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UBT: ‘Don’t give up on me!’

insincereDear Chump Lady,

Long-time reader, first-time UBT submitter. I’m a gay man and was with my ex-boyfriend for about 7 years. I need some UBT help on a handwritten letter I got from him after official no-contact for a month and some change. I still love him and am weak in the knees after getting a card like this. Now I know this might be a tall order, but if there is anything that stands out as legit and not bullshit, please let me know.

A little background…

Ex cheated on me twice in the first couple years of our relationship and told me about it in the third year voluntarily, but claimed he was polyamorous and seeing other people was a part of his sexual identity. I accepted this and laid some rules out that would help me feel comfortable/build trust, even though I was still very hurt. On his first date with someone else thereafter he didn’t follow the rules — not sure why he admitted that he violated the rules instead of lying?

Anyway, I didn’t break up with him, he followed the rules thereafter (presumably), and then I, myself, tried fooling around with other people. That didn’t go over so well with him and he said we should go on a “break.” I begged him not to do so and stopped seeing other people because I didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable, though he continued to see others despite my reservations.

Fast forward to this past year when I said I didn’t want him seeing other people anymore and we needed to go to couple’s therapy. He had also tried breaking up with me a couple times because I was withdrawing my affection, but I begged him to stick it out with me. At the start of the very first session I explained that much of my withdrawal of affection was because I couldn’t trust him, didn’t feel like an equal partner, etc. LO AND BEHOLD! A month and some change into therapy I saw a text message on his phone (just on the lock screen, I wasn’t snooping!) from a guy. I confronted him and he said that they had met through Grindr and had had sex at least a couple times. (Apparently this guy knew that I was in the dark about the affair and was totally cool with it! Stay classy, Grindr.) I cried until I lost my voice and terminated our relationship, though we stayed in contact for months. I said to my ex that we should decrease the frequency of our talking and he agreed, but then berated me shortly thereafter because he felt I was “using” him. I also said that he needed to go to individual therapy and he found that an unreasonable request. Eventually I said enough is enough and initiated no-contact.

Here’s his letter…

I guess by now you’ve completed [your entrance exam for graduate school] and what an accomplishment that is! Well, I guess I was nothing more than a deterrent to you, and I vow to never be that again. I’ve been doing so much thinking about myself and about us, and I feel so horrible about how I’ve treated you; on so many different occasions I was completely selfish, recalcitrant and worst of all deceitful. I’ve spent the whole winter thinking about this. Can you find some place in your heart to forgive me? I know it’s hard to see since we live so far apart, but I really have made lasting changes and I really am genuinely remorseful for my numerous indiscretions. I want you to think of my positive attributes, all the times I really was there for you and the ways that I’ve forgiven you for some of your wrongdoings. We’ve taught each other a lot and we’ve grown together in so many ways. I know I haven’t shown you the respect you deserve and I’m so sorry that I couldn’t see sooner how important you are to me. But I see it now even if it’s too late. I wish I could go back in time but I can’t. All I can do is move forward with honesty and faith, two things I couldn’t allow myself to give before now. Please don’t give up on me. I promise to be faithful and true. It’s what I ((with “I” heavily underlined)) want. I never want to lie again and I’m so ashamed of myself. I don’t ever want to make you cry again; I want a happy future together. I know we can have that, if you can find some place in your heart to forgive me.

Sing me my song, Chump Lady.

Gay and Monogamous

Dear GAM,

I’m sorry, GAM. I don’t see anything in that letter that isn’t bullshit. I know your chumpy heart swells to hear “I don’t ever want to make you cry again,” but guys like this LIVE to make you cry again. And again. And again. And hey, back that kibble tanker truck up and dump the gallons of tears here.

He’s not a changed man. Besides, isn’t being a deceitful fuckwit part of his “orientation”? Can’t pray the stray away, you know.

He shouldn’t have to hide his true nature. He should be out and open as a deceitful fuckwit. (So we can throw rotten vegetables at the Fuckwit Pride parades.)

Oh right, but if he was out and open as a deceitful fuckwit, loving chumps would stop being of use to him. So he sends his “regrets.”

Let’s feed his hand-written apology through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

I guess by now you’ve completed [your entrance exam for graduate school] and what an accomplishment that is!

Pat, pat, pat!

Well, I guess I was nothing more than a deterrent to you, and I vow to never be that again. I’ve been doing so much thinking about myself

(The UBT can smell the Change from over here.)

I always think of myself! I vow to never deter myself from thinking about myself again!

and about us,

By which I mean “me.”

and I feel so horrible about how I’ve treated you; on so many different occasions I was completely selfish, recalcitrant and worst of all deceitful. I’ve spent the whole winter thinking about this.

I cheated on you for seven years. And every time I felt so gosh darn horrible about it, I created another Grindr profile. Selfish, recalcitrant, and deceitful works for me.

I’ve spent the whole winter wondering how to better to batter-ram your boundaries and respect your no contact. Oh hey, I know! A hand-written apology!

It’s like a chump decoy! Now, if I can just find my chump whistle to mimic the chump mating call. “I never want to make you cry again! HA-LOooooOOOO!”

What’s that rustling through the underbrush? A chump! Approach the chump lick! It’s made of salty, dried tears.

Can you find some place in your heart to forgive me?

The proper reply for GAM is “Oh yeah, it’s right there in my pocket next to, ‘Go to therapy’ and ‘Quit cheating on me.'”

I know it’s hard to see since we live so far apart,

I can’t show you any sorry, (how convenient!) but I’ve got plenty of pretty bullshit.

but I really have made lasting changes

A whole MONTH! Seven years of serial cheating and a “polyamorous orientation” POOF! Watch it LAST! I feel week 5 coming on.

and I really am genuinely remorseful for my numerous indiscretions. I want you to think of my positive attributes, all the times I really was there for you and the ways that I’ve forgiven you for some of your wrongdoings.

Let me demonstrate my genuine remorse by making false equivalencies.

That time I said “Let’s have an open relationship”? And then you went and actually HAD one? With someone ELSE? That kind of level playing field was really unforgivable. But I forgave! #biggerperson

We’ve taught each other a lot and we’ve grown together in so many ways. I know I haven’t shown you the respect you deserve and I’m so sorry that I couldn’t see sooner how important you are to me.

It took seven years of serial cheating, risking your health with Grindr hook-ups, disrespect, mindfuckery, and one pointless, sullen couple’s therapy session for me to realize how important your kibbles you are to me.

This is the kind of solid foundation every healthy person aspires to!

But I see it now even if it’s too late. I wish I could go back in time but I can’t.

And isn’t saying “I wish I could go back in time” what really matters, versus good character and all that shit?

All I can do is move forward with honesty and faith, two things I couldn’t allow myself to give before now.

I couldn’t allow myself honesty and faith before. I keep them locked in a steamer trunk in the bottom of my fetid consciousness, bound and gagged. Whenever I let Honesty free, she says crap like “PROUD TO BE A DECEITFUL FUCKWIT!” Back in the box, Honesty.

Please don’t give up on me.

It’s hard to find replacement chumps. Fuck buddies? Sure. Invested, loving people who’ll agree to all my lop-sided terms of engagement for the occasional starvation kibble ration? Not so easy.

I promise to be faithful and true.

Hahahhahhahhaaaa! #Islaymyself

It’s what I ((with “I” heavily underlined)) want.

Fuck what you want. (Back in the BOX, Honesty!)

I never want to lie again and I’m so ashamed of myself.

Like I DO shame! Really, if I had any shame, do you think I’d send you this shit?

I don’t ever want to make you cry again; I want a happy future together.

I want a happy future of making you cry again. #kibbles #centrality #awesomeness

I know we can have that, if you can find some place in your heart to forgive me.

By “forgive me” I mean take me back with zero conditions, zero demonstrations of remorse, and allowing me to blameshift my shitty actions on to you.

GAM, Tell him no. Find it in your heart to forgive yourself for wasting seven years on a fuckwit.

This one ran previously. 

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.
  • “I want a happy future together.
    I know we can have that, if you can find some place in your heart to forgive me.”
    Would you look at that? Blameshifting already, couldn’t even hold it in until they’ve finished the letter.
    “It’s YOUR fault we didn’t get to grow old together! I gave you a chance to forgive me for 7 years of torture when I spent a whole afternoon writing a letter about myself! Do you know how hard writing in cursive is? None of this is my fault. None!”

    • Oh that forgiveness thing. My STBX said he couldn’t stop cheating on me because I just couldn’t forgive him. Wow, it was all the fault of my unforgiveness. Ergo, he had to keep cheating because I MADE him. What about acting in a way that makes forgiveness possible? What about being truly remorseful? For this type of person it’s just not possible and the best thing to do is cut all ties. They won’t ever stop and it just gets worse as the atrocities pile up. Life does eventually get better. But no contact is the best way.

      • My ex is still trying to be “friends” with me after 3 years of NC and his go-to is how “unforgiving” I am because I was his “best friend” and if I really saw him as a friend I would forgive him the way he has forgiven me. Their version of forgiveness is the absolute worse.

  • No, GAM. Just say NO. Oh sure, if you forgive him, things will be fine for a little while but a zebra doesn’t change his stripes. You’ll be right back to the lying and cheating by an abusive, selfish prick. Don’t waste any more of your precious time and energy on that loser.

    I know you want it to work so badly but he’s not a honest, moral person with integrity and respect for you. Fuck that shit. Kick him to the curb and find another man better suited for you. You have to stand up for yourself and shut this shit down or he will think his deplorable behavior is something you will always forgive. Hell no.

  • GAM, this person has shown no respect for you in the past. I seriously doubt he has the capacity to love anyone. Please save yourself. You deserve love.

  • Regardless of when this first ran, it is still GOLD.

    I hope GAM slammed the metaphorical door shut on the cheating Fuckwit, has completed graduate school, has an awesome new job and a wonderful life. Go GAM, GO!

    An update from GAM would be nice.

  • GAM, I counted 42 “I”s and 14 “you”s in that handwritten “me”sive. Your ex-boyfriend is only in love with himself. He is the subject of this handwritten nonsense. He told you that in 42 ways. I hope that you listened to Chump Lady and are happily living a cheater free life.

    I read this utter tripe and am infuriated. How dare that cheater write this bull shit? Throw it on the virtual bonfire.

  • You are a thoughtful, invested partner. If you want a monogamous relationship, you can and will do so much better than that self-absorbed, disingenuous a-hole. Put down the rotten possum carcass so you can walk on and find your treasure. (((GAM)))

  • Is there a cheater template for letters like this? That they get from their dating sites? My XH wrote this almost word for word. ????‍♀️

    • Definitely seems like it. I’d occasionally get letters from my ex-wife that were eerily similar to this one.

      I think it’s just entitlement combined with the ability to edit. That false persona has to be pretty hard to keep up on the fly, no matter how well rehearsed it is. Keeping it up consistently with someone they have a relationship with is near impossible. However, when writing it down, they can get it just right.

      I hated getting letters like this because they would end up angering me. They seemed so sugar coated and fake. I always got them when my ex was away. It was little narc bombs she could occasionally drop. Probably better that she wasn’t there because I would have been apt to scream “If that’s how you really feel, then why don’t you act that way?”

    • this site is loaded with templates. it is amazing how similar many of the stories are and how many comments say “my ex wrote/said the same exact thing.” Best part is if you follow the templates you can start to recognize patterns in the people you meet while trying to date that can help identify the true from the false.

  • Mine X wrote the same crap to me, but after 20 years of repeated bad behavior and crocodile tears, I saw this as just the same routine or lie, cry, rinse, repeat.

    When he wrote “don’t give up on us. Fight with me!” I realized the only one fighting for my marriage was me. That’s when I realized I needed to fight for myself and his empty words had no effect on me ever again.

  • Much rainbow love to GAM, and I know from experience that many of us in the LGBT community are ripe for chumpdom, esp. since our dating pool is smaller to begin with. My STBX (we are both women) also claimed “polyamory” as an excuse after Dday #2, and I know she was encouraged in her affair by at least one gay male friend of ours who has an open marriage. I have no problem with actual polyamory, which should be negotiated from the outset of a relationship, and is very difficult in practice, involving lots of hard work with communication and boundaries. There’s no way in hell my STBX is going to be able to do that kind of work until she has done some serious therapy for a LONG time, and it sounds like GAM’s ex was in a similar place. (Also, like GAM’s ex, my STBX is highly unlikely ever to feel okay with sharing a partner with others. That would mean less kibble/supply for them, when they clearly think of polyamory as an all-you-can-eat kibble buffet!)

    It’s sad to me that, because we already stand outside the monogamous mainstream in Western sexual culture, LGBT people are more likely to be subjected to the “polyamory” mindfuck by serial cheaters – and worse, shamed by our partners and others as “unenlightened” when we reject that excuse. It’s also perhaps easier for someone in the LGBT community to claim an “identity” as polyamorous even when there’s no evidence that they can do the hard work of actual polyamory that I mentioned above. In my experience, claiming that “identity” is often just an excuse for emotional immaturity, though I do know some more mature, hardworking polyamorists.

    Love to all CN and especially to my fellow same-sex chumps.

    • “LGBT people are more likely to be subjected to the “polyamory” mindfuck by serial cheaters – and worse, shamed by our partners and others as “unenlightened” when we reject that excuse.”

      For percentage, I suspect you’re right about the “polyamory” mindfuck.

      I think every partner who immediate, “NO” or later said, “No” to the prospect of polyamory or an open relationship is called “unenlightened”. It’s part of the false equivalency crap that is thrown about by cheaters and people who are enthralled by them for some reason or another.

      How is Esther Perel regarded in your social group (yours – not asking you to speak for the LGBT community!)? I think of her as a sort of litmus test.

      I hope your life has gotten substantially better without Cheater in it.

      • I feel this. My ex-wife hit me with the “I want an open relationship” thing just after D-Day; for the sake of appearances and for the children apparently (AKA image management and wanting to have her cake and eat it). When I demurred (by which I mean laughed out loud and said no thanks) I was told that I “lacked emotional maturity” – which I guess is a kind of low-rent “unenlightened.”

        As for GAM, I can only hoped that he judged his ex-partner by his actions …. his ex-partner is clearly unworthy of him.

        • I think she also suggested an open relationship to first see if her AP was willing to make it serious, before throwing you under the bus.

          • Without delving into her twisted logic, her AP was a given; they have a history that predates our 25 year marriage, but (strangely) she never mentioned him even once.

            And it wasn’t just me thrown under the bus; she threw our 3 children under the bus too.

            Neither the kids nor I miss her.


      • Oh, yes, NHC, I’m sure a lot of non-LGBT chumps also get fed the polyamory line. I would suspect the percentage is even higher in the LGBT world mainly because we are statistically much more likely (than a mainstream American, say) to know someone in a poly relationship, esp. since the poly community has really gone public in the last decade or so. I’m very sorry that you and there’s got the same “poly” mindfuck – it sucks, however you slice it! My STBX is very swayed by what she sees around her, and envies anyone with a life more in line with what she fantasizes for herself. This is not just true for polyamory, but also for living in a more progressive city, having more money, etc. etc.

        As for Esther Perel: I agree that (sadly) a lot of people around me love her work, though I think in my case it might be that I mostly hang out with academics, and Perel is very articulate (though wrong in her conclusions!). STBX and her flying monkeys sure love Perel, and I have had to tell STBX more than once how I feel about Perel’s work, in great detail. But then, STBX relies on any expert opinion that absolves her of wrongdoing or association with disorder, since STBX doesn’t seem to have an innate sense for how to treat a long-term intimate partner with respect. Perel is just another source in the arsenal of anyone similarly inclined. 🙁

        • If she aspires to academia, then she needs to provide data. She has very carefully not done so. Anecdotes, but no hard numbers. I’m surprised that the academics in your circle are so smitten with her.

          So glad that STBX is moving into the rear view mirror of your life.

          • NHC, You’re quite right that Perel’s lack of evidence-based analysis is one of various things that render her conclusions mostly useless from an academic OR a therapeutic perspective. Interestingly, though, a lot of academia (esp. in the humanities) has recently gravitated toward anecdotal support over data, and Perel uses selective jargon really well. Most academics who haven’t experienced the trauma of intimate partner betrayal would probably think she sounds smart, and has some sort of relevant experience. And then there are the ones like my SBTX who NEED Perel to feel better about their own choices.

            To me, though, Perel is just one of the more glaring symptoms of how broken is our Western system of professional therapy. I have had a really hard time finding a therapist (either individual or couples) in my suburban region who actually knows what they’re talking about, based on data-driven studies. Sadly, it seems like anybody who has a certain demeanor can take the classes, get the degree, and set up shop. What a great racket – there’s zero real oversight, little danger of getting slapped with a malpractice suit, and great profits! I have a friend, a former academic historian, going through therapy training right now, and have heard first hand how dumbed-down that curriculum is.

            I’m particularly down on professional therapy right now because my STBX saw her therapist for YEARS, without any measurable benefit. One of the reasons I never would have suspected that she was cheating over the summer of 2018 was that she was having weekly sessions. But it turns out her therapist (who worked with me briefly a couple of years ago as well) was woefully unprepared to deal with someone experiencing real disorder. And I think this must be par for the course: like Dr. George Simon says, therapists tend to assume that everyone is about equally neurotic, and just need to unload their burdens to someone – so most therapists don’t challenge truly disordered people adequately.

            “For several reasons that I have never fully understood, traditionally-oriented therapists and relatively neurotic individuals seem to insist upon ascribing fears and insecurities to disordered characters that simply don’t exist. They will frequently misinterpret the behavior and motivations of character-disordered individuals and frame things inappropriately.”

    • I faced similar scenario with my same sex fiance!

      In the days between her telling me we “lost the spark” and me confirming she cheated, she suggested an open relationship might work! ???? I replied “no, I’m not interested in that and plus, I’d have to trust you, which I don’t.” Bye Felicia!! ????

      These cheaters seem to all follow the same book. Thank you chump lady and chump nation for getting me through!

      Sending strength to anyone who needs it today.

      • Yes I agree that those of us in the LGBT world are often more vulnerable due to our smaller dating pool, and lack of support from the larger world. But yeah why would you trust a cheater with an open relationship, if that was something you wanted?
        I’m glad this guy finished school and hope he has a great career and is able to meet someone who treats him right. But better single than abused !

        • Rainbow love to Chumparooooo and to Marianne as well. Even though it sucks to be in this club, at least we’re in it together. Best wishes to you.

    • I had a very similar experience where ex informed me she was polyamorous and it was her orientation, but only after cheating on me for years. She got all her flying monkeys to come after me for being “unevolved” or some bullshit. Then after many many more years of her cheating on and bullying me, SO many affair partners, I finally tried genuine polyamory with her, honestly had another relationship with her consent. Then she flipped out and tried to force me to end it with the other person through a series of wildly abusive tactics that made the other person run screaming. By that point, I was so sick of her shit and manipulations and had seen that the other partner could actually treat me well and not abuse me, that I actually believed I could have a relationship without abuse. I dumped her and started over. Best decision of my life. I now have a wonderful monogamous relationship with an even more wonderful woman who does not manipulate, abuse, or lie to me.

      • You sound mighty, Marissachump! Just anecdotally, I have heard only a couple of people on these forums (both straight, I believe) saying that opening up their relationships worked for them, years into it. It makes intuitive sense to me that most of the time, suggesting “opening things up” at any point past the very beginning of a relationship effectively spells doom: there’s a mismatch that’s unlikely to be filled. And of course, it sounds like this conversation often happens only AFTER that partner has already unilaterally made the decision to pursue other options for themselves. That’s how it happened with me: a few days before DDay #2, when my STBX came clean about affair #2, the first indication I had that something was really wrong was when she started sobbing about how she couldn’t have known what she was getting into when she married me at the age of 23 (21 years ago), and this isn’t going to work. And chumpy me *actually considered* whether I might be okay with her having the occasional one-night stand. Except that she had actually already done that several weeks earlier, and the one-night stand turned into a full-blown affair. SMH (at both of us)

  • Its good that he’s nearly finished medical school.
    I bet that he wants you back, for some reason or another. Someone to sponge off emtionally, financally, or someone to share the bills.
    Cheaters don’t like responsibility.
    My ex hates living on his own, hates paying bills, cheaters don’t like being adults.
    But they have money for ow.
    Not for Xmas or birthday presents for their kids.

  • Here’s a song, GAM . . .

    (Music by Kenny Rogers, lyrics by GAM’s ex)

    While he sits waiting, I stay out late at night and dip my wick
    And sometimes it’s enough to make me sick
    But it’s good, and I make his pretty head filled with dread…

    While he stays trusting, I fire up my Grindrr app alone
    But suddenly he wants to see my phone
    And I tell him that he’s using me again,
    and I need more men…

    And I’m recal-ci-trant! I’ll never know just where my kindness went
    I told him someday, if he stayed with me, I would finally see,
    And we’d both know why, but I lie

    And now he’s leaving me! But he can’t help but still be grieving me
    So who knows, maybe, if I write this note, he won’t stay remote
    And I’ll start again, start again …

  • The false equivalency thing…as a former abused chump, that is the part that got me. He seemed to be acknowledging his dastardly deeds but couldnt resist (even in a “Please Forgive Me” letter) to throw the stone of “you did bad stuff too”. My abusive cheater referenced horrible deeds on my part equal to abuse, rage, cheating and I asked him what I did and he said I used bleach when I washed the kids socks…against his express forbidding, mind you.

    and the “I WANT” thing…as if his wants trumped everything…I actually fell for that quite a few times.

    A while back I found one of these that Cheater had written to me. Blah blah crap crap…

    • My ex accused me (during our divorce) of being “abusive”. I was genuinely baffled and concerned (what if I actually was abusive and didn’t realize it and then abused my children?), so I asked him to give me some examples of my abuse. The only thing he could come up with was the time that I found out (after 6 months of couples therapy) that he was seeing OW again and I called him a “slimy motherfucker.”

      • Rebecca St George,
        Got a good laugh from that one! Slimy is as slimy does! My STBXH seems to think that the way to save our marriage is for him to take a polygraph. I never asked for one, he came up with this all on his own. He signed up for it using my name as the client’s name. Sent me the paperwork via text. Didn’t bother to ask if I would be okay with this. So in his mind, the way to establish a baseline for trust is to breach my trust… not that that’s possible since I have no trust left for him.

      • My XW accused me of parental alienation just last week, because I refused to let her change a midweek dinner with the kids from Wednesday to Friday. (Note that I offered Tuesday or Thursday – just not a weekend night). No offense on our part is too small to pull out the big guns.

        I think they cultivate an arsenal of buzzwords that they think will win any argument when deployed, whether or not they bear any relation to reality. “Abuse” is in there, as is “for the kids”. Also “silencing” (as in, when I say I don’t need to hear details about her life with AP-cum-husband, I am “silencing” her). And “hostility” (as in, any interaction that falls below her self-declared threshold of friendship and courtesy – real or imagined – is “hostile and aggressive”)

        • this is dead-on about the buzzwords…

          holy cow, my STBXw can’t get a sentence out of her cum-guzzling mouth without using “abusive” and “bullying” and “hostile”

          but thanks to CL&CN, i was able to study up on exact how to avoid ever using “abusive” language (talk about behaviors & not people) as i set the ambush

          so i can simply tell her “no hun, my open but calm opposition to your now-exposed behavioral preference for cheap motel sex, isn’t ‘abusive’…nor are my fully-legal demands for total financial transparency ‘hostile’ in any way”

          but she doesn’t get it, not for a second

          for these people, any opposition is ABUSE

          and the expectation that people are honest is HATEFUL TORTURE

          as i’ve said to her “just make sure that in your next relationship, you lay out all these unique personal views BEFORE they get on board

          because it took 22 years, 2 kids and me busting you in 2x ongoing multi-year affairs before you timidly offered ”i, ummm, have some, uhhh, doubts about monogamy”

          stay mighty, people!!

      • Yeah, my Ex was pissed off for a long time that I called him a ‘jackass’ a few times, during a convo w/a family therapist post-separation, when he’d destroyed his relationship w/our kids. That was the worst thing I’d ever said to him! No cursing, no confronting him with the long list of his asshole behaviours (I’d try to hold boundaries one at a time, but that list … makes me look really really dumb to have stayed even half as long as I did), no telling him what I REALLY thought of him (especially after he showed the kids how little he cared or thought of them; I hadn’t expected that).

        Jackass was KINDNESS compared to what he deserved to be called!

      • I was supposedly abusive because I didn’t give him free access to all my money. We weren’t married. Or living together. I had three small children to support, and more education than he did, so of course I made more. He wasn’t entitled to any of it, but he sure tried to play the abusive card.

  • I rolled my eyes so hard at the “iT’s WhAt IIIIIIII wAnT” that I sprained a muscle.

    That’s it.

    That’s the only true thing that was in this entire letter.

    “I want this. Who cares what you want?”

    Just fuckin’ burn the letter. Oops. Sometimes bullshit gets lost in the mail or whatever. Not your problem anymore.

  • GAM…. this letter is Exhibit A in support of “no contact.” Complete mindfuckery and it got your attention. From the update it sounds like you held firm to your boundaries and chose yourself — yay you!

  • To me the best evidence of how full of shit this guy is lies in his freak out when GAM went on his own dates.

    He could fuck around but his partner should be at home waiting for him.

    That’s a mentally you can’t deal with.

    Fuck him and the horse he rode in on.

    • For our entire 23 years together, my XH had tons of “healthy female friends”. Women he would flirt with via text and email. Go out for lunch and dinner dates with; found out later he was also meeting them before work for coffee. He convinced me way back in 1991 that it was “normal” for him to continue seeing his ex-girlfriend for “friendship”, including meeting out for lunch/dinner and remaining very close friends. He told me I was jealous and insecure and had no reason not to trust him; “everyone” in college “did this”. Fast forward to 2004, the year of my 20th high school reunion. I live over 600 miles away from where I grew-up and hadn’t seen pretty much anyone from high school since graduation day. This included my high school boyfriends. Long story short. XH acted jealous all night long at my reunion. The day after my reunion, I met up with a former boyfriend/friend with the 100% permission of my now XH. I felt 100% justified with my request to my now XH to see my friend as XH had tons and tons of female friends and he met up with them all the time. Within a week after meeting my high school friend, XH said to me, “Well, if you are pregnant. We know it’s not mine (he got a vasectomy).” I got accused of sleeping with my friend! He could have tons of female friends and I had to not only accept it, but not be jealous at all. I had ONE friend and I got accused of being a cheater! Just like GAM’s X wanted to be poly, but didn’t like GAM being poly. These cheaters want to do whatever the fuck they want, but they don’t want us doing what they are doing. My friend was truly “just a friend”. XH’s “friends” were all potential supply sitting in his Harem Garage for when he needed attention or yet another affair. They want everything, including us. Yet we are not allowed the same as them.

  • I kept getting similar letters (and love confessions via third parties) for seven months after I left and went full no contact. Sometimes he couldn’t contain his rage though and would leave rubbish at my door or smear campaign notes about me in my building (I kicked him out from my place he had moved into) and would destroy some stuff of mine. In the end he turned it all around and started telling everyone that I must have cheated because why else was I radio silent?

    The thing is, these love letters and attempts to contact me were the only effort he put into it all. No true self awareness, no therapy, AA, help seeking… In the meantime, even though it’s not me who lives with a serious personality disorder, I have spent an entire year (2018) working very hard on my issues. Why I stayed even though I was dying inside, why I was attracted to it, why I kept spackling… I have gone through some of the worst mental and emotional pain while working on myself and I still kept pushing. He’s done nothing but bounce from one kibble source to another. I am full no contact so I don’t know what he’s doing but I’m 100% sure of it based on years of knowing him.

    It’s been a year since I walked away and I still think about it daily but it’s not about loving him anymore; I think about all the abuse he inflicted on me. Cheating was just the cherry on the top that woke me up from the nightmare.
    It’s invisible at first but I feel so much closer to meh than 12 months ago. It’s doable but you just have to invest in yourself and make it through one minute at a time when it seems impossible to breathe.

    • My ex also flooded me with emails, his preferred method of communication because he was too terrified of conflict to actually deal with anything (master of playing dumb), but all they ever said was “I love you/not giving up/I love you/not giving up”.

      No acknowledgment at all of the ex whore he kept around our entire relationship, no acknowledgment of his constant throwing me under the bus for his snotty grown child, no acknowledgment at all of his constant disregard of my feelings about anything so he could project a phony image, no acknowledgment at all of his constant passive aggressive nastiness followed by playing dumb because he was too much of a coward to deal with adult conflict.

      No sign that he’d had any introspection at all.

      No sign that he’d ever considered that at 20 years younger, made more money, in tip top physical shape, I was a much better deal for him then he was for me.

      Shallow as a petrie dish.

      Divorced him last year….should’ve done it much sooner. I have a great boyfriend now who’s a much better match and much closer to my age.

  • I feel like I received a letter or two like that from my cheater. I got the tears and his “I will work on us and myself” because I was so worth it.

    ALL A BUNCH OF LIES!!! It’s amazing how one can write a bunch of bullshit and at the same time be carrying on with multiple women. Private investigators are worth their money, that’s all I say.

    I wish people do change, but there is enough evidence to show they don’t; and in the end, our belief that our ex now has a moral compass only ends up hurting us.

    People can make choices and your ex made a number of choices that hurt you. Sounds like your world is taking off and his isn’t. Don’t let him use you or manipulate you anymore than he already has. You sound like a dream companion for someone with a good heart.

    • Sometimes it’s not so much a lie as it is things meaning different things to them.

      In my cheater ex’s mind the fact that after changing his story several times since he realized I had proof he was lying he finally copped to “well maybe I had inappropriate communications” (because that was all I could actually prove) meant he was open and why was I being so difficult and refusing to just let it go? I must just want to be miserable (yes he told me that).

      I realize that to him remotely acknowledging that maybe he was “inappropriate” was facing it in his mind. He was so good at burying his head in the sand he didn’t know why I couldn’t do it too unless I was just trying to be difficult. And he was terrified of conflict so anything that made him uncomfortable constituted huge efforts on his part.

      Hell, getting dragged to counseling and bullshitting the counselor amounted to a ton of effort in his mind because baby was so uncomfortable.

      It’s a matter of perspective.

      • Yes. I heard “you just want to be miserable” so many times during forced co-habitation. Your explanation is interesting. Hadn’t thought about it in quite this way before.

      • Great point. I’m sure that most cheaters are lying to themselves first and foremost, and sadly, they believe their own lies. But then, they’re emotionally disordered! That’s why we chumps need to keep grounded, and really stick to our sense of reality. Since nothing really underpins a disordered cheater’s sense of reality, anyone else trying to ride alongside them is going to be taken on a rollercoaster. It makes me sad to see my STBX on her own personal rollercoaster, but ATM this point, you couldn’t pay me enough to get back on that ride with her.

  • This Cheater is a special kind of cheater; the kind that TELLS YOU he’s cheated, so they get ALL the drama kibbles, all your tears. AND then they get the extra special kibbles of ‘my partner KNOWS I’m a deceitful, untrustworthy jerk, and it’s PAINFUL for them to be in a relationship with me, but they STAY. Because. I. am. that. special.

    Those are some pretty high level kibbles, there. Highly highly manipulative and DELIBERATE.

    Even more ‘omg stay away from this person!’ than usual, here. So glad to hear that GAM stayed away, and is thriving!

    • Indeed. The night after I caught KK in the driveway with the Carrot Singer, she stood in our bedroom in front of me, muttering: “Well, I guess I’m a cheater. I’m a cheater . . .”

      I didn’t respond. I let her own words hang in the air, assuming they would have impact.

      And I’ll never be able to prove it, I just KNOW it’s true: she was totally expecting me to put my arm around her and say, “It’s OK, I love you, we’ll get through this.” Because that’s what I’d always done in the past.

      And when the sun rose the next day and I still hadn’t acquiesced, the rage-fueled deluge of false equivalencies began in earnest.

      • Oh yes, the ploy of “admitting guilt” but doing it in a defensive manner designed to initiate a sympathetic response. XAss used to say in a somewhat sarcastic manner. “Oh, I guess I’m the bad guy. I’m such a terrible person.”

        Then he’d ask why I was determined to be unhappy and why “couldn’t I just get over it?”

        After I turned the corner onto Fuck This Shit Street, I also would just stare at him and not respond. He’d stare back at me with a look of disbelief on his face that I didn’t immediately start apologizing to him and ask what I could do to make it better – as I had done for 17 years. (If I had apologized in the past he’d then quickly tell me “My apologies weren’t sincere.”) Then he’d stomp out and give me the silent treatment. I shrugged and let him pout. He’d then come back and pretend he was mystified why “I was treating him this way.” That he just couldn’t “wrap his head around the fact…” that I was enforcing boundaries and consequences.

        The kicker is that I really think he believes his own bullshit. He has really turned it around in his mind to be the one who is totally honorable, totally a victim, and the world is just so unfair!

        Now, 4 years later, I’m totally grey rock and he has to whine on social media about his woes. Not my monkey, not my circus anymore. Thank God.

  • I believe that we all learn to lie at an early age, when we discover we want to do something that is not acceptable to our parent/caretaker, and we wish to avoid the consequences of our actions. We rarely get away with this behavior, but sometimes we do, and so we all become gamblers to an extent. If the issue is important to us, we will lie, or accept the consequences, to do whatever it is we wish to do. Some things just take time and maturity to grow out of, like sharing your toys with others, or not hitting your brother. Some issues are deeper, like believing you are born into the wrong sex body, or finding you re attracted to the same sex, or even that you want to have sex with someone that your parents do not approve of, due to age, cultural status, race, religion etc.

    I do believe we are capable of changing things about our own self, but we have to learn we cannot change others. When we hit maturity, we can figure out how to support our life needs, without depending on others to provide for us. We move away from the control of the parent/caretaker bond so that we can be who we truly are, and live life according to our own beliefs. If we feel we are monogamous, or polyamorous, or hetero, or bi, or same sex oriented we can live that life without being dishonest. Our caretaker cannot take away our home, food, clothes, car, phone, etc. if we pay for those things by our own work.

    The problem with adult liars and cheaters is that they never mature, or accept true responsibility for anything, and they want a caretaker to provide for their needs, while they do all the things they want to do — without consequence. A lie is easy payment for not having to hold down a job, or paying for a home, or food, or clothes. Saying that “I love you and want to be with you forever” is easy if you know you can sneak out and fool around with others any time you want to, and probably won’t be caught. Chumps want the relationship that is in their dreams, and overlook many things if they believe they can have that relationship. At some point, though, you just cannot accept that you are providing everything in the relationship, doing all the work, paying for everything, and your partner IS NOT living in your dream, but is off somewhere doing only what he or she wants to do, and you are merely a useful provider. This is not love. These folks have no desire to change, they just want what they want when they want it. They will never be mature or responsible.

    Chumps have to change to survive. We have to learn to look for a friend/lover who shares our values and dreams, and is willing to work to live out those values and dreams. Without maturity, and responsibility, there will never be a true relationship, or agreement about how to live, or honesty.

    • The last part about us being the provider and the cheater using us really hits home for me..I’m the responsible adult and my hopefully STBX husband is a user. He would sporadically work hard, but not around the house and certainly not in the marriage. But he expected everything. My husband bled me emotionally dry until I asked him to move out, which he did. I eventually discovered he’d hooked up with someone AS BAD as him. Together, their toxicity is mind boggling. Neither is employed, but they hustle and scam everyone around them, without remorse or conscience. It’s a game to them. They’re both addicts, living with his mother, also an addict. They lie, cheat and thieve. That’s what forms their existence. I am wholly non contact with any of them and I intend to keep it that way. Our children and I are much better off without him in our lives. He’s destructive.

  • My goodness this makes me think of that scene in Dangerous Liaisons in which the “repentant” John Malkovich is writing a letter to his chump while balancing the paper on his whore’s ass. Huh! WHY would this make me think of THAT? Same level of scorn and deceit most likely.

  • Chumps need to acknowledge that life can improve, and better people will appear in their future. Trust that if an ex can’t find new vulnerable people to be exploiting and conning they may look you up….

    I love the steamer trunk! hahaha

  • GAM,
    I understand the fog that allows us to perceive acceptance as love. He points out YOUR flaws and more or less states that you must forgive him because of them. This is abuse. This letter reveals the abusive nature of your cheater. Please take care of YOURSELF and know that you deserve honesty and respect. These things cannot be fulfilled by your cheater as he has demonstrated repeatedly. He was like this before you and he’ll remain the same until his last breath. It is WHO HE IS.

    I wish you all the happiness, and the only way to achieve it is to leave this guy behind in your life’s rearview mirror.

  • I got a similar letter a couple of years after the divorce judgment was final. I’d been NC for going on 4 years. It wasn’t that the Fuckwit had undergone some epiphany leading to understanding and remorse for his mistreatment of me. It wasn’t that he’d worked diligently in therapy to improve his character. Nope. OWife had left him high and dry, and he needed a well trained chump, stat. It wasn’t love, it was laziness and entitlement.

    The correct answer is no answer at all.

    • XAss has been unable to find a replacement for me after 4 years. The AP he had lined up when I left only lasted 8 months. I’ve been bracing myself for the circle back hoover attempt, though I can’t imagine that he would ever think he would have a chance in hell of being successful.

      • Yep. I hear from my XH when he gets dumped. His letters are pretty much identical to GAM’s. The basic template: He’s sorry for what happened. Then it morphs into I share some of the blame. Then I get a lecture on why it’s “not Catholic” to divorce (although he hasn’t gone to church for 30+ years & I do regularly). The letter ends with an accusation about something I did that never happened. After I delete the latest diatribe, I log onto to find his updated profile along with an old photo. The grandiosity expressed in his profile reaches staggering new heights every time. Yep, he’s looking for kibbles but I don’t own a dog anymore. Unsubscribe!

  • Another so-called “polyamorous” person who is actually just a twisted, abusive bastard hiding behind that label. When GAM took him at his word and participated in the alleged polyamory, the fuckwit became enraged. His intention was only to dupe and abuse poor, monogamous GAM, but GAM’s participation in the fucking around spoiled that game. That was a “wrong-doing” according to this spectacularly evil person. He’s so vile he couldn’t resist using it in what he wanted GAM to believe was an apology letter. This is the classic “mistakes were made on both sides, and I’m willing to forgive yours” manipulation.
    It’s so good to hear that it didn’t work and GAM is away from this sicko.

    • ‘Mistakes were made on both sides’ was part of Disirdered Xs. narrative too. Snooping (atter being gaslit) was falsely made equivalent to cheatung and lying. Belatedly calling that as BS. Another line was “I’ll do anything”…(Except for having NC with ‘friend’, understanding chump wanting own Bank acct (“no need”), transparency re texh “but it might be work” (howorker was after all)….he was even finally prepared to go to counselling as pewviously implored …but it was too late. Now x’s narrative is Onwards is a bitter NC bunny 🙂 yep and slowly healing and moving on toward meh. The walls and I have been singing.

    • ‘Mistakes were made on both sides’ was part of Disirdered Xs. narrative too. Snooping (atter being gaslit) was falsely made equivalent to cheatung and lying. Belatedly calling that as BS. Another line was “I’ll do anything”…(Except for having NC with ‘friend’, understanding chump wanting own Bank acct (“no need”), transparency re texh “but it might be work” (howorker was after all)….he was even finally prepared to go to counselling as pewviously implored …but it was too late. Now x’s narrative is Onwards is a bitter NC bunny 🙂 yep and slowly healing and moving on toward meh. The walls and I have been singing.

      • Hahaha! Yep, ex tried to paint my snooping as equivalent to his lying and not informing me about “things.” Not the same, Bucko!

        They are such manipulative bastards, aren’t they?

  • GAM,
    My ex said these very things to me, gave me cards that said the same & professed them in marriage counseling as well. I stayed 12 more years & brought 2 innocent kids into the mix. Don’t make the same mistake I did. DON’T FALL FOR THIS BS!

    You can’t change one’s character. What will happen is he will just get better at lying to you & taking his cheating shit underground. He will seem like he has changed in the beginning. Then, things will slowly start to slide downhill. By then, you will have invested even more time, energy, emotion, & money into the relationship. That will cause you to spackle like a mofo.

    One time is too many. He did this shit for 7 years already. He witnessed your heartbreak & tears over it yet, he didn’t change. He secretly gets off on causing you misery. Look at his actions not his words.

    STAY AWAY FROM HIM! You’re still vulnerable at being sucked back into his web. Don’t waste any more of your precious life on that fuckwit. You deserve better! He doesn’t deserve your forgiveness. As CL said, focus on forgiving yourself. Get individual counseling to try & figure out why you allowed someone to stomp through your boundries & why you stayed for so long. It has been years since I divorced & I still can’t forgive myself for being so stupid, gullible, & a spackling queen.

    Figuring this out why you stayed with him is very important so you don’t end up getting together with the same type of person again. They seek us chumps out & can spot us a mile away. They come in all shapes & forms (fuckwit disguises) but, the stone cold heart & dark soul beneath their masks is the same. The challenge is to try & learn how to get a peak under that mask so you don’t invest in another fuckwit again.

  • That reminds me of a boy I was involved with in college. He mistreated me for a semester. Over the summer he sent me a letter apologizing for his behavior and telling me he wanted to make it up to me. He made several promises. I fell for it. Needless to say he did not follow through and broke every promise. I went away for a semester abroad. While I was gone he sent me another letter almost identical to the one before. Before I saw him again I had the opportunity to talk to another girl he had evidently been dating while I was gone and at the time that he sent me the letter. He was so surprised, shocked, hurt and confused when he got my “fuck off you asshole” letter in return.

    Hand written promises mean nothing. One soulful letter does not negate 7 years of abuse and you can bet he’ll do it again.

  • Dear GAM’s ex partner.

    Oooh did you really suddenly feel bad a about what you did and realise what an awful person you’d been?

    Yeah? Good. Way to late but you finally got there.

    And on that note, goodbye

  • Let’s do some cheater arithmetic.

    1×30(or 31 or maybe 28)=30 or 31 or 28

    Which is in your favor in terms of loving, trustworthy behavior ?

    Gam, I hope you dumped him for good/cut off all contact and never looked back. You deserve better. Much better.

  • Jeeze, a few things stand out here. This reads like stock phrases copied from ‘Rilly sincere apologies that you rilly rilly mean’. Is this guy quite young, because just his writing conveys a simplistic grasp of concepts ie it reads like a bad love song? That, or he thinks you’re a lot stupider/an easier mark than you obviously are (congrats on graduate school app). I’d say you’ve got a heart of gold and he’s use to wriggling his way around your boundaries with a little sweet talk that takes advantage of your good nature. This dude doesn’t have a lot of emotional intelligence, and the fact that he hated it when you decided what was good for the gander was good for you too, and threatened to end the relationship tells me a lot too. He’s selfish, immature and you deserve heaps better. I’d get rid of the note so you can’t mull over it too much, and keep moving.

  • I saw a show about infidelity today. The cheating wife said ( her husband had divorced her) that “our love wasn’t strong enough to survive what I had done.” Duh, so the REAL problem was that their love wasn’t strong enough??

    People are so deluded. They hurt and betray then think that their mates can just get over it.

    • It’s why they don’t ever course-correct. The problem is always something else or someone’s fault other than their own.

  • GAM,

    I was in a similar position as you many years ago. Reading this was sort of triggering.

    And then I found out I was technically the OW the entire time we were together, because while the relationship with me was open, his relationship with another woman was NOT. And he’d guilt me into staying and bully me by saying “well you knew the situation from the get go.” And I put up with this for years and even humiliated myself and went against my morals (come on, I was the OW, let’s be real here) just to keep up and save face. I, like you, also tried dating around, but was not as successful as him. And he triangulated like there was no tomorrow. I am now happily married to someone else and out of that situation altogether, but I would be lying if I said I am still not traumatized.

    And why am I traumatized? Because he would tell me some of his indiscretions and boundary crossing, and it wasn’t to be “honest,” it was to hurt me. It was to test me. It was to see how I would react. It was to make me feel unwanted. It was to laugh at me in my face. And my pride and entitlement, for I felt entitled to be viewed as a mature, progressive adult, made me eat sh*t sandwiches for years. It’s one thing to admit wrong doing and apologize, but you know your ex wasn’t admitting things to rectify the situation, just as I knew the same about my ex. He was doing that to destroy you. Just as his letter is meant to destroy you. Focus on this fact and eventually you won’t miss him or want him anymore.

  • Massive narcissist and maybe more…..these sickos never change. What ever happened to “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander?” Guess not, huh?

    The double standards are incredible. The letter is simplistic, and phony sounding, and lacks any emotional concern or depth. He does not seem to understand the gravity of the situation, or the fact that he has lost the relationship. It’s seems somewhat flippant. I think true remorse would have focused more on his wrongdoings and articulated things in a way to convey the horror he felt for losing you.

    So happy the poster went on to med school. Would love to hear if he has met someone else. If he’s happy, did he ever respond to the letter? I love finding out the “after” story. The advice on here is awesome. I literally laugh out loud at some things. Like “fuck this shit street”. Lol!

  • Hey y’all, GAM here! Wow, what a joy to read all these comments. You are all such bold, hilarious, loving people. Thank you for making my day. Just wanted to update that this UBT from Chump Lady was the final push to keep me away from my ex- for good. I am happy now: I am almost done with my medical school training and have been dating a (smoking hot) man for almost a year who looks out for my best interests. I’m pretty friggin attuned these days to those who don’t look out for my best interests, both in romantic relationships and friendships. Yes, it’s possible to fix your picker! The walls in my home do, indeed, sing again.

    I’m co-opting this opportunity for a PSA about STI testing, though. Long story short, my ex- left me with some bugs that did some serious damage. Thank goodness it wasn’t HIV or even herpes, but, even after being cured, the residual effects will be long-lasting, unfortunately. I (unknowingly) let the infection sit inside me for too long because I wasn’t getting tested regularly. As a fellow chump and medical professional, I implore you all to go out there are get tested. Call today! Trust me, the alternative is bad news bears.

    Anyways, much love to you all. Go out there and slice yourself a little bit of happiness, it feels great.

    • Great to hear your voice, GAM!

      I am so sorry he gave the gift that will never completely go away though. I do hope that the ongoing issue is manageable and won’t derail any of your plans.

      Where do we send the special edition ChumpNation caduceus? Many congratulations.

    • Thanks for the update, GAM!! I’m so happy to hear you are doing well. 🙂 I’m sorry about the STI and the after effects of it. 🙁 I hope it’s nothing too serious for you. (((HUGS)))

    • I’m so sorry that he left you a long-lasting memento of your relationship, but I am very happy that you are doing well for yourself.

      All the very best to you in the future. 🙂

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