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UBT: ‘It’s Not Who I Am’

Dear Chump Lady,

Can you please put this through the Universal Bullshit Translator?

I do know what the affair did to you, and I’m sincerely and deeply sorry. If I could go back, I would have done a lot of things very differently. You were extremely negative and controlling (You still are), and you were killing me. I stressed every day on my drive home from work about what you were gonna be mad at or bitch about. Nothing I ever did was right or good enough.

I never ever dreamed I would do what I did. It’s not who I am. It never was, and it never will be again. I spent my whole life loving you and wanting to make you happy, and I was never successful. Or at least you never acted or showed me I was. You always focused on what was wrong. I was in a really bad place.

We became a classic case of, “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”



Dear Fooled-Me-Twice,

My pleasure. The UBT has been lazing about, and its sprockets could use a bit of exercise.

I do know what the affair did to you,

I know it better than you know yourself! Compassion? I got compassion! I’m like one of those Bodhisattvas, floating above this astral plane, absorbing all the world’s suffering.

and I’m sincerely and deeply sorry

… that you’re not enlightened like me. Deeply and sincerely sorry.

If I could go back, I would have done a lot of things very differently.

I would improve you.

You were extremely negative and controlling (You still are)

The way you disapproved of my cheating on you and how you tried to stop me cheating on you. I do know what the affair did to you — it made you a drag.

and you were killing me

I fuck others out of self-defense, not malice.

I stressed every day on my drive home from work about what you were gonna be mad at or bitch about.

Did you find my burner phone? Will three months of accumulated dirty laundry and unpaid bills vex you? What fresh obstacle to my happiness are you inflicting today?

Nothing I ever did was right or good enough.

(Flips dial to from anger to sad sausage self-pity party).

My pals on Adult Friend Finder don’t judge me. They don’t shout, “PAY THE GODDAMN ELECTRIC BILL, CHERYL!” They just want selfies of my tits.

I never ever dreamed I would do what I did. It’s not who I am.

I don’t know that person who cheated on you. Wasn’t me. Whoever she is, she’s sorry, but also can’t help but notice what a total asswipe you are.

It never was,

I was never a cheater, ergo I never cheated on you, ergo I’m not sorry for that nebulous affair thing and what “it” did to you.

I blame ghosts.

and it never will be again

The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.

I spent my whole life loving you and wanting to make you happy,

Ever since I was a tiny zygote, my cells divided only for you.

My whole life has been devoted to your happiness, which I have expressed by fucking other men.

and I was never successful.

(sob!) Fucking other men NEVER pleased you! (Where is my fainting sofa? I feel the tremors upon me.)

Or at least you never acted or showed me I was.

Had you only wuvved me the way I wuvved you. #unrequitedzygotelove

(Channel flips from self-pity to rage again.)

Your pick-me dance was seriously lacking.

You always focused on what was wrong. I was in a really bad place.

My mindfuck has run out of steam. I was in a Bad Place, okay? Like Detroit, only the ungentrified bits, where you can’t get a latte. When you’re in a shithole, you do Bad Things, okay? Things that don’t define you.

It was dark there, and all I could see, my lodestar, my shining light, was how much you suck. And how nice my tits look in those selfies.

We became a classic case of, “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

You don’t know what you had, because you didn’t know what I was really up to. Now it’s gone.

Dance pretty for me again? Please?

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Whoa.

    This reads like one of the numerous messages I get from my cheating lying pos husband. (20 month long affair in which he lived a double life)

    “I took you for granted. I lost my way. I neglected you horribly. I was never going to leave you. I still love you. I was trying to find a way to end it. I was stupid and just didn’t think. It was just a mistake. I never thought I’d lose you.” Blah blah blah

    I’m sure if we went to counseling, I’d be told he’s showing empathy and true remorse… which is why I come here instead.

    Thanks for being blunt, honest, and cutting through all their bullsh*t, CL.

    Oh, here’s the last message my STBX sent me:

    “I have to deal with that and over time I hope to find a way back into your heart. I was a awful person and have to live with that. I will never do anything like that ever again. I love you and feel so horrible about what I did. You deserved the world and I screwed up so bad. I’m offering everything I can offer and with continue to offer it to you even if we are divorced. I love you. You deserve to be happy.”

    Fooled-me-twice, I wish you the best of luck as you deal with the same type of mindfuckery.

    • This is what I read in that…

      “ I, I, I, I, me, me, me, you, me, me, me, poor, poor me….you deserve to have me love you….

      • “You were extremely negative and controlling (you still are.”

        Just focus on that. What an apology, eh? This chump has probably spent months or years living with a liar and a cheater and being the marriage police to try to keep this cheater in the marriage and faithful. That’s why Cheater thinks Chump is controlling. The cheater objects to the chump having any standards, any deal-breakers, any expectations. “Hey, you nag me about coming home at night to spend time with you and the kids. YOU’RE CONTROLLING!”

        That’s just a blame-shifting version of “You aren’t the boss of me.”

        • Yep. One of the best apologies with ‘I’m so sorry you were so bad’.

          This reminds me of some of the best parts of the bullshit I was served by my X wife : “You smothered my happiness” (thus I had to cheat on you) and “you did what I want but not the way I wanted it” (= shit I wanted to get out but I wanted it to be your fault and it didn’t work how am I gonna manage my image).

          • Apparently things were so bad (newflash to me) I made him ill. Literally this kind of stuff that the UBT is great at just tells all we all need to know. What? Really? I don’t think so.


            • Mine accused me of making him ill. I was the source of all his anxiety. Look at all the weight he’s lost because of the stress I cause him. In fact, my physical presence was as uncomfortable to him as a stranger in his personal space.

              I thought I was in the Twilight Zone when these things came spewing out of his mouth. I really believed my husband was suffering from some serious mental health issues. Mid-life crisis? Nervous breakdown?

              Nah, just an idiot.

    • Wow, this sounds so similar to my own situation. My husband has been having an affair with OW/girlfriend for 1-year. I found out 6 months ago, he moved out (rented his own apartment), during which time he’s been promising to work on our marriage and come back home and all the while he’s still with OW most of the week and every weekend. We’ve been married 30-years and I can’t imagine starting over at this point but I also can’t imagine ever trusting him again or forgiving what he’s done (and continues to do). This is more than an affair, it’s a double-life because he spends time with her kids, sleeps at her house and has created an entirely separate life with her. I’m so confused as to how he can still tell me he loves me, misses me and would like things to work out between us…but then continues on with this other life. He actually treats me like the OW now because he spends all his time with her and only sees me if he can manage to sneak away from her for a few hours. He lied to her to in the beginning and told her he was divorced. She found out that he was married around the same time I found out about her (his double life) but she hasn’t stopped seeing him. I’m sure he’s told her that he’s done with his marriage. I’m so confused and gaslighted and am trying to figure out whether he can ever love me again after he has strayed so far from our marriage. My head is about to explode!

      • Wishfulwaze,

        Here’s a 2×4 to the head and heart — your husband doesn’t love you. People who truly love you don’t do what he’s doing to not only you, but the OW. For reasons only he would know, he’s stringing you along. Don’t do the Pick Me Dance! Do you really want to “win” a cheater/abuser?

        As Chump Lady has said many, many times, “Is this relationship acceptable to you?”

        You do not want to be “Plan B”!

        Shut down the kibble dispenser to your cheating husband. You have absolutely no idea what he could be doing behind your back when it comes to finances. He’s stringing you along and could be lining up his financial ducks while you are smoking the hopium pipe of getting back together. Trust all us chumps who took cheaters back or forgave them; they don’t change. He might pick you and come back, but years down the line you’ll find out he hasn’t change and he’s cheating again (or maybe he never stopped). I know it hurts hearing this, but we are telling you the truth. I had multiple 2×4’s to the head and heart from friends and family; it hurt like hell hearing the truth. But I needed to hear it over and over again in order to finally accept I was married to a serial cheater.

        Your cheater will eventually use all your sadness and confusion against you. He will hit you when you are at your lowest and will use this to his advantage; ask me how I know. This man is not the husband you thought he was. He’s your enemy. I know. Hard to hear. His “I love you’s” are all manipulations to keep you in line for now; keeping you in line until he’s ready to pull the rug out from underneath you.

        If you haven’t already. Ready every single Chump Lady blog post. And all of CN’s comments if you have time. It really helps to see yourself in our stories and it also helps to rewrite the programming in your brain. Keep writing here at CN. We all want to help and support you! (((HUGS))) to you. And remember this: Where there is CONFUSION, there’s DECEPTION. The reason you are confused is because you are being lied to!

        • I can attest that EVERYTHING Martha wrote is true. I pick me danced and waited and he used the time of fake reconciliation to empty out the savings accounts.

          File. Get out. Get out. Get out.

        • “Your cheater will eventually use all your sadness and confusion against you. He will hit you when you are at your lowest and will use this to his advantage; ask me how I know. This man is not the husband you thought he was. He’s your enemy. I know. Hard to hear. His “I love you’s” are all manipulations to keep you in line for now; keeping you in line until he’s ready to pull the rug out from underneath you.” SPOT ON Martha. This is exactly how exhole treated me after 25 years. Little did I know how far he had moved on and how many ducks he had lined up while I was a dithering mess. The contempt they have for us while we wonder whether they still love us.
          Please line up YOUR ducks Wishful

      • Oh, Wishful, this place you’re stuck in sounds confusing and full of hopium. ((Hugs))We’ve all been there. Yes, he says he loves you, but realize he is telling her the SAME THING. Now take a hard look at his actions: These are the choices he is making on purpose and of his own volition. Are they the choices of a loving partner? I would guess he isn’t being indecisive, he likes things EXACTLY as they are. Two women both fighting to have him, accepting the crumbs he’s willing to throw whenever he’s willing to throw them, omg he must be the most desirable guy ever! This is the depth of his love. And yes, he is sneaking around and treating you like an OW likely because the last thing he wants is not to have one over on whoever thinks they are his “primary” relationship (that was you just a short while ago, and could be again if you let him back in your life, oh joy!). Please know that you don’t have to debase yourself and accept less than you want just because that’s all he’s offering. The only question for you is the classic CL question: Is this – exactly as it IS, not the way you WISH it was – acceptable to you?

      • Wishful, please cut him loose and go no contact. Get a lawyer and show him what you think about him treating you, his wife, like a whore while taking up housekeeping with the actual whore. He’s a despicable pig. He’s getting off big time on having you available for quickies when he get a few hours away from the whore.
        I know this will hurt but you need to realize that he has in his mind now made YOU the whore. And that in itself is unforgivable. Get away. Leave him to his REAL whore. You deserve MUCH better. (((hugs)))

        • Thank you to everyone who has commented to my nightmare on the original poster’s thread! I’m trying to create an account so I can post regularly. The thing I don’t understand is that he’s nit even having sex with me and hasn’t since January. We had been on a rough patch for several years when I whiffed that he was having an affair. I tried to revive our marriage back in January but it was too late because he had already met the OW and lied to her about being divorced. Maybe he doesn’t want to pay me the alimony I will get or maybe he has some emotional ties to our long-term marriage which is why he won’t leave 100%. But I truly feel stuck because I don’t want a divorce and sometimes believe his very convincing words he says to me. Out kids are grown and out of the house so it makes it even harder that he’s left me home alone while he’s off having a great new life with a younger and beautiful woman. I really can’t believe that this is happening.

          • You need to assume the worst. There are many, many chumps on this board who fell for this sort of mindfuck. While they were wandering around in confusion, their husbands drained 401 K plans, changed beneficiaries on life insurance policies, ran up credit card debt in the chump’s name, sold and diverted assets and then hid the money. What happened next? The man who was supposedly ‘reconciling”dumps the chump and rides off into the sunset with a pile of diverted and hidden money for his and Schmoopie’s new life. Get copies of every single financial paper, bank statement, life insurance, etc. Run a credit report on both of you. Start stashing an emergency stash of cash for yourself to tide you over if accounts/assets are frozen in court–and take it all to a lawyer. Keep track of what he is spending on his affair so you can have those dissipated marital assets returned. Do NOT assume”well, he’d never do THAT.” Yes, he would. He is not the man you married. He is not your friend. Protect yourself.

          • He definitely doesn’t want to pay you alimony. He also knows you don’t want to get divorced. Therefore, he’s perfectly happy with the way things are. He can treat you like crap (disordered personalities get off on hurting people) and still have all the benefits of being married (someone to take care of his house, someone to do his laundry, someone to make him look as though he’s a good person, etc).

            I get that you don’t want a divorce, but is THIS the life you DO want? Because it’s not going to change. He has shown you who he is. He doesn’t love you. He enjoys hurting you. This. Is. Who. He. Is. An entitled abuser. Look into Cluster B personality disorders, specifically Narcissistic Personality Disorder. You may find some answers there.

            I think you should let the other woman have him. You have nothing to work with. Let go of the abuse, and live a happy life. You can do it, and we’re here to support you.

          • Right now, please order Tracy’s book (Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life). Get it on Audible if you can so you can start listening to it RIGHT NOW.

            Everything you are talking about is addressed in her book. Once you read/listen to it you will see that he is saying all the classic shit that ALL cheaters say. And you will also see that it is likely he will do what all cheaters do…keep cheating, keep lying, keep using your marital money to cheat, keep putting your mental health at risk by gaslighting you, etc.

            I’m sorry that Chump Nation has to be the bearer of the bad news, but he is not acting or saying anything different than the rest of our cheaters have.

      • OMG DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING HE SAYS!!! Get yourself an attorney ASAP and take back your life

      • Let them eat cake. He wants you right where he wants you. Don’t give him the pleasure.

        There is nothing in this for you.

      • Even if you don’t want to get divorced, talk with a lawyer ASAP to find out your rights in your state. Ask what you can do to protect your finances just in case.

        Dollars to doughnuts, he’s stringing you along for a Plan B. When Schmoopie tires of him or he tires of her, he’ll come running back saying he Made A Big Mistake and that he Loves Only You. This is total BS.

      • He is eating cake. He is a cake eater. Stop giving him cake, serve him with divorce papers instead. He is lying to you. If he wanted to work things out with you he wouldn’t be with her. You aren’t throwing away your marriage, he is.

        Unless you are happy being Plan B.

        • Never, maybe this is a passing phase and he’ll realize that he got caught up in the hype and passion of a new woman, after being with me for 30-years. I’m hoping he’ll see the value of our long-term marriage and life and fix things. If he really loves his OW then why doesn’t he just go and be happy with her and leave me alone. That would be so much easier for them.

          • Re read every comment.
            He doesn’t want to pay to get out of the marriage while he can screw her and spend your money too.

            Get the legal support today. Right now. Imagine if he does cash in all savings and give it t her and you are left destitute. It happens. All. The. Time.

            He is not your friend. He has betrayed you and making a mockery of your life together. He will never come to his senses. He is perfectly sane. He is a user and a manipulator.

            Call your bank and a lawyer right now.

            • So do you really think this is about his fear of having to lifetime alimony? I know he’s told people that there’s no way he’s paying alimony for the next 30 years since he’s in his 50’s and that will be until he dies. And I have seen an attorney and have been advised that in my state permanent alimony still exists and applies to all 30-year marriages. I have only worked the last 5 years and it’s a low-paying job. He is the primary financial provider and has been our entire marriage. So I’m wondering if this is primarily about the money to divorce. His words sound so sincere when he says he’s hurting terribly and misses our life together. But then he’s been moved out in his own place for 6 months and makes every excuse t o not come home. And his girlfriend is at his place every day that he’s not at hers. Why the double life?

              • It’s absolutely all about the alimony! I guarantee he’s already seen a lawyer or two, and he’s run the numbers. Your husband has moved out and has his own place. He spends most of his time with the OW and her kids. This does not sound like a man who wants to “work on his marriage”. This sounds like a man who wants to live a new life with the OW and doesn’t want to pay alimony.

                Wishful, I had the same thoughts as what you said ^^^ about him seeing value in your 30 years of shared memories. He does not see your shared history together the same way you do. He does not value it, because his actions show that he doesn’t. That’s why he can throw away a long term marriage and move on with an OW. I thought my XH valued our 20 year marriage and all our shared memories. He did not. This is a direct quote from my XH, “At least we’ll have all our grea sex memories.” See. That’s all that was important to him. Not the birth of our children. All our many, many fun and happy times together as a family. All the holidays. All the day to day life with shared together. None of that was important to him. It was just the sex and he showed me how shallow he truly is.

                Right now you don’t see that you can have the upper hand if you TAKE YOUR POWER BACK! I know you don’t want a divorce, but your husbands ACTIONS show all of us here at Chump Nation that he’s already divorced you in his heart and it’s just not legal yet. Show him how mighty you are by taking action!

              • He’s waiting to see if the new relationship has legs before he completely blows up the old one – yours.

                Or, he might just keep you both strung along for years (ask me how I know – it went on for 8 years) and never make a decisive move to completely end either relationship.

                If he can still stop by your place for a cozy family holiday or to see the kids or whatever else he feels like doing, and then go back to his bachelor pad for hot sex with his shiny new toy – he’s rocking the best of both kinds of cake.

      • Wishful, think about these four things:

        1. He can gaslight you because you are communicating with him. Cut off contact. Tell yourself you are going 90 days without contact with him. Allow your brain to clear so you can see clearly. No phone. No text.

        2. Change the locks. Now. Change the passcode on the garage door opener, if you have one. Change all your computer passwords.

        3. Move all your money into accounts that are just in your name. If you are working and have direct deposit, have your money go into an account that is just in your name.

        4. You don’t want a divorce. But he’s gone. You don’t have a financial partner, a sexual partner, an emotional partner or a social partner. So your job now is to protect yourself and your finances. Talk to an attorney. You need to be thinking about how you will do in retirement. You need a PLAN.

        5. Re-read your posts. Notice how you are totally focused on him–on what he’s doing and the prospects for him “loving you again.” Once one of these monsters discards someone, they only “hoover” back when they need something. 30 years and you finally learn he has a black heart. It’s horrible. But you have to get your head in the game. You have life to live. No contact. Leave a cheater. Gain a life.

        • Loveda, I just don’t understand because he seems very happy with his OW/girlfriend. He spends all his time with her, sleeps at her house, does things with her kids, goes out with her every weekend…but then he doesn’t cut it off with me. We’ve been together since we were 22 years old and I think he feels very emotionally tied to me. We have grown daughters and his family is MY family, after all these years. I think in the end he will realize that his love for me may be “different” than passion and great chemistry which he shares with OW but our long-term marriage and so many years together will bring him back and keep him in a life with me.

          I keep thinking what if he just needed to go out and experience something new and different, after so many years together. Get it out of his system. Then hopefully he’ll be able to forget the love he has for OW and re-commit to us. I’m hoping he can move on from this affair.

          I know this sounds crazy. I’m still in complete denial because he love bombs me every day. And there’s so much cognitive dissonance because his actions don’t match his words. I do understand about NPD and personality disorders but I just can’t believe this is happening to us. It’s almost like I’m stuck while he continues to promise me a life together. I think it’s trauma bonding. But I can’t help to believe that he won’t leave me after so many years together. Like this is a passing phase. Why should I have to give up 30-years of my life investment for a OW who entered his life one year ago?!

          I’m so lost and confused. And feel totally helpless. My daughters and I are sick to death over this. They love their father and he is the financial provider so they can’t cut him off entirely but they see my hurt and pain and are not happy with his actions and behavior either.

          Thank you for outlining such good points above. I truly appreciate the support.

          • Dear Wishfulwaze, you sound like me. I have been married 30+ years. My story is the same. Him finding a new love ( actually a prostitute from a online sex site) — gives her all his money and time, while still dropping in home to visit and to talk with the trusted old wifey. Messages of love, remorse, flowers, gifts, all while the new love of his life is right there next to him. I took this BS for nearly 4 years. Sounding like you. No more!!

            • Firstwife, has he actually come back home ever? After all of his messages of love and remorse, do his actions follow? I just don’t understand how he can claim to still love me and want our marriage and life but then he doesn’t stop seeing his girlfriend. Does he love two women at the same time? And the other concerning thing is that he doesn’t want to have sex with me. Even when he drops by our marital home and we have a few hours together, there is never any attempt to have sex. So he doesn’t feel that way for me anymore? We have not had sex since January, by which time he was already involved with OW and having regular sex with her. If we ever do reconcile, will he want to have sex with me again? I would like to but I can’t rape him.

              • Wishfulwaze,

                What do you do during these “few hours together”? Just curious…

              • He is doing this because he does not want to face consequences, and/or probably doing shady things like hiding money and assets. Please be careful, watch your finances, make sure he isn’t moving money around. He is trying to soften you up so he can get a better deal in the divorce. He is eating cake.

              • If you do have sex with him, I’d wrap that sucker up with five condoms. Why risk your health? I’m not going to say anything about all the other stuff because the others said it all. Get out.

          • Look what you are modeling for your daughters by not ending this immediately. You are hanging on to something that doesn’t exist. You have no marriage, you have no husband and are in danger of losing any and all assets. Are you afraid of being alone? This, believe it or not, is worse. Worse for you, worse for your children. Be strong and end this lie. The only way I found courage to end my cheating ex’s hold on me was to realize that my child deserved a better role model than a doormat.

      • Dear WW I’m just coming out of the haze and facing the depth and breadth of deception. If they can lie about an affair they are most probably lying about finances, loyalty, communication with others etc. There is more to come….trust that they really do stuck!!!!!!

    • Send these messages to his girlfriend and ask her to have him stop contacting you.

    • SreniaB,

      I heard this same bullshit from my soon-to-be ex: “I was never going to leave you. I still love you. I was trying to find a way to end it. I was stupid and just didn’t think. It was just a mistake. I never thought I’d lose you.” So I though I would try my hand at a translation:

      “I was never going to leave you.” Why would I? You cook dinner for me every night. You clean the house. You do my laundry and the grocery shopping. You have sex with me on a regular basis. You arrange our social life. And you earn good money, for a woman. You do all of the little things so that I can do the important things, like fuck other women. I would never leave our marriage. It’s perfect for me!

      “I still love you.” I say that because it’s supposed to have an effect on you. It’s meant to convince you to stay with me, because again, our marriage is perfect for me. I don’t really know what love is. Is it that feeling I get when I look at myself in the mirror?

      “I was trying to find a way to end it.” I might have early-onset Alzheimer’s because I could not remember the words that I needed: married, wife, commitment, no. I couldn’t remember any of them! And my fine-motor skills were so bad that I couldn’t stop texting her the kissy-face emoji. I tried to type, “Stop texting me,” but somehow I sent the kissy-face.

      “I was stupid and just didn’t think.” I am smarter than you. I lied to you for three years and you never caught on. Pretty smart, right? And I just didn’t think…about you or or feelings. You don’t really register in my thoughts on a regular basis. Unless I’m hungry.

      “It was just a mistake.” I am a good husband and I made just one little mistake: I used our joint cell phone account to text and call the other woman. If I hadn’t done that, you wouldn’t have caught me and I would still have everything that I want. Live and learn.

      “I never thought I’d lose you.” I am entitled to have a wife and a woman on the side. I was wronged as a child, so now I deserve to have whatever I want. You are stupid and you’ve been depressed for the last three years, though I don’t know why. I never thought you would have the strength, integrity and self-respect to leave me. And if it weren’t for Chump Nation, you never would have!

      Did I get it right?

  • This cheater’s Blameshifting Game is top notch. Thank goodness for Chump Lady and her trusty instrument of decipher, UBT.

  • Well shit, this cheater could have added, “It wasn’t me, it was my twin brother.”

    Nothing like having a tiny wee chat with a Chump before falling into the vagina of an OW.

    No pre talk from my cheater either, also no ranting about how imperfect I was, other that one small detail. He said he had to be everything to me, husband, lover, parent, sibling, friend,( as I gave up my family for him).
    I say, hmmm, funny thing, he wasn’t even the one thing he was supposed to be to me, the partner, the one I said the vows to, in a church, in front of a few people.
    Nope, they cheat because they want to, because they can, then what they say after the fact, whether it be a book, or a few words, is just blah blah blah, lies,les, lies.

  • …That’s the worst not-apology I’ve ever seen.
    At least some of the other ones try to be somewhat subtle. Nope, this one is just straight out the gate “I cheated because you suck.”

    That doesn’t need the UBT it needs to be set on fire.


    He was right about one thing, though. The part where I would not know what I had til it was gone.
    When he was gone, the denial started breaking and I realized he was not the Nice Guy I thought he was.

    I have reached a place where, in as much pain as I am in, I thank God for the affair because without it I would never have known what I really had.

    And good riddance.

    • “The Man Posing As My Husband” is such perfect description!! I feel exactly the same way.

      • He actually said out of the blue:

        “I just want you to know I wasn’t always that

        I said, “ You are that guy and I don’t know who you are.”

  • You taught me/us Charm/Rage/Self-Pity, CL, and it’s one of the best lessons of my life. Once seen, can’t un-see.

    Now I see it clearly in many scenarios and it’s such a game changer. It’s a huge factor in early toxic narcissist recognition.

  • Yeah, three things here . . .

    “Nothing I ever did was right or good enough.” Me thinks she doth protest too much — sounds like nothing Fooled-Me-Twice ever did was right or good enough. That’s why a schmoopie was required — to get some of the rightness and goodness that was supposedly lacking.

    “It’s not who I am. It never was, and it never will be again.” So if the capacity to cheat is, and never was, part of his past, present and future, how is it explained (beyond ‘I’m just a shitty person with poor life skills’?…)

    Which brings us directly to . . .

    “I was in a really bad place.” Just a variation on the ‘temporary insanity’ defense, (KK’s take was “My head was in a different place then”), which of course falls apart when they circle back to remind you that what YOU did was the reason they cheated in the first place.

    • Now see i find this extremely interesting as i don’t think my Ex Husband ( I can say Ex now as im divorced 🙂 ) is or should i say was a cheater or will in fact ever cheat again .

      I honestly think he fell in love with his ho worker and that was the end of me and our marriage and neither of them deserved a look back over his shoulder .

      The fact she is pregnant and they are engaged to be married maybe confirms my theory . FYI she was pregnant and engaged before divorce so they are very keen to settle down ASAP . So i often think in my darkest moments that in fact was to blame not for the cheating but the fact he never once ever ever said he was unhappy and he felt he could not talk to me about how he was feeling .
      Its something i am working on

      • Karen: Your ex-husband didn’t tell you he was unhappy, because he wasn’t unhappy. That’s the truth of the matter. He simply couldn’t pass up what he felt was a delicious opportunity for ho worker pussy and attention, If it wasn’t her, you can believe it would be some other ho, who could feed him scrumptious kibbles. These people are not deep. Don’t give them the benefit of the doubt, ever.

      • “Now see i find this extremely interesting as i don’t think my Ex Husband ( I can say Ex now as im divorced ) is or should i say was a cheater or will in fact ever cheat again .”

        1. He’s a cheater. Why? Because he cheated. People who aren’t cheaters DON’T CHEAT. Case in point, YOU : ) You’re not a cheater, your ex husband (congrats on the EX part!) IS.
        2. He will cheat again. Why? Because cheaters cheat. They get off on it (figuratively and literally) and have to have the kibbles and duper’s delight it brings. Ask me how I know.
        3. You are AWESOME! I’ve been following your story and know how mighty you are. Keep up the good work.

      • Karen, did you ever consider that the OW got pregnant to “lock down” your XH? Yes, some women do this.

        Your XH didn’t tell you he was unhappy, BECAUSE HE WAS HAPPY. My XH never once told me he was unhappy. He always told me what a great wife I was and I truly thought he was happy, because he acted happy. Then one day he said to me, “I haven’t been happy in ten years, BUT I DIDN’T KNOW IT.” See what he did there? All he had to do is add in the “I didn’t know it” and that negated the fact that he acted happy the last ten years.

        As Chumpchange said ^^^, if it wasn’t this ho-worker, it would have been another. My XH had/has a long list of possible ho-workers that he was grooming our entire 23 years together. Lord only knows how many of the women he was grooming took the bait over the years. You only know about this ho-worker, but there could be more that you never knew about. I’m not saying this to hurt you, but to help you realize she’s nothing special. She just accepted the offer to have an affair with a married man. And get pregnant with a married man. That’s her character. They deserve each other.

        And you are not responsible for his happiness. You are only responsible for your own. If screwing and impregnating ho-workers makes your XH happy, then let him go and make himself “happy”. That happiness will wear off and then he will have to make himself “happy” with another ho.

        • Thank you all for posting the ‘never said he was unhappy’ anecdotes. I experienced the exact same mindf**k and will never buy it or understand it.

          Before I took the chisel to the heart with our initials that he drew in the wet cement when our driveway was poured, I said, “yeah, you were so unhappy you had to write it down in cement.”

          He was so unhappy that the neighbor caught him spying on me after dark through the front windows of my house a few months ago (move-out w/hooker date Feb 2018).

          He was so unhappy that he had enlarged photos of me and and him, and a family photo, in his hookup loft at our place of business. I discovered them when I did a surprise walk-through after I had asked him for the umpteenth time to move out of it into his new townhouse.

          He was so unhappy with me and our marriage that he had no choice but to cheat, ergo the unhappiness I caused him was so powerful that it carried over into the live-in relationship with his ‘Sole Mate’ and caused him to cheat on her too.

          Unhappy people are dangerous in their world.

          • Mine was so unhappy – he was constantly buying those stupid mix-tiles and plastering loved up photos of us around the house. So unhappy, his social media was like an altar to me and our relationship.

            But he couldn’t talk to me – he tried but I shut him down and made him feel weak. He was afraid I would dump if he told me he was unhappy, blah, blah, blah. So, instead he stuck his penis into dozens of other women for money.

            It all defies logic – it seems true that happily married people don’t cheat or hire hookers but the truth is they just wanted cake.

            • Ha! My stbxw also told me she couldn’t talk to me. She told me she gave me signals. It was enough for me i presume. It wasn’t enough for the AP with whom she texted for months before meeting him for a kiss. But what do I know, a kiss is a signal aint’it?

              • Since you didn’t mind read her supposed “signals” she started signaling elsewhere – because that’s what people with integrity who’ve made commitments do – NOT.

                The worst part is getting sucked into excuses and actually trying to address them, only to realize later – it’s excuse number 16 – and like all the others it’s bs he’s pulled out of his ass to justify the fact that he didn’t have a reason to cheat – it’s just what disordered people do.

        • Trapping men into marriage via pregnancy is called spermjacking. The words I’ve learned from fellow chumps. SMH !

      • The fact that she is pregnant only proves that they had sex. ExH has a 4 month old baby with the AP and they’ve been living together for about two years now. When I found out about her existence he described her as “a skank who turned my head”…so loving. (And last I checked, we’re all in charge of what our own necks do, but I digress.) Also, he’s not that nice to her when I see them together at school functions, etc for the two young kids he and I share. He’s not mean…it’s his specialty of distance and coolness that you can’t really technically get upset with him for because technically he’s “not doing anything wrong”…yeesh, so glad I’m out of that manipulative mess. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is just because a louse has latched on to a new host and is giving them the trappings of a real relationship (child, engagement, etc) does not mean that it’s what we would define as a “real relationship” – which would include respect, integrity, honesty and love. Do those values characterize how their relationship started? As it was predicated on a lie, I would say definitely not. YOU are not the one who is lacking here, Karen! You loved, you were there for him, you had his back. He did none of those things. Not because you didn’t “deserve” it, because he didn’t want to. He sucks.

      • Nope. He wasn’t unhappy then he found someone else and now they are new and shiny. There was a great thing on Facebook forum the other day. Maybe just maybe he’ll keep that one up for appearances and believe me this will be purported to be the ‘only real love’. It’s hurtful, but its bullshit. Why you can’t understand it is because you are not disordered.

        But no, it’s not that he didn’t ever love you and then find his Only Love Ever. Search the archives this is the cliche of the year. Yeah maybe they will stay the course, who knows. Who actually cares.

      • My guess, Karen? He was just following the narcissistic cycle. Overvalue/Lovebomb to hook you. Then the devaluation starts, followed by the discard. It wasn’t you.

      • Oh Karen.
        My ex is in the exact same spot. Pregnant gf before we divorced.
        No. This is just what happens when someone stops being a responsible adult.

        I wondered the same thing about why he would settle down again…but I know he’s just desperate for attention to prove his worth. and this will fade and the gf and baby will probably be left too.

        Good riddance.

  • Isn’t it funny that in my situation, it was all reversed. I never knew what I was going to come home to, or what he was going to bitch about. I never did anything right – filling dishwasher, initiating sex, turning lights out when no one was in the room, taking a goddamn shit. NOTHING. i put up with it, bc i did love him. His affairs (plural) took me time to figure out ~ oh, the mindfuckery of it all!!!
    HE is (still) extremely negative & controlling & was killing me & our kids. I kept the peace, i always made it known by word, deed, or random card, that i loved him. Then this chump found HIM walking out the door. At 1st, it broke me. But now? I feel 1000 times lighter! Ever since he walked out the door, people have mentioned that i look great. HA!

    While life is not totally peaceful & i still don’t know what fresh hell i am going to have to hear about (by man-splaining – the WORST way), i thank whatever it was that drove him out the door! best worst thing ever!

    Don’t be fooled again.

    • allied,

      “best worse thing ever”


      When they stay, even IF they never cheat again, you still have this narc like character who had the lack of character to cheat in the first place.
      In time, a Chump sees this, and sometimes it is too late!
      ( askme how I know).

      You enjoy your life as best you can allied, it stillcan be a beautiful world for you.
      Stay strong, he made you Mighty!

        • ???? backatcha, my favourite success story, (((((MotherChumper99))))
          I have written late responses to you in archives in the past, so this time I just wanted to try to catch you, and tell you I am so very proud of you.
          You are so Mighty, lifting up new Chumps and pointing them in the right direction, as you go about your new happy life!

    • allied – “Isn’t it funny that in my situation, it was all reversed. I never knew what I was going to come home to, or what he was going to bitch about. I never did anything right – filling dishwasher, initiating sex….” Using the wrong laundry detergent, watching too much ID channel on my very little down time. NOTHING. I too put up with it, bc I loved him. We are all learning, right. ☺

      • Sorry, but this logic is a bit weird. Why donever doing anything right, from loading the dishwasher to doing final calculations for string theory is probably one big, bigly red flag. You can’t live with somebody you can never please.

        Also, (s)he should be sent to load the dishwasher her/himself.

        • Persephone – “You can’t live with somebody you can never please. Also, he should be sent to load the dishwasher her/himself.” Exactly. No matter what I did, it was never good enough. I would have done anything to keep my family intact. He did everything to dismantle it including living a double life. His best friend (also married) and his girlfriend decided that they should set him up with her niece because he was complaining about how awful I am. They all met up one day and carried on double lives for months laughing at us wives. I give my ex two chances. He just bought a burner phone and dug dipper until I found out the third time. Done. My best friend decided to stay with her husband even though he still cheats. She also decided to start being besties with my ex’s AP. I not only lost my ex but also my best friend who still to the day is desperately trying to keep her cheater in check. I meant nothing to these people. I have been divorced since June 2018 and still having a hard time. Can’t wait until a Tuesday. Thanks to all of you guys for your words of encouragement.

          • Another layer of the shit sandwich is that we end up losing friends…or finding out what kind of “friends” they were. Part of “fixing our pickers”/getting our heads on straight.

            • Adelante -“…finding out what kind of “friends” they were.” She was never my friend. She goes along with whatever her cheating husband wants. She was so kind and such a loving person. He chooses who they hang with. Now they party with my ex and his AP even though my ex’s AP is the niece of her husbands AP.

              • Hey BetterOff1Day,

                I think you are better off already.

                It just takes a while to adjust. Be gentle with yourself. I embraced the concept of “dating myself”. I took really good care of me and, for a change, put myself first. I bet you will find you like yourself more than you realize if you start focusing on what you have rather than what you lost. Losing a husband like that and a spineless “friend” doesn’t feel like much of a loss. Not to minimize, I know it hurts like a mofo, but I suggest you give yourself all the love and attention and shut them out of your mind as much as possible.

                You know how couples have cute little inside jokes and words that have special meaning? Find that for yourself. Even better days ahead – I promise.

              • Such a difference between a person who had integrity and one whose kindness gets warped by hanging onto a cheater.

  • OMG – it sounds so familiar to me – they all run the same BS game ( they SO regret it -WHEN they get caught) – not once do they just say ” Hey – I was attracted to him/her and ended up fucking him/her and I enjoyed it and (lying/ decieving you was part of the fun ) would do it again ” – that’s because the truth is they can’t admit it – they’re too cowardly. It’s what makes CL’s book practically an absolute truism – these people enjoy backstabbing – it’s who they are – and who are they attracted to? Another lying backstabber (of course)! I only wish it had been around 20 years ago – I would be in a different world – I stayed for the kids ( they were in high school/ starting college ) and I’m sure they would have had mega problems and maybe not graduated. Also we lost 7 family members in 14 years ( cancer heart attacks, ect) We’re just roommates now.

  • No transition from the the false apology to how “you drove me to it.” What a non-apology!!! And whatever happened to remorse over blowing up what she had?! Oh, that is right, that takes a soft heart…in short supply for cheaters.

  • From a comment, “ I’m sure if we went to counseling, I’d be told he’s showing empathy and true remorse… which is why I come here instead.”

    OH SO TRUE! Thats what I am still getting from his “helpful” compatriots and pastors. I need to be more forgiving- after 30 years with a lusty cheat. Nope, he had 30 years. Time’s up!

    He sent me a letter recently. Same old, same old. Thanks to CN and the UBT, I was able to see right through it. In the past, I would have been hoodwinked. Not no mo.

  • There really is a special place in hell waiting for these fuckwits.

    Mr. Sparkles spent YEARS writing in birthday cards and anniversary cards (which were very romantic, thank you Hallmark)… that THIS was the moment he was going to change… and communicate more… and tell me he loves me more and tell me I’m beautiful more and tell me how much he’s grateful for all I do for my step children… more, more, more… word salad. The ACTIONS never followed. This little nugget became my favorite “We need to fix us.”… ergo, I was complicit in some way for his wandering dick, sex with couples, and more personal ads on adult dating sites then I care to remember. Thank God for CL and CN… I have finally accepted you cannot fix fuckwits… you can only go no contact and miraculously, the problem fixes itself.

  • There really is a cheater handbook. XH said these exact same words: “Nothing I ever did was right or good enough.”

    (Flips dial to from anger to sad sausage self-pity party).

    Anecdote to this mindfuckery? Block the cheater. Go completely no contact – with kids it is possible! Divorce ASAP.

    Anyone who speaks and thinks like this is pure toxic malignant narcissist and will bring nothing but misery to your life.

    Leave and you’ll have a wonderful peaceful full and happy life. I did and do!

    • My narc said he didn’t know how to handle me? What he was really trying to say was…I can’t control you! Dick. Can’t invest and definitely not deep.

      Thank goodness he set me free. One foot in front of the other. The Karma bus has hit a couple times. It’s not meh but for a few moments it feels good. Plus, I am just working on gaining a life. Meh will come. Baby steps. Baby steps. Chump Power!!

  • They are all the same. The more stories I hear here, the more they all sound alike. UBT is probably getting tired of regurgitation.

    • I only recently remembered at the very beginning, my X-wife told me “I tried to be too perfect”. They not only all pick from the same book. They all learn it and repeat it out in extenso.

  • Oh gag. They really do all follow the same script. My cheating lying stealing abusing ex husband said almost the same things..why oh why couldn’t I just be grateful for what I had and I nagged him to death ( it’s so awful when we nag them to keep their pants on and stop stealing our money—it’s just so awful for them isn’t it?)

    • Ah yes I too ‘should be grateful for what I have got’. And this is post split. Bearing in mind I have the minimalist contact with him I can muster with a 9yr old child he still has to get these statements in. I mean what does he thinks gives him the right. Last conversation about child I was reminded of the big deposit he put down on the house AND that my behaviour in the relationship was the reason we were here. They never let up. They either send sad apologies like this one here or just never relent on telling you how awful you are. What is wrong with these people honestly. Where do they get the energy? I frankly have a million things I would like to say to him sometimes but just under a year and half out I can’t be bothered. Pointless.

  • Well we all know all cheaters are toxic but I still can’t wrap my brain around my STBX’s response (and let’s face it – it’s not worth even thinking about – but I did waste a bunch of time stumbling in the fog – like years of time lost in the forest).

    My STBX has not once expressed an ounce of remorse or sad sausage or anger. He has completely grey rocked me. He is awesome at it and he did it as he stonewalled me (after a bit of gaslighting once I first started to clue in). He admitted almost nothing (but he does admit he cheated and admitted after 8 months I should get tested for STD’s). My STBX is the master of gray rock – he has let nothing in. Personally, I know that I am a much more emotionally healthy person but his emotional health is his issue now not mine.

    I always thought I wanted remorse and sad sausage but I think it would have just kept me trying in the marriage cause you know enough effort saves anything (not :). Good on you Fooled me Twice for not falling for this. Know that all cheaters suck not matter how they respond. Best of luck to you.

    • I think in the end we were probably lucky that our cheaters didn’t try to reel us back in. I know I spent a good half year, after my XW had left, worrying that she might turn around and accept my offer to go to marriage counseling. I wouldn’t have been able to say “no” (because we have three kids), but I also knew it would be devastating.

        • Yes I wouldn’t have said this before but am now so grateful. He actually said to me (about leaving) ‘you would never do this would you’. PS he thinks his decision was because he is more enlightened than most of us. I would have walked through hot coals to keep my family together for my daughter. Now I wouldn’t. So glad it was never an option, did me a favour that way.

    • Deee… look up the narcissist’s favorite tool… the silent treatment… it is very different than grey rock and much more intentionally abusive… it is a tool to drive control and manipulation. is a great site for learning more!

      • Thank-you! You are right- what he did was abusive and it kept me ultra confused – so much wasted time – sigh

  • “I do know what the affair did to you, and I’m sincerely and deeply sorry.”

    Not that *I* did anything to you – but that other person/thing called ‘affair’ did something, and you do have my sympathy for any hurt that ‘Affair’ person/thing caused you.

    “If I could go back, I would have done a lot of things very differently. ”

    I would have remembered not to sync my phone with the computer so you saw all my sexts.

    “You were extremely negative and controlling (You still are), and you were killing me. I stressed every day on my drive home from work about what you were gonna be mad at or bitch about. Nothing I ever did was right or good enough.”

    I mean, not so controlling I couldn’t find time to bang a bunch of other men, but… you know… you suck! Here I was banging all these other guys, and you kept acting like I was a crap wife!

    “I never ever dreamed I would do what I did. It’s not who I am. It never was, and it never will be again.”

    My alter ego, Countess Boochie Flagrante has a lot to answer for. It was she who did all those things, you see.

    • haha, love this. wasband used to tell me the same thing. i was too controlling and he wasnt going to let me manipulate him anymore (actually those were HER words she told him to tell me or he believed her and repeated) Funny, how if i was SO controlling that i couldnt stop him from fucking the neighborhood meth head (or the one before her), i was SO controlling and yet he was out drinking every single weekend and i never knew where he was. i was SO manipulative to him but yet i couldnt manipulate him into being loyal, caring, or dependable. i couldnt even manipulate him into paying bills or coming home.

      I also heard the “nothing i do is good enough for you” and i never understood it. first of all, i never actually complained about anything he did. if he actually did something, i was so busy thanking him, making sure he knew how appreciative i was that he did it and then bragging about it to everyone so he knew that i told others plus boosting up his fragile ego (what a good job, you did great, how wonderful you are, i am so lucky to have a husband like you, GAG). Second, its not like he really ever did anything great. what he was DOING what was all husbands, men and daddy’s do. i cant understand why he thought he should get credit or a good fucking star for doing the things any human being SHOULD do. .. .. he used to tell me “But i work”.. so fucking what!!! I work. my dad works. the neighbor works. my great grandpa works. my kids work. i never could understand why he thought that was a big deal .. .. of course now that we are divorced he doesnt work. so i guess it was a big deal for him. poor baby, i controlled and manipulated him into WORKING every single day. .. .

      it damn near killed me when he left but 5 years later, i found my peace. he still pops up every now and then. last year he called crying how sorry he was. when asked what was he actually sorry for. he gets mad and says EVERYTHING. .. . how easy to sweep it all under the EVERYTHING.. that way anything that comes up after his fake apology he can say he already said he was sorry for. no explanations needed.

      We are so much better without that mind fuck.

      • ‘Work’ is a four letter word for narcissists. What them, work? Put a solid effort into anything that is important for a well-functioning family? That’s for little people – the wife, parents, grandparents, kids. You know you’ve got a serious narcissist on your hands when he bitches about working because most husbands fully understand that earning money to put a roof over their family and food on the table for children is non-negotiable.

        • Right!!!! which is why I was always so confused when he would throw that into an arguement. we would be fighting mostly over his drinking and not coming home, occasionally about his spending money on stupid shit so now i couldnt pay the bills, sometimes over things i needed him to fix in the house because he always waited until it was broke beyond repair before he did anything. .. and he would toss that gem in every time.. .. “Well, i work”.. .. what the fuck does that have to do with you coming home at 4 am? drunk as a skunk? .. . ironically (and i never noticed at the time) he would usually end these arguments with “you want too much from me”. Again i could never understand since i was just asking him to be a decent human being, just basic decent human behavior. Come home at night after work. pay bills on time. stop lying to me about everything. help with the kids and the house.. .. OH and spend time with me and the kids.. ..

          it actually shocked the hell out of me that he is not working. At first i thought he was just doing it to get out of paying child support. But now i really think that is how he really is. He would rather live in his car or with his sister then get a real job to pay rent. he would rather work for a few 100 dollars and ask for donations of clothes and shoes then to get a real job and buy them himself. he flashes his thick cash wad in his wallet to the boys but they dont know that is ALL he has. And most of it will go to beer.

          he likes sleeping until noon, he like staying up all night. he likes working just a few hours a day, when he feels like working, mowing a yard, fixing a car, whatever. he doesnt have ANY responsibilities. doesnt have to pay the water or electric bill. doesnt have to buy food. doesnt have to cook or clean. sleeps when he wants, drink when he wants, has sex when he wants, eats when he wants.. .. .. THAT is how he likes to live. Not me. i like my house, my truck, my job, but most importantly i enjoy my children every day.

          He doesnt know what he is missing because he never knew what he had. Life is better on the other side

          • To the narcissist ‘You want too much from me’ means: You’re not the boss of me. Cue lowering your expectations to nothing. A chump will do that in a heartbeat and a narc knows it.

            But in the workplace, narc is taken aback when he snarls to his boss ‘You want to much from me’, and boss says fuck off, bye, bye, because actually boss man is the boss of narc, and has no intentions of lowering expectations. Narc left stunned standing in line at unemployment office. A scenario that replays itself many times in the dubious career of a narc.

        • Yes, this “work.” Half the abuse is the infidelity & half the abuse is the irresponsibility. Mine keeps saying “ I can never please you. “ WHY is he trying to please me vs. being a faithful husband, & being a responsible father & homeowner. He actually said “I keep trying to guess what you want.”

  • This is like the mindfuckery my ex sends! I only send vital info about the kids. Just So you can laugh!

    All I can say is I used to really love you. I understand that you hate me. I try to support your position as a mother. I don’t think we can ever coparent. I am sorry for making you into a bitter person. I wish you success. The kids love you. Don’t pretend you don’t try to destroy their connection to me. Play whatever game you want. They’ll eventually growup and decide for themselves. It’s a very sad situation. I yield. You’re right. I realize I am a piece of shit. Have a nice life.

    This was 9 months after finalized divorce. I am putting this through my Universal Bullshit translator.
    When you wiped my ass and paid my bills you were loved; with the exception of the affair. You have no right to hate me for wanting an open marriage and screwing a whore. I sent this message after I sent cops to your house because our daughter started a fight with you that I told her to start. I have been insisting the children treat my whore like you. I even told them she’s your new mommy. I am sick of the court orders-unless I get my way we can’t coparent. You are bitter because I am not in control and you don’t give in to my orders. I tried to squash you like a bug; but you are doing better than me so I am going to act like that is what I wanted. I have tried to turn the kids against you in every way imaginable but they aren’t buying my BS anymore. I don’t feed them dinner on Thursday night, I refuse to take them to any medical or dental, I don’t attend any of the school events, they bring clothes in back packs to my house, I bitch to them about child support which I am behind on, I refuse to contribute to any extra curriculars, I am the last parent to pick them up from school- so the teacher have to call me. But it’s you destroying any relationship I have. I am trying to get you to engage in my game of mindfuckery and you won’t. The kids will get grown and I won’t be able to force them to be with me, sadz me. Its so sad you filed for divorce and I have no kibbles. Sad Sausage you win. I can’t get any sympathy poor me. I believe your a piece of shit for not buying my bs. Poor Me. I will move on with my day.

    This site taught me to run every message this way it was always good for a laugh, but it helps you to continue to make good decision to move forward with your life. This message required no actual response- No contact is the only way to save yourself.

  • The UBT made me laugh….but also made me think: they all must drink water from the same fountain!

  • It all boils down to a standard cheater gaslighting tactic: throw some shit and see what sticks.

  • I’ve got these types of messages before. I’ve got a few of them saved, but I haven’t looked at them in a long time. It’s all a hot mess of gas-lighting, blame-shifting, minimizing, and invalidation.

    The part of the message that stuck out to me is “I spent my whole life loving you and wanting to make you happy, and I was never successful”. I too would always get “I try so hard to make you happy”. I finally started asking “what exactly are you doing to make me happy?” She couldn’t really come up with anything on the spot so she blame-shifted again. I obviously had a problem. I was incapable of actually seeing all of the effort she was expending to make me happy. Also, I’m so cynical and that is why all her efforts (which I was incapable of seeing) didn’t help improve my mood.

    I wasn’t about to let this one go. I finally asked her to give me one single example of something she specifically did for me, that she didn’t have to do, that was just to make me happy. The best example she could come up with on the spot was “there are several things you do that I don’t like and I never complain about them”.

    I’m not sure what she was trying to say. I guess that same logic was used for lying about her affair for years. She determined I’d be happier not knowing. To me, it felt like a threat. I should be happy with the way things were, because they could be a lot worse. The funny thing was when I asked what I was doing that bothered her. She couldn’t tell me, because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings.

    • They speak in cliches. And they actually haven’t a clue who we are. So if you ask what it is they like about you, they can’t think of a real response. Then they get mad because they are on the spot. It’s insanity.

  • OMG. ‘I’m an Adulterer, BUT I’M NOT.’

    Poor little Blanche in his confining Marriage Chair. HE IS THE VICTIM OF MENE LADIES.

    At this point I’d have to go full Baby Jane:

    ‘But you are, Blanche! YOU ARE!’

  • Oh, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Aren’t you sorry you weren’t nicer to me?

  • The Dr. Phil show had a couple on this morning, Stacey (wife) and husband whose name I forget. Can’t forget how the poor husband was in pain, trying to decide between Stacey, his wife of 30 years and mother of his five children–and the exotic dancer half his age who he was having an affair with. The five children kept saying they wanted their parents back together and Stacey couldn’t stand how long the wayward spouse was taking to decide. But he had to take his time, you see, because Stacy had never given him any affection AT ALL during their marriage (I guess except for those five nights leading to their five children) so the poor man was so indecisive. This was a re-run so hope that she read CL and kicked him to the curb long ago…however, I don’t think so from what I saw. All her fault, of course, if the 30 year marriage breaks up…

  • Mine used to stagger (drive!!!!) home drunk about 3-4 times a week. Get in around 2 a.m. and then start looking for a fight. I was obviously “sleeping too loud and it bothered him”. This would inevitably end in the “nocturnal soliloquies of an inadequate prick” (I’m gonna write a book with that title) where he would “argue” with me (without my ever opening my mouth) for about 45 minutes and then beat the shit out of me. After he had exhausted himself he would burst into tears and say “but that’s not who I am”!!!!! Sure as hell felt like it to me. I guess I should have learned to stop thumping his fists with my face!

  • This is exactly the message I received from my ex. Down to the choice of words. He added abusive, because he also told me that I was restricting his personality when I asked him to stop making stupid jokes.

    This message was the hardest for me to get over. And I am still not sure I am over it. I have a lot of healing to do, because whenever I voice my opinion or have an opposing point of view, I am questioning if I come across too controlling or even oppressive.
    It is hard to unlearn when over the years any negative emotions you may have had we’re being treated like a crime against humanity. And by humanity of course I mean HIM.

  • Ok. I have to own a tiny piece of this bullshit. “I love you with all my heart” and “I drive home from work each day dreading your nitpicking and criticising” (or whatever) just don’t go together.

    You see, I did this. I stayed through 7 (aware) years of cheating, taking daily raging, blameshifting, projection, gaslighting and devaluing, loving my husband when I was at work, far far away from his “see above” then getting the dread as soon as I put the key in my car each night to go home.

    That shit is called cognitive dissonance. I’d fantasise about winning lottery so I could leave. That’s not love. That’s fear.

    And when I finally caught him red handed after years of plausible deniability I couldn’t have been more grateful for the shit that was about to go down. It was tough, still is, but I’m not living amongst the abuse anymore. It was a gift.

    The bullshit presented here is projection, gaslighting and blameshifting all rolled into one. They are abusers and use love as their weapon. I lived it myself. It sucked.

    • Nena, that’s so weird. I fantasized about winning the lottery so I could leave him too. Friday evening I didn’t want to go home because I knew sometime that weekend I was gonna get a beatin’. I didn’t know which day but I knew it was coming! Fuck him!

      • I was trapped too. Lived in a very remote place with little recourse. Wondered how I would ever get out with absolutely no $ to escape, much less pay for a lawyer, place to live, a car, etc.

        My Grandmother rescued me from the grave after almost a decade since she had passed. A piece of property she had given an X husband for a life lease, one that the family had forgotten about and which I was part beneficiary of, came back to the family when former X husband passed at a very ripe old age. That legacy, which I was so afraid the XAss would try to get his hands on was just enough to get me out. XAss was so pissed about it. Especially when the judge told him he was owed no part of that inheritance. Thank you Grandma!

        • Skunkcabbage,
          May your sweet Grandma RIP.
          I love her.
          Grandmas always hold a special place in our heart.
          She would be so proud of you.

          • Actually my Grandmother was a malignant narcissist who went through 5 husbands and a multi-million dollar inheritance. She tortured the family and played them against each other for years.

            I like to think that she came to my assistance, one of the only people who stood up against her while she was alive and didn’t allow her to play psychological games with against the “rat bastard men” that she hated and manipulated all her life! The whole thing pretty ironic.

            • Wow,
              I lost respect for her, with all you have written. Still, glad she helped you, even if it was the only good act she performed in her life.

  • Here’s my 1 line UBT of the whole piece:

    “I love you even though you suck… though you didn’t suck quite enough for me to file divorce and I didn’t love you quite enough to not fuck around behind your back.”

  • “and you were killing me”

    “I fuck others out of self-defense, not malice.”

    Was sitting at my desk and just digging into my sandwich for lunch when I ran across this translation. 😀

    OMG…..luckily I hadn’t taken a bite yet. My cube neighbors are wondering what is so damn funny.

    Self-defense fuckers! A new label for all the dimwit cheaters.

    • Your moniker has inspired me . . .

      Imagine: CL sitting in a darkened theater, watching one of our sordid fuckwit stories playing out on the big screen and offering UBT comments in real time.

      if I had a million dollars . . .

  • I think CL should do a piece on the “Nothing I did was ever enough” narrative, from both angles. Because it’s so, so very different coming from a cheater vs a chump.

    With cheaters, it’s this shit above. “Nothing I ever did was enough! I tried so hard to please you! You were always complaining, bitching, etc! You see, I HAD to find SOMEONE to understand me, so it’s really all your fault for being a terrible spouse whom I could never please *fainting couch*”

    With chumps, it’s literally nothing we do fills the bottomless pit where the cheater’s heart should be. There’s never enough cake, kibbles, or whatever to be enough. That’s how even famous, gorgeous super models and high powered successful businessmen/women and celebrities get cheated on. You could be perfect-looking, put out for sex every night, have all the money in the world, and STILL GET CHEATED ON, because it is just never enough. A chump could devote all their energy, their emotions, their love, their time, their effort, ask for nothing in return, and it is still not enough.

    “Nothing I ever do is enough” has two very, very different meanings to cheater and chump. There should be a post about this.

    • Exactly right. When you live with someone you can never please it has a terrible effect on your self image. I felt this from my father, and still do. I know I have had a successful life, in spite of all his negative statements to me and about me, but I used to dream of hearing him say three magic things: I’m sorry, I was wrong, and I’m proud of you. Those things will never happen. He is 88 now, and still clings to his delusions, although my mother finally divorced him, and all of his children keep their distance and do not come to visit.
      I also feel this set me up for an unhealthy tolerance with my ex’s. If a partner really feels this way, it could be a constructive topic for therapy, but if there is no reciprocal conversation, and no true desire to change negative behaviors, it is just another form of manipulation. I learned the hard way you can never please someone who has the “what have you done for me lately” attitude. To these folks, you are controlling if you have boundaries and expect them to pull a fair share of the work. They are entitled to be happy, you should be pleased they allow you to bask in their wonderfulness.

      It is hard to get over the cultural expectations to be a subservient daughter, wife, mother who only lives to please the chosen one. I have heard my son’s express the same feeling about girls who think they should be treated like a princess. If there is no sharing, no reciprocation, no joint endeavors to distribute the work load of living evenly, there can never be a true relationship in my humble opinion.

      The cheaters may feel they are entitled, and you are not, and they may think you should always give more. That doesn’t mean the chump should not realize there is an inequity in the distribution of love, work, and resources. It is a patronizing thing — you don’t need to work outside the home, have your own money, equal pay for equal work — I will (should?) take care of you and give you what I think you need — as long as you do everything I tell you to do and DO NOT question my authority. This is not love.
      My children used to tell me (when they were teens), “Don’t tell me how to live my life.” I explained they had to follow my rules while they lived in my home and I cared for them but the moment they moved out and obtained autonomy they could live life as they chose. They did not think I would give up my authority, ever. But part of the rules were to become independent — to learn to take care of themselves and to do their own work. It took almost 10 years, after they started college, but both did finally say they were grateful for the lessons learned when they were being ungrateful. I also told them when I made a mistake, apologized when I was wrong, told them I loved them and was proud of them. I believe life is not supposed to be easy, but you need to learn to self sustain, and try to be fair. You have to be as hard on yourself as you are on others. If you have unrealistic expectations you will be unhappy all your life. Learning to manage your hopes and dreams, and learning to truly love and give to others is all part of being an authentic person. Not easy, but well worth it.

    • It’s basically DARVO.
      Cheaters reveal their true perceptions when the deflect blame.
      They are Perfectly aware of all that chumps are putting in, their effort, time, resources, bodies, etc., or else they wouldnt stick around, rest assured. To be a chump, you have to be of use. They know this. They simply capitalize on it ruthlessly.
      That’s why it’s even worse when they try to take the role of the hard-done one. It’s so fake and pathetic, they know they’re really describing the chump.

  • Asshat shared that “I have to look at porn everyday when I get done with work just to be able to come home to you…” And a variety of other word salad. Whatev. Never was or will be his fault. Poor little guy. Hope his Adult Friend Finder pals make him happy. ????

    So glad I filed and kicked his ass out. Bye, Felicia!

  • Ah yes, taking the effect and making it the cause.

    “Well first came and action, and then a reaction,
    But you can’t switch around
    for your own satisfaction.
    You burned my house down
    then got mad
    at my reaction”. -Jack White

  • In one way this cheater is right “you don’t know what you got till its gone”
    Thanks to the trusty UBT Fooled-Me-Twice can clearly see what they had was a narc fuckwit concerned only with himself and his “needs”
    I hope our writer today can enjoy the full benefits of No Contact, the path to the truth and the light.
    Celebrate what’s gone being gone FMT. There’s no better way to gain that life.

  • When in the early days of wondering just what the hell happened, this is the worst kind of message to get. It is not an apology at all of course but is just a parting shot to lay blame at the feet of the Chump.

    As a co-dependent I was deeply wounded by exactly this sort of bullshit from my X Asshat and it has haunted me and caused enormous self-doubt. The bald fact is that he was never worried about my happiness, not even a little bit. He lived his life to make himself happy; working away from home for months overseas, having daily flirtations with every willing young ho-worker, and never coming home for dinner. Even though I put up with it all and was a cheerleader for his every whim I was still declared to be angry and controlling and judgmental as he departed to go fuck around with a chick half his age. Yeah, my bad.

    They toss hand grenades behind them as they skip off to their elusive happiness so that they can avoid facing what they have done. It is very convenient to lay the blame entirely at the Chump’s feet as they wax poetic about their wasted loving efforts and how we will now rue their loss- we will miss the awesomeness that was them when they are gone! They are truly horrible people.

    • Funny about grenades. In discovery phase when social media (which I am frankly not interested in) told me a lot of what I needed to know one Christmas she had a Xmas tree with ornaments shaped like grenades. IMMEDIATELY I knew he sent them to her. She posted. Nothing says Christmas like grenades or something, he liked it. He has said to me, this doesn’t have to be bad (ie us parting) unless YOU throw in a grenade. I knew straight away and then I found a poem about ‘explosions scattering the bits all over’. But it would only be bad if I threw in a grenade. What did he think would happen, we’d be spending this Xmas at the family home he is still paying towards (very bitterly) and me buying her a tasteful cashmere sweater. FFS. But the fact I didn’t go quite was my problem. And this was before D Day. You can impinge it took a very different turn afterwards. I was suddenly then enemy of the people. No ‘we can still be a loving mum and dad’ I was evil and he didn’t need to listen to my shit. All this stuff is way worse than the infidentlity itself and you are right they are truly horrible. Good luck to her for winning a real prize.

  • I get the, “I did not say that because it is not who I am or even how I think”when I confront my husband about the hurtful and or inappropriate things he has said. But his behaviors show that it is how he thinks. Makes me feel I am crazy.
    And then after he denies and sort of explains what maybe he really meant, he is all of a sudden very kind to me. This is what he shows to most everyone else. Does anyone else get this Jekyl and Hyde treatment?
    Today is my 61 birthday and I have made a pact with myself that I am starting a new life taking care of myself, and even though my first attorney appointment had to be rescheduled I will be keeping that. The last mean thing he said to me was that he could not recall ever complimenting me for dressing nicely. He had already said he won’t be intimate with me cuz he really does not like it and it did not work the last two times he even tried. We are older and there are ways to help that we have access to.
    I’m done with this mess. I have expressed my gratitude to those people in my life who have been there and supportive of me. I’m on the road to taking care of me. I lost myself in this marriage. Constantly making myself less and less in hopes he would be loving towards me. Let his 21 year old female friends have him.

    • Another Chump, you are on the right track. Jeckyll and Hyde is a perfect metaphor. They are split and you can not reconcile it. While you are getting your ducks in a row, you might want to read this- by lawyer Bill Eddy. I was shocked when my ex did everything in the book. Fortunately my lawyer was familiar with the book and with high-conflict personalities. Quietly prepare yourself- and get yourself the best deal possible. I am 63 and in pretty good shape after 5 unholy years of splitting.

  • Good God you’re hilarious. I’ve been reading you and laughing and crying for about 6 years I think. You are fabulous.

  • No, that’s exactly who you are, fuckface. Don’t give them a second thought, it’s all toxic word-salad.

  • “I never ever dreamed I would do what I did. It’s not who I am.”

    I read that as: I would never be that kind of person. YOU are so bad, that YOU made me into that!
    What a disrespect

  • I loved the tiny victory that was short-circuiting his thought process that so confidently made him say that “All I would think about was my problems” , when I asked how his chatting up co-workers was ever going to help with that (or whatever he apparently disliked so much about me that he couldnt utter a single word about).

    “What does that have to do with it?” Became my response to blameshifting. Itwas a rhethorical question for me at that point.
    He would squirm cause he’s a bit smarter than that. Just thought I wasnt.

  • What do you do if it’s karma?

    My now husband of 3 years (and previous to that 3 years of bf-gf) has cheated on me going repeatedly to massage parlors (the last DDay was month & half ago). He also sent a postcard to some girl (that he says is all the same massage-girl) saying he misses her from his trip to overseas. But… you see, part of mee feels I deserve it.

    I have to be honest. I did cheat on my ex bf 10 years ago. Technically it didn’t get to sex although I was willing. I thought I was in love with the other guy and craving for attention. And I wanted to cowardly provoke my ex to end things, as we were on different pages about starting a family. I know I was so stupid back then and hurt a really good guy. I couldn’t lie a single day though, just evaded the conversation a few days until he was back from a trip. We broke up the same evening he was back and it took me some long months to really grasp how awfully I had acted. I did half-apologies, but I still was justifying myself to him and I know now it’s not nearly enough if I say “ I’m so sorry, but..” In some months I did ask for his forgiveness with more humility, admitting it was so wrong and there was no reasons that would any way justify what I had done. I would go back on his terms if he only wanted to. He never wanted get back together with me and I do understand and don’t blame him. I have no right to expect anything from my ex. The only thing I could do was start working on myself to change some bad patterns and never repeat my behavior. I do think I have succeeded to some extent. I have never ever felt tempted to go that route again, even when I have my needs unmet now in my 3-year marriage, where – it seems— the husband has been cheating some way or another from the beginning and before. He doesn’t admit this of (only the few times having a happy-ending massage which I have proof of..).

    I don’t know.. maybe it’s just my punishment now and I have to live with this. I feel too afraid to leave. We have a 2,5 yo son and live in a foreign European country far from my family and support-network. I’m also almost completely economically dependent on my lawyer husband right now.. and brain fog and extreme exhaustion are preventing me from concentrating really to know from where to start to better the situation for any of us. Of course he blames me for his cheating (I changed to be not affectionate apparently after getting married…- while I think I am never been extroverted nor very physical but he did seem to be happy with me in the beginning just the way I was..).. it doesn’t help that our home country is quite benevolent on men going with prostitutes, cheating in general and Esther Perel types of ideas are very popular. Also.. child support or alimony are minimal and custody will be compared 50-50 in most cases.

    I somehow found chump-lady article somewhere else and then the blog and then her book LACGAL which I feel is so right and amazing. The only time Im not completely in despair is while reading on here…I still feel so guilty and like I’m deserving this life now. So I guess I’m mostly rambling and trying to get some sympathy and support while I also know imI might not be accepted happily among chumps. I feel really grateful anyhow, just to be able to read so much wisdom on this site. Sorry for my sometimes unclear or bad English as I’m not a native. Wish strength and happiness to you all.

  • Confused from Europe,

    You are not being punished/karma/cheated on in your marriage, because you cheated on your bf from years ago. A lot of us have done things we regretted when we were younger/immature; kissed a boy when we were dating someone else, etc. You obviously sound sorry for cheating on him and you told him you were sorry. He wisely didn’t take you back, because he knew his worth and wasn’t a chump. You worked on yourself after that; you learned from your mistake, so you wouldn’t do it again to someone else.

    NO ONE DESERVES TO BE CHEATED ON! If you’ve read CL and CN long enough, you will realize that almost all cheaters blame their partner on why they cheated. You could be 100% perfect in every single category, including sex, and your husband still would have cheated. He cheated because he’s entitled, he thinks he deserves it and wanted to. It’s a simple as that. You might never find evidence that he had intercourse, but I would not be the least bit surprised that he has.

    As Chump Lady has said many times, “Is this relationship acceptable to you?” Do you want to be married to a man who goes to massage parlors and sends postcards to women and tells them he misses them?

    My XH went up to Canada (I live in the States) over ten time to visit the strip clubs. He had many 100% naked lap dances. I had no idea he was there. I was at home pregnant with our second child and we also had a one year old. I didn’t find out about this until years later and I forgave him. Well, guess what? He was cheating in various ways after that and 14 years after the strip clubs, I caught him cheating again. And later I found out here at CN, that you can touch the strippers, get bj’s and sex for extra money. And also there are massage parlors in Canada too. I regret not leaving him way back in 2000 when I thought he was having an affair; he was. I was like you. Far from my family (isolated). Financially dependent on him. Afraid and not knowing what to do. I wish Chump Lady existed back then, because I had no clue what was going on with him (he was acting very strange, cold and mean). Now I know this how some people act when they are cheating. I wish I left when I was in my early 30’s, instead of having to start over in my late 40’s. (((HUGS))) to you. You did nothing wrong and you don’t deserve to be cheated on. Nobody does!

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