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You Don’t Need Closure

ZombieclosureOnce upon a time, a fellow “Chump Chap” wrote to me after he realized that he’d gotten a non-apology apology from his cheating ex. He’d committed a common but grievous rookie mistake — he asked his cheater why. For “closure.”

Chump Chap didn’t realize it was a fake apology until later. After he wrote me. And then it was GAH! She’s wasn’t sorry was she? Chumped again!

It’s idiotic, but we all do this, Chump Chap. You aren’t alone wanting closure from your cheater.

Oh why oh why oh why did you do this to me? WHY?!

Logically, you direct this question to the person who fucked you over — the cheater.

Except it isn’t logical. They don’t have a good reason. And every reason they give you, I promise, is going to piss you OFF.

“I dunno. Got bored I suppose.”

“He had a nice ass.”

It’s worse if they’ve spent any time on infidelity boards. Now they have a whole new vocabulary to mindfuck you with.

“I was broken from my FOO issues. It was the toxic shame borne of hand bell choir and that ugly sweater my aunt knit that my mother INSISTED I wear — I couldn’t bear my uncoolness, and I needed external validation. Lots and lots of validation. So I learned very early to lie to get what I wanted. (A Somalian refugee stole the sweater. I’m allergic to hand bells.) I guess I never stopped. Fucking those strangers on Craigslist was a coping mechanism. But I never stopped loving you, Chump Chap. I suppose a part of me will always love you. But I’m involved with Nigel now — and it’s complicated.”

Why would you stick your head in that blender?

Ask a cheater why they cheated, the worst of them are going to blame you. “I cheated because you’re fat” or “You weren’t meeting my needs.” Or they’re going to wax poetic about their affair partner. “What Tiffany and I have is real. God, she’s so good for me. Look, it’s all for the best! We’re both in better places now!”

Resist the urge for closure, chumps. Relationship autopsies do not bring relationships back to life. And thank God, because imagine the Walking Dead nightmare that would be. (Actually, anyone who has experienced false reconciliation has lived exactly that nightmare.) These things are better left DEAD.

Because when you ask your cheater why — especially after they are your ex — what you’re really trying to do is keep the relationship alive. You need sparkles. Gimme a hit on the hopium pipe. You want validation from this person that they Really Didn’t Mean It and have a very good reason for putting you through this hell. You want validation from the very person who just invalidated you. Was I so bad?

Look, cheaters cop to needing “closure” all the time. “I just have to meet her at that hotel in New Mexico… for closure. It just isn’t right to dump her with a no contact letter. What we had, well, I owe it to her to do it in person.” We know what closure means — it means they can’t quit the kibbles.

With chumps though — it’s like we can’t quit feeding the kibbles. Because seeking them out, demanding an answer, is kibbles to the cheater. We are reinforcing their centrality in our lives. It is the opposite of meh.

We may think we’re seeking closure to shame them, or demand accountability. They don’t see it that way. They see it as kibbles. “Isn’t that sweet? Chump can’t get over me. They’re so broken up. God, I’m fabulous. I’m sorry there isn’t enough of me to go around. Well really, I offered you a piece but you wanted the whole thing. Too bad, so sad.”

Closure doesn’t exist. Well, not in the sense that they’re going to give you a reason that will make the heavens part and confer enlightenment. You do the hard work to heal yourself over time and find acceptance. It’s probably never going to make sense to you why they betrayed you. If you’re a good person, it shouldn’t make sense.

Why did they cheat? Because they could. Because they gave themselves permission to do it. They didn’t care about how it would hurt you. Not enough.

Ouch. There’s your closure.

This one ran before. I’m coming home from the paradise of northern Michigan. Of smoked whitefish and crisp 70 degree sunny days. Of birch trees and pine woods. To the fetid, humid armpit of DC. Sigh. Also, you still don’t need closure. 

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  • So appreciate these re-runs. Been here for two-ish years and I haven’t seen this one before – just snorted my G&T (evening here in Aus).

    Shortly after Dday he said “I felt I had no CHOICE” (ten years of brothels and gay clubs, fucked a LOT of strange).

    I said “You had no choice?” Him, thundering, “That’s not what I SAID!! I said I FELT I had no choice.” Moments later blah blah validation. Word salad in the blender. So much moosh!

    Because I wasn’t there for him after our daughter died. Of course.

    Have also had “a part of me will always love a part of you” – and now that he’s moved in full time around the corner with woman who was once my close friend (but clearly so much more special and sexually, intellectually sophisticated and understands acts of exuberant defiance that are nuanced) – it’s complicated. But we all must be positive and move forward. We’re in better places now!

    Why did he cheat? Because he just wanted to. I’ve done the work and am teetering in the brink of total meh and by god it’s good.

  • I’ve got my closure I filed for divorce this morning on grounds of adultery . Served him and whore both no contest so I should be divorced in approx 8 weeks . That’s my closure !

    • Oh Karenb6702, congratulations on filing for divorce. Look, I see the roadmap to the Land of Meh right there in your hands, only it looks like a divorce decree.

      I know you have been suffering the agony of betrayal. By filing you are reclaiming your life, publicly stating that you will not be disrespected anymore. You will be free of that fuckwit and his hobag in eight weeks. Lucky you.

      You are mighty. I’m so happy you are taking back your power.

      • Thank you thirtythreeyears 😀

        I’m in agony beyond words but no point waiting and waiting . By time divorce comes through that should be 29 weeks from d day to divorce .

        • Party at Karen’s favorite place in about 8 weeks!

          I am glad you grabbed your mighty and are putting an end to the torment.

          • It’s been very easy to be honest he just vanished . Never once seen or heard from him . He wanted nothing from the house and the only contact is through lawyers . The only 1 sticking point was as he admits adultery he should pay in full for the divorce but he said he won’t pay anything towards it as he was willing to wait a year and the divorce is my idea !!! My lawyer said as we have a no contest it will not involve court appearance so should be very straight forward and not cost so much .

            I’ve read horror stories about divorce dragging on for years but my ex does not give a fuck so it’s been very easy 😀

            • Mine was much the same toward divorce. Didn’t get his own lawyer, for example. You dodged a bullet there, and if he has agreed to a settlement that gives you pretty much everything you want the speed with which this happened will later be something you can more fully appreciate.

              You are mighty! You aren’t so far out from D-day and yet you’ve already filed and will soon be divorced and can begin to rebuild your life. It’s hard, but believe us, it gets better.

            • It’s good that you are moving quickly. I have heard that it is a lot harder if you wait and they are no longer distracted by “twu wuv” and remember that they care about assets, etc. and maybe don’t want to give up cake after all and then suddenly you are the bad guy who ended the marriage. Get all you can as quickly as you can. Good luck.

            • hugs and good job! it hurts like he’ll for awhile! slowly gets better. take care of yourself nutritionally, and exercise. cry whenever and whereever. talk to a friend of a counselor. do nice things for yourself that give you pleasure. you have taken a huge step forward! big hugs!

        • It is agony and I’m in a similar spot. He has also abandoned us and given me everything.
          I consider it like tearing off a band aid. Soon the pain will end.

          • My ex wife did the same..really bizarre. After 24 years she hardly took shit, left the the house since our daughter stayed with me I suppose, she couldn’t wait to start her new life with Mr Awesome. Left years of camcorder tapes, photo albums, CD’s..like none of it happened

            • 17 years….but exact same thing.
              Like he just wanted to erase that his time with me ever existed…..kids too. Ghost!
              He’s hovering on the kids 4 years later. I feel bad for them as they won’t have anything to do with him, but he tries with sad texting.
              Fucking freak..

            • My ex took nothing, no pictures, anyhow I heard through the kids that his ow asked why he had no pics of his kids, so a week later he wants pics of the kids. I guess once he got the pics of our kids, his whore could try to convince herself that he cares about his kids…delusional much!

              • Wow. Just bizarre huh? They do a complete reset. Worked out ok for me though, I have a great relationship with both grown kids and a new grandson (he’s 2) and she begs them to take trips with her and her AP and they refuse. Just got back from a weekend at the coast with my son and grandson, guys weekend away. I really did ok in the long run. Her AP can have her and her twisted mother

              • Mine left all the pictures too. Never asked for a single one. They all sit in a closet that I call “The past.” I haven’t gone in there for over five years. I may never and just let my children deal with it when when I move into the those last chapters.

          • I know it hurts, and it’s another mindfuck, i.e., ‘you just weren’t important enough to warrant a backward glance’, but believe me, you are VERY fortunate! So many chumps experience the abandonment and the YEARS fighting a fuckwit in court. Remember, his inability to recognize your worth is not a reflection on you. It’s all on him. And someday you will be oh so grateful that he left without a backward glance. Trust me!

        • Karen, the agony is awful but know you will survive. Best to be out as quick as possible.
          I wish I could be- almost 2 years and still in divorce hell- filed for fault divorce- after he admitted to cheating on me and my PI collected proof- he denies. I am holding onto the marriage and am on a witch hunt according to his flying monkey attorney. The entire process sucks so count your blessings. It hurts like a mother- the betrayal unbearable. It’s not your fault. Be grateful as hard as that sounds- you are truly blessed and you will see that one day. Stay strong. You are mighty! Please take care!

        • Oh I know how you feel .Was with my now ex for 38 1/2 years 37 of which we were married when I discovered his affair, kicked him out and got divorced 7 months later. It has been hard untangling a 37 year marriage but I have to believe it was the best thing I ever did. Believe me there are days when I miss him since we share a daughter and spent so much of our life together. but I pray every day that God has a better plan for me!!!!!!

    • Good for you. I know it hurts like hell, but you might as well get that clock ticking while you struggle for breath, right? Because just as it starts to feel just a small amount better (8 weeks of crying the night away was about my time frame), you will have a really nice consolation prize. Your freedom. Hugs.

    • Karen— you are MIGHTY!!!! I’m here for you. This will be a rough bit of road but there’s better days just ahead.

    • Good for you. There may be some pain along the road to finalizing the divorce, but this is a step in the right direction and reclaiming your worth.

  • I obsessed over this for so long. Where is my closure? Why did she do it? What was she thinking? Why isn’t she sorry? The best I got was “we both deserve to be happy”. This threw me for a loop and left me wondering who I was married to for 15 years and how she could be so callous. But now, a year to the day since D-Day I realize I won’t get closure – and that’s fine. Because the truth is that she just doesn’t care enough about me to give it. So I’ve moved on with my life as best I can, yet remain tethered to this half-wit through our kids. So my boundaries are called “rudeness”. My cool demeanor is seen as “not wanting to be friends” (she’s so reasonable) and my parenting style of teaching my children love and acceptance is smeared on social media as “filling my children with hate”. My children know their mom is a cheater and is involved with married AP. By me doing nothing, she imploded on her own and my daughter found out – in HER home, not mine. I’ve heard the lies and corrected them. I see the “twu wuv” and I’m not impressed. I’m repulsed and just want this divorce to be final. She tells me to get off my high horse, but I don’t need a horse to look down on her, crawling around in pig shit, destroying lives because no needs are as important as hers.

    • Sounds identical to my crazy cuntbag. “We both deserve to be happy”. I’ve been as close to no contact as possible (just emails) and I know it bothered her. So much so that she had our 17 year old reach out to me recently and said just send her pictures of the younger kids playing their sports and what not. Just so she knows “you’re listening”. I told him I have my boundaries with her. He of course flipped out on me again because of this. She has turned him against me. He thinks it’s totally okay that her boyfriend and 4 boys moved in as soon as I moved out. On Thursday she finally admitted in front of him & me that she stepped outside of our marriage. And my 17 year old responds “and dad I pushed her to have a relationship with him.” So now my boundaries extend to my son as well. I hope one day my kids realize what their mother has done to everyone. The only closure I am looking for right now is finalizing this divorce.

      • Chumptight,
        I have a similar situation with my son now age 18, but the grooming if him to find me unacceptable began at the start of the affair when he was 15. Dad teamed up with son against me the only one doing any actual parenting… monitoring school work for this bright kid with ADD… they both said I put too much academic pressure on him. The mountain of my faults grew exponentially from there. Read up on parental alienation. I’ve lost my son to the lies and brainwashing. It’s kind of funny how I was a great mom and wife until the affair…and then I became human garbage!

        • Paula. I’ve also lost my son to parental alienation. Reading your post is like I’m reading my own story. Bright kid, with ADD, I did all the parenting, activities, birthday parties, sleepovers, music lessons were because of me and my effort.

          Ex had little to do with our son claiming they had nothing in common, until he planned his departure. Suddenly I couldn’t ask our son to empty the trash without ex butting in with, get off his back, are you bitching again.., can’t you see he’s playing video games?
          He encouraged our son to lie to me. Ex told our son that he didn’t need to listen to me or show me respect because I don’t deserve respect.

          I was also a great wife and Mom until he found his AP in a hotel gym.
          Hard to believe that someone could be so cruel as to alienate a child from their Mother for their own selfishness. Robbing a child of a healthy relationship with their Mother is child abuse. Cheaters are to self absorbed to care that the absence or hatred of the other parent will influence their child’s future relationships or self esteem.

          • I’m so sorry that you ladies are going through it as well and for anyone that is. Much like you I have a full time job & I was the primary caretaker. I was told what a great husband & father I was. She even reminded me of that on Fathers Day 2018 before D-Day. Since I moved out I have watched my son go from a 3.75 GPA to barely sitting at a 3.0. He also missed 12 days of school and was tardy another 11 times all while he lived with her. He wants no part of staying with me. I’m guessing because I hold him accountable and make sure he’s doing his work. I am getting the sick feeling that they are working now on my 10 year old son & 7 year old daughter. I have read on parental alienation a bunch. I have sent all the emails my 17 year old has sent to me to my lawyer. Really don’t know what else to do she has forced her boyfriend & his 4 boys onto my kids. They all think it’s so fun having 9 people in the house and I have to sit back and watch.

            • I’m so sorry for you all. I may have a son who has ‘abandoned’ me, but after reading all that you’re going through with your fuckwits, I’m so very glad I didn’t find out about my dick-ex and his skank until mine were all out of college. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

            • Brit, Chumptight,
              Truly the loss of relationship with my child is the only loss I now feel! I know the mom I was, so similar are our stories. I actually used to beg my ex, please can’t we sit down together to work this out, I think our son needs your permission to love me too… he feels he has to choose… utter fool I was, asking the orchestrator of the problem to help solve it! All I got was the dead eyed stare…

            • Hello ChumpTight,

              Stay strong. Be the sane one. The safe harbor. The escape. The backup plan. The real one. The one they come to for advice.

              Remember birthdays. Buy carefully-selected cards, and write at least paragraph in every card you give. Celebrate EVERY. SINGLE. HOLIDAY with gifts and cards. Buy as many flowers as money can buy. Make things SUPER special when they come to your place. Always love. Always give.

              They will always remember everything you do. They will always remember everything you give. Your presence in their lives is BEYOND IMPORTANT. Everything you do has a ripple effect in theirs.

              Put on your kid gloves and have as much fun as you can! Forget about her. Forget about her man. Forget about her kids. Just be a DAD.

              Your kids will be fine.

              And when you see her, the best thing you can do for your kids, is find a way to love her. Love her 1% more every time you see her. It doesn’t matter if you love her only 2%. Next time you see her, take and action or say something nice that SHOWS that you love her 3%. When you’re not with her, think about how you can show her the next time you see her that you love her 1% more than you did before.

              She will notice. Your kids will notice. And they will be stronger for it. They will be better people.

              Give up the pain and figure out how you can give! It’s actually a very fun exercise…

          • I needed to read this today. Thank you all of you posting about your kids. The effect these people have on our relationship with our children is rarely discussed anywhere and is a huge emotional abusive pathway these narcs use to control and hurt. I feel I escaped him but not really.

            Its been 6 years since our divorce and I have been at Meh for awhile.

            What I didn’t expect was the shrapnel, fall out, blame and distancing my adult kids have done to me based on what they saw growing up.

            I did a great job instilling family, kindness, integrity, fairness into my 3 kids regardless of the chaos and trauma my ex covert narc spattered all over us for 30 years.

            It’s been 6 years and I find myself grieving the loss of my family, my kids and the feeling of belonging. I am again floating with no foundation and having to gather myself and the pieces of my life to find a bit of something to stand on. It’s like a nightmare I thought I woke up from but only now realized, I am still in it.

        • So sorry PaulaM… you are not human garbage. They are despicable human beings that actually plotted to separate us from our children in order to improve their own image despite what they were doing. Imagine the selfishness that is required to do this! I pray every day that my 33 year old sees the light. But, I live with the knowledge that I was a great mother and if my son chooses to not acknowledge that the so be it.

    • Lead with love and the cheaters always will self implode. I’m very grateful my kids aren’t his, and I don’t need to be tethered to him!

    • Sounds to me like you have perfect vision of who your ex is! Oh the polish and shine they attempt to put all over their hideous conduct! Laying blame every place except where it belongs….

    • “I don’t need a horse to look down on her, crawling around in pig shit, destroying lives because no needs are as important as hers.”

      Stealing !

    • It’s telling when the best that the low-life can come up with is to mock those who aren’t in the gutter with them

  • I finally came to the conclusion that nothing he said to explain why would ever make sense to me. The reason? Because whatever reason he had was still not anything that would make me behave in a similar way. So I would never “get it”.

    In the end, in my head, the answer to why was “He just did”. I felt a lot more peaceful after that.

  • I really needed this. Thank you. It’s hard to not know why. It’s hard to come to the realization that he just wanted to cheat and that I really didn’t matter enough. He still doesn’t get how much he’s hurt me. Just a few days ago I got the guilt trip from him that “it would be in the best interest for the kids if we had a decent relationship.” And he “hopes we can get there someday”. Do you know what would have best for the kids? For him to not have destroyed our family with his selfishness. The only person that would benefit would be him. No more pick me dance. No more. Coincidences suck, get use to this new world that he created.

    • I get that from my ex too!! HE wants to tell ME what would be best for our kids, HE wants to be consulted before I make any decisions that affect the kids..??? EXCUSE ME?? Do you not hear yourself? When was I consulted about your decisions?

      But we have five children together, the oldest was 8 and the youngest was newborn when he cheated and left. He minimally cared about time with the kids, but then one day he realized how much attention he gets when he takes them places. People tell him what an awesome dad he is, because why? Because my kids are awesome because *I* raise them right. People don’t know shit. The worst is when we are at extracurricular events and my kids go to him and some stranger will come over and tell me how lucky I am to have a husband like that. GRRRRRR…

      I’m at meh most days, but this is the one thing that still gets to me..

      • I hear you. It’s all about the image. Who the f*ck knows anymore. The reason he gave me… I don’t know why… I wasn’t unhappy….you are incredible and we have a great relationship… it’s just been a long time since someone other than you paid me attention. Seriously? That’s all it took? Some whore strokes your ego and it’s enough to leave a happy family, wife of 21 years and best friend of 27? He had the audacity to ask me to talk to our 19 year old daughter because she won’t acknowledge him. I told him that I had encouraged a relationship since GTFO day but had been told to back off. I told him that it is my job to smooth over or fix the consequences of his decisions/action/words.

      • I’d just say to a person “he cheated on me when the oldest was X ys old and the youngest Y months” and I’d leave it at that. I wouldn’t sat one single word more.

        • I told family, friends, colleagues, that my husband cheated on me when our third and last child was barely out of diapers. Dr. Wonderful, ex-cheater-husband had his ego big-time stroked by his intern. Exit affair – married her. Kids are adults now – totally ambivalent about stepmom. If she died tomorrow, not one of my kids would shed a tear.

          • I tell people who ask that I filed for divorce b/c I “didn’t like my wasband’s girlfriend.”

            It always gets a chuckle, eases any tension and I don’t get a lot of follow up questions, thank God. If probed further, I tell the truth that he has ghosted me and our grown kids and that I have no idea what he tells himself or others, but that he obviously had a lot of secrets.

            Then I move on. I will spend no more time on his “reasons”.

            As stated elsewhere, I will never be able to understand his reasoning and that’s because our values and world views are clearly SO different, that he’s not relatable to me. I projected my values and my investment in our marriage, onto him for years. MY mistake.

            I swear I do NOT WANT to be able to understand his disordered thinking. Why go to a scary crazy dark place like his soul?

            AND

            How can I – (yep, ME!!), benefit from the futility of attempted untangling of his fuckedupness?

            I can’t. No matter how “happy” or good he pretends to be with the new wife appliance (or even if he is better)

            he was NOT kind to me or our children. His behavior was unacceptable to US.

            That’s ^^^ what I KNOW. That’s ^^^ all that matters.

            The more I know this in my head, the more it sinks into my heart. So I know meh is coming.

    • I have also endured continued disrespect & emotional abuse “for the sake of the kids.” I don’t recall EX caring all that much about the kids when he decided to blow up the marriage & family

  • “Because it felt good to be wanted.”

    This is what I got after dday#1. It wasn’t as if we didn’t have regular sex, but funny how an increased sex life (aka pick me dance) didn’t keep me from experiencing a dday#2. They make shit up as they go.

  • Tracy, I’m going to frame this…

    …It’s probably never going to make sense to you why they betrayed you. If you’re a good person, it shouldn’t make sense.

    Why did they cheat? Because they could. Because they gave themselves permission to do it. They didn’t care about how it would hurt you. Not enough.

    Ouch. There’s your closure…

    For anyone of us looking as to why they did it … there is the answer.

    Thank God for you Tracy.

    • Yes, yes, yes. I think I truly wanted to hear him say, “Because I have no self-control, and I’m a fuckwit.” I wanted him to admit that. I wanted him to admit that HE was the one with issues, not me.

      Of course, that was never going to happen. Instead I got a litany of my crimes, both of which CL mentioned “You got fat”, and “You weren’t meeting my needs (aka anal sex)”.

      The good thing that came of my 2 year dance is that I lost the weight, and am determined to never regain it.

  • Ha love this. 5months today since he abandoned, stopped asking why pretty early on and god it’s so much easier I don’t have to see him. My kids aren’t his.
    I’m in the meh state early I think but gees I’ve even forgot what it’s like to live with him or love him! So for those still wanting the why keep rereading this article. Thankyou for your wonderful witty advice! I love it!!

  • No, it’s more like playing the slot machine. It takes very, very little to keep someone at the slot machines. Spend $800 and win $50 – do you stop? Nope. Keep right on feeding the one-armed bandit.

    Best not to do it at all.

    They cheated because they are trash and they wanted to do it. Put them out on the curb and move on – with a better sniffer for trash and how to avoid bringing it into your home.

  • Oh yes, CLOSURE. Of course we want it. Who wouldn’t? Cheater blows up your life, destroys your family, publicity humiliates you, covers you with shame. WHY? HOW could you do this? For a long time I had this huge need to know. And of course I begged him for it.

    And I got the usual spew of cheater speak:
    – You put the kids before me (his favorite)
    – You wouldn’t get over the last cheating episode you found out about so I had to keep doing it
    – I’ll always love you but I can’t live with you
    – We just aren’t right for each other
    – You were my queen but I needed a bunch of princesses too
    – My dad was a cheater so I didn’t know any better
    – My mother was an alcoholic and abandoned me
    – You’re just spoiled, you don’t know how hard life is
    – 3rd world women appreciate me and you don’t

    Yuck!! Just YUCK! The truth is that he’s a disordered fuck and I wanted to fix that. What I didn’t realize is that I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it (thanks AA for the three C’s). I was hurting so bad and I wanted to make the pain stop. The hard truth is that it doesn’t work that way.

    The only thing that makes the pain stop is to leave. And even then it takes awhile. I lost money, a retirement plan, and a narcissistic fuckwit. But I gained ME. And I started realizing how blessed I really am. I have a good job, I’m not going to be a destitute old lady, I have great kids and extended family who love me. He has no family. Just his LBFM, her teenage twins, and his creepy old loser white guy plan to retire to the Philippines and support them. So in effect, I won. Not that it matters now.

    CL is right on. We chumps will never understand. Good people with integrity just can’t. I spent a lot of time researching cheaters and narcissists thinking I would find the key. I had it all along. The key is me.

    • Infinite, I lived in the Philippines and I’ve seen the older men with their young wives or with young Filipina’s. These creepy old fools look ridiculous.

      I would try to understand Ex’s excuses for leaving.

      I was never happy

      He could never make me happy.

      He didn’t want to be married to Aunt Bee

      I didn’t compliment him enough

      I never loved him.

      I remember over analyzing every excuse he came up with until I found CN and came to my senses and realized his decision to leave had nothing to do with me.
      It was hard to accept and change my mindset from thinking I married someone with integrity and morals. Once I accepted the fact that he wasn’t who I thought I married. He’s an imposter, a fake and full of shit. I had to trust that he sucks and remind my self that he sucked anytime I began to doubt myself. I also remind myself that he didn’t get a personality transplant when he moved out.
      Although I do have regrets that I’m not living the life I was promised after sacrificing my career for
      him to gain flying hours in the reserves when he was furloughed. I hate not having the medical and dental benefits that I need. I don’t know how they live with themselves.

      • My cheater Ex husband of 35yrs is one of those older bald white westerns who is now married to a young (his daughter’s age!) 3rd world girl. We were living international and it was very common and excepted for both the old white westerner and the 3rd world girl to hook up. I saw it all the time. Little did I know that it was my husband who was cheating behind my back while I was back in the States trying to nurture a relationship with our daughter and grandchildren (oh yes, he promised and swore he was a faithful husband while cheating for 5 yrs, that I know of) Another 5yrs later, she has the old bald white man and a passport to the US… I have the daughter and grandchildren. Think we should start our own club!

        • 3rd World girl is blatantly using your ex. Once she gets her foot in the door to the US she’ll dump his stupid ass.

          • We do need to start our own club!! STBX’s girl is 30 years younger (age of our daughter) with twin girls. They call him “Uncle John.” The disgusting things these people do is beyond imagination. STBX can’t even bring the twit here. She’s married. And they can’t get divorced in the Pi unless he pays big money for an annulment. But I doubt marriage is in the cards for them. They’re planning to do something with coconuts over there. I honestly don’t even care anymore. It’s comical. I do feel bad for my kids. It’s pretty embarrassing to have your dad do something like that. They’re both disgusted with him.

              • Attie, you and me both. But he’s really not worth the effort. I suspect karma has it in for him anyway. With any luck he will end up broke, sick, and alone. Just like his cheater father.

            • That’s funny…. mine is a John also 😂 AND one of the many excuses he came up with was “my Dad did it and I got over it”. So, it’s ok to be a cheating lying deceitful person because your father was one. There must be a written code for unethical behavior that I’m not aware of. Or, maybe it’s the “sins of the father” concept. But, I also feel for our kids! My poor daughter has Daddy issues and will be in therapy longer then I have been (4 1/2yrs now😩) These kids do not deserve their freaks for fathers who have wives/girlfriends their own ages. I’m sorry to admit that I’m looking forward to his inevitable karma.

              • The biggest regret that I have is that this disordered fuckwit is the father of my children. They will carry his shame far longer then I will and that breaks my heart.

          • Oh NO… he said that they were different ! Soul mates, true love and she was not like that. Years later I heard from a reliable source that she was concerned he would not give her money and expected her to get a job after moving to the US. AND, she complained that he had to give me half of his money… OMGosh!!

    • “I spent a lot of time researching cheaters and narcissists thinking I would find the key. I had it all along. The key is me.” YES!!!! I love your post so much, Infinite! I think this is where so many Chumps get lost. We buy into the cheater narrative that we were not enough or were too much or in some way we caused the cheating by not being the perfect _______________ that the cheater needed to not cheat. No. What the cheater needed to keep them from cheating was CHARACTER and nothing the Chump did or didn’t do causes a lack of character. The key to entry into Meh is realizing that you are enough. That whatever your imperfections, flaws, talents, strengths, you are enough and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Once you know that, it doesn’t matter why anymore. It is enough to know that you were never the problem.

        • We are more than enough. I think cheaters know that on some level. We were, and always will be, better than they are. I almost feel sorry for STBX’s LBFM. I hope she’s very careful about letting him around her teenage daughters. He has a pilot friend sitting in federal prison right now for having sex with Philippine kids and trying to sell the videos he made of it. While he was at work there. They picked him up in Huntsville when he was going through customs. These guys are beyond belief.

  • Just left Michigan bringing my kids home from camp(a great place to enjoy the peace and beauty there and to just be kids) and we are beginning our new life in a southern state far away from the other side of the country where the cheater and the OW will remain! I get to decide the closure now! No more hoping I don’t run in to him or his family in our former town, or cringing every time we said our last name in public places and looking for the reaction on others faces to see if they knew him and would make some sort of comment to us. Getting kids ready for their new school to begin their new lives and we are all excited for the future! The walls in my new home are singing!! After being on that hamster wheel with him for nearly three decades….I got to ride away in the sunset and I don’t care anymore why he did it or what blame he shifts to me! Good riddance Loser!

  • “Why did they cheat? Because they could. Because they gave themselves permission to do it. They didn’t care about how it would hurt you. Not enough.

    Ouch. There’s your closure.”

    ^^ Thanks, again CL! I copied and pasted this one the first time I read this post. Those words say it all.

  • I have realized that closure is something that I will never get. I wanted to know why he cheated. And why he chose to cheat with my cousin. I was told.
    1) I never slept with her.
    2) I thought that you did not love me anyway?
    3) She liked to have fun. She was always happy.
    4) I never wanted to go out to bars and play pool.
    5) I should not have gotten that joint credit card. It ruined his credit.
    6) I wouldn’t not have cared anyway if he cheated.
    7) He did not think that it was actually cheating because they never had sex. They only went to play pool
    and go gambling.
    Yup, if it wasn’t technically cheating then why did he lie? Why did he not tell me he was hanging out with Skankella. I asked him that question. His response was that I would not have let him go away with her. I realized that he wanted to cheat. If it would not have been with Skankella. It would have been with some other POS women. Skankella was an easy target who had low enough morals, desperate and wanted to benefit off of dating a married man. What kind of women dates her cousin’s husband?? I will never understand why she thought it was ok to cheat with my husband.

    • You’re still projecting your values onto Skankella. Stop trying to unravel the skein of fuckedupness. She felt it was ok to cheat because she ‘was entitled’. And that’s the only reason. Just like your husband. He felt he was entitled. You’ll get quicker to Meh if you just accept that. It had absolutely nothing to do with you, what you did or didn’t do, what you said or didn’t say. They would have done it anyway because they felt entitled to do what they want. Again I say, don’t take your validation from a fuckwit. They’ll just continue to mindfuck you as long as you look to them for answers.

  • That is great news. As he has admitted adultery costs should be minimal and worth it to get rid of him. The problems come when they don’t admit to it and you have to prove it.

  • Closure:

    He never loved me. He didn’t care how his actions would make me feel. Even when actually confronted and forced to address the question of empathy (how would YOU feel if I had done this to you?), he could only gaze at me blankly, confused about what it is he should say. What would someone with a soul and a heart say at this moment? He is an empty, selfish being in a shiny exterior wrapper.

    That’s it.

    • Hi Dixie Chump: Someone with a soul and heart would never cheat on a spouse. It would never cross their mind to defile a relationship by betrayal, no matter how bad the relationship was.

      My ex also had a stunned, blank look when I asked him how he would feel if I had cheated on him. Strange, because he was never at a loss for words. But I know exactly how he would feel. He would have thrown my ass out onto the street and alienated our children from me. It would have been such a narcissistic injury that his ego would have sunk under the weight. But only temporarily. Then he would wreak vengeance like I’d never seen in my life. He knew very well how he would feel – he just wouldn’t dare articulate it.

  • Very true – no answer will be satisfying.

    My ex husband had the single, momentary sliver of decency to at least admit he had no reason to do what he did. He didn’t blame me, (though eventually he started blaming his mother lol).

    Hurt like a mofo to be told, “Yeah-I’ve been lying since the day we met & I torpedoed your life for no reason. Squirrel!!” Was still a slap in the face.

  • I was told that the cheating was “irrelevant “ because it was now over.

    Essentially my pain and heartache shouldn’t exist now that he was done schtooping the young howorker.

    • Fearfulandloathing, show him irrelevance in the form of a divorce decree. I hope you are divorced from a man who would minimize your pain like that.

      You deserve compassion and respect.

  • I tried this once very shortly after I moved out. I had spent the night prior with friends at a venue we went to quite often while we were married. It made me nostalgic.

    He sent me an email regarding divorce business so I took that moment to tell him about the nostalgia I felt over the weekend because of my visit to this venue. I looked forward to his response because my email was so heartfelt. I’m not sure why I expected anything less than what I got but the response made me feel about 1000 times worse.

    It’s been 5 years so I don’t remember the reply exactly; but I definitely remember the way it made me feel. Lesson learned!

    Last year I returned to that same venue, ironically with a fellow chump and I felt no melancholy at all, nor did I think of the cheater even once.

    Listen to CL and learn by our examples They don’t care! That is your closure!

  • Before finding CL, I attempted to get some answers. Some form of closure. After 4 hours of yelling at him in his grandmother’s driveway and him crying and crawling on his hands and knees I realized that I would never get a real answer from him. He is broken, always has been and refuses to put himself back together. I decided there and then that he was too fucked in the head to be worth my energy.

    To this day he still refuses to admit that he cheated. He admitted it once, right before the showdown. I can see from the trickle of conversation, every time he tries to rope me back in (while I grey rock) that he is truly delusional and refuses to accept reality. I am happier knowing this is not my problem anymore. It doesn’t matter why, he was going to do what he was going to do. Nothing he can say after the fact will change it because it was never acceptable in the first place. He can go continue to live in his own mess, it doesn’t need to effect me anymore. My acceptance of this fact is the only closure I really need.

    • Mine refuses to admit it too! Despite the fact that I read the text messages of the escort calling him “lover,” him calling her “baby,” and giving her the address to our house. I guess I’m just supposed to be stupid. Paid escorts come to your house all the time when you’re “just friends” and there’s never any sex involved. And when I caught him, hindsight began to take over and I wondered about all the women he worked with and was “friends” with that hated me on sight and were just openly hostile for no apparent reason. One even “coincidentally” moved from Denver to DC about a year after we did and he started have lunch with her all the time. Stupid me believed that they were just friends because he claimed she had just gotten engaged. As if her getting a ring on her finger somehow made her moralistic – I knew in my gut he was sleeping with her, I just buried my head in the sand and didn’t look for proof.

      It would be nice if he could be honest – but it’s his dishonesty that got us here in the first place, so sadly I’ve had to learn not to even have the expectation of him. If he told me that the sky was blue at high noon, I’d still go outside and see for myself.

  • The cheater doesn’t give you closure. You give yourself closure. You do that when you accept “you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it” (the AA adage). You do that when you understand that it’s not that they don’t see or understand what they’ve done, but that they don’t care (Dr. Simon’s “it’s not that they don’t see; it’s that they disagree). You do that when you answer every question you ask yourself with “because s/he sucks” (CL’s “trust that they suck”).
    You give yourself closure when you walk away and take back your power and self-respect, when you divorce, and when you go on to live a mighty life, until your walls are singing and you’re holding the microphone and singing with them.

  • My ex cheated because of his flagging self esteem. He is aging, 62 at the time, he is close to retiring from a company he has been with since he was 18 that gives him self esteem and makes him feel good about himself, he lost his teeth and now wears only the bottom dentures, a couple of his friends have died and he is facing his own mortality, he has never dealt with his childhood trauma at the hands of his mother and he drinks, a lot. When you keep things to yourself, like he did, it will catch up with you eventually. I’m not making excuses for him but there are reasons why he did what he did.

    When he looks in the mirror he sees an “old man”.

    He never blamed me, he has always said he is trying to straighten his head out. He told me his cheating had nothing to do with me or that whore. It’s on him and him alone.

    Don’t believe your cheater if they tell you they cheated because of you. They didn’t. They are attempting to justify their actions.

    He started therapy on his own and I started joining him in some of his sessions. His therapist is very good not part of RIC. She said he is in a crisis and he is unclear right now. So I did what was right for me and I distanced myself from him. He has to deal with the disaster he made of his life.

  • Truer words never spoken: “Why did they cheat? Because they could. Because they gave themselves permission to do it. They didn’t care about how it would hurt you. Not enough.”. BOOM

    5 years out— I choose to be with people who do care enough and who have integrity. Life is very good.

    XH and the young gold digger? Not so great. Bad health (drinking and smoking and eating to excess at 52 isn’t pretty), fighting 24/7, a new shiny AP on the horizon ….. baahaaahaaa not my monkey, not my circus!

  • My closure was the therapist we were seeing for “wreckconcilliation” tells me after ten weeks to “Let her go. She has made more problems than you can deal with.”
    She initiated the couples therapy, but then declined to accept any responsibility for her choices in our marriage. After a few weeks of that, the therapist worked with her alone for a few sessions and then us back together. The last session we all met together and she admitted to seeing her AP all along told me she wanted the divorce. I told her to just leave.
    Did I ever get an earful from the therapist, who dropped her neutral demeanor and was genuinely mad. She helped me to understand, as CL says, “Trust that she sucks!” Years later I really appreciate the therapists’s candor and the clean break it gave me.

    • I’m glad you had a great therapist from the start! You’re one of the lucky ones. Fortunately, there’s CL’s book for the rest of us.

  • My want for closure was never about an apology. It was about wanting to get off my chest everything I thought about his behavior. I never did that because he agreed not to come after my retirement money (I have much more saved than him) and I did not want to rock that boat. Of course I found out he did that because he was hiding money and bought a house and business with his howorker.
    That was the hardest to get over before I got to meh.

  • Hey hey! Be fair: I was in Alexandria last weekend, and it was the coolest, driest D.C. August weekend I can remember. Absolutely comfortable and beautiful. ; )

  • WOW-SPOT ON!!!
    My ex told my teenage son that he cheated on me because I wasn’t giving him what he needed and his whore was….

    And yes-he still tells me a year after I moved out and keep him as NC as I can with 3 kids together-that I just need to get over him….

  • “Closure” ain’t the end of it.
    Like the victim of a street crime, you can relive it everytime you step out of your house. “Trust that she sucks” tells you about motivation but leaves the collateral damage in place. Lots of work to do to get to “meh”.

  • One of the quotes that got me through the grief process of being chumped and dumped was,
    “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” (Robert Brault)
    Once I accepted the non-apology I could move on and forward. I really didn’t expect one anyway because, well, he never did anything wrong…. uh-huh.

    • I really like that quote. Thanks for sharing it.

      It’s sort of a corollary to “Don’t expect a logical answer from someone whose life choices are blisteringly illogical.” -Beard Boy

  • We want “closure” because some crazy place in us thinks they still love us.
    They don’t. Once I realized that the thoughts all fell into place.
    Closure is in the divorce papers!

  • Cheaters are wired differently than we chumps are. I remember watching TV and movies where someone (a reporter, secret agent, private detective) was sneaking in someplace to get information on someone dangerous and they are either about to get caught or they do get caught. I used to think I could never be in a profession that needed me to be sneaky. I know that I would be too anxious to do anything sneaky. I would be too worried about getting caught.

    Silly me! Cheaters are thrilled with this level of deception. They love love love sneaking around and not getting caught! They thrive on being smarter than us. They can’t give us closure or explain why they cheated. Not even to themselves! They do it because they can. Yes, they gave themselves permission to cheat and it’s as simple as that. My XH read that book about “Should You Stay or Go” and there was a chapter about how if God gave you permission to leave, you’d leave. Well, he saw himself as God, and he gave himself permission.

    There is a reason why Narcissistic Personality Disorder is part of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for mental illnesses. It’s a sign of poor mental health. They just don’t think or feel the way we chumps do.

    • I think the only true thing Goofy told me was he loved the risk, the edginess. He liked stealing the cookies and lying about it. That would put him at the developmental level of a four year old. My apologies to four year olds everywhere.

  • Before I found Chumplady I asked the same questions. We stayed together because he never actually left or had not yet had the chance to travel to meet or fuck her. So when I caught him making plans to meet up with his online trwu wuv, he told me he liked the attention and I was too busy for him. He told me would not have gone through with having sex with her, if I had not stopped him from going (aka calling him out on his lies and not agreeing to help pay for the trip). He felt really bad about the whole situation and could not bring himself to talk about it because he hated how much pain he caused me. And that was supposed to be the end of it. I was supposed to get over it and get back to taking care of him and our boys. Back to being the primary care giver and wage earner and trying to be as nice as I could about getting kids to do their daily work without any conflict. To forget about what he said about me to her in text. He could not tell me how he could say those things or plan to do what he was planning and still want to be with me. So I settled on the only answers I could manage in my mind. I offered to open the marriage if he wanted but that was met with me being told I was just a whore that wanted to fuck around on him. (Maybe I should have offered before she found another boyfriend to take her on their planned trip so quickly.) So I guessed he did not want an open marriage. I figured he did it because he wanted it and deserved it and I deserved the pain he caused because (insert anything I was not perfect at or anytime I was not perfect). I started telling him that I knew I am not even remotely good enough for him and even if he missed his chance at love with this woman, he should not give up at looking for it. I would just serve him until he found someone that could make him happy. I even offered to kill myself to leave him with my insurance money without me being in the way. But I guess having me in on the game made it no fun and me saying things like that about myself made him think poorly of himself. He started getting angry when I showed pain or self doubt but still got angry when he felt ignored or I was not always pleasant or patient when dealing with him or the kids. He took to shoving me out of his way or grabbing me by my throat and tossing me aside and leaving the house because he could not handle being around me when I was not happy and nice. One night when the kids were away with my mom, I stopped to check something on Facebook my mom posted about our kids, instead of immediately jumping in the shower with him like he said I should. Next thing I ended up half naked pinned to the back of our shower with his hands around my throat. As my vision started to go fuzzy, something made me fight back. I managed to pull my legs up between us and used my feet to push against his chest and pry his hands loose. When his hands came loose, I dropped to the bottom of the tub and scrambled to get free of him as he continued to try to grab me and shove me back into the tub. I finally got loose and ran from the room to get to the phone as he stormed out of the house. I didn’t call the cops because he had left, I did not want to take the chance of him loosing his job for DV issues and by that time I started to wish I would not have fought back anyway. When he came back he apologized said I did not deserve to be treated that way and he was going to get help but he did it because he had felt ignored. He did get counseling a few months later when he caught me making plans to kill myself. I started taking anti-depressants and tried harder to jump when he wanted something. It worked about as long and as well as you would expect.

    I guess my really long point is, they cannot give you a good answer why because there is not one. The real reason as Chumplady said is “Because they could. Because they gave themselves permission to do it. They didn’t care about how it would hurt you. Not enough.” But most cheaters/abusers don’t want to say or face that truth any more than most chumps or even the rest of the world want to hear it.

    My husband wants to continue to believe he is the great guy he tries to get everyone else to believe he is, but he does not want to be held to the standards of that great guy he believes he is. And no one can ever give him everything he wants when he wants it and still help him maintain that image of himself.

    • FakeIt, my blood runs cold when I see you referring to him as “my husband.” Surely it cannot be that you are still married to this monster. He is a monster, and it is damaging your boys to watch and experience how the monster treats you. You need to get out, if not for your sake, then for the safety and well-being of your children. Maybe you are in the process and he is your STBXH. I sure hope so. You will find lots of support here when you take the steps that you must take.

    • Fake it, I am hoping your long post was fake. You have normalized horrific abuse if it is not. Get out. Do not wait for this heartless monster to kill you. Get you some therapy, get your kids in therapy. Staying in this marriage where the abuse is escalating will only result in tragedy.

      You deserve better. Your kids deserve better.

  • It was all so abrupt. He didn’t deny it. He offered to answer any questions. It was all too much and too painful to ask more. So I just walked away (not married). I often wonder ‘what if I had asked…’, but then know it wouldn’t change anything so what’s the point. Walk on and do better.

  • , for me it’s 41 years , we aren’t divorce yet we’re seperated he has told me he never loved me , He must of loved me at sometime to make our beautiful children, He was un happy he was happy enough to stay with me for 41 years Then he’s meets OW there just friends , just friends don’t go away for weekends together , declare there love , We have to live in the same home for financial reasons He wonders why I avoid him , why I stay in my room a lot He’s still seeing his Friend My Adult kids don’t see a problem with him having a girlfriend, it’s like he’s a teenager again , or he’s single a lot of , cake eating going on I cry a lot it’s only been 7 months I hear you never forget u just move on I have a hard time just getting up in the morning , I’m glad u all are moving on some of us haven’t were still in the hurting zone My husband needs weren’t being filled he didn’t love me either they say or do so much to have what they think they need , never mind they are throwing there marriage there life’s away for someone they hardly know the exsperaince there having now is what they had with us in the beginning of our relationship it’s nothing new , we just happen to actually get married stayed with them were loyal , honored our wedding vows , And look where it all ended for us Husband wanting something more I hope I get out one day for now suffering, thank god I can come here for help

    • Suffering still, what about your needs? Your needs are just as important as his perverted needs. I hope you can work through this devastating betrayal and get to a lawyer to file.

      I was with my military cheater for thirty-five years and married for thirty-three of those years. I can see now that he never was a good and faithful husband. I’ve had so many retroactive “AHA” moments. If I can file you can too. I wish I could drive you to the lawyer’s office.

      Your adult kids get no say here. Their viewpoint is secondary to yours. You deserve a husband not dating anyone but you. Anyone not supporting you through this betrayal has no place in your life. Yup, that includes those adult children who are willing to watch you suffer. I know you are suffering. I also know you have the power to change your life.

      Start collecting your documents and don’t tell anyone. Make copies and hide those copies. Be smarter than they think you are. You can do this. I bet they constantly underestimate you.

      Deep breath, take thoughtful action. If I can leave you can too.

      • It’s very hard to leave a long marriage. Yesterday was my 41st wedding anniversary. STBX is in the Philippines with his latest 3rd world child whore. I don’t miss him anymore. You do have many retroactive AHA moments once you get past the shock and eventually you don’t want him anymore. What he does is sickening, creepy, and just low class. Dare I saw white trash? But the future initially is pretty scary. Where am I going to live? Will I have enough money? How long do I have to work? I’m 63 but thankfully he always insisted that I have a career. So I have a good job and I can take care of myself. I always have. I was afraid of being alone but then I realized I always was. He was mostly gone flying around the world and I took care of everything from bills to house maintenance so I am ok. And I’m learning to enjoy just being me. Without his constant criticism and nastiness. I don’t want another man either. I dabbled with dating sites and it was just not for me.

        The world looks so much better to me now that I’m amazed. I feel happy and blessed, euphoric even. This is a new feeling for me and I’m praying that it lasts. I’ve still got to finalize things with him which will mean some contact which I dread. But for today I’m so happy I can barely believe it. It takes time but things do get better. I now believe everyone who says it’s wonderful on the other side. Infinite Possibilities.

  • Well, this past weekend my STBXH delighted me by informing me that he cheated because of the pain that he was in from our unhealthy relationship. He regrets that he did it. He knows he was a coward. He wishes that he had the courage to leave sooner. But, cheating is not who he is. It was just such an unhealthy relationship, and the pain drove him to act in ways that aren’t really who he is.

    Yet, he now has clarity that being with the OW has been the right thing for him because he has finally done something that makes him happy. She is a really good person who also suffered in her marriage (which imploded before she met my ex when she was caught cheating on her husband) that drove her to derail previously in her life. They are both damaged people who understand one another and can be their real selves with each other.

    Then, he had the audicity to tell me that the “cheating” wasn’t all that severe as they spent most of the time together just playing cards and being friends (I know this is bull as I’ve got all the emails printed from his secret email account that reveals it all. He doesn’t know I have this. I still keep it quiet).

    After I swallowed the vomit that came into my mouth, I let him have it. My closure is understanding that this moron will always be a lying idiot.

    • Optionnomore, I had an evil villain chuckle envisioning your STXH’s face when he finds out you have evidence of his betrayal. Do you live in an at-fault state? I most sincerely hope so. Cash out and never look back

      .

  • they gave themselves permission to cheat, chump lady is right. ex cant be bothered to tell me the truth. the ex liked ow who didnt want her own kids, she preferred my ex. ex didnt want her apparently. they actually deserve each other. he liked her ability to smoke crack, drink and stalk. she asked me to feel sorry for her. she can f… off

  • We were together 17 years. When my wife left, it was unexpected and painful. I loved her, trusted her and believed in our future. I’m a good man. I was a good dad (daughter is in college now). I was devoted, faithful, dependable, secure, responsible, mature, damn good husband!. But alas, none of that was relevant. She said, “I don’t love you anymore. I want to be single and I want a divorce.” When I asked, “why?”, she didn’t blame me, but said “I’ve changed. I’m not the same person I was and I never will be again.”

    It wasn’t until later that I uncovered her affair with a married coworker.

    That was 18 months ago. Today, I’m still trying to untangle the skiene, albeit with less fervor than before. I’d like to ask her questions; what happened, when and why, but I couldn’t/wouldn’t trust her answers. I will never have answers, and when I finally accept that, it will be my “closure”. In time…

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