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Is This Jealousy?

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Dear Chump Lady,

CN support helped me avoid a mindfuck my husband was trying to impose on me. Thanks to CN, I got up from my knees, hired a detective and in September I am starting the divorce process with judgement of guilt (I live in the EU).

Anyway, right now my husband already lives with his young lover (co-worker of course) and we are sharing weeks with kids (till end of summer).

I went almost “no contact” and it does WONDERS for me. I started to be more calm, my feelings started to fade and I started to fill my days with positive people and things. I go out with people, I learned to play guitar (I bought it month ago:), I take care of myself (and I look great in shorts!)

And what happens now is that each time we have contact, he suggests I have a lover. If I don’t answer his call — he asks with whom I was that I couldn’t take it.

A week ago he was bringing children back and he called from the road to ask something. When he heard I was not at home he said that I have a lover for sure. When he arrived, he made a comment that I wore perfume for somebody.

I must admit that it makes me laugh. I don’t have a lover, I don’t plan to, I want to be alone for some time, but I try to have a nice life in this difficult period. I was suffering for a year because of his lies and cheating and now I finally feel free and I see that life can be good again.

I am also sooo proud of myself that I don’t react to his comments and ignore them. I don’t answer, don’t write back. Just discussions about children from my side. I don’t love my husband anymore, I don’t see his value, I don’t feel that I lost a nice human being – it is thanks to you CN! You gave me the right perspective. Now I believe that OW won some destroyed man who can dump the woman who loved him and cared for him in a second, like an old toy. So what did she get? I think they are worth each other.

So my question is not some hopium, don’t worry. I am just curious are these comments jealousy, lack of “power over me” (before I was desperate, I was emotional, crying, etc.), lack of ego kibbles or just looking for some arguments to avoid judgement of guilt during divorce? (If he revealed I was cheating, which I was not).

Free_Soon 

Dear Free_Soon,

Next time he asks what that scent you’re wearing? Answer: “Freedom.” You wear it well.

Look, it really doesn’t matter what he’s thinking. What matters is that you’re nearly rid of him, except as a parallel parent until your sentence is commuted. To speculate about his jealousy and control issues is to untangle the skein of fuckupedness. Whither fuckwits?

They’re pretty simple creatures, really. My guess is that he projects on to you what he himself is guilty of — overlapping relationships. How could you possibly be content alone? It couldn’t be that you’re moving on with your life, deliriously happy without him, you must also derive your pleasure from the ego kibbles of triangulation!

By divorcing him, you’re denying him the pick me dance. All the glory, all the centrality. If you had a partner, then he could have another triangle (quadrangle, hexagon, dodecahedron… I never tire of this joke).

If you think he’s jealous, then you think he still cares. If you think he still cares, you’ll pick me dance. (Bonus, this throws the OW off balance too.)

And as manipulation tactics work, it’s a good one, because a lot of chumps do flounce off with their bogus 180s, “miss me? Huh? HUH?” and start free-basing the hopium when a fuckwit circles back.

No, Tracy, this is different, because HE’d be doing the pick me dance now! For HER! She’d be in the power seat! He can beg for HER!

First off, that’s a toxic dynamic. No one wants to “win” a fuckwit. Don’t be a fuckwit.

Second, they don’t give up their other sources of supply. He’s not going to give up his co-worker to win you back. (Cue RomCom Now That She Has a Boyfriend I See What I’m Missing). If you actually HAD a boyfriend, he’d insist you dump him, so the focus could be on him (We’ll reunite! We’ll renew our vows! We’ll have unicorns as bridesmaids!) …. and he won’t do the same for you. He’s still got plan B, C, Q, Z… And there you are sucked back into the pick me dance.

This is all very complicated, Tracy.

Well, yes, that’s what happens when you start untangling skeins.

My point is, his interest isn’t sincere or flattering or regret at losing you. It is mindfuckery to put him at the advantage.

Is it jealousy?

To cheat on someone is to grievously devalue them. He doesn’t admire you enough to be jealous of you. He doesn’t value the things you value — integrity, peace of mind, authentic relationships.

He probably does covet, however. How dare you have the Nice Things that rightfully belong to him. That could be your wedding china, your children, your bank accounts, and yes, your attention and your sexy legs in shorts. Those BELONG to him, and there you are flaunting them freely. In his worldview — they must belong to some other man now. Ergo turf war, ergo how can he use this to his advantage?

Oh, fault divorce you say?

Bingo.

Free_Soon, keep rocking your new life. Get that divorce finalized. Enjoy all the freedom.

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Attention = attention
    He still thinks he is the center of the universe. Don’t feed the beest. He will only come back for more.

    • I think Tracy’s last sentence hit the nail on the head regarding this is a fault divorce tactic. In fault divorce, obviously he has cheated on her and more assets will go to her. Also child support. He also has to now support a younger probably pampered OW. He doesn’t like this.

      That said. It looks like he’s trying to in his “magical thinking” way make her also to be a cheater and therefore possibly to try to get new news that the assets should be shifted back into neutral instead of more in favor of her since he cheated and ‘She is a cheater too he could tell the judge.’ He probably very much wants this to be true. He could lie and say it went far back into the marriage and he just discovered or you just admitted it now.

      She caused him a narcissistic injury by ‘winning’ in the divorce financially. Magically he wants to distort reality to his favor.

      Beware!!! Be careful he is a snake.

  • I’m with CL that he cannot conceive of being a happy, complete individual on his own – so he projects that same sentiment onto you.

    This inability to understand how another person could have a different opinion, moral code, or perspective on life is closely related to their inability to do empathy. I’m not sure which is cause and which is effect, so I guess we just leave it as a high degree of correlation.

    • Yup have to second and third this. Fuckwit did the same thing shortly after dday – started getting really twitchy that I might be seeing someone else. I can confirm that it is very much projecting their own effed up life, behavior, and thinking onto you.

      Besides, if you are also seeing someone, then he is off the hook and can proceed with image management. You become the bad guy and he is then justified, via some history rewriting, on why your relationship fell apart. It’s really one of those where even if you wanted to date, don’t, until you are well divorced. These psychos will use anything they can against you and twist reality however it can work best for them.

      I know, based on some conversation that my own fuckwit cannot actually fathom how I can actually be single and not latching on to anyone else. Like he literally cannot understand that you can be whole and just stand on your own two feet. You are dealing with a person who deep down inside is an empty void – no real personal identity. So they use you, use owhore, and another, and so on, seeking forever to fill that void. Of course, they will never succeed as you can’t fill a void by using others.

      They have no clue that the only way to fill the void is to develop an actual sense of self…or it’s simply too much work and they’d rather use people, eff around, cheat, lie, etc. What goes on in their head is literally life in hell no matter how much they try to pretend otherwise. In fact, in my experience, the greater the public facade, the deeper the emptiness and mess it hides.

  • Consider the opposite (which is what I and others have to deal with): a fuckwit who passively-aggressively scolds you for NOT having a partner. “You still care about me, because if you didn’t you’d have someone by now.”

    In both cases, the end game is the illusion of attention, control and importance to the chump. Fuckwits are nothing without these components; they’re like air, food and water.

    • I don’t know about my Ex but I feel like that .

      I’m almost 17 months out now and fat bastard has had a baby and got married and I’ve never even been on a date let alone anything else !

      I think well is this is I get no one and they just blow up my life and carry on without a care in the world .

      I’m not jealous of my ex and his OWife I am sure having a brand new baby at 46 will have its challenges but I am jealous that they get away scott free and just get another long term relationship while I sit alone every day and every night

      • Just remember, there are worse things than being alone. I was lonely in the middle of my marriage. I am alone now, but I am not lonely!

      • Hi Karen
        They aren’t having fun. A friend recently told me me ex texted him asking why they cry…who he asked…the baby and the wife.
        Clearly my ex is exactly like he always was!

        I, on the other hand, have time to do what I want and am enjoying my independence. I have zero interest in dating…but I make sure I plan coffee with friends, etc. I am back in my office and I am enjoying work more than ever.

        You are free. I realized at some point I stopped wondering why someone would leave a great family behind for a new one…he didn’t do that. He followed his dick around and these are the consequences.

        Embrace what is. Buddhism has helped me through some hard shit. Pema chordron is amazing.

        Hugs and love to you

      • karenb6702, it’s early days. The facade will crumble because it will get hard – and fuckwits don’t do challenging because then it’s not all about them. My ex had a baby with his AP at 53 (thus ending our 16 yr marriage) and now has another kid with some other woman 6 years later. AP relationship lasted about 3 years.

        You’re doing great!!! And will live a real, authentic life.

      • I hear you Karen. It sucks.

        My STBXW at age 29 hooked up with our son’s former football coach and he’s 45. we have two kids, a 10 and 7 year old and OMan has two kids of his own (similar ages) by a girlfriend whom he betrayed to be with my cheating wife.

        They’ve been together now for a year and I learned recently that she is several months pregnant by coach sparkle-pants. I don’t imagine it’s all going to be guns-and-roses between them with dealing with a newborn but I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what happens between these fucked-up adults as long as our biological kids are taken care of.

        It’s hard for me. It’s taken the better part of a year to be a functional person again and while I don’t have a problem going it alone, it is hard at times. I don’t have a lot of friends and my family has their shit they’re dealing with. It’s still frustrating how this whole shit happened as I’m still not over it. I have good and bad days but taking it in stride. It is better than being with someone who would continually betray and degrade you.

        My job has me serving overseas for a year and I hope to come back to where my kids are at so I can be part of their lives again. That hurts being away for that long. Little by little…

        • jArlen, It´s early days yet! 1 year is no time at all to heal and let go of a painful past. It´s taken me about 5 years to process the multpile Ddays, in home separation, divorce and finally being on my own for the last year. It´s tough! But oh so worth it. My peace and happiness has been steadily growing and I´m finally able to REALLY look forward with a sense of freedom instead of faking it. Give yourself lots of slack and self-forgiveness. And absolutely REFUSE to be taken down by one or more selfish assholes. Your life is so important! You deserve to and definitely will be happy!

      • In moments like that, remember that a not-so-uncommon reaction of cheaters– who all seem to have extrasensory perceptions about “the moment” when their victims have really let go and moved on– is murderous violence. In retrospect and looking at the dire statistics for abuse and assault (a risk that increases when a victim leaves an abusive relationship), it can almost seem like a gift when a cheater fucks off on their own trip and mentally erases the existence of their victims. The problem is when they can’t do it mentally, some might try to do it physically.

        Jealousy, particularly delusional jealousy, from an abuser is a far different animal than normal-betrayed-person jealousy. It’s especially scary because they’ve already proven themselves to be destructive, empathy impaired, capable of rewriting history and capable of something called “neutralization of self punishment” which is basically the same type of ornate self talk that serial killers engage in to reduce the stigma of their crimes, protect their self esteem and projected identity, remove responsibility from themselves, etc.

        What makes someone dangerous is THAT in a nutshell. First comes the ability to neutralize, then comes the heinous act. The latter can’t happen without the former even if it’s just a matter of the perpetrator’s internal narrative to aid them in projecting a “normal, trustworthy” image to others. But pure robotic sociopathy is rarer than psychopathy. Most of these freaks have a lot of feels, all of them toxic in one way or another. Most need to neutralize to feel better about the ugly things they’ve done.

        So by being jealous, they’re showing the switcheroo that, instead of blaming themselves for the dissolution of a relationship, they’re starting to blame the victim on a new crazy level (“It was her/him who was cheating on ME all along… s/he probably baited me to cheat in order to give him/her more freedom! [insert psycho monologue about alien landings].” It means the neutralization process is cycling again. The survivor of this is then stuck in the position of trying to figure out how crazy and how dangerous the ex nut might become.

        There are some people (like Ted Bundy, etc.) who you really don’t want to have aware of your existence.

    • UXWorld,

      “You still care about me, because if you didn’t you’d have someone by now.”

      Wow! That is also jaw-droppingly narcissistic!

  • He’s a hollow chocolate bunny so he can’t conceive of anyone being perfectly happy solo. He may have viewed you as his ganache filling and OW as the decorations but in the end – there is nothing of substance. Bite his ear off and the whole thing may collapse.

    “I don’t want you, but I don’t want anyone else to enjoy you either” with a dollop of “no way that Chump could POSSIBLY enjoy life alone!”

    Don’t bother. Continue to grey rock him. He simply wants your attention and protestations of your innocence will do nicely.

    May the divorce be final soon.

    • I am going to use this hollow chocolate bunny image for more than a few people I know, for the rest of my life. Thank you!

    • Ack. This reminds me of when my cheating now-ex boyfriend, at age 50, said of his ex-wife: ‘I don’t want her, but I don’t want anyone else to have her either.’ It soon became clear that her post-divorce happiness & success were a personal affront to him. When he found out she bought a new convertible, he had to look up the price. I remember seeing a photo of her in that car…now I understand why she looked so carefree and joyful. She was rid of him.

  • CL: Next time he asks what that scent you’re wearing? Answer: “Freedom.” You wear it well.

    The most brilliant answer ever!!!

    He’s not really jealous, he’s miffed that you are moving on without him. He doesn’t think you could do it on your own because he wasn’t able to. He couldn’t just leave a marriage ethically, he had to monkey branch onto a crafted plan B, so he projects those values on to you. It’s his ego talking.

    It’s also creepy that he’s noticing these changes in you and daring to comment about them. He’s not being complimentary, but derogatory. They are veiled put-downs meant to cheapen the changes that are taking place in you.

    I lost a lot of weight at the end of my marriage and in the months that followed due to the trauma of the experience. My ex then had the nerve to say to me that I will soon gain the weight back when time passes and I “get better”. His comment made me nauseous. It was like having a man who attacked me on the street come visit me in hospital and assure me that the wounds he inflicted on me will heal in a few weeks and then I will be just fine. Nothing to worry about.

    Glad that you feel that your ex’s comments aren’t affecting you adversely. But don’t put any stock into believing that anything he has to say has any good intention behind it.

  • This Tracy quote should go one every Chump’s wall (change the pronouns as needed):
    “To cheat on someone is to grievously devalue them. He doesn’t admire you enough to be jealous of you. He doesn’t value the things you value — integrity, peace of mind, authentic relationships.”

  • He probably realized that ow ain’t that great. why is he wondering what you’re doing. I wouldn’t trust him, he’s playing mind games. If he’s trying to seduce you, you become the ow.
    I used to work with someone the cheater would alternate between ow and wife.

  • A few months after he moved out, he told me he would “babysit if I wanted to go out on a date.”

    I said that I would not be dating for a long time because our daughter had enough parents doing the next wrong thing.

    I think me being involved with someone pays off for him somehow, hence his encouragement. I don’t care why. WHY is a very bad question to ask a liar and a traitor and a thief.

    (And when one is with one’s own child, one is not a “babysitter”…..wtf….)

    • Velvet I love your quip, “Why is a very bad question to ask a liar and a traitor and a thief.” So true! I can’t believe he calls it babysitting when he’s taking care of his own kids! SMH.

  • Frankly it is none of his business what you do when the kids are not with you.

    Technically you could be stripping on your weekends when you don’t have the kids and he cannot say anything about it.

    Tell him to stuff it

    • I don’t live in the EU so I don’t know what the rules are for a judgement of guilt.

      I do know that in NY, it does very much matter what a chump does before the seal is on the divorce decree. At deposition or in front of a judge, your actions during separation can and definitely will be brought up, especially when there are children involved. This is not the time to strip, have sleepovers or do anything that can be twisted into making you look “bad”.

      This is the time to take care of yourself, be the strong, sane parent, work on your case to save time and money, rock that Freedom perfume and STEP AWAY FROM THAT SKEIN!!!

      Anytime you find yourself wondering about an ex’s motivation for anything, remind yourself that normal people are not capable of ever comprehending their minds. It’s a total waste of time!

      While I worked on not trying to understand how or why, I did very much enjoy all the times I realized I was being followed. Cost him a fortune to learn I was building friendships, enjoying walking my dog, spending time with my kids and working on myself. When I got to my deposition and saw the worst they could pin me with was a Facebook post about how much I loved my job, I burst out laughing; actually asked his lawyer if that was the best they had against me!

      Keep moving forward – you’re doing great 👍🏻

      • I live in a no fault state (which is bullshit) but I’m fascinated with post separation behavior by the betrayed spouse being on the table- obviously illegal behavior and neglecting children type things aside. It’s crazy that a cheating spouse can do and be with whomever they want and be the reason for the relationship ending. But the betrayed spouse filing for divorce and starting to date later, becomes a topic?

        My ex in-laws are kind of like this, and have acted like me dating someone is faux pas despite their daughter being unrepentant (and dishonest) about being with another man (multiple guys) before I was aware or even out of the house.

        Anyway, I try to be very careful about everything for court. I blocked my ex, her entire family and any common friends and went private on my social media account. I don’t post anything so no ammo could ever be given (even a pic of seeing my kids helping me cook will not be posted so her and her scumbag lawyer can’t twist it into some type of bad thing). CL and CN has helped me become pretty damn strong throughout this shit show.

        • I’m sorry to put this bluntly but the law, along with everything else, is not fair. Just a reality check. Lawyers and judges are biased and rules are not necessarily followed. People can be “bought” and “by the book” depends on who is reading what book. A strong, well-connected lawyer will trample one that isn’t.

          One more shit sandwich to swallow.

          My ex is lawyer who blatantly lied during his deposition and was caught in several lies by his own legal team. No one cared. Luckily I had a barracuda who wasn’t backing down from his barracuda.

          • Sigh, just a little hyperbole this Monday morning. The point is that if they were happy with Schmoopie they shouldn’t care.

            Yes, unfortunately if you are in a custody battle with your ex, what you do is important.

            We know that they are terrible parents, the court has not figured that out yet.

        • “It’s crazy that a cheating spouse can do and be with whomever they want and be the reason for the relationship ending. But the betrayed spouse filing for divorce and starting to date later, becomes a topic?“

          THIS☝️

          We can’t TALK about the cheating because that would be disparaging the other parent, but it was just fine and dandy to COMMIT adultery and blow up the kids family.

          US system sucks. NO JUSTICE

      • A Facebook post about how much you love your job???

        What was their game plan here? Try to paint you as a workaholic with latchkey children?

  • It’s always a bit entertaining to see your cheating ex be bothered by you dating someone new or thinking you’re with someone. But like CL said, it’s not genuine care. It’s territorial egomaniac type crap. My ex couldn’t have been more cruel and more dismissive of me when I was begging her to stop her affair for three months. Then I decided to file for divorce, go no contact and have done pretty well at NC (strictly email about kids school when necessary while she’s sent me nearly 1,000 texts since spring) so when shit goes south with her AP BF (who routinely breaks up with her and uses her), she always tries to seek me out and her ego can’t understand that I won’t have anything to do with her.

    Don’t try to analyze it too much. I know it’s fresh so you naturally do so but you already realize how messed up these disordered people are. Honestly, I thought my ex wife hung the moon. I thought she was the most beautiful and honest person I had ever known (HAHAHA) and killed myself trying to please her. Now I see her as someone not worth putting on a pedestal, a complete fraud, and needs constant attention 24/7 like a crack addict.

    *Dirt off the shoulder* Good luck with your next chapter. I think you’ll be amazed at what it’s like to find a good person where it’s not dysfunctional and integrity is at the forefront.

  • When my new boyfriend and I accidently ran across him, he turned white and fled. He was a friend of my new boyfriend (who became my husband). Fuckwit abruptly ended said friendship and avoided him at all costs. They are very jealous of any independence or joy on our part, and can’t stand our happiness when it doesn’t involve them. They honestly want us crying in a heap and begging to get them back.

    • Yeah, they are. They love the control over you. My ex wife tries to make life hellish any chance she can get, always full of drama and lies, and she can’t stand it that after a decade of me putting her on a pedestal that I no longer give a shit about trying to appease her.

      Never let these assholes see you sweat. My ex would have gladly liked to have seen me commit suicide over her cheating but no dice, skank! Life is soooo much better and easier without you.

      • They expect our love and devotion like the love of a parent, like the sun shining down on them on a summer day. It’s always there, it’s great, and it’s to be taken for granted and advantage of, even (in their minds) after they dump us. I would sometimes consider how poorly he’d react if the tables were turned and his new love did that to him. Then she did! Apparently he didn’t handle it well.

        • I think there is a lot of truth to that. I am certain by the way my ex behaved, that he had in large part “parenticized” me. He was acting like a hormone crazed teenager, which I didn’t know at the time; but is exactly how some of them are feeling. They think that illicit sex kick is real and if they lose schmoopie they will never have it again. Which of course they will lose it with schmoopie once they are out in the open, and the only way they will get it again is to set up another illicit relationship. Much to schmoopies dismay, after their marriage, he didn’t last a year with her before cheating.

          Lol, couple of schmucks.

          • When he broke up with me and I was in shock, I did manage to ask him why he would throw away something that took years to build and was (it seemed at that time) a good, solid thing. Why would he give that up for something new, just because it felt exciting? He answered that he needed new and exciting, it’s how he rolled. I wonder how he’s managed to stay married to stepford wife church lady with the fake hair for some decades? Probably because he steps out for some excitement now and then. Maybe that’s why he sent me a provacative message after all these years. Really?

            • Oh I would bet he is finding his excitement. He will likely do that until he gets caught, or until he can’t get it up anymore.

              And yes, I am pretty certain that my ex would have loved to keep me destabilized so that he could switch back to me if needed. He was that arrogant.

              Unfortunately for him, I was not that desperate.

              • Yeah, I had taken him back after one cheating round, reeled in with promises of never doing it again and marriage. (I was young and stupid.) Guess he though DECADES later I hadn’t grown up and was still waiting with baited breath for him, and he could get double the excitement by screwing over his old friend too, who I am still (happily) married to. These people are delusianal egomaniacs.

              • He is disgusting and clueless. He used me for years and thinks I have the same picture as him of our relationship: that it was all about sex. Nevermind that he promised fidelity and marriage. How dunb of me to not know the whole thing was a sham based on lies, and wouldn’t I like to pick up where we left off? This is so insulting to me–that someone truly thinks I’m that stupid and in the gutter like him–than anything else he ever did.

          • This. Even before D-Day I remember thinking that at 28, I was for all intents and purposes the mother of a sullen teenager, not a wife, and that this was not what I signed up for. Naturally said thought was quickly spackled over. But now our sexless marriage makes sense: no man wants to have sex with his mother and no normal woman wants to have sex with a teenage boy.

            I used to wonder what was wrong with me, that I no longer felt desire for my handsome young husband. The little sex we did have was, of course, focused entirely on his needs. Since I had never had sex with anyone else I had no basis for comparison; I thought this was just normal male sexual behavior. Now that I have moved out my libido has returned to the point where it is frankly annoying. My state has the highest number of coronavirus cases, so dating is not an option. I still have no idea what sex with a non-narc man is like, but I sure intend to find out once the pandemic is over!

            The dead bedroom may have been a blessing in disguise, given the number of chumps who have had to get tested for STIs because their fuckwits double dipped, but it still did a number on my head. I am only 30, but already I feel old and washed up, even though I know intellectually that I still have many good years ahead.

            Sorry for the ramble, but I needed to vent.

            • Your explanation was perfect! I fell into the trap of wondering what was wrong with ME – when we were first married, my husband was good looking, interested in sex, but it just was bad. We even had a joke between us (for a short time):“the plumbing always works!” We had been told by a Christian youth counselor that there was no need for sex before marriage because the plumbing always works. I was so disappointed that it wasn’t working well for me, and for how hard my husband had to work at it too! It was embarrassing. Now after a lot of his shit came out and I am aware of his secret life, I think back to when we were 26 and I sincerely believe it was ED caused by dependence upon porn.
              You nailed it on describing MY problem- I wasn’t happy with sex with someone with the emotional life of a teenage boy!
              NoMoreMsNiceChump-you are young and smart and you are out of your situation. Give yourself time to heal. You have a lifetime ahead of you that can be free of fuckwits and full of good things!

            • In our case, the change came primarily in the last year of a 20 year marriage. He just went bat shit crazy. Sneaking around, lying etc. Of course I noticed and questioned it, and he blamed it on his promotion and job stress. Liar. He was sneaking out like a teenager does, treating me like I was the enemy, throwing hissy fits etc.

        • Schmoopie cheated on my ex after about 3 years. He was shell-shocked, furious and disgusted. HOW COULD SHE? She was a piece of filth, she was a whore …. you can imagine the rest! Pot/kettle spring to mind?

          • They so seldom actually see themselves.

            And yes she was/is a whore, didn’t you know that when you picked her up?

            Kind of like the scorpion and frog story. Only in this case they are both scorpions.

            I never saw or talked to my fuckwits whore after Dday, but I wanted to a couple years down the line after he cheated on her to say: “You knew that was coming, right?” I guess she thought her magical twat would prevent it.

  • Totally agree with this: “To cheat on someone is to grievously devalue them. He doesn’t admire you enough to be jealous of you. He doesn’t value the things you value — integrity, peace of mind, authentic relationships.”

    I moved on when I figured out that a relationship with XH was futile – thank you CL! When I stopped pick me dancing, filed for and obtained divorce, and started dating my significant other, X added another “reason I am terrible” in his campaign against me. So what?! He’s vile and I know I’m not.

  • Another good reason to keep not answering his calls. Bonus points if he spends money on a private detective to turn up nothing. He he.

  • Something similar happened to me. My ex, who kept his skank ex gf around our entire relationship, actually had the balls to ask if I was cheating on him. This was after I’d told him the marriage was over and hired an attorney.

    I told him that seeing as how the marriage was over I failed to see how I could be cheating on him and that it was none of his business anyway.

    Did I have another guy? No, but that wasn’t his business and I wanted to draw a boundary. After he made some snotty comment about still being technically married (rich) I pointed out that not only did he have his whore (which he was still denying anything beyond “catching up”), he was “separated” from his 1st wife for 3 years and both of them fucked around because “it was only a piece of paper”. That pretty much shut him up.

    I think there is value in telling this douchbag ONCE that your life is none of his business. That draws a boundary, and if you wish to ignore him after that feel free.

  • IF I felt a need to respond to any of his comments, the response would be one word: “So?” And then refuse to engage any further.

    I believe a lot of cheaters actually want their spouses to get a new relationship, but only for the reason that they (the cheater) won’t feel quite so guilty. “Look how much better her/his life is now!” or “He/she is no better than I!!” Whatever.

    Let him wonder. It isn’t your skein.

    • That is my ex’s approach. He also goes out of his way to be nice to my boyfriend, trying to set an example of how I should treat Schmoopie. Not the same thing at all and he knows it.

      • “Trying to set an example.” haha! That’s rich.

        “Not the same thing at all and he knows it.” Surely everyone knows it.

        Glad you’ve gained a life.

  • No contact means no phone calls and no social interaction.
    No opportunity for him to make passive aggressive comments.

    It truly is the way. Unless you have an infant, all communication should be through parenting software for a good long while.

    • It would be helpful if parenting software actually prevented anything. Trust me, you can still be cussed out, sent nasty messages, name called accused of everything under the sun. Even with parenting software being only way to reach me, my ex has used it to abuse me. I am grey rock and no contact and have been for last 2 years.

  • I was separated in house for 4 mos, after 18mos of failed RIC. I started datings as soon as he moved out & I filed, as I had waited long enough to feel good/have fun again. I got the same inquiries & innuendos from him. He thought he was a genius when he dropped my boyfriend’s name as if he’d hacked some top secret government files rather than just run the Google. LOL.
    It was pathetic. I ignored every single word of it &it drove him nuts. I mostly thought it was his fucktarded way of pointing a finger back at me for “cheating” because divorce wasn’t final. He even called me a whore at one point.

    I do think he was trying to assuage his guilt, but a male neighbor/friend commented that he thinks all men still have those feelings of love/loss/jealousy when their women move on. I sum that up as a control/possessiveness thing though. It’s not love. Maybe a little sentimentality, but not love.

      • Agree. Ownership.

        I also think there’s some jealousy mixed in there, too, but it’s a kind of jealousy of something (chumps) to which they think they still have a right. I suspect they experience cognitive dissonance about that. I mean, rationally they know they don’t have a right, but they still feel that they do.

  • Wow this woman is lucky only a year of “HELL” mine is now at 3 1/2 years and nothing is better in fact my mother also just died I’m not certain when you finally ever get to “MEH” on a Tuesday????

    • Carol, I am so sorry for your loss. I have been there and know what a kick in the gut it is. I hope you are surrounded by loving friends and family.

      I should have known something was WAY OFF when STBX husband and his family’s showed little regard to my mother’s death but I was physically and mentally exhausted, in shock and grieving so I just spackled over the shit show.

        • Carol and Digital Chump,

          I’m so sorry for your losses. Death on top of betrayal–that’s beyond tough.

          Digital, I know that in the context of an intimate relationship, spackling isn’t good. (And I speak from experience.) But I think your spackling over STBX and family’s shitty behavior in the wake of your mother’s death constitutes an effective use of spackling. Only supportive people should get any attention. Spackle and wallpaper over non-essentail fuckwit family members. You’re grieving and don’t have time for them.

    • Sorry for the loss of your mother. I am sure you could use all the friends and family you have to get through this Divorce. My ex drug our divorce 18 months and tried to keep dragging till my pit bull attorney forced a court date. I am over almost 2 years divorced and the verbal abuse hasn’t stopped. The harassment hasn’t stopped. I am as gray rock and no contact as you can get with children. But on a court server “I am the shittiest mother that ever lived” and “human refuse” and “bipolar” and “narcissistic” and abuse to the children. I am not feeding them in One of his rants on server and in the next I am sneaking food into the backpacks I send with clothes to his house. But after all this time I have learned to not defend myself or respond; I am better off beating my head on a brick wall. Oh and he can’t help with our daughters band because “I have a stick in my Ass” his words. Truth is I pay for it myself and the stick is him! I wish you the best and Hope you can force that Divorce through! Haven’t found Tuesday either!

  • Another possibility is your EX is concerned with image management. He’d like to be able to tell people you have a lover/relationship/new guy because that makes his betrayal of you less egregious (in his mind). He can either say or imply you were cheating on him before the split, or he can claim you didn’t really love him as evidenced by your quick acquisition of a new partner. In any event, the goal is to persuade people he did not hurt you by claiming your own behavior exonerates him.

    But as CL says, it doesn’t matter why he is doing it. The important part is that his concerns, fears, lies, manipulations, and goals are not your problem any longer.

    Congratulations on your smart steps forward!

    • My ex told me that friends of his (people from his double life) suggested I might have been having an affair as well! He said he told him that I hadn’t, and I believed him. That was when I was still adjusting to the fact that my husband of 35 years is a pathological liar.

      In truth, who knows what he says about me? He makes shit up. He lies to justify his behavior, to manage his image, to squint just enough so that he can see a reputable man in the mirror.

  • I am going to use this hollow chocolate bunny image for more than a few people I know, for the rest of my life. Thank you!

  • My first thought was that he was just trying to get a better judgement on that “at fault divorce.” If you’re also with someone else, this fast after breaking up, he can make a case that you were seeing him while you were married. Ergo, you would be just as guilty as he was, and then he can get a better deal in the divorce. Where I live, seeing someone right after getting separated can be used as proof of a marital affair.
    I would continue to completely avoid saying anything at all when he asks. Just ignore it.

  • As T said, do NOT try to understand the WHyY. The answeR isn’t good no matter what and focused your energy in him.

    DO be careful about sharing information for two reasons. 1. Until divorce is final he could be trying to dig up anything g that would qualify as ‘you cheated to’

    Most of these fuckwits are…well…fuckwits. So even if it didn’t impact your divorce it may anger him and make him fight for things out of anger/spite. While going through divorce and sorting custody you are in the most important chess game of your life for your kids, for your financial stability. So think strategically. W

    hat is going to serve you the best? 1 him not knowing even if you are seeing someone?!? 2. Possibly him not even knowing you are happy and moved on?!? You know your opponent. Play him well by whatever legal means are allowable. Kindness? Joy? Pity party? Best friends? Ignorance? Female version of the sad sausage routine they taught us so well? It doesn’t f’ing matter.

    He played YOU for a long time. This is the be all end all game. And it’s really not a game because it’s playing for keeps on what matters most, your kids and financial future.

    Fuck his reasons for caring, just play your chess game right to come out in the best possible situation. You can decide once everything is settled how you want to engage long term. Until then play to win.

  • My ex-wife cheated on my for a year in secret with the mother of one of our older daughter’s friends. As soon as she found out I was dating someone another woman, she totally blew up at me. And I do mean TOTALLY. She didn’t want me any more (and I’m a dude, she was an adulterous lesbian-in-denail, so she shouldn’t have wanted a dude like me), yet she didn’t want anyone else to have me, either.

    Narcissistic personality disorder is like this. They don’t want to lose any of that precious attention kibble, even in the most ridiculous of circumstances.

  • I think a lot of cheaters have conflicting thoughts about their STBXs’ dating, ranging from “look, she’s dating, so I did her a favor!” to the double-standard winner: “How dare she date?” (In their minds, what’s good for the gander is not good for the goose). Of course, the truly sinister and strategic are gathering intel to use in court.

    I also think many of these types derive some sexual excitement from imagining their STBX sleeping with another. (Think Jerry Falwell, Jr watching his wife and the pool guy.)

    Overall, they will insert themselves in our lives, poking up just long enough to stay relevant and to make sure they’re still in our thoughts. But they really don’t care unless all sources of supply dry up, leading to some serious hoovering attempts.

    As CL would say, “Shields up, Chumps!”

  • I don’t think he’s jealous, he’s looking for information.

    He could be looking to see if you’re still single (to make his own ego feel stroked, like you’re nothinv without him,) he’s looking for a way out of a fault divorce, he’s looking to discredit your feelings and say you moved on so it can’t have been that painful, or all of the above. This isn’t jealousy, it’s calculated.

    Either way, keep on keeping on. Don’t give him satisfaction.

  • My ex was like that. It drove him nuts to think of me with someone else, even though he’d moved on with 2 affairs and many relationships after we split. I always assumed he thought of me as his “possession”, kind of like a toy a child doesn’t play with for a long time, then suddenly has a hissy fit because it might be given to another child.

    • Exactly! When kids are tired of a toy they drop it and run off to do something else. It will eventually get kicked out of the way to gather dust in a corner if the kid doesn’t like the toy anymore. Then if mom decides to give the abandoned toy to another child who wants it, cover your ears. These people are like small children, just not as cute.

  • For YEARS I was accused of sleeping with this guy, that guy, the other guy, any random male who might say Hi walking past as I walk the dog…. It was 100% projection. I never did anything to suggest I had a secret life. On the other hand, Mr Glued to his Passworded Phone made me go hmmmm a couple of times but I dismissed it as paranoia. HAHAHA
    He interrogates the children about Mum’s boyfriend…. I dont have a boyfriend. I dont even have many friends so it must be pretty boring to listen to.

  • I really believe most of these dysfunctional types only think of their own needs and desires, and judge their success by having “power” over others. This power takes many forms, we call most of them kibbles on this site. They are jealous if they believe they do not have power and control over your life anymore, not because they value you, but because of how it effects them.

    Since they lie and cheat, they think everyone else does, they are always suspicious because they are always up to something sneaky. They cannot imagine someone else being happy doing something that has nothing to do with them, or having something they do not value. It is always about them, 24/7.

    It is not really worth your time to worry why they do anything, the answer is always going to be because of how it makes them feel. They don’t really think about anyone else having feelings, or needs.

    Practice makes perfect — practice no contact, and soon you will spend vast periods of time not thinking about these folks at all. They are vampires, they suck all the life and value and happiness out of life, and most of all they waste your precious time. No contact is a strong ray of sunshine that makes these vampires shrivel up and blow off in the wind. MEH Tuesday becomes another bright, bright sunshiny day.

    • Well put, Portia!

      Re your last paragraph. I agree that going NC is important. I have reaped the benefits of NC and/or Grey Rock for the last several months.

      But it’s the not-thinking-about him part that’s been tough for me. The good news is that he doesn’t know that I think and write about our relationship, so he doesn’t get any kibbles from it. Still, I wish I could stop the negative flashbacks and obsesssion. The hurt and trauma persist. Guess it takes time and, as you say, practice.

  • I think it’s an axiom that abusers subject victims to that which the abuser themselves would find most abhorrent if the tables were turned. As Socrates put it, “Luck is when the arrow hits the other man.” They feel almost as if they are saving themselves from an emotional state– or denying themselves capable of the negative emotion– by attempting to cause it in another person. It’s just like adult rapists reenacting their own childhood experience of sexual abuse by committing rape. In their world, there are only victims and perps and to avoid being the former, you have to be the latter.

    So I think jealousy over a victim truly moving on is par for the course. It’s too scary to be flattering. You always have to wonder at what point an emotionally dangerous person could become a physically dangerous person. I think the advice to play things strategically in the divorce to prevent the ex nut from trying to use the children or other means of coercion and control as a form of punishment. Document the creepy comments and questions and make sure your lawyer knows the behavior seems borderline menacing.

  • Can somebody help me? I just feel a fresh wave of broken today. The person I’m jealous of is old me. I had my own, nice property in a great area, which I sold to jointly buy a place with him because he insisted I free up more money to invest more in the joint place, then he left me 9 weeks after moving to the new place, for a younger co-worker (who else).

    I now have no property, back renting, alone, and though I have a great job offer abroad when I graduate, I can’t buy here before I go as I’m technically a student, with no income, and it’s hard/expensive to buy when abroad, either there OR here, for various tax reasons.

    So, I’ll need to keep renting til I go, then rent when I move, I just feel that because of him I have fallen off the property ladder and can’t get back on it.

    I could have been that girl with the great city pad that she rents out while she works abroad at an amazing job, now I’m just that girl with absolutely nothing, everything in storage (which will cost a fortune) or who had to sell all her belongings (would break me even more), with no foothold anywhere.

    I don’t really have family so I have no base here, anywhere. He robbed me of the one thing I was proud of, a future investment, and he just does not care less. He doesn’t even think about it, whereas I think about it so much I can’t get up.

    • Sorry to hear you feel broken.
      I assume your are joint owner of the property you own with him. Try putting that on the market and see if you get enough out of it. To buy a new property.

    • Ain’t he a piece of shit!
      I get you.
      I had acquired land before we got married. We looked for another but everything we found he seemed to have issue with it. Finally he designed a house to build on my land. We consolidated the land loan and got one for the to construct the house. The mortgage was more than I was comfortable with and I managed to convince him that we should borrow less but still the repayment was to high in my view. But he said he could shoulder it alone while I was unemployed for a bit. That was in 2012. By 2014 I resumed work. Also by 2014 he announced that he was leaving.
      In-between that time I discovered that he had continued his cheating and I realised he was a serial cheater.
      He was able to pay the loan on his own but left with the care of our children and earning less than he was, I could not manage it in my own.
      Now the property is in my name. I would have paid the bulk of the land on my own and now I risk losing it all and not even receiving a fair settlement. He is even asking to be repaid monies he spent on the children while I was away on study and on monies he spent in upkeep of my mother’s house in which he resided rent free. The irony here is that he refused to spend money on the house maintenance.
      I had chosen the location of the land because it was close to my parents and in a location close to where I grew up.
      He refuses to agree to a proper settlement so the matter is in court… Since 2005. In the meantime I can’t get a mortgage because I’m tied up with the property. Leaving without enough to rebuild for myself and the children is shooting myself in the foot.
      These people are shitty all around.
      This particular matter has taught me alot of patience. It must come to an end at some point.
      At first I was loathe to let him have what I had worked for. I even chose to overlook the fact that it would require a lot of work to complete and that I could not afford the repayments. But now, even though my new job means that I could afford to make the payments, I want him to have it. It will bring him nothing but misery. I let him think I want it though.
      In reality I have my eyes set on something better.
      I’m sorry that you had a little knock back. No judgment having run the gamut of emotions Re property myself. Just know that it’s okay to feel this way today and it’s OK to feel differently tomorrow. Keep rolling with the punches, one foot in front of the other. Move forward even if it is with tears in your eyes.
      Just do not give him the satisfaction.
      He’s a shitty shit shit. He is!
      I don’t know you and I want to punch him for you.
      A million hugs from me to you.
      P. S. You will have a better place of your own in time. It is already done.

    • That is infuriating. he talked you into letting go of your property knowing what he was up to. My ex did the same thing. He likely just wanted to divest that money so he could get it.

      My ex of 20 years talked me in to signing for a river front property, that he convinced me was for our retirement home. Three months later I found out it was his and schmoopies hide away.

      Karma has smacked them both in the ass, but it still rankles that they can lie and manipulate so readily.

    • I meant to add, it sounds like you are fairly young, you will be so much better off, just take the time you need and keep walking.

  • When i was going through my divorce, instead of seeing a therapist, I went and saw a psychic. Best money I ever spent!! She told me to change the locks on the house. Which i did. When ex came to pick up our daughter, he was very angry and told me he saw a man run out of the backyard??? wtf? he kept insisting i was seeing someone and hiding it from him. He even wrote me a long-ass email congratulating me on my pregnancy????? omg. Coo-koo. It went on and on and on. Texts, emails, interrogating our daughter. It really bothered me at first because it felt like i was still married to him. And i wasn’t even seeing anybody!! Until I realized—hey, just delete the messages, delete the emails, and ignore it all. Eventually, it stopped bothering me—and that’s pretty much when he stopped harassing me. Thank God he is remarried and someone else’s problem now. Ugh. The wasted years I will never get back. I feel like i’m the biggest chump because we lived together for 6 years when i found out he was cheating with SOOOO many OW—and I kicked him out. Then he love-bombed me and told me “that’s it, we’re getting married” and booked city hall. I actually did it. Thinking oh how romantic. Soooo dumb.

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