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Cheater Word Salad Attacks

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Chump Lady used to be a think tank editor in her younger days. Think tank publishing is mostly vanity publishing and not every book was stellar. But I learned an important lesson as a young editor. There was a direct correlation between good writing and clear messages — and bad messages and WTF-is-the-point-here?! word salad.

Word salad is when you toss strands of gibberish together that appear to have meaning, but actually signify nothing. Writers who didn’t have anything of substance to say, but still wanted to appear Very Important were the worst word salad offenders. The kind of people who say “paradigm” a lot.

One of my favorite actual word salad sentences during my tenure was: “It aspires to a position of synthesis.”

“This makes no sense whatsoever,” I wrote to the author — so he recast the sentence to read: “It aspires to a position of synthesis with respect to other values.”

Oh gee thanks. That’s so much clearer. (Not.)

The point of word salad, near as I can tell, is to intimidate. It’s a crazy offensive play to dazzle you with bullshit, and if you resist, they will just gibber jabber at you more insistantly…. with respect to other values, you MORON! If you persist in failing to understand the word salad, they will look at you pityingly. Clearly this discourse is too sophisticated for one such as you.

Cheaters love word salad. It’s condescension, opacity, and aggression all tossed together in a light balsamic vinaigrette.

“I am not defined by my relationships” is cheater word salad. At first it sounds vaguely reasonable. Then you think about it. Huh… then what ARE you defined by? Wife, mother, neighbor — these things play no part in your identity? What is the point of such a statement? “I am not DEFINED…” (condescension) “By my relationships.” (If you have a problem with my fuckbuddy hookups, that’s on you.)

Flutter and vagueness are large ingredients of word salad. The cheater doesn’t want to be pinned down, or directly understood. “I didn’t say that. Did you say that?”

Chumps then apply their own Rorschach test to word salad. They look at it and interpret what they want to read into it. Oh, maybe that means remorse. Or maybe it means I am the person really at fault here. I think they’re saying they didn’t do anything wrong…. or maybe they’re saying they did… shit, I can’t tell.

Exactly.

CN, got any baffling bullshit you’d like to share?

This one is a rerun. Up too late watching the debate.

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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.
  • We were in the paediatrician’s office with our son. Ex cheater was doing the charm thing on the (female) doc. She was mesmerised by him and by how well she thought we go on with each other (I was doing grey rock, he was doing charm offensive). She said “you should get back together, you get along so well”. My mouth fell open. Cheater said “we don’t always get along, it’s just that we both understand that it’s a great cosmic joke”

    Word. Salad.

    How can you criticise a great cosmic joke? You can’t.

    • I learned the hard way. The longer he talks or writes, the more he’s guilty of something or trying to get something from me. He asked to keep the kids this weekend and went into a long soliloquy about camping and family time and friends and storytelling and s’mores and board games. I trusted my gut and replied ‘no.’

        • Yes, it’s so unambiguous, the word “no.” How dare you, Gorillapoop, respond w/such a clear answer?! Can’t you see your cheating ex-partner was expecting you to be so dazzled by his narcissistic love-child, aka his word salad creation, that you would just allow him to have his way? For shame on you!

          Or, is it more fitting to say, “Nicely handled?”

          It’s so hard to know. That really was some sparkly word-salad.😉

  • I was actually accused of this by FW. I gave a factual account of certain agreements we maid in a time line, in a neutral tone of word. this was because of disafgreement. She didn’t like that and accused me of usig a lot of words, but no substance. She reacted by pointing the finger and making accusations and hitting me where it hurts. I.e. a good father wouldn’t do that or would do this..

    • That is ex-FW’s go-to tactic when I don’t agree with him. You don’t have (daughter’s) best interest at heart like I do, you just want control! What? The man that racked up a gambling debt behind my back while we were married? The man that frequently lied about his whereabouts? The man that barely saw his daughter during our “trial” separation and was only interested in 50/50 after he realized what it would cost him? The man that moved 25 miles away from the family home and shacked up right away with schmoopie and her kids (forcing my daughter into another big adjustment after a tumultuous year). I still fail to see how all of that was in my daughter’s best interest. Yep, I was the worst mother ever because I wouldn’t move to the same town where he and schmoopie and had a bought a place. (Nope, stayed in the school district we had found as a family before he decided to f*ck off.)

      • The minute they can’t control you, you are controlling. And it’s as simple as that! Idiots.

    • Oh gosh! You’re right. 3 words most of us chumps had to hear over and over again right? At least finding out the truth let us know we were right all along and not going crazy.

      • I was spared those three words when I stuck full color photos of affair snogging under cheater’s nose.

        I told my lawyer I felt compelled to confront cheater upon getting the evidence because a whistleblower shared the buzz that the AP was scheming to get “accidentally” pregnant. My kids need a half-sib with fetal alcohol syndrome like they need holes in their heads. I guessed correctly that cheater wouldn’t be enthusiastic about the idea either.

        At first I debated innocently inquiring about his fidelity while feigning ignorance just to watch cheater lie again, but I didn’t have the stomach for it. I didn’t want to hear all the clichés.

        I did hear some bullshit when cheater came out of shock- the risk of spilling the beans in person. But what I really hadn’t prepared for is that he dumped the AP immediately and then my own reaction to having a hopium pipe waved in my face and all the RIC crap.

        But count on continuing cheater BS to help restore one’s resolve. Cheater tried to blame me when my oldest hacked dad’s computor, found an incriminating email, told their siblings and sent dad a flaming text. Cheater raged, cried and accused on the phone and I hung up.

        The next call was to my attorney. If anyone even sneezes in the direction of “parental alienation,” it’s a declaration of all-out war.

        I didn’t know at the time that I needn’t worry so much about cheater using the kids finding out as a weapon, just needed to worry how the children would take it. The kids only knew what dad did because he did it abd they’re old enough to testify how they found out, though it would be dispicable of cheater to try to drag that into court. The kids’ discovety was all on him.

        Mediating the kids’ trauma was all on me. Fortunately I’m the hand that rocked the cradle and raised some smart cookies who emotionally process pretty well. None were buying dad’s BS. My oldest told dad to stop trying to charm them and that no one felt sorry for him. All three cycled back and forth between various emotional and philosophical responses and bursts of gallows humor. I just tried not to laugh when the kids referred to the AP as “Trashgoblin” or “Beefy the danger-pig.”

        Not my fault if my poker face only made the kids laugh harder. I finally said something when they called her “Karen McTwatty-Twat” on the grounds it appropriates civil rights terminology. We don’t know if she’s the type who calls the cops if she sees someone “bird-watching while black” or not so, until she does, she can’t be referred to as “a Karen.” The kids changed this to “Hairless Twatter and the Odor of the Penix.”

        I consulted with an excellent therapist on how to manage with the kids every step of the way. She told me I couldn’t do much about the kids’ gallows humor reaction and they’d only take it underground if I tried to suppress it. She said to let cheater set limits if he dared, but he’d only be digging the hole he was in deeper. She also said that it’s often kids who get suspicious of cheating and start sleuthing even before the betrayed spouse, and that it’s basic ethics to truthfully explain to kids, in an age-appropriate way, what ended their parents’ marriage.

        I’ve tried to get references for therapists for the kids but was warned to be careful since too many professionals have screwed up or antique attitudes towards cheating that could be extremely damaging. Cheaters are full of shit enough without paying for apologists to add more to the steaming pile.

        Cheater did blurt some real douzies at me while I was still in a state of confusion, like asserting that he didn’t relate to my claim that many memories of the kids’ infancies had been destroyed because he’d gone to a park with the AP where the kids learned to walk, or had dry humped Beefy the danger-pig in the parking lot of a bar within a shopping plaza where the children went bowling as tots, etc. He said the memories weren’t ruined for him. My stock reply was “Go run that by the kids.” He was startled and shut up. Silence is golden.

    • I’ve said this one before – but it still kills me
      ‘She doesn’t even know she’s involved’ 😂🤣😂 (he dumped me for her)

  • Ummmm, was that actually a debate?
    This is where I might type “LOL” but there was nothing humorous about last nights c@ck fight.
    BLECH!!
    Love ya CL!

    • Since THE debate entered this discussion, I wanted to share one of the many word salads I got. In this one I’m being made out to be Trump.

      Believe me, it’s none the less baffling or word-salady in German.

      Background info: This is a reply I got to vetoing my 6yo having a WiFi accessible video gadget and my anger about her doing outdoor sports when she had a high fever.

      “Over the last days you have been trying to exceedingly bully and hurt me via our DD. The way you go about making up facts (supposedly) or turn them around, one is reminded of Trump:

      (Follow the issues I stated).

      Supposedly stands for simply not true. Fake news moreover are combined with facts which however are turned around: I had destroyed DD life, DD being very unhappy.

      It may be true that the situation is difficult for DD and that at times she’s sad and wishes that I’d live in her home. (This hurts me very much and tears me apart even without you having to use it in order to hurt me).

      But at the same time DD is happy, she’s doing great and has a strong bond with both of us.”

      Interested in hearing CNs cynical take on this. Mine is, the kid is alright, it’s me who’s having the sadz. Sending videos over the internet and doing sports with a fever make little children happy.

      Yeah and drinking chloride cures viruses…

      • When politicians act EXACTLY like our abusers, but they are unleashing it on the entire country, it seems pretty appropriate to bring up politics to me.

        • I can’t stand Trump but I agree with Langele; this site isn’t the place for politics. Trump supporters get cheated on like everyone else. Why post something that might drive a chump away from all the help CL and CN can provide?

          • Just adding, I too believe politics should stay off this site.

            I realize this is CL site though so she will allow what she sees fit, etc.

            I just wanted to chime in.

          • Yes you are right cheating ist enough of a mindfuck in itself. I support every chump.

            I have also been compared to the worst former German politician and many others by cheater. Cheater likes to give his word salad credibility by showing how (seemingly) informed he is on politics. I guess thats what I wanted to show. Should have left out the reference.

            What he wanted to say is, it is fake news that infidelity destroys families and that the experience of such is horrific for children.

            I believe here at CN we all agree on these facts.

          • “Trump supporters get cheated on like everyone else. Why post something that might drive a chump away from all the help CL and CN can provide?”

            I hear this. I really do. I just have such mixed feelings because Trump has come out in support of white supremacists multiple times, bragged about sexually assaulting women, and told the Proud Boys, a white supremacist hate group, to stand by. This is abuse on a national scale that in every way mirrors the kinds of atrocities cheaters do to their victims… I don’t want to deny anyone support, but, like, I don’t want to support and enable abusers either.

            • The personal is political, and that’s exactly why Chump Lady posted this the day after a “debate” that was really just one candidate and moderator getting machine-gunned with an endless torrent of word salad.

              If you don’t think Trump is much of a problem in this country, you’ve got an extra long road of waking the fuck up to do.

  • “If I didn’t listen to my voice of defiance, I would despair.”

    Does this mean: If I didn’t listen to that entitled voice telling me to let my dick call the shots, I would feel…suicidal?

    • “If I didn’t listen to my voice of defiance, then I’d despair” = WTF???

      As best I can tell – that means

      “If I/ME don’t do whatever I/ME want to whomever I/ME want, and get 100% of everything I/ME want – when I/ME want it,

      it’ll ruin EVERYTHING for ME/ME/MEEEEEE…”

      What a grumpy toddler

  • When talking on phone, ex says I love you. No his actions proved he didn’t, some of his lines:
    he didn’t know he had vd, it was cystitis
    All men cheat
    She’s a slag, the ow
    She said she’s going to throw acid in your face,
    Don’t you feel sorry for her
    We have problems
    She’s strange
    She never buys drugs, but always says she will
    She dumped her kids for me
    She called me a human splinter
    She asked me to feel sorry for her
    She said no one would help her
    There are worse things that happened

  • Not from fat bastard but from fat bastards lawyer

    Mr FB utterly denies he has being having an affair with Soon to be Mrs FB but he fully admits he has been inappropriate with STB Mrs FB .

    So my lawyers letter back to this “ not an affair only inappropriate “word salad included print outs from STB Mrs FB Facebook page of her being engaged to my husband , the house they bought with marital money and her baby scan pictures . What an idiot !!!

    • Oh Karenb6702, that made me lol. Can you imagine opposing counsel opening that letter? I can and it made me laugh. Sooooooo, by inappropriate he means I fucked this whore and impregnated her. Typical word salad isn’t it? The law doesn’t apply to Fat Bastard. I’m sure your lawyer loved your response!!!! Fat Bastard is an blithering idiot! And you, you are a goddamn delight!

      • ❤️

        I just always wonder what he told his lawyer ?
        I’m not having an affair as Karen accuses me of – how dare she !!!

        Yes I’ve stole marital money , yes I’m engaged to her , yes she’s having my baby but I AM NOT HAVING AN AFFAIR . Just tell her I’ve been inappropriate that should cover it 🤣

        • They don’t like the work affair, or adultery which is the same meaning.

          My ex when he told me, was “in love” I called it adultery and he shot me a horrible look. No it wasn’t adultery it was twu luv. Idiots.

          • Mine kept calling it- we got a little too close.
            As in- mutual masturbation in her living room, her giving him blowjobs, and one kind of funny time she texted him- You left your underwear on my floor!
            I was was laughing, thinking- well, pick them up, dummy! Don’t you want that job?

            • they are idiots.

              It does piss me off to this day that I was doing his laundry, while she was screwing him.

              See, I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I were doing something like that, while my spouse was taking care of my laundry and cooking. How these folks can face themselves is beyond me.

    • That is beyond horrible Karen.

      I know it doesn’t heal the emotional pain, but I sure hope you were able to recoup your portion of any marital assets he spent on his adultery.

      I got most of mine back via the Maintenance agreement during our legal separation, plus lawyer fees. Technically, he didn’t pay my lawyer but the year of him paying my car and house payment gave me the money back through another channel.

      My FW wouldn’t believe me when I told him for years we had termites, so basically he let them eat the house around us. When he left me, he had it all figured out that I would get the marital house, so he had a termite guy get rid of the tm’s, then sloppily put up new paneling in the affected area. It all looked like crap. So when it all flushed out. I got the small house that was paid for, and he got the marital house and all the other property. I even gave him the boat. I didn’t want any of it, as I couldn’t pay for it. To get all that he had to take on all the debt, which he did because he knew he got off easy. Then he crashed and burned and he and schmoopie ran up massive gambling debts and he lost everything. He could have been a wealthy man, but he screwed himself. lol.

    • But an “affair” is so DIRTY!

      TWU WUV might be “inappropriate” but it’s TWU WUV and can’t be HELPED when it strikes!!! My client is a victim of planet alignment!!! The planets don’t know nor care about mere human constructs of appropriateness!!!

  • “I am not lying. You have to believe that. There will be no quick and civil resolution of this if you think that everything I say is a lie. Yes, I have told you thousands of lies…but they stopped. ”

    Love the threat tossed in for good measure.

  • After 34 years and he told me he didn’t love me anymore
    I asked him who the Owhore was. His answer was “ I have feelings for other people “.
    WTF?? Coward didn’t even have the courage to say her name. 😈

    • Kathleen,

      Coward indeed! “I have feelings for other people” makes it sound so sweet and innocent. FEELINGS!!! How can you argue with feelings???

      “Cupid got me right in the keister. What was I to do? “

      • Spinach @35
        Exactly. I think back to that time and I felt like I was actually dreaming. The pain and mindfuckery
        I was experiencing was unbelievable.
        Hope that your in a better place too. 😊
        Thank you for your concern.

        • Yeah, mine said, “I developed feelings for the woman who supported me through my father’s death.”

          . . . And gave me office blowies (unsaid but implied).

          • My argument against “ feelings “ is they should never have got close enough to develop any feelings for anyone .

            They could have put a stop to that at anytime

            • Karenb6702,

              This is the bottom line: “…they should never have got close enough to develop feelings for anyone.”

              Mine had asked his friends years ago what he should do because a nurse was flirting with him. They told him to “shut it down. You’re married.” Obviously, he didn’t heed their advice because he wasn’t looking for advice; he was bragging.

              But also, to Karen’s argument, of course all of us could have let ourselves fall for another, but we didn’t because we honored our vows.

              Cheating is an order-of-event’s problem. It’s ok to want to leave your marriage in order develop feelings for another, to have a good romp in the hay, to experience “twu luv”; just have the decency and character and respect of your spouse to ask for a divorce before letting that happen.

              Cheaters don’t comprehend this because they are entitled cowards. If they leave without having a reliable AP locked in, they might risk being alone. Cowards monkey branch. And they are totally ok with our being alone.

              It’s an astonishing display of selfishness. And, we all know they come up with the craziest justifications (stupid shit).

              • “And they are totally ok with our being alone.”

                In fact to them it is a plus. There is no doubt in my mind my ex would have loved for me to stay alone and pine for him.

                Heck, he likely would have tried to make me his new side piece.

                He came by my house on several occasions trying to get the hopium going again. Once he wanted me to come and see his new apartment, (he lived there while we were legally separated, and still snuck out at night to fuck schmoopie. There was no reason to, I guess he was just trying to prolong the illicit thrill.

                I told him, I had no interest in seeing his apartment. In fact no one time after the week I let him come back, did I ever even let him in my house. He had to stay outside and talk to me.

                When he wanted to meet for lunch to talk, he wanted to meet out of town. I said nope, I will meet you right out in front of God and everyone, as I will not be hidden away.

              • Yes, they are ok with us being alone, until we start dating someone else. Then they freak out. Because we were plan B. They thought they would be able to circle around back to us, when things don’t work out with Schmoopie.

            • Yep, because that is how we chumps handled that stuff.

              Do they honestly think no one ever noticed us?

              Yes, of course they think that because they are so dammed awesome, who would cheat on them? Look at all these whores hitting on them, they have to be special.

              • Never chump again.

                Absolutely.

                My ex actually stalked the guy I started seeing. My guy (now my husband) would stand at his patio door and watch him cruise slowly by in his police car. My ex FW came by my house while I was working in the garden and told me the guy I went out with was too old for me.

                I said what do you care? Oh well, I don’t want to see you get hurt. What an ass. where was that fear of me being hurt when he was screwing schmoopie and lying to my face for two years.

                I also told him I had turned down guys his age, as I didn’t want to put another one through mid life crisis. Which was true.

        • I am convinced I was in shock for a long time, and likely just going through the motions of living. Especially when he was doing his devaluing of me, with his constant screaming and criticizing.

          It really would have helped me to know that was what was going on, but how do we get this info out to baby betrayed, while it is still going on.

          It is good of course that this site and others are available, but the baby betrayed’s don’t usually seek this out until after they are left, and have already gone through the devaluing stage.

    • Kathleen mine wouldn’t tell me her name either incase I beat her up .

      I knew her first name and she wasn’t hard to find . But by this time I’d found CL/ CN and knew if I confronted her it would give him kibbles ( look 2 women fighting over me )

      So in my lawyers letter I named her full name so he knew ,I knew who she was and I was not going to fight her for that fat mess .

    • My FW wouldn’t tell me who it was he was “in wuv with”

      I don’t know why, other than he was likely trying to keep the lid on it for work purposes.

      I had to find out from someone else who worked at the police station. I was shocked as I certainly didn’t imagine it was her, though had I not been so trusting, I should have known. I had imagined a twenty something pretty woman. I mean I knew I treated him well, and he pretty much got things his way for all our marriage, plus I was only 40 and still darned attractive, so why would he risk it all for an unappealing rough woman with two teenage kids and one 10 year old.

      Weird.

      • To add:

        I understand he “got to know her” and maybe fell for her crap, but in the beginning, well all I can say is “good grief”

        I considered it quite a slap in the face. Even one of the other police officers said when he heard “I thought the idea was to trade up, not down” I only know this because my friend was in the brief room when this was said.

  • 1st ex cheater narc was either really smart or too stupid to use word salad. Instead, he played this “country good old boy I love my wife sooooo much” character (even crying) to unsuspecting “friends” to win their favor while behind closed doors he would go for weeks, months, years barely speaking to me (or touching me) saying as little to get by as possible or, if he did have a wordy outburst, blatantly devalue and degrade me. He ended up with Sumo WMA Wannabe Fighter Nextdoor Neighbor Sidepiece (I found her leopard print panties in our couch….he played his dumb country boy act🙄)

    2nd ex cheater narc very much used word salad and I didn’t realize what a flaming word salad aficionado (and narc) he was until I fled from that relationship with my life (he physically beat me) and could get out of it and see what was really happening. His favorite phrases: “I’m not defined by my relationships”, “I can help you align yourself by giving a paradigm shift”, “You are such a dichotomy” (he would use that to build you or cut you down)….his more sinister phrases were “I was doing amazing things when you were still shitting in a diaper.”, “I’m smarter than some of the smartest people in the world, I could rule the world”….

    3rd ex cheater narc used a mix of Cheater and Jesus Cheater word salad🙄. I would list some but thinking about these douche bags is making my head hurt. Thankful to be out and narc free🙌. I’m so grateful to be able to see the red flags in people now so when I do catch wind of a narc I run….far far away! This goes for friends, family, work, romantic, etc.

    • I had three Jesus cheaters — no wonder I’ve never been religious! The first one was church organist (in more ways than one, it seems) who fucked the choir director, the nun who led our pre-Cana sessions, a few sopranos and various other female leaders in the church. About the nun, he said, “I was just doing her a favor. I was trying to help her to determine if she has a *real* vocation.” About the choir director it was, “I didn’t think you’d mind, because you’re always working. It had nothing to do with you or what I feel for you.” He was very, very intelligent, but utterly lacking in common sense. Word salad? He couldn’t string enough words together nor could he argue his way out of a paper sack.

      Second Jesus cheater was a former monk. Toward the end, when I no longer really cared what he was up to because I was planning my escape, I figured out that whatever he was arguing vociferously that he was NOT doing was probably what he was actually up to. When I asked him if he was going to be home for dinner, for example, or should I eat without him, he screamed at me that I was so controlling he couldn’t BREATHE and he felt like going out to “FUCK something.” (Notice he did not say “someone.”) Then he argued around in circles claiming that he did not say he was going to go out and fuck someone; he just felt like doing it because I was so controlling I wanted to know if he planned to be home for dinner. What was WRONG with me? I used to be independent, and now I’m wanting to know if I should make dinner for him? iI must be crazy. “I’m going out now. Because you seem to need to know everything about me, I am NOT going to fuck some woman.” (It seems he had a penchant for priests, so no, he probably wasn’t going out with some woman, but Father Steve.) And then later, “it was not cheating. Father Steve says it cannot be cheating because it wasn’t sex.” And when I had the FULL picture, “It can’t be sex if there’s no possibility of procreation, so of course I wasn’t cheating on you. It wasn’t even sex!” Me, “So the fact that I cannot have children means we were never actually having sex?”

      And third Jesus cheater had some mighty impressive word salad going on. He used to pull it out every time I dared to disagree with him, or merely failed to agree with him fast enough. I couldn’t possibly quote any of that, because he could talk (or more likely scream) in circles for hours without actually saying anything. At first I thought it was my fault — I wasn’t smart enough to understand his reasoning. But after years of me concentrating fully on the word salad, trying to understand his point because I was sure he must have had one, I began to realize that he never actually had a line of reasoning. He was just trying to get me confused, angry and down on myself. And it worked!

  • “I did stupid shit six years ago and learned my lesson, okay?!?” (In the shittiest tone possible)
    NO not ok.
    “Yes, I did that“ (whatever it is)
    Me: ok great thanks (finds out its not)
    “I thought I did; I forgot… it’s only (whatever trivial thing like headphones, trash bins, phone call adult stuff, etc) geez!
    Me:ALL THE TIME: but “Jeff”, you said that happened and now you’re saying this?!?
    Him: I thought that’s what happened I made a mistake okay?!?
    Ughhhhh how have I made it this long 🤮
    But I made you crab legs and did dishes why don’t you “want me”?!?
    He’s on the couch. Getting my papers ready
    I’ll survive either way, right ladies??
    Thanks🌞

    • STBX Stonewall actually said “I didn’t say that. That is what YOU heard.” He was the master manipulator and tossed of word salads. He delighted in circular arguments. He adored insisting I was twisting his words, all the while twisting my words to suit his purposes. Chump Lady, I went to counseling with that unrepentant word slinger off and on for years. You know how that went. So now, I won’t speak to him. No Contact is my weapon of choice. I don’t give him a chance to bewilder and obfuscate.

      Thank You dear Chump Lady. You armed me with No Contact, Chump Nation and a guidebook in LACGAL. I have weapons now.

      • ThirtyYearsAChump! Amen to all that–NC and LAC;GAL. Weapons indeed!

        If we are appliances (fridges to be exact), I like to think that they can no longer fling the spaghetti at us to see if it will stick because we are gone! Don’t provide the surface. Let the OW get that privilege.

        • “Let the OW get that privilege.”

          Truer words were never spoken.

          I remember when I gave up after I let him come home the one week after we were legally separated. Of course it was a disaster, I never should have done it, but you know hopium.

          Anyway, after that week, I went NC (though there was no term for it at the time) it was just kind of instinct. I think it bothered him that I didn’t “fight” for him. I didn’t, I remember thinking at the time that she deserves him much more than I do. I even told his sister that. The actual sentence was: “She has more in common with him than I do, she can have him”

          I don’t know how his sister took that, but I didn’t mean it as a compliment. Actually his sister stayed a friend to me, and helped me get set up with a counseling group. I think she knew exactly what I meant. She had been through it with her husband in her younger years, and they stayed together. She also tried to commit suicide twice, so I am thinking there was a lot of pain there.

      • The “what I said / what you heard” dichotomy is often evidence of paltering. My XW often phrases things very carefully so that she knows I will misinterpret her, but she can afterwards claim that she didn’t lie. It’s hard to identify in verbal communication in real time, but I’m getting better at spotting it in written communication.

        For instance, she once told me “I have no intention of moving to Y”, which was supposed to reassure me. I actually knew what was going on (from her AP-now-husband’s XW), so I correctly interpreted her statement to mean “I am currently in negotiations for a job offer at Y but since I don’t have a signed piece of paper as of today I am not moving”. This was all confirmed a few weeks later when she told me that she had subsequently received a job offer and wanted to move to Y with the kids.

        • This rings a bell with me!

          “There are no plans for me and OW to move in together.”

          Me:”But you told me on D-day the whole affair wasn’t planned and you still did it.”

          A week later, “my salary would be large enough to support two families”. “OW doesn’t have MS like you and would be able to take better sole care of a baby while I work”.

          In front of a judge, “I didn’t lie about the duration of the affair. I said it was near to one year. Near to one year can also mean something over one year”.
          (It was two years minimum)

        • My STBX would say, “I have no desire to sleep with other women.” and “I don’t want sex with anyone but you.” I naturally took that to mean he wasn’t sleeping with other women. Wrong. He was sleeping with more women that he could count but he didn’t “want to” is what he meant. He was compelled to.

    • Shann you beauty!! From your first post, which I read, to this one – you woke up and are getting those ducks in line. You are proper mighty! Good luck lovely 😻

  • “You shouldn’t be concerned about New Woman. We met 14 years ago, were attracted to each other, and flirted. Nothing else happened and we went 14 years between meetings”. Hmmmmm.. 14 years ago, you were married to me! Hmmmm, never mentioned meeting, that you kept in touch, I guess I shouldn’t worry about that one. What about Other woman 1, 2, 3, 4? (This was the woman pulled out of the black book after the only woman he ever loved didn’t quite work out – and no, that wasn’t me!)

    “Nothing was going on all these years. I always loved you and you were always my best friend.” Hmmmm, what about all those other women, the dating sites, porn pics, exhibitionism, and voyeurism that we never had a discussion about?

    No response, but we only speak by email.

    • I wonder about the vouyerism and exhibitionism thing. I’ve been kinda flabbergasted at this kind of life style. My ex was into “cucking” other men and things like this. Weird kink-shit and overuse of porn are now a red flag.

  • Hell of a Chump,

    Wait! You’ve met him. Right?

    haha. Seriously, I think you nailed this. Two of his siblings committed suicide, so there are some serious psychological disorders in his immediate family. One killed himself not long after we were married, so the concern that my ex would follow suit affected me and contributed to some co-dependency issues on my part. Damn. I’m just now realizing all this.

    Anyway, my ex took advantage of my chumpy concern for his mental state, acting moody and depressed most of the time to get what he wanted. Or maybe it wasn’t an act….

    Schmoopie showed concern, too, which must have made monkey-branching to her easy. After a long day of work, schmoopie/co-worker remembered the anniversary of one brother’s death, stroking his shoulders while saying “This must be a hard day for you.” His dick popped to attention. He admitted this to me!!! (Well, not the dick part but the part about falling for her because SHE REMEMBERED! Me, I guess I forgot that year. My bad.)

    • A person I knew where my ex worked said schmoopie would go in FWs office and tell him all her troubles. I imagine at some point his dick stood up and saluted. These whores know what they are doing, and they know exactly which FWs will fall for it.

      FW’s schmoopie had failed to get several other married men to marry her, though they were willing to fuck her. But, my FW was different, she nailed him. I suspect that she was his direct report, gave her some leverage. Well they say if at first you don’t succeed try try again, at some point you will find an idiot.

      • “White Night Syndrome” is what your ex experienced with schmoopie, telling him all her problems. I’m sure she fed his ego, did the mirroring thing and she got him. These “schmoopies” will go after men (married, not married) till they succeed. Is your ex still with this woman? I’d be shocked if so as these couples do not have staying power.

        • Oh yeah. They got married just a few weeks after the divorce was final, and a few weeks after he called me to set up a meet to discuss “trying again”

          I actually went and talked to him. I no longer loved him in the marriage sense, but I was curious as to what he would say. I asked him why he did what he did. He said “I guess I just wanted something for myself” I said, “see that is what I thought I was, because you were my one and only and she has been married three times, and has “dated” several married men. He just looked at me.

          I told him, we could never be happy again together, and that he had made his choices; so my advice would be go live your life with schmoopie. The fact that he went on to marry schmoopie proved I was right. Who on earth tries to get a spouse to come back, then marry the OW if she doesn’t. Weird. I honestly don’t think he really wanted the marriage back, he just needed to destabilize me for whatever reason.

          I was still hoping he would marry schmoopie though. I did not want him to escape her.

          They have made quite a mess of their lives, fights with her family, bankruptcy due to huge gambling debts, then blowing up his relationship with his son and sons wife. They are old now, like me :). Per my daughter in law they live in a fixer upper trailor, and spend a lot of their time in an old RV, he bought many years ago. Living the dream I guess. If they are happy, more power to them. I still think she deserves him more than I did. 🙂

          Until, he treated our son like shit, I actually felt sorry for some of the mess he was in, (I still feel bad for his ill health) but after that; well I just don’t care one way or the other. Other than his ill health, they brought it all on themselves. The incident (which spanned over several years) with my son is what got me to researching narcissists and I came across CL. What a wonderful place for those who have been betrayed to have access to.

          Then the covid shutdown occurred, so I kind of got involved; and have enjoyed learning of the experiences of others. If only I had known then what I know now. Wouldn’t have changed anything, except maybe I would have gotten away earlier.

          I got remarried almost five years after we were divorced. I met my H after I moved from one DoD facility to another and a new job. We took a long time to get to know each other, as we had both been hurt.

          It is still going strong. We live in our little brick house, and enjoy each other. Neither of us are perfect, but there is no indication that either of us are disloyal, or would hurt each other. We can look at each other and know our relationship started honestly and out in the open.

          • Wow talk about karma hitting your husband. Had a nice life and now in a broken down trailer & an RV with someone I bet he can’t stand right now. In close quarters no less! Coming to you a few weeks after remarrying, he must have been in sheer panic mode. He needed to know you would be there for him as his gut knew his life was about to blow up. Glad you moved on with a better partner.

            • Oh , no he came to be a few weeks before he married her. Not after.

              He did call me the day before he left to marry her. They were going to Las Vegas. I said why are you telling me. He said “I didn’t want you to hear it from someone else”

              I just said ok, bye.

              I guess he though I should fall in a heap, yeah no; that didn’t happen. I didn’t even wish them well, though in hindsight I wish I had the presence to say “I wish you all the happiness you deserve”

  • He told me I needed to stop with the “mental gymnastics” when I was trying to figure out what the fuck happened with him and the neighbor across the street. I don’t know why that term has really stuck with me. It was a was so condescending and framed me as the “crazy” one. I’ve also never heard him use it before so he probably got it from his narc parents or something.

    • That’s especially weird since ‘mental gymnastics’ usually means ‘twisting words around to justify something obviously unjustifiable’. Maybe his therapist/ex-girlfriend accused him of it and he didn’t know what it meant 🙄

    • Ugh, the “crazy making” nearly killed me.

      I once sat outside the shower, (he was showering) trying to talk to him to find out what was going on with him because he kept saying work was crazy and coming home at 2am (i know i’m such an idiot).

      He got out of the shower and said, “you’re ridiculous you know that” meaning to sit outside the shower just to get a conversation with him. He was right. It was ridiculous. He had me losing my mind, sitting like an abandoned puppy waiting for it’s owner to return.

      I wish he had just let me go…why put me through all the sneaking and crazymaking and anxiety. It truly is abuse what cheaters do.

      • “why put me through all the sneaking and crazymaking and anxiety. It truly is abuse what cheaters do.”

        Because they are building their case to excuse their behavior.

        I questioned my ex when he was withdrawing and ignoring me. His reason was “stress at his new job” He would get better etc.

        One time after I had not seen him a lot, I went out to the garage where he was working on something, just to talk; no questions. He turned on me and accused me of being clingy, and I needed to back off an give him space.

        I am sure schmoopy got an ear full of how I was crowding him and how clingy I was. The man had full freedom to do what ever he wanted. I never questioned him when he went out at night “to ride around with one of the guys”, or when he was late, or when he spent the whole day Saturday “working” but I was crowding him.

        • That’s so awful you had to go through that. We are human beings and crave interaction from the people we love. I don’t know what that’s such an awful concept to some people? Cheaters really are so heartless, it’s just terrible the people that they are.

          • Right, I mean before the last couple years, he never seemed to mind me being around.

            Of course I knew something was wrong, I am sure that is why I might have been pushing the connection. But, I did ask, and he did lie.

            Bottom line, they will reveal on their own time line, and when it is best for them. Our lives be dammed.

        • My ex told me he was tired and in pain. Didn’t want to sit outside cuz he works outside. Didn’t want to talk to me or anyone else cuz he talked to people all day. Now he’s up till or out with his new friend till 11 or midnight on work nights having a great time – but I guess she’s just way more worth it. He once told me men need visual stimulation – guess he found someone who’s visually stimulating – and I’ll tell you what – I can’t go anywhere without women stopping me to ask how I get the long full curls I have in my hair. Everyone else seems to like talking with me, hanging out – but not him. These men are full of shit. I hope it blows up in his face.

  • I don’ t remember any of the word salads because there far too many ingredients in the bowl for me to comprehend.

    This was one of the hardest things to spot for me. (Yeah, you guessed, I thought this was my fault too!). Loquacious Hero and I had always had deep talks that led somewhere, so I was at a loss when we began talking and I felt worse afterwards than at the beginning. When asked to reproduce the conversations, I was unable to. I couldn’t remember how they had started or what exactly they were about. I thought this was because I was too stressed and depressed at the time. How I wish I had CL and and CN back then! He’s also one of the most articulate persons I have ever met, and capable of persuading anybody of pretty much anything. Our therapist told us that, unlike most couples, we were actually talking too much, so she said to talk a bit less (as in keeping things more practical and factual). He was unable to keep this up for even 24 hours.

    With time I realised these conversations made no sense because he was literally trying to pick a fight. To make me say something that would finally make it my fault. No wonder I don’t remember. I simply don’t have the capacity for that amount of bs.

    I do remember him saying the day before discard day that his best friend had changed his mind and had gone from thinking that cheating was a dealbreaker to thinking that it is a problem in a relationship that must be solved. I told him to tell his friend to be honest with his gf, then go on to do whatever he wanted.

    I guess now I know why they are BFFs.

  • In a marital counselling session, when he’d left, come back and things weren’t working out:

    Me: So when I told you to choose between me and her, and you left and tried for months to get with her, you hadn’t finished with our marriage?

    Him: I was exploring the relationship with her.

    Counsellor: *nods wisely and looks encouraging* Exploring the relationship, yes.

    (Same counsellor who said she ‘felt a lot of loyalty in the room’ when we weren’t actually yelling at each other, and who told me that it could have been me that cheated, if I was in his position. Yechhh.)

    • Might just add that I let him come back because it turned out she didn’t actually fancy him… hopium made me do it, Chumps

    • Funny, you post reminded me of a comment he made when he left. He said the old adage “If you love something, let it go, and if it comes back…”

      I am betting that was his version of, well let me get this out of my system and if it doesn’t work out, I will give you another chance. Lol. Wrong again FW.

    • That’s a phrase that I heard: He wanted to “explore” the relationship with her.

      * (That was NOT a phrase he would EVER use. I knew it came directly from OW’s mouth). Explore. Such an innocent sounding word. Sounds so much better than: “I want to dump you so that OW and I can fuck like 2 hot weasels in a sleeping bag.“

      Several weeks later, I saw some sort of a useless cardboard lettering tchotchke at WalMart with the word EXPLORE on it. I bought it and then took it to the backyard, hung it from a tree with a string, and beat the hell out of it with some boxing gloves. I will NEVER hear or think of that word again the same way.

      • CEC, I just love the boxing and whacking off the ‘Explore’ you did there. Inspiring indeed.

        After D-Day cheater said, well I never had the opportunity to try things out with her ‘under normal circumstances’.

        Normal circumstances is my trigger expression.

        Normal circumstances?! Life’s just blown up, kid crying herself to sleep every night, cheater awaiting compliance proceedings… . Good luck with that try-out.

        • GermanChump –

          Yes, I can see how that would take you from 0 right into orbit. They never to cease to amaze, do they? Not sure what “compliance proceedings” are. Did you divorce him or are you in the process?

          The Colonel had 6 advanced degrees (including a PhD and 2 Master’s degrees) but should have traded them all for a night class in Common Sense. He would have come out ahead. As is it now, he blew up his 32-year Army career and the military ushered him out the door. He is now teaching 6th grade math.

          Actually got some pictures of the destroyed EXPLORE tchotchke and would post here if I could. My loyal friends are equal opportunity destroyers. One lit his picture on fire and one stabbed his PhD dissertation copy with a steak knife. Anger issues? No, none here. Haha!

          • Ha ha. We bought a fire proof basket and lit his law school handwritten notes which he horded like a pirate’s treasure. (I went to law school, too. I thought you’d take the degree and be done with) Emptied a 40+yo bottle of wine which he forgot to take.

            Compliance proceedings is what happens when you sh.. where you eat. His ‘try-out under normal circumstances’ got a bit inconvenienced by the fact that OW couldnt ‘eat’ there any longer. No more business trips to fancy hotels kinda ruined their “normal”.

            • GermanChump –

              You’re a bad ass! 🎉 Look forward to seeing more comments from you on other CL topics. 🍷

      • I’m sure ex was either being spoon-fed vocabulary by his flying monkeys/ow, or was doing his research. The first Christmas, as I was giving him a list of the things the kids really wanted (I bought all the clothes etc) he said apropos of nothing ‘I don’t want to get into a present war with you’. I hope my blank look and baffled silence was onterpreted as disdain, which is what I now feel!

  • Word salad is served with a variety of dressing options on the side — rage, charm, self-pity, etc.

    One of KK’s favorite flavors was “paltering” — saying things that are ‘technically true’ but maintain a deliberate level of deception, to (a) keep the chump off balance and (b) enable plausible deniability later on: “It’s not my fault if you totally misunderstood what I said.”

    CL was kind enough to give me some “time” on this blog to the topic: https://www.chumplady.com/2017/04/paltering-another-kind-mindfuckery/

  • Oh boy, My ex wife use to say that she would not be defined by “this”. She was a good person who made a mistake. So, to decode that message, I’m not sorry, I’m sorry I got caught and you took away my cake, I should have been a better liar and next time with the next person I will cover my tracks better, be a better liar and continue to hold my head up high knowing that I am awesome (At lying).
    She is not a good person and she lies as often as she breathes.

  • I have another one:

    Me: So you basically thought you could just enjoy the affair and have me on the side just in case the affair didn’t work out.

    Him: No. I thought it would end and I would be with you.
    🤯

  • “This one is a rerun. Up too late watching the debate.” Surely that had nothing to do with the selection of today’s topic.

    Ex didn’t spew word salad but he would often pretend to understand it in order to impress others or try to fit in. The last anniversary we celebrated, while he was just starting up with Schmoopie 2.0 and I was still clueless, we went to a classical music concert debuting some new pieces that I had found difficult to comprehend or enjoy. Afterwards Ex got into a word salad conversation with one of the event organizers describing the nuances of the piece. When I simply expressed that I didn’t really get it, I got that pitying look from him “you just aren’t sophisticated enough to appreciate quality music” as he exchanged a condescending look with the organizer. I was already feeling pretty small around that time because of Ex’s general dismissiveness of me at the time and that didn’t help.

  • “I’m the victim of phishing. I didn’t post that personal ad… the site created a fake profile using my photos.”

    (NOTE: If I had believed this, I would also have had to believe that the “phisher” knows when Mr. Sparkles is working from different locations where he also just happens to have a work office… very sophisticated phishing indeed.)

    “I’m not a BiMWM, even though I sent an email responding to a personal ad saying I was… I just sent it to piss you off.” (This was after the discovery that I had installed spyware on his computer… he failed to realize that the date of this particular email was sent BEFORE I installed the spyware and I found the email in the Trash Folder.

    No contact is the cure to word salad.

  • Our kids had the usual behavior issues through Middle and High School. Not getting schoolwork done, mouthyness, lying about whereabouts, drinking, etc. Her response was always to under play it and make excuses.
    “You are so negative, you never see all the good things they do!”
    She never seemed to want to hold them accountable for their behavior.
    Years later I realized she had been having sex with coworkers. She was really using her comments as excuses for her own misbehavior.

    • Bruno,

      Wow!

      So her twisted logic is: “I’ll defend the kids’ behavior issues to justify *my* behavior issues, which include having sex with a co-worker.”

      Gross. This is messed up. I mean, she wasn’t justifying her, oh, I don’t know, penchant for gambling or spending too much on clothes. She’s using the kids to justify fucking. That’s weird.

      Ok. It goes without saying that she’s no prize. Glad you’re free!

  • I didn’t get a lot of word salad from XW as she’s not a native English speaker and it doesn’t come naturally to her. Whenever I did get an email with long, circuitous prose I knew that its source was her lawyer or her AP (or her AP’s lawyer – they were both divorcing their spouses simultaneously so they sometimes saved a little money by recycling phrases from each others’ attorneys). It was kind of useful, actually.

    • “So they sometimes saved a little money by recycling phrases from each others’ attorneys.”

      Ah, such frugality!!! See, cheaters aren’t so bad. They recycle!!!

  • I got a few that sounded copied and pasted from Ester Perel. Along the lines of “I’m good at my core, this bad phase doesn’t define me, I should not be punished and I deserve to be happy’ BS.

    The so called ‘bad phase’ was several years of random hookups, massages, online chatrooms and dating profiles, hotel rooms, 4 mistresses etc.

    Oh and apparently something I said or did resulted in this bad phase.

    • ” I should not be punished and I deserve to be happy’ BS.”

      And for that to happen the chump must take the heat, because obviously they are bad people and they don’t deserve to be happy, or to be treated with dignity.

  • Surprisingly, when talking with someone about my experience on the receiving end of infidelity, my listener said, “Where is it written that this should be painful?”

    WTeverlovingF?!!

    As I sat there stunned, in my car on a hot day where I had been talking on my phone, my phone shut off with a temperature alert.

    Thanks, God.

    But the capper from the traitor was telling me, “You know, I talked to a lawyer who said I have a good case against you for mismanagement of money during our marriage. Clearly you were not acting in the best interests of our family.”

    ……said the liar cheater thief traitor who I discovered was also hiding money from me for 20
    years……..

    • And the invalidation gold medal goes to the “listener” who said, “Where is it written that this should be painful?”

      “Where’s it written that this shouldn’t be painful?”

      Hope you ditched the “listener.”

  • Every time we had an argument I was left with my head spinning. I often forgot what we started talking about because he always changed the subject multiple times. I hate to admit it now but I put up with this for decades and always wound up begging his forgiveness for whatever it was I had supposedly done. He would forgive me but re-litigate the entire fight and follow up with a few weeks of the silent treatment.

    A few years before I filed for divorce I started learning about NPD, verbal and emotional abuse, and the techniques narcs used, such as word salad. It was an eye-opener to say the least. But when I recognized what he was doing I could see how he typically denied saying anything unless I used the exact words he had. It was all semantics, not intent.

    He also used to say things like, “Well, I was going to tell you but I’m not going to now because I don’t like your tone of voice.” I realize now how childish he was.

    I will never again allow anyone to talk to me like this. My sister tries it sometimes but I always insist we finish what we started talking about. She diverts when she feels threatened.

    • SeenTooMuch: I had a similar experience and also vow that “I will never again allow anyone to talk to me like this.”👏

      Sometimes I wanted to record him so he couldn’t deny what he’d said.

      And he straight up made up shit, once insisting I wanted a threesome with two of his friends. WTF!!!

      House of mirrors. Crazymaking. Glad we’re both free! Good luck!

  • “It’s a paradox”—My EX’s reply whenever he was confronted with evidence that he had said two conflicting things, was holding a logically nonsensical position, or was otherwise being inaccurate. He used it all the time. I hated the word “paradox.”

    He also maintained that a paradox was more truthful or insightful than other forms of knowledge, and that the inability to see the paradox in a situation indicated lesser understanding, wisdom, or personal development. No surprise–I was usually unable to grasp the paradox.

    But, my vocabulary has improved in the eight years since I ended my marriage:

    THEN:
    Me: You said going camping with the family was important and asked me to plan a trip, but now you say you want us to go without you.
    Him: It’s a paradox.

    NOW:
    Him: It isn’t fair that I took a cash payout of 60% of our assets in order to start a new life and left you with both kids and a load of debt, but now I am unhappy and am living off my parents, while you seem to be flourishing. The government even sent you the stimulus check when I illegally filed for it.

    Me: It’s a paradox.

  • My personal favorite was the “I didn’t say that such-and-such happened” answer.
    For example, if I asked “Were you with so-and-so that night?”
    I’d get “I didn’t tell you that I was with so-and-so.”
    The implication is that she literally didn’t TELL me she was with so-and-so earlier. In other words, in her mind she’s technically not lying, as she’s saying that she didn’t tell me about it earlier. She doesn’t actually answer the question, just give the appearance of it.
    In second place was the “you didn’t ask specifically enough” answer.
    If I ask “where were you all night?”
    I’d get “I went to get gas.”
    “For four hours?”
    “No, but it was raining.”
    These things may or may not have been true, but they weren’t the real story. She claimed later that I didn’t ask “Where were you at 7:11 last night?” she wasn’t obligated to answer what I really wanted to know, which was “at the no-tell motel with someone.”
    What baloney.

    • Omg
      Same!!!

      The contradictions , word salad and a crazy making

      H: it’s an A
      2 minutes later
      H: it’s a B

      If I choose an A – I’m wrong since this very moment B was the “ right” answer
      If I choose a B- I’m still wrong since an A was the correct answer

      Right now, I only stick to the stuff I believe in, want or need. If I’m wrong- at least I don’t feel like an idiot , just a person who made a mistake.

      Big change, refreshing

  • I’ve been accused of being a word salad spinner.

    I’m from Queens so I can talk turkey but sometimes that isn’t the wisest approach. It totally depends on the subject matter and context. I wrote for an advocacy publication for many years on behalf of victims of a particular criminal toxic industry. Horrible, ugly stuff, dead toddlers, cancer, bereaved families, etc. When you’re charging global industrial giants with wholesale maiming and murder and your side has no slush fund, delicacy is sometimes required and delicacy can be wordy. “Die alone and screaming you greedy, scheming motherfuckers” has a catchy ring but can get your publication investigated or sued.

    I’d receive editorial notes on drafts like “Put a condom on that one!” since everyone remembered what happened the time I didn’t. In 2009, I published something plain and humorous that stomped right to the brink but didn’t cross the “tort” line. Parody is protected speech.

    I’ve never been so proud or terrified of anything I’ve done. It caused hilarity among supporters who had been depressed after a huge court defeat. That was really my first aim– just to boost spirits. There had been a rise in suicides among victims and their families. People needed a laugh and to get angry to shake off the gloom.

    The piece existed for a few blessed hours online before being taken down on the advice of friendly lawyers, then lived on in infamy on the web for nine solid years, got whining references in two industrially ghostwritten science “bestsellers” (industry purchased most copies), the NY Times and a journalism review publication.

    Every time one of the original targets of the piece cried about it in the press, our publication got more hits. I was hardly the most notable contributor but my little stunt didn’t hurt traffic. There was some internal criticism for going too far, but a few prominent speakers on our side continued to goad the original targets with veiled references to the piece for years.

    The fallout was fun but exhausting and I became even more cautious (wordy). I started getting genuinely scared of backlash after one activist I knew found copies of their emails tucked in a mass of documents from a security contractor accessed by FOIA request, and another found cryptic written threats left on their front stoop. Paranoia started spreading which was obviously intentional, but the general wisdom in that arena is that there’s a degree of protection in notariety. All the same, I was ambivilent about it– worried for my kids if I didn’t do anything and worried if I did. Thankfully the blowback turned out to be mostly silly. After the proverbial napalm incident, a team of trolls would scour everything I wrote and respond with tortured critiques and free punctuation corrections (commas are my downfall). And bonus!– the longer and more “poetically obtuse” I was, the more the billable troll hours piled up. It became a sport. Our readers would run over to the opposition blogs and come back laughing at the agonized analyses. The trolls would claim what I wrote was incomprehensible and then go on and on in science-y sounding gibberish about how it was also wrong.

    The trolls– all professional hot air machines– seemed concerned my “verbiage” wasn’t actually bullshit and that influential parties and the public might understand and agree, or that I might let fly another plain-spoken Astoria bomb that could be used as “proof” our side were bullies and baddies and meanies, as if this would make the case that mass poisoning and environmental devastation don’t matter. DARVO.

    The highlight of everything was when I got a “thank you for all your good work” note from the most quoted environmental watchdog in history in 2014– one known for deliberately using accessible language. I guess my word salads were at least fresh.

    During cheater’s DARVO attack before D-Day, cheater accused me of not accepting him as he was. He shouted that he would never be like “X” (famous aforementioned watchdog, sort of a Marty Ginsburg type).

    Nope, got that right– not at all like someone who dedicated his very long life to his family and to a larger purpose and whose detractors could never take him down with accusations of corruption or personal scandals because there weren’t any.

    Cheater also said he didn’t understand half of what I said most of the time, then spewed out word salads of his own to make the case that my tiptoeing, careful attempts to communicate worries were really just “abuse.”

    Where had I heard that before? Yikes. I think what separates cautious, high-stakes communication from “word salads” are lies and ill intent. It’s always the same whether on a global scale or interpersonally.

  • This one came from sparkledick’s shrink (birds of feather flying together?) to get sparkles a medical leave of absence: “My patient is suffering from hypopragmatism…”. I had to look up the DSM code for it.

    We were still married when a major newspaper in my country published a column making fun of the word salad put out by the think tank (aka bullshit factory) sparkles runs. I read the column to him and asked him if he knew which employee wrote the object of ridicule. I could tell from his shit-eating grin that he gave the final approval, if not added some words of his own.

  • When I asked for child support I got this heaping helping of salad:

    “I suppose you’re asking for money because you think it’s either a matter of fairness or you are struggling financially. Either way you need to express to me what the contextual factors are here. As I see it, you make enough money so that’s not the issue. In terms of fairness, I do believe that you probably think that receiving funds goes some way to evening the playing field. However, you need to understand my context before you decide what’s fair and how to proceed with your budgeting in future.”

    I wrote back and said, no worries. I will just apply for child support through the tax department (that’s what you do in this country).

    He became enraged and wrote back and said, “There you go again making unilateral decisions. I do not accept what you’re doing.”

    Welcome to my world of constant word salad with power and control dressing on top. And by the way, he’s been fighting not to pay child support ever since.

  • Albert Einstein – “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Truth is not difficult to explain. No excuses necessary.

    • Aunt Bea–

      Einstein also said “Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.” The perils of the science-y sounding gross oversimplifications pedalled by the RIC being a case in point. Everything is about balance. 🙂

  • About spending six figures over our marriage on hookers, sugar babies (same thing), etc.:

    I was doing you a favour because you’re so busy with the house and kids and working. (of course, if he ever helped with anything perhaps I wouldn’t have been so busy. And, this also conveniently ignores that we had a sex life so technically I wasn’t too busy).

    I had to take a sugar baby with me on the cruise. I asked you to come but you didn’t want to go during our son’s 21st birthday week. I only wanted to go that week, and I thought I’d probably want to have sex while on the cruise. It would be too risky to try to find someone on the ship so this was easier and I know she’s clean. If you had gone on the cruise with me, I wouldn’t have had to spend $15K on this sugar baby. And, please stop calling her whore, that vulgar language is really unbecoming.

    Just because I was cheating on you for our whole marriage doesn’t mean it wasn’t real or that I didn’t care.

    We should get back together because we have a history. (ugh, the worst. Why would I want to go back to that??!)

    • StrongerThanYesterday,

      I’m dumbstruck by what he argued. Is this real? Unbelievable!!!

      He’s SO shallow. Women are just objects. His attitude seems to be: “What’s the big deal? I fuck you. I fuck her. I mean, I need to fuck, and you were busy. So I kind of did you a favor. And she’s CLEAN! Why are you so gosh-darn upset? Notice I don’t use bad language. But you do. Shame on you.”

      p.s. I can swear like a sailor. I admit it. My cheater ex hated it. So, if I understand correctly, it’s bad to say “fuck it” but perfectly fine to go ahead and fuck (provided you’re him. Double standards and all that.)

        • Haha, actually Sucker Punched, it was more magical than that – he’s a doctor, he’d know if she had something *facepalm

      • Sadly, it’s too real. And he still doesn’t get why I am unwilling to see it from his perspective. I guess I’m just not an understanding person.

        The best is of course, “it didn’t mean anything” and yet he couldn’t stop that meaningless thing.

        And this whole ordeal has made me such a potty mouth lol! I never used to swear and now I find it quite freeing!

      • And he still doesn’t get why I don’t buy his rationale. Apparently it’s because I’m just not an understanding person.

        The best of course is how “it didn’t mean anything”. And yet he couldn’t stop that which meant nothing to him.

        It’s funny, I never used to swear but this whole ordeal has made me such a potty mouth. I’m finding it quite freeing!

    • Holy shitballs! I guess I had something similar when mine said that it was safer for both of us that he got a girlfriend he could fuck. It was too risky to continue going to the S&M clubs in town, and it was getting too risky and expensive to fuck hookers. So, yay! A girlfriend! Great solution honey! He tried to sell me on the idea that she was just a side dish fuck and that he’d come home and spend a few days a week with me, then hang out with her the other days. Give me a break – it’s horrible when you’re living it, and hilarious when you actually read what these assholes do. They really do share DNA somehow – they’re all the same.

    • I’m going to add to this:

      ex-husband: “the day i purposed to you, i didn’t want to be with you or get married”

      me: **stares at wall and thinks “the a**hole consistency is lite today”

  • My now-ex is an academic, a literary theorist, even, the worst kind of word salad spinner. CL’s posts on word salad unfailingly send me back through some of his most egregious examples. Here’s one of them:

    “I’ll start out simply by saying this is just a letter, there’s nothing new or momentous
    in it.

    “One reason I have waited so long to write is the hope that I might figure something out that would make things better. Or at least I might recover enough to send something upbeat. Neither of those things has
    happened, nor was it reasonable to expect them to. I’m sure it has been quite apparent that I’m not in good shape: the year was endless and painful, and now that I’m free of that, and at last have a little
    time to breathe, I’m tired and depressed. And of course I’m worried about us. But “if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all” has not been a strategy that has worked for me particularly well
    over the years, especially with you. So I’m writing, sans insight and sans good cheer. Trying to communicate.

    “I look back to the good parts of last summer–I know, there were other parts too–and I wonder how or if we can get that back. The sheer creativity of that time is far from the least thing that I miss: I try
    to find whatever in me was the source of (for example) my inventiveness, and I can’t find it. I can’t even write in my journal, to speak of: I’ll start an entry, kvetch a little bit, and then stare at the blankness. (As opposed to this letter, where I’m kvetching more than a little bit. In a way that’s progress, but it doesn’t make for good correspondence.) At some point, we’re going to have to figure out what we can be to each other, sexually; that would be so much easier if I could just draw on some reserve of creativity…

    “I think maybe what I’m trying to do in this letter, which can’t be much fun to read, is not so much to share my pain as to just bottom out: to acknowledge what a low point I’m coming from, in hopes of building from there. It’s not all I could talk about. But none of it seems like the most crucial fact in trying to rebuild things with you: the crucial fact for the moment is I’m tired and demoralized, and it’s going to take some time to build up energy and creativity. I hope you will be patient with me.”

    • Adelante,

      I picture him writing this while wearing black and smoking a clove cigarette.

      My takeaway? He’s:

      Sans creativity.
      Sans sensitivity.
      Sans taking ownership.
      Sans clarity.
      Avec blameshifting
      Avec a general namby-pamby attitude.
      Avec total self-centeredness—-Me, me, me my pain!!!! My kvetching! I can hardly write in my journal!!!

      He’s sans a lot! 😂

      And the “I hope you will be patient with me” ending is sad-sausage gold.

      The highly educated word spinners can whip up a tossed salad like no other.

        • I’d love it if you could just say, “kvetch this mother fucker!”

          And then, “I hope you enjoy your new moody life, sans me.”

    • WOW. Quite the opera singer, that one. “Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!” Id like to talk about us but can’t because. Pain. MINE not yours naturally.

      “Sans good cheer” Oi Vey. Sans good morals.

      I just read that wanting to take a black marker to edit out all the extraneous bits. Wouldn’t be left with but a word or two. What an absolute waste of good vowels.

      Toss that in a nice fire this fall, Adelante!

  • My husband learned the word “disparage”. He learned it from his dying best friend’s wife. While they were fucking.

    To clarify (and to avoid word salad) the husband of the woman my husband was fucking was his dying best friend.

    So who was disparaging who?

    • Wow! It never ceases to amaze me how low humans can be. That is repulsive but I’ll bet they both justified their indiscretions.

      That bar was set way low!

    • That’s pretty disgusting. I hope the dying best friend never learned of the double betrayal!

      My ex fucked the wife of a patient he was caring for in the ICU. Years later, he bragged to me about how he was doing her a favor, because her husband was too sick to take care of her “needs,” and she was from a small town so she couldn’t have an affair. When told it happened more than once over a months-long period, I said, “She was having an affair. What were YOU thinking? Apparently you weren’t thinking of keeping your license.” That ignited the rage channel.

      Sadly, I had no idea what state he was living in at the time, so I couldn’t notify the authorities.

  • Perfect timing on re-running this column after last night’s display of abusive word salad on the national -hell, even global – scale.

    Trump’s style and discourse was SO triggering of how my ex serial cheater/abuser talked at me.

    • Yep. The way he avoided the opportunity to denounce white supremacy was super creepy and I’m sure gave a lot of us flashbacks. Wallace’s question was clear as a bell, and Trump tried to make it look like it was this confusing, impossible to answer question. It’s also proof that at the end of the day, a lot of these guys are also idiots and really aren’t that great at lying if you take off your rose-colored glasses.

  • After I got “I Love You But I Don’t Love You” nuked, during my newly chumped period, I asked her point blank….”Are you having an affiar?”. Her response….”When would I have time for that?”. Me, being newly chumped and wanting to believe the best in my wife of 22 years (*** takes huge puff off Hopium pipe***) took her answer as no and as honest (she answered a question with a question….what the hell was I thinking?)

    A month later, in front of a counselor, I asked her the same question…..her answer was…”When would I have time for that?” I then said….”I did not ask you if you had time for it, I asked you if you cheated on me”. She said “no”. (Later to be revealed a giant lie). I was stumbling along in my Chumpmosphere still and still denied the red flags.

    It’s funny….after I found out about her on-going affair (and I have never felt so stupid in my life….and I am an intelligent person), I later asked her about her lies….specifically this one to the counselor. Her response…..”You never asked me that”.

    Can’t make this shit up!

    • Mine side stepped the affair question as well. I asked, directly, “Are you having an affair?” and receiving bed the following answer: “No.”. Pretty straightforward a lie right?

      The undeniable evidence in hand 4 months later and he says that he didn’t lie to me when I asked if he was having an affair because AT THE TIME I asked he was no longer having sex with her (she had moved on to NEXT). Cheater said because I used the present tense of “having” instead of past tense of “had” he in fact was NOT lying when he replied no.

      He then informed me I just hadn’t asked the right question.

      • Lying by omission is almost worse than lying to your face, as there’s another layer of deception to it. Ex promised me to stop communicating with ow, then kept on texting and messaging, when I caught on he agreed I could see their FB messages then deleted them and told me he’d deleted them a week before as they were too ‘heavy’. I am very pleased that I saw solid evidence of him having met her, asked him twice to his face if he’d seen her, and got ‘no’ twice. These things I hang onto as clear, objective, undeniable lies after the confusing fog of omission.

      • So I paraphrased the question in my post above. I copied, verbatim, the question out of a self-help book and read it to her from my journal. It was vary specific and covered all bases (past tense, current, emotion affair, physical affair, phone calls, texts, messages, having lunch, dinner with another man….all bases were covered when I asked her.

        After I found out the truth months later, I asked why she lied. She said “because I knew how you would react”.

        Well no shit, Sherlock…..how would any loyal man who loved his wife for 22 years and had children and a home and marriage on the line react!!!

        “because I knew how you would react”……delectable croutons on the word salad!

        • Nothing Chumpares to U,

          Yep. I got the same drivel about having to lie because of how I would have reacted. My fault!!!

          It’s effed up blameshifting.

          My ex swore up and down that he stopped lying once he confessed to the multiyear affair during which he admitted to lying every day. But even then, during the I-stopped-lying period, I found a charge (over $1k) on a credit card we shared, and once again he said he couldn’t tell me about what he had to charge becasue I would have reacted angrily.

          When I called him a pathological liar, he got upset. He couldn’t see the craziness of his blameshifting rationale. Or maybe he could on some level but, to preserve his fragile ego, had to shunt that to the side.

          I guess this is how a lot of these cheaters justify their lies. It’s crazymaking.

  • So much word salad. So many lies, backtracking and ridiculous revisions. He was incredibly angry when I started taking notes during these often lengthy and exhausting conversations, just kept the legal pad close and scribbled away when we talked. At the end of the talk, I would read it back to him “to be sure I got everything right so there would be no misunderstanding later.” He hated having his words pinned down, he hates being held accountable.

    He’s been online shopping for escorts and hotels this week so I’m online shopping for smart, aggressive, lawyers and guidance on how best to take all that I’m due and get far, far, away.

  • I was reading through my downloaded and exported texts from him recently (my evidence database, court is looming). The ones from when he realised I’d shifted my pay to a seperate bank account in particular. It was both specific and ambiguous word salad. Talk about pedanting to the last cent (that’s not even a word, but boy was it pedantic, and long winded), while not making a clear point at all.

    I mean I get it. If he was a stay at home parent, depending on my money to survive, sure, that would be freak out worthy. But as a successful business owner (reportedly) with multiple fuck buddies he’d screw while telling his dad (business partner) he was looking after our kids (while they were at school and I was careering, selfish bitch etc etc), when his love language was gifts (bras and undies he’d buy on our credit card, buying me a set to cover his tracks but getting one of the others 2 or 3 sets in the same purchase, and cocaine and champagne), having long lunches á deux instead of working and then imagine my surprise to find he’d run said business into the ground (also spending work funds on gifts and girls as well), then yeah, not so understandable.

    I still look at that text. It was mind blowing word salad, desperate caged animal stuff as well.

    The night I told him I had found out he was mid 5 year relationship with someone (a friend of mine) on our wedding day, my sister called him that. Caged animal. I’ve since worked out that word salad is the favourite food of the caged animal. I recorded those conversations too. Not much interest in listening anymore. I’m a meh. Now just to get him to settle on property (I’ll pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars, gladly, although it will impoverish me).

  • Still in the midde of divorce proceedings, 23-year marriage, found out very traumatically in June (sex videos) that he had been having an affair for 3 years, and actually LIVES with the other woman and her child for 1-2 weeks a month when he is “out of town for work.” I asked him if he ever, ever thought to come forward, tell me about the affair, and ask for a divorce (I know…chumpy question).

    His word salad: “Of course I wanted to tell you. But I knew you didn’t trust me. So I was afraid you wouldn’t believe me.”

    OMG. How can something be so ridiculously funny and incredibly awful? I feel like I’m living in a sitcom/horror movie.

    • Chumperella,

      I’m so sorry you had to find out that way, how so very awful. I found out in a traumatic way as well, 2days after Christmas actually. I’ve always had a hard time with Christmas due to bad childhood memories, but now it’s definitely ruined for me. I honestly get PTSD thinking about it, which is hard because it’s on full blast everywhere for months out of the year. I have ornaments in a box in storage and feel they will never be used again. I just can’t do Christmas anymore, it’s very painful.

      I hope your divorce goes quick so you can get some peace soon. Although mine is over, I still have nightmares about my ex-husband but I hear that’s part of recovery. As someone who’s farther along in the process, I can say once you don’t have to deal with them anymore it does get easier. Someone told me once, that if something is bad for you God will show you so you can get away from it. I believe that’s what happened with me (in regards to how I found out) and maybe what happened as well with you. I have to believe these people are so evil, God does something drastic to reveal it to us.

      • Alice,
        Thank you so much for your loving reply. I am sorry he has taken away Christmas from you too. Someday soon, you will heal and those ornaments will be up again.

        I agree with what you said about having to find out this way. I think if I didn’t have such unmistakable proof, he would have ramped up the manipulation and would still get away with it. I do have PTSD from it. I bolt up from deep sleep with terrible images.

        We will recover. Hang in there.

        • I feel the same way. Had I not found out the way I did, he would have manipulated the truth and kept the lies up because he knew how much I loved him. I think it needed to be a traumatic reveal in order for it to really register for me that he was evil and no good would come from fighting for my marriage.

          I’m so sorry you too have PTSD. I get nightmares of him being on the phone with her in front of me and he looks so madly in love while talking to her, hanging on her every word. It just kills me, and the rejection feels so real. I wake up with so much anxiety.

          I hope the ornaments will go up again someday, but it’s hard to imagine it. I do believe in fully recovering from this eventually, and realize it’s all a process.

      • I know right! The craziest thing about it is he really believes it. I asked him if he was joking and he gave me a long explanation about how we didn’t finish marriage counseling so the trust was never restored…so he couldn’t tell me about the affair. It was almost like he was waiting for me to say sorry for not trusting him enough.

        • It amazes me that these idiots think they can “work on their marriage” while still humping schmoopie.

          Thought it really shouldn’t amaze me, as they are fuckwits.

    • Chumperella:

      “I was afraid you wouldn’t believe me.” What???? That’s a new one!

      I got: “I was afraid of how you would react.”

      Not sure which is worse. Both involve blameshifting.

      Cheaters suck!

      Good luck with your court battle! Channel your inner badass!

  • I don’t know if this counts as word salad per se, but during discovery ff said his whore’s husband knew, found our home number and was going to call and tell me but whore stopped him. I asked him “Why did she stop him?” And he replied with a strange mixture of pride and despair “because she didn’t want to ruin my life!!”

    • Oh that’s gold!!! WTF??? I bet he thought she was so honorable for taking that stance.

      Only tangentially related, but at one point during the separation of household assets, I asked my then husband if he wanted x. I think I was on frickin speaker phone while he was driving and she was perched in the passenger seat. Anyway, he said, “She doesn’t want anything of yours.” hahahahahaha

      My deadpan response: “Only my husband.” (Ugh, that was a kibble to him, I’m sure. Oh well. I’ve been NC for a while. The OW can have him. He’s no prize!)

  • I love this group. What makes me sad though is I never see any comments that OW didn’t work out. Seems like they all found their dream girls. Laugh- I was kinda hoping my FH would fall into the 75% failure to last group, but maybe not. Depressing…

    • Perhaps it’s because many go NC and don’t go digging to find out?

      I know for me, I’ll never do any digging with my ex-husband. I just don’t want to know about his life. I need to live as if he doesn’t exist anymore. Even if 10yrs goes by or more, I don’t want to know how his life turned out. It doesn’t serve a purpose to know those things, IMO.

      For me, letting go of him fully (memories, present and future) is how I’m able to be happy and move on.

      Side note; I did post before about three instances where affair partners did not work out. In fact, both of the men who cheated on their wives didn’t stay with their affair partners and in fact never remarried to this day. Another is a woman I know who cheated on her husband and it didn’t workout. Her now ex-husband is engaged to another woman and thriving and she is alone with her regret. Hope this helps.

    • Mine was caught on Tinder and going to illicit massage parlors after moving in with his Craigslist “sole mate.” Extra interesting because the Craigslist “sole mate”, found under “Casual Encounters”, is a Chinese national, his fantasy racial demographic whom he specifically shopped for, and the massage parlors are the local happy ending type featuring Asian women. I mean no offense to Asian chumps….these are just the facts of the case as reported by him….he had “always been attracted to Asian women but never acted on it.” (I am Caucasian, blonde and blue eyed). The Tinder hookup he cheated on her with was blonde and blue eyed. Craigslist “sole mate” from China posted selfies on her FB page with blue contact lenses and uses my last name on her page (one of three FB pages she has, that is).

      These are not healthy people IMHO.

      In any case, I don’t define illicit affairs as “successful.” They are dysfunctional, illegitimate. illicit lower companionships, so in that regard they are all failures, whether the participants stick together or not.

      • PS…my daughter was using his phone and was the one who caught him on Tinder and told me. He had moved out but we had not told her we were divorcing yet. Thanks, AH. We didn’t know when that happened that he was living with Craigslist. That was revealed a few months later. When his true living situation was revealed, he told me Craigslist had caught him going to the massage parlors.
        Retch.

        I don’t dig either. Don’t feed the monsters.

        • VH: Every time I read “sole mate” I laugh. Thanks.

          And I totally agree that “[t]hey are dysfunctional, illegitimate. illicit lower companionships, so in that regard they are all failures, whether the participants stick together or not.”

          My ex, with whom I have virtually no contact, could be married to the OW for all I know. I don’t care.

          What I do know is that he was hoping she would find a job, and he would go on her health insurance. He’s retired but has a few years to go before he hits 65. I have a strong suspicion that the OW didn’t plan on doing full-time labor to support my ex. He’s a wealthy physician. She’s a nurse who worked for him. I don’t know her from Adam, but methinks this much younger woman didn’t pursue this relationship for the Viagra-fueled sex and hot (in his own mind) 62-year-old bod.

          I do get some pleasure imagining the two scenarios—
          1. She works full time and he’s constantly jealous and suspicious. After all, she has a penchant for pursuing married me. What’s to prevent her from doing it again? Every tight blouse, every late night…haha
          2. She doesn’t work, and he realizes he is the sole provider (or as VH’s ex might put it, “the soul provider”). He’ll resent that and realize that it might not have been his dick and bod and personality (none there, really) that draw her to him in the first place.

          Alas, I should be at meh and not care! Not there yet. I’d welcome a little bit of schadenfreude.

          • Spinach@35,
            My STBX is also a nearing-retirement physician who ran off with a young blonde nurse. Such a cliche. Cannot wait for meh. Far from it. I’m still at the “going through 152 emotions a day” phase while propping my three kids up. It is exhausting. Cannot wait for when I have virtually no contact with him like you.

      • And if they do stay together, it is highly unlikely two dysfunctional liars are going to be skipping hand in hand down Primrose lane. They both know exactly who they are, whether they admit it to the world or not.

    • The OW in my case didn’t work out. I and the kids went through 4 months of hell until I told ex to choose between his emotional affair (but MAYBE physical!) partner and me. He left to live in a tiny rented room in her landlady’s house, within sight of her caravan, and it turned out that she didn’t want him (she already had a boyfriend and thought he was fat and balding). A few years later he’s living in a caravan on the forecourt of her best friend’s house, working shifts in a pub instead of teaching, and she’s living in Portugal with her next boyfriend and 3 horses, being vegan, growing her own food and saving the planet. It didn’t work out in my case, it didn’t even start!

      • In my FWs case it officially worked out.

        However, they had to file bankruptcy due to gambling debts, then a few years after that; after my son let them live in his mother in laws house for a low rent, they got nastier and nastier, until a big blow up. The treated my son and daughter in law like shit. Of course I know because he is my son, and sometimes he needed some one to talk to. As did my daughter in law.

        That was when I started researching narcissist’s, because honestly though I knew he was a damaged person, I was still surprised that he would destroy his relationship with him son, and allow her to disrespect his son and grandchildren. But, he did. And he did because he is damaged. He found his level and he is living it.

        The only silver lining was me finding CL and a couple other sites that explained so much to me. I sooo wish I had access to these types of sites during my horror.

    • Dawn, they are all dream girls in the infatuation cycle. Then comes the reality and devaluation sets in over time. We can’t fix or change those who are never satisfied, always looking due to disordered actions.

      No one can fill the void that’s always present regardless of the longevity in a relationship .

      • 100% this! My ex-husband admitted to me the night before I moved out of our home, he was going to miss me and that he didn’t know how to be happy.

        I think things with the OW were failing and he was remembering how unique I was as he was spending more and more time with her and learning about her.

        He was upset that I told him I’d never come back. Not sure he realized then that I meant it. Haven’t seen him since and I know it kills him because he’s reached out a few times to me. I’ve gone NC though and only respond when it’s something relevant that I need to comment on in regards to the divorce settlement.

        He even asked me once if I’d try with him again. I did not respond. Sometimes no message is a message IMO.

        • “Haven’t seen him since and I know it kills him because he’s reached out a few times to me.”

          That sounds like my ex. After the legal separation, I was NC. Honestly I had to be to survive. He kept circling back. I don’t think he really wanted our marriage or me back, he just wanted me in his orbit, pining for him. It bothered him that I didn’t fight her for him. Honestly, right after the legal separation went into effect, I knew that she deserved him much more than I did.

          In part thanks to a wonderful dad who was calling me daily and being my cheerleader, and keeping my eyes open to who FW really was.

          Of course back then FWs and NC was not in my vocabulary, but just using the words to describe the situation.

          • Isn’t it strange how they still want power over you after you’ve left them? I just don’t get that. I could never be that way to someone.

            Him reaching out to me has actually given me some sense of closure in a weird way. Like, “yea, ya done F’d up and now you realize it”.

            I’ll never see him again, I just refuse to acknowledge him.

            I agree, it does bother them that we are not pining for them. It’s probably the only form of rejection that really gets to them. If someone isn’t chasing them, it hurts their ego. I hope I crushed his and am still crushing it.

  • You know what? That did help! Also, I think you’re right about NC. That will be my policy too. Thanks for your response 🙂

  • Thanks to everyone who commented about whether the OW and FH true love lasts. I filed for divorce after Christmas last year, but due to Covid19 court was postponed till July. I’ve been basically living in 2 rooms of my house for 9 months waiting for loan approvals etc. so one of us can move out. It’s miserable, but once he’s gone – and that might be this week – I will be reborn. Really looking forward to it. I was on the verge of publishing a 5 book cozy mystery series when this all blew up. I persevered for awhile, but I haven’t written in months now. Excited to get my life back. The books are just gonna be self-published, just a hobby, bucket list kind of thing, but I enjoy the process. Anyway – thanks to the whole group. You help me live on.

    • Dawn, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through that. I have been doing the pandemic 100% alone. My family and friends live 2,000miles away from me (i moved far for my ex). I can’t go visit due to some of them being considered at-risk…also I can’t even consider moving back home because no one is hiring in my industry right now. So basically, I’m on my own for who knows how long.

      I’m trying to learn spanish, go for long therapeutic runs, read about art and sing. I find singing helps me so much. Sometimes it gets really quiet in my apartment, and I get sad. It rained the other night so I opened the windows and sat on the couch with some candles light and listened to the rain. Just thought about my life and how different it is now. I really try to let myself be sad when I’m feeling that way, and give myself grace. If not, then I’m fighting the sadness 24/7. So it helps to just allow it so later I can focus on practicing being happy in my new life.

      My prayers are with you dawn that the loan comes through so you can get out of there! Once he doesn’t have access to you, it will feel so empowering! It drove my ex nuts that I wouldn’t tell him where I moved to when I left him. He’s actually still upset about it (or so I’ve heard).

      Have a good day sweet Dawn.

      • I’m with you on that couch listening to the rain in the dark. My son has been with his dad since the summer. I get him back after Christmas.

        For someone who is mostly an introvert, this alone-ness is really sucky. I sing and dance, take long walks, eat far too many baked goods, and read Chump Lady everyday to keep my sanity.

        • awe, SC! now that i know you do the same, we can listen to the rain together 🙂

          I’m not a introvert (well I don’t think I am, who knows) but I don’t mind being alone to be honest. The pandemic isn’t a normal type of aloneness though, it’s somber feeling.

          I think if the world was normal, it would be easier to be alone because I’d be going to coffee shops and posting up shop in my free time, just to be around people but not interacting with them. The rain is a good friend though, so I do enjoy listening to it.

          Glad you are doing what you need to do to stay sane. Mental health is so important right now for everyone.

  • Thanks, Alice,
    I’m sorry you’re going through or have gone through this too. Once he leaves, I will also be alone. My daughter from a first marriage just moved to Maine with her longtime boyfriend. I’ve lost touch with friends who are far away anyway and have no other family. It’s.a little daunting, but I’ve worked through my panic and fear pretty well these past 9 months. I’m the kind of person that would normally spin on something like this for years even though I was the one who wanted out of this lousy marriage. I’m surprised to find that I have let it go as much as I have already! My prayers are with you too – for a beautiful future for you.

    • Dawn, you always have us here to vent to when you have those hard lonely days. Also, being alone isn’t always so terrible. I’m in the best shape ever and everyone says I’m just glowing in the photos I take and post on social media (i’ve been getting out and taking walks around the city and snapping a picture here and there). I think the stress of my marriage really took a toll on me physically and now that it’s over I’m started to beam again. You will too!

  • I guess we need to look no further than Chris Watts to realize that you can’t make sense of just how low, how evil, how unexplainable it can get.

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