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How Cheap Is Your Cheater?

Once upon a time, GladIt’sOver’s ex presented her, apropos of nothing, with a half-eaten box of Wheatena cereal. As a “gift.”

She told the story here and that telling detail has stayed with me ever since. It perfectly illustrates the Bounty for Me! Crap for You! narc dynamic.

Today’s Fractured Friday Challenge is to play a round of How Cheap Is Your Cheater? Ever been devalued with a craptacular, passive-aggressive gift? How about incredible cheapness when it comes to real life grownup expenses?

The flip side of this of course, is the magnificent generosity they indulge in themselves and with their affair partners. And how they try to convince chumps that this flamboyant lopsidedness is Right and Normal. It’s good to be King/Queen.

Mr. CL once told me that in 22 years of marriage to his cheating ex the best gift he ever received (and he was serious, he really enjoyed this gift — it was the BEST!) was a set of screwdrivers.

Contrast that with my tie-dyed license plate cover. Yes, we’re epic chumps.

Of course his ex, like my ex, spent a prolific amount on all sorts of gadgetry and gewgaws for themselves.

Now I know some of you are going to write and say, no your cheater was terrifically generous, always sent flowers, pulled their own weight, and one day was abducted by an alien affair partner. Okay, you didn’t have a cheap cheater (but I’d wonder — did you look at all the credit card statements?) Today’s How Cheap Is Your Cheater? isn’t for you.

So tell me, what Stupid Cheap Shit did your cheater do? And what was the contrast to how they treated themselves?

And better yet, tell me how you treat yourself now. May all your Wheatena boxes be full.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My Ex cheater saved large buckets of sawdust from his woodworking, crap building hobby. Cheater rarely left tips in restaurants and has not contributed one cent for either child’s college costs. He was very generous to his whore with family money. Typical cheater.

    • I’ve shared this before: but the one Christmas I cried and begged him to pick out and purchase gifts just for me. I’d still buy everything for the kids, his parents etc – I was just sad at the thought of getting a gift and stuffers for me. It was shocking that I wasn’t going to wrap it as well apparently because Xmas morning there was a cvs bag with one knock off phone charger and a phone case – both for a galaxy phone. I bought both of us the same new iPhones last year. He could have bought a charger and case for the phone he had and at least got a crap I could even use!

    • So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Robinson.buckler he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that ( Robinsonbuckler @ ) yahoo. com real and powerful spiritualist, if you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact him now.????????????????????????????

    • Desdemona, He sounds a bit like like Joan Robinson Hill’s infamous husband . (I recently read the true crime book Blood & Money. It’s quite the page turner)

  • A used VHS tape of Jurassic Park 2. For my birthday, 6 days late. For himself he bought new Playstation, new games, steaks, and lobster.

    While I worked 2 jobs to pay the bills.

    • Literally the same…minus the used VHS tape…I got nothing. He forgot my birthday even though it was 2 days before his.

      I also worked two jobs to pay the bills.

      My counsellor told me that I couldn’t hold it against him…chemo brain. But I do hold it against him because it was shitty character and not cancer that made him an asshole.

  • I received a unexpected cheap vacuum cleaner, I was supposed to be grated. He and ow, prostitutes etc received cocaine, he explained once they “didn’t” do cheap coke either.
    I have a feeling I was ripped off, apparently the ow, prostitutes never paid for drugs, that wasn’t a surprise, same they needed antibiotics for the sti’s.
    We split up nearly 7 years ago, he actually told me tho week he loved me, I put the phone down on him.
    The vacuum cleaner still works.
    It wasn’t a expensive one either.

  • In my defense, they were Craftsman screwdrivers. 3 slotted and 3 Phillips head, in a plastic wall bracket. If your main Christmas gift to someone is going to be screwdrivers, you really couldn’t do much better.

    • I get it! Especially the smallest Phillips head=worth gold sometimes.

      For the last (unbeknownst to me) married Xmas I got replacement dinner plates. Boring dinner plates. Guess who ended up getting them in the asset split?

      My cheater is a control freak and doesn’t spend money much at all. It’s one of the ways she controls her anxiety. And then she gets to stress about it and then you try to care for her and that’s how she gets her buzz… and ‘round you go.

      • One Christmas when my kids were too little to buy me anything on their own, I got absolutely F all from him! I’d bought several smaller gifts for him and one large one. When my little boy asked “where are your presents mommy?” it broke my heart – not because I needed anything but because it was such a big F you from him!

        • Same thing happened to me numerous times at Christmas. Similarly, my small children asked where were my presents and I felt so humiliated and unloved. I didn’t care that I didn’t get anything, but I was heart-broken because he didn’t care enough to make any effort. This also happened for my birthdays and Mother’s Day – so embarrassing when workmates asked what gift I received. I learnt to prepare to lie. Meantime, he spent thousands on camera gear for himself and jewellery and fancy dinners for his “friend”.

        • My ex gave great gifts right up until the end. Now that we are done he won’t even buy anything for our 9 yr old to give to me for Christmas or my birthday. The narc mask is off and time to punish the chump for adulting after d-day. My son has said too I feel bad I don’t have a gift for u. I said it’s not ur fault it’s your dad’s (parent) responsibility to help u with that until u have a job to buy your own gifts. What I love even more is modeling those values to my son. I don’t want a narcissist for a son. I want a respectful and responsible son. Ex still gets a Christmas and birthday gift from our 9 yr old with the help from mom. ????????#saneparent #adulting

          • I am very fortunate to not have this issue, but what we do so that our boys are able to buy gifts and so on and learn how great it is to find the perfect thing for someone you care about (which is a great thing, being a good gift giver is a real skill and it needn’t require much cash), is give them a modest allowance through the year, with check-in’s to help them remember to save a little of it towards gifts for others. Then each parent takes them / shepherds them / discusses with them their budget and ideas for what the other one might want. Of course, for this to work, you need two sane, decent parents, but still, it’s quite cool for when they’re too young to have any independent income!

        • A former neighbor shared with me that she purchased her own gifts and signed her husband’s name on the gift tag. She didn’t want her kids to ask questions like this. Spackle job.

          • My parents used to give me money to buy and wrap gifts for the other parent. While they were married. I grew up thinking this was normal and healthy.

        • Me too, Attie. There are too many Christmas mornings to count when there was nothing under the tree for me.

      • A thoughtful gift of tools is always welcome by me. My kids have gotten me some every year and I looooove them.

    • Craftsmen screwdrivers will last a lifetime. Cheater not so much.
      Love my craftsmen tools and I took them in the divorce!

      • Yep, today the screwdrivers reside in the tool closet of the CL apartment. The cheating ex is 1,500 miles away. ????

        • There’s nothing that a Texas boy can’t fix with a screwdriver, pair of pliers, and a can of WD-40.

          • And duct tape & bungle cords ????

            Mine was a (step)mother’s Day gift card for a store an hour away that was going out of business. I know it was carefully selected because it took 2 days of shopping over about 6 hours total.
            He bought his son a birthday gift after cleaning the kid’s bank account out that was in both of their names. It was the kid’s birthday & Christmas money, so…

          • I love tools ( apparently, because my x was a giant tool …), so the screw drivers would be a win/win for sure!!!

            One year my x bought a truck stop door decoration with the $20 price tag still attached as my one and only Christmas gift.

            Like so many have stated, he endulged himself every chance he got. The rest of us had to scrounge on crumbs.

            One thing that pissed me off was the vehicles.

            He always drove an expensive truck while I got a piece of crap car. When my Mother was dying she gave me her car.
            It was older with low mileage- and apparently worth something.

            I loved that car, but somebody offered my husband a good amount of money for it and he sold it to the guy st work without my permission.

            In return he gave me his 92 year old Grandfather’s Grand Marquis- which was falling apparat and terrible on gas. But free !!!!

            When I divorced I went out and bought what I wanted. Screw him!!!

            Ps – he and MOW got married and he bought himself an 80 k truck while she drives a 11 year old car. Joke’s on her -it was her money – I hope she enjoys never being allowed to touch the truck. I doubt her name is even on it????

              • Unfortunately no – he always demanded that the vehicles be in his name.

                I was too exhausted from dealing with a Mom who died of cancer, a newborn son and preschooler at home and a Father with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.

                I was completely worn down by him at this point!!!!

            • Mine was offered a good price for our daughters bed! Luckily she thought it was fun to sleep on a camp bed, because it took two years to extract the money for a new one.

              • Now that’s beyond low, selling your kid’s bed. What a tool. I am outraged on your daughter’s behalf. Thank goodness she has you for the sane parent.

    • ????

      It’s ok to like the screwdrivers, no matter how big an asshat the person who gave them to you might be. It’s not the screwdrivers’ fault. You have nothing to defend. ????

      • My ex gave me a swiss army watch. I loved this watch but felt weird because it was from her until my now wife pointed out that she didn’t buy it her parents did (she was constantly unemployed and being sent money y by them.). I know this is not a crap gift but just wanted to point out that sometimes the gift is better than the giver.

    • Omg. I can the gift of getting screwdrivers as a subtle message that you were getting screwed over… Call me cynical!

  • Oh, I once got a $4 plant….about 6 pm on my birthday that Narkles the Clown bought at the grocery store when he stopped to pick up a $22 Piece of meat for himself after son and I had turkey sandwiches and apple slices for dinner. No card.

    I also got the same $20 X-mas gift two years in a row and I never used the first one so of course he bought me another one.

    I don’t want to even go through the list of things he bought himself but let’s start with a boat. If nothing else the occasional stop here really makes me feel like a life lottery winner for getting divorced. For those of you worried about your future finances please know Narkles the Clown made three times as much money as I did and we were always struggling with bills. Now I live great on my 25-percent, with son and can save money now.

    • Bingo, same here. He took away say 48% of our income and I have 10 times more money in savings (and a paid off mortgage after having to take out a $350,000 mortgage at age 53)!

  • KK wasn’t cheap to me or the girls, but was combative when it came to members of my direct and extended family.

    One Xmas, a huge fight ensued when I told her I was giving a $15 gift card to my 9-year old goddaughter, my cousin’s little girl: “You KNOW I don’t like those people!”

  • My 24th birthday, the day before I had given birth to our first child. I had made mention I was thirsty during a long 38 hour labour, and that I was craving milk.

    My birthday the next day, he came to the hospital (yep, he didn’t even stay after she was born, he went to a 21st and got drunk) he came with a carton of milk and a small tin of milo.

    My 30th birthday, my present was to be told I was fat, needed to go on a diet and he no longer found me attractive anymore.

  • It’s not so much the value. It’s just that her gifts always revealed that she absolutely nothing about me.
    I always looked at the gifts and was wondering how she came up with these things .

    • ATG- I wonder if this is a disordered thing? Married 21 years and same experience. Gifts that did not match who I am at all. Also, 21 years of trying to pass me the salsa at a Mexican restaurant to go with my chips. I don’t eat salsa ever. You would think your spouse would learn you just a little. I can’t leave this post alone today. So many gift related triggers! He also regularly forgot our kids bdays. How is that even possible? I didn’t know it was sons 15th bday when I made my plans! This is “your fault”. Also- the flowers after the abuse no acknowledgment of the issue.
      My daughter has a hard time w/ flowers and she is working on it! Ok, I need to get a grip! Back to work.

      • Ha ha, the flowers. I actually once told him that the flowers would not be necessary if he didn’t do so many things wrong. Of course, never an apology.

  • So many, hard to pick just one. But as evidence I offer the phrase our oldest child (now in his 30’s) coined many years ago to describe his father: “Spare no Cheapness”. We all still use it and laugh about it.

  • Ex was never a good gift giver and didn’t even try and pretend.
    He didn’t change much as the only gift I found he gave OW were some boy shorts from The Gap.
    Cannot unsee that mental image.

  • For our first anniversary, my ex got me a laptop bag. now fair enough, i was commuting a lot to uni etc at the time so it would be very useful, not particularly romantic though. but a few seconds after he gave me this gift i noticed another laptop bag in the corner and asked him what it was. he grabbed it and was very enthusiastically showing me all its gadgetry and also that it cost more than the one he just got me, even though he didn’t need a laptop bag.
    this moment was burnt in my mind and was early in the relationship, that he would always try to ‘outdo’ me or make me feel smaller or not worthy. if i got a car, he got a bigger one, if he bought something for himself, he would buy me something smaller.

    • My ex did the same. I couldn’t have anything without him needing to get something for himself that was much better and more expensive.

      It’s strange being able to buy things for myself and not needing to beg for it or broker a deal so he can have something too.

  • I asked for and received the practical presents I wanted. An air compressor. A wet/dry vac. A movie that I had wanted to see on my birthday (couldn’t afford it!) that he would begrudgingly give me the DVD the following year (so expensive!). He always complained that I didn’t want the “right things”.

    • NSC, did you tell him he was right! “I didn’t want a loyal, loving, caring, honest man with morals. That’s why I chose YOU!”

  • My cheater never got me gifts. We decided that we would use the money for the children. After the children were raised the trend continued. I paid all the bills while he restored a 1970 Dart. Bought all kinds of tools etc. The chump that I was would buy him gifts throughout the years. I bought cell phones, a laptop, clothes you name it. I got nothing. One year I bought a washer. It was a horrible washer it took a long time to fill up. I bought front loader and sold the washer. I got $400.00 for the washer and he took $200.00 of the money. He said the money was half his. Every time we would go out to eat or to a movie etc. 90% of the time I would pay.

    I later found out that he paid for all his outings with Skankella. I estimated that he spent at least $15,000 on her over the 4 years he screwed around with her. I basically paid for the affair. When he filed for divorce(later stopped) I had $500.00 to my name. While he stashed at least $15,000 in his parents safe. Funny how when he sold the Dart he kept all the cash for himself. But, took $200.00 from me for a dam washing machine. What do you expect from a low life cheater?

  • Never bought spontaneous presents. Generous at key celebrations. I now realize that this was because other people asked what he had bought me! Bought himself endless pairs of expensive shoes and jeans. Looked askance when I spent my money on myself.

  • My cheating ex sent me a Christmas present this year, we now live 1000 miles from each other. I received THROUGH THE USPO….1.1 litre bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Since I have very short hair, that is at least a years supply. I thanked him. When he (as usual) mentioned the cost to ship was as much as the gift (this was expensive shampoo), I told him next year he could just send me a visa gift card for the entire amount.

  • Besides the lettuce spinner, (which I actually have to admit I’m glad for and use to this day), I honestly cannot remember a single present from The Delusionist that was thoughtful or generous. Married 22 years.

    Anyway. Today, apropos of nothing, I dropped a couple hunnerd bucks on myself (“because you’re worth it girl”). Went to buy moisturiser and struck an Angel at the Beauty Counter.

    Full Disclosure: not much of a groomer and makeup usually minimal, but had absolutely zero makeup on and had had a little cry a little earlier. Not my best 52 yo self.

    She sat me down and got to work with some tinted moisturiser, concealer, blush and mascara. She was authentically sweet, gentle and kind.

    I ended up saying I’ll have the moisturiser plus everything you just put on my face. She threw in generous samples of eye cream and fragrances. Walked out looking and feeling 1000% better.

    An annoying not-very-feminist cliche I know, because mostly, my presents to me are plants for the garden, art, books … but today, this was part of my Gaining a Life.

  • One xmas cheater gave me a 15.00 coffee press. I was shocked because I didn’t know WTF it was. I had to Google it. My whole pay check was for Bill’s. Only some of his paycheck was for Bill’s. His hidden money was to spend on watches, iPhone, BMW, clothes, cologne, gifts for his AP, hotel visits with his AP. But for me and my kids, we were supposed to do without. We were supposed to be happy we had a roof over our head and food. Cheater was cheap with us…

  • Since I never really expected anything, I was always happy with gifts.

    When we divorced, he “claimed” 255 line items of ours as his “personal property/ inheritance” (not subject as a marital asset) After 30 + years together, we had a lot of items. I let every one slide.

    The kicker is when he listed MY ANNIVERSARY gifts (things he bought with himself in mind, I guess) as his personal property. Yes, gifts that went back as far as 20 years. He also claimed all my jewelry was to be split, and wanted back a silver necklace from Venice – my birthday gift.

    On my 40th, we were in Rome, on a trip I paid for, he bought me ….. nothing. So, a few years later the Venice necklace was a make up gift, I think. Then he wanted it back.

    Makes the mind boggle.

    • Magneto, did he get those things? Did you have to pay him half? I’m curious because LTC(R) Asshat is claiming my jewelry as marital assets. Yup, right there in print he is claiming “Diamond Anniversary Band”. I am peeved as he didn’t claim his marching band. I bought those bands to celebrate our tenth anniversary and the birth of our miracle baby. I spent my last paycheck before becoming a SAHM. Mr. Lawyer says all gifts are mine and not to worry about it.

      I hope you still have your property.

      • Marching Band! Wtf, spellcheck, Matching Band. If the man owned a marching band I’d be hard pressed to leave.

        • 33 years…. ditto???????????????????????????????? XH listed jewelry he had given me as marital assets. Judge laughed when he ruled they were mine.

          I learned during one of the “trickle truths” ????????????. That XH who earns 7 figures gave one AP the same book of love poems he gave me at the same time and he gave the other AP an umbrella while he was courting her. They’ve been living together 5 years now, since GTFO day, and no ring (I’m no contact but my kids would notice in a heartbeat).

          When we were together XH never once mentioned wanting to go travel to Europe. He’s been there 7 times in 5 years now. Mostly to Amsterdam to smoke pot. Ewww

          • He could come to Colorado for that! Or Illinois. Or Washington. Or Or. No need to go all the way to Amsterdam. Maybe he’s going for the legalized prostitution.

      • 33AC:
        I got hozed. He drove the mediator SO CRAZY with line items (5 pages excel sheet) he took everything (hoarder, he could have all that shit) and the mediator just added up all his “requests”. XH pages and pages were confusing, listing even used underwear as a line item. He FORCED the sale of the “extensive Christmas ornaments” collection. We gave each other expensive bulbs for anniversary gifts – MOST said “Anniversary”.

        So, I split them. Put all the Anniversary/ ugly ones in his boxes. THEN he dictated they be sold. I did. Sold his $5,000 stash for $30 — the cost of the rubbermaid tubs, and a REALLY nice friend bought all mine (for $1) and gifted them back to me.

        Any how – back to mediation. At first, total out, all said and done, I owed him $15,000 – to keep my own jewelry. So, I paid over $5,000 in mediation fees to be robbed blind. I almost had a breakdown!

        Fortunately, the mediator apologized, said he “forgot” my notes about the jewelry being mine, and zeroed out the $15,000 debt.

        The initial was the worst outcome, Mediator’s mother died, so we believe he gave my husbands confusing spreadsheet/paperwork to his secretary to “add up”. Sad note: after this was zeroed out, she got fired after this case. XH vile, confusing nastiness cost her a good job. I actually liked her.

        The mediation was a terrible mess. Cost thousands, and there is no justice in this world.

        • My mediation was a joke too. My lawyer sent his B team, she showed up late, she and the mediator had other jobs in the afternoon so rushed my divorce through to get to her next gig. I paid over $7000 to lose my savings, monies for selling the house and half my pension to an abusive, lying, cheater. I could have just given him everything on my own. Afterwards, when he wasn’t sticking to his part of the divorce, she told me I could take him to court, which would cost me more money. I have to stick to the terms, but not him it seems. At least the X is out of my life and won’t cost me anymore.

          • Don’t even get me started on the absolute uselessness of mediation. The court-appointed mediator in my divorce didn’t even spell my name right – or the same way twice – in the whole document. I told my attorney I was *not* going to agree to any mediation for that reason alone. Judge herself threw it out when she saw it was totally riddled with inconsistencies. What a waste!

          • Sorry that happened to u guys. Fuck’n cheaters. Never mediate. It just costs more money and drags the drama out longer. Plus narcs are in it to win it. They will slash and burn everything. They don’t compromise. Plus how can u mediate with someone who lied, manipulated u, gaslit u, showed u how selfish and entitled they are. Hell no. Makes me angry this bullshit happened to u guys. My cheater wanted to mediate too. I said it’s a waste of money and I have a lawyer.

      • Yeah, my asshole husband asked if he could get back the gold ring with diamonds that he gave me as a gift. “Isn’t it traditional to return gifts?” Fuck you no. I kept it. Maybe I’ll wear it again. Maybe I’ll pass it on to our daughter. He would either have given it to skank as an engagement ring, or more likely, pawn for drugs. It is a pretty ring. He pawned my original wedding ring. He denies that to this day, but I’m sure of it

        • Me ex-husband, not skankboy was very generous in the jewelry department. Gorgeous pieces. OK, to resolve him of guilt. My son married and I gave my new DIL most of those pieces. She did not have any “good” jewelry and was thrilled. She had them reset and loves them. Something good coming out of something bad. (I received tons of beautiful jewelry since his father and sister worked in the gem and jewelry business.)

        • I kept my stuff too. I can always head it down to a family member. A gift is a gift. In my eyes. I don’t wear my engagement or wedding band. Just can’t do it because he was so proud of it and it symbolizes something to him but it symbolizes forever to me but it wasn’t. So those pieces make me sick in the stomach unfortunately. They symbolizes something the narc can never see feel or touch unfortunately for my son and I. So I can’t stomach it. But I wear everything else because they are beautiful jewelry.

      • Thirtythreeyearsachump

        All gifts are yours IF your lawyer fights for them. Sounds like your attorney is on top of it. GOOD!!! But still be your own advocate and use your voice & speak up in court (in a respectful way) if you think something is off. I’ll always regret not doing that.

        Results of bad attorney:
        My attorney didn’t get an order for quiet enjoyment of my house, so my Ex and his Howorker continually and repeatedly came into my house & bedroom. So during the lunch break of our first settlement conference (son oblivious upstairs, but my handyman saw him), Ex went into my bedroom and took photos of all my jewelry. He came back to court with notecards demanding I give him the values of all the jewelry he gave me. I was so defeated during the months of abuse from my Ex and not being protected by my attorney, that during the final negotiation before trial, my attorney literally yelled at me (10 days after my mother died) to give my Ex $50,000 for what he thought was a perceived inequity in the property division. He believed my husband’s briefs about the valuation of our property instead of listening to me. Apparently sexually abusive sociopathic narcissistic drug abusing doctors are more believable than crazy ex-wife chumps! Moving on…..

    • That is really hurtful. Mine did that too with some very sentimental items….I think just to hurt me.
      Weird thing was the minute he said he wanted them, it gouged my soul, but then I no longer wanted anything to do with the tainted item.
      I’m sorry your cheater was so petty.

      • Mine counted used underwear as a marital asset. On a mediation/court document.

        It was painful. His mother gifted me a beautiful fox coat. I liked it very much. He came into the house and stole it. Mediator said, “Give it back!”. He never did. He got away with every petty little thing.

        I do look at the items now with both good and bad vibes. I gave away a houseful of materials. I pretty much own all new now.
        My daughter has my 2 ct. stone set into a lovely wedding set. I don’t miss it.

        I can write this down without crying, that is a step forward.
        My XH cheated, lied and cheated some more – up until the last interaction.
        That hurt as much as the cheating.

        • THE GOOD NEWS IS
          I bought a 1925 Cape Cottage near a “Gilmore Girls” type town. GUTTED that sucker. Electrical, plumbing and plaster – I did it. Took 3 years.
          Now, with the help of FB Marketplace, Habitat for Humanity/ Detroit Architectural Salvage Yard, I own a doll house, CUTE enough to the extent I could not afford to buy it or live there if I had to pay current market prices. About $50K out of pocket – at least $125K increase in equity, now.

          I still have a fancy for high end items. I think they are worth it in the end. 99% of the time, I can get new/like new items second market for about 20% of retail. The house is about done (are they ever done?), last kid out of school, and I can relax a bit. It is almost 4 1/2 years post divorce.

          I was in the mall and I stopped browsing. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that I really want or need at the time being. What ever it is that I need – Including a surprise complete septic rebuild for the house $12K done for $3K from a former student.

          I can cover it. I can obtain it. I did it.

          THAT is the best gift, ever.

  • When my XW moved out she took the box of Salt that had about 1/4 left in it. She said that I wouldn’t need it since I don’t cook.
    She spent about $8,000 for a “neck lift” on herself (I made her pay me back my half of the money in the settlement).
    First thing I did to start gaining a new life was to get a new box of salt and start cooking!

  • This is a very relevant post for me. Just a few examples out of the millions: My Ex (1) yelled at my daughter for not using a $2 coupon for her pizza, (2) nagged me for years about the fact that I had hired household help, even though I worked full time and received zero household help from him, and (3) continually complained about my non-extravagant credit card purchases. Meanwhile, he was hosting his OWs at the Ritz Carlton, purchasing jewelry and other gifts for them (I later learned that he had his own jeweler to whom he would refer his other cheating friends), and taking them on trips for which he paid.

    These are just a few examples. Even as I type this, I cannot believe what a chump I was.

  • Mr would always pick a hell of a fight a week before my birthday, causing crushing and devastating upset and me asking for no celebration or fuss (because it was upsetting to be around him). So he would sometimes buy a nice thing, but it was always the “cheap” version of the pretty inexpensive item i’d asked for.
    He, however, could have piloted a starship with all his gadgets and kit.

    • Yep. Wasband always picked a fight on mothers day. Not sure what he has going on with this day but he would mess it up for me every single year. And all I wanted was to go out to eat as a family.
      He would usually get moody for the week prior, then stay out drinking all night the night before. Ignoring my calls and texts of course. So I would stay up all night worrying. Then come home sometime in the afternoon mean as hell. No gift. Usually demanding he wants the kids. And gets pissed when I tell him no because I was taking them to dinner with me. (The only time I ever tell him no but it is every year on mothers day). Sometime he would leave and disappear for days. sometimes he would come in and fall asleep on the couch. I never knew what he would do. I never had a good mothers day in all the 15 years I was with him.. .. .. … of course I went all out on Father’s Day. Gifts. Bbq. Cake. Friends and family. Same for his birthday too. I always got flowers for my birthday but I would go all out for his

      • Your horrible husband sounds like my horrible husband. The picking fights and disappearing for days. Either drunk or high. Thank you for the reminder that he’s best seen in the rear view mirror, receding into the distance.

      • Mrs Vain, he probably fought with you just before or on Mother’s Day, because he HATED the idea that YOU might be the center of attention for a few hours, and people might be showing how much they loved and appreciated YOU.

        Narcs must be the center of attention. They are SUPER envious, he couldn’t stand it, had to wreck it for you. Asshole.

  • Where to start !!

    I will start with my personal favourite i asked for a pair of boots for my Christmas ( Christmas 2018) these boots were only £19.99 so approx $26 he gave me £10 ( $13) enough for 1 boot and i had to pay the other one myself .

    I got a rolling pin for my 40th Birthday as i seemingly had said i wasn’t happy with my pastry on a pie one time ( i took him to London for 5 days for his 40th )

    Other gifts ( Only Christmas I’ve never once had a birthday ( only 40th ) or valentines present ) over 19 years
    A candle
    A £ 2 scratch card for the lotto
    A 6×4 plastic photo frame nautical style
    A packet of 4 dusters and a feather tickle brush
    A packet of cola bottles ( these are gummy chew sweeties / Candy )
    A pack of 3 thong panties in a size 20 ( i am a UK 8 and i don’t wear thongs )

    I could go on but you get the idea

  • I never did understand how he could not buy a present for me…I resorted to putting together a list, with links to the items, but he would decide I needed something else. If I wanted a Clint Black CD, he bought me Madonna’s “Argentina” soundtrack, which I can’t stand. It was like he bought me presents that he actually wanted or from gas stations at the last minute.

    But he had the nicest car, mine didn’t even have air or heat that worked. We had the best and latest phones, tons of watches, new clothes. I went without thinking I was saving us money, but I was also the one paying most of the bills. He grew angry when he learned I had saved money and quickly found ways to spend it.

    I lost a lot in the divorce, he took everything that was useful and left me with his piles of hoarded junk and half my pension.
    All in all, he’s gone. I am saving and investing, live the life I want now without fear of his temper tantrums and rages, totally worth it!

  • Asshole got drunk one day and bought himself a $60,000 car. When we divorced his car was valued at around $40,000 still I think and mine was very generously valued at $1,000 (because they had to put a figure), but I’d say $500 might be more like it!

    • Yep but on a lesser scale. My xh truck was valued at $30k (he had sold my grandma’s car I was given to pay part of it). My mini van (which my parents had paid for when I had my daughter 10 years before – it was older but reliable then) was valued at $2k. Ex apparently raised a stink claiming the van was worth a lot more. His attorney questioned me on the stand about me under appraising it. I actually chuckled at that on the stand & responded that 2k was a high estimate as it was 17 years old with 150k miles on it, a good amount of rust, leaking oil like crazy & in its last wheels. I told his attorney to go ahead & take a look out the window at it as it was parked in front of the court house. I think I actually saw a slight smirk ok n the judges face. Lol

  • My general impression of 31 years with him was he could not be bothered to know me at all. By the end he was getting me online crap gift certificates purchased day-of, with the time stamp showing day-of. He is a passive aggressive freak and loved to punish me and tweak my nose by doing that.

    According to him it was my fault that he never knew what to get me.

    My last birthday with him he didn’t do anything for me at all except eat the PF Chang dinner my parents took us out to. He said the weekend trip we took to Arizona 2 months earlier was my gift (where he texted his whore in the bathroom for hours). 6 days later he abandoned me, moving out of the house while I was on a business trip and sending me an e-mail as my only notice.

    The memory of how hard he worked at not giving a shit about me is still pretty raw.

    Hope Schmoops is enjoying her prize.

    • In contrast, the Asshat had no problem going out and buying himself a $4000 guitar “just cuz” on eBay. He had a guitar in every room.

      And the AK-47 was a fun little thing he got for himself, too, a nice addition to his substantial collection.

      When he came back for 2 days to scream at me post-abandonment, one item I used to defend myself was by pointing out how I had always tried to give him special and custom gifts. He said, “I know you do and that doesn’t matter at all.” He still decided I was so awful, controlling and judgemental.

      I then handed him the 50 caliber bullet bottle opener I had already gotten him for that year’s Father’s Day (this was only early April but I already had this purchased for him). He said, “Huh. Cool.” and pocketed it.

      He is such a complete dick.

    • I agree, Now IC. I can still conjure up the hurt of my XH not really getting me.
      It was never about how cheap the gifts were, because they were not cheap, just thoughtless. It hurt me to know that he would go out on Christmas Eve, without any idea about what I wanted and would come home with a somewhat expensive piece of jewelry that was not me. Or last minute ticket purchases to events I had no desire to see, printed out at 2am Christmas day, while paying a premium price. Same for birthdays. My jewelry box is filled with things I will never wear. Too bad you can’t get much $$$ for secondhand jewelry.
      He just did not give me much thought, nor much time. Until the day I decided I wanted out.

  • For Christmas one year, he gifted me a thick terry cloth dark brown robe, head to toe…
    When my daughter did a semester abroad, he allowed her $100 a month for living expenses.
    He exchanged e-mails for months about 2 paring knives he had requested during the divorce. Those things cost $2 for four…
    He paid off a house we had built in his home country, one his mother lived in, in less than 10 years, before we even divorced (I didn’t know…) Ours was far from being paid off. So far.

  • Valentines Day after a couple of D-days I had some higher expectations. What I got….

    A Valentines Day card with a sample packet of foot lotion and written in the card ” Good for one free foot massage”.

    • The last Valentine’s Day before D-day. I got expensive roses. Found out that he didn’t use the regular place (regular – only V-day and Mother’s day) because he waited for the last second and had to use the expensive place. He wrote the whore poetry. Guessing not last minute. I never got poetry in 27 years. Dickwad. I never want roses again. I always thought sending flowers was thoughtful, now I see he was doing it to cover up the affair and felt obligated. I bet he told his executive assistant to do it.

      Every gift he bought me was either something he’d like or something I told him I wanted. Never had an original idea. Typical of a narcissist. They have no empathy and can’t think of the other person’s wants/needs. He had no problem buying himself guitars, expensive clothes…

      My dog bought me some amazing gifts this Christmas. She’s so generous 🙂

      • Poetry, hahaha. Cheater #2 fancies himself a great writer. You know what I got for our last anniversary? A poem he had written for a friend’s daughter and her new husband when they got married. I guess he figured I would’ve forgotten that it was “recycled” for me. Too bad I don’t have an outhouse, I would take every piece of worthless paper he wrote his shit poetry on and, well, use it for shit. ; ))

        • HA! My cheap cheater used to write me (bad) love songs. I was so impressed with this when I was 19! The songs did not last long….

          After I discovered the affair and hacked his email, I found where he had been writing the OW bad love songs — about how he had wasted decades of his life, and that “it should have been her in that white wedding dress”. At first I was crushed — until I realized that a poorly written song is probably the only gift the OW will ever receive from him.

          They really do follow the same playbook, don’t they…

    • I never got a foot massage.

      And the next week he bought himself a jaguar, which he said I could drive sometimes.

      A real winner!!

    • My ex used to get me flowers on my birthday. It was really the only time he did, which wasn’t a big deal to me as long as I thought we were otherwise good.

      The birthday after I found out about his whore (when you’d think he’d make a lot of effort, particularly since he didn’t want a divorce) I got a card (which was really his thing…you’d think after 13 years he’d know that). The decision to skip the flowers was one of many deliberate fuck yous from a passive aggressive coward who was mad that I wouldn’t rug sweep (turned out he was still carrying on with her).

      It never occurred to him that I might start to think about how good of a deal he was for me….and he wasn’t a good deal.

      Was SHOCKED when I filed….said he never imagined life without me.

      What he did imagine was keeping his much younger wife who was in good shape and made more money, and keeping a cheap whore on the side. And he’d use passive agression dick tactics to make sure said wife didn’t talk about anything that made him uncomfortable.

      Funny enough…..after I filed he sent me flowers twice. I ignored them….he can shove them up his arse.

    • He never got me anything for Valentines, not one time ever, in 31 years.

      At age 17 I had made him cookies for our first Valentine together and presented them to him before school one morning. He grabbed the bag and threw them hard into his locker and broke them, angry at me. I should have turned and run away and saved myself three more decades of abuse, but instead I adjusted myself and decided that of course I was wrong to make them.

      OMG I was such a fucking doormat.

      • I’m sending you 31 valentines.

  • When Mr. Sparkles was love-bombing me, it was tickets to the orchestra; flowers for no reason; lovely and thoughtful (not expensive) gifts. After we were married (and I signed the mortgage), I was lucky to get the cheapest bouquet from Traders Joe’s and a odd card in which he wrote the same thing every year, “I love you and I want to fix us. I know I haven’t been a very good husband or friend. Let’s spend the next 40 years together!” WTF… mindfuck… it’s what for breakfast 🙂

    And speaking of mindfucks… ONE MONTH before the discard for the other woman we “celebrated” our wedding anniversary. He gave me a bronze sculpture (desktop size) of a couple in an embrace and a card waxing poetic about how much he loved me and wanted “us”… 30 days later, not so much apparently. I put the sculpture in the goodwill bag after he moved out.

    Rock on ChumpNation… you’ve got this!

    • Yep, same for me. Love bombing was incredible spontaneous gifts and once married, nothing.

      For Christmas he would buy a new big screen flat TV ~ for both of us… LOL. Watching the big
      albatross made me physically ill ~ dizzy.

      A year before he abandoned me for the Circus Clown ~ at Christmas he bought matching wedding bands and wrote a note about how he wanted to re-commit and spend the rest of his days loving me and grow old together.

      The next Christmas ~ no gifts ~ nothing. A month later he moved out to be with the Circus Clown ~ in a cottage owned by her saying he needed to get his head on straight. Truth was he just needed more space to fuck the Circus Clown.

      I am so fortunate to be rid of the shallow pool of piss. Divorced 3 years and counting! Yay me….

  • Looking back on our marriages the hugest red flag would be the money, time, effort and passion a person spends on themselves vs loved ones.
    Hubby had just lost his job a few months before, he was living part time in the city while attending college. I was working full time, seven months pregnant, and we had a toddler to care for. Because he needed the car to commute to school I bicycled everywhere with a special cart attached for my son.
    My mother comes to visit, brings some maternity clothes she made and takes me out to buy some baby outfits. While she’s helping me launder and fold these new clothes x asks her to iron some shirts. He had just bought half a dozen dress shirts (from a tailor no less) while parking the toddler at daycare because we were out. His closet already had lots of dress clothes, the new ones were for “job interviews”. My mother says to me under her breath “six bloody interviews”. She made an excuse to play with her grandson and did not touch the shirts (neither did I)
    Entitlement 101. No job. Wife paying for school. He uses the car while preggo rides a bike. Spends money on himself. Expects MIL to be his maid.
    Christ on a cracker. My stupidity knew no limits. Glad he dumped my chumpy ass.

  • My ex gave me what he described as “a very nice, expensive” engagement ring. First, I have to say, I am not into jewelry. I prefer small and understated. What he gave me was a gaudy huge thing that was my birthstone, that he knew that I hated (who gives someone their birthstone for an engagement ring anyway?). It was multiple sizes too big, and he refused to have it resized because his mother said “resizing it would not be necessary.” So, I never wore the thing because the only finger that it would fit was my thumb, and it was even loose on it.

    Fast forward a few years. After we were married about three years, the ex demands that I buy him a new wedding band because the one that he had was too plain. Never mind that it matched mine, and I did not want/need a new one. He did not offer to buy me a new one. So for father’s day, the kids and I spent a few hundred dollars on a less plain wedding band for the ex.

    A few years later during our separation as I was sorting through his crap, I found the receipt for that “very expensive engagement ring.” $29.95. Yep, less than $30, and couldn’t even splurge to have it sized to fit me. Also found multiple receipts for women’s jewelry that was purchased during our marriage. None of which were given to me. Pretty sure he was not buying these for his mother or sister either.

    I got the last laugh because I sold both of his wedding bands and some of his other jewelry that he left behind….did not get all of what I paid for it, but got some money back…

  • My ex husband would get whatever the heck he wanted for himself and would blow through money like no tomorrow, but would freak out if I picked up something from the grocery store that wasn’t on BOGO. Most of my purchases were always questioned…

    And our last Christmas together, he gave me the most hideous, amethyst ring that was more suited to his whore than me. I made him take the ring when he moved out. LOL

  • He gifted me a bag of popcorn and some jelly beans for my 50th birthday. The same day he gifted the OW with a handcrafted shadow box containing pictures of her accomplishments and items from their “friendship” which he spent hours working on while we were still together.

  • With the exception of a sneaky birthday present left at my door after abandonment, my birthday was never really celebrated by him. Usually not even an acknowledgement of the day. His mother would do more for my birthday, then he would complain about going to the dinner.

    And the creepy ass gift left at my door? Christmas socks from his favorite Christmas movie and a 3 pack of scrunchies. I dont usually wear socks at home, because I live in the desert, and I have never worn a damned scrunchie in my whole life. He even left the price tags on for me to know exactly how much he saved by shopping at the dollar tree.

    • And I forgot to mention that if I ever tried to throw a simple get together party for his birthday I would get all the rage. One year I saved up some money for my birthday and I gave it to him so he would have it in case he wanted to do something for my birthday (we were super broke and it was the same amount I had spent on his birthday party). He went right out and bought himself a ton of new/used video games. When he came home to show me how much he got for himself he was surprised when I started to cry and lock myself in the bathroom. His reasoning? “Your birthday isnt until next week. Just give me more money.”

      • You GAVE him the money to buy you a gift and he spent it on himself, then asked for more money. Wow. Mind-blowing.

  • He never was a good gift giver. All the gifts I got the first years that i thought were so thoughtful were actually picked out by my daughter. Then his sister, when he finally had to pick out my gifts himself he apparently could never find anything I like. I suddenly became so hard to buy gifts for. Because I am so picky… … .. so for ever valentine’s day, birthday, anniversary, and mothers day I got cheap flower from walmart or the grocery store. Not the real pretty bouquet either because he always waited the day of and rushed to the store to pick out whatever was left over and half dead. He would get soooo upset if I was super grateful for the same half ass half dead wilted flowers. Once I even told him, I dont care what you get me (it was valentine’s day) just please dont get me flowers. So he ran to the store that day and came back with flowers. My young daughter was shocked, she said why did you buy flowers? She told you she didnt want flowers. .. ..

    On Christmas he gave horrible gifts. I got electric scissors once. I never used them. He used them once. I got a broken Chinese pot and tea cups. I actually really like that but one of the cups were broken. I found out later his sister picked it out and they knew it was broken. But it was the only one at walmart. He would get mad if I was happy with my one gift. He would walk the whole super walmart and could never find a single thing he thought I would like.

    His problem is that he can not put himself in my shoes. He never paid attention to my likes or needs. I used to drop hints like crazy right before Christmas but he never paid attention. He actually never thought of me. So for years I just told him what I wanted. I would take him to the store and point to something and tell him buy me that for Christmas or I would print out the item and hand it to him. He still managed to fuck that up too, I wanted a $600 digital canon camera. I pointed to the specific one I wanted. I even told him dont cheap out. I want this canon. And he got me the knock off version. He just could not spend that much money on me. God forbid. Even thou we had the money. Oh he could spend it on himself, rims and stereo systems for his truck but just not on me.

    I dont get anything now except from my mom. But she puts lots of thought into it

  • My ex would buy himself anything and everything he wanted the weeks leading up to a gift giving occasion. It was weird. He would leave nothing for me to buy him, and would run the credit card up during that months billing, so when the bill came he’d be screaming about how much money was spent, but HE was the one who spent it. Also (he thought I never knew, but I always did) that he would sneak his daughter from a previous marriage extra money. Like we’d give all the adult kids $100 in a card under the tree, but he’d give her an extra 3-5 hundred on the sly.
    He demanded the steel cut oatmeal after he had filed and moved out 6 months before. Sent a letter from his slimy lawyer through the court and everything. It was an open carton and he could buy it at our local Aldi for a few bucks. His covert message to me was, “I eat healthy, you don’t and as such won’t be eating the oatmeal”. Whatever, I happily gave it to him……and had my son give him 2 cartons for the next Christmas! Because he loves it so much dontchaknow.
    He filed a ridiculous “indirect contempt of court” case 3 months after we settled our 3 year long divorce battle. Complicated story, but he was demanding items he left in our home after it was foreclosed on, auctioned-off and bought by the bank. I had moved out and had an estate sale….that is what burned him, that I had the gall to sell what he so graciously left me to deal with. Anyway, his statement was that he didn’t have the opportunity to get what he wanted (FOUR times over 3 years he came and took loads of stuff), but many demands for single items over the three years also. I had to represent myself in the case as I owed my attorney over 50k and they wouldn’t work for me anymore. First ‘exhibit’ I presented while questioning him under oath on the witness stand in front of the court …….was the documentation of him demanding the steel cut oatmeal and receiving it! Should have seen his face! Hilarious! Won that case hand and fists over him. 3 court days, a full trial. Exhibits, witnesses, him sworn in 3 times, me freaking the hell out, his THIRD slimy lawyer making all kinds of faces because he didn’t know the full history,…..and my ex had to pay thousands for being stupid and ridiculous.
    Off topic at this point, but my experience with divorce ….. the best thing I could have done was stay the course, don’t fight over stupid items, don’t let them know they’ve hurt you, stay calm and businesslike in all communication, don’t let emotions get the better of you, go gray rock/no contact, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING, trust no one, go low (or in my case NO profile anywhere), keep your nose clean. It’s exhausting, not fair, no fun, but in the end my ex had absolutely nothing to use against me in court, and he had been his true lying, cheating, spending self along with his whore he spent hundreds of thousands on. The credit card statements were outrageous and we had to subpoena them to get them. My ex had 13 cards and stupidly left his wallet on the counter the week before he finally moved out 4 months after filing. He lied under oath, we presented the accounts, awesome!
    My “rule” for myself was that I could cry, scream, throw a hissy fit, but I could not respond to my ex and his slimy lawyer until I was calmed down and could respond cool as a cucumber. Sometimes that took a few days and a lot of angst. Sometimes no response was needed. It was rewarding to get compliments from the court secretary, my attorney, her paralegal, my close friends and family, neighbors, other attorneys as to how well I handled myself, publicly. Privately I was, and still am, a depressed, anxious, CPTSD, confused, angry, sleepless, soul ripped out horrid mess. Therapy is helping, but it’s been many years and I’m only slightly better, but I’m better and it’s encouraging to hear that other’s here have had years of recovery and healing… I plod on…

    • Never got me a thoughtful gift.
      Early on, always jewelry that was tacky and gaudy. I never wore it because it wasn’t my taste and didn’t fit with my modest clothing, so jerkoff ex declared he was “NEVER BUYING ME ANOTHER PIECE OF JEWELRY!!!” and he didn’t thank goodness. But he bought his whore gaudy crap she described in her deposition as a necklace with “little” diamonds in it. Lololol
      Never filled my stocking, while every year his and his daughters were filled to overflowing to the point they’d have to be propped in a chair with items spilling out.
      Last fake Christmas together he put coal in my stocking. Never anything, but then a dickmunch move of coal. That really hurt.

  • My ex wanted everything in our house except a few basic items when we separated. I agreed, with the boundary that all items of value (that I knew about) would be professionally appraised and he pay me half the value in installments over an 18 month period. He agreed. I asked for no other money.

    He was a network admin. I had stopped working to take care of my dying sibling before our divorce. The payment was $1000/mo. His income was about $5000. This was many years ago. He made a lot.

    Then he blogged about his “unfair alimony” and his fancy new purchases and trips, then, not knowing I knew about the blog, asked to avoid paying the payments citing financial difficulties. (Blogging was new then – he thought I wouldn’t find it. Always thought I was stupid.)

    I always said he had to pay. He did, each time, begrudgingly, but boy did he blog about it. And he never did make the final payment. They never stop trying to Hoover.

    He’s super wealthy. I’m still just lower middle class me.

    My life’s better. How do I know? Because I have my issues, but I’m not a lying cheating narcissistic manipulative self-serving asshole.

  • I’ll give my STBXH credit: he is consistently cheap across the board.

    Many years ago I found out that he bought his whore a $20 jacket from The Gap. The first thing I thought about was, “HEY-I PAID FOR HALF THAT JACKET” since he had a joint bank account. Then I really thought about it and realized-this bitch has cheap taste! (He bought it for her on their lunch break because she was admiring it from the store window at the mall.

    Flash forward-they started dating last March. For their first Christmas together-he bought her…an air fryer.

    Because nothing gets a woman you’re dating whipped up into a sexual frenzy like a kitchen appliance.

  • My ex was always generous…when it came to himself. He’d demand gifts for Christmas or for his birthday or Father’s Day that cost in the hundreds of dollars, and make it clear he was entitled to them. I went along with it for years: a commercial foosball table (meaning expensive, regulation play); a Nordic Track (that he’d never tried out before wanting one); a gas grill (guess who cleaned it and kept the propane supply topped up?)

    In contrast, I will never forget the Mother’s Day he said to me, “I didn’t get you anything. You’re not my mother.” Now I see that as the logical outcome of the years when our son was small, and I’d ask for a lilac bush for Mother’s Day, which my ex would go buy–but would leave the planting all to me.

  • Cold Slab O’Meat came to the relationship with beat up credit and a beat up minivan. After a year of dating he and SD moved in with us and his commute became longer. Never mind that he was saving 900 clams a month on rent and the only bills I asked him to cover were personal cellphones for himself and my son (again, my credit because he couldn’t qualify!) and car insurance for both cars. And the cable TV we didn’t have and he couldn’t live without.

    No grocery money, no utilities, no car payment.

    Because Old Me was a Foolish Chump, let me tell you what I did. For two years I let him drive my nice late model car to work. I still paid the payment! I still paid the maintenance and repairs! CHUUUUUUUUUMP.

    He had the nerve to complain he now had to spend 50 dollars a week on gas! What really made me realize who he was, though? The seat handle incident.

    He’s a large man, and he broke the lever to slide the seat back and forth. Right about the time he had saved up enough and rehabilitated his credit enough to qualify for a new car. While he was car shopping I asked him nicely to order a new seat lever and put it on so I could drive my own car again.

    He ordered the wrong side and wrong color and slapped it on. So it only sort of worked and backwards.

    This is how you thank the woman who has driven your shitty van for two years while providing you a sleek and lovely car, as well as a FREE GATDAM HOME.

    A week after he got his own nearly new car with his sparkling new DTI ratio (no rent or mortgage!) someone at a movie theater dinged the door the size of a DIME and left a note. He mercilessly hounded that guy. Got 4 estimates. Did tons of research. Got it fixed in a week.

    We were married by then, but I had to beg to drive his car. I did not have my own key.

    Pretty sure I was a SUPER CHUMP. Pretty sure he’s always been an Asshole.

    • AND OH. Birthdays are easy now. Let’s see. New Small Kitchen Appliances, a cool ModCloth Skirt and Cardigan, Clearance Christmas Items including a vintage Kewpie, and a sweet croc-embossed red Brahmin wallet!

  • I would have to get the grocery list reviewed and adjusted as he saw fit. No we don’t need 7 bananas- you can only buy 5!!!
    Birthdays and mother’s days meant a a 6am run to the grocery store for a last minute visa gift card – no forethought ever.
    No money for a sitter to go out to dinner, no money for vacations.

    All this and he’s buying her jewelry and spending at least a thousand a month for 5 years on hotel rooms and dinner . But because we had a joint account and separate personal spending accounts he says he could do whatever he wanted with his spending money. Meanwhile I was judged for putting too much on my cards (even though I paid my cards on time and had excellent credit our entire marriage)! He monitored my credit and my spending- wish I had asked to monitor his as well- would’ve found all the charges years earlier!

    • Re: monitoring credit. My husband did the bills so he saw the credit card statements and knew everything I spent. (We had only one online checking account into which we put our paychecks.) I never really knew how much money we had, although we made the same salary, so whenever I wanted to buy something extra and a little pricey, like shoes or a winter coat, I’d ask him if we had the money. Meanwhile, he took advantage of the fact that because he was doing the bills and I didn’t want to look like a suspicious wife, so I didn’t open credit card bills or sign up for online banking to monitor our joint account and consequently had no knowledge of what he spent. When I finally decided to start getting my ducks in a row to divorce, I signed up for online banking, and got access to years worth of statements, which is how I saw that every month he spent at least $350 going out to lunch every day (while I was brown bagging leftovers) and having a monthly massage (a legit one).

  • My ex was always a big spender on himself (airplane) and me (Gucci purse and I don’t carry a purse) throughout most of our marriage so we didn’t have much saving to split in the divorce. That last Christmas before DDay, however, when he was balls deep in Schmoopie 1.0, he had thoroughly devalued me and, quite frankly, I am not sure he was even really in his right mind, he gave me a half used tube of nasty smelling lotion he had gotten from a store that was going out of business. It was the sample tube. To add insult to injury, when I tried to use it to show how much I appreciated his gift, he complained that I stank.

  • The cheapest thing XH did was insist when splitting our stuff that we also splitted the open bottles of liquor. And when he made the ladt tour trough the house, he said ‘I did not get my sleeping bag cover’ and took my sons instead. This on top of years of no gifts or the cheapest gifts – I remember he got me a 2€ gift and thought himself really clever and funny for it. I could not see the joke myself. But in the end he gave us the biggest gift of all by removing himself and schmoopie twue love to the other part of the world – sail the seas together. Good riddance of bad rubbish I say.

    • That reminds me how when the Asshat was back in the house 2 days after abandonment he proceeded to try to consume as much shrimp, prime rib, and salmon he could from the recent fancy foods delivery we had gotten. He was stuffing his face so he could get “his half” since he had fled to a town 5 hours away and couldn’t figure out how to transport the frozen products across the state in his truck. He then started cleaning out the liquor cabinet including polishing off my tequila which he hated, then opened the expensive bottle of red wine my daughter had just given me for my birthday 6 days earlier.

      He always had a compulsion to get what he thought was his and that petulant and piggy little boy came shining through.

  • Me (one week before my birthday) I need a watch look at these here I love this one.

    On my birthday…

    Cheater: I was going to buy you a gift but I did not know what you like, you are so hard to buy for. I even considered a watch but you do not wear one so how would I know what you like.

    Every holiday and birthday almost the same conversation. I never received a watch in 20 years. I did get a storage cabinet one year for my birthday while he was re arranging the basement for a pool table. LOL I think that was the only gift I got that I did not pick out and buy for myself. I always got the “you are so hard to buy for” comment. It took me a long time to realize I am one of the easiest people to buy for, a reader, girl with holes in her ears, even loves kitchen gadgets, and as a programmer, electronic toys make me happy. See very easy.

    20 years he did not get that.

    After he was gone I found hidden jewelry receipts in the garage…. I never received it.

    After he left, I told my 16 & 17 year old sons, if I do not get Me a gift for my birthday/Christmas (even a gift of service) as was the old normal in our house than they do not get one, we are all appreciated and loved in this house. 5 years later my sons and I are closer than ever and they get real joy out of gift giving, I see it when they date too, we have all learned a great lesson. It is not about the money or gift but the thought that the other person matters!

    • sorry should say I told my sons “If you do not get me a birthday/christmas gift as was the old normal in our house, than they do not them one either.

  • My ex gave me a $50 Amazon gift card for our 14th anniversary. The documented phone calls and texts to the OW started the next day. I used the gift card to buy us a festival blanket. Before I knew.

  • The Worm was a fantastic gift giver. Diamond earrings, Michael Kors purses etc. Why? They came with a price. Each and every gift was a bribe to keep your mouth shut and put up with his crap.
    The gifts got less sentimental but just as extravagant. The last Birthday, he gave me $500
    worth of gift cards.

  • Oh, the merriment one Christmas when he presented me with — a 10lb bag of bird seed and a giant roll of duct tape. Yes indeedy, only those two unwrapped “presents” are what he gifted me in front of our opened mouthed kids that morning. He worked in the local farm store and he told me he grabbed those two coveted items on his way out the door, Christmas Eve. Probably lifted them in his rush and never paid. No bird feeder, mind you, and nothing in the house that could ever require yards upon yards of that sticky gray tape. I was stunned but mind you, he had no qualms at all about that being his choice.

    Yet later during divorce, I found a $3500.00 receipt from a specialty jeweler for exquisite earring for his married whore person. What cheaters value and how they show it comes shining through in so many ways, right? At special times that should be romantic, happy, thoughtful, they really bomb out.

  • My cheater was beyond cheap. For 5 of the 8 years we were married he “forgot” my birthday. No card, no gift. Zilch. Of the 3 years he remembered, one of them he gave his son money and told him to go pick out some pajamas for me and have them wrapped. The first year he “forgot” I gave him grief. Every year after that I put 3 reminders in his phone calendar of my birthday, one a month out, one a week out, and one 2 days before. At the time it would hurt that he didn’t care, but thought it wasn’t a divorce-worthy event. Now, looking back, I wonder why I stayed. I should have left long before he cheated.

  • He would go through phases and collect different things (then get bored and move on to something else). Some guy at work collected knives so of course he had to start. By the time he had 15 or 20 he must have seen the little pink one while shopping for knives for himself.

    Yes, he proudly presented a pink knife to me. It was even on a lanyard so I could wear it around my neck. For self defense, he said.

    • Wow, this thread is hopium kryptonite.
      Sometimes that creep floats into my thoughts, and I romanticize about “what-ifs”…
      Then I think about all of the above.
      20 months NC and the biggest gift- the absence of so.much.mindfuckery.
      Earlier this week, my daughter and I were at the grocery store. It’s a store that I no longer frequent, since it held too many memories. What is it with grocery stores.
      So after the checkout, we loaded the bags into my sassy little sports car (I love that car), I made a joke about not crying in the parking lot anymore. My daughter said firmly: “Mom. He was living off of you. He was broke. It’s not okay. You won’t ever do that again. You’re different now.”
      She’s 14.
      It was a total RBG movie “taxi scene” moment.

  • Ex bought me a super cheap engagement ring set from JCPenney’s because he needed to get the latest Xbox, coming out the following week. He spent more on video games than on proposing. The signs were there right from the beginning – I just refused to see them!

  • Mine did not need Holidays or B-days to buy himself gifts. He had to have a $250-300 bow and arrow and all the stuff that is needed for it to be the best in which he used 1 time. 3 snow mobiles (I don’t snow mobile) a 4 wheeler and of course any time a new Iphone came out he HAD to have it. Probably thought the porn would come in clearer..
    Things he bought me. For starters 1 christmas he did get me a Kuerig. Probably best present ever from him. However, in the divorce when he was evicted from our house he took it with him. (He doesn’t even drink coffee) Another present was a salad spinner. What a spender. Other than that I don’t remember any other gifts from him. I take that back. He did get a vibrator massager. why because he couldn’t even please me and didn’t want to put in the effort. When we were going through the divorce he made sure to upgrade that phone of his 1 more time with our joint account money.
    He got all the toys (4 wheeler, snow mobiles, boat camper and his nice truck ) in the divorce oh yea and the kuerig. Cost me a ton of money in lawyer fees but I am as free as I can be. And like many have said, once you get away from someone like this you really see how much money you can save and how much they were spending. It’s amazing! Now, he won’t pay for anything of our child. He has to pay 35% of her medical and daycare and that is all he will pay. Nothing for any of the activities she is in. He needs to spend his money on himself. Within the 1st year of our divorce he bought himself a new truck, a harley davidson motorcycle and a new 4-wheeler. All while crying to the judge that he needed spousal support and child support even though I had our child more of the time. CHEAPO

  • When I was still with my ex-he gave me a lesbian Mother’s Day card.

    I had to read it 3 times and look at the pic on the front with two women holding hands before I figured it out!!!

    When I told him if he realized what he gave me-he said, “Well-there wasn’t much of a choice last night at the car wash.”


      • TOTALLY!!!

        When I got it-the kids and I were laughing so hard!

        It’s still hysterical….what a dickless buttmunch my ex is ????????

  • Well, mine left me with his cat, when it had been very clear when we obtained him that I already had 2 cats and couldn’t afford a 3rd. He was to be completely financially responsible. I love this kitty and care for him. He’s older, on heart meds, needs regular exams, bloodwork and ultra$sounds. My ex left a container of cat litter on my porch! ???? That makes up for it all!

  • He’d buy me gifts, but ones I couldn’t use. Shoes 2 sizes too small. Earrings… I hate earrings because my hair gets stuck all around them. When we discussed wedding rings, he got me one with all the qualities I said I didn’t like.

    I realize now it’s because those were gifts for who he wanted me to be- not who I was- but at the time, when I would tell him I couldn’t use something, he threw a fit about me never appreciating gifts and being terrible at communicating.

    Here’s one though. He rarely sees the kids. He said he couldn’t afford to come visit them. When he ended a call with my son abruptly, I found out it was because the dog trainer had arrived.
    So, yes, providing his dog with a personal trainer was more important than visiting his kids.

    • “…those were gifts for who he wanted me to be – not who I was” – thanks for that observation!

      That perfectly explains why I got the pink knife to wear around my neck: he had recently started to collect (translation: buy a new one every other day) knives, of all things. I had zero interest in having a knife to wear around my neck. But HE was interested in knives, so I should have been too, right?

  • Cheater never bought me any kind of an engagement ring.

    When my dear Mom passed away she left a note saying she wanted me to have her beautiful diamond ring ,as, “peace never ever had a ring”

    A Mother’s love is forever.
    A cheater’s not so much.

  • For lunch, POP (Preditory Opportunistic Parasite) ‘treated me’ to a $1 value meal burger at Burger King.

    Later that afternoon, he rushed out of town to ‘spend time at his mother’s grave on the anniversary of her death’. In actuality, he had a date that night with a woman he’d pursued on Match–took her to a rather expensive restaurant and spent over $300 on their lobster and champagne meal.

  • My ex bought me a wedding ring and then hated it and bought me a “better” replacement ring . We are divorcing and I took them to get appraised because I was going to sell those fuckers . They were both fake ! Fake as our marriage ! Why bother replacing a fake with another fake .

  • My cheater was only cheap sporadically. He preferred to climb over people at work and then appear to be the hardest working guy there -taking every travel opportunity (I wonder why?) so that he could earn lots of $$$ much of which he spent on himself and his affair partners. But he would also randomly lavish me and the kids with expensive, useless gifts that came with a proud declaration of how expensive, or how rare, or what famous person also buys this item, etc. Once I was pricing new video cameras at Best Buy so that I could better capture our daughters’ beautiful voices and adorable dances when they performed. I had it narrowed down to two different ones in the 100-200 dollar range and was trying to decide whether to splurge. Then for my birthday, he bought me a fancy camera with a microphone that could be attached and explained how he talked to his good friend who knows a film director and this is what all the serious filmmakers use. No one uses an all-in-one camera. It took beautiful pictures, but I’m not really a photographer. The sound quality wasn’t as good as my phone and it kept refocusing so you could hear clicking in all the videos. Then they had to be converted to a different format to post them for grandparents and friends to watch. But I feigned delight and dutifully learned how to use it. One day, we were in a hurry going to a recital and I forgot it and used my phone. The video was so much better and by this time he wasn’t going to their recitals anymore because he was off fucking strange (we thought he was working hard so we could have nice things like the useless camera). Anyway, after we split, I gave the camera to a young man I had mentored who was struggling to make ends meet but his hobby was photography. He loves it. I record everything on my phone. Ex hasn’t seen his daughter’s last 5 performances. But he sent her a Gucci watch for her birthday, mentioning how expensive it was. Kids don’t wear watches unless they are Fitbits. They use phones. And her look is ripped jeans and rock band T’s.

  • My XW would want all the bells and whistles for her cars but “I don’t want to finance rails or a bed liner for your truck”. But had no problem picking out what extras she wanted for my truck. I would get her jewelry or whatever expensive practical things she wanted. Me, $50 gift card. Towards the end when she asked me what I wanted for anniversary, I would tell her that all I wanted was for her to Be nice to me for a whole day. No yelling at me, putting me down, sarcastic comments… She couldn’t even do that. She would get a very nice anniversary but would tell me “don’t expect anything from me”. Then complain when I wasn’t romantic enough in her eyes.

    I can’t believe what I put up with all this…

    • SirChump, reverse the genders and you have Cheater #2 and me. Guess I should give all this spackle to the hazmat guys at the dump, no?

  • My Ex gave me beautiful prints of Tall Stacks, a riverboat event in our hometown, a dime collection, and porn. He took it all in the divorce. BTW, he was a riverboat captain who’s last major OW was the newspaper photographer who took his and all the other captains photos for the event. I got him back, in the divorce I got the pen and ink drawings his brother did, real art.

  • I’ve received a plethora of cheap, ugly jewelry and kitchen utensils that I already had or wouldn’t use. Lots of knick knack crap that has no real use and just takes up space. I started to leave notes to Santa or the Birthday Fairy on the refrigerator months in advance with helpful hints. They were ignored.

    He did give me two nice necklaces on two separate occasions (both under $300 each). Realized later that the first was probably a guilt gift, and the second was totally impression management and he had purchased it from someone that he was probably trying to schmooze. (And of course, he hated going to nice restaurants and never took me to shows or anything like that (always bitched about how much a waste of money it was) so I never had the occasion to dress up and actually wear the nice stuff.

    The last Christmas together he gave me a Go-pro. I was floored when I opened it. Then he told me that it was really for him but he’d let me use it.

  • My XH used to run marathons – a tremendous accomplishment for which I was proud and showered him with praise. In order to get additional accolades and medals (kibble), sometimes he would go away for the night to run a race in a rural town so that he could place in the top 5 finishers (he wasn’t fast enough to place even in the top 10% in larger cities).

    The year that he left for his whore, he ran a race in Yuma. I believe whore accompanied him on this trip as he was an ass to me while he was gone. He did, however, bring me back a tiny bag of caramel corn he said he purchased for me from a gas station there. I’ve never been a huge fan of caramel corn nor is Yuma famous for that. I really don’t think this was actually a gift for me, but probably something whore purchased for him that he didn’t want either. I stuck the bag in the cabinet and never touched it – neither did he.

  • The Cheating Swede was an embarrassingly bad tipper (8 to 10%) at restaurants, to the point that if we returned to the same restaurant and had the same server, I would overtip to make up for it.

    He never bought me cheap gifts, but he would buy me things that HE wanted me to have. Like a made-in-China knockoff of an designer purse, because he apparently thought real women like fake-expensive purses. Or he’d buy me clothes and gear for cold-weather camping when I made it clear that I hate camping in the snow. What a D-bag.

  • One Mother’s Day, about three years before D day, he got absolutely nothing for the kids to give me. His reason? “The kids said they didn’t want to go to town when I asked them.” Great. So not only had he not bought a present but also showed his crappy parenting skills in not instilling into our young children the importance of showing their mum how much they appreciate her.

  • The Christmas that was 2 weeks before D-Day I requested a case for the iPhone I had scraped and scrounged to afford for my birthday gift to myself in September. He did get it for me, but it must have been the last one at Radio Shack (yes, he gave it to me in the RS bag) because it was the most hideous shades of green ever – and he had known for 20 years that I dislike green of any shade. The Radio Shack was next door to his gym (see! He went out of his way!). Also in the bag were some stickers (yes, of skulls, chains and thorny roses) from the display next to the cash register at our local gas station, PLUS a gift card with $9.47 left on it that someone else had given him. I spent nearly $1,000 on him that holiday. And that was when I was positive about his late nights. It was 2 weeks later that I found the receipts for hotel stays and jewelry for the skank. I wasn’t looking for them, but he didn’t try to conceal them – they were in a stack of papers he dropped on the counter when he emptied his pockets. Yes, he’s quite a piece of work.

  • In the early 90’s he gave me the Griffin and Sabine trilogy of books because he liked the artwork in them and they were kind of a fad thing at the time.

    When he abandoned me he stole them from me and gave them to the OW.

    When I said WTAF he first denied that he had done it, then diminished it, then told me I never liked them anyway so it was OK that he took them.

    Once again, the Narc prayer:

    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.

  • My ex was always a decent gift giver, partially because I never asked/wanted much. He always wrote loving cards, etc.

    One gift that should have been a red flag: 5th anniversary gift: box of word magnets and a card of a stained glass window from a building at his Uni.
    I found the receipt years later, purchased that day at the Uni bookstore.

    The backstory— three months earlier I had accused him of having an affair with a fellow grad student.
    I was gaslighted, made to feel suspicious, stupid, etc.
    Sigh. 13 years later, the truth Finally comes out.

    We have been divorced almost 7 years. So glad he is gone. Only 1.5 more years until the youngest is out of the house and I do not have to deal with him anymore.

  • Thanks for the laughs everyone! These losers really are quite similar arent they?!
    Mother’s Day- “You’re not my mother” I, mortified that he ignored his own mother, always picked out something nice & thoughtful and sent it to her for every holiday including Mothers Day. Bet she’s wondering where the nice gifts are now. LOL!
    Valentines Day- “Valentines Day is stupid and commercial”
    His Bday – Always a big deal, fav foods, lots of nice gifts ($2k TV, etc.), decorations. The fall out if it wasn’t would have been scary!
    My Bday- In the 25 years since we 1st met he never learned when my Bday was. He knew the month but not the day. My awesome story is when the kids were teens he bought a card on the way home from work and asked the kids to sign it. (no gift of course.) DS comes to me and says “um, dad thinks today is your birthday and you know how he get pissed when he’s embarrassed so we didn’t tell him. Sister and I were wondering if you could just pretend that it’s today.” Haha! He also has no idea when our daughters Bday is either.
    Anniversary-sometimes grocery store flower on the way home, sometimes a card, some years nothing.
    Christmas – always last minute, super cheap, or nothing. One year a wood knife holder for the counter. I am one of those people who like nothing on the counter and all in cabinets so that was really weird. a wedding gift knife set has come with one that I had donated after putting the knives in the knife drawer. Another year he bought a little side table for HIMSELF to put his electronics in next to the bed which is totally fine, except he wrapped it up and put it under the tree to me! Then said it was a gift to me because he wouldn’t leave things laying around. It was the only gift for me. I had to pretend to be happy because he would have blown a gasket if i wasn’t!

    And lastly, the best gift I ever got was some workout cloths. I was actually thrilled to have a real gift! THEN he told me that it was so I would go to the gym and get back into shape. After kid #2 I had an extra 5# to my usual 110. I weighted exactly 115# at 5’5″. Fucking asshole. When I did get back to an acceptable weight I didn’t have the proper amount of muscle definition, then my boobs were too small and I needed implants, there is always a moving goal post with the disordered.

  • “….my boobs were too small…” Did you say, “well your dick is too small, yet I’ve learned to live with that!”

    • LOL- that’s hilarious!! (And it kind of was… it’s true what they say about steroids. ;o) Imaged obsessed ass was in a constant state of weightlifting, supplements, 2 a day workouts…)

  • Cheapest Cheater shot so far was challenging that my budget of 600GBP per annum for Christmas and birthday presents for two children was “excessive” Yet spent over 20k on holidays for him, his APs and to a lesser extent, the kids.

  • Usually the same thing he got his OW. Discovered this after going thru CC receipts looking for evidence after Dday.

    Christmas: flannel PJ’s for me. Sexy nightie for OW. Expensive perfume for OW. Walmart perfume for me. He would also throw in candy that his patients gave him for the holidays.

    Valentines Day: large Vermont teddy bear with wardrobe for OW. Small teddy bear for me. Large beautiful bouquet delivered to OW. Single rose from the hospital gift shop for me (wilted since he probably remembered on his way out of the hospital).

    The thing that really sticks with me: he literally spent over $150.000.00 on his model train hobby. I once decided to hire someone to power wash our deck for $200 I was raising kids, he was never here and I did the majority of home and yard keep up. Plus schlepping kids to activities. The power washing guy showed up on a Saturday morning when then H was home. He made me go out and cancel the job and told me that I should be doing that.

    On the flip side after having built a timeline of his extracurricular activities I now
    Know that the expensive jewelry I received was given to me when he was having one of his multiple affairs. Guess that made it ok.

    And throw in when he was paying for OW’s daughter to go to nursing school, at the same time he was insisting our sons (in college) get their own phone plans and pay their own car insurance.

    • “Paying for OW daughter to go to nursing school”…..while shorting his sons….that’s really low.
      I hope you’re right with the tick tick nomoreskankboy because mine is doing the same thing.
      Cashed-out our son’s 529 college fund….and spent/gave it to his whore and her spawns….now my son has no college fund and his father makes too much money to qualify for aid. Really worried about the future. 🙁

      • Blue, I promise things will work out. Scholarships, loans, etc. Don’t let that b***** win! Maybe a junior college then a transfer. Many, many ways of getting your beloved son through school. You and your son are in my prayers!

      • I think the FAFSA only takes one parent’s income into account. If you make a lot less than your ex, you can qualify for financial aid.

    • Ruggermom, my ex spent THOUSANDS on his various hobbies, sometimes a few thousand dollars every month. I didn’t get the embarrassment of having to send a workman home, but I got reprimanded for not turning the lights out when I left a room. That might have increased the electric bill by 10 cents a month.

      How dare we squander money like that?


  • My cheater and I lived in a community property state, so in theory each of us earned compensation that was the property of both of us. In my case, every single paycheck and bonus I ever earned was deposited to our joint account. My cheater, however, direct deposited his compensation to a private account in his name alone, and then he transferred 60% to our joint account, keeping 40% for himself.

    How cheap was my cheater? Having stolen that much, he couldn’t even use his own stolen money to pay for his male prostitutes. He had to raid the joint account, further depleting amounts that would otherwise have been available to pay for groceries and utilities. By the time I filed for divorce, he’d used the home equity line to run up close to $1 million in debt, against our house.

    I never got a dime of that money back.

  • Like my chump sister, and others I’ve known, I simply ordered myself stuff (or bought it back in the old days). Didn’t expect much. I will say my wasband had an odd way of buying me nice books. (He was a covert narc, so probably grudgy that I didn’t reciprocate or something). But, yeah, mainly self-gifting.

    The corker was my 50th birthday, when I explicitly said the only thing I did. not. want. was a big party that I had to cook & clean up for. I would have liked to go away for the weekend. What did I get? I big party, and chump that I was, I cooked and cleaned for days. Boy, was I unhappy. Then wasband blamed it on our kid, said it was her idea. nice, right?

  • My X cheater, like many was never original! Some gifts were “one for me, one for you”. On my 40th BD I received a Hand Cuff Charm. No Necklace – just this ridiculous charm. (he was a cop). one DD followed this and chumps me trying to see how far affair was going and I asked if he was giving AP gifts. He admitted he had given her the same charm and other exact things he had given me, WTF I don’t know what I ever did with that charm … can’t remember just as I don’t remember him after 31 yrs. My mind has been cleaned! Many more weird things he gave me…. not necessarily cheap but made no sense! Just like X

  • Coasters for every birthday, bought in the gift shop at the mall on his way home. Christmas was always bare root roses for me to plant and care for, so he could have fresh flowers all over the house. Occasionally, it was also something he wanted, like a Walkman or the Thighmaster. Ugh.

  • Actions don’t lie. The last Valentines Day before DDay, he got me the most pathetic flowers from the grocery store. Now I wonder if he purposely picked the worst ones.

    While daughter and I were traveling Europe on a $120 night hotel budget, he was at $400 night hotels with the OW.

    Two months after we split he bought himself a brand new 2017 $65k car. I was driving the 2012 Suburu.

    In fact. I just traded that car in for a black Audi Q5 (a couple of years old — who buys new at that level?) So instead of driving the Mom car, I’m driving the Cougar car!!

  • One year for Christmas I got a piece of paper that said “‘IOU”. He said time got away from him and before he knew it it was too late to go out and get presents. For a holiday that is advertised beginning in July. Even worse – he never did give me anything for the IOU. Not even a tie-dye license plate cover, ha.

    Another year he got me a swiffer duster, but took it out of the package and wrapped up each piece separately. So in his mind I got a lot of “presents” that year – the handle, and each of the duster cloths that attach to it.

    I guess the best gift he gave me was stories to laugh about later, ha.

    I really like the second question. I buy fresh flowers for the kitchen table. I take care of them well so they last a few weeks, and make me smile when I come downstairs each morning and see them. I’m not waiting for someone else to buy me flowers anymore.

    • Holy shit. I can’t even. How did you not laugh… Or cry? What kind of human wraps every piece of Swiffer cloth independently AS PRESENTS????
      I also love to buy myself flowers.

      • Best part was when I opened up the last one, which turned out to be the box the parts originally came in. Um, thanks for this ripped up cardboard packaging that I’ll toss in the recycling???

        You can’t make this shit up, you really can’t.

  • My cheater offered to take me to a resort that he had planned to take his co worker/AP for a little getaway. D day had already happened and as I was doing some marriage policing, I found the email confirmation (made during the time he was living with her). He tried to lie about it but eventually admitted that he had planned to take her up there with him in the following Spring. That is when he offered to take me instead. It was WTF moment I’ll never forget. It was also on Christmas Eve. He didn’t get me anything so he thought he’d use that as his “get out of jail free” card.
    Yeah. Because every chump wants to take that vacation planned for the cheater and their Shmoop.

  • Cranky Pants cheater hates birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Xmas, anniversaries – events when he would be expected to take the time to choose gifts that could make someone else happy, or to put it simply, employ EMPATHY. Plus he was cheap, cheap, cheap. Cheap with me, cheap with daughter. Of course his cheapness and unwillingness to think about making me happy was projected onto me – that I was so picky and difficult to buy presents for boo-hoo. Not true – I was thrilled if we went out to dinner occasionally. Didn’t ever ask for ANYTHING. Xmas and Valentine’s Day were “pre-fabricated corporate mass media events. We’re not the type of people who buy into that.” Handy excuses he trotted out occasionally. I played along, even though with each passing year my soul withered as I made my needs (to be cherished and acknowledged occasionally) smaller and smaller. What a chump I was.

    To further illustrate what a scrooge he was, not only was he cheap with his family, he was cheap with Cockroach AP (former high school girlfriend who fished him on Facebook 45 years later). Never sprang for a hotel room or a nice dinner during their entire “relationship”, he’d shack up at her crappy house and took her out for pizza or Chinese food occasionally. Never bought her a single gift. The two gifts he did give her were second hand. Cranky Pants works in music industry so gets lots of freebie promotional swag – t-shirts, hats, etc. He has boxes and boxes of this accumulated crap. He gave her a crummy jacket a bus company gave to him years ago. Cockroach didn’t even rate a nice tour jacket – of which he has DOZENS. When her ancient, shitty cell phone gave out, he gave her his old iPhone, only after he bought himself a brand new swanky one with all the bells and whistles. And he kept the 1.99 phone case he kept the old phone in!

  • Almost every “gift” my cheater ex gave me was something to use in the kitchen. Obviously, the goal was to make me a better Wife Appliance. Some of it was good stuff, but it was always useful.

    To show the contrast, one year when our five children were very small he didn’t get me anything for Mother’s Day. That afternoon when he asked what I wanted, I told him that I desperately needed a nap. So the asshole packed up the children and took them off for a couple of hours so I could rest. Did he take them to the park to play? No. Did he take them out for ice cream? Of course not. Instead, he took them to the bike store. And bought himself a $700 bike. And the special bike shoes to clip into the pedals. They were the most expensive shoes he had ever bought himself. Happy Mother’s Day to me!!

  • My main Christmas gift 2018 was a re-gifted gift card from a store I don’t go to. It had been a gift from his ho. Talk about passive-aggressive. I kept it to remind me of how shitty he is and have named it Shoppy Seconds.

    I never got an anniversay gift and I mostly bought my own birthday gifts because I knew he didn’t want the bother of it. I don’t think he is cheap so much as he is massively inconsiderate and selfish. He didn’t shower the ho with gifts either, AFAIK. He used to get her M&Ms sometimes. ????
    They would usually go dutch when they dated. He did buy her an expensive lunch and drinks on my birthday just to be an asshole. Then he took me out and spent less than that on my dinner. There was a hell of a lot of covert passive-aggression going on.

    The saddest gift I got was the day after d-day. He wanted to show he was sorry so he bought me a magazine. Not jewelry or even flowers. A magazine. I guess he was $9.99 worth of sorry.

  • Not a gift per se, but when STBXH moved out recently he texted me that he was taking “one fork, one spoon, and one knife.” WTF?!? Now I have place settings for three, when he could have just bought that shit at the dollar store.

    He also accused my best friend of “stealing his laptop” (she had used it when visiting a few weeks prior to DDay and abandonment)…I later found it in a pile of his shit.

    • I admit that I was the one who gave my ex cheap gifts. That was because he spent all our money on expensive crap for himself the rest of the time.

      Several times I had to borrow money from my parents to buy formula & diapers for our daughter because our account was over drawn (that was a common occurrence). He would buy things was above our means & had to have the best of everything. Like an $8000 mower. That mower (& many other such things) was more important to him then our daughter eating apparently.

  • This topic is a little frought for me, because I got less and less creative with birthday and holiday gifts for my STBX over the years, since she wouldn’t drop many useful hints (we are both women), but would just expect me to read her mind or get super-creative, esp. since we’ve been on a tight budget for a long time. Unfortunately, I was exhausted all the time – I thought it was chronic effects of cancer treatments I had 23 years ago, but I now suspect I was just chronically stressed from trying to hold together the kids and household while also responding to STBX’s constant low-level scrutiny and criticism. I tried to use my creative skills for unique gifts, mainly, like creating a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt every year (that also involved our kids when they came along) with original verses, or Photoshopping a funny image to post to social media on her birthday, etc. Eventually, I just got the feeling that she wouldn’t be happy with anything I got her or made for her. Now, I realize that the only thing that would have made STBX happy was a certain kind of feeling (and sexual attention?) from me that I was unlikely to give her, especially since she didn’t know how to ask for it herself.

    There’s another factor at play, that made me less interested in buying her expensive gifts for holidays: Just yesterday, we had a conversation for the first time EVER about the fact that STBX has been spending money almost daily at cafes for YEARS, despite our tight budget: I hardly ever eat out – and our kids don’t, either. I didn’t begrudge her that disparity because she would do academic work at the cafe, and claimed she couldn’t work effectively at home. (During her affair in summer 2018, she also did a lot of sexting from the local cafe!) Now, I’m asking to pay for an apartment with joint funds so that we can finally separate for my own mental health, and she’s balking at the expense. SMH

    As for presents for me, I never asked for or wanted much, except for the usual special attention on birthdays etc. I know that sounds clinically co-dependant and/or echoist, but I was wearing the adult pants in the family, and knew that we couldn’t afford many extravagances. I’m not a very material person, and just occasionally need practical things, like a new computer. (Gifts are the LOWEST on my list of love languages, which is probably why I’m not the greatest giver of gifts. Though I try!) STBX did try for a long time to give me decent gifts, because that’s a higher-priority love language for her – and I was grateful for whatever she gave – but evidently I didn’t give her the quality of gratitude she wanted. It’s funny, isn’t it, how gift giving is often way more about the giver than the recipient.

    Wish I could give all my fellow chumps the gifts of peace and security! <3

  • I admit that I was the one who gave my ex cheap gifts. That was because he spent all our money on expensive crap for himself the rest of the time.

    Several times I had to borrow money from my parents to buy formula & diapers for our daughter because our account was over drawn (that was a common occurrence). He would buy things was above our means & had to have the best of everything. Like an $8000 mower. That mower (& many other such things) was more important to him then our daughter eating apparently.

  • I liked the last gift I got from my EX–a Kindle when they were still very new. I liked it a lot less when I found a charge on our credit card a few months later for another one, which he was giving to his “soul mate.”

  • It’s hard for me to be critical of gifts where effort was spent, even if they’re not quite the right fit. That said… gift giving is not my Love language and I’m not very good at it.

    I’d say in the whole gift giving deal-io I’m probably more the asshole…????

    • (((Kintsugi)))
      I don’t think so,
      after all you gave him your heart,
      and the gift of being a beautiful, caring, Mother, to the Children you had together.

      He gave you nothing in return!

  • So many stories I could tell… the thought of which overwhelm and disgust me – and, if I think about them, make me angry. I just can’t.

  • Yeah, he’d give me a Christmas wish list, then throw a temper tantrum when I purchased something on the list because I should’ve known which of the things were the most wanted (of course, I always got it wrong). Meanwhile, my empty stocking hung on the mantle.

    I know this is about our ex’s and their cheater ways, but my mother gave me an oddly wrapped present a few years ago. When I unwrapped it, I discovered a damaged, dusty box containing a set of 3 dusty cake cake pedestals. I had recognized them from a donation pile in her garage. I don’t bake that much.
    Upon reflection, I’ve figured out how I ended up marrying a narcissist.

  • While my ex was in arrears on child-support (I had to sue him for child support – twice- and he’s a judge), he bought two seasons tickets for himself to the Philadelphia Flyers, because they had just acquired Eric Lindros, and the game was sold out unless you had season tickets. He explained this to me as the reason why he couldn’t pay child support. Also he said, he shouldn’t have to pay, because he had the expense of paying for women when he went out on dates, and as a woman, I could get men to buy my dinner. So hilarious.He doesn’t get presents for our daughter, and she wants said to me “you know he’s cheap” to which I said “is he cheap about buying things for himself?” She acknowledged he was not. Of course, this is the girl who at age 8 said to me “is my dad an asshole?”. She’s a smart one, and today has her PhD. (I put my back child support into an education fund for her 🙂 Nowadays I spend my money on fun things like a month in London (March of this year) and pretty much anything else I like it can afford, since I live alone and please only myself!It’s fantastic!

    Oh, I almost forgot, while we were married, and he was working and I was still in law school, he wouldn’t let me buy a flyswatter. Literally, a flyswatter, and we had to fly in the house. He told me I could buy that “when you’re making money.” I rest my case

    • Corrections, “once“ instead of “wants“, and “Anything I like and can afford.“ (By the way, I love that last phrase – it’s been a long time coming! :-))

    • OMG, so I laughed out loud at how you had to sue him for child support – twice – “and he’s a judge.”

      Entitled much??

      And the flyswatter – holy crap! What are they – $1? I’m sure you can get one at the Dollar Store. What an asshole.

  • During wreckoncoliation I was driving a 13 year old Ford Explorer which was fine. I loved that car

    Then H was driving a stealth (sports car) a brand new Mini Cooper and had a brand new Harley delivered to the house without my knowing about it.

    Later found out (thru emails to his a**hole brother) the reason he bought the Harley without my knowing was that he was looking for an excuse to justify his shitty behavior. He was dumbfounded that I was actually fine with the Harley and didn’t get pissed off about it.

  • There were so few gifts in all the years—not sure the worst. 15TH Anniversary-Nothing. This one still makes me laugh- The trip he was on when I found out about Affair partner he came back n said I got you this. I said I don’t want it. It was a rock shaped like a heart smaller than the size of a dime. The kind of thing that cost like $1.00 a rock shop and kids pickup. Or the $300 fly fishing rod he bought “ for me” I never used it once in the 15+ years we were married. I don’t fish.

    The best gift I have given myself is a small piece of sanity, 1000’s less of his chores/demands, savings account for the future, and I get to spend money on things I care about like kids, adventures and trips. Not his nonsense tractors, pigs, Buffalo and himself.

  • Having just received a Property Settlement offer apparently Dr Narc “gifted” me $22,000 in dental work! I rang the surgery and it was $2.100 for 2 root canals.

    Love how he made out I had some new Hollywood smile installed ????

  • My ex bought himself a suitcase – on MY birthday! Talk about messaging. But he also had a cheapness of spirit. Like only making his side of the bed. I mean, who does that? That level of pettiness indicates a cheapness of the heart. As he’s aged, he’s only gotten more cheap and petty.

    • I know this one so well. My X would do that crap. He liked to wash only HIS sweatshirt and leave the piles of other laundry, including his socks, for me to do. It never occurred to him to do everyone’s laundry. Ugh.

      • My Ex started doing some washloads of only his stuff. It would be clothes he immediately threw in the wash upon getting home from work. He’s an executive, not a manual laborer. Now I realize they must have had the scent of his affair partner/employee on them. Also, on occasions that I was sick, or recently home from the hospital, he was great about making sure I didn’t need to get dinner for him. However, he neglected to make sure I had anything I might need. I was left to fend for myself. He was usually “okay” in the gift department. He was cheap and stingy and withholding when it came to genuine kindness and emotional support.

  • The ex was actually pretty good at gifts. Definitely his love language. BUT i cant really call it love nor can i say it was his doing. Being born right before xmas gifts have always been an issue for me ie i just never really got them. So when the ex came along and clearly liked giving gifts i worked it. Needless to say, with hindsight, this was just epic narc mirroring he was displaying.

    I would basically give him hints all through the year of things i liked. And he’d get them for me. Win win. But boy did i pay the price. It was supply currency for him (oh you’re amazing look at how great your gifts are etcetera ad finitum for months even years). They werent that great buddy.

    When we first met he bought me underwear sets. Had never had this. He told me how his dad would do that for his mum throughout his childhood… and it became a thing for us.

    After i dumped him (D Day 5 or 6?) I sent him an article on love bombing. It summed up our relationship and i was done. It mentioned gifts..that night he came home with a new bra set. He acknowledged it was a love bomb.

    But here’s the sting.

    About a month later i finally clock who the OW was (had confronted him for 3 years over it and even had her bff tell me 6 months prior). I look up her insta. A year prior there she is on insta wearing the very same set he had been buying me for the last 2 years in different colours! If only id looked sooner! I looked at our credit card. All the underwear of previous 2 years were a 2 for 1 type deal. Buy me one buy her one. Nice guy.

    Then 6 months later another OW connected dots and reached out to me. She asked if these pieces were mine. Petticoat and girdles. Sex wear. He would wear it too. Hes an autogynophile with major mummy issues.

    Confronted him. He justified it by saying i threw it out. I didn’t. And that’s even creepier dude. WTF? Plenty he kept for himself too.

    I realised that time after D Day that his abusive dad (physically as well as emotionally, at least i didn’t get beaten i guess) had used and role modelled his dads exact same hoover move.

    Now he’s got no money im not sure jow hes keeping his women interested in his abuse and cheating. It honestly worked for me. I fell for it every time except that last time. I regret that shallowness on my part immensely but recognise why i did. Id never had gifts.

    I also realised how much the gifts were working because i set it up to get good things one year i was pregnant. I hadn’t bothered planting the gift seeds. He got me a Nick doll (Barbies new boy friend). Narcs name is Nick.

    That night he went out (3 days before xmas) and i sat on the phone with one of his OW I’d become friends with. Whipe he went out with the other OW he’d been with for 2 years (i didnt know but i had caught messages but *nothing happened*). He was still with her when i had baby and still with her a year later when we got married. She actually dumped him the week before wedding (right when his fuckwitness went into overdrive and he became impossible to live with but hey, invested) but still saw her for another few months until the next one came along 10 months later when my mother was freaking dying! Yep, that’s insta underwear lady. Yep hes still with her. Yep shes caught him cheating. Yep he gave her my actual underwear as well (more photos). Yes they truly suck.

  • X knew I wanted a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I had been eyeing one for years. It was the day before my birthday. My daughter, myself and X were at the dinner table and he said that he thought about buying me the stand mixer I wanted but when he saw the price, he said he just couldn’t justify spending that much money on a birthday present. THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE out of his mouth was : ‘I did buy myself a gift though. It’s a years membership to a golf club!’ The membership cost $4000. The part that really bothered me was that he did that in front of our kid.

    X loved camping but I hate it. I refused to go. Never camped with X. One birthday he bought me a camping chair.

    I once had the nerve to ask for a designer handbag. He left me in tears when he told me off for even thinking I deserved such an item. In front of our child. I told my mother what he said and the next time we saw her, she gave me the handbag as a gift. He hated her for that.

    A month before he left, it was Fathers Day and I got him a brand new barbecue. Big, expensive one. He picked it out, knowing full well he’d be gone in a matter of weeks. When he left, he took it with him (he was moving into his parents flat), along with every single gift he and any of his family members had ever given me. He Even took an old, broken sewing machine his mother had given me. WTH?

    For my daughters 14th birthday he bought her toiletries which consisted of tampons, deodorant and toothpaste. The next year he gave her a gift voucher that didn’t work. She turned 16 this year and he says (he actually hasn’t given it to her) that he got her a dress and sent a picture of a dress that is basically a corporate uniform. We hope it never turns up.

    We have nothing to do with him anymore.

  • “Why are you buying such an expensive mantle clock for your parents ?” His parents were elderly and had already acquired plenty (things and cash) for their Brooklyn Heights townhouse where they had lived for several decades.

    “Well I like it. And I’m going to take it back when they die.” He waited YEARS for them to die so he could inherit from them. “Dad” died in his nineties, senile, wearing a diaper and trying to eat with his hands before the live in “adultsitter” redirected him. “Mother” finally croaked in her sleep one month shy of her 100th birthday.

    In a nutshell.

  • on our 10th anniversary which was after our son was born I did get an eternity ring but think that was about the only anniversary present. Nothing on the 25th, 30th even. Instead, he would spoil the day. I remember I took a day off work for our 30th, my colleagues bought me a lovely card, he celebrated by driving us to where he wanted to go and storming off and leaving me, he often did that sort of thing. He didn’t like pearls so he wouldn’t even consider getting me anything with pearls, or silver, ditto. So my day off was spent being abandoned until he’d done what he wanted to. The only pressie on Valentine’s day he ever got was some lovely chocs one year, and that was only because he took our daughter to visit his parents and on the way past the shops she said what are you getting mum for valentines, she’d like those chocs
    He tended to do the go out on Christmas eve and get a Christmas present – usually, from the garden centre down the road, usually pots, compost, sprouting daffodil bulbs [by that time, just before it shut they were reduced to clear] that never really grew and pot feet, plus something else random, I think the last Christmas he was there it was a parasol light [but no parasol], I subsequently learnt that a much nicer garden centre not that far even on Christmas eve had good quality non-sprouting daffodil bulbs, but too much effort. It would have been nice if he had planted them in the pots, but again too much effort. 2 years running he bought me a soapstone elephant ornament for my birthday – the same ornament; obviously if it’s good enough for one birthday its good enough for the next birthday too. Wrong size clothing, that he’d moan when I said I needed to change it. One year out of the blue he got me a dressing gown, not my style, and nothing special, I didn’t need one, I already had a nice one but accepted it gracefully and wore it. Some time afterwards he spoke about how I’d said I wanted one, and what an effort he’d gone to to get it for me [from Marks and Spencers, not somewhere special]. I said I’d never said I wanted a new dressing gown. TBH if I’d wanted one I’d have got one myself for my taste, he must have been hallucinating or maybe some other woman said she’d like one. It’s not as if he ever picked up on anything I did say I would like. Never perfume, I’d have been happy with that, he said he didn’t know what to get, [and subtext – couldn’t be bothered to ask me which one I’d like.]
    For nearly 40 years I got all his family’s presents, cards, anniversary gifts, always thoughtful and well-received [I may not always get it right but it’s always thoughtful]. I wonder what he gets them now and what he got the inlaws – they are both now dead. My presents to him were always thoughtful too. Actually I wonder what he does about clothes and shoes because it was always me who had to get him clothes and shoes, he was odd with clothes, he liked shirts the same colour and jumpers a sort of rusty colour, so I’d look out all the time for them. Not too much though, as I don’t give a stuff what he looks like. Apart from it did make me laugh one time when he came round before we were divorced and he was actually wearing a cardigan of mine, coincidentally the same rusty colour, but very definitely a women’s cardigan, lace knit, shaped front with a frill around the edge, I didn’t ask for it back, if he wanted it he could keep it, but WTF! He never ever wore men’s cardigans, that was the really odd

  • Like Mr. Chumplady, the best gift I ever got from my ex was notable in how low the competition was.
    I got a Star Trek T-shirt with Mr. Spock on it. No, it wasn’t expensive, or signed by the actor, it was simply the only gift I ever got that I’d actually even remotely want. It was a $12 shirt from Kohl’s. I actually sometimes wear it.

    This was really nice when compared to some other gifts I received, including:
    – A $15 gift card to a store I never shop at (but she does)
    – A $7 ticket to a show put on by her mom’s amateur chorale group, as if that is something any human would ever willingly attend
    – Nothing at all

  • Cutlery and dinner ware, refused for 15 years to buy a set and bought cheap crappy cutlery and plastic bowls (one at a time) from the dollar store.

  • Cheater bought her boyfriend a $200 fishing rod for his birthday. That left $30 in our joint checking account for a week with an 18 month old.
    Every 2 weeks there would be $3000 in that account and two weeks later it would be empty. You wouldn’t believe how many pairs of yoga pants are bagged up in the garage.

  • He got me a whopping… nothing for our ten year anniversary.

    When the day was over, and he found me in tears, he told me about what he *thought about* getting me.

  • Wow! I’ve read some real stinkers here.

    The birthday before last, I received a card signed “all my love and kisses”. He hadn’t kissed me in nearly 6 years and told me several times over that period that he just woke up one day not completely sure if he loved me any more.

    He hadn’t told me he loved me in that time either.

    It felt like cruel and unusual punishment because he told me he didn’t see himself ever having sex with me again and wasn’t interested in sex or the female form.

    Cue Christmas and me pulling out all the stops just for him to spend Christmas eve masturbating to porn while he sat at the kitchen table. All unbeknownst to me, but something didn’t seem right and I confronted him on December 26th and it all came tumbling out.

    Spent the rest of my vacation time crying my eyes out.

    Double slap in the face: “I’m not interested in the female form right now, but porn isn’t about the female form. Its about me allowing others to fulfil my needs without having to reciprocate. ” and “Let’s have a Christmas like we used to have.” Meanwhile, I was stabbed in the back with my proverbial turkey carving knife.

    Received a cook book called “You suck at cooking” for the days when I run out of ideas on what to cook. I cooked nearly every day thinking it would make him happy. He was only happy if I was dancing until I was nearly exhausted. As long as I was focusing on what a bag of shit he was, all was good.

    Or the time we were short on money and he gave tips to his online webcam whore. That’s right. It wasn’t *our* money, it was his money. I hadn’t had anything new for years – not even a hair cut because I was worried about being a burden to him.

    The car we bought for our use was actually for his use.

    I feel disgusted with myself for not seeing this sooner. He had me believe that another man wouldn’t put up with all the difficulties that I have had in the past, so I *should* feel lucky that he cared for me.

    The one gift that I managed to give myself was therapy. I’ve been going for 6 years quite regularly and he punished me for it (big time). I suppose in some ways he showed me exactly what I had to gain by continuing with therapy, which was a better insight into what was actually happening in my life.

    Life is getting better all the time. Its not as scary being on my own as it used to be. I’ve come to realise I was already alone, but I was hemorrhaging emotional energy and motivation.

  • Ha, gifts!

    He doesn’t “believe” in gifting. He’ll climb up on his high horse and preach about the evils of consumerism and how gifting cheapens the true meaning of holidays and celebrations. And then he’ll rant about materialism and how much waste and pollution factories generate and how horrible the workers are treated.

    HE gives his time, talents, energy, prayers, and good will, not meaningless objects! HIS gifts are the kind that really matter!

    His favorite Christmastime rant was “Would Jesus want you to pollute the planet and exploit third world laborers to celebrate his birth?”

    But that’s the excuse why he doesn’t buy gifts. He’s happy to accept gifts from other people if giving them “makes those people happy”.

    It’s all a pile of crap and part of the con. He puts on his holier than thou front and pretends to be a good and decent person. And he only does enough “giving” to make the act believable to the public. He makes sure he’s always seen doing something but it’s never much effort. It’s just for show.

    The only thing he’s ever given anybody is misery.

  • He got an airplane hanger on a private airstrip where we built our house, paid strippers to suck his dick after lap dances, and flew skydivers naked.

    I shopped at kid to kid and drove a salvage title minivan with hail damage.

    That was my life with that worthless man for 11 years. Truer words were never spoken than Chump Lady declaring, “Nothing says entitlement like the finances.”

  • My ex bought me tickets to Jay Z for my 47 birthday. I’m not opposed to Jay Z, but I would never have chosen to go myself.
    He wanted to go and it was conveniently my birthday weekend.

  • My XH was always visibly generous on noteworthy dates… I received clothing, jewelry, weekend trips, spa services. But when the shit ultimately hit the fan and the sordid details of his secret life were finally revealed, I realized those gifts were given to distract me, to help me to see him as a loving, kind and generous man, and hopefully, to have me sing his praises to others for impression management purposes. And during our 3-year separation, even after I went Zero Contact, he continued to send me greeting cards for Valentine’s Day, my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, and yes, even our wedding anniversary. It was obvious XH was heavily involved with Married Howorker/OW and we were on the path to divorce, so I could never figure out why on earth he wasted his money on greeting cards or postage stamps. Every time something showed up in the mail from him, I cringed and promptly shredded them. Still SMDH…

    • Mine did that too. He would overspend, so when I received these over the top gifts, I was paralyzed with fear about how to pay for them. I’m sure it came across that I was ungrateful. The price of the gifts increased with his salary, so I was always an edge when I knew he was gong to give a gift.

      Now married to Howorker, they are spending money hand over fist. He won’t change.

  • We went out to dinner for my 40th birthday. He left the table so I figured he was going to get something (when we walked into the restaurant he didn’t have anything . . . maybe something nice was planned ahead to arrive with dessert?). He came back and eventually handed me a card. No gift – absolutely nothing – just a note that said “I would like to buy you a ski helmet”.

    Postscript: I got half the estate, per the law, and have been buying lots of jewelry for myself. Making up for the 30th, 40th & 50th birthdays when he was so cheap!

  • The worst thing my EX did in terms of gifts was to destroy nearly every item he could identify that had been given to him by me or any of my family members when I told him I wanted a separation. He slashed them, ripped them, crushed them and left them around the house for me or the kids to find. Many were lovely or valuable items. Others were sentimental or beloved by the kids. (I did note that he kept all the expensive sports jerseys I’d given him over the years).

    Later, when we were working on a property division settlement, he insisted that we each return to the other any gifts received from in-laws. I, of course, still had the things his family had given me. I didn’t care about giving them back–I wanted his sister to have the items of family jewelry I had received since I certainly wasn’t going to wear them. But I am still angry that he destroyed the things from my family that my kids would have enjoyed. (Not to mention my family was always very generous to him, while his family was very restrained about gifts.)

    • Dang, that’s evil. You should have taken photos of the wreckage and shown that when he was demanding an exhange of old gifts.. like, hey, let’s do that but you get all this back to me, intact!

    • That must have been shit sauce on a trauma shit sandwich for your kids to discover. I feel so bad for them having to see that violent destruction–so hard for them to reconcile with kid brains. :'(

  • The night I discovered ex’s cheating, ex said he had to go out and let ho-worker that I knew about their relationship. I stupidly assumed he was going out to tell her it was over. I stayed home for 2.5 hours after this with our 2yo and 9 month old daughters. When he finally came home, he told me he didn’t break up with her. But, he had a box of donuts for me. When I opened the box of a half dozen donuts, there was only one left. For me. How sweet.

    This was almost 3 years ago, and I am, as of November 2019, happily divorced. And somehow still enjoy donuts.

  • Congratulations to everyone who has given themselves the gift of freedom from a selfish cheater!

    After our divorce, XH bought himself a big flashy new-build house, while I stayed in our tiny (gorgeous, historic) cottage. Best gifts to myself then: gradually decorating the place from top to bottom.

    Now, like others above, my favourite gifts to myself are weekly bunches of flowers. For me this is such an act of self-love and self-appreciation!

    Having read this whole thread, I just logged into my favourite site and bought myself a necklace I had been hesitating over. (It wasn’t even expensive!) Let’s all do something nice for ourselves this weekend, even if it’s just give ourselves a bit of “me” time.

    Now I am going to read a new novel while drinking tea, curled up on the sofa with a snoozing pussycat.

  • The Limited was jealous of my best friend.
    He took me off his phone plan because I talked to her often, using too many minutes. On a rare occasion when we were together in his old BMW ( the one he spent thousands fixing.) he stopped to get coffee and said he’d pay for mine and that she’d have to pay for her own.

    Guess who went to court with me the day we settled?

  • I received a picnic basket for my birthday one year. WTF?! Then there was that imitation Louis Vuitton purse from China that smelled like formaldehyde. The toxic fumes gave me a headache and it was in the trash the next day.

  • We were at the checkout at the supermarket – I picked up a can of cold Lacroix water that was nearby and put it on the belt to buy it.
    Asswipe said, “ You can’t wait to get a drink of water at home?”
    It was 25 cents.
    This from a man who makes 7 figures a year.
    I bought the water. Fucking prick.

  • I rarely got Christmas or birthday gifts or even a birthday card from him. I usually bought a few things for myself and wrapped them. I can only remember 2 Christmas gifts over 20 years. When my current partner and I started dating, I was almost embarrassed that he showered me with gifts our first Christmas together. I just want used to it at all.

  • On the one date he organised in the last 3 years before d-day, cheater took me to a very bad and boring show by an unknown illusionist (ha ha), some of his ‘I-can-read-your-mind-tricks’ didn’t work out and the audience was full of elderly people.

    I had repeatedly asked to join him on business trips with our daughter in lieu of family time, especially to London, where I used to live. Never did, claimed he couldn’t bring us.

    After D-day I found credit card proof of a weekend with ow in London he already had to admit to. The Athenaeum Hotel 1,500 GBP for one night. In mediation he claimed he put all bills with the company for hotels and not used marital aasets, after he claimed, he had never given her anything through company assets. Somebody paid that bill – and sure as hell it wasn’t his 25yo apprentice.

  • We realized early on that it was best that we don’t get each other gifts as a given after a few gifts that were all wrong. In the beginning I hoped he would buy me nice things that I couldn’t afford or justify buying for myself , but he never did. If he was insecure about getting the right thing, he could have asked. One weird thing he did was after he got a chunk of money, he gave me about 3k worth of money to donate to an animal shelter as a gift. Which was nice, but I hoped he would have said, here’s is 3k, you should keep one thousand for yourself to get whatever you want and donate 2k to the animal shelter. Or something like that. Because we were students at the time and I really didn’t have money to get myself nice things.

    I know he likes to get facials but would never go unless I gifted it, so a few times I’ve given him a gift card to one, and booked the appointment. I gave him a color analysis, I asked if he was interested in going and that I’d like to go with him because I find these things interesting, and he said he wanted to go. When we were separated after he left me 5 years ago, I gave him a couple enlarged photos of him and DD. He seemed to appreciate those.

    I do like to buy gifts for people, but not just random stuff. It has to be something I know they will like.
    I hate useless knick knacks and clutter so I’m actually happy to not get a lot of gifts for Christmas. In the past his parents thought the more gifts, the better, and we got more gifts than the kids – but some of it was like freebies and stuff. I finally told them that I’d prefer it adults didn’t exchange gifts and they did comply and were probably relieved! It was a relic from when STBXH and his sister were kids I guess.

    This year I got two books (from my siblings) and about a 100 dollars from my dad. STBXH gave me and our daughter the wall calendar he’d ordered for us, the same one we have had since daughter was born. He doesn’t use the wall calendar so we get to take it to our new home.

    I’ve sewn STBX a couple of hoodies after I made a pattern from his old favorite that was in horrid condition. I’ve made some t-shirts but he’s super picky about how clothes feel so I don’t think I ever got them just right yet. Generally there is an understanding that if we want something, we get it ourselves.

    He has bought red roses on occasions, always red roses, usually from the grocery store. Which I wouldn’t mind at all, except usually the roses wilt right away which makes me a bit sad. He never asked what flowers I like. If I ever have another relationship, I hope I get anything but red roses.
    I love fresh flowers and I love to buy a bouquet from the store after cleaning the home. On my daughter’s birthday I bought her orange roses and they stayed nice for many days and looked pretty even when they dried up!
    I love orchids too and they are one of the few plants that are super easy for me to care for and get to bloom again. So I buy myself orchids. And I plan to buy fresh flowers for my new home.
    I’ve bought him flowers once or twice. I’m not sure he cares for getting them much.

    He has never bought me jewellery, except once in the beginning, nearly 20 years ago, when I told him what I wanted and then bought it for myself. But it didn’t feel the same since I had to ask, so I stopped it. I’m not that big on jewelry anyway, I always wear the same antique diamond earrings I inherited after my mom and her parents passed, I haven’t taken them off in 11 years except to clean them. And I wear a tiny diamond cross pendant. But I just recently bought a beautiful antique diamond ring for myself, which I need to get resized before I can wear it. It’s a splurge, definitely, but something that was just so me. I claim my independence and mightiness with it. Right now my fingers are bare as I took off my simple wedding and engagement bands.

    I have bought probably 99% of our daughter’s gifts too. If I tell him she wants something specific and ask him to get it, he will. I have made or bought his niece’s gifts, but I won’t be doing that anymore.

  • My XH bought me a very expensive pair of noise-cancelling headphones one Christmas…that I had to pay for, since I was the one actually making money. He worked in movies, and could never do his billing and invoices until after the productions had closed down and the accounts payables were done (meaning: he’d work away from home for two/three months, and then never get paid because he was too lazy to do his paperwork on time). He’d rack up hundreds over his per diems, taking little production assistants out to dinner and playing the big man. Little did they know (or care) who was actually buying their lobster and cocktails: moi, the chump.

  • When my father died, the funeral was 5 hours away. We all went (kids,cheat, me), but I was not “allowed” to stay with my family, but had to return home same day. He venmoed ONE of the “others” $5500 around the same time.

  • I got a giant pink sweater, at least three sizes too big, with elbow patches. This is after I found out about the OW, who he was trying to get me to pick me dance with. (In a giant pink sweater…?) Maybe it was from a sale he found, on the way to her house? I’m not sure. I gave it to Goodwill, because someone else can benefit from it. But I flung the necklace he gave me off my porcch. Let the squirrels and pigeons do something with it. It’s felt really good to get everything with hid energy on it out of my house

  • Two words: Motel. 6.

    I’d found his super secret (:eye roll:) texting phone. He’d met her at Motel 6 somewhere between her house and ours. I confronted him, so he aggressively declared, with bulging eyeballs, that SHE! SHE has SIMPLE NEEDS!

    Yes, the not-much-employed, childless woman had SIMPLE NEEDS, whereas I, the mom of 3 with the full-time job was ssuuuuuuuuuuuuuper high maintenance. And nothing could be further from the truth than that last part, as is par for a chump. It is true, however, that you’ll never catch me meeting up with a married asshole to fuck him in a Motel 6. Nor a Four Seasons, thank you very much.


    Reading all these posts is yet another reminder of how lucky we all are to be apart from these entitled, high-maintenance weirdos.

    • Yup, he booked a Howard Johnson room the night before and tried to wiggle out of it saying, “What if I was just drunk and got the room for myself.”

      He had no idea I saw the charge on his debit card along with a dinner before, drinks at a casino and breakfast the next morning.

      This from a man who a month earlier insisted I pay for my Easter dinner while visiting my son at college.

      • On the up side he was pissed that I got my own attorney who was previously a judge. After his attorney withdrew after they raged at her he was too cheap to hire another.

        Worked to my advantage as I kept my pension. I’ll add that not only is he entitled, he’s just plain dumb and lazy. My attorney kept asking what was wrong with him and like my therapist came to the conclusion that he’s dumb. I have no idea why I was embarrassed.

        • These fuckers are SO lazy. All these stories just make me want to take a shower. It’s not even the cheapness. Reading the comments here makes you see the pattern–they put in effort where they want to, and none where THEY DON’T CARE. And THAT was the biggest red flag. Not frugality, but the not giving a fuck about you or anything you care about, but insisting on effort from YOU.

          Ick. If you’re reading here and you’re not sure your partner is cheating? Well, if they’re pulling this shit on you, chances are pretty high that they’re cheating or they will.

          Glad you got a good attorney. I did, too. Worth every penny. Now he can live with himself, and SHE can do everything I used to have to do for him, and enjoy the cheapness. She really doesn’t have any options.

  • Love this thread!! I got thoughtless, last minute “gifts” too…usually dumb, kitschy stuff like keychains. Wth?? One memorable xmas, two daughters and I got identical cheap fleece pj’s (in plastic bag) which were three sizes too big.

    Yup, I was “not his mother” on Mother’s day, so got zilch too. Also, he could never remember my birthday and constantly asked when filling out forms, etc. They truely are ALL alike!!

  • The gifts I had ranged from absolutely awesome things to obvious last minute purchases with no thought and little cost. I’d always just put it down to him being busy at work. Suddenly realised towards the end of the marriage that the presents I was given were directly related to who else was likely to see them. If friends or family were likely to be over, the present would be amazing. If nobody else was going to be around, the present was downgraded accordingly. It was all about his image, not my present. Oh – and our last Xmas together I got a cheap jumper from a supermarket, the schmoopie of the moment got a mobile phone. Such a blessing to spend birthdays and Christmas with nice people these days, life is so different now.

  • He actually did “always send flowers.” Same way he was lavish and over the top in giving to his relatives and friends. It was image management as well as an evil manipulation tactic: make people feel indebted to you and you can get what you want out of them. He is both a financial and sexual predator.

    His cheapness came with those real life grown up expenses, like actual bills. He was fine leaving them all to me, with the reasoning that they were in my name so he didn’t see them. His current child support order is all in his name of course, but he apparently hasn’t “seen it” in about eighteen months and counting. People don’t do a lot of changing. However they are in the marriage, is exactly how they will probably be in the divorce.

  • Wow, soooo much cheapness. I’m almost ashamed to offer my 2 cents worth (????). Most memorable, a piece of scratchy cotton orange floral fabric allegedly from Liberty of London “to make yourself a scarf”. And from a Japan trip a drab 2nd hand kimono with moth holes. My personal favourites though were from his parents. For me one Christmas a 2nd hand Denby ware sugar bowl with half a bag of generic brand lollies stuffed inside. For my children dirty ink stained Disney toys that went straight into the bin. Their gifts were always 2nd hand and pretty ordinary but these were the nadir. A source of much hilarity among my kids as they got older, bless them. There are so many things I don’t miss about my married life!

      • I know, right? Why HALF a bag? Its partly why it stands out for me. One of my kids suggested amidst the gales of laughter this reminsence drew forth recently that maybe they were saving it for my birthday? And its the thought that counts … actually mum that’s not very comforting is it (more hilarity)! But no … they were saving something even more special for my birthday – an unopened but ancient Christian Dior mascara that was dried up when I opened it. Makes the incredibly expensive Chanel perfume gifted me this Christmas by two beloved sisters even more special. On reflection I really should change my name to OldChump because I’ve been a chump for YEARS!

        • New Chump,

          I am cracking up over your post…I am so glad that you and your children can laugh, and see these “gifts” for the utter travesty they are! My mother in law one gave me (gift-wrapped), for Christmas, a metal notepad, not much bigger than a bank card, BECAUSE SHE KNOWS I AM A WRITER! Dollarama haikus for me, then! Enjoy your wonderful Chanel. 🙂


  • He had a large family, I didn’t. It got too expensive for us to buy for all the brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, so I asked if we could just buy for the kids. (Which I did). Xmas day, nobody, including my EX had bought anything for me. Even the kids noticed and asked why not? I told them that we were just buying for the kids. Dead silence from the other adults at the gathering.

  • Chump Lady, you touched a nerve with this post! How cheap is acheater? It’s in their DNA! The first gift – first month celebration could have been real flowers, could have been a box of chocolate, a bottle of wine… Nope. He went to 1 pound shop and got a little vase with 3 dusty fake flowers. How kitch is that? And how cheap!? Exactly 1 pound cheap!

  • Worst gift from 1st H. Taking me to his friend’s birthday party on my birthday. Standing around like an idiot while everyone celebrated his birthday.

    2nd H he refused to give gifts. Cheap and miserly. I always got him nice things. Later it dawned on me I’d paid for everything in the house.

    Cheated in me and sold everything in the house while I was overseas at my mother’s funeral.

    • Your 1stH sounds like a colossal shmuck. Can’t be bothered to do anything for his wife. But so willing to party with somebody else and drag her along on what should be her day to be spent with loved ones. So sorry you spent part of your life with such an asshole.

  • In our couplehood, Cheater was in the military and had a very predictable income. He purchased more stuff requiring payments than his income could cover yet when I got a job to cover the expenses he had decided to incur, he told me I was selfish. He would literally get the kids all riled up as I left for my 13 hour nightshift “hey kids, your mom is going to work because she is selfish and doesnt love you”…if I called him on it, he was “joking”.

    Normally he bought whatever gifts he needed to put on the facade of decency, often expensive ones he knew I would return but he got points for buying them.

    His BIG affair, however was in its magical fairydust stage when I turned 40 and his head far too far up Susans ass to pretend that my birthday was important. No flowers, no gift, no nothing and when dinner came and I expected that we would go out, he looked put-out. We got the kids in the car and went to a horrible restaurant that later became a hideous used car dealer and is now derelict. I have to drive by it every day.

    Every time one of my friends got a lovely party for her 40th or 50th, I got all twisted up. When I started dating my nowhusband, I learned he had a horrible chumpbirthday 40th too, so when I turned 50, he took me on a yacht cruise (with a chef on board who made all the meals) to the Aegean Sea and a side trip to Istanbul…went to Grand Bazaar & bought silk scarves.

  • For Mother’s Day I got a pair of yoga pants. I didn’t really wear yoga pants at the time.
    Anyways they where a size to small and his reply was ‘oh it will be motivation to lose weight’
    Fucking asshole. He always bought himself a gift for his own birthday, things like a $300 speaker and took the day off work because you know it’s ‘his day’

  • Never once did I have a birthday celebration or an anniversary gift other than flowers. I’d get a card professing his forever love.

    Speaking of projecting their selfishness on the chump I worked my entire life holding multiple part time jobs and spent nothing on myself. I did this to work around my three kids schedule to keep them out of day care, to pay for private schools, save for a down payment for a home and buy him clothing.

    In a phone conversation with slunt Nanthony after Dday she stated that he supported me financially our whole marriage. At the end of putting myself through seven long years of college he up and left me to relocate to Florida. Of course he mooched of my brother who lived there. His goal was to lose my home forcing me to move. When I arrived degree in hand homeless he stated that it was my turn to support his lazy ass. I left him and returned to a job in my home state.

    If ever there was a regret it was taking him 41. Stephanie is right, not caring is a huge red flag. He only put effort into what he cared about.

    Whatever the ending whether it’s abandonment or death to the cheater we live on one way or another. Our past can only define our present as a measure of growth in seeing how far we’ve come.

  • I got a brass butterfly doorbell cover but we didn’t have a doorbell. He bought me an artsy double switch plate for lights but we didn’t have a double light switch. I saved two years for a pair of boots an gifted them to myself for my birthday. He bought me a pair of the same boots for Christmas which I bartered for car repairs after we left. He had no problems buying anything he wanted regardless of price but I often got the excuse of he didn’t have time to shop for us so here’s cash. His self interests and sex workers were time consuming don’t ya know. So happy I’m no longer his holiday inconvenience. Now I’m only a legal monthly support inconvenience that he’s working hard to get dismissed.What began as a two hour trial has morphed into a five hour trial with tons of documentation.I’m pretty sure he thought it was going to be a quick drive through type of deal. This year will be four years divorced and six since we left.

  • Before we were even an item (and living in different states) he sent me the most horrendous, cheap-arse leopard print lingerie I have ever seen. It was scratchy, didn’t fit me, and LEOPARD PRINT. Did I mention it was leopard print?
    This gift was the very first red flag of our 13 year relationship/marriage. A close second was the extendable plastic opal engagement ring from an op shop. I’d told him I didn’t wear rings because I found them uncomfortable, so this was more of a joke gift. Still, he had a knack for choosing the most horrible and tacky item he could find. Meanwhile, over the years, he would buy himself hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of music equipment (he spent $10000 on a flamenco guitar in Spain. He was not a professional musician) and always had the latest iPhone, Mac, monitors etc
    I can’t tell you the relief I feel almost 4 years out from Dday. I have no money but I’m as free as a bird

  • He gave me a package of beef jerky for Christmas one year. It was his way of calling me a jerk since he never bought me gifts.
    I have no idea why I have wasted so much time on such a cruel and self- centered person. There is no way to love someone into loving me back. It took me 24 years (28 together) to figure this out.

  • My cheater told me we could never afford for me to accompany him on business trips, then spent OUR money on a lavish vacation piggy backed onto one of those business trips with his AP. Meh. I’ve had wonderful trips on my own or with friends since getting rid of him.

  • Oh, where to begin. We were always poor because of his issues with money. His birthday was at the beginning of the month and I always tried to make it special. Mine was at the end of the month, and we were always “out of money”. When he did bother, it was always something he’d rather have than me, so of course I was always ungrateful and he’s happy to take it off my hands. Sigh.

    Granted he had more guitars than we had rooms in the house. Even when we went bankrupt, he never pawned a single guitar, but he pawned my mother’s/my clarinet. I had given it to him to use (he was a music student) to learn on but when I asked for it back, it was long gone. Found out he pawned a lot of my stuff over the years, including my wedding ring. I didn’t wear it (was dangerous in my field) so I “wasn’t using it, didn’t appreciate it”.

    This year I had nothing under the tree because the custom made gift my husband acquired for me was stuck in customs. I had it a week later though, and it is EVERYTHING I WANTED and more! He actually spends major money on me and finds exactly what he knows will make me squee with joy. I spent far too long with someone who didn’t give a shit about me or my feelings.

    Of course my ex was always known for his generosity. He gave away my stuff to people all the time. That was always a point of contention. It’s easy to be considered such a generous person if you don’t care about your own family to their detriment.

  • Not yet Ex doesn’t like his birthday or holidays , so he doesn’t buy gifts I take the time and listen and plan and buy for Everyone When it comes to Christmas he does like reviving. It use to be that I would buy something for my self from him , wrap it in p . now it’s from Santa, Santa knows how to treat people ???? But the last few years he would wait till he saw what he got for Christmas then put some money in a envelope and give it to me This last Christmas got nothing Everyone had a great Christmas because of me His birthday I forgot it’s not in my nature I try and do for others for family Not anymore for him ! Going on what he gives me I’ll give back So nothing he’ll get .

  • Nothing like buying half of your own presents (he used our joint account money to buy me stuff), or having second hand everything cos we weren’t worth it, but he was and so were his things on the side. Oh and the time he stole a mobile phone out of the work safe (he works for the Salvation Army) for me (yeah he said he did it for me, I was absolutely gobsmacked and irate) and frantically called me asking me what to do (which he now says was a story he told me about how a mobile went missing from the work safe and not the factual he fucked up and stole something again). Ya, cheapskate, liar, thief, cheat and abusive piece of turd!

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