. My ex has been an abusive a-hole when it comes to the mediocre child support he pays me for our child so that I may finish my graduate program (he, of course, got his graduate degree ages ago while I supported him completely). Yet, still manages to travel all over the world, buy a nice big house, etc.

        Ya know, I’m a fan of no-fault divorces, generally. They’ve made it easier for women to get divorced and leave terrible abusive marriages–something that wasn’t allowed a generation or so ago. BUT, I think every state oughta have a clause for infidelity, if it’s provable. Like, create some basic evidence standard for proof, then require the cheating party to compensate in some way for the victim’s loss. Maybe it’s that the receive more community property or higher alimony checks.

        I dunno…but if the government wants to work on strengthening the family unit, they’ll spend less time working to prevent gay marriage and more time making cheating so financially devastating that these people are forced to stop.

        • NotaNiceChump – I totally agree. As this post clearly indicates, too often the cheater gets off scott-free from responsibilities, consequences and frequently lazy on child support. The ghastly impact of an affair on the entire family left devastated should be recognized by the courts. There should be some kind of compensation (even if to give a cheater a bit of thought before spreading their semen around, or opening their legs). The damage to the chump and the children is nothing short of catastrophic. However, it seems like a horrendous task to get a court to change direction on this. When did adultery become OKAY? anyway? It’s a sin, just like murder. Now you’ve got me on a brand new rant. I know, 6 yrs later – here I am, still haunted by the torturous days of devaluing, lying and stealing, and ruining everything in life that I valued. And, I’ll bet two donuts to a douchebag that he’s tripping away on the light fantastic.

          • How about compensation and maybe even jail time for the pricks that gave their spouses sometimes incurable stis?

            • I’ll tell ya, if I had gotten an STD from my ex as a result of his cheating I would have absolutely sued him for something, anything that I could. Even if I lost, it’s worth the effort to at least try to create a legal footprint and hold these abusers accountable.

              Agree with SupineChump…I DIDN’T ASK FOR ANY OF THIS!!! I was a loyal and good partner.

          • The problem is that adultery has always been ok, at least for men. No religion in the world has stamped that out. My grandpa cheated on my grandma, all my uncles have cheated on their wives, my great great grandfather came to America as a married man but took up with another women here and basically made her his wife, until his actual wife took a boat over. These are all Christian men. Religion did nothing to stop them and in fact looked the other way. Many of their wives were religiously counseled to stick it out with their cheating spouses. I can’t speak to God on this issue, but religion has failed women in this regard.

            The big shift I see now is that women aren’t tolerating it as much anymore because we don’t have to. Enter: CL. Turns out, it’s gross and demeaning to share your partner with someone else. Also, it’s gross to be with a liar.

            And I know that women cheat too…but from a purely historical and statistical perspective–this is a male-driven behavior.

          • Yeah, I have a DNA test proving my husband cheated since he fathered a child with his first affair partner. Now after affair number two I filed for divorce and I have to fight him to split the assets and give him extra since I saved more in my retirement account than he did. I would even be happy if the courts would split everything and give me half rather than letting him drag out the divorce.

            • Karmamamma,

              Oh I feel for you! This is where the narrative on cheating needs to change. It needs to be recognized as the abuse that it is. Even in no-fault states, I believe a record of abuse can nullify the requirement of equal split. Cheating also should be treated as a breach of contract.

              Idk what it is about these cheaters that drag things out in litigation. It just infuriates me that the non-cheating spouse is required to make a payout for purposes of equalization of finances with the cheater. While that was not my scenario, I had the cheater that dragged everything out. Claimed he would burn through all the money before agreeing to a settlement that he didn’t think was fair. My divorce cost far more than it should, and I don’t have the ability to quickly make that money back. While in the end Ex did pay a portion of my legal fees, it was a drop in the bucket.

              I hope your cheating Ex experiences all the bad mojo and karma he deserves…

              • Funny …the bible says both adulterers should be stoned to death ….there is no 50 50 split with a dead man

        • I agree. Infidelity is as damaging and hurtful as other criminal offenses. It should be considered and punishable in divorce cases. My advice to APs and unfaithful spouses is to apologize. Whenever you hurt someone, whether it’s infidelity or anything else, try to make amends. That’s basic humanity 101.

    • I got something similar.
      – I am sorry that I did not tell you are marriage was over before I slept with OW.
      – I am sorry, I was not planning to hurt you, I really thought you would not find out.
      – I am sorry, don’t you see how miserable I am

      I never really got an apology supported by actions.
      Empty words spoken with a logic that did not make any sense.

    • yeah i got “yes she is my girlfriend because of how you treated me”. 18 years 2 kids and this fuckwit while working in another city decides to start his new life.unbeknownst to me. Going on Tinder dates in the expensive city while screaming at me that i spent too much on school supplies. I discovered this one (he “just kissed” a co worker last time he was working in the city after our son was born) early because he wanted me too (found the tinder app on his phone and pictures of her that i wanted to send to her mother so she could see what a pig her daughter was ( i refrained). He went back to drinking (because when you meet women form the internet at a bar and you don’t drink they think you are weird), she kicked him out for being a drunk. i allowed him to stay (we were very much NOT together) because our daughter BEGGED me too. The whole time he thinks he is going to live in our downstairs and go into the city to work and see her. He told me we can see where we are in 6 months. WELL- I said i don’t need 6 minutes, threw his stuff out the window and sent him packing. This was Sept – Nov. Schmoopie, who he met on Tinder and knew for 3 weeks too him in immediately. Quality person right? Come February i get a call from him “he needs mental health help. Like a fool, i say come home. I find him a bed at a hospital, pick him up from the bus station, drive him to the hospital 2 hours away and he calls me as soon as i get home to ask for a notebook, why you may ask? Schmoopies phone number is in it and he can’t have his phone in the hospital so he needs to know the number! That was it. I had his phone. I called schmoopie the one and only encounter i had with her to tell her that he was not coming to my home so i hope she could take him in. She did and they have been together ever since. She’s neat. he’s 50 she’s 35. He told me i had to wait 2 yrs for a divorce (he’s a lawyer, not a good one though) i begged, borrowed and stole to get a retainer and a lawyer who dismantled him. Her fee was worth that alone. She gave me the best words of wisdom about him. He is mentally ill and doesn’t know what he is talking about”. In dealing with him in the limited capacity that i have too for the kids (text only, no phone unless it’s critical and he doesn’t come in my house, he’s very upset about it . Now 2 1/2 years later i have MEH most days. I still come here a lot. Our 16 year old daughter won’t see him because he now lives out of state 3 hrs away with schmoopie in a one bedroom where my daughter sleeps on the couch and son a cot in the living room right outside there bedroom door. She says he rages about me the entire car ride to his place and then acts “weird” with his gf. My point is i’m glad i didn’t get the apology. It would have given me hope that wasn’t there. I just repeat what my lawyer says and be the best sane parent i can be. At least they have one. Keep striving for MEH. You can do it! Also i am typing this at work so forgive my run ons and poor punctuation.

  • Oh man — the lay-up of all lay-ups for me.

    One year after DDay, and a mere five days after the divorce was finalized, she sent me a masterpiece of attempted manipulation via OFW, which began with this false apology:

    “First, I am sorry. I am sorry that we promised ‘forever’ to each other when we had no concept of what ‘forever’ meant. If there is fault in that promise, we both have that burden -— how can we blame each other for what we could never have possibly understood then? We were naive, we were clueless, we were still growing when we made our vows. We did not know that we would grow apart.”

    If you’re interested in the whole thing, along with my UBT of it:

    https://www.chumplady.com/2018/05/uxworld-ubts-a-letter-from-kk/

    • I met Cheater when I was 18..(5 years younger than my now youngest child…point being, I was YOUNG). We were married when I was 21. I TOTALLY REJECT the “we didnt know”, “we were clueless / young/naive” thing with respect to fidelity. Sex with other people is sex with other people and it doesnt take a 40 year old to understand this stuff. Lame excuse.

      • If a person discovered / admitted something to themselves about their sexuality that they did not know/admit/understand when they were 21…they have the option of “Spouse, I need to tell you that I must leave this marriage. You are a decent kind person and I will be fair” <— that is within the capability of humanity.

      • I almost don’t see a point here – they don’t say they’re sorry because – THEY’RE NOT SORRY! Besides saying they’re sorry blows up all their rationalizations that make it possible to look themselves in the mirror! I wouldn’t accept an apology from a diabolical scheming liar anyway!

    • Oh my lord, that was a real letter from her??? Your UBT was spot on. My ex wife cheated and bailed out after 24 years so I get your disgust 100%. Thankfully our kids were older, adults now, so I can go 100% NC. But 5 years later I’m still flabbergasted over the whole implosion.

  • You know, I don’t know if I recall an actual apology during the year of pick-me dancing. I think I projected feelings of remorse onto him, as in I could see that he appeared to feel badly and he spoke of regret for the damage he caused, but I can’t actually remember an actual apology.

    Wow! Something else to sort through, great.

    I know it’s so important for my well-being and future happiness to process all of this, mourn and free myself of it. I need to let this go. But, when another layer of the level of moral depravity committed against you comes to light, it’s difficult. In order to truly be sorry for something you have done, you have to own what you have done. Considering all that I have discovered about my STBXH’s behaviour in the final years of our marriage, things he doesn’t know I have learned because I’ve chosen to hold my cards close to my chest, it’s saddening to realize that there hasn’t been a true “sorry,” simply the appearance of regret on his part that I came to learn as much as he realizes I know.

    • Wow. Your post just made me realize that my ex never verbally apologized but was able to make me think he was remorseful by the way he acted. Lesson! Action don’t always speak louder than words. Guess it makes no sense to apologize when it’s already been decided to continue doing what your doing…..just pretend to be sorry to keep the chump part of the theatrical drama

      • @GuiltyasCharged. … nope
        ACTION: no apology IS the truth.. he wasn’t sorry. Thus ACTION while perhaps not greater than words, DOES speak the truth.

        watch the action and don’t listen is very good advice.

    • Hey Option – you never REALLY get over it. But, as CL says – you will get to a point of “meh” where it doesn’t affect you the way it had. And take as long as you need. I’m almost 5 yrs post-D day and I’m STILL not over it. I don’t think I will ever be over it.

      • I am almost 5 years post and I am STILL not over it also. And I doubt that I ever will be. I thought that was just a “me” problem. Glad to know I’m not alone.

        Apology never received.
        I was told: “Would my saying I’m sorry do any good?”
        Yes. If you truly meant it it would, Jackass…

        So glad I am living a cheater-free life.

        • His infidelity will live with me forever. The trauma is so deep and so profound.
          I have a great life, amazing kids, wonderful friends, a sweet puppy and more blessings than I could list. I am content even though I miss what I thought was a partner.
          I am a survivor and at peace because I can live a good life and carry the pain at the same time.

          • Yes, Rebecca, all those things, too. As I’ve said to nearest and dearest lately, “I’m a mess but I’m also absolutely okay.”

          • That’s helpful to me Rebecca, 40 years no apology, I don’t think I’ll ever get to meh, but I too can carry the pain and have a good life.

    • Cheaters have a tendency to confuse regret and remorse. Yes, my X expressed regret that I discovered his infidelity. I cannot remember a single time when he expressed remorse. He certainly regretted that the image he had manufactured was shattered. Remorse, however, would have required him to examine his conduct honestly and acknowledge the hurt he caused our family. That was never going to happen.

      • I had exactly the same experience with my cheating ex. Lying and cheating kills brain cells, I swear…

        • I definitely agree with that one. My ex used to always have it all together and always remembered everything. Now he can’t remember squat. This started before DDay and I was afraid it was early onset dementia. Of course they already have to have been pretty messed up in the head to cheat in the first place….

          • Chumpinrecovery, Can we learn more about this? My STBXH was convinced he had early onset dementia in the months leading up to DDay and clearly, he was in decline. Still, he’s marginally functional administratively, interpersonally and professionally. I chalked it up to the exhaustion and distraction associated with living a double-life. Ooops! Here we go, untangling the skein. Sorry, CL.

      • My fuckwit just responded….. “you cant put my dick in your purse!”
        Wow, just wow. Equal to, you can’t be the boss of me.
        All I needed to hear.
        Xo

        • My cheater’s OWhore sent me many angry and abusive texts telling ME all the ways I failed as a wife after the asshole dumped her. One of her classic texts said that I didn’t deserve him, and he was just going to be “put on a shelf” by me.
          Uh, yeah.
          Stupid skank, he cheated on HER the whole time too.
          And I was the one who was “put on a shelf”. Asshole didn’t even sleep in the same bed as me for years, so he could sneak out of the house in the middle of the night to meet random people for skeevy “casual encounters”. Sex with him was rare and unsatisfying (with all his experience, he’s still a selfish man who really doesn’t know or care enough to please a lover).
          He expressed outrage that she contacted me, but really who’s fault was this?
          Sure, the fact that she knew that he was married makes her a lousy skank, but she wasn’t the one who strayed.
          HE was the one who allowed her to think that they had a future (they were “together” ten years), HE was the one who cheated and lied, HE was the one who left his phone around so she could get my number (and worse, our kids’ and grandkids’ numbers), and HE was the one who constantly complained about and criticized me to her.
          He said he was sorry.
          Sorry doesn’t mean shit.
          Fuck all the sorries.
          You don’t get to do whatever and whoever you want for 41 years and then “sorry” your way back to me.
          I’m sorry that I ever met him.
          That’s the only sorry that matters.

    • Yep, Option, 3 years out from the his moving out and 3 1/2 years past the day, never got an apology.

      One time, shortly after he left he called me and told me he wanted to meet me to apologize to me. I talked to my therapist about it and she asked me what would it change? Then she suggested I have in mind how would I respond. I determined that if he did apologize I would be ready with “That’s about what I expected you would say.” He never brought it up again. .

      I once heard an older gentleman in his 70s, I’ll call him Bill, share with deep remorse that he owed his first wife an apology. I had the sense that he now realizes how foolish he was — fooled himself into thinking he deserved and was getting something better way back then. I have thought many times, what if I said to Bill, let’s go sit down somewhere quiet, as someone who was abandoned by their spouse I’d like to hear that apology. I will never do it, I’m sure. But an apology based on decades of realizations might just be interesting. Cathartic. And then I could say, “I don’t know your wife, Bill, but if she were here I think she would say ‘That’s about what I was expecting you to say.’”

    • Hahahaha! No way. So…I was a gold-digging, husband stealing skank with absolutely no morals, character or integrity who wanted to steal someone else’s life? Hm. Guess I need to have that checked!

    • The ex has never said this, but I have observed that his serial infatuations always involved young women who were very much like me in my 20s (we’re now both in our 60s). Ironically, I can remember back when we were dating, the he, his father, AND his grandfather were all dating women who were 28. I used to make a joke of this but now I see it in a very different light.

    • ” . . . yeah, at the beginning, when you didn’t know who I really was, and I could make you believe anything about me, and you didn’t have the benefit of years of seeing the ‘real me.’ I liked it that way, and that’s why I like her now.”

      • Oh god. One of the things the ex said to be when he said I broke his heart and I mistakingly asked how was, “You don’t believe in me.”

        Yeah. I finally realized every word out of his mouth is a lie. On to a new, more gullible target.

      • UX, I love the fact she admitted that she hid behind a mask. As chumps we often find greater fault with the OP believing they were the cause. And the cheater plays that with finesse.

        In the absence of remorse they’d rather enjoy the pain inflicted. When the Limited spoke of the OW it was if he was drinking up the excitement as a high he got off on. He did.
        “I told her I wasn’t happy for two years.”

        They know what they are and embrace the power in duplicity. This awareness (ours) can be the starting point in fighting for ourselves knowing they so want to hold onto the reins to cause further pain in all way possible.

        To me this is the initial understanding all chumps have to see to move forward.

        I swear KK is the female Limited.

    • OMG! I just gasped reading this. Seerant, you MUST be better off without this callous jerk.

    • I got the same!!! It was amazing… believe me, I always have something to say, sarcastic or otherwise. But when he actually said, “she is kind of like you, if you had met her, you probably would have liked her or have been friends!!!” What in fucking hell??!! I think it took me a good minute to pick my jaw up off the floor, and ask “are you fucking kidding me? That stupid married cunt with four kids who screws married co-workers is nothing like me”. Oh man, I flipped the fuck out with that comment. I’ve heard some stupid shit come out of his mouth, that one, was a winner for sure.

  • “We were a mess!” That’s what I got. And yeah – we were but mostly because you were a disrespectful, inconsiderate, rude, mean ass hat to me AND because you were fucking some white trash alcoholic moron. Ya think? Why be nice to ME or have any respect, loyalty or consideration when she was there to hang on your every word, satisfy your every whim and just breath in the sweet perfume of your majesty? He later described her by saying “she just wanted to be where I was.” P.S. That’s how I used to describe OUR DOG. Oh and yeah – THIS was how he remedied the fact that we were “a mess.” Nice.

  • My ex,
    Leaving the door said I love you, then went to crackhouse with prostitutes.
    Said, its your fault I take drugs
    He said, she’s a slag. It meant nothing, it was only once,
    YOU SHOULD HAVE GOT OVER IT IN TWO WEEKS
    Capital letters for not realising early enough he’s a moron
    Apparently according to him she goes with all men
    IF SHE’S STALKING YOU IT’S YOUR PROBLEM NOT MINE
    He did actually say the comments in capitals letters and the rest.
    He actually apologised, I think I’m supposed to be grateful, but I’m not.

  • It was always just regret that he got caught. After I engineered a way for Schmoopie’s husband to find out, which, in hindsight, was a very genteel approach, and he was upset with me, I knew it was hopeless. His loyalty to her lasted beyond their breakup and his charade of an attempt at reconciliation with me. I should have known after trying out two other therapists who had his number, and his insistence that we try another, that he was looking for a patsy. We found the Homecoming Wueen of the RIC and he put on his best act during our year and a half of therapy. Talk about ‘triangulation’! Either she was fooled, or she was tickled to have such a mess of a man to work with. But a sincere apology NEVER came. As the months went on, I knew it was over. Predictably, he was back at it, at least online, and I was giddily relieved to take a stand. I had changed in those three years. My grown kids supported my decision and I kicked him out. Even now, six months after our divorce was final, he still tells himself a big fairy tale.
    People!!! This man is 63 years old with 3 fabulous grown children. They think he’s behaving like an eighteen year old. If THAT doesn’t wake you up, what will?

    I’ve analyzed the living daylights out of my issues. Now, I can proudly say that ‘I own my own shit!’ It’s freeing.

  • This all sounds so familiar. No apology, no remorse, no regrets, and no empathy. 4 years later, I get a generic apology (I’m sorry for what I did).

  • “I wont apologize for falling in love”
    (and later)
    “this is the first time Ive ever been in love”

    This was 2005….back then, these words cut me like razor blades and I just typed them without giving a single fuck.

    • oh and I also got “I had a bad moment” which he was supposedly referring to a 6 month affair…found out later that it was a 2 year affair on top of at least 3 others. Seems his entire adult life was a “bad moment” …sad thing is, in this respect, his whole life was a “bad moment”

      • Mine said he was in “ a dark place” for 2 years. I’m sure it was over a dozen years- maybe the last two were “darker”.

        • Mine said he was in a “lost time” when he was having an affair with a ho-worker while I was pregnant with our second child and our son was a one year old gorgeous, smart, funny, fun and a joy to be around little toddler. He was also f-ing around over ten times with 100% naked Canadian strippers at this time. Yeah, he was lost alright! He’s always been lost. From the minute I met him way back in 1988, he was lost at Fantasy Island. “Deh, plane! Deh, plane! Here comes some more cheaters, boss!”

  • I’ve shared this before:

    I did get one, and at the time I was like, “WTF…?”

    “I tried” she told me.

    I think she couldn’t have done better; I think really did try. And boy, did she fail. It hurt to hear that excuse, but I see it now as her most honest moment.

  • “I will concede to cheating but not with who you think.” Which means it was probably worse than I thought or suspected. Fucker.

    • Ew. This strikes me as particularly evil MissBailey.

      This statement manipulates you into self torture by forcing you to imagine the worst, while somehow also inferring that it was soooo easy to deceive you and lie to you.

      Gross gross. What a mind fucker.

  • My ex’s first reaction to being found out was to tell me to just get a divorce rather than come clean much less apologize. A week later he came clean and asked to reconcile. I got one I’m sorry you’re hurting about a week after d-day. Then once he realized he needed to be accountable and transparent- he rattled off all the reasons he was justified in cheating. I told him I’m done I want a divorce. The next closest thing I got was a “I don’t want this”- when he realized I was serious about sending in the financial paperwork for the divorce. I said I’m sorry but I can’t ignore a five year affair – I’m done. I’m convinced the only thing he didn’t want was me taking 1/2 his retirement. Once he realized I was going thru with the divorce and intended to make sure my son and I were taken care of- well he became the man from hell. A year and 1/2 later – he still says he was justified. Not holding my breath from an apology EVER! and that’s fine- he’s a disordered person and all I can do is pray for him for my son’s sake.

    • Oh my gosh, same thing. We were married 23 years and I found out about the 9 month affair (subsequently discovered more). Once I finally got to filing for real and moving forward her true nature came out. The amount of money she wanted for spousal support was insane. In mediation she actually said “I’ve become accustomed to a certain lifestyle and it would be unfair for me to try and live different after all I did for the family”!!!!

      • Time4achange, he still acts like the victim. I recently came to the realization that I can’t hold on to his victim baggage just cause he’s angry that there were consequences to his actions. I should have known the minute he said he wanted a divorce right away, when he got found out. I never ever got an “I’m sorry I cheated , you did not deserve it”- for me that’s the only acceptable apology when someone cheats. Plain and simple!

        • Wow, exactly the same. She tells the kids that I’m the one who tore the family apart because I filed for divorce. I could go on and on how she paints this picture that I’m the one in the wrong because she decided to fuck other men, lie to me and steal money. She had set up a secret bank account, P.O. Box, cell phone. Her rationale was she was scared that I would divorce her and leave her with nothing if I found out about her affiairs so she had to protect herself!!!! How is that for Narcissist logic?!?!

      • Mine received a significant settlement from an accident. Chumpy me thought he’d put it aside for our son’s college education. When it came time for college 2 years later and there was no money he said he was mad at me because he was unhappy so he pissed it away!

  • ‘I am sorry that your behavior destroyed my good feelings for you.’

    ‘Which behavior? Busting my ass for your daughter and you? Running your daughter to the orthodontist while you take your howorker to lunch because you can’t be arsed? Working 50 hours a week and still cooking meals from scratch every night? Making it possible for you to only contribute 300 dollars a month to the household so your monthly pure spending budget is over two grand while I have little to nothing? Never making a peep of complaint about any of these things until YOU suggest I’m ‘negative’ and the Sluterus is a ray of Sunshine? ???’

    (Dead Stare)

    ‘No really, which behavior?’

    ‘I just want to feel loved’

    ‘I have no control how you feel, but nobody’s EVER shown you love more than me. You don’t want to be loved, you want to be worshipped.’

    Narrator: The ‘behavior’ would not be identified. Cold Slab O’ Meat would lose fulltime custody of his daughter due to neglect and drama with the Sluterus, who was not, in fact, a Ray of Sunshine. They would engage a third Sugar Mama in a three year dance of Child Custody and Support Drama over the Adultery Baby conceived while married to me, whom they chose to name after a Wheel of Cheese. Sugar Mama would eventually ask Cold Slab O’Meat to leave. I found Tuesday. Now they are stuck together because no one else wants their Free Love Bonobo Monkey Asses. Their ain’t no Sunshine, just creditor lawsuits.

    Cheater Narrator: Our Love Was Meant to Be.

    • Hi Luziana👋👋👋. Great to hear from you! I always love your insights and I find your humor so healing😘😘😘

    • “Adultery Baby named after a wheel of cheese” I’m guessing Brie and I bet they didn’t even spell it correctly (Bree). My apologies to a delicious cheese

  • “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” IF he hurt me. As though there is any question as to whether he hurt me by cheating. Then, always followed by, “But you have to accept some responsibility for the issues in our marriage too.”

    Even just typing this reminds me HOW HAPPY I AM TO BE FREE OF HIS ENDLESS MINDF@&#.

    • So done

      “ but you have to accept responsibility”
      Yes I did. I was an honest supporting and loving wife from the start. That was my contribution.
      You were lying cheating husband. That was your contribution.
      My responsibility now is to keep my healthy ways not to babysit you.

      “ couple counseling?”

      We don’t have an issue as a couple.
      Cheating lying and betraying your wife is the issue here. No marriage therapy,sorry.

      • Awesome!

        Really, expecting to take responsibility for somebody else f…ING around … too much. If I could compel somebody to do something I’d compel a guy to shower me with diamonds.

      • Gany,
        Exactly! But in my STBX’s warped world view, I think he honestly believes that I bear some responsibility for his cheating. Which is why No Contact is the only way to go. Trying to reason with these psychos (as I did for years) is 100% pointless. They will NEVER get it because they are disordered.

        • His infidelity will live with me forever. The trauma is so deep and so profound.
          I have a great life, amazing kids, wonderful friends, a sweet puppy and more blessings than I could list. I am content even though I miss what I thought was a partner.
          I am a survivor and at peace because I can live a good life and carry the pain at the same time.

        • What was crazier for me in the beginning was that I believed that I was responsible – I had been so brainwashed for so long that everything about our life/relationship was my fault so why not the cheating too – over 3 decades of being responsible

          What a huge relief when it dawned on me months later that NONE of it was my responsibility since our entire marriage had been based on his cheating from the get go which I hadn’t know about or suspected.

          I have spent hours reading about disordered people, narcissist and sociopaths and he fits a part of every one of those definitions. No way am I responsible for that. He done did it to himself.

    • My ex kept saying that too! “I know you want to act like this is all my fault, but you have to accept some responsibility.” My favorite was “Affairs don’t happen in a vacuum.” No shit.

    • Ahhhh, I got that too, even before I knew for sure that he was cheating, he was telling me that I had to take responsibility for issues in our marriage (his number one issue with me was that I liked to buy organic food), which I didn’t know we were having, but he couldn’t trust me anymore because I had had thoughts of wanting to stay home with our two young children…

  • ‘I’m sorry I broke your trust but I’ve been very unhappy for a long time. You should have known I hated our life together.’

    It is his refusal to apologize to our daughter that has really caused him problems, though.

    • Chumpachump… were we married to the same evil bastard? X told me AND OUR KIDS that he HATED every minute of the last “10 years!” When our 10 year old cried that that was her whole life he yelled, “well I HATED it.” He gave up all custody and sees these wonderful children less than 5 hours a month for superficial meals and shopping. I wish that I could get a redo in life for their sakes. I will never forgive him for literally destroying them— after that, two of them became very suicidal … the aftermath has been beyond horrifying….

      • Motherchumper

        There should be a special place in hell for ur ex.
        Breaking your heart is one thing, but doing it to innocent children- such a fucked up, horrible human being.
        I hope he will pay for that one day

        • I was going to say the same thing — special place in hell for parents who hurt their children like this.

          I will never ever forgive my XH for all the things he said to our kids and for being a cold, sociopathic robot while they were sobbing uncontrollably. One of the things he said was that he hadn’t been happy the last ten years. Well, that’s gaslighting and rewriting history to our kids. My son said while crying, “You and mom always looked so happy and loving towards each other. You never fought.” His dad didn’t say a thing. I said, “Well, I guess your dad was faking it.” XH later said to me that he “didn’t like” that I said he was faking it. Well, pick one asshole!!! Either you were faking it or you were happy. You can’t be both!!!

          Things my “Christian” XH taught my kids:

          1.) Your “Christian” husband/wife can walk out on you at anytime.
          2.) Vows to God and spouse mean nothing.
          3.) The only thing that matters in life is your happiness.
          4.) God doesn’t care if you are a pathological liar and serial adulterer. God only cares about your happiness.
          5.) Other Christians don’t care about adultery. They only care that the person who got cheated on forgives and doesn’t become bitter.
          6.) The pastor/church only loves. Doesn’t judge. Judging is so Old Testament.

          My son has said many times to me since he was 15 (he’s now almost 20). “I’m never getting married.” He said, “Why bother.” He said this after watching how his dad blew-up his intact, loving, wonderful family. Son said, “Why bother.” I couldn’t agree more! Why bother when people who say they are followers of JC act like the Satan himself!

          • @ Motherchumper, my ex says mind raping things to my children too. The latest is that he was so miserable that he had a tree picked out on his way to work to run the car into so his death would look like an accident and they wouldn’t burden them with his suicide. He cheated, i let him go, i don’t bother him and 2 1/2 years from dday and almost (july) a year divorced and he still rails against me. Your son’s words have me in tears at my desk. Children don’t deserve any of this crap

            • I knew a sad sausage nicknamed Judas Jack (a Jesus cheater) who would jokingly threaten to take his trawler boat (financed by his adult son) out in the bay and light it on fire. Nothing like threatening to kill himself to get attention from his adult daughter.

              Fled that circus.

        • Motherchump99, I am so, so sorry, you and your children were subjected to that utter disregard and abuse. Be the sane, steady, loving parent. Care for yourself with a healthy support system. Sending all love and healing to you and yours.

      • @Motherchumper
        There are no words.
        That’s heartbreaking.
        I feel sick.
        How does your X live with himself?!?!?!
        Hugs to you and your children.

      • I’m pretty sure my cheater thought that if HE hated me than his child would surely hate me too. Boy was he wrong. He hasn’t seen her for a year and a half. That was my daughter’s choice.

  • Still waiting for a direct apology after six years. Just kidding about the waiting part; I know it will never come because in his mind, he was justified in cheating. After a year of marriage counseling, I got “well, maybe the affair was a mistake.” After we separated, I got a text saying “I’m sorry that things haven’t worked out between us.” The only time the words “I’m sorry” were ever used.

  • I got lots of tearful outbursts, “…but I LOVE YOU…..” and “I’m so sorry”s galore–but they were always along the lines of: I am so sorry I’m a mess–why won’t you take care of me anymore? How can you be so cruel when I’m the victim here?

    After I kicked him out of the house, he replaced his wedding ring with a ring that had the semicolon symbol on it (for mental illness/mental health awareness)–and I thought that summed things up well: I love my messed up life/I love messing up my life, more than anyone or anything else (including, apparently, our son).

    What I didn’t get was any empathy or any honesty. No full accounting of what was going on, no taking responsibility, no honesty with our son or friends or his family. He’s just moved right on to the next mark.

    Whew! So so so so glad to be out of that thicket of crazy!

  • On dday, after I assisted in throwing his crap into garbage bags, tossing said bags into the garage, I left the house. Upon my return I saw that he wrote on the chalkboard in the kitchen, “I’m sooooooo sorry.” Yeah, yeah, that makes it all better! Idiot!
    Then, a year or so ago, he sees my neighbor in the grocery store and tells her “I feel like an asshole for doing NMSB wrong.” Yep, still an idiot!

    • Oh, yeah, how could I forget this recent one. A month ago I had to email. It was very business-like. He answered the question, then……wait for it!……”I’m sooooooo sorry.” Yes, yes, STILL and idiot.

        • Speaking of idiots, how’s this one:
          Four months after I had last seen her, my fiancé (a junior at MSU) and her parents drove to my USA duty station in Alabama to visit me over Spring Break. Her and I went to dinner that first evening where she announced, much to my consternation, that she was pregnant. Strangely, there was no tummy bump to prove it. We talked the rest of the evening about how best to break the news to our parents, the date we should settle on for the wedding, etc. It wasn’t the fun date I had anticipated. When she departed to return to school, I asked her to give me the name and number of her OBGYN so I could stay in the loop – she agreed to provide it……but never did. She knew I had her then….she was only two months pregnant and she knew I would find out from her Dr. Finally she wrote to spill the beans – it wasn’t my baby – and she was so-o-o-o sorry. She just couldn’t stand to see me suffer through the ordeal without knowing the truth. She asked me to continue writing to her (WTF!) because she couldn’t stand to be without me, and…blah, blah, blah…I wadded up the paper and trashed it without finishing it. Who does that?!!

      • Yep – he screwed around with my daughters 21yr old babysitter in my house multiple times, had dinner with me and our kids almost nightly but he’s only going to apologize for his part…I guess my part was being a nice person letting her live with us

          • I wish. He refused to leave or make her leave and kept bringing her into our house – with me and the kids there. When I confronted him he said verbatim “I pay the majority of the mortgage. I say she stays. F*** off and go back to your room.” I called an attorney I had met and told him him what he said. The next week we filed a restraining order keeping him from bringing her into the house. I won easily. He still brings up how horrible I was kicking her out to the street (and telling the kids that I did that as well)

  • At 2:am just three weeks past d-day I was sitting numbly on our couch, staring mindlessly at the TV. You all know those first horrible weeks – the crushing confusion, searing sorrow and the physical pain. My ex came to the living room and knelt beside me and asked what I needed. I took his hand and pressed it against my heart and begged him to stop the bleeding. I told him he’d ripped out my heart and that I not only couldn’t bear the vast empty hollow but that I was hemorrhaging every good thing. He looked me in the eye and swore that he would keep his hand on my heart the rest of our days.

    That night when he come home from the office (after spending the day with co-worker OW) he sat in our driveway for an hour texting with her while I waited inside for him to put his hand back on my heart.

    I knew then that I would need to stop the bleeding on my own.

    Joyful news is that I did!

    • It has been years since the troubles, but reading your post brought back those first terrible days. It felt as if someone had died. The grief, the pain, the anger, the not knowing how X’s infidelity was going to impact my children. One of my friends told me to “just keep putting one foot in front of the other” and that is what I did for a very long time. I have since recovered, and I would never, ever want to go back to my “old” life. Still. the sting of that initial discovery remains. Cheaters suck.

      I wish you much strength and support as you continue on the journey that no one would willingly undertake.

    • I know we’re not professional writers here, but I keep running across posts like yours that make me think that there’s more raw honesty and emotion on this site than in just about any book I’ve read recently. If I were going to try to put together a novel about the trials and tribulations of marriage I would come here first to find the real language of heartbreak and betrayal.

      • Involuntary Georgian, I thought of how to lose a guy in 10 days was transformed into a movie and thought the same thing about this site and CL’s book. In a world where cheating gets rationalized and normalized, I’d love to see this movie played out. I believe it would empower people who put up with it too long. Putting the pressure and the blame where it belongs is a tale worth telling to say the least.

    • Paula,

      When I was in that same stage, my Cheater had his big military retirement ceremony and he could see I was so upset and didnt want me to embarrass him/cause a scene so just before the ceremony, he did one of those same “were going to make it through this” kind, ostensibly loving moments throwing me a whole basket of crumbs so that I would behave in front of his extended family and friends.

      His OW was in the second row with a fake date. He was back to full-on nasty mode as soon as his event was over. He ripped my heart out and stomped on it with that maneuver. It got worse from there. I have a new life now and cant remember what that pain felt like anymore. Even if my new husband left me, I dont think that anything could ever hurt like the father of my children betraying me like he did.

  • I think he may have said something along the lines of “I’m sorry if I hurt you.” But after being told “the marriage was over anyway” followed by the most ludicrous 4 reasons I made the marriage an unhappy place to be, his apology seemed pretty lame.

    Yeah I think I would vote for no apology at all. It would have been more honest but then that would have been a very tall order.

  • I think the qualified apology is a red flag for an entitled person of any sort. I got many of those “I’m sorry but here’s why it’s not my fault” apologies which aren’t apologies at all but just another way to keep obsessively talking about himself. It’s interesting to me that cheaters dont realize they’d be better served to just say “I’m sorry” and then shut the f*** up, rather than the way most do using their apology to blame shift.

    I keep getting the “filled with remorse” speech every now and then. I don’t even bother to comment. It would be good if it were true if he’s actually living with sorrow and pain for the way he treated us, but I think it’s a self serving type of feeling as though for him to feel sorry is for him to feel like “look at me, I’m not such a bad guy. I feel sadz, too.” Sure. Whateves. How indifferent I feel about him and his “feelings” four years later is a heavenly feeling!

  • Not only did I never receive an apology, any uncomfortable feelings he had were deemed my fault.

    When I was trying not to scare the timid cheater, I amped up the niceness, taking extra time to make him coffee in the morning. Even though I was the one who had cancer and was going through chemo treatments. He rejected my coffee saying I was trying to make him feel bad. What I wish I would have said is, maybe you feel bad because you’re a shitty person.

    When I told him he broke my heart. He replied, “You broke MY heart!!”

    When I mentioned how mad my dad was at him for abandoning me. He replied, “Oh yeah?! Well tell your dad I’m mad at YOU!”

    Basically he’s a 5 year old. The only apologies he ever manages are “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “That wasn’t my intention”…non apologies.

    • Oh, yeah, CC, thanks for the reminder about the ‘you’re only good to me to make me feel bad’, and it’s cousin, ‘you’re only crying to make me feel guilty’.

      I kind of oscilate between thinking this is some extremely high-level sociopathic manipulation, and thinking that they really do see things this way, and there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with their brains!

      It just never seems to cross their minds that they might feel bad because they’ve DONE BAD, or might feel guilty because they are GUILTY AS HELL.

      But for my ex, at least these kinds of declarations are consistent with his general understanding of the world; someone else is responsible for ANYTHING bad, whether it’s his feelings, his behaviours and choices, the consequences of his behaviours and choices, even fluke occurences.

  • Him while sobbing: “I can never tell you how sorry I am.”

    Me: “What are you sorry for?”

    Him: “For how this went down.”

      • Yes. without even knowing him you nailed it. He’s an emotional child. In addition even that half-assed “apology” was temporary. Mostly what I got was stonewalling and lying and blameshifting. Typical.

    • They are all sorry for “how this went down”. So was my cheater: “I never thought I would have to divide my assets”. No news there… just a reflection of how predictable cheaters “reflexions” are.

      • Mine: “I’ve never seen myself as a divorced person “. 😳

        Then don’t behave in a way that results in divorce.

  • “I’m sorry that psycho whore blew it up on social media and caused you to be hurt.”

    See, it was the OWs fault I got hurt. The cheater had nothing to do with it. In fact, he’s as much of a victim as me. I was never supposed to know. Had she stayed compliant and kept their secret like he told her to, I never would have found out. That psycho whore, it’s all her fault!

    I think the blameshift onto the OW/ OM for exposing the affair is a really common cheater move.

    • Yes, he was “sorry”.
      What he didn’t say was what he was “sorry” about.
      Was he “sorry” that he cheated on me for the entire time we were married?
      Was he “sorry” that he fucked the neighborhood whore behind my back for 10 years?
      Was he “sorry” that he fucked her in my house, bed and car?
      Was he “sorry” that he gave her access to my phone number and email address and enough personal information for her to hurt me where I really felt it after he dumped her?
      Was he “sorry” that he spent over $60K on her and her family? Not to mention the money he spent stalking fresh supply, and on porn and strip clubs?
      Was he “sorry” that he spent every major holiday (including our anniversary and my birthday) cheating with the flavor-of-the-month?
      Was he “sorry” that he generously gave me SIX STDS over the 42 years we were married, including while I was pregnant with two of our three kids?
      Don’t know. He never elaborated.
      He did make it abundantly clear that he was sorry about the consequences to HIM; being ostracized from the family, losing the house and half his retirement.
      He cried buckets for himself.

  • I got a series of apologies through the three years we tried to reconcile. Most of them the textbook lines.
    “I’m sorry I hurt you, I never thought you’d find out”, etc.

    The best one though was through text message. I had gone off on him for something and told him he owed me an apology for the last 10 years of mistreatment. His response:

    I’m sorry for (insert noun)

  • This makes me want to put the “non apology” apology letter I got 5 years post Dday and 3 years of glorious no contact in the UBT. My ex is the non repentant prodigal son! “Free2bme- our 4 kids say you’re doing well and I’m glad. Yada yada yada- l dream of holidays as a family again….it’s best for the kids. I hope to hear from you IF you can find it in your heart to forgive.”

    I did not respond. Thank you CL and Chump Nation (and Dr. Simon’s book In Sheep’s clothing). I can spot a manipulative move from a disordered cheater and it’s empowering to know I see it for what it is and I get to choose now. Not going to fall for that man’s words ever again.

    Chump Lady, if you need to feed the UBT to push it to its limits, let me know! I have a single spaced 1 page word letter that was ignored thanks to you!

  • Fried onions.

    Yep Fried onions.

    When we were in the hell of in house separation and her affair was still a deeply held secret (3+ years later it still is I think) Mme YogaPants told me that she was going away for a weekend with Senor MoneyBags and asked me to look after her dog.

    Chumpy me agreed hoping that time together and he’s see what a piece of work that Mme was and dump her and I could pick up the pieces.

    Anyhoo – eventually she got home and I was BBQing sausages for our dinner (did I mention that I was a chump?). She started frying up onions. I thought that odd as Mme didn’t like fried onions, but no she was doing them for me. The next night she tried to make a nice dinner for the two of us and to cleaned off a corner of the dining room table that had been piled high with her crap for years but we ended up eating in the kitchen.

    No single word about her being sorry for running off, no thank you for looking after her dog – who was suffering badly at that point from separation anxiety and stress. Just fried onions.

    In the nearly 30 years we were together I cannot recall a single instance where Mme ever gave me a sincere apology for anything. Sometimes she’d yell out “well I’m sorry” in a defiant way. But she figured that fried onions would make it up to me.

    Le sigh.

    I still like BBQ sausages but fry my own onions now.

    BT

  • This was only a few months ago, (five years past divorce, seven past D-day):

    XW: “I am deeply sorry I hurt you so badly.”

    Me: “Can you specify what you did that hurt me?”

    XW: “I’m really busy right now; I will this weekend.”

    Silence since then. I’m at the point where I can laugh. I only asked because I was curious if she really is aware of the specific horrific emotional and financial crimes she committed. I am sure she is not.

  • No apology for me either in fact he can’t wait to get out of our marriage as fast as he can .
    It’s like he checked out of the marriage months ago and I never even noticed .
    I’m not expecting an apology either he seems to be very very happy with his whore . As he showed me he loves her and she loves him . I am nothing but an inconvenient truth .
    Tomorrow is 10 weeks since d day and he moved in with her day 1 .

    • Now
      is the time for you to strike with determination and purpose. Lawyer up big and bring down the hammer, baby. Fukk him.
      Ain’t worth a nanosecond of your consideration.

      • Hi
        Yes I did that on day 2 I filed for legal separation and support to pay the mortgage . He filed back with irretrievable breakdown of marriage ( no shit Sherlock )
        Made him a fair offer to buy his share of the house just waiting for his lawyer to get back to mine . His family took her on my family holiday that I paid for 5 weeks after he left me for her . That’s what my in-laws thought of me after 19 years !!

    • i am sorry. Mine went from me to the ow right away too. They met on Tinder and i found out at week 3. I kicked him out. He stayed with her after she gave him and std, refused his paperwork for court over custody 2x, and blames me for getting them evicted from the rent control apt. they were living in. After doing some PI work i found out SHE called herself in. He had to have visitation in hotel rooms for a year because he did’nt have a place to live. They moved in with her ex boyfriend for that time and there was NO way my kids wanted to go or i would allow it. It hurts so much i know, but keep reminding yourself that it is not him you miss but the idea of him. Cliche’ i know, but it is true. Hold tight MEH is coming.

      • This is what I can’t get my head around why would they give up everything to go and live like that ?
        Why didn’t I even notice he had checked out of the marriage ? Why didn’t I notice he was lying to me straight to my face ?
        To me we were the same couple to him he was just waiting to get caught so he could leave me

        • As my lawyer told me repeatedly “he is mentally ill and doesn’t know what he is talking about” he’s disordered. He wanted to be the pot cookie king of NYC. He wanted to be “cool and free”. Our divorce was inevitable. I understand that, i don’t get the cheating and the hurt he had to cause, not just to me but the kids. I’ll work my away through this, but my kids sure has hell didn’t deserve it. He’s a very selfish man, always had been. At the moment his daughter won’t go for weekends with him and his son could careless. His response once was “my children will repair any damage done to our relationship”. He is finding this is not the case. I wish i could give them a normal father, i failed and that hurts.

    • Mine was super happy, too, Karen! Well, until I made him actually move out and stop eating cake. Until he realized that parenting was work (on the 15% parenting time he took, in our 50-50 jurisdiction). Until he saw it was hard to parent in one city while Shmoops was in another. Until he decided to only Disney Parent couple of days a month, so he could move to live w/Shmoops instead of parenting. Until Shmoops dumping him. For another man. Until the kids refused to go back to that 15% time w/him. Until Shmoops dumped him. For another man. Again. Until the kids completely stopped speaking to him.

      Oh, and until he realized (took him a good while) that I wasn’t taking him back again. (This was affair #2.)

      So yeah, they’re plenty happy, until there are consequences. They live in fantasy land. And can be happy, leaving us and the kids and our entire lives together, because they NEVER VALUED what they had.

  • “WOW. Really, babe? Sorry but I didn’t think you’d even care… you’re always doing something else with someone else. I thought you wouldn’t even care what I did, as usual. You never care about me or what I’m doing. I just work and come home and you have your own separate life with the kids and your friends.”

    His sum total of activities was playing video games and dressing well for work, which he wanted no input from me on, ever. He didn’t want to go with us. He didn’t care what we did. He would actually change his schedule to work during school concerts (twice a year), social events (that I would plan around his standard schedule so he COULD attend, then he’d say “Oh, so sorry- but…”), and planned outings as a family. He “missed so much” with his retail schedule and yet, never made a move to find a job without that retail schedule and actively sabotaged plans I made.

    He maintained a life that pushed us out and I guess we were all supposed to be content to live in grief of missing him when he was at work, show excitement and interest for 5-10 minutes when he got home, then be ignored and hushed while he was there. We were all supposed to silently watch him play video games, I guess?

    • “That’s right. We don’t miss you… what is there to miss?” The kids surely didn’t miss him, in reality… but I did. I thought he was stressed with work and had poor coping skills. I thought his FOO messed up his ability to show love and affection. That it just didn’t exist, in him, and just being around at all was how he showed that he cared.

      But he had BUCKETS of ways to show love and affection and took lots of time with OWs, like he did when we were first together. Poor, ignored, Sad Sausage.

    • Oh my god, I could have copied this word for word. Right down to the retail schedule and the video games. But especially the “sorry but I didn’t think you’d care.” Because while he was slowly abandoning me and his children over the last decade by escaping into work and video games, I was actually living and parenting. Always begging him to come and join us, always getting the brush off.

      I look at that life now, eight months after the divorce and over a year since discovering the cheating, and I am so grateful that it’s over. I will never accept that kind of half life/half partner ever again.

    • Oh – I got one like this too. “Sorry that you found out the way you did, but you have such a good network of friends and your family, and you didn’t want me around anyway. You will find someone so fast and make someone else really happy.”

      So much that was about making himself feel better. Not sorry for his hours of inattentiveness to me and kids or for all the lies he told and things he didn’t say when I tried to talk with him. Or the DUI he got right before bc he was drinking his guilt away and hurting me (and kids) more with his denial. Nope, just that he knows I’m a great catch for someone else, that might be the only thing I do believe in that apology. 😉

      • Drinking his guilt away? More likely drinking to have fun, not having the maturity to know when to stop, not believing there could ever be consequences to anything he does, and perhaps feeling vaguely uncomfortable that his image might be scratched when the truth came out.

  • I have a ton of old text messages with apologies that aren’t really apologies. Ones that I read and thought, “Do you even hear yourself?” I could go back and find some examples to post here, but that effort doesn’t seem worth my time.

    I just realized that today must be Tuesday.

  • I really fucking hate all of these fuckwits. That’s all. Sorry I’m not sorry.

  • I’ve shared my CheaterX’s Sad Sausage contacts previously, but this is a good opportunity to remind new Chumps that there are no Unicorns out there and they’re all working out of the same play book.

    After keeping knowledge of the affair to myself and waiting 2.5 years to get my ducks lined up, I told CheaterX that I knew of his affair with Schmoopie. I didn’t ask him; I told him. The first words out of his mouth were, “So your point is…?” I informed him that I didn’t want to stand in the way of his Twu Wub and was seeing a lawyer the next morning to file the papers.

    Fast forward. He drags the divorce out for 1.5 years. We could have been divorced within 2 months, but he simply refused to act on pretty much everything until we forced his hand by setting a court date. I moved out of the house in April. Early June, he and Schmoopie got married. In January, he sent me a voicemail to the effect that Schmoopie was cheating on him, planned to move out, and was filing for divorce. At that time, he said he’d give anything to have me and my dogs back in the house. Oh, and Schmoopie had treated me terribly.

    I responded appropriately with crickets.

    A few months later, he sent me a very long voice memo in which he claimed that he’d discovered that he had chiari malformation, which not only caused his headaches but also contributed to his self-diagnosed Disassociative Identity Disorder. Oh, and could I please forgive him?

    Again, crickets.

    There was zero apology. In his first message, it was Schmoopie who had wronged me. Hey, fuckwit! I was never married to Schmoopie! In his second, it was his DID that caused the cheating because another personality was taking over. Uh, fuckwit, you weren’t diagnosed with DID. You decided on that diagnosis because you didn’t like the possibility that the therapist thought you might be Borderline.

    I’ve not heard anything since, which is good.

    • DID used to be called multiple personality disorder. Most professionals do not believe in this but rather dx it as BPD. You are correct. bs, bs, BS! The only effective treatment-years and years of DBT if they even acknowledge and own this disorder. My suggestion for tx for your ex-a frontal lobotomy and dickectomy!

  • x, in full con mode, looked at me with tears in his eyes and told me he was sorry…..that he wasn’t more patient and understanding with MY faults. That he should have just continue to suffer in silence. BTW the man raged ALL the time about everything!

    • Ugh, that’s a shitty one. I actually sent an apology the other day that in retrospect may have come across that way–i.e., “Sorry I wasn’t more patient with your intellectual and ethical deficiencies, fuckwit”–but if so, it wasn’t intentional. There’s a difference between “I’m sorry your faults/mistakes/idiocies made me do XYZ bad thing” (blameshifting) and “I’m sorry that I assumed you were doing something wrong on purpose when it’s possible you weren’t even aware of it” (attribution error).

      I know one of my hot buttons is being treated like a criminal when I’m genuinely unaware of doing anything wrong–if I really am screwing up, that makes it even harder to acknowledge or learn better; and if I’m not, it leaves me vulnerable to unwarranted self-blame (and I’m sure all of us with that tendency know how easily it can be used against us). But it’s harder to notice in the moment when I do this to other people, especially if I’m convinced they really are doing it on purpose and am angry because I think I’m being manipulated.

  • “I’m sorry you found out. You weren’t supposed to find out.” Um…ok…Asshat, you TOLD me…Seriously??

    “I’m sorry you told my family. I thought what happened in our marriage would stay private.”

    Me “ Yes, but happy endings, strippers and escorts didn’t happen in “our marriage”. I wasn’t a part of that..that was all you.” Crickets…

  • I know I shouldn’t feel this way but I am a bit jealous of those who get apologies – even lame ones. I guess because it takes effort. All I got was the dead stare and lies. Once it was clear that we were not ever going to be together again (yet he wouldn’t move out) he danced around the house singing and dancing. Like the 27 years that I spent loving and supporting him (through a lot of shit with his family) was such an ordeal. Obviously, I am not at meh yet as just writing this makes my eyes leak.

    Our house was just sold and we need to divide the furniture etc. My son is coming with me so he bought himself a 500 square foot brand new condo with no space for my son (speaks volumes). He wants only the quality items from our house (including the kickass toaster oven my son uses every day and the tv my son watches) oh and the china to use for his everyday dinnerware. My son responded to this with sticky notes with his own name attached to the tv and toaster oven ;).

    I guess my point is that he isn’t sorry, doesn’t feel he has done anything wrong, and only thinks of himself constantly. My other son queried whether he has a mental illness. I don’t know. Is being a super self absorbed selfish unempathetic loser middle age man part of a mental illness? Maybe.

    To all fellow chumps – I am sorry there are so many of us. I am sorry that people think it is okay to treat people with such disdain for their feelings and well-being. I take great pride in my empathy for others. I would never treat someone the way I have been treated (even if the perfect amazing man sidled up to me and said he had to have me – lol).

    • Deee – one day your heart will catch up with your head. It’s been just over a year since D-Day (divorced two months after that shit day) and I can say that I’m getting better. It takes times and patience with yourself. Cry when the grief hits, listen to the little nuggets of insight (there’s a world of knowing in those parcels), and try to look at him as a stranger.

      This is exactly the Dickhead – “super self absorbed selfish unempathetic loser middle age man”. He’s always been selfish and I spent 19 years tempering and spackling to make it look not quite as bad as it really was. Narc? Maybe. Sociopath? Perhaps. There’s a part of me that feels sorry for him because, even though I was dreadfully hurt by him, he will never know joy, happiness and love the way that we experience it. He will spend the rest of life looking for something that will never exist for him. That’s his karma – missing out on the good things in life.

  • I got a very grand 11 page handwritten apology letter! How sorry he was and how he swore to seek help and make amends. Only thing is I soon found out it was full of lies.

    Women started coming out of the wood work. He was lying to and betraying one the week before he wrote the letter, screwing another, before and after the grand letter, all the while putting his himself on a dating site and wooing another. 2 of the women and I chatted, compared notes and dumped the narcissistic pathological liar and we remain friendly today! The 4th would not speak with us, was aware of the 3 of us, had a fiance she cheated on and is still with ex today. Somewhere along the line her fiance died and she gave my ex the poor dead man’s cell phone. How respectful!

  • “Our marriage was over before the affair began.” “It was wrong of me to have done that. It was the worst mistake of my life.” He forgot to tell me, our children, or an attorney that our marriage was over and he hid the affair for 10 months before d-day but whatevs… He admits it was wrong because he is embarrassed now and the whore not only collected ex husbands and lovers but also mental diagnosis’s and addictions. Karma but him in the ass and he had his heart broken and ended up in jail at 49 years old due to crazy over his head. Yeah, big mistake. Big mistake! Still no actual identifiable apology. Just regret at his miscalculation.

  • “I’m sorry I wasn’t my best self with you.”

    I will always regret that I didn’t think to ask, “How many selves have you got?”

  • “I’m so sorry, I wish I could make it up to you but I know I can’t”….forward to the very next day, “ it was your fault I cheated on you, you were awful”. So I got an apology then I got blamed that he knocked up my supposed friend Whom threw me a baby shower. So glad he’s gone now!

    • This “apology” was also 4 years later. I’m so disgusted I was married to this monster for 11 years and hate I share children with him. He now has knocked up a 23 year old. He’s a dumbass being fleeced by a 23 year old for money. Too bad she doesn’t realize how bad she just messed her life up. She got pregnant immediately after finding out he cheated on her. These two are a couple of train wrecks. But that I guess is what sparked the apology to me.

  • “I want to continue my journey without guilt” Is that an apology? Because until D-Day I would be criticized non-stop, humiliated about how I dressed, you name it, there was criticism.

  • I’m sorry you were hurt by some of the things I did. (I’m not sorry I did them because it made me happy.) You’ve hurt me too, but I’ve moved past it. (I’ve moved past you not putting up with my crap. Why can’t you move past my lies, adultery, and abuse?!) I can’t change what I’ve done. (I should’ve hidden it all better.)
    Besides some very poor decisions on my part, I’ve always done what was best for you and the kids. (Like the time I told you everything was your fault, kicked you out, and told you to take the kids too.)

    Well, helping me move the kids 800 miles away from him was best for us, yes. At least that is true.

    • “Besides some very poor decisions on my part…”

      And besides that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

      • Ooph 20 years of my youth I can’t get back. But I’m in a good place now, and I have 4 great kids.

        I heard it’s a good way to get them to show their colors in court though:
        “So you say you’ve always done what is best for your kids?”
        Sparkles would feel all the fluffies and say, “Well, yes, of course! I’m a role model of a father!”
        “So ______ was what you considered best for them?”
        That’s where they snap.

        Book called splitting.

  • “Sorry to do this to you and your family so soon after your mother died.”
    (He never copped to cheating. “This” was midlife crisis

    • I found out after he left that he and Skankenstein were “boyfriend and girlfriend” and that Stage IV Midlife Crisis is something that is healed between the thighs of a young, pathetic whore.

  • During our marriage she would insist that I did not apologize properly. That I would qualify the apology instead of being truly sorry The thing is she would insinuate motives to my action that were not true and then want me to apologize for that. It was a setup for failure. This was a mystery to me until years later when I realized she was building a case for how terrible I was in order to justify her cheating.
    Of course I never got an apology from her.
    Some years later I declined to cooperate with her over a financial issue. She attributed my decision to spite instead of learning from her past behavior.
    “I am not the same person I was then.” was her respose.
    Oh yes you are. Yes. You. Are.

    • Wow, the apology thing is exactly what I’ve dealt with. Him saying I did x with this intent, me defending myself that no I did not intend it like that and apologizing for x. It started with believable offenses and the last time was because I asked to stop for some drinks before a family outing. He wanted an apology and me to say how selfish I was. 😶 I realized then that his technique was to blame and shame me for all these small mistakes so he could justify his selfishness and affairs. I’m a slow learner I guess, or maybe had understanding and unconditional love to put up with this so long.

      • I’ve mentioned this before but the Twat could have a complete argument with me without my opening my mouth! And how he knew EVERYTHING I was thinking (NOT) and also attributed 1,001 thoughts to me! God I don’t miss that!

  • I’m not sure if I could call what I got “apologies.”
    Let’s see…
    “I realized that I had been unhappy for years. When we had a child, that made me happy for a little while [which coincided with a period she says she didn’t wander off the farm].”
    “I got into things with you right after ending things with this other guy.” She was implying ours was a 19-year long rebound relationship.
    “I must’ve been meant to be with someone else more attractive, as apparently all these [ugly losers] were willing to cheat with me.” None of them were willing to leave his own wife for her, though.

  • His “apologies” were always really expressions of his own regrets when he feels unhappy. The latest — just last week, 11 years after first D-Day, 9 years after abandoning me for a married mom of three in the next neighborhood who coached my 9 year old’s sports team, 3 years after that child cut him out of her life and hasn’t spoken or even texted a word to him since — was this gem: “I honestly don’t want to get into a pissing contest about who is responsible for what. I feel guilt EVERY DAY for the choices I have made and how it has impacted everyone’s lives. I don’t have the luxury of going back in time. If I did, there is certainly a lot I would change.” (Caps were in the original; his pissing match comment is about my calling him out for his failure to provide financial support for our own 3 children.) He is only sorry for how lousy his own life has turned out. Thankfully, my life is immeasurably better without him!

    • Happy Now, I’m glad to hear your life is better without him. I’m glad his life sounds miserable. Skankboy said one time, “well at least I have my golf and riding buddies.” (eye roll) Sounds like the honeymoon with his schmoopie isn’t all rainbows and butterflies.

  • Please CL, I beg you to stop the moving advertisements! I can’t join up as a Patron and I never ad block you, even though I know it doesn’t bring in much cash. Please?

    • I agree. They are super annoying as they cover the screen and you have to close them all the time. The problem with the patron option is it doesn’t give you a choice about how much to contribute. I can’t afford the 25 bucks a month minimum they demand. Most newly chumped people are on limited budgets. I could do $5 but there seems to be no option for that. I don’t mind unobtrusive ads, but the crap you have to close all the time in order to read the blog is a pain.

  • “I’m sorry, but you don’t get any more chances. I’ll still take care of you though. Call me if you need anything.”

    This after 5 mistresses, countless prostitues and “friends”, one STD, and scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars out of people.

    Project much?

  • geez XW gave so many:

    “I’m sorry but……” is how they all started. There was always a ‘but’

    They don’t like to admit wrongdoing just like they don’t like consequences

  • Oh, I got apologies. Fervent promises to change, and in writing, FFS. A post-nup with an ifidelity clause. Individual therapy. Financial restitution. But he didn’t change and would continue to do the same sort of abusive, dishonest crap he had apologized for, even escalating to physical abuse on two occasions (a new tactic for him). He just did it all without the cheating, which he claimed proved he was a changed man. The fact that his trollop hated his guts because he told me all her dirty little secrets, which I then told her chump, might have had something to do with the no more cheating part. He’s in domestic abuse counselling and his therapist said he should prepare to be charged with assault. However, if I do that, he loses his job, and I have no income since I am too ill to work. It sucks.

    • Yup, even if they stop cheating, they are still assholes. I imagine my Ex won’t cheat again (well, unless really really really tempted!), ’cause he’s been kicked out by two good, smart, caring women for the cheating, one after 10 ys, and me after 14 ys and two kids. But he’d have to have an entire personality transplant to become a person worth staying with.

      I’m so sorry you still have to deal w/this asshole, Chumperella. I just hope you don’t have to live w/him anymore!

  • No apology. Through friends and family I heard that he couldn’t bear it any longer, life was more than doing his duty, he waited until the kids were grown. Thank you.
    To me, for complaining that he took his Russian mistress on holiday on his daughters 21st, I didn’t want this marriage and I wasn’t going to talk about it. So f….img get over it.
    Again. Thank you 😳

  • 2 years dating, 34 years married no apology. Nothing.. never looked back. Even if he did it wouldn’t be real.
    I suppose it was better that way.
    No conscience no remorse. So very sad 😓

  • Bad as all of the usual fauxpologies to me were, by far the most heinous example of this genre was this gem, delivered to our son when he was confronting asshole dad about masturbating to computer porn in front of him and his sister when they were alone with him.

    Asshole dad’s response: “I am sorry you were aware of that.”

    And that’s how you know you are dealing with a psychopath, and should institute complete NC immediately and permanently.

    Guy is lucky to be walking free.

    • That’s so disgusting, Cashmere. Your poor kids having to witness something like that. My perv XH used to masterbate to porn in his den/home office. No doors on the room. Of course he denied it after two different times I found crusted up, semen-filled tissues on the floor under the desk and one in a drawer. He said, “No porn!” and then took the crusty tissue, held it up to his nose and proceeded to pretend to blow his nose in it. One of our kids could have so easily walked in on him masterbating to porn. Disgusting, pig!

  • No apology. The last e-mail said something like “I had some of the best times of my life with you, but your insecurities killed it! They were there from the beginning and why would I not want someone more confident?”

    This is from a guy who had multi-day emotional breakdowns where he wouldn’t talk to me over:

    -a look of disappointment on my face when we ran out of condoms
    -casually saying I’d kiss a friend on the cheek at a New Years party he didn’t want to go to
    -me not being telepathic enough to know he wanted me over on a Friday night on which we planned nothing
    -letting him know I might be spending less time with him because of work (he then literally ordered an anatomical heart that he said I had to put back together before he would give me my birthday present)
    -talking to a male former colleague on the phone who was hundreds of miles away because I was “emotionally cheating” which, he thought, was worse than physical cheating — and I guess that’s what he used to justify his bullshit.

  • He recently said, “I think everyone knows that I’m the bad guy here.” Is that an apology or a mission statement?

    • Or an appeal for you to jump in and say ‘oh, no, not a bad guy! A good person, who just made a few mistakes! You made a few poor choices, but really, you’re not BAD!’.

      Or just sarcasm, because how could HIS wonderfulness ever be the bad guy?

      They are such assholes.

      • KarenE

        I love it when people put words to what I experienced and you have here so Thank-you!

        I jumped for years and should have become the world’s record holder for the high jump!

        I am so grateful to have the word ‘fuckupedness’ as it truly clarifies a lot and seeing clearly has made a huge difference in my ‘recovery’ from all this chaos.

    • Oh – I got that on Wednesday when I yelled at him to get his shit out of the house (he hasn’t lived here for over 4 months and has taken nothing but skis and clothes).

  • “I was angry with you.”

    That honesty is the most heartbreaking of all.

    NOTHING to work with (which took 7 years of agony to accept)

  • Jackass was never sorry about a damn thing. Whatever happens–he’s the victim. It’s someone else’s fault.

  • The closest I ever got to an apology was ” I made some mistakes, but…” and then he’d list 500 very bad things I did to compel him to make those mistakes. The most common of course was I “took him for granted,” followed by you spend too much money on groceries (stated by someone who never got groceries unless he was out of his favorite cereal), we spend too much time with your parents at the holidays (even though we spent every other holiday with his parents), you bought a couch (out of my own money, for our home), you don’t cook enough, you can’t trust me, you won’t change, your parents won’t change and on and on and on. The sad thing is that 5 years later and post-divorce, he’s still playing that game that everything is my fault…and I struggle with realizing that everytime someone does something upsetting to me, that its not ME its their crappy character. Ex has me convinced everything is somehow always my fault. I’m still a work in progress on that one.

    • Christina, I just had my counseling session and this is exactly what I struggle with- because ex totally plays victim because he’s upset that there were consequences for his actions. I tell myself and remind myself that I owned my mistakes in my marriage- I also spent too much on groceries and was harassed about how I spent my own money. We had a family account and both kept our own spending money- I spent mine on myself and family- he spent his on his whore! Anyway- I tell myself I faxed my issues and worked on things – fixed things I could and took responsibility- So why do I feel like I should carry his baggage for him. I am working on getting over feeling bad that he feels bad- I owned up to my failings, and corrected them to his specifications – he couldn’t do the same (fake R) – how is that my baggage to carry! I have minimal contact (only what’s necessary for our child) and have gotten into the mind set of- I owned my mistakes- he has to own his and until that day comes (and I doubt it ever will)- I will not let him into my life in any way shape or form just so he can make me carry his baggage!

    • I got the “I’m sorry BUT: you and your family and friends are unintelligent, you chose the wrong house, you chose the wrong furniture, you chose the wrong neighborhood, you chose the wrong job”, etc, etc, etc. To that I say, I’m sorry BUT it seems YOU chose the wrong person to be with.

  • “I’m so sorry, but I had to see whether I was that kind of guy.”

    We dated for five years and I broke an engagement to leave (I stayed after the cheating revelation, which turned into two years of trickle-truth). He cheated with five different women, though, so averaged once a year of checking again to see if he was the kind of guy who cheats.

  • A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, my ex texted an apology that she was absolutely horrible….which she was.

    I realized that she only texted that so SHE would fell better about HERSELF. It had NOTHING to do with making me feel better.

    I had her, I could have blasted her for the horror she gave and the destruction of our family.

    Instead I texted back that we all have own evolutionary journey to walk.

    And that was it, we never had another personal conversation since, and it’s been years, thank god lol.

  • “I said I’m sorry. What do you want me to do? Kill myself?”

    Clearly peddling the self-pity channel. Ugh.

  • The best part of my “Dear Jane” letter ending a 12 year marriage out of the blue for the 20-something love of his life:

    Hurting you pains me more than you will likely ever concede. It has caused me to question my
    morals, my ethics, my character, my heart, my very essence. But I’m able to be at peace (I
    think) what I’m about to do (and what I have already done) because I believe that it is the only
    path of happiness for me over (I hope) the next four plus decades, and I believe that, indirectly,
    it will also improve your and the boys’ happiness.

    No apology – he had an affair with his 29-something employee to make me and our three sons happy! Because our happiness depends entirely on his being with AP!

    • “Hurting you pains me more than you will likely ever concede.”

      Right off the bat — “it’s not what I did, but rather your reaction to it, that is the real problem here.”

      Prick.

    • Incredulous @MaisieL you really couldn’t make up that word salad nonsense — UBT would choke

      Sort of a “I deserve to be happy” now please take the kids and bugger off

      • I’d love to put all three single spaced pages through the UBT, but it would surely self destruct. At one point he even said he’d only married me because we bonded by witnessing 9/11 together. And that “ours was a brother and sister relationship (and often a quarrelsome one at that!) This saddened me incredibly.”

        Lol. Quarrelsome. He was saddened. But what kind of brother and sister have 3 kids, including a toddler? That one I still don’t get!

        • 3 pages!? Oh please send that to Tracy if you don’t mind sharing it all with us. Sounds like there will be plenty of phrases in there that many of us will recognise (and looks like your ex used the lot)

          Brother & sister? I heard that one too sadly

    • Ick! Just ICK!!!
      Started gagging when he said, “But I’m able to be at peace…”

    • The happiness thing – Switzerland friends are struck dumb when I ask why stbx’s happiness tips the scales when set against the happiness of four people, his unwanted wife and kids. How undemocratic!

  • Truth: She was sleeping with FOUR (4) other men during just 3 months and gave me an STD.
    Cheater Sci-Fi–“I never meant to hurt you. I was just sowing my wild oats! Try to see it through my eyes!”
    What I call “drive-by” apologies came later, but I can tell they were just meant to somehow assuage me, to make it all go away.
    She is damn glad she did all of it, including detailing every steamy sex act she did in her diary, which was left out (for me to read?). A multimedia menagerie of transients, assholes and infected vermin.

  • Did anyone else get the non-apology of “I’m sorry this is happening to you”? Like it was commanded by the universe or something? That’s all I got.

  • I’m sorry I hurt you = I don’t care about you, but I didn’t think about how inconvenient getting caught would be for me and I’m totally feeling sorry for myself right now.

    She means nothing to me = neither do you Chump, you are both just fodder for my ego and I delighted in duping you both….until I got caught that is….

    I will get rid of her as soon as I’m done using her, I guarantee you that = …..well….callous, demented, pathological….and oddly honest

    She means nothing…there will be others..it’s all meaningless, they mean nothing = not with me fuckwit….not with me there won’t be others. You can go cheat on someone else.

  • This has been some interesting reading. If any research psychologist wanted data on narcissists, walking through these comments would be illuminating.

    Our infidelity stories have so many similarities, but I am sickly fascinated by the narcissism sub-types. On the most part, most have answered as I would, that essentially there was no apology. Maybe the most hollow, or non-apology blame the victim apology.

    The apology I got was “I have already apologized 100 times, why do you keep asking?”. By my count it had been zero apologies, maybe she had spoken in a pitch only dogs could hear. The affair partner (now husband) had said “it is what it is” to me while shrugging. I have no idea what that meant, possibly some secret code that oblivious, self-involved people use to apologize.

    • “maybe she had spoken in a pitch only dogs could hear?” lol 🙂 Thanks for the laugh!

      My XH is for sure a narc. Quite possibly a sociopath. Who knows? I only know he’s a charactered disordered f-wit and Dr. George Simon himself would back me up on this if he ever met my X!

      I never got an apology and I know I never will, because narc’s don’t think there is anything wrong with them. They are superior. My XH said to me after D-day, “I think I have the PERFECT personality to be in a relationship with.” Perfect People don’t do anything wrong, so what is there to apologize for?

      If he ever apologizes (and he won’t), I won’t believe him. Why? Because of 23 years of pathological lying, serial cheating, adultery, porn, strippers and the lie-filled smear campaign he started against me within days after I caught him out on a date with the newly divorced whore.

      This creature showed no remorse. No empathy towards me or our children. No appearance of a conscience. There’s nothing to work with when you are dealing with the Norman Bates of this world.

    • Oh, THIS! I’ve been looking for someone who says this happened to them…. No apology, but when I bring up what he did, “I’ve already apologized a thousand times! I’m not going to say it again!” It’s a gaslighting non-apology. I’m supposed to feel guilty for bringing it up while imagining that he apologized profusely, even though he did not.

  • I never got an apology, but I did get this (kind of empathy), “I wouldn’t want you to do that to me.”

  • No apology – just this: “I know I made a terrible mistake by getting involved with someone before we were truly, physically separated and for that matter, truly divorced.” You think?!?!? Terrible mistake indeed. Also, has never apologized to his only daughter for stealing everything except $1.00 out of her bank account. And he wonders why we dont talk to him.

  • My ex said “I feel bad because you’re not a monster like some other women’s husbands are.”

  • My ex said, “You did this to yourself. You asked for this. I kept telling you what I needed from you. I asked you to do two things and you couldn’t do them for me. I asked you to loose a little bit of weight and that you get your real estate license.”

    Did he ever stop to think that maybe I liked the way I felt in my curvy body and that perhaps I did not WANT to get my real estate license? I’m glad my indecision to do the things YOU wanted me to do caused you to go online, create profiles on online affair websites, find a slut willing to meet you and fuck you on the first date.

    • Rose
      You silly goose… don’t you know that only skinny real estate agents deserve to be happy?
      You brought it on yourself, girl…

      🤮such an idiot…I know so many happy marriages, and since they are authentic and created by two adults- size of their bodies and career choices were never an issue

  • I WAS one of the chumps who never heard an apology after DDay, during pick me dance and hopium haze. Two years out, he contacts me out of the blue. To “apologize”? Or to remind me that his needs weren’t being met, here’s a quote from the email:

    “I apologize for not communicating this to you. Had I been able, I think I would have asked for more support from you as a partner, and I’m not sure if this was a fair thing to ask.”

    Ya think?

  • Over and over, “I feel for you”. Never sorry. Never “this is what I did and it was wrong”. Just me trying countless ways to get through to the ex that I was hurt, that cheating hurt, that lying hurt, that going out partying after d-day hurt, that hurting me was (you know) a bad thing, and all the ex would only ever come back with “I feel for you”.

    Such a f*cking power play.

    • When I realised he was getting off on my hurt I stopped crying and found myself in frothy mouth rage. I too spent ages trying to make him “understand” the hurt. He understood full well what he was doing.

      He was prancing around with a smug look on his face, not because he was off to join shmoopie and be “happy” but because he is a sadist who was high on my pain.

      That realisation freed me. It released my hopium addiction, gave me the strength to know in every cell that I would NEVER be “friends” after this and enabled me to go grey rock/No contact (as possible with a child).

      Any new chump reading this take note! They know EXACTLY what they’re doing and how much pain it’s causing. Theyre getting off on it. Theyre maximizing the hurt & pain on PURPOSE!

      Cut off their supply! Do you best to show them NO PAIN.

  • Voldemort *once* apologized for breaking my heart. Honey, you’ve been listening to too much Adele. I never cared about you that much in the first place. And I’ve pretty much forgotten nearly everything about you, because TBH, I’ve had way shittier exes.

  • Great Friday post!

    Like so so many, I’ve never had an apology either. However I have been told several times by STBXW that “I don’t regret it” and how it “woke her up” etc. — you all know the script 😉

    I also had the “I’d been thinking of divorce for 2 years” prior to D-Day, which was news to anyone who knew her. Then it was 3 years. Then it was since the kids were born. By the time we started marriage therapy (I fell for that con too) it was “I’d never loved you” and “I never wanted to get married”.

    Interestingly, in one of the last times I snooped (before Xmas), I found a letter she had written intended for me, which was a full apology for the affair, and how she was going to make it up, and repay all the money she’d spent on OM (like his new car!), etc. I still have that document to see if one day she uses it to try and hoover me back as the backup plan when “Plan A” fails as it inevitably will as OM is really only there for the money.

    • I got the ever-expanding time frame of unhappiness too — He also said at first he’d felt unhappy for two years, then that he’d known for five years he was not in love with me (we had a three year old son at the time he left, so that was great to learn), and by the time the divorce was final, he’d been miserable since he met me and only married me because “everyone was doing it”. The reinvention of history is just awful.

    • I got a “ I’m sorry how I handled things…it’s just that I still love you”. I guess he wants me as his Plan B for when his Plan A realizes she can do better.

  • I have recently learned here that these are not apologies. Merely blame shifting dressed up to look like an apology intended to keep their sparkling image intact at our expense. Love that I know that now and don’t fall into the trap of taking it on.

    Still shocked that I didn’t see it for so long and that his disorderedness is so pervasive. Really chilling.

  • I am amazed .. and both saddened & reassured .. to hear that so many of us have had exactly the SAME experience with regard to apologies. In my case, 25 years together, 18 years married, no attempt at apology or even acknowledgment whatsoever. The mediator actually invited STBXH to apologise for the hurt he has caused and he just said ‘it’s complicated’. No empathy on his part at all. I can however congratulate him on being a really excellent liar .. lol!

  • Um, I slowly realized my ex was a little crazy with these ones:

    “I’m sorry but I can’t help how I feel”
    “I thought you’d be happy for me” [that I found tru wuv]
    “I felt guilty for a while but I couldn’t walk around feeling guilty all the time so I forgave myself”
    It became “normalized”

    I could go on. So so so glad to be out of that!! I like observing the circus from the outside so much better than being in it! 😁

    • OMG, mine came home all bubbly and happy, and proceeded to tell me all about having sex with someone else, then was angry and hurt that I wasn’t happy for him. I thought I was the only one!

    • Something similar with the first (that I knew off) MOW.
      After I found out, he left us (me and three kids) to be with her.
      You all know (sadly) the devastation, hurt, etc., that the kids and I went through.
      Then he came back after he caught HER cheating on him.
      He had no sympathy or empathy for what he put us through.
      But he had all the sadz for himself.
      Yeah, asshole, betrayal hurts like a motherfucker.
      What kills me is that HE wanted comfort for HIS pain. Which I gave to him, like the stupid idiot that I am (was). I certainly knew how much it hurts, and I foolishly felt sympathy.
      He offered absolutely nothing to us by way of comfort or compassion.
      Nothing. No sorry. No, “now I know what I put you guys through”. Only “poor, poor me. How could she do this to ME!”
      What a waste of life.

  • Also needs to be said: apologies often accompany hoovering. Another form of disordered manipulation. I’m glad I was so far out when the apologies came, so I could see them for what they truly were. One reason for the apologies were, in my case, because he was so caught up in his discard and finding tru-wuv that he didn’t realize the optics of dumping me cold-heartedly and immediately taking up with a person who he had convinced everyone was “just a friend”. Realizing he might just be a schmuck in the eyes of the world, he decided to “apologize” i.e., get us to be a united front to the world that it “didn’t work out” but that “we’d had a good run” (ah, that one). He said he was sorry so we ‘could find peace’. Um no. The truth stands, what you did to me stands, and you’ll have to live with the consequences of your choices, sparkledick!

  • Sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I do/did really love you.

    That’s it. That’s all I got. Etcetera. Ad finitum.

    After years of this, and staying, after I left him last year, I would simply say “you’re sorry for what?”. I’d get a lame “for hurting you”. To which I’d ask “how did you hurt me”. Etcetera ad finitum.

    I now demand he articulate word for word, action by action, lie by lie, cheat by cheat, rage by rage, etcetera ad finitum what he is sorry for.

    Needless to say he is/was unable to articulate what he was sorry for. Because, well, he’s not sorry. I say was because I don’t talk to him anymore. He even lied through two very long suicidal episodes very early on after DDAy (wish I hadn’t supported him through those now) about what he’d done (the episodes followed me revealing the extent of his lying cheating abuse I’d discovered from his enablers) about what he’d done.

    If they can’t state what they did that hurt us, then they don’t mean they are sorry.

    We know this, and it was a very healthy boundary for me to set, that meant he wasn’t coming back (but he still tries). But sometimes we have to throw their bullshit back in their face and make them own it. He doesn’t mean he’s sorry. He just means he misses my cake. Fuck that.

    • They were his suicidal episodes not mine btw. Fuck that. I was pleased I could finally escape after 3 years of trying to leave. He on the other hand realised he’d just lost access to cake (while moving in secretly with his new supply, being suicidal for her because his ex was such a bitch etcetera ad finitum).

      • My XH actually said to me, “You’re not going to kill yourself, are you?” Like he thought he was that special and I couldn’t live without him. I would never, ever do such a thing, especially to my daughter.

        • Grrr. During the admission of his long-denied affair with OW#1 (he ultimately abandoned me for OW#2), he said “You aren’t going to do anything to hurt us, are you?”

          I was nauseous, nearly fainting, in total shock that he had finally admitted the affair after 18 months of daily lies. I was a limp sock crying on the floor thinking my life was over. His only thought was whether I was going to cause physical harm to him or Schmoops, which I gave no indication of murderous rage or even anger at that point.

          Yup, his only thoughts were his and Schmoops physical well being, not a single thought to the metaphorical bomb he had just dropped in my lap.

          I wish I had left him after OW#1 but in the end it was probably for the best that we lasted another 9 years because now his adult daughters have no delusions about who is the complete dick head and are NC with him.

    • Im really sorry, I just burst out laughing at how pathetic that one was! I’m sorry because I’m sure at the time that fucked up statement would’ve been crushing for you. Not something to laugh at in the moment but I do hope you can see how lame that is & as a reflection of the idiocy of the person saying it – not you!

  • This. I’ve been unhapy”for a while”. O rly? So that’s what you are telling your family and our Switzerland group of friends that I told to off? Bc who can blame you if you had been unhappy “for a while”. Question to you and all those asshats: if it has been a while, why the hell do we have a 3 year old kid; how come nobody had any idea? I mean last time I checked, even if he had been unhappy since i got pregnant, 4/17 years is less than 25%. Oh. Right.

  • This was a sort of apology*:

    “I guess I’m just a better boyfriend {to the OW} than husband.”

    *sarcasm

  • I got the song Sorry by Nothing but Thieves sent to me and a lot of crying. But refusal to stop seeing ow. That was before I found CL and CN. I got rage, self pity, now charm. Ha! I’ll never forget. (We coparent).

    • “I’ll never forget.” Perfect words. My ex has been making a play to be more friend-like now that the divorce is settled. Ummmm, you’re gross. I’ll never forget.

  • I’m a glass half full , silver lining in every cloud sort of person. Reading the stories here I’m thinking I’m part of a very lucky few.
    I don’t remember an apology as such. Just the old “didn’t mean to hurt” you line (3 times, I’m a slow learner!)

    But when I finally called it quits. He paid for everything the 3 years he stalled on division of assets ( apart from my lawyers fees)
    And even though he obviously did not agree I got almost half our assets and a few other concessions when I managed to pin him down for mediation.
    I am sure a lot of the way he did things was impression management to family, friends and his teen children.

    Sadly his relationship with his kids never really recovered and he has not made much of a effort to improve that. Something I will never never understand 🙁

    • I’m just thinking about what Iv written and you should probably know I’m almost 10 years out from Dday and still following/reading an infidelity blog. So my memory is possibly a little blurred and the edges of my hurt have softened slightly!!

      • I love the honesty of your comment. The continued low level shit I get via coparenting keep this raw and i am pretty sure i will be reading this blog for the next 13 years. Glad to know i am not alone.

  • I sort of got an apology. What got was. I am sorry that I went out with her. You did not want to go away that much. I needed to have fun. If you would have only have been more fun. I would have not seen her.
    Til today he still denies sleeping with skankella. Also, states that it was not a true affair because they never had sex and they only paled around.

  • I have had hundreds of apologies. Every day. Many times each day. I’m followed around by this sad little retched puppy man. It still doesn’t stop the pain.

  • Actionless apologies mean NOTHING.

    He apologized on Dday and then 10 days later, when he was out of town and we were on the phone, he told me that he didn’t answer my texts from the night before because he was (in his words) “too busy fucking OW last night.” It was actually Valentine’s Day.

  • My husband doesn’t think he has to apologize , that he didn’t do anything wrong, that there “Just Friends ” they haven’t had sex. ( yet) Just a little Emotional affair ,for the past 3 years , our kids are all grown they think he’s acting like a idiot , Now he the idiot says, hes now realizing that the OW is selfish it’s all about her , I said it Takes one to know one for this is the him to a tee So he’s done with her , So nothing to apologize for , So I’m done with him.

  • Hmmm an apology? Wracking my memory to find the stupidest. This one>>>>>>

    When I found intimate images of myself posted on Reddit without my consent, I’d sent them to him a long while back whilst things were “good”, found them after the bomb drop and they’d been up online for at least a year… his response “Whoops, my bad, I’ve taken them down”… I guess that was meant to be sorry?!?

    I lost my marbles at that response. Shouted wtf is wrong with you, you’re sick in the head!!! He says “Yeah, I shouldn’t have done that without your consent” via text message… moron doesn’t realise I could have him up on criminal charges for it!

    The only reason I haven’t taken legal action over it is thinking about my children and dragging it out in front of the court for more “public” viewing.

    They’re NOT sorry! They’re abusers, they suck!

  • “I’m so sorry. I’m an idiot. I want to come home” (after blacking out and spending $300 at OW birthday bar crawl -so classy)
    “I guess I’m still weighing the pros and cons. I won’t make any promises anymore” (after caught lying and breaking promises he’d made to rebuild trust)
    “Well… what do tou want me to say?” (Confronted with the fact that he has had plenty of chances to see his daughter, contrary to what he tells others, but he always chooses OW)

  • HaHa-
    No apology here. Poor man, I kicked him out of his house (TRO due to smashing it to pieces and threatening to kill me w/children present – all bc he was served divorce papers) as he left to “get away” (with his 10 year younger gf- to go away and party w her. Freshman in college sister. He’s 39). If “I had just left him alone”, (to come and go as he pleased while name calling and breaking things) we wouldnt be getting divorced at all.
    I am terrible and it’s all my fault🤣🤣😋

  • This is the email apology I received 11 months after D-day just after the OW broke up with him. The “things” he is referring too include leaving me for OW whilst I was pregnant and then blaming me for it amongst other things. He conveniently forgets to add any apology for the year+ of gaslighting and lies about his gambling addiction and everything that came with that.

    Dear MightyMamaBear
    I am sorry this is not hand written but I wanted to get it right.
    I am sorry that this has taken so long but it is only after this month where I have been hurt so deeply that I realise the pain and suffering that I caused you. At the start of the year.
    I realise that I was not the nicest person to you and that I did a lot of things that hurt you, for this I am very sorry, I understand now how hard it is to lose someone and fight in a cause that you knew nothing about or had the ability to change.
    I am very sorry for my actions and the way I ended our marriage, I am not asking for another chance but I want you to know that I am deeply sorry for never giving you a chance and I hope that this apology goes some way to helping you and maybe help us be able to communicate better for our children.

    I am sorry

    Cheater

    • “…but I want you to know that I am deeply sorry for never giving you a chance”…this line tells you all you need to know about that asshole. As if it is only through his amazing grace that you could have had a chance…at anything worthwhile. Fuck that guy.

    • The line “where I was hurt so deeply” … it’s always about them and their pain. I’m so tired of the selfishness: “what about poor me and what about my happiness….” whine whine blah blah blah. These days I want the child support check. Period. He can cry to shmoopie about his current depression/lay-off/no money/no time for me/midlife crisis CRAP. I no longer give a rat’s ass about any of it.

  • No apologies. Emailed me once to say sorry that I felt that he had wasted two decades of my life. Finding out that x had continued dating other women throughout our entire time together and basically used me as an ATM to further his career and buy his toys was devastating. He was sorry that his chump felt bad (NOT REALLY) not sorry that he had been dicking around.
    Later he stated during mediation that I should apologize for telling our sons that he cheated. That will never happen. I will apologize to them never him for shattering any illusions they may have had about him. Both have confided that they consider him self absorbed and the poster child of a dry drunk. He gave up booze but still has compulsive narcissistic behaviour.
    This POS brought me and our kids to visit a “former teacher” early in our marriage. Unbeknownst to me he was actually introducing us to his father’s mistress. Because of this I honestly fear my boys may become cheaters like x. So far neither has exhibited the subtle flags let alone blatant flags of a self-entitled asshole and I pray everyday they take after my side of the family. Loyal, faithful and probably socially stupid.

  • Is accusing your wife of cheating after you’ve been caught red-handed cheating considered an apology? Asking for a friend.

    I got a couple of “I regret things have come to this” after some especially bad behavior and once I got “I’m sorry you are hurting”…but no real apology.

    BUT, as a total chump doing the pick-me dance, I apologized profusely for all the perceived wrongs he convinced me that I committed. So much embarrassing apologizing. My only respite in this regard is that I am now free and happier than I’ve been in ages and also, one time during a mid-divorce argument when he, per the usual, demanded an apology from me, I had the chance to say “I am no longer your wife and I’m under no obligation to give you some bullshit apology for something I never did wrong you arrogant asshole. Go fuck yourself.” And yes it felt good. Of course, he just used it later as an example of how unreasonable I am. lol

    • I got SO MANY accusations during our 6 month wreckonciliation after a 6 month separation post DDay when I kicked him out.

      Because OBVIOUSLY I did that because I was the one fucking around. Not the fact that he was busted.

      My favorite one is that I was fucking his brother. Who I have hated for at least 5 years and haven’t spoken to in 3. Who also happens to be involved in this whole sick harem/enemy circle of cheaters. Also they included their nephews in all of this.

      Guess who he’s accusing me of cheating with now, post wreckonciliation split? Yup. The nephew.

      They are so disgusting and sick.

    • I got accused, too…he actually stood in front of me and said, “I know how you feel. Do you remember the lawn guy, Mike? You had his number programmed in your phone, and you were always home when he was mowing the yard. And, I saw the way you looked at him. I know you guys had an affair.”

      OH, OK. Mike…who mowed our lawn when my kids were one and three. Of course I was always home, you asshole. I had two babies!

      I, too, apologized profusely for all of the ways he told me I had wronged him…and, I also got the lame attempts at apologies: “You will never know how much it hurts me to see your pain.”

      He set me free, that is the truth. I would have never left, but for a smoking gun. I didn’t know it that day, but the day I found out turned out to be the best day of my life.

      Here’s to be “unreasonable” and setting actual boundaries.

  • “I’m sorry for what I’m FORCED to do” over text when I was still trying to compel him with my human emotions.

    I’m sorry. I just wanted to make you mad, I never knew it would hurt you like this.

    You didn’t deserve this, but she was nice to me and you wouldn’t let me talk. 🤮

    He’s sorry alright.

  • 20+ years together, grad school, 3 incredible kids, homes, holidays, memories, and then…*kaboom*

    Him, standing at the end of the couch where I am laying, and staring through me, shark-eyed: I’m sorry, but I never loved you.
    Me: Cool.
    Him: I’m sorry. I never loved you.
    Me: Got it.
    Him: I never loved you.
    Me: Yep. Thanks. Please don’t tell the kids that you never loved me. That would hurt them, y’know?
    Him: Ok. I never loved you.
    Me: Yep.

    Mother. Fucker. And, to be honest, looking back, I believe it.

    A couple weeks later, as he loaded up his car:
    Him, sobbing: I’ve messed up everything! Oh, my god! I’ve screwed it all up!
    Me, fresh off a RIC bender, hugging him, relieved that he finally gets it: It’s going to be ok! It’ll be ok!

    Then he loaded up his truck, and drove away.

    The next day was our youngest son’s birthday. Ex gave him a card with some cash in it. The card was one he’d had in his dresser drawer for a while. It was inscribed: Happy Birthday, son! Sorry I fucked up your special day by moving out for some dumb twat! I’m sure we’ll spend lots and lots of time together anyway! Not all who wander are lost

    I’m still bitter AF about that card. If that isn’t the symbol of fucked up selfishness, I don’t know what is.

    • It strange how good an act they put on for years. But underneath they are so horribly shallow and self absorbed. They can hurt people and it doesn’t hurt them at all. What a odd subhuman category.

      Reminds me of Ted Bundy. He lived with a woman and her child and to all purposes was a devoted and caring partner to her. Meanwhile we know what he was doing.

    • Stephanie,
      I am so sorry, that is so senseless and horrible.
      I am struggling with words to express my thoughts, but still I want to reach out and hug you and your kids.

      “Not all who wander are lost”
      Lost is not the right word, we can think of many others!

      • Thanks, Mitz and Peacekeeper! It’s been 8 years since that day, and I’m doing really well! I’ve reached the Land of Meh (some bitter memories notwithstanding!) It’s pleasant here, but you don’t forget the past, as it serves to inform you of the future, should you let your guard down. I like to come here to remind myself that there IS no cognitive dissonance–he IS “off” and he IS untrustworthy, even as he puts on a good face. I know what’s underneath. I like to chime in with the chorus of folks here who do a good job of illustrating the characteristics of cheaters–the newbies learn from the patterns how to recognize the disorder in the person they were close to. It helps them, and, it helps me to keep my cheater radar tuned up.

        Love and hugs back!

  • “I hope this doesn’t affect your future relationships.”

    Obviously you were well aware what your actions were capable of, yet you carried on. Great.

  • I’m sorry that I met someone who makes me so much happier than you ever did….

    This was a month after he burned their business to the ground for the insurance and 3 months before he was arrested. He genuinely thought they were going to ride off into the sunset with millions of dollars.. he is now in prison for the next 6 years or so and I am raising our kids and thankful that we were FAR FAR away when the whole thing went down.

    • Alice, I remember your story. I’m so glad you were out of there before Mad Max went full throttle!

      • Attie so am I :). At the time I was devastated but now looking back I couldn’t be more relieved. It has shown me unequivocally that you NEVER know what is going on behind closed doors and just how deceitful and selfish he really was. It has been such a valuable lesson.

  • “It wasn’t cheating, it was a ptsd reaction due to my friend’s death.” (After a 3 year affair in which he consulted many lawyers to find out how much money he would walk away with).

    • No not cheating at all!! 3 YEARS!! That is some serious cognitive dissonance right there! I am sorry his friend died but that is an excuse not a justification.

  • Liar, cheater, blameshifter, gas lighter, image manager. It happens every day and the entire nation is the chump right now. The Liar, cheater, blameshifter, gas lighter, image manager is the president of the United States, Donald Trump. He exhibits all of the characteristics of an “in-your-face-fuck-you” unapologetic cheater. Three times married, caught paying off a porn star who he had sex with when his baby was a year old; self-proclaimed pussy grabber because he is rich. Want to know what an unapologetic liar and cheater is? Watch the president in action with the people he has circled himself with- they are setting the bar so low and giving liars and cheaters legitimacy in the national conversation. The 2020 election is going to be like a bad divorce or break up with a cheater we all wish and want to be something other than what he is and it won’t be a pretty divorce at all because the only apology we will get is that he was a victim and we all need to feel sorry for him.

  • “I’m sorry about everything that happened.”

    As though all of the infidelity and deception was the product of the tides, or sunspots, or uncharacteristically low barometric pressure. My ex-husband is one of those rare people who lacks agency in the event that something he has done is inappropriate or displeasing. It’s never his fault. He’s always a helpless soul caught in some irresistible vortex.

  • At first, mine didn’t apologize…OK, wait a minute, he NEVER apologized. But, his attempts to justify the affair were numerous. My favorite was when I, still stuck in the mf of untangling the skein, asked him what he would do if someone ever cheated on one of our daughters and treated them the way he had treated me. He looked at me dead serious and said, “That’s exactly what I was thinking when I started the relationship with her! I was praying that is one of my girls was ever in her situation, that someone like me would come along and help them as much as I was helping her. I mean, she was in a tough, tough situation. I was just helping her as best I could!”

    WTF.

    That was one of the many days I knew it was over. I live my life complete contact-free now, 2.5 years later. Still not divorced, but I leave that to my attorney. I look at his cheating now as God setting me free from a marriage to a toxic narcissist. So, I am grateful to have been a chump. Sucked at that time, but totally worth it to know there is a better life. My kids and I have never been happier. Sending peace and hope to the chumps still stuck in the mire of the mindf*.

  • No apologies on either sides of our infidelity. We both cheated. He cheated with a high school girl friend from 20 years ago, and I cheated with a man I met online. Maybe we don’t really care about each other but yet I visit this site to try to better understand it. My ex mm seems to have improved his marriage and I wasn’t the only OW for him. I had reached out to his wife but that was a huge mistake as she got pissed and went into image management mode for him and he actually blamed me for the affair (he pursued me like crazy but told his wife I wouldn’t leave him alone. Wtf.) So his apology to his wife was literally that he was sorry he picked a “crazy OW”…

  • I was told “I have feelings for someone else, I think I’m in love with her” then the whole “things haven’t been right here for a long time, I’ve not been happy here” and then as the weeks went on “my being in love with someone else and ending our marriage are two separate things, you need to realise this”.
    We’d been together 15yrs, 2 kids, mortgage and never once said he was unhappy!
    The lying and twisting and contradictions are quite mind boggling!

    • Mmm, the ex said his falling for the Dream Princess was a good thing as it made it clear our marriage was over. He said “You NEED to know” or “You NEED to recognise” several times. I knew things weren’t right but had no idea the martiagecwad over… In marriage counselling we talked about how he’d said he was leaving but that the relationship with her was definitely over. When I pointed out that three months later he was trying to convince her that he should be her boyfriend, he said he was ‘exploring the relationship’. The marriage counsellor just nodded.
      It’s like a wierd connect-the-dots puzzle where Chumps keep getting a different picture, and like me lots of us assume WE must be getting it wrong!

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