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The Pollyanna Blameshift

When fuckwits are caught doing something they shouldn’t, there are only a few moves on the chessboard. Admit it. Deny it. Or blameshift it.

Although there is a certain elegance in just denying wrongdoing — It never happened! (aka gaslighting) — the more pernicious mindfuckery is blameshifting — Okay, it happened, but the real crime is that you’re upset about it.

Switch-o-change-o! The focus pivots from Bad Thing to the Pollyannas taking offense about it.

Why is this worse?

If you deny a Bad Thing, it’s still bad. I did NOT drown those kittens! still leaves room for the concept that drowning kittens is monstrous.

Compared to: Sure, I drown kittens. Everyone does it! You got a problem with that?

Now everything you thought you knew about hurting vulnerable, indefensible kittens is called into question. The entire underpinnings of our shared moral code are suspect.

But, but…! I thought there was a larger understanding that drowning kittens was Bad.

No. You’re just very sensitive.

We have a surplus kitten population. Are kittens really that special? Good people drown kittens all the time.

Who among us hasn’t recreationally drowned a kitten?

Don’t be a Pollyanna. This is the way the world works. Fluffy and Snowball are expendable.

It’s not drowning, it’s feline alluvial submersion.

You think you’re better than me, because you haven’t drown a kitten?

The sack was there, I had an urge, it meant nothing. It was just kitten drowning, it didn’t mean more than that. I didn’t even enjoy it.

The whole time I was drowning kittens, I was thinking of you.

Sometimes you just get stressed and need to drown some kittens.

Drowning kittens didn’t take that much time.

I work hard. Don’t I deserve to drown some kittens?

Joe drowns kittens and his wife is cool with it.

How about you drown kittens and let me watch?

***

Anyway, you get the idea. Fuckwits will blunder ahead and do their darnedest to convince everyone that Bad is Good and Good is Misunderstood and Nothing Really Matters Anyway. (Shhh! Except maintaining power and entitlement — oh hey, look! SQUIRREL!)

This mindfuck is deeply insidious. Because if values cannot be agreed upon, they cannot be defended. If we get fuzzy about drowning Fuzzy, then we’re unclear on the rules of engagement and consequences for Bad Things. That’s true for cheating on your partner, cheating on your taxes, cheating in an election, enriching yourself from ill-gotten gains, or throwing kittens in a sack and watching them sink to the bottom of a lake.

To call someone a “Pollyanna” is to say they’re too unsophisticated to understand the rules of engagement. It’s to call into question moral distinctions altogether. Only rubes get hung up these details. Do I really have to explain it to you? If you have to ask how the game is played, you’re not a player.

What to do if you’re on the receiving end of this mindfuck?

You disarm the Pollyanna blameshift by realizing its essential absurdity — if everyone does it, and it’s so totally okay, why was it a secret? Why go to great lengths to conceal this thing that is no big deal?

To spare you Pollyannas your sensitive snowflake feelings.

Yeah, but if we’re such a tiny minority, and that’s just the way it is, uh, why isn’t your right to drown kittens enshrined in law? Why isn’t everyone just openly flinging kittens into wells whenever they feel like it? Can I drown anything? Can I put you in a sack and drown you recreationally?

NO. THAT WOULD BE WRONG!

Oh. So you wouldn’t like this done to you?

HOW DARE YOU! 

Step into this sack.

NO!

(Scuffle….scuffle… )

(glub, glub)

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  • Perhaps the ‘Exit Affair’ falls under this category too. As in, minimise the cheating and wrong doing, instead focus on the shortcomings of the relationship.

    As in:
    Yeah I cheated. But I haven’t been happy for a long time / we haven’t been happy for a long time / we’re not right together / our relationship would have ended anyway / we’ll be much happier apart / it’s for the best etc etc etc

    I think this is another form of manipulation. You’re not allowed to react, get angry or upset about them cheating on you, because instead they’ve switched the focus to ending the relationship as if the affair never happened – they’ve sidestepped & minimised the affair and gaslighted you into thinking your relationship was ending anyway.

    You also feel stupid because you didn’t realise your relationship was ‘ending anyway’, so you focus on that, rather than the fact that you and your relationship have been fucked over by an affair.

    • This^^^^

      This is exactly what happened to me. With the added bonus of “we are best friends, we will be great coparenting because we love and respect each other and we will still celebrate holidays together.”

      It took me about 3 days to put my head around all of it then I kicked him out and went full force through the divorce process and grey rock. It was immensely helpful that I shared what was happening immediately with my closest girlfriends and family who helped me see through the mindfuckery.

      The result was 13 months later I was divorced, had 90% percent custody and more than half the assets. Cost a fortune in legal fees but was worth every penny! I’m close to Tuesday, not there yet, but everyday is easier. I decided to focus all my energy on divorcing him, the well being of my daughter and would leave my own untangling until after I accomplished those two things…working on that now. Best decision I ever made.

      And I can’t help but chuckle every time I have to see him as he is just so angry! He underestimated me and continues to do so…I see it as Divorce Survivor-I have to outwit, outlast and outplay him.

      Pollyanna, yes while I was married certainly, but once I found out…well, he learned the hard way that I am more than capable of being Wonder Woman.

      • I wish I had been mighty like you. I waited and pick me danced soooo long. You’re fortunate to have good friends and support.

        • Fearful&loathing:

          Looking back now I believe i was pick me dancing for about two years but didn’t know it…cheaters have an uncanny ability to make you feel like you need to do more when in reality you are doing everything. time and distance show you that.

          You are mighty. You are here. Try not to look back….its hard, but focusing on what you can do today, tomorrow and next week help you realize that you are mighty as hell.

          Time to change your screen name…you are not fearful! Cheaters are!

          • It’s that slow boil thing. The subconscious knows they are checking out and they have the ability to make you feel like they could do so much better than you. So you dance harder. Doesn’t do a bit of good just may prolong the inevitable. We should teach young people the minute someone makes you feel less than, doesn’t have to always be verbal abuse, you need to not continue to please but you also need to start “checking out” yourself.

            • I agree! No one should feel like they are “not enough” which is how I felt many times throughout my marriage.

            • After my ex-wife’s last affair she was the one that moved out because of my “volatile emotions”. Really?! Can anyone actually have stable emotions after discovering 3 years worth of cell phone backups graphically detailing that the person I was married to is absolutely nothing like who these backups displayed.

              I’m ashamed to say, during the separation I danced harder than I thought it was possible for me to do! Even after she moved back and we gave reconciliation a chance, I kept dancing like a mad man!

              A little ways in, I started realizing her remorse, which seemed very genuine while we were separated, was not genuine at all. I suspect this imitation remorse was just to keep me hopeful of change so she could continue the affair.

              Guess what happened whenever I stopped the pick me dance? She got angry at me! She told me that she thought I had changed, but after she moved back and I got what I wanted, then I went right back to the way I used to be.

              Uh, no. I didn’t go back to the way I used to be. I took back my self worth and she didn’t like that! I was supposed to stay a chump! Now cake was going to be much more work for her!

              • Yep, same here! Pick-me danced for almost 1,5 year. Then I said enough and went NC (after he confided in me about a ew GF!). Got a super angry email 4 days later saying “don’t be such a bitch and stop blocking me everywhere, you are 44, act like it!”

                Go figure…

              • She was looking to get angry for whatever perceived infraction. This is what they do…..look to pounce on anything they can use to justify the impending discard. It could be something as lame as “You added pepper to the stew and you know I hate pepper, you intentionally added pepper!” Of course this is more than likely the first time you were informed he/she hated pepper but that is beside the fact.

          • SoccerMom, this deeply resonates with me, thank you for naming it. For many years, probably 90% of our marriage, I felt I was in the cusp of being fired. Convinced if I did this or that better, adjusted my “unrealistic” expectations, tried harder, then he’d be more satsifsfied with me and our life. I gave up almost every last cell of my self, almost unrecognizable, but of course, it was never enough to make a difference. I see that now, 8-months post-D-day. Ouch.

            • This! Yes ClearView. To avoid being fired, after D Day, the pick me dance escalated to things like providing turndown service like a hotel (he actually requested this), turning off the lights before bed so he wouldn’t have to, making sure the toilet paper was quilted as the stuff I bought was inadequate, not frying bacon because he hated the smell, freshly grinding the coffee because he preferred it that way.

              Then after adding all this to my previously endless wife appliance tasks, he complains that I am not fun.

              • Yep mine was so difficult to please and ever evolving in his high maintenance demands, that I ran myself ragged as a household drudge. This was on top of working and raising the children alone. Then he had the nerve to make me feel inadequate in other ways “Way don’t you try to dress up before I get home?” Uh, maybe because after work I had to run get the stuff to make the complex meal you decided you wanted tonight on the spur of the moment, rushed home, made sure the children were studying quietly in their room, so as not to “overwhelm” you when you walked through the door, and began immediately prepping a meal that will take two hours. Yeah, your welcome. I don’t know why I didn’t manage to get out of office clothes and into something slinky in order to de-vein the shrimp you had to eat on an effin Tuesday night.

              • jojobee, I’m sorry that you did all that heavy-lifting only to be called out for not being fun. I’m sure you were having an absolute blast yourself, amiright?

              • I too went to foolish extremes to try to make our house this perfect spot he claimed would make him happy.

                Because HE wanted to move, we gave up our “plenty big” house in 2003 to move our 3 kids to a real estate market where the best we could afford was not big enough.

                As he spiraled downward deeper into abuse, his demands got worse and worse …he insister the house be perfect and if it wasnt, there was hell to pay. The washer/dryer were in a really awkward place so I worked hard to get the laundry finished and put away quickly as to not make a mess but he found a laundry basket awaiting a batch of almost dry clothes and he drop kicked it across the house.

                I had started a new job caring for dying children in med Dec and caring for our 3 lively kids and ALL the hullabaloo of Christmas and after Christmas dinner, I cleaned everything…the house was perfect…except for my personal desk. He came upon it and dumped everything on the floor to punish me for having clutter on my desk.

                I didnt realize how bad it was until I found myself feverishly scrubbing a bathroom floor at 11pm awaiting his return from a business trip because if the house didnt pass muster, there would be rage. He was probs fucking OW on his trip and came home ready to punish me for deserving to be betrayed.

                I knew he was fussy and cranky but I did not grasp how abusive it was.

              • Whoa, Wombat Mom! Are you Cheater #2’s first wife? Doubt it (first wife was a cheater too – long story). But you just described C#2 to a tee.

            • “On the cusp of being fired”. Damn, that’s a great description for what far too many of us went through. Sorry you went through that, but well done with the description.

              • Thanks for the commiseration and validation, Beard Boy, yes, I hate that any of us got bamboozled into sacrificing our energy and our selves, staying in a dead-end role because we thought it was a lifetime, all-in commitment. Such an inelegant metaphor, but lord, do I wish I’d just said, something along the lines of “take this job and shove it.”

        • Fearful &Loathing, I too wish I’d been mighty. I stayed for multiple D-Days. I pick-me-danced for 33 years. I hid in shame because I wasn’t enough for my STBX. I wasn’t able to keep my man out of strange, somehow I internalized that as my shame. I just knew I could fix him. I failed.

          I’m glad I failed. I failed at staying with an abusive man in a terrible one-sided marriage. Failing at this has been the best thing for me.

          We are out now and that is what matters. I am doing the hard work of fixing my picker. I am done blaming Thirtythreeyearsachump for his choices. I was a very good wife. Now I’m being very good to myself.

          Fearful & Loathing, you’ve got Chump Nation now. We are very good Virtual friends and an excellent support system. You are not alone.

      • A great match for you SoccerMom! I just **love** how you dealt with your ex’s “politically-correct-divorce” (= image management + no consequences) shit. Your are going to be just fine. Hugs

      • WHAT IN THE WORLD IS IT WITH THE ‘BEST FRIEND’ THING?

        He told me I was his best friend (?!!!)

        He thought the Craigslist Sole Mate and I WOULD BE FRIENDS SOMEDAY?!!!!

        I laughed derisively in his face and told him he was out of his mind.

        No, I am not friends with people who put knives in the backs of other people. I thought we were the M****l family, not the Manson Family.

        • Mine said something like that when we were at the bank closing out our joint account. The lady said she was somewhat surprised that we were able to sit in the same room together as most divorcing couples had to be seen separately. To which the Twat replied something along the lines that “we would always be friends”! When he turned his head away I stuck my finger down my throat in a gagging motion and she had to try to contain her giggles every time she looked at me after that!

        • Ahhh yes… I also got the you are my best friend line. My ex also got his “soulmate” off of Craigslist. And he is also sooooo sad that I refuse to be friends with Schmoopie.

          No, I’m not your best friend or any friend to you at all.
          No, she is not your soulmate. She’s a slut that answered your ad.
          No, hell will freeze over before I am friends with her.

        • Got the exact same line 2 weeks after the divorce , crocodile tears and all..I chuckeled and said “No F****** Way” , get back in your car an go back to where you came from…

        • VH,
          I got this too. Just another one of many examples of how they:

          • really do want it all and
          • really can’t get it
          because
          • really are disordered

          Mind boggling and one of the most unbelievable things to me is that the x led a double life for 30 years and I was clueless. His life is a whole lot simpler now in that he can lead the life of a predator without having to lie to his wife and children about it anymore….the life of a dirty old man. How pathetic and sad.

      • Give me a high five SoccerMum! Thank you!
        I fought my ex in a similar way and came out feeling I’d protected myself! The difference between you and me seems to be mindset!

        Mine totally underestimated me too; I am Wonder Woman; I outplayed him and he hated me for it! BUT I care about what he thinks! That’s my Pollyanna complex coming out isn’t it?
        I’m going to channel my inner Soccer Mum – you rock and should be so proud Xxxx

      • I related to this SOOOO much, Soccermom! My cheater is in absolute SHOCK that I would divorce him. He cannot comprehend that I have outplayed him.

      • Wait, you did all of this just three days after D-day or three days after he said he respected you? Either way, you are amazing! How long were you married? Can you tell us more of your story – I need some inspiration, as I feel paralyzed after finding out that my husband of 15 years had an affair for the last 3 and 1/2.

        Thank you!

    • Ah yes, the exit affair, I hate this term because whenever I read about what it means, it seems like the ultimate blameshift. The relationship was so bad that the fuckwit had to leave under the protection of an affair partner. (No mention of the series of affair partners he auditioned before he chose the one that would escort him out.)

      Yep, who knows how many kittens fuckwit drowned before he found the special kitten that justified everything. But wait, this one has 9 lives, I wonder which life it’s on? I guess I am not at meh.

      • What makes you think that just because he (or she, in my case) monkey-branched, that it’s more of an indictment of your relationship? Since my XW denied the affair very unconvincingly, I spent a long time asking myself (and my therapist) whether it was better to be left for someone, or for no one. In the former case, you’re being explicitly compared to someone else and found wanting; in the latter, you’re being told “I’d rather have no one than you”.

        I came to the conclusion that the exit affair – and AP – isn’t real, so it isn’t a real judgment on you and your marriage. It’s fantasy, fueled by lack of adult responsibilities and the thrill of the transgressive and the forbidden. (It also helps that I’ve since talked to AP’s now-XW, so I know that he wasn’t that great a husband, even apart from the whole cheating on his wife with my wife. They were, and still are, putting on an act for each other).

        • I think the idea that we are being “compared” is a red herring. The two points of the comparison are fundamentally not alike.

          The spouse is at the far end of the devaluation stage or fully at discard. The AP is in the lovebombing, overvaluation stage. It’s like comparing the lovely designer dress in the closet that you’ve worn a hundred times to the shiny new one in the store. We are not looking at some objective valuation or comparison; we are looking at how disordered people value things based on how much of what they can get has been “used up.”

      • I agree. I hate the “exit affair” term as well. It makes the cheater look or seem I don’t know, credible? Justified? Not sure but I am sure I don’t like the term.

    • Off the crazy train – this is exactly what happened to me as well! Thank you for describing it so eloquently. You’re so right that the ‘exit affair’ narrative is another form of manipulation, defined by a massive amount of side stepping and down playing. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Exactly that, you explained it perfectly. It’s really awful. And I danced the pick me dance for six weeks, and destroyed myself. The pain!

    • All affairs are exit affairs because there is no going back after they are exposed. There is just variations on how we free ourselves based on our family concerns , i.e. Children’s age and distribution of assets. It is devastating and at the same time important to take a surgical knife to the emotion. That person is a turncoat enemy who has intentionally harmed you and the children in the most intimate and crass way he/she can. There is no friendship to salvage. It is not a friendly negotiation. It must be viewed in that context in order to stay razor focused on ending with the most you can get out of the disaster that was your marriage/partnership – whatever that is important to you. Yep I’m completely jaded and hard ass. I gave too much of my wealth and heart and he stomped on it without a second thought. “buster flat..with a feeling just as faded as my jeans..freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” Sing it Janice. Hugs!

    • Yep. So true. I got this from my stbx too. He said were not right for each other. I missed that memo? That’s not what a marriage is. I am really seeing how sucky he is and I love that I don’t have to deal with the manipulation anymore. That whore gets all that sparkly shit. Maniacal laugh!

    • Yep! I got this all too, but worded differently in The Divorce Lettter >>>” But I haven’t been happy for a long time / we haven’t been happy for a long time / we’re not right together / our relationship would have ended anyway / we’ll be much happier apart / it’s for the best etc etc etc”.

      It was the biggest mindfuck, because his words went 100% against the day-to-day reality of our marriage and also everything he had been saying to me most of our 23 years together. The DAY BEFORE I caught him out on a date with a newly divorced whore, he said to me once again that I was his “best friend, soulmate, and woman of his dreams” and many other relationship affirming words. Two months later he described me as the worst person in the world. It’s no wonder I was so confused and depressed!

      Getting away brings clarity. All the times I was confused, I was being lied to and manipulated for his benefit.

      Confusion in a relationship is a big red flag for me now. If confusion arises again, I will run like the wind! I will not stay to try to “understand” the confusion. I now feel like have some Super Powers after being destroyed.

      • “All the times I was confused, I was being lied to and manipulated for his benefit.” Totally spot on. Thanks Martha

      • Martha, thank you for sharing this, I’m so, so sorry you had this experience, “his words went 100% against the day-to-day reality of our marriage and also everything he had been saying to me most of our 23 years together,” that feels soooo familiar. Endless examples of my own, the most salient one I keep coming back to was the Sunday morning of Thanksgiving weekend, 2018. Teens slept in, we were having coffee and reading the paper in bed, he says to me, “we have the best life, don’t we?” But by February, I’d learned that he’d been with his affair parter just five days before that Sunday morning, not to mention, many, many rendevouz’ months before and after. Lots of validations of our life–which, yes, aside from a whole bunch of extreme accomodations by me and my fawning personality was a rich, lovely, enviable life if I do say so myself–punctuated those months and years, too. I still can’t wrap my mind around how he could hold two such oppositional ideas and experiences at the same damn time. Insult-to-injury, I’m a coupes therapist, and still in my own life, it’s very hard to see clearly (inspite of my CN handle).

        • ClearView,

          I’m sorry you had the same experience too. 🙁 I know. It just doesn’t make sense how they can live two separate lives and we have no clue they are doing it! They can act 100% normal and seem to be happy and in love with us. Yet behind our back their hooking up with their schmoopie or potential schmoopie’s’ (my XH is a predator, always on the hunt for new supply). Maybe it’s a good thing we can’t understand them. (((hugs)))

          • Martha,

            I keep getting little snippets of memory of things said or done in the past that baffled me. Today’s snippet was a memory of something the x said when we were still dating. The gist of the comment was that women weren’t trustable or something of that nature. All I can really remember was that it was derogatory and it related to women.

            The statement stuck out because all the women I knew were really remarkable women who had strong values and had achieved a lot in their lives – having overcome various challenges they had each faced.

            Well, today I realized that statement came from the fact that the women he ‘knew’ were shallow and duplicitous – women who were just looking for casual sex because that is what he did and still does. (He is a serial cheater and at it for the 3 decades we were married – unbeknownst to me of course….)

            Like you I find it shocking that someone can lead a double life so casually. That is still hard for me to comprehend fully but reading here and NC are slowly bring me around.

            Thanks for sharing.

    • The Dickhead was so shut off from as soon as he filed (I made him do it and pay for it) that he didn’t want to talk about anything because “I’m not going down memory lane”. Eighteen years of marriage and I had no right, in his eyes, to ask any questions and he felt no compunction to answer anything. My pain and misunderstanding meant nothing to him, and that was that.

      I’ve realized now, 18 months later, that my whole marriage was like this. I spent those years in the dark never understanding why he did or said the things he did. Now I know that he’s is and always has been a fuckwit.

    • Yes, the good ol’ exit affair – when things eventually came out (late 2017) it was “Oh, we had too much to drink that night” – seriously? They are in their early 60s, not young teenagers! (& it wasn’t just one night!) then “well, in my mind our marriage was over” – it would have been nice if he had actually ended it with me before hooking up, but whatever. The continual lies and huge breach of trust helped me in the end – it hurt terribly, and I certainly cried my rivers (mainly alone – did anyone else howl in the shower?), but it all made it very clear that he did indeed suck and I was vastly better without him. I am rarely teary now – most often triggered by others’ kindnesses to me.

      AND – The lies still continue via OW: “We left [small town] because, well, Quietly Meh has a good support structure there”. [implied “so kind of us to leave our dear friends for poor Quietly Meh’s sake”] You have to laugh – heard that she had long wanted to move away, and I think both of them might have wanted to escape the disapproval that they seemed surprised about!

      Not my circus, but I occasionally hear things and am glad ex isn’t my monkey anymore.

    • I see my story in so many others comments, I literally had no clue, 26 years together, I wish I’d left years ago when he was texting his ‘soulmate’ ……So I got text text after yet another of his weekends away to ‘beautiful’ never said that to me in 26 years….ofcourse denied everthing, left 3 weeks later blaming me & our adult kids, he moved back due to financial reasons, spare room 7.5 months later, I stated divorce proceedings but dancing the pick me song, I recently found proof on the family computer after finding his sat nav was linked to it when he left…..he denies sex but he was turning up at 1am at hers till 3.30am bootycall, he thinks I’m as stupid as him…just want him gone & out of our lives but hes dragging his feet filling in his paperwork……

  • I wasn’t subjected to the Pollyanna blameshift. Instead, to use another literary allusion, I got the Captain Ahab blameshift. I was constantly accused of being the grudge holding bitch, unable to forgive, always looking back at the past, unable to move on, etc. while he, poor Moby the Minnow Dick would have to spend eternity trying to avoid my harpoon of shame. It wasn’t all those years of him screwing strange that was to blame. Oh no, it was my inability to forget what he had done that was the REAL problem. 🙄

    In hindsight he was partially correct. I haven’t forgotten any of the hard fought lessons I learned from marriage with an abusive cheating fuckwit but I have forgotten how to love one. He’s not my great white whale anymore.

    • Beth mine was the same. Apparently I had a “little black book” of all his wrongdoings. Those wrongdoings would be more related to the beatings he gave me rather than the infidelity – that started later. I used to say “no, I have a good memory, not a little black book”. But God forbid I ever prove him wrong!!!! That was worse than anything. Dickhead. Uuuurrrggggghhhhh I’m SOOOOOOOOOO glad he’s gone!

    • A whale of an allusion, Beth!

      Harpoon of shame, indeed…. In hindsight I know that all of the criticism I got boiled down to the fact that I was making Sparkledick feel guilty. And the poor sad sausage thought he did not deserve to feel guilty.

      When I think about how much time I wasted trying to understand what I was doing wrong, I want to scream.

      • ClearWater,
        Yeah, I think that some of our ex-partners got mad at us for ‘making’ them feel guilty. My last partner (boyfriend) told me when he discarded me the last and final time, ‘I felt guilty for a couple of weeks, but I’m getting over it.’ Why tell me this? To make me feel worse? To make me feel as though I didn’t matter–after 30 years of ‘friendship?’ He added, ‘I might be alone for the rest of my life!’ He had already started seeing the young work subordinate for whom he discarded me and is now his wife. I am the one who is alone (probably for the rest of my life), yet he seemed to want ME to feel sorry for HIM. Well, he got everything he wanted with his executive life, new wife, probably a baby (now that he is 50), house on the hill. Now he can forget about all the exes, including me, he’s hurt with lies, insults, invalidating remarks, comments indicative of attempts at inappropriate control or attempts to offend his partner, including me, enough to get me to leave instead of just a direct ‘compassionate’ discard of me once he acknowledged to himself that he was ‘done’ with me. He never wanted to look like ‘the bad guy.’ Cowardly covert narcs–that’s how they roll.

    • “Moby the Minnow Dick”

      LOL – I snorted coffee all over a keyboard!

      So, did he…ahhh, ummm… also have to clear his blowhole more frequently than the other whales? Nothing like a minnow dick with premature ejaculation issues and no imagination to make your life even less pleasurable.

  • Devastated- still don’t know what is true 18 months on. Blamed for not enough passion – ‘I think there’s someone better out there for me’
    That’s not what I thought our vows meant…..
    Denied an affair. Despite the texts in her phone. What can I do apart from trust that they suck….. Very difficult when the person they told you they were turns into a vicious hissing cat – that’s my overriding memory ☹️

    • Yes this gets me in the feels! Sometimes wondering if you did the right thing, was it all that bad? I love your screen name – that’s the bottom line for me. He was dishonest and broke important promises. So after that, can’t trust anything he says about anything.

      • I guess I’m a chump because I was sooooo naive to think that the vows might mean something to her.
        I just still cannot quite comprehend it.
        “I’m not doing what society dictates I should do and stay in a loveless marriage” – pretty sure it wasn’t loveless until you decided to f*ck someone else or plan it or whatever you did….. Fifty texts a day EACH between you for three months – I don’t think I’ve ever texted ANYONE fifty times a day! That’s one every fifteen minutes for a solid day – I have to work and adult a little.
        And then when I pick me danced supremely for six months and turned up ONCE at your place of work with flowers only to have you scream at me and sent a text a day for a month containing traditional marriage advice about how marriages require work and how it wasn’t worth throwing it all away you had the police come and interview me under caution, saying a text a day was ‘obsessive and weird’ and texted that to ALL of our friends….. Really? I mean REALLY?!?
        Perhaps if you had admitted you cheated then I wouldn’t have bothered trying to save our marriage.
        I have to admit I wasn’t too bothered about the police on a moral level as this was exactly what YOU made me do to your previous boyfriend – I have now apologised to your previous boyfriend. “United in Chumpdom” I think the phrase should be…..
        I just don’t like the way you’ve drawn me into your cheap drama of a life…..

        • And how it has tainted my life with your disgusting beliefs…..
          Oh crap it seems like I’m on a roll here…..
          There’s so much more – I could do this all day but I think everyone must get the picture ☹️ The betrayal sent me absolutely loopy for a good year….. Now coming to realise that maybe you were a no good skank and you deceived me….

          • To quote Linda Ronstadt, “Now I see how you really are. You’re no good, you’re no good, YOU’RE NO GOOD!”

          • Now is the time (past the time, actually) for you to go No Contact. Do not go checking out fb pages, etc. No texting, emails, phone calls, no messages from friends or family.

            This is the only way you can heal from her betrayal. And if you MUST communicate, keep it civil and “customer service” bland. “Yes”, “No”, “Bummer”.

            You will heal, but it can take a while.

          • Just let it out, we’re here to listen.
            You’ve said enough for us to be able to tell you there was nothing you could do to make her act any better. She’s a liar and a cheater and files false complaints to the police and has a history of lying and cheating and falsifying reports. Hopefully some of your friends can see through her bullshit. If not, we do!
            If anything, the next chump in her orbit is going to have it worse, because I think these people learn something new every time around.

          • Been that exact same place… took back my testicles and blew her off after months on the hopium pipe..it takes time , but it comes..

    • SLAAM,
      Yes, and if I had gotten divorced in 1988, I could have said the very same thing but I fell for his lies and stuck around for 25 more years of it. I have to admit to myself that if he had been caught and we split after 18 months, I would not have had the truth then any more than I have it now.

      When trying to get him to tell me the truth, I told him that putting the unknown behind you is like trying to keep smoke locked behind an old broken door…it leaks out and comes back and still bothers you. My wonderful simile did nothing to motivate him to actually tell me the truth…it was much bigger and uglier than I might have ever guessed and I will never know it.

      So sorry you are here. Heal and live.

      • From my personal experience, and knowing how hard it is and how much it hurts, you can only accept and believe the person she now has shown you she is. The person you thought you knew, the person you loved and had a life with, was a lie. It took me forever to accept that, but it was true and that is when I was able to let go.

        • Well put.

          WHY they did it isn’t important. THAT they did it…is.

          If they vowed to not cheat, and then they cheated, then you have all the information you need to know. Which is, they do not think they have to live by the vows.

          You are either ok with that or not. If you are not ok with it, then no reason for why they did it should matter.

          I think the reason we ask for the reason why they did it is because we truly feel it was our fault they did it. We bought into the narrative that they don’t have responsibility for their own actions.

          This is bullshit. Every one of us has the responsibility to choose our actions.

          • KH73,

            ‘We bought into the narrative that they don’t have to be responsible for their own actions.’

            Beautifully put. I sure fell for taking on that twisted thinking early on in our relationship and speckled for so many years I could have speckled every wall in every house in a small country.

            I still can’t believe I fell for it now because it all has become so obviously blatant since Dday and finding LACFAL after doing the RIC pick-me-polka for a good year and longer before going NC.

            If it weren’t for Tracy, I still wouldn’t be seeing half of the manipulations he pulled and still does pull when we have had contact.

            Today’s post is one such example. As a friend put it to me years ago, “I know what NOT to do; I just don’t know WHAT to do.”

            That is what I have felt for 2 years now. I know things said and done have intrinsically been gaslighting and blame shifting but I have been at a loss as to how to turn around the hidden accusations. Now I am stocking up with responses in the event I need them in the future with anyone who try’s to pull the wool over my eyes.

            Thanks for posting what you have today.

          • Yes- this is it exactly! I am dealing with this now, and struggling with this precise thing/emotion. Trying not to find out the “ why” that will never come.

    • It takes two to create passion. If one spouse is prioritizing creating an adolescent crush on somebody else, surprise surprise! They discover they have no “passion” for the spouse. Well, it must be YOUR fault, then. It can’t possibly be hers. Besides, by “passion” she really means “new, therefore more exciting”. Of all the things you can be, you can’t possibly be new. So that’s how they deliberately set you up to fail, by making shiny and new the standard you must meet in order to keep them. Then they try to convince you it’s a personal failing on your part when you can’t.
      She’s a bitch. That’s all.

      • Well said and very accurate chumpupthevolume. And we all know new gets old and shiny gets dull then she’ll be right back where she started, perpetually unhappy. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

        • Exactly. They’re vapid losers with no soul. They’ll never know happiness. All they get is fleeting pleasure, always at somebody else’s expense because a big part of the pleasure is in being transgressive and sadistic. Fuck ’em all.

          • Yes!!!! I have to say, your blog and words of wisdom have helped me through some dark times this past month. Thank you- helped me call out his bullshit and blame shifting!

      • Yes!!!! I have to say, your blog and words of wisdom have helped me through some dark times this past month. Thank you- helped me call out his bullshit and blame shifting!

    • SLAAM,

      I’m sorry to say this, but a lot of people don’t take their marriage vows seriously. I don’t have stats on it, but the high volume at Chump Lady proves it. Sadly for some brides it’s a Kibble Fest Day. All the attention on the Beautiful Bride. I have seen my share of brides who were “all about them” on “their special day” who turned out to be cheaters.

      I’m sorry that you married a cheater. 🙁 Stick with us and un-mindfuck yourself. If you haven’t already — read every single blog by Chump Lady. And if you have time, read every single Chump Nation response. You did nothing wrong and your bridzilla has said all the words from The Cheaters Handbook.

      18 months out is okay. We all heal on our own time. Stay single until you can see her for who she is and work on yourself until your picker is fixed, ((Hugs))

  • As usual so well said. I got my head stuck in that whirlpool of logic. Trying to explain how wrong all this was and I get “see, you don’t want to be with me. I cheat.” And “I had figured we go out separate ways after the kids graduated high school.” He even went so far as to somehow convince my 15 and 17 y.o that he was “going to tell me about her anyway in a few years” leaving me to try to re-teach morals to my children. To my outrage at having moved and given up my career for his while he was already with her, I got “it’s better here”, “you hated that job” (I didn’t-I merely found it difficult with all his traveling) and “why would you give up your career for someone else. Who does that?” Um….a lot of people…I totally missed that part of our wedding vows when we agreed to make life decisions individually. And “ why do you want to be with me anyway?” I don’t -you kitten-drowning narcissist. If I’d known you were drowning kittens, I wouldn’t have moved or given up my career. I am angry that you were drowning kittens and I am angry you hid the bodies. And I don’t understand why your mother suddenly thinks kitten drowning is ok as long everyone folds their towels neatly, says please and doesn’t fucking swear.

    • I couldn’t agree more. Why does everyone in the family and friends move on and say “so, he drowned kittens, leave the past in the past”. My children even get on board with this thinking. Basically you can hurt a person with lies, deceit and blameshifting and everyone around you thinks you need to forget and move on. I don’t understand, it’s so hurtful all around. Xoxo

      • Our culture has collectively decided that it is easier to let bad people be abusive and make good people go along with it than to try to punish evil. Good people are generally more compliant.

        • Well said jojoba and mitz. The silver lining is I am starting to appreciate my own goodness. I have many flaws, but dishonesty isn’t one of them.

        • Yes. That’s been exactly my experience in the RIC: appealing to me, the chump, to have empathy, since obviously if the relationship is going to survive, it’s better to appeal to the non-disordered person. It’s so inconvenient that I kept asking, over and over, to address the real problem. (Not communication, not “attachment styles,” etc.) Smh…

      • ^^^
        Absolutely this! “My children even get on board with it.”

        I am struggling so much with this aspect right now. What are we teaching our kids by them Happily staying in contact with the person who destroyed our lives? It devastates me that they still like my ex h. It feels like another betrayal, but one that I have to condone because it’s apparently good for them!

    • My XW tried to justify why she kept all her affairs secret by saying “I was going to tell you after the kids were grown.” She also convinced my kids that she was going to eventually tell me in a few years because she didn’t want a divorce to affect my relationship with them as teenagers. Crazy. THAT was the first domino of my righteous anger toward her. I would file 3 1/2 weeks after DDay. I have NO idea how many kittens were drowned except there was “many” over the years.

      • My ex was also planning her new life for months before I confronted her with evidence gathered and insisted she move out. She decided to wait until my daughters (her step-children) turned 18 (royally ruining not only their special birthday but also their high school graduation) so that I “wouldn’t keep her from having a relationship with them.” She claimed she had to cheat and hide it (unsuccessfully) because I would have “thrown a fit” and kept her from the “kids.” This was just one of many tactics used to blame me for her behavior and continue denying responsibility for destroying our family.

    • I also moved for my XW’s career – just a couple of months before DDay. Afterwards, I mentioned to her that I regretted agreeing to move, because I’d only agreed to it because it was much better for her (though worse for me and the kids). She gave me a completely blank look of utter incomprehension. It turns out that the idea that I would choose something for her sake, even though it wasn’t great for me, simply didn’t compute for her. She couldn’t wrap her head around it, or around the idea that now that we were divorcing the calculus would change.

      Actually, she *still* doesn’t get that last part. She still regularly complains to me that I don’t support her career (by agreeing to all the custody changes she wants so she can travel for work, and to spend time with her “new family”).

      • It IS all about them, without noting the cost on their family. Trust they suck and stay the sane, kind parent for your kids.

  • It wasn’t secret keeping but this is very much like how Rhys tried to convince me to sleep with him- “Vulcan, statistically it’s not normal that a girl your age is a virgin!” I was all of 22 when he said this. My view on it was statistics be damned, I wasn’t ready. Looking back I net he wanted the feather in his cap of being my first, and I’m so fucking glad that he wasn’t.

  • Hey, She Lied – Just because you’re 18 months into this heartbreak doesn’t mean you’re through it, past it, over it so don’t beat yourself up about that. There’s no timeline for grief, heartbreak and devastation. THEY like to believe there is and so do the people around them (family, friends, etc) who just want you to get over it bc the feelings THEY’re having towards your Fucktwit are bothersome and upsetting. Not YOURS – THEIRS. So cut that out right now. I’m into my 6th yr of heartbreak. I don’t cry as much as I used to and am better able to function but, 40 yrs with the same person only to find out that for 5 of those yrs he was fucking a white trash alcoholic – traipsing around her family, friends, his colleagues and a community will make you a little upset. Go figure. I got “we were a mess.” Oh reeeally? And THIS is how you fixed that “mess?” The only thing “true” about her is that there IS something “better” for her – and she should go find it because hanging onto you until she does ain’t it. That “cat” is only vicious because she has to face the fact that she’s a total asshole for having no morals, ethics, character or integrity and breaking your heart. So – she should go find something “better.” She can’t have it both ways – she broke the #1 rule – I won’t fuck someone else. There’s no going back from that. Love doesn’t mean shit once the trust is broken. Karma comes around, dude…you just have to be patient bc she takes her own sweet time. Truth is – there’s something better for YOU out there – and you deserve to find it and not be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life.

  • I got this. The but-we’re-just-good-friends, don’t you want me to have friends (but no she can’t be YOUR friend, she’s MINE), why shouldn’t I spend hours alone with her at her caravan, you’re so small-minded Artist! It was only when I heard the “If I go a day without seeing her I feel like my right hand is cut off!” slip-up that I realised how serious it was and had a hook to hang my discomfort on. After that the dishonesty kicked in and 4 tortuous wreckonciliation months later he left, but only after he got the “It’s her or me” ultimatum. So glad that’s behind me.

  • “Now everything you thought you knew… is called into question.”

    That’s been the hardest part for me to process going forward. Because Ex still puts out an interpretation of events that’s “it’s so sad that we parted, and it’s unfortunate it happened the way it did but it’s just one of those things. It just happens. It was nobody’s fault” and so many friends want to buy into this because they don’t want to pick sides.

    Even if rationally you know this is finding ways to avoid consequences, it still creeps into your bones. And the problem is, even though I feel confident now my picker is fixed, I find myself thinking “what’s the point?” Love was always about commitment for me: two people coming together to face life’s struggles as a team. Sure, no-one should put up with abuse or any power imbalance, but the whole Elizabeth Gilbert notion that love should be a constant source of kibbles and if you just want to throw someone under a bus then that’s okay because you only live once just makes a mockery of everything I thought was sacred about love. I find myself unable to summon any enthusiasm for coupling with anyone at all. And that makes me sad.

    • I’ve been really struggling with this alot the last couple of weeks. Not just about relationships but everything. Why am I doing anything?
      And for now, I just try to remember this is part of the grief cycle and it will improve.
      And, not be cheesy, because the past doesnt dictate the future and anything is possible tomorrow. Hang in there with me friend.

    • I try to counteract this sentiment by firmly choosing sides with cheating couples. I have developed a zero tolerance policy now. I’ve lost two friends who wanted to believe that cheating happens because of true love and really couldn’t stand that I didn’t agree so I have just quietly bowed out of those friendships.

      • I did the same. Friend of mine was letting her husband live in the house with her, while she slept around. When I final6had enough of her stories and told her to get a divorce, her response was…”I need his paycheck and I don’t want to leave MY house”.

        Stupid shit cheaters say? And do?

        No longer friends with her. Bye!

      • Zero tolerance for any cheaters now as well. Even if they have the best reasons there are to leave the marriage, there is a right way, an adult way, a humane way to do it. Cheating is not the way.

    • This is what scares me about dating again. I thought my ex was committed. I never doubted that he would be there for me as I would be for him. But when life became hard, he went Elizabeth Gilbert on me. I’ve worked on my picker but I’m afraid I won’t be able to fully trust again.

      • I hate to admit that I KNEW my ex couldn’t be fully trusted when I committed to our relationship. I was aware that my picker was broken after my first marriage ended, and I didn’t do the work I needed to at the time to avoid falling into the same traps. It’s been four years since I first got proof of her “exit affair” in September 2015, and I pick-me danced until the following March. She then moved out of our home on April Fool’s Day. I was never naive, but I am definitely no longer a fool. I feel way too young to never be in an intimate relationship again, and I yearn for genuine companionship, but I don’t feel like I’ll ever be able to be vulnerable with someone again, either.

        • When you fall in love again, it will be different. It won’t feel the same. Your heart will be a little more closed.

          But I look at it this way, my heart was wide open before, and I was dumb with it. I lent it to an idiot who bruised it and broke it and left it worse for wear. I blindly trusted, and I’ll never make that mistake again. That’s a good thing.

          Do I sometimes miss that innocent, stupid, intense love? Sure. I miss it in the way I miss smoking cigarettes. I had to quit both because they were slowly killing me, and I’ll never go back.

      • Erica…I hear you on this. There were no signs that my ex would ever become like this when we married. Looking back now, I realize he is emotionally immature and believes infatuation is love. But, no one ever guessed he would end up like this. Unfortunately, this has given him some ammunition to claim that cheating is not really who he is became. He just acted that way because of how unhealthy the marriage was. He was driven to it, and he would never be that way again now that he’s out of those circumstances. Grrrr.

        • OptionNoMore, this sounds so familiar. My ex could never accept that the infatuation stage of a relationship ends. He blamed me for not making him feel like he did in the beginning our relationship. He will always be in pursuit of that high and will cycle through superficial relationships until the day he dies.

          I have learned that it was never about me. I was an imperfect partner, however, my therapist told me that I could have done everything perfectly and still would have ended up in the same place. He cheated because he felt entitled to the high. I trust that he sucks.

    • Years ago I could only get thru about 60 pages of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book before I chucked it. Fast forward to now, my husband has left me and our 2 kids for his married coworker who happens to have 3 kids. Ironically her Facebook page lists Eat Pray Love as a like. Puke.

  • Learning about Cluster B disorders is expensive AND extremely painful. These horrible creatures cause so much damage all around and for a while they look like good neighbors, great hubs with new Schmoopy while she raises your children. X brainwashed the children and taught them that mothers are expendable. All after erasing every good memories they ever had of me. I’ve not seen my boys for going on two years now. And this is a very common tactic for Cluster B’s.
    If there is a God in Heaven this idiot will burn for eternity.

    • Hi hope he’s burning in hell NarcFree. I believe your children will come around. I spent a painful 18 months with my teenage daughter blaming me, which I simply couldn’t understand. She ended up in a mental health program at 18 (which I covered with my health insurance and copays because Disney dad didn’t think she needed therapy for her eating disorder and substance use issues). Apparently in group therapy with a lot of women of all ages, she was called out by a 35-year-old former chump when she complained about how her mom was handling the divorce, who apparently said “Did she kill him? Because if she didn’t, she’s handling it well.” I was invited to a therapy session with her and her personal therapist and we discussed the entire way the demise of the marriage had played out during the summer before her senior year in high school. She apologized for the way she treated me. And I apologized for not doing a better job holding everything in. We are good now. She sees her dad but has drawn a clear line for herself of where her morals stand. She’s back in college and remembering how much she loves multivariable calculus. I think they eventually come around. Hugs.

    • Yes, learning about Cluster B’s is expensive and time-consuming. And now useful, maybe in all areas of life. Now I see how unbelievably corrupt my birth family is: dad, stepmom, stepdad, aunt, and more, but just to kind of sad to continue listing —

      Now I know better how to deal with the low-empathy, back-biting, power-seeker at work or in the Faith community: only the bare-minimum courtesy (grey rock), tell authorities at every lie or misleading statement, I have the skill to speak to authorities about a character disordered person, I know how to stay calm in the face of their assaults, and I know their channels (rage, charm, self-pity).

      Yes, it was expensive and time-consuming. Not all people are good, Not all people even want to be good, but all people want to appear good — so now we have the secret decoder ring: we can tell who the assholes are! Asshole alert! Incoming asshole!

  • My ex, said, all men cheat, I’m sure they don’t. His ow used to treat me like shit, probably the same as she treated her kids. Apparently I’m not boring, so they must have discussed how boring I am. They are both alcoholics, drug addicts. She used drugs/alcohol while pregnant.
    Strangely I would rather be boring then addicted.
    He asked me to feel sorry for her.

  • I got this Pollyanna bull-shite too. “Don’t be so naive, lots of people cheat”, and “it just happens, I didn’t really think about it.” Then this gem for the family,”people get divorced all the time; kids are resilient “. Douche

    • The human body’s resilient too. Break a leg and, in time, if you treat it right it’ll heal and behave as if the break had never happened. Doesn’t mean deliberately kneecapping someone is all fine and dandy though. Muppets.

    • I got all that. And a very special flavor of blameshift: “you call me a cheater but the real lie would have been to stay together when there is no love anymore”. Also “if you think I’m a lier why talk to me?”. Also, “the affair was only a consequence”, and “it took place because the slot was unocciped” (apparently from my X’s therapist…), and, perhaps the best “I did not disrespect you, in fact I told you about the affair out of respect”. Solid gold.

      What I never heard is “please forgive me”. But what did I expect, it was all my fault in the first place.

  • Well i got a full admission & the blame shift .

    Yes i am fucking about with howorker – what about it !! I am not going to stop either

    BUT

    Its your fault because you went to the cinema that broke me .

    I must really have broke him as he that’s 7 months now & never seen or heard from him since 🙂 I rock no contact !!!

    • Karenb6972, I’ve had exactly one text message from STBX in the six months since I left . The text demanded I sign away my rights to any support. I left and he has made zero effort to communicate with me. That is how much the past thirty-six years meant to him. That defines how much he loved me.

      I’m proud because I didn’t respond to the text. I just sent a screen shot to my lawyer. He was never my friend. He is dead to me. I need to have an Elderly Chump style funeral for him. No since leaving him figuratively lying around stinking up the place. He did enough of that pre DDay.

      So like you, I rock at No Contact. Let’s keep it that way!!!!

  • When my ex-wife and I were still dating she cheated with a guy that “aggressively pursued” her. Of course, she lied and said it was “just a kiss that she didn’t stop in time”! I realize later that she only told me this because she wanted to be able to date other men (him specifically). After we were married, she justified contact with him by saying “we’re just friends” and “I’m not contacting him, he’s contacting me and I can’t be rude and not respond”!

    Then the actual affair (still not sure if anything happened with the other guy) happened shortly after with another man. Again he was the one that “aggressively pursued” her. That one ended with him committing suicide because his wife was going to leave him even though she didn’t have any proof. My ex-wife wanted to tell me the truth, but couldn’t because she “still loved me and knew how much it would hurt”. Besides, he was gone and she could go back to “making the marriage work”!!!

    The last physical one and emotional one was because she felt like I “didn’t love me anymore”.

    Out of all of these her excuse was “I never went looking for an affair”. Well, gee…you saw one coming up the driveway, heard it knock on the door, opened the door, and greeted it warmly each and every time!

    I didn’t go looking for an affair, but I definitely saw some of them being a possible future of certain interactions. When I had concerns, I told her about it and stopped having anything to do with those women. Why couldn’t she do that? I guess the taste of kibbles was too delicious for her.

    • *Edit

      That didn’t sound right!

      I didn’t go looking for an affair, but certain interactions with women definitely hinted that it could possibly happen in the future.

    • Her AP committed suicide and she went back for more affairs after that? That is deranged.

      I hope you are 100% no contact, this woman sounds like a hurricane.

  • I got a variety of *cough* explanations from Asshat- starting with “it just happened!!!”

    What are you, five years old?

    “This doesn’t affect YOU, Katiedidn’t!!!”

    Um. Yeah. It totally does.

    Then, the real kicker: “I never vowed to be faithful. It wasn’t in our marriage vows!”

    That last one was news to the clergyman who married us.

  • I also got the fuzzies about drowning Fuzzy:
    I discovered sparkledick had made a consigned loan on MY salary (I had a joint account with him, but he refused to have his salary paid to a joint account with me; to give CN an idea what a chump I was, I was married to sparkles for 40 years).

    After denying several times that he had made the loan, I questioned my HR and bank manager, then I got mad at my bank manager and so left the bank humiliated when he told me the identity of the person who had made the loan…. Sparkles said it was MY FAULT because I never looked at a checking account balance.

    BTW, I have a niece who works in a bank. she says this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME.
    And guess why sparkles need this loan….

    To end this story, sparkles also told the judge in our divorce that “it is natural to have extramarital affairs”. I guess he thought he would win the judge because I was suing him for moral damages.

  • When my DH ex would admit it he would turn himself into the victim, “Sure I did it, kitty scratched me FOR NO REASON! She had to be put down! Who do you love more, me or kitty!?”

  • Blame-shifting encompasses a lot of tactics, all of which have the effect of making the chump the one at fault, and encouraging the chump to see/believe that s/he is at fault. I got minimizing (“It was only once!”) and false equivalence (“What I did was no worse than what you did!”–except it wasn’t the same at all, so that was gaslighting, too). In every case, the intention is to turn the light of shame onto the chump, who, by virtue of either being a trusting person or having been conditioned by the family of origin or the cheater, is disposed to begin blaming her/himself.
    I suspect that cheaters tailor the tactic to their own disorder and to their assessment of which works better on us. Or they simply cycle through them all, looking for which one works.

  • When I was in the stage where I knew he had a relationship (he still denied sex but I knew something happmeed) he clearly said that he loved her and not me and he was making a final decision (me pick-me dancing) but he was leaning towards leaving me and kids to move to Seattle to make a life with Susan….

    he said of the affair, absence of love for wife and impending abandonment of marriage and children:

    “It is not a big deal, it happens all the time”

    I responded “Ax murder happens all the time, that doesn’t make it not a big deal”

  • Cheaters always seem to use the “Our relationship wasn’t working…” as part of their DDay defense.
    How can a relationship work that is being sabotaged by one of the partners the whole time?!

  • My favourite line is “we grew apart”
    How do two people nurture a marriage and “grow together” if one of them never stopped dating other people behind the spouse’s back? And if that cheater constantly harped about how it would hurt so much if the spouse appliance cheated on them?
    That takes disrespect and entitlement to a new level.

    • Yep. Same with mine. He cheated constantly over 20 years from the very first date but tries to rationalise his antics. I have had enough. The guy doesn’t have a shred of emotional maturity or moral grounding

      • Yes, I had to hear this same song and dance. Then “I was trying for 16 years”-we were married for 17 so I’m not sure if it was that the first year was effortless or he was admitting to have stopped trying for the last year. During the pick-me dance, his mother came to visit, walking in on the end of our marriage. She told me that we “both made big mistakes and it’s time to move on” and “madkatie63, he had to work!” when he gave her his same line about working on the marriage for 16 years and I responded “But you were never here-you were always traveling.” Ex narcissist-enabling MIL was being “very kind to me” (her words to her daughter) by continuing to visit and when I finally told her to perhaps “stay with her son” she became angry and I finally lost it and told her that I had never cheated, lied, and destroyed someone’s life for my own sexual pleasure but her son did that to me and I was insulted to be accused of behaving in an equivalent fashion and that I had seen taking her line about “he had to work” for the past 10 years of her marriage on the rare occasions when I protested his absence at major family events and finished with “when are you going to understand that he was not working all the time–he was having sex with another women.” And when she gave me her shocked pursed lip look of horror that she reserves for the crass people of the world, I told her that two married people with children lying to their spouses and bosses so they could slip away for weeks of sex-filled hedonism broke my rules of etiquette and that I understood neatly folded towels, table manners and thank you notes were important rules for her gut I would have expected that the other action would be something she eschewed. She has not spoken to me since.

        • Good for you, madkatie63. Just taking out the garbage. No room in your life for her brand of toxic behavior. No room for fuckwits and the mindfuckery.

          I’m so tired of the pretend as if everything is just fine bullshit. I won’t do it anymore. I will live a truthful life.

          You did great to show her the door.

        • Funny how some of the friends or relatives think it’s okay for their buddy/family member to screw around on their spouse because (whole list of useless and stupid reasons).
          Oh yeah, it’s similar to this scenario ” my brother stole some cash from somebody but they left it out in the open, they deserved it etc….”
          Story changes a bit when “my dead to me brother stole money from me……..how dare he”
          Makes me wish x got caught schtupping one of his SILs (neither one is indecent or stupid enough). See how much baby bro sings your praises once you’ve boinked his wife.

          • excellent example of DARVO technique used by these .. people. That’s Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender.

  • When I first found out about my ex and my cousin. He denied it. Said he was only friends on Facebook with her. Yes, they texted each other. They only teased each other because she was a Cowboys fan and he was an Eagles fan. Yes, he saw her a few times. She needed her car worked on and she got him other cars to work on. When I showed him a picture that I got off of Facebook of her at her surprize birthday party. And I reminded him that he told me he was going to Bill’s party. He pretended that he did no recall going to the party. When I showed him 2 years of phone records with them texting or talking at least 20 times a day. He said that his phone always sends or gets the same text 10 times over. Even after I spoke with Skankella’s daughter. He still denied it and called her crazy. After pushing the issue he finally admitted that he would go out with her to play pool. She liked to have fun. Denied sleeping with her. After me badgering him he finally admitted that he was seeing her. But, only to go play pool, gambling etc. But, he swore they never had sex. Her would not do that to me. When I asked him why he lied and snuck around with her. His response was.
    1) I was boring and did not want to go to bars and play pool.
    2) He thought I would not care if he cheated anyway.
    3) I did not love him anyway.
    4) All I did was bitch.
    6) He thought I was cheating on him.
    7) She liked to have fun. She complimented him all the time.
    8) I got credit cards out without him knowing(I had to get them out to pay the taxes. He only gave me $400.00 a month)
    9) Stop being a nut job. You are making too much out of this. I told you we never had sex.
    10) I told you I am sorry. Now it is time to stop harping.
    11) I made a mistake. Now why can’t you just accept that and move on.
    Yup, one dates behind their spouses back for 5 years and they never have sex. Even today he still tells our children and friends that he made a mistake. Did not understand why I divorced him. It really was not an affair because they did not have sex. Oh, the mind of a cheater.

    • In a false denial, my husband was aghast. “I would have never fuck my friend’s wife while he was alive”. Hmmmmm. Just while your own wife is. He also says it’s not good idea for me to talk to grieving widow because “she had a hard life growing up”.

  • My ex convinced our kids that his long term affair was a stress reaction to his best friend’s death. The kids can’t understand why I don’t accept this. Gee, dad was hurting so he made some bad choices (for 3 years).

    It hurts to be told that your pain means nothing. YOU are the insensitive one.

    Many cultures eat cats, so maybe we need not worry about kitten drownings. (sarcasm).

    • Mitzi, sure. Grief fucking is totally a thing. This cracked me up. Your kids have some nerve allowing him that lame ass excuse. Your pain is valid and a rational response to this ridiculous excuse. You are the victim here, not him. I am sorry your kids haven’t figured that out. Perhaps the greatest teacher ,Time will show them he is a lying disordered cheater. I like your sarcasm, Mitzi. You deserve so much better!

      • Thank you. He opens his wallet to the kids, and that also seemed to be a big influence on them sadly. He used to send me emails saying that the kids are his team now, and he is their leader. And how I am losing my relationship with them due to my hard heartedness. I blocked him. These people literally know no shame.

  • After 20 years together (14 married), my husband impregnates his mistress and the psychological minds games kicked into high gear. The first was blame shifting. He did this but it was because I only showed love by building a nice home, cooking gourmet meals, raising our daughter alone for 10 years while he moves to another country for work despite my objections. And don’t forget that I worked full time, made more than him and managed the finances and household and lent him the prestige associated with my Harvard degree. No, the relationship was highly unequal and I never gave as much as he did during his weekend visits where he lavished attention on me (not) between incessant games of candy crush, Netflix binges and hours of writing emails to mistresses. But never fear, we are soul mates, life partners and even if we divorced, we would remain best friends, he would split his weekends between me and the mistress since he didn’t want to be an absentee father (WTF?) and we would still go on family holidays together and maybe even sleep in the same bed.

    My response? I am not interested in a relationship that is one ceremony short of polygamy.

    Then he tried to play the exit affair gaslight. Problem was, I had already (after 9 months of doing the pick me dance) found 20 years of emails to myriad other women. He had been having affairs from the very first date we had. He was unfaithful the entire time we were together! These mails were particularly egregious because most of his affairs were chosen to avoid any kind of commitment. Most were married. Every mail had me in it. He shared all the details of my most intimate and challenging life events. I can imagine exactly where I was during every single one of these mails. Upside? They will form the basis of my future best seller.

    My reponse? “I think you are trying to rationalise your affairs. At the end of the day, there is no big underlying deficiency in our relationship, you just like to have affairs. You have been having them continually for 20 years, at least when it is easy and you won’t get caught. You just like affairs. They are something fun on the side and you didn’t expect people to get hurt.”

    Next came the blame game for me losing the pick me dance. After I found the emails, he jumped straight back into bed with the mistress “because he was destroyed by all he had lost and needed sex.” I told him to come move out while I was away on holiday. He then said he was going to fly to Rome to meet us because he never fought for us. He changed his mind due to my reluctance. Then said this: “ I am not sure if you were right to be cautious about my trying to win you back. To me, it felt like reluctance and being pushed away. ”. A couple of weeks later, I asked him why he wanted to fight for me. I expected him to say that being in our home made him realise what he was losing. His answer? “ I love (the baby) but OW is too annoying for the long term.” Again, WTF?

    Finally, he tried normalisation. He said people get divorced all the time. People have affairs all the time. This is no reason for us not to be friends.

    My response: “Divorce is common. Affairs are common. They are also destructive and painful. Relationships get destroyed. The people involved get trust issues. Standards of living decline, usually quite dramatically for the women. They often increase for the men. The nice stories with the happy endings in newspapers are printed because they are NOT the norm. They are there to convince you that you might get lucky and avoid the fallout. That doesn’t mean a happy ending is likely.”

    Sadly I broke NC yesterday. He was trying to meet us at his sister’s so he could see our daughter. I said it was not the place or time but he could come during exeat when our daughter would be home from boarding school. He said he couldn’t come then because OW’s mother was turning 70 that weekend. Then he proceeded to harass me about keeping his daughter away from him. He says she is just as much his as mine. Maybe from a DNA perspective but I raised her ALONE! As far as I am concerned, that is again more gaslighting. What an asshole!

  • Sorry but I think there’s a fourth option…

    “ When fuckwits are caught doing something they shouldn’t, there are only a few moves on the chessboard. Admit it. Deny it. Or blameshift it.”

    Or NOTHING. No admission. No denying. No blame shifting.

    10 years later…NOTHING. Not to me, his lawyers, his kids. They live together and are publicly a couple but he still won’t acknowledge a relationship with her or cheating. Some just keep their moths shut no matter what.

  • When you are the chump instead of knowing one, here’s what you learn.
    1. They minimize the damage of emotional affairs
    2. There’s something somewhat soothing about having breakdowns while hiding in plain sight.
    3. The promise of financial support already is being in place is there.
    4. They act surprised or sad if you bring up an attorney.
    For what it’s worth, I’m sorry for a the dumb things I have said.

  • I am five years out from the final D-day, 3 years divorced. I’m 90% no contact and only use email or text for the remaining 10% because we have a child together.

    What I’ve learned is that the longer I am away from him and the less contact I have with him, the easier it becomes to recognize his pathological behavior (which reinforces to me that he hasn’t changed, he’s just changed masks and partners). Case in point: our son has braces and we agreed to split 50/50. I paid my half and he was to go on a billing plan. I take my son in for his check-up and every month the business manager asks me how to best reach Mr. Sparkles because he has been unresponsive to phone calls and emails. Finally embarrassed enough, I offer to call Mr. Sparkles from my phone (something I haven’t done in YEARS)… he answers right away and I ask if he has a minute to talk to the Ortho Biz Manager and without skipping a beat he says, “Why, what’s wrong… I haven’t heard from them.”… Whammo… blameshift… not even two seconds in to the conversation.

    What we have to come to accept about these fuckwits is that, in many cases, this behavior is actually ingrained in to their personalities… we just didn’t see it. So you are only going to bash your head against a wall trying to get them to change in any way. They are Teflon.

    The best thing you can do for yourself is go as no contact as possible. Use apps like Cozi.com to share kids schedules, only use email and keep sentences short and direct, never engage emotionally. The more time you get under your belt, the better you will feel and the less they will be able to continue to manipulate you.

    • How do we keep wanna be deadbeats from reneging on their promises–like paying for half the expense for braces? My abusive, adulterous ex-husband is trying to get out of paying for half of our kids’ braces’ expense–just like he did for kids’ college tuition. Approx. 90% will fall in my lap, although ex-husband easily earns 500% what I earn–on my best month! And ex-husband still bashes me, calling me the ‘Bad Parent’ who needs to ‘Grow up.’

      • Court, court court.

        And when they’re not paying what they’ve agreed or been ordered to pay, and you have to take them to court to enforce that, you can often ask the judge to also rule that the deadbeat pay your legal expenses for that enforcement.

        Ignore the bashing. Ideally he’d have no way to let you know what the thinks of you (OFW is a good option, because anything he says there is time-stamped and saved forever), but if you must receive that crap in exchanges of actual info, ignore.

        It’s infuriating, but about what you can expect from a narc cheater deadbeat asshole.

        • Thanks for writing, Karen.
          Unfortunately, OFW has been a waste of money in my case, and my abusive ex-husband almost always wins in court. I have lost over 100K in legal fees in the last five years since my husband, now ex-husband filed for separation and first took me to court on false allegations of felonies. I think that kids and I might be ‘better off’ if I just pay 100% of fees for braces and let my ex-husband take credit for how wonderful the kids turned out—in spite of their ‘terrible’ mother. He blames me if anything goes wrong with our kids or I voice any concern for our kids. I could say something like, ‘I am concerned that Johnny might fail his English course as he is getting a D and refuses to do homework, even if offered help.’ His (ex’s) response, ‘You just don’t love our kids. No wonder our kids are miserable and don’t want to live with you.’ This coming from the guy who hits people (his wife and young kids) without provocation. He even took credit for putting me through school although the military and a few universities put me through school (bachelor’s through PhD)—before I even met him for some of the degrees as I met him late in life. A lot of people believe my corrupt ex, but I know that I am a loving mother—one that acts in her kids’ behalf throughout the day, will study and try to generate income for her kids and will go to sleep on the floor of her kids’ room because she is saving money for her kids and is not earning enough to get what some might consider basic things for her. My ex bashes me for this, too, as he buys himself new wardrobes and cars and tours the world, on vacation, not just for work, staying in four star hotels and paying for sex with prostitutes. I can still see my kids most days, though—that’s what really matters to me. I think that it’s more rewarding to spend time with one’s kids under austere conditions than with prostitutes one has paid for sex in a four star hotel or massage parlor. I feel sorry for the prostitutes who have had sex with my husband (now ex-husband).

          • If he is supposed to pay for 1/2 the braces, you can file a motion for contempt. You can do it pro se, without an attorney. You would need a copy of the original order, verification of the cost, and copies of the email requests for payment. You may or may not win, although you should win if it’s in the order. You might ask for your X to pay the orthodontist directly if you haven’t paid his half yet to save you from having to chase him.

  • I think perhaps the worst bit of Polyannaism was targeted at my 13 year old daughter (then 12). We were together for the weekend so we could break the news to my daughter that her dad had impregnated his mistress. The three of us were in sitting around when my husband blurts out: ”DD, I have a surprise for you!” I was horrified, shot him a sharp glance then said “I am not sure I would characterise it like that.” Nonplussed, he proceeded with “I had a girlfriend and now she is pregnant and you’re getting a sister!” My horrified daughter asked “Where is this sister?” He answers, “Vienna. Once the baby is born, we can all go to Vienna together to meet her.”

    Then during the months of me playing the pick me dance and going through wreckonciliation for the presumed benefit of keeping the family together, he continued to go to Vienna (DD and I live in London, husband lives in Switzerland) and he comes come and talks about it incessantly. I guess he thought he could normalise it all but he just alienated my daughter who refuses to speak to him now. After a year of this, I am starting to realise that she has much greater moral clarity on the issue than I do. At one point she said to me “Mom, at first I thought he deserved another chance but not anymore. I don’t have a good feeling about him.” From the mouth of babes…

      • We are adjusting now that he has been absent but every time I break the no contact rule, he doesn’t disappoint in his horribleness. He keeps blaming me for alienating our daughter but I have gone out of my way to help. I even got a family counsellor with the idea to have him coached in advance to avoid saying such stupid stuff but the counsellor decided it was pointless to bring him in for the time being. She didn’t think reconciliation between the two of them is possible. But he is blaming me because he didn’t do anything to her.

        I even innocently repeated what he told me, namely that he didn’t choose the new baby over her, he choose the baby over me. Chump that I was, I thought this was hurtful but reasonable. Her response? “How mean!”

  • I got no denial or blame shifting over his affair. He just treat it all like ….of course he gets to have a girlfriend. I don’t count, it’s his right, and tough if I don’t like it.

    He really didn’t like it when I took the kids and left, or when I was granted a restraining order, or got half his pension, or he had to pay child support. He was so used to having all his flying monkeys denigrate me that he was shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, that the court treated me like I had worth. In his eyes I had none and of course , the whole world should agree with him.

    Poor baby found out differently. Snicker, snicker.

  • I got this almost verbatim – “get off your high horse! Everyone cheats!”

    One of the few moments when he allowed the mask to fully drop and he revealed the blackness of his soul and what he really thought about right versus wrong.

  • Someone wrote this narcissist poem:
    That didn’t happen.
    And if it did, it wasn’t that bad.
    And if it was, that’s not a big deal.
    And if it is, that’s not my fault.
    And if it was, I didn’t mean it.
    And if I did, you deserved it.

  • I have two examples I want to share. The first is ExHFuckwit. The second is a the CloneFuckwit I dealt with following the ExHFuckwit.

    ExHFuckewit (*following a near 2 hours of circular arguing about him denying cheating on me since the start of our relationship with Schmoopie 1 and starting a new relationship with Schmoopie 2 while we were still married and living together)

    Me: You lied, cheated, and treated me like crap for the last two years.
    ExHFuckwit: I did that, but you were not satisfying my sexual kinks enough.
    Me: Yeah I can’t wait to divorce you.

    CloneExHFuckwit (*I was vulnerable. Starting dating a guy who was identical to ExHFuckwit in every way, even in name and gaslighting. I invited him to my beautiful seaside house to enjoy the last days of summer. I was standing in my house in a bathing suit, and he took a photo of my ass and sent it to his friends for LoLs. He had the gall to show me his masterful photography.

    Me (in shock): *Blinks.*Ummm. What are you going to do with that photo.
    CloneofExHFuckwit (lying): I am deleting it right away.
    –literally 24 hours later–
    *CloneofExHFuckwit takes another photo of my ass, this time while I am reaching into the fridge after cooking for breakfast for him for an hour, still in my house*

    Me (really fucking shocked again): Ummm what are you going to do with that photo?
    CloneofExHFuckwit: Yeah I already sent it to my friends. They loved it.
    Me: What the fuck is wrong with you? I don’t know your friends.
    CloneofExHFuckwit: Oh you will. I will totally introduce you to my amazing friends.
    Me: That’s really messed up and disrespectful. They are your friends, not mine.
    CloneofExHFuckwit: Oh relax. It’s totally normal. I didn’t think you would get so upset about it. I wouldn’t have done it if I had known sending lewd and suggestive photos of you to my friends for laughs was a big deal. I can’t believe you would start to dislike me over such a small thing.

    In my recovery from Fuckwits and gaslighting and blame shifting, I’ve started to learn and realize my self worth. I deserve to be cherished and respected. My kindness and generosity is not to be abused. If someone abuses my kindness and patience, I will kick them out, immediately, no second chances for outlandish crap ever again. Act with respect for me or get lost.

  • It is not even that there is a “larger understanding that drowning kittens is bad.”

    It is that WE AGREED with each other we would never drown kittens. We didn’t have to rely on the casual societal construct that harming innocent creatures was bad, it is that we vowed we would not harm them. We wrote each other letters about how we would never drown kittens. We spent hours with each other talking about how we would never drown kittens and how we would build a family in the safety of knowing no kittens would ever be harmed while we were together.

    We even had this big ceremony in front of family and friends and vowed to God that we would never drown kittens.

    And then he drowned kittens anyway, lied about it as I found their soaked little corpses, and when finally he could not deny it anymore (because he was leaving me to go drown more kittens) he acted like the original agreement was invalid from the start.

    He said, “I love kittens but not in that way and prefer drowning them” also known as ILKBNIWPDT.

    By the end he said “I never EVER loved kittens and I have a right be happy drowning them. You made me do it. This is your fault.”

    Absurd, isn’t it.

    • Oh that unrepentant horrible fucking waste of a human being. Bunch of kitten drowning entitled psychopaths. I read through these posts to continue to be amazed that not a one of these fucking soul murderers are original. There stupid excuses are the same, their behaviors are the same, it is as if we are all married to the same cheater.

      I can not wait to have a divorce decree suitable for framing.

      • That is why I am here. Developing the knowledge that they are all exactly the same. I thought I was uniquely screwed over but I am just one in a very populous Chump Nation. The behaviour, the gaslighting, the disrespect, the total disregard for the impact on their own children. Plus the bystanders – Switzerland, “didn’t you know?”, just get over it, blah blah blah.

        I never in my wildest dreams thought the man I married was capable of doing these things. Now I find that not only is he capable, but he doesn’t truly see anything wrong with it. Illustrative is the fact that he continues to get upset when confronted on the latest macro aggression saying that is why he never tells me anything. Because he knows how I will react. I told him that if he feels like he has to hide it because I will react badly, he most certainly should not be doing it. The fact that it is the act that is wrong and not my reaction is totally lost on the guy.

  • My Polyanna UBT: (She said all these)
    “I want to get a divorce.” -Fucking around while married is cramping my style
    “This has always been a mistake” -I wish I was 21 again and all the guys on the dance floor wanted to fuck me.
    “I never really loved you, but I want us to always be friends” -You are in my way now, but maybe you could still drop in and fix stuff when I call
    “This is no big deal, people get divorced all the time” -Hurry, a tiny piece of my brain tells me I am an adultress and I want to fuck guilt free. I am a church girl after all
    “We can get a mediator and this will work out for all of us” -I have concealed a lot of stuff and am working to cheat you out of the house. Lawyers would get messy
    “You can move 30 miles away, be closer to work and see the kids every other weekend” -That way I get child support to pay for my fucking holidays while you babysit.
    “I want to be fair. You can stay in house with kids every other week. I know how you would miss them.” -I can go fuck my boyfriends while you cover for me
    I could go on and on.

  • I was treated like some prudish pollyanna when I told my x that I can’t view other people as objects, and no, I would not sleep with other men to fulfill his cuckolding/hotwifing fetish. He tried to tell me that it was the new, modern version of monogamy.

    Barf.

    I’d rather be celibate.

    • Mine actually offered this mindnumbingly stupid manipulation; “If you have sex with other guys, you can have all the power.” He meant just like schmoopie, whom he was a slave to because she was a skank who fucked around on her husband not just with him, but with other guys, and made sure my fuckwit knew it. That made her super desirable to the depraved freak.
      That’s his fetish, not mine. In fact I despise it and he knows it. Therefore he would totally be in the power position, getting off on me degrading myself with random dudes just to keep a loser I don’t even want to be with turned on. 😁 As if. The arrogance of these power-tripping misogynist worms is astounding.

  • I’m not sure what my favorite gaslighting / shift blame story is, but this is one that cost me $100,000 when in shock, I relayed it to my daughter. The other events I never told anyone about. My financial devastation was averted by the fact that I knew things and he didn’t want them published because he’s a public figure. So we negotiated it down to a lump sum payment (as opposed to half my life savings and half of my pensions despite the marriage only being 8 years).
    The setting: I was on crutches and so dependent on them that I had hand controls installed in my car for the lengthy recuperation period when I wouldn’t be able to use my right foot.
    I went out one evening to take my granddaughter to karate; (I had prepared dinner before going and after a full day of work). When I returned, I parked my car, crutched painfully out of it, crutched up 21 steps. I was greeted with “you hit the garage wall.” At this point in our marriage, I had stopped with the niceties of trying to figure out what he may have really meant. I said firmly, “No, I did not hit the wall — the garage door is loud when it shuts.” Him: “You hit the garage wall, knocked over a can of nails, and they’re all over your side of the garage.” Me: “Are you trying to tell me you just let me park my car on top of nails.” Him: “If you wouldn’t have hit the wall, they wouldn’t be there.” Me: “So you’re telling me, I’m parked on top of nails?!! You asshole. You should have swept them up. I’m on crutches. What is this? Some petty revenge for an imagined slight?” I crutched down the 21 steps, and looked at the floor. Sure enough my car was parked on top of spike nails, not just nails. I got into my car, backed out, got out again (remember crutches?), got a broom, and pushed the nails away — crutch a step, brush a small bit. He appeared in the garage doorway to watch me do this. I said, “Go away, I don’t need you to fucking watch me.”
    My immediate punishment for this was television too loud to sleep over and then when he got up at 4:30 am, to turn the television back on very loudly.
    It got mentioned in the divorce papers, along with 3 more incidents. But I was honest and said that I had called my daughter and told her about this incident. So for that bit of blabbing, I had to pay $100,00.
    You see, I married a very wealthy retired politician and my income and pensions were the only marital assets. My NDA precludes me from revealing the other incidents, but it failed to include a clause about repeating this event.

    • Sorry about this. One thing I always wonder when people behave this horribly is to wonder if they think they are immortal. Even without any religious beliefs, don’t you want your life to be beautiful (as much as possible) and do things towards kindness and honesty? No one lives for ever. Best to live gently and with integrity. If he is retired, he is likely in the latter half or latter third of his life. I don’t think he can take $100,000 K when he goes – or even $1 when he goes. Horrible man.

      • That is a strange part of my story…my Cheater claimed to be a Catholic husband so much so that when I learned of his betrayal on D day, I asked him how he could reconcile his actions and his faith and he said “I am going to burn in Hell” .

        I prayed for him for 29 years and I didnt make all those sacrifices for him to end up in Hell. I DO, however fully believe in Purgatory ..where God deals with us and there is no place to run or hide.

        I trust that God has Cheaters penance worked out with just the right balance of justice and mercy, but Im sure it has included many many moments of playing back the soundtrack of his life and I imagine that it has been an awful experience…especially if God let him know how much I loved him.

        • Oh and Kale…your name is new to me so you might not know that my Cheater has laready died, so this is not a hypothetical thing, its real and now.

          I dont think that God took him from Earth just to save me…oddly enough, I did OK. I think God took him because he already had enough to be held accountable for. Just before he died, I saw him returning to a dark place…I think God plucked him in an instant so that he didnt end up in Hell

          • Unicorn I believe we feel the same. She did horrible, terrible things to me and blamed me for all of it, but I still don’t wish that anything bad happens to her. I don’t know why. When I try to go to that place it just reminds me that for some reason you can’t unlove someone. That doesn’t mean I want her back because she is not the same person that I married 25 years ago, it just means exactly what I said, I can not unlove her no matter how hard I try. I also hope one day that the good Lord lets her know how much I loved her.

  • After 34 years married he said “if you didn’t nag I wouldn’t have fallen out of love with you “. We still had sex all the time.
    Cheating narc who destroyed me, our son & left me living on food stamps while he traveled the world. Monsters are real & walk among us. 👿

  • My STBX has a SERIOUS DOUBLE STANDARD.

    I got so sick of his blatant use of this DS in our marriage.

    For months I’ve been asking him for his lawyer’s name and info. He kept saying, “All in good time.”

    Finally-I told him I had issues with some things we agreed on (but didn’t sign off on) in mediation. He kept asking me (in a panic), “What?? What are you not agreeing on???”

    I said, ‘All in good time.”

    He didn’t like that too much…..

  • Let’s see..
    “I guess everyone expects me to be perfect.” and its corollary
    “YOU’RE not perfect, either!”
    As if the standard really was perfection. And as if somehow my lack of perfection excuses horrible things she does.

    • Ugh. I got a version of this. Said in a sing-songy, snarky rage: “Oh, and you’re just and AAAANNNNGGGELLLL, aren’t you!!??!!”

      When abuse is pointed out the response from these asshats is more abuse. Compared to my cheating, cowardly, lying Exhole I can say that yes, I was pretty damned angelic.

  • What helped me make sense of how someone who had been a “friend” for over 30 years and then a putative “significant other” could simply discard me, with no explanation, was learning about disordered people and the cycle of narcissistic relationships. Once I saw that Jackass was a “type” of person who conducts relationships in a way that is at its essence false and exploitive, I was able to let go of the idea that we had a relationship in the sense that I had believed.

    Another way to put this is that I learned that I am not like Jackass. I am not disordered, though I am as all people are, flawed, with much yet to learn. Jackass is disordered. He’s trying to fill a psychological or emotional black hole using other people and then discarding them when they fail to help him keep the mask up FOR HIMSELF.

    In the early days, we chumps take on a lot of self-blame because we project normalcy–our normal human emotions–onto someone who is pretty much indifferent to people as actual people. We’re “supply” for disordered people. That’s it. And it’s not like Jackass CHANGED. I always knew he could discard people. I just thought I was special. I was the exception. He would never do that to me…

    • I never imagined the Dickhead would discard me in the same way with such callousness and indifference. And, like you, I saw the way he treated others. In the end, I was no different than the others.

  • I had an inty-lectual cheater who, instead of Pollyanna, accused me of being “bourgeouis” for not wanting to have threesomes and foursomes and screw other people while he watched.

    • I suppose it’s too much to hope that, since he’s not “bourgeois” the way you are, he stuck by his principles and didn’t ask for any money in the divorce?

      • I think he fancied himself royalty and wanted to keep most of the marital resources, are monarchs are wont to do. However, he had moved us to a community property state ; ).

        He said to my oldest daughter, “your mother took all my money.” I was initially bothered by “my” money–really? I gave up tenure and lots of pay to move for your better job, Hannibal. But then I realized it hurt more if he thought of it as “his” money.

    • I’ll never forget the disdain thrown in my direction when I was a fille au pair for a year after uni in Paris.

      My family consisted of J.,a geezer who had dumped his first wife and married one of his students, and M. Both intellectual Lacanian psychoanalysts. M.’s family (which included her father the same age as J.) visited several times from Toulouse during my school year with the family. At the dinner table, I was accused of being a typical,puritanical American because I didn’t know the word cuckold or its concept by her brother-in-law. I was twenty-two at the time.

      Call me bougie. I’ll take that over being a woman who destroys a family and wears a red flamenco dress to her wedding with her two little bastards as flower girls after the Catholic Church finally annulled J.’s first marriage. I wonder how his two adult daughters felt about that.

    • Do these deviants never consider the very real possibility of STI? Ewwwwwww. So much germ swapping, disgusting.

  • I got the Pollyanna treatment too. There was a lot of “lots of guys, guys we know, are doing this. I don’t understand why you’re making such a big deal about this.” And “I certainly don’t think we should be getting a divorce over this…” But what really got me was “Who are you telling about this? I mean, I have to be able to look these people in the face!” (said indignantly) I could never figure out if this was as normal and common as he tried to make it appear, why he wouldn’t be able to show his face around people if they knew what he was up to?!?

  • On the night i busted her, I heard these completely predictable sentences uttered by my STBXw of 22 years

    “I don’t want to be married anymore”

    “We haven’t been happy for a long time”

    “I don’t actually know exactly when it started”

    “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to cause any pain”

    “Half the country gets divorced”

    “Kids are resilient”

    “I think we’ll be better friends now”

    “I think you’ll be happier this way, too”

    “I work really hard and it was the only thing that brought me joy”

    but i got SO LUCKY to have found Chumplady about 6 months before busting her

    and so i could recognize it for what it was, just more b*llsh*t from Another Average Cheater

    who will never understand that she’s a walking, talking cliche

    whose language & behavior are pretty to translate

    when you know what you’re looking for

    stay mighty!

  • “Everyone else wants to drown kittens – people are just upset because I had the guts to do it and they are jealous.” Ok bub..sure that’s TOTALLY it. 🙄

  • My fuckwit did all three…Admitted , Denied and Gaslighting. It depended on his needs and mood at the time. “i’m in love with someone else… To … I didn’t mean what I said I was drunk … To… If you love me none of this would’ve happened… I never said that”. WTF right?

    • Blindsided,

      Your F-wit sounds like my last several F-wits. They admitted, denied, gaslit, and treated me and probably many other partners before me like garbage.

      I now have a boilerplate response to my ex-husband attacking me. (He attacks me although he abused me and our kids in many colorful ways before and after he officially left.) I tell him that he can complain to my attorney or the Court or whoever else he wants. I am no longer interested. Unfortunately, five years since filing for divorce and two years since dissolution, he still takes me to court to get custody of our kids (although he is out of state/country most of the time) and I have not tried to prevent him from seeing our kids. Responding to his filings for years, even after divorce, is bloody $$$$! Now, sadly, our kids often mimic their father, harassing, insulting, and invalidating me, even though I live just for them these days. My dreams have died, so I live to support them, but they don’t seem to realize this. My ex-husband tries to get our kids to ‘tell on me.’ He tells people, including the Court, that I don’t feed our kids, I abuse them, etc.–unethical and aggravating! I guess that the ‘good news’ is that there is virtually no chance that I could do worse if I ever marry again (which is extremely unlikely to happen because nobody is offering). Unless, a serial killer decides to propose to me…Unfortunately, I seem to attract these types. Fending off the attacks of my ex-husband detracts from my vital job search. Oddly, my ex-husband tells me I’m a deadbeat, not realizing that his constant harassment of me slows my progress toward securing long-term family-sustaining employment. No sign of poverty manifested by our kids and me convinces him that I am not a selfish gold digger. Hope to be free from this abuser some day, perhaps when our youngest reaches majority.

  • It is all about saving face (image management?). Which I don’t understand, because how can a lying, cheating, thieving, abusive scum sack, think they can save face, after the countless blatant selfish/narc acts. After they have showed you the browser history and then the emails about registration (oh that’s junk mail and that’s from emails clicked on – yeah right I am such a naive bozo still) to casual hook up sites, let alone the browser history about local area sex, sex clubs and…you get the picture, after you confront them with the evidence, the facts (cos you went all snooper looper after they were acting a bit too nice/keen when you went away the weekend with a friend up country for a seminar), they still deny what they were doing, thinking, were planning to do that evening. And then afterwards tell you the relationship was over anyway and all the other stupid things cheaters say (which usually is not just one constant thing, it is a string of abusive crap, that changes over time, with the situation or their mood)

    Oh let’s not talk about all of this stuff in front of the children (who are now aged 17 to 23)…saving face…they all know he is a lying, cheating, thieving, abusive scum sack, so who does he think he is trying to fool? Oh himself – he really is/wants to believe he is that good man, who is just broken, who has mental health issues, who had his head up his arse, who cannot resist temptation, who just wanted to have some fun, who just wanted some arm candy, who was just paying a fellow colleague a compliment when she was down (the exact words he has used to compliment you at some point), who fucked up just the one time, who has it so hard because the woman he cheated on is finding it extremely difficult to forget and keeps reminding him of all the bad things he did and does and that she does not trust him one single bit. Oh yes, he does not want to really suck, or appear to, so deny all the bad stuff. But be remorseful, sorry, seem half human in those seemingly lucid moments when he feels guilty.

    Such a confusing clusterfuck.

    Today is Day 1 of no contact after 12 long years of hell. Blocked his work mobile, personal mobile and also his mothers’.

  • My almost-ex wrote to my son, ” I think in the end we’ll all be happier if each of us is happier.’
    He wrote this in an apology email after he ACCIDENTALLY SEXTED MY CHILDREN with a photo of him to Schmoopie.
    “life is complicated. I’m not always proud of everything I do, but I’m trying to find my way”
    Yes, by cheating and sexting your kids.
    Keep telling yourself the kids are resilient, asshole.

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