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Close Encounters of the Fake Tears Kind

I don’t know about you, but one of the most shocking discoveries I had being chumped was that my ex could cry on demand.

I mean, sob.

Big snotty, operatic tears. Quivering lip. Hiccups for breath.

When he was busted. When I was leaving. When I was imposing a consequence.

The self-pity channel was EPIC. (So was the rage, but that’s a story for another time.)

Mostly these were tears for himself, if I listened carefully. Whatever shall he do? How can I throw him out into the cruel, cruel night? Whatever shall people think? 

And other times, these were performance tears for me. He was so, so SO sorry. Oh, to think of losing me. Oh, how he loves my son. Oh, our life together. How, HOW could I imagine that he didn’t care?

And then switch-o change-o! It was gone.

When I asked for regret or remorse, he couldn’t summon it. Not in on a shrink’s sofa. Not to answer my questions. Nope. But if I’d had enough? If some ugly truth was discovered? Waterworks.

They say the calling card of sociopaths is self-pity, and I believe it. Because the only other time I saw him choke up (not for deaths of family members, or his mother’s ill health), was on our first date. He told me he was divorced and he wobbled. And I was embarrassed for him. I thought, oh poor man, he wears his emotions on his sleeve. I never sussed that he had no emotions at all.

Those tears were convincing. Of all the mindfuckery, I assumed those tears mattered. They signified some depth of feeling. I could not believe, for the longest time, that anyone could DO THIS. Could manufacture an emotion!

Other than the sheer shamelessness of it, I couldn’t believe anyone could perform the raw mechanics of it. I realize there are gifted actors, but even they probably have to prepare themselves for the role. Think of something traumatic. Douse their faces with saline. But to just conjure up tears and upset like that?

I felt AWFUL. Like I was the bad person punishing a poor, misunderstood wretch. How dare I? Wasn’t I being harsh?

Well, of course I wasn’t. The guy was a total sociopathic fraud with a double life. And seemed quite sincere with his threats.

Anyway, I escaped. Everything I learned is shared with you as the What Not To Do wisdom of Chump Lady.

The Friday Challenge is to share with CN your close encounters of the fake tear kind.

Did you get operatic remorse? Weepy sad sausageness?

Do tell.

TGIF!

 

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.
  • My first ex could. My second one never. The only expression of emotion that I ever got was anger, rage, fighting.
    He never even had happy. The closest he came to happy was sitting in front of the video game aconsole and the big screen TV.

    • Ha ha, I really do need glasses, I read anger, rage and fishing!! But that would have also been very funny!

      I got ‘tolerance, passive aggression and zero emotion’. And no fishing (apart from other women’s attention it would seem!

      They are all fine actors and could at the fake emotion when required – someone should get them free Actor’s Equity cards.

      • Full on agreed Dudders! I got fake happy, passive aggressive, bickering, and “everything just fine!:)” As he texts his co-worker ho behind my back. Then after d day, 9 whole months of severe mindfuckery, honey, sweetie, goodnight kisses, kitty pictures, and then boom! a receipt for condoms! “But she still talks to her ex boyfriend”, is supposed to make it all better right? Thank God I left the circus. Its been 2 full months of no contact and I hear he is partying it up on his sailboat during covid with his other cheater friends with boats. Have at it mother fucker. I’m here working hard, fighting for my health, bettering my life, while at age 54, he has an easy well paying city job where he has time to have inter office relationships behind my back. Only time I have ever seen him cry: first time alone with him when he cut me off from talking about my kidney transplant, and talked about his brothers heart transplant. I fell for that one although a red flag went up. My girlfriend who knew him longer than Idid said he did the same tears/brother story with her, so I am not special. Found that out 4 years later. And 2nd time is he cried over the phone after berating me for an hour and a half after he found out I posted on his Facebook wall, who his office whore was (mind you the same ugly cunt who wormed her way between the cracks of his last serious relationship) And I posted about that too in his FB wall, mentioning their relationship by name, date, times, and airplane tix to France. I kind laughed as he screamed at me for over an hour and I fought back with snarky come backs. Then he cried. When I dropped off his house keys the next week, I gave him a last hug goodbye and he was just a shell of a weak man. He has serious character flaws. It all started with love bombing. And sad tears over his brother passing of which I fell for. What an amazing actor! I nominate an Emmy to my ex for lying to everyone so well. In fact half our friends still believe him! Not my problem. I feel sorry for his next victim he is lying too. Mr. good guy was also very very good to his office whore he had been fucking while having me serve him dinner every night. 54 years old and still a piece of shit with no character. If I fully tell my story, I think it will make a lot of people very very angry at him! Even his mom is pissed at him. He is a fake and a fraud and I believe it for 4 years! Ghaaa Im kicking myself! Because I’m pretty good at spotting the losers. This one blamed me for everything he could find by year 4. Year one was the love bombing and trips to Hawaii. I want my Kittys back that we adopted together. He kept them because I had to move back in with my mom. and he used them to hurt me, and guilt me. Fuck him. Fuck him to the core. Asshole!

    • The ex’s gaming computer needed to be in the living room. So he could pretend that he was there. We would watch him play all day and night long and only see his back. Then he would go one and one how great the game was.

      • Ours was in the bedroom. I had two toddlers and we’d be awakened by the sound of him cussing out 11 year olds in Korea at 3am. Man, he sucked.

  • When I fist started seeing him, he cried because his ex-girlfriend cheated on him. I always thought this story was a bit suspect as it had no specifics, there was no detail about it that triggered the tears, just that she cheated.

    Even right at the beginning the story sounded like bullshit yet I ignored a big red flag and carried on full steam ahead. Sigh

    • It’s such an effective strategy though, ooh that’s a sensitive topic for them, I won’t probe too deeply, I don’t want to cause undue pain. Great attention diverter, so don’t feel bad.

    • My best friend got a version of this bullshit by his ex. I never believed it. I always thought it sounded like revisionist history because she ended up being a serial cheater, constantly hovering back to old exes and to guys who gave her attention but she stuck with that original story that cast a false narrative to my buddy.

      I guess I should expect my ex wife’s next guy to think I was a cheater. LOL

      • Shesux
        Or drug addict or alcoholic or (…,insert negative noun here).

        My concubine Dragon X could not shed more than 3 tears. Shark eyed empty soul.
        Rage and charm mostly. I don’t do pity plays. Shit or get off the pot.

        • Shesucks and Marcus–

          I feel like I know these women or have encountered several like this. I remember the son of my parents’ friends admiring my high school French teacher when I was a kid. He knew this teacher through local cultural events. The son of the family friends was about 32 and I was 15 at the time. I told him point blank, “Your taste in women sucks.” Then I informed him she was married, which disappointed him. It may be that she didn’t act married when he met her.

          I always wondered why I said this. I didn’t feel threatened that he found my French teacher attractive even if I didn’t get the draw (except for her very tight pants). I just found her boring and opaque but it’s possible some men read this as “mysterious.” The interesting thing is that I didn’t trust “boring and opaque” in women. I knew fuck-all about life or relationships at that point so it was pure intuition. The teacher didn’t mistreat me and I had no particular reason to not trust her except in that particular context– as a template for choice of mate of a rather sensitive family friend. Nope. Run away dude.

          A few years later that teacher left her husband for a French chef she’d brought to class for a cooking demo in French. Pierre something– sleazy asshole with a cartoon moustache and a penchant for high school girls.

  • Balling on his knees. So sorry. Threats of “not wanting to live.” I realize now those raw emotions did not indicate how much he loved me but were really mechanisms of control.

    He’d repeat the behavior again down the road.

    • This is what I got too. On his knees with his head in my lap, “How can I ever forgive myself?!” Waaaaaaaaaah. It was so over the top, I worried he may kill himself.

      Keep in mind, this came 12 HOURS after I caught him and told him to GTFO at 1:00 am. After we had talked about his cheating for 2 hours. After he had slept 8 hours. So clearly, fake tears because I wasn’t budging on the GTFO.

      I stuck to my guns and have been fuckwit free for almost two years now.

      • When I finally got some of the truth out of him he sobbed I mean boo-hooed snot and all..I felt so bad for him I actually gave him a hug…what a gullable softy I was..he was right back to angry asshole within a week.

    • Yep, when questioned about his shitty actions, cheater said he had been contemplating suicide otherwise, as if to say it was do what I did or kill myself. Another one of those things that instantly makes you go ‘woah back’ , but later on you think, wow there were so many other options, but they would have been the hard choices and mean you had to take responsibility for your own behaviour and emotions. It’s manipulation.

      • My husband had 2 EA’s (one that I found out two weeks ago turned physical). All I’ve heard is how he was “suicidal” before because he was so unhappy in our marriage, and that he reached out to these woman looking for something that was missing. And that the physical affair woman “pulled him out” of being suicidal. And he loves her. And then he calls me crying last night that he loves me, our kids, and trying to make me understand about how he was suicidal and he never meant this to happen, and that this woman “saved” him. And he’s afraid if she isn’t in his life again he’ll go back to being suicidal. And yet he’s not sure he wants to end our marriage either. I think his tears were mostly for himself last night, not me or about really feeling sorry for what he’s done.

        • That is truly emotional blackmail.

          He wants you in the wings when schmoopie dumps him. I think I would be tempted to say, if you were suicidal in our marriage why in the world would you want to even entertain coming back. Go with Schmoopie, be happy.

          But I get having small children with these guys/gals put a whole different view on how to handle it.

  • Daughter was in hospital 3 months ago, under going tests, doctor told him he was the dad who spent the longest time with their child, all well, it was 2 days.
    He didn’t really care before.
    This morning daughter having kidney removed, 5 hour surgery, he won’t leave the ward. Due to virus 1 parent, allowed.
    Seems caring, no Xmas presents didn’t want to be with her or her sister on Xmas day. No uniform, phone, phone bundle money for going out with friends.
    Other daughter started sixth form, no money from him for textbooks.
    He has worked for 3 months straight.
    He wants to be a parent when it suits him
    Daughter started 6 th form yesterday he phoned her on the way to school couldn’t phone her on her gcse results day.
    She got the best results in 6th form

    • Im so sorry your daughter required such a big surgery…I hope all is well in the future. The unit only allowed one parent and he seems to be squatting. You may want to let the hospital leadership in on his tricks – maybe you could get a shared-time agreement.

      Sucky that after being a marginal parent, he now wants to look like a hero. He wants to be a parent when it suits him…yes…I used to call it the “Parenting Is Optional” mode that Cheater fell into whenever he felt like it.

      • I thought the same thing. It might have been less about the child and more about the audience who was watching him being a parent. and of course the fact that you’re locked out becomes cake.

      • Thanks
        No spare beds in surgical ward yet,
        Still in intensive care, surgery was 6 hours, 1 vistor allowed on intensive care. When moved im allowed 2 hours per day.
        Its image management
        He’s never brought her uniforms, phones, Xmas or birthday presents.
        He’s crying now distraught.
        She was on 3 courses of antibiotics in 6 weeks wasn’t interested in her then

    • My ex was “Father of the Year” as long as there was an audience. Otherwise he was mentally torturing the whole family…

      • Same here although he could barely even do the visible work and he eventually stopped paying school fees and accusing me of making things look more expensive for school things than they were-even when I produced receipts. For example, “paint brushes couldn’t possibly cost $20.” 🙄

    • Yes, It isn’t difficult just to sit on a sick ward. My mind goes to he likes suffering and enjoys seeing your daughter weak and in pain. To top it off, he can be in the midst of stranger’s pain and suffering while Dr.s tell him he is a loving dad. What’s not to like?

      He will get his some day. Sorry your daughter is ill. Your other daughter will know you are proud of her

    • My mother was in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury. She was so out of it during her recovery, she kept trying to pull her trache (breathing tube) out of her neck. This phase lasted a few days. Between my best friend, me, and volunteers, we watched her 12 hours a day. The other 12 hours, she was kept in restraints. When we were with her, she would reach out to us pleading with her eyes and mouthing the words “help me.” I was working full time and primary breadwinner and had two toddlers, but you do all you can for the people you love, right? I asked my husband (at the time) to come to the hospital and watch my mom for me for a while. When he arrived, my best friend and I went down to the cafeteria to take a break and talk about this nightmare we were living. When we came back to the room 30 minutes later, at around 7pm, my husband was kicked back in his chair and napping. I was livid, but I spackled. He had treated this assignment no better than the one of “babysitting” our kids. Video games and napping. I told myself that women are better at these things, and he couldn’t emotionally deal with my mom’s situation.

      I want to apologize to men, in general, for that spackle. I painted you all with that brush. It’s what my father trained me to believe. I know now that My cheating ex is a sociopath that pretended to be human and used me to carry the load.

      I remember a few weeks later my husband told me he was feeling so sexually neglected by me that he felt desperate enough to drive around town looking for a prostitute to pick up. I was floored, I had never imagined that a man I loved would consider that his only option to the stress “we” were under. I remember my therapist normalizing this for me. “You’re lucky you have an honest man” she said, “he told you before he went to seek out a prostitute.”

      And you all know how this story ends.

  • It wasn’t our first date but it was a very early date. He was lamenting that he didn’t have the best luck with women. He kept picking “crazy” girlfriends no matter how hard he tried. Well after 13 years with him I can attest that he has a special knack of turning people insane. Complete lack of empathy, silent treatment for perceived slights (for weeks), lying and gaslighting About infidelities, and abuse of every kind — all the while taking no responsibility for anything. My superpower is survival.

      • If the entire divorce was due to her “never” wanting sex OR because she was “crazy”, I exit, stage left.

        It’d be different if they were chumped, but not these^^ BS lies. I’m fairly sure they’re what the DOCTOR told his replacement wife.

        Definitely a trigger…

        • I have since remarried. She wanted to know why I was divorced and about my ex wife. I told her I was cheated on and my ex wife was “crazy”. Except my wife wanted details. So I gave her details and she saw in real time the craziness I deal with with a narcissist/BPD ex wife. Now if they say ALL their ex’s are crazy that is a big red flag.

          • Yes, SCA. My now-husband was gracious when describing his XWs exit and did not disparage her to me or his daughter. She convinced me that she is a selfish shrew all on her own.

          • Dear Sir– I just realized what a conundrum it is for male chumps to deal with a genuinely crazy ex when there are so many he-cheaters or abusers out there claiming all their exes are crazy. No matter how you slice it, it takes time and great observation skills to assess character in a prospective mate. No short cuts. So glad you found someone worthy who took the time.

        • Thank you Dr’s First Wife! For being a real woman about the BS of these liars! The no-sex excuse is what he gave his ho-worker line about me. It was a full on lie of course, as we were screwing, but I also wanted him to get a vasectomy, but he was too scared to go to the Dr. at age 54. I was 39 and on dialysis, and cannot get pregnant while waiting for a kidney transplant. It freaked me out, after I got my IUD taken out and I’m officially fertile the last year of our relationship. He refused to get his damm balls snipped for me. Yet I get giant needles in my arm 3x a week for 7 years. Big eye roll…. I hope he gets his next victim pregnant. Idiot. A real woman would see that any dude saying he is in a sexless sad relationship, should RUN! Far far away!. Because a real man would have the balls to talk to his partner about his problems and feelings. Not talk to his office whore about not getting laid enough. What a looser. I hope more women see the pathetic bullshit of these men in sad sexless relationships they claim to be in. Fuck him.

          • Chumparoo,

            You’re welcome. I loved/love sex. Had it the last time the DOCTOR and I were together, but little did I know that’d be the last time I saw him.

            Anyhow…I’m tired of trying to see the world through the eyes of a crazy liar.

            My wish is for MEH – when he’s a dot on the horizon in my rear view mirror and then gone totally.

            (And for my scarred children to be at peace).

    • Go you for surviving! My psychologist said that crazy exes are the number one red flag that tells you you’re with an abuser. Run! My ex of course had a crazy ex. I felt sooo bad for him when I heard how crazy she was. Now I’m the crazy one. I often fantasize about tracking down that crazy ex and hearing what she has to say.

      • I’ve often fantasized about tracking down my cheating ex-boyfriend’s ex-wife, too. He said she was a terrible alcoholic. All I know is, I started drinking more when I was with him, too! His daughter told me her dad would give her mom the silent treatment for several days at a time. I felt like I was going crazy/spiraling when I was with him because of all the lies.

    • I’ve lost track how many guys have told me all their exes were crazy. It’s now my #1 red flag, because you’ll inevitably find out the guy is responsible for actually driving women crazy.

  • He was crying so hard but all of his words he would talk about himself. “I’ve lost my family” (no, you threw us away) “it didn’t mean anything to me” (people are objects for my own use and desire)

    I once asked him to answer questions and he refused saying “I can’t face the enormity Of what I’ve done”

    Him him him

    Nope! Not for me anymore. I’m taking the settlement, the kids and the dog. He can keep himself

    Thanks chump lady

    • Mine says the same word for word every single time. It’s always about him and how it’s affecting him. I haven’t worked up the courage to leave my cheater- I keep getting sucked back in due to the financial end and having no job and a lot of fear..I can’t find a way out and I feel so defeated. It’s the depression that keeps me in these funk’s and I can’t seem to break out of these patterns, the grip is so tight. I appreciate your comment, it hit me right in the face, I know it’s true that they have no remorse, they’re just good actors. One day I know I’ll find my courage, and get myself back to being me again- a better, stronger me.

      • I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I don’t know your situation, but if he is content to stay while cheating, and you are sure he is not racking up a lot of debt, I would say use the time as best you can to get stronger and make your plans. Work on you, start detaching etc.

        Document, any abuses of yourself or of finances. Whether it be texts, events, situations or what. Just writing down events and times can actually be evidence.

  • Mine never cried for me that I remember. However, when I mention to my kids that he is incapable of feeling emotion their argument is that he cries every Christmas and when his Mom died.

  • My ex was as cold as ice when for two months whist I was living with her after( D day) I was begging her to stop the relationship( didn’t care A drop) although one day I was shattered and stressed head in my hands, she said what’s wrong I said well your having a affair, she said I’ll make you chamomile tea that will make you feel better😂
    Didn’t care when she left me by myself for 3 months with our 3 boys and pregnant daughter l( whilst she took child support when she didn’t even have the kids!
    But when I met a beautiful woman, now my wife
    She then tried to manipulate me with tears on tap, guilt trips.
    And now just generally can’t be grown up.

    • Oh, buddy, my ex wife was similar. She was so incredibly mean and cruel to me during her affair and super mad that I had exposed her. She didn’t care at all how she treated me for the few months post D-Day where we were living apart and splitting custody. She was still with her AP.

      During one night she was at her vanity getting herself ready to go see her lover. I begged her to not go and reminded her that she was married. She could not have cared less. The next morning the pain in my chest left me. I caught her in a lie one more time and filed for divorce right after it. But once the bloom was off the rose with the AP and the dysfunction between the two started to sink in (he really didn’t care about her that much outside of the physical convenience and thrill and she needs non-stop attention and realized he just talked a big game, and wasn’t going to do what a devoted husband and father of her kids did), then she started routinely coming to me crying and blowing my phone up.

      I rejected it every time thank God to this blog, no contact practices, and being strong. She has done this periodically the last 8 months. All of her tears are for herself and she still can’t tell the truth to save her life. She may have wrecked me for a bit but I’m much better off without her. I’ll never forget how little she gave a shit about me when she was in the midst of her affair. I will NEVER do impression management for her either.

    • On DDay, when I was shocked, crying and begging ex to stay with his family he said, “What’s your problem, don’t you think you’ll ever find anyone else?” with a big smirk on his face. I replied “I’m not even thinkinking about that!?”

      I’ve often thought about that he didn’t seem to understand my grief over a busted 13 year marriage, 17 year relationship and 25 year friendship. That I was thinking about the future of our 3 boys, in the middle of growing up and what it would mean for them, for them, and for us… who are these people?!

      • They are messed up for sure.

        I think down the road, you finding someone else (assuming you even want that) will be a major blow to him. It isn’t that you don’t think you can find anyone else, it is that he thinks you won’t and you will always be in the background pining for him. They are that full of themselves.

        Or at least my fuckwit was.

        And likely he doesn’t understand your grief. He either has no capacity for it, or he has buried it.

        • Dazed and Susie,
          I will never get over how the person who was once seemingly your rational, caring, like-minded partner becomes someone from another planet. I remember thinking out loud and saying “how will I ever trust again?” and cheaterH saying “ you’ll meet someone else, you’re a good person.”
          It’s like thank you for your vote of confidence … after the children are destroyed, after the house is sold and the heartbreaking move is completed, after my life is turned upside down, after the financial loss, after my depression and loss of self esteem this betrayal caused, after the mental and emotional mindfuck and when I can function again… I will meet someone else and that will be that.
          Easy Peasy. What do they smoke?
          A complete victimless crime, while the cheater goes on to create a new life with somebody who is not a good person.
          Karma for me would be the cheater and cheating partner taking their respective heads out of their asses and living with the pain and suffering they caused others.

          • I understand, it is painful beyond belief for us. In time the most severe of the pain will dissipate, tough we will never fully forget.

            But for me: “while the cheater goes on to create a new life with somebody who is not a good person.”

            That right there is their Karma. Though, I think of it as natural consequences. I don’t care how hard they try, or how big a fake smile they put on, whether they marry the co adultery partner, or they go on with someone else, they can’t escape themselves. Marrying the adultery partner just puts a little extra misery on them both.

            • Thankfully, a lot of the pain has dissipated.
              We are resilient and seeing the cheater for what they are and what. they. are. not. helps. It’s still mind boggling though. But this site has affirmed that this is not the type of person I want to be with.
              I would rather be single than be with somebody seriously lacking in integrity.

          • Zip your words are music to my ears! I wish the exact same fate for my asshole ex and his affairs partners. Fuck the both royally. I hope my ex gets majorly cheated on after investing his entire life, heart and time into someone he believes in. I hope they both go through the fucking hell Ive been through getting gutted. Karma is a bitch. Where is she. I just hope I live to see it!

  • In one of the rare moments during The Troubles with KK when I actually called her on her bullshit and told her I wasn’t standing for her antics any longer, she ‘fainted’ (quotes ate intentional).

    I had made my final point with my back turned, as I was making dinner for me and my daughters, when I heard a crash behind me. There she was, motionless on the kitchen floor.

    My intuition said “bullshit, this is an act,” but I didn’t want either of our daughters to see their mother on the floor in a heap, so I dragged her into the bedroom. There, we had yet another of our long, drawn-out, weepy talks about how our family was the most important thing, and that we were going to find a way to get through it together.

    In our 20 years together, the only other time she *ever* fainted was early in our courtship, after we had our first real, serious argument. In the aftermath, in the deepest recesses of my psyche, I strongly suspected it was her way of trying to garner sympathy when she felt cornered and had no way out.

    I’m convinced I was right.

      • UXWorld, I’ll add a giant red A for her bosom and a public shaming or two to remain in keeping with her Victorian fainting trick. I’d loan her my fainting couch but don’t want any whore germs on that relic of a bygone age.

      • I have a college friend who faints under extreme emotional stress.

        She discovered this after she walked in on her husband in bed with her next door neighbor / best friend, husband agreed to go to marriage counseling with her but he berated her so violently that she literally fainted on the couch in the counselor’s office. After this discovering this, he would sometimes use it as a tactic: when something came up that he didn’t want to talk about, he would start yelling until she passed out, thereby avoiding the issue. Marriage counseling was unsuccessful, but they stuck it out for a good 10 years “for the kids”; they’re in the middle of divorcing right now.

        • I had that problem also. Under extreme stress a circuit breaker goes off in the brain. I would faint also. Especially after DDay and all her double life came out. Her screaming for hours…Hasn’t happened since I separated from her…

    • Did she manage to land on something soft and was her hair spread about her in a delicate halo?

      When I passed out on D-Day, it was on the sidewalk, on the side of my face and in front of strangers. When I came to a minute later, there were cigarette butts in my hair. If there’s an art to Victorian vapors, I apparently lack it.

      • Same here. The one time in my life that I fainted I stood up too quickly in a hot tub in a cabin at high elevation. When I came to I was sprawled stark naked on the floor, my grandma was knocking frantically at the door, and a candle was floating in the water. I still have no idea how it got there.

        If Nitwit had ever tried fainting for attention he would have gotten a copious amount of cold water splashed on him. Seemed to work in the first Pirates of the Caribbean.

        • Only the fakers seem to faint prettily. In my case it was so clearly health issues from all the gaslighting. I developed a heart murmur for the first time and was declared too thin to donate blood. I took my doctor’s advice and ate like a crunchy truck driver but the adrenaline, insomnia and anxiety burned it all off. After D-Day, I got closer to a normal weight. The truth will set you free– and repair your metabolism.

          • Glad you’ve returned to a healthy weight. I’ve read about chumps losing 30, 40 pounds from the stress of it all. On the other hand, I’ve gained about 10 pounds, mostly from stress-eating and because I have much more limited kitchen space in my new place, making it harder to cook healthy meals. I hope to lose it again soon, but it still burns me up that he cheated yet I was the one who had to move to a smaller, though still nice, home.

            • NoMoreMsNiceChump– Thank you. The doctor stopped riding me about it so I suppose I look healthier and the heart murmur went away. Truth is good for cardio health too as it turns out. It’s all about health, not the scale as they say.

              I hope the extra space where your ex lives feels vacuous and haunted.

      • You should have just left her there and stepped over and around her as you cooked dinner. Nothing like being ignored to take all the fun out of “histrionics”.

  • My ex never showed any type of emotion. Oh, once when our dog died he cried. Other than that stone cold. He just thought he was better than most people. Very judgemental of others. He would always say that he hated liars and cheats. There was nothing worse than a liar. How ironic he sure could lie to my face for fours years while he cheated with my oh so willing cousin.

  • my ex cried while dumping me for the OW.
    He cried telling me that he was making a big mistake for dumping me but he was gonna do it anyway.
    He cried about how much it hurt him dumping me.

    • Yes…your pain is nothing compared to how much it hurts them to be such an awful person. They really wish cheating wasn’t awful and they could have everything they want in life and be applauded for it.

      No worries: Esther Perel will rescue them. She’ll understand how hard and courageous it is to be true to oneself and choose growth and self-actualization over the primitive comforts of commitment.

      All cheaters just wish their need to be happy didn’t have to be such a priority. Your pain… their OWN pain… it’s just *growing pains*, don’t you see? Like going to the gym. It hurts and they don’t want to do it but they have to focus on their own health, you know? Who else is going to put them first if they don’t do that for themselves?

      Fuckwits.

      • “Yes…your pain is nothing compared to how much it hurts them to be such an awful person. They really wish cheating wasn’t awful and they could have everything they want in life and be applauded for it.”

        Yep “adultery” my ex fuckwit hated the word adultery. First time I used it, he said “it isn’t about sex” I said “it is about sex, you are committing adultery” Pissed him off. I guess he in his teenage hormone induced state wanted it to be tru wuv and righteous and stuff.

        I believe he actually thought he was going to dispense with me, then march whore into my slot and life would go on as usual. So didn’t happened that way.

        • “So it didn’t happen that way”.

          What did happen?

          My STBX seems to be swapping me out for younger, newer sparkle version. I did the books for his business for 15 years, and two months after d-day he was already emailing her his business stuff.

          Months before D-Day, when I finally was able to pry out of him what the hell was going on, and he began sobbing “I’ve been trying to figure a way to tell you your marriage is over”…. Followed by, “I don’t know what I’m going to do without you. You do everything for me. I’m so scared”. Yep. him.

        • He was busted in rank, she was never accepted into the circle I was in, they basically had to flee the county. She got fired from her job, they started gambling and ran up massive gambling debts. (honestly, that one is the one that I found the strangest) I would have never though him capable of that much financial abuse.

          Then a few years down the line, he and she blew up their relationship with my son, over their own lies and selfishness. (Who knew)

          I tell myself that if she had been younger or sparkly maybe it wouldn’t have been so hard. I was left thinking What the Hell? She was technically 5 years younger, but she didn’t look it, and he was not her first married man rodeo. She just finally found a schmuck to leave his wife for her. The fact that she was his direct report likely helped.

          But in reality, it doesn’t matter it all hurts to the bone.

      • Ugh. I just got a variation on this line a few days ago. He’s apparently traumatized by his cheating and I trigger him and reinforce the idea that he’s a bad person. This all makes him want to kill himself. It also makes him rage and curse at me over the most benign conversations. If I try and draw any kind of boundary and walk away, then he threatens to commit suicide. The mental gymnastics is astounding. It doesn’t matter what he does, he always manages to make himself the victim.

        • If he tries that line again, just called the police and report him for making suicidal threats. In my state someone who does that is given a three-day hold in a locked mental facility. It’s amazing how three days under lockdown makes them come to a more balanced equilibrium mentally. (And they never do that again)

        • It kind of reminds me of one of the times my ex pre dday came home and jumped on me for some stupid shit, and I said why are you so mad at me. He screamed everytime I walk in the house you make me feel guilty. Umm, “you are guilty you adulterous shit head” is what I would have said If I had any idea what the hell he was doing or talking about, or why the hell he was so mad all the time.

      • I remember asking cheater if he and 0W shed fake tears when they discussed the fact that I found out about their affair? He got quiet and I could tell by the look on his face that they did. He left our home to connect with her so they could cry to each other about the pain that they caused both their spouses.
        Does this actually make them feel like good people – that they can pretend they are caring human beings in front of each other?
        What are they going to do next, decide to rob several homes and then go for a coffee and sit and pretend care cry about how they hurt other people to get money for a holiday?

    • @Chumpignon

      Man children….man babies That’s what most here are dealing with. Adolescent diaper wearing babies. They are selfish in the way a toddler is. They fake cry to get what they want and they have learned to be expert at it. eg manipulation, sympathy, to get you to do what they want or just want attention. BABIES They did it to mommy back in the day and by gosh it worked. Aha they said a new manipulation tool in the go-to box of their compartmentalized brain.

      A healthy mature man do not fake emotion and have consideration for others.

      Mine had the nerve to ask if I thought he was an Alpha male. Haha That was a belly laugh for sure. It was like a toddler asking me if he was superman because he ran around the house in a cape.

      • Everything you said of cheating adult men is equally true of cheating adult women, including my cheating ex-wife. It is a character thing, not a gender thing.

        • Amen to that!

          The men on this site are in the minority. So many of us refer to cheaters as men. I’m sure the women cheaters share all the same character flaws and engage in similar manipulation tactics.

          Suckitude knows no gender!

          • Yeah I feel for you gals. All of the stories of how male cheaters acted—the way the devalue, degrade, and disregard—it makes me mad. Some of them sound just like my STBXW. It’s definitely a character issue.

            It is ironic because I was the man-child starting out in our 13-year marriage—20-something guy with teenage hormones and attraction to porn/cyber-sex and excessive video gaming. Porn is a form of cheating though I never physically cheated on her. It hurt her and I knew I had to do better. I will always regret my selfish disregard for how it made her feel. She put up with my sorry ass and I became a decent husband and a good father of two younglings.

            We had the ups and downs years later but I thought we were on the right path. It was just at the moment when I took stock in life and realized how lucky I was—all we had accomplished together as a family, the love I had for her, the kids (always will), and the gains I made when I found out about her two affairs. The first didn’t pan out but the second replaced me entirely.

            It almost felt like she became 20-something year old me, like she was going through a teenage hormonal phase. She’s still going strong with her male schmoops and his two kids from a girlfriend he betrayed to be with my STBXW and now I learned she is several months pregnant by him 🤯

            God, a part of it feels like karma deserved—I know I wasn’t a great husband from the start but my heart was in the right place. Ahh it’s bitter to think on still but I’m doing much better; staying in touch with the right people and hope my work brings me back to my kids again within the year. I still play lots of video games. Ain’t gonna stop that 😁 but I’m glad I stopped with porn. That detestable part of old me is in the past.

            • Sounds like you are on the right path; reflecting on your behavior, taking responsibility for it, and making CHANGES. Good luck and keep on fighting to keep your life full of honesty and integrity.

            • “It almost felt like she became 20-something year old me, like she was going through a teenage hormonal phase.”

              This was how my ex FW acted. Even at the time, though I had never read or seen anything much of cheating, I remember thinking he is acting like a hormone crazed teenager. My son had just gone through his teen years a couple years before Dday, so I was familiar with the actions.

              He acted pissed at me all the time. Threw raging fits over nothing etc. On the day he left he even tried to tell me about their “first time” like I was his mother. I stopped him in his tracts. Held my hand up and said “I am your wife…”

              Sadistic Bastard.

        • Nomar–

          I think it’s clear no one on this site can stand she-cheaters on principle, not to mention many double as side chicks.

          When I was very young and didn’t know what nor why, I wasn’t very judgmental about sexual antics but I learned to be for self preservation. Turns out she-cheaters are general backstabbers. They suck to work with or work for, they suck as friends, they suck as family members– globally untrustworthy, covertly aggressive and out for themselves, mad, bad and dangerous to know. Plus, like most backstabbers, they’re cowards who prefer easy targets which, at least in day to day practice, are usually other woman so there’s an element of treason in there.

          • You are spot on. My cousin cheated on her husband for years. Usually hook ups. You are correct they make crappy friends and will stab you in the back and pretend they are the victim.

          • Agree! I had a female manager about six years ago, who was known to have locked horns with people around the office, but she came off as fun and likable. I believed that we were friends as well as co-workers as we had a tight knit group. Later turned out that she had gotten a divorce in secret (never even mentioned it) and was fucking our boss. She and my previous boss are now married, left our workplace for a different workplace, proceeded to attempt to poach most of our team, succeeded with a few. Within two years or so, everyone that followed her ended up fired or left for their own sanity. I simply refer to her as “the snake” – a two headed on at that.

            • Fun and likeable! That appears to have been the OW’s reputation. Dammit.

              I took CL’s advice and didn’t go down the rabbit hole of investigating the OW.

              What little I know about this woman I learned from my ex and a couple other sources. On D-Day I did call two people but then stopped.

              Ex waxed poetic about how nice a person the AP is. “Nice to everyone!” he cheered, as if I would respond by saying, “Well then, how could you NOT have had an affair? I forgive you.” Of course, I am also nice (to a fault?) but let’s ignore that for now.

              Early on ex actually told me that he had worried that, although she was flirting with him, she might have been flirting with other docs, too! She was *that* friendly and caring!! He even asked some other docs if they were getting treated very well by her. Imagine how special he must have felt when they said, “No.” “Yay! I’m the special sausage!!!”

              [Note: I subsequently heard from a reliable source that she actually did have a brief (2-week) affair with another married doc *before* my ex and also while she was still married. I broke Grey rock/NC to inform him of this. I couldn’t resist.]

              Another of ex’s co-workers told me, “She’s like a sister to me.” And yet that co-worker claims she had no idea about the multi-year affair. I actually believe her because I think this whore is so devious and deranged that she was capable of pulling off this deceipt. It probably added to the excitement!

              Both my ex and she wear masks. It must be exhausting. And I have to think that deep down they know they are complete shits.

              • “Yay! I’m the special sausage!!!”
                🤣😂😅
                I think you nailed it for all of our cheaters ….. “special bun” for female fuckwits

          • Well, since my XH cheated with a married woman, who was also a “family friend,” and they both dumped us chumps for each other, I concur that gender is of no consequence. Before everything came out, I felt so sorry for her now ex. He looked so beaten down and depressed. Which is pretty much how I looked during the discard. They all suck.

        • @nomar

          Of course it goes without saying male or female. The commonality is the stunted maturity disguised in a mature looking body. Further disguised by a mask. Under it all is a child and an impish self centered nasty one at that.

      • My ex was obsessed with alpha and beta males. He wanted to be an alpha male but sadly said he was a beta male. He must’ve secretly believed he was an alpha though because he wanted to get a number plate that said alpha male for his Alfa Romeo. I refused. I found it all so ridiculous. It was hard to stop my eyes rolling into the back of my head. Toxic masculinity as its best.

        • Alpha males don’t need a plate to prove it.
          Lol funny😂😂😂
          It’s similar to some women who are trying so hard to be “ sexy” – skimpy outfits etc.
          Well, I can wear sweats with a sexy stuff underneath. It makes me feel good and it shows. No need for everyone to see my boobs- since I make it about myself not perception of others

    • Oh God, what a looser! It’s all about him! Ego mutch? My ex would have done the exact same. Its a total mind fuck. They should be glad we didn’t cut their balls off of burn down their house

  • Two days after dday, he told me we were getting divorced. No discussion since he decided for us. He moved out a couple weeks later, and the night before, he told me he “shed a tear” in his room. He also said he got “misty” when he was shopping for groceries and supplies for his bachelor pad. Curiously, there were no witnesses to either of these teary events.

    Several months before dday, he told me he knows what empathy is supposed to look like socially, but doesn’t feel it. It’s a mask he wears. Yup, I got snagged in the web of a malignant narcissist. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a state of true joy or grief, even though we’d been through many joys and losses after almost twenty years together. I remember one time he had a tear in his eyes and it seemed weirdly “off” to me…. like a soap opera tear that he was working really hard to squeeze out. The tear didn’t line up with his facial expression, much like the smiles didn’t touch his eyes. There’s something missing in these people. No matter how much of our goodness and love we throw into their black hole where their humanity should be, it won’t make any difference. It only depletes us.

    • Mine never actually shed tears. He made faces and vocalizations like he was crying, but I never saw tears. Not even when his big brother committed suicide on Christmas morning. (The ultimate play of narcissistic revenge.) Yup – I married into a family of the dark and disordered.

  • I didn’t get any tears, just rage because “You’re crazy, she’s just a coworker!” I did get a slight confession in the final divorce decree in which it said I would not sue her for “alienation of affection” which is possible in my state.

    It’s been 10 years and he is still stuck on the rage channel.

    That rage will eventually be his downfall, and I will have no part of it.

  • Mine walked into the house with a blood-soaked rag wrapped around his arm (points for dramatic effect). Had he picked a scab? Tried to cut himself? No idea.

    Anyway, he was weeping. WEEPING!! I hugged him. I rubbed his back, as one does to console a loved one. Three days before he’d asked for a separation without any emotion and promised he wasn’t having an affair. So in that teary moment, I actually thought he might be asking to come back, begging for my forgiveness. Hopium was in the air!

    But when he said, “You don’t have to do that (i.e., hug me),” I knew what he was about to tell me.

    And, bingo, he did. He said he’d been having a mulit-year affair, that they might marry. Then a switch seemed to go off. He stopped crying and enjoyed giving details (“Yes, we did it in this bed” as we stood in our bedroom. Pointing to the sofa he said, “There, too.” There were more details. Some he saved for later.)

    I immediately stopped hugging him and said, “You’re dead to me and threw off my ring that I’d been wearing for 35 years.” After that, I drove away. I had him served within a week or two.

    I know he was crying for himself.

    • Oh the drama. Mine could handle zero life stress. If things for him werent perfect then it was a tragedy. Your story reminded me of the day he cut his had slicing a bagel and went APE SHIT….smashed the knife on the edge of the sink …immediate rage. I thought “Oh my, he is really hurt, I will be taking him to urgent care. Later I saw his cut, it was a boo boo.

      • It was a boo boo. Haha.

        By the way, I just re-read my post and realized that I, too, have a flare for the dramatic:

        “I immediately stopped hugging him and said, ‘You’re dead to me and threw off my ring that I’d been wearing for 35 years.’ After that, I drove away. I had him served within a week or two.”

        I should start writing romance novels.🤣

  • When he broke up with me to pursue Twu Wuv in the big bad world, he shed tears. Not sobbing tears – he never pretended to care that much. Just enough to keep me thinking he at one point had feelings for me. To keep himself thinking so. Just enough to be able to say that he loved me and breaking up was very hard for him too, not just for little chump, abandoned me.

    Recently (I know… I should No Contact, but I’m… Anyway) we spoke and at the end of our chat, he said: “I’m not sure if I cried because I was sad to break up with you specifically, or just sad to give up being loved”.

    Self pity, CN,l: it’s all self pity.

    • yup

      Consequences suck. They don’t want that. (My ex refers to consequences as “punishment” to remove any whiff of agency)

      I wonder how many other chumps experienced a cheater who seemed shocked by the extent of the consequences of his cheating.

      Mine was clearly willing to lose me, but, my god, the mushroom cloud reached far and wide. He lost his adult kids, many of his friends, the respect of peers, more than half his money etc….

      And he’s the poor victim now. King of the sad sausages. All that has been done to him simply because he fell in love with another woman is so unfair, and, as I’ve written here before, he says we will suffer God’s wrath as a result. (He’s areligious, or so I thought.)

      • Spinach35

        Yes the DOCTOR wasband remains filled with hate for me for “turning” our ADULT kids against him. (Never mind that they advised me to divorce him before the D-day and I thought they were nuts. Yep, I was hooked on hopium they “just didn’t understand”….)

        ANYHOW –

        In the 4 years since our split, the DOCTOR has seen ONE child for a single afternoon.

        He’s also said he “cries EVERYDAY b/c he misses” them so much…

        One visit to one child, in 4 years. But he sheds tears “everyday”.

        What a stupid lie. Which makes stupid lie #60375, and counting…

        • Oh yeah. They can’t stop lying.

          I know we have similar stories, Doctor’sFirstWife, but I’m not as far down the road as you (D-Day Oct ’19 and divorce June ’20). If I recall, you were married for 35 years and have 3 kids. And your wasband is a doctor. Same here. Check, check, check.

          Nex just wrote to our youngest on her birthday. She’s an adult. It was a card with “I miss you and love you” written on it. He didn’t include his new return address, which is curious. I mean, if he wants a relationship with her, why the secrecy? Why not write, “Here’s my new address. I’d love to hear from you.” Better yet, why not write, “Hey, I know I’ve been a complete ass and this must be so hard for you.” *sigh*

          In an attempt at poor-me image management, he lied to the judge/mediator, saying that he loves his kids more than anything. Correction: He loves himself more than anything. His dick comes in second (tied with fly fishing). Money is third. The OW is fourth. The kids maybe rank 5th. The sad thing is that they know this. That said, they don’t seem to care. They emotionally checked out from him years ago. They wish I’d left him when they were kids. *sigh*

          Doctor’sFirstWife, you said that one child met with him. How did that go? I told my kids that I don’t want to be an obstacle to their meeting with him. And yet….I know it would really upset me. ugh.

        • Yep when my fuckwit wanted to come back, I let my grown son know (by phone, as he was in AF at the time) He said, mom be careful, he is messed up.

          I wish I had listened, it was a horrible week. He never got another shot at me, though he tried.

      • Mine just got the deer-in-headlights look and asked, “Consequences?” like he didn’t understand what the word meant. I don’t think he actually understood the concept since his mother enabled him from day one. If he had a problem she threw money at it, I’m guessing so she could focus on her career. Now she is nearing retirement and he still only has a part-time job so I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to go on. Not my problem any more.

        What Bible has he been reading if he thinks God’s wrath is coming for YOU? Just about every holy book I know of condemns the adulterer, not the victim. Understand that when he says “God” he is referring to himself because he is a delusional fuckwit. I would take that as a warning sign that he has revenge plans for you because you dared to leave him.

        • Yikes! I hope not. But, yeah, the God’s-wrath threat did scare me and positively terrified my therapist. I think psychiatrists are alert to these God references because they are a sign of a problem (forget which). Does anyone on this site know?

          Ayway, as a result, I’ve kept secret my new address, which is in a new state. I removed it from White Pages and Spokeo. With the internet, it’s hard to keep on top of all that info, but I’m trying.

          Funny thing is, my ex seems to have removed *his* new address, too, even though it’s plastered all over recent legal documents. So who knows why he’s done this? He recently sent a birthday card to our adult daughter (using another family member’s address that he already had) and didn’t include his return address.

          I can’t figure it out. It’s either “na nanee boo boo, I can hide my address, too” and/or he doesn’t want his AP’s ex to find them so never shares his address. But that really doesn’t make sense. Oh wait, he’s irrational.

          I mentioned on here before that he told me that if I ever contact the AP’s ex, I’ll have “blood on my hands.”

          Ah the drama! The veiled threats! I’m so glad to be in a peaceful place now. What a difference!

          • You are smart not to share your new address with him. If you moved to a new state you’re probably all right, but it’s still wise to take precautions. I moved 30 miles away and I bent over backwards to make sure he didn’t find my new address because he expressed a desire to “visit” me at my new place (UBT: get more kibbles). I tipped my father and brother off not to share my new address with him when they helped me move. At that point they didn’t even know about the affair but they trusted me and kept their mouths shut. I asked the credit union to leave my address off my new checks, although I doubt I’ll ever need to write him a check. Every phone call that required me mentioning my change of address took place in my locked car so he couldn’t overhear. I felt like James Bond giving the other operatives their instructions!

            I don’t think Nitwit is capable of violence but then I didn’t think he was capable of cheating on me either. That’s part of the recovery from the mindfuck: accepting that the wo/man you thought you knew never existed.

            • “I don’t think Nitwit is capable of violence but then I didn’t think he was capable of cheating on me either. That’s part of the recovery from the mindfuck: accepting that the wo/man you thought you knew never existed.”

              My thoughts exactly. The earth has shifted beneath us. What we thought to be true wasn’t. It’s unsettling and scary.

              • “That’s part of the recovery from the mindfuck: accepting that the wo/man you thought you knew never existed.””

                very true. It took me several years to accept that he was not who I thought he was. Even after I knew I was never going back, I would make some excuses. Likely in part because he was my sons dad.

                But, yeah then at some point I came to full acceptance. He proved it several times over, up to blowing up his relationship with our son. Now he and schmoopie only go to see her grandchildren. His loss.

                I have two beautiful sets of grandchildren and my H and I make sure both sets are loved.

      • I experienced this. She saw it as punishment as well. Of course, I’m at fault for pushing her to cheat- then “your timeline is off, I started once you accused me”, “I can’t believe you filed for divorce! What were you thinking? This is going to waste so much of our money?” Me going no contact and not dealing with her outside of emails regarding kids, then started saying how ignoring her was abuse and to think of the kids .

        When she started trying to come back every time her AP was dumping her and ignoring her (this frequently occurs), it’s showing up at my door, tons of texts, “Can you imagine if you would have believed me? “I wish you didn’t have a girlfriend. I have no one!” “How are we supposed to live like this where your anger is everything and you continue to punish me?”

        I think this woman legitimately believed I was supposed to (and would have) just waited to be a backup choice and be there every time she was dumped. Like it was absurd to think I had standards and would move on.

  • Ahhh… The water works.
    Mine cried while running up and down the house after I caught him out the first time.
    Yeah you cheated. I’m the one who has been hurt and you are prancing about the house crying. It was a pathetic sight.. I lost the last modicum of respect I had for him then but we would plod on for a bit longer before it ended.

  • No tears,just a glacial stranger,cold as ice. It was as if the person I thought I knew had been abducted by aliens and some monster was walking around in his skin.
    However,bonkers as this sounds,on one occasion while we were still together and before the shit hit the fan, I was sitting beside him talking about nothing in particular, when suddenly his face changed and became what I can only describe as demonic looking. Cold staring eyes,a snarl around his mouth. It was so fleeting,I almost thought I imagined it. In the light of what I uncovered afterwards, I now believe it was a momentary slip of his mask of normalcy.

    • I have seen a narcissist or possibly psychopath drop the mask and look inhuman. Like your incident, it was fleeting. It was frightening, to say the least, but I had done my reading about this disordered sort of person so wasn’t surprised. They occasionally do that. I have heard that their eyes will sometimes turn black (probably dilated pupils). With the person I dealt with, blue eyes turned an unnatural very pale gray, and the skin appeared gray-tinged. It was pure evil. Everything about them seemed emotionally and visually icy cold. They momentarily appear inhuman.

    • My ex did this towards the end of false reconciliation. My cousin came to visit to buy my mother’s car, and ex couldn’t be bothered to come say hello. When I called him on it he had those dead eyes and refused to interact with anyone.

    • I wouldn’t rule out the Devil’s works entirely. Makes me think about demonic possession but I know it’s just fanciful thinking. Humans are good enough at committing their own evil acts.

  • My cheater lost two of his best friends in tragic ways over the 20 years I was with him and I never saw him cry. After dday and his pathetic attempts to hoover he would cry frequently. I attributed it to him mirroring his OW who seemed to have a flair for being dramatic.

  • While I was packing up the house after 30 years of “marriage”, he sobbed as he packed boxes. I never saw him cry before. He never answered any questions other than to say he saw prostitutes periodically and occasionally. BS looking at cash withdrawals it was weekly. He said he lost his best friend. I don’t believe people hide secret lives from their best friend. He also cried in front of my 25 year old daughter. During the marriage I saw rage. Ugh. I filed for the divorce, which I see in CN is the usual. After DD he said I need to get over it. Think of it as going to a baseball game..WTF? Ugh….

    • My ex also frequented prostitutes, shady ‘massage parlors’ and had affair partners – (he was an EO sort of cheater)… and referred to me as his best friend.

  • Oh gosh. I posted this yesterday under the last blog post so I’m so happy to read this post! My ex is the king of fake crying.

    The first time I witnessed this was when I found out I was pregnant. It was not expected. His initial reaction was COLD AS ICE and he demanded I get an abortion and he can’t parent. When he saw MY reaction and I told him I wouldn’t be getting an abortion but he doesn’t have to be involved, a switch flipped. He started crying “oh I would never do that to you. I’m not going to leave you alone. We will get through this together”. I felt like I was living a bad Lifetime Original Movie and now I know why. He was acting. After this conversation he went about the day like normal while I was shocked and worried and stressed about an unplanned pregnancy. I thought wow he just really goes with the flow he’s so laid back..no. The cold as once version was the real him. When he didn’t like my reaction he flipped the channel.

    Throughout our relationship he would cry during disagreements. He cried when we got married. I thought he was just really sensitive and I was somewhat cold and how nice I had found a man in touch with his feelings.

    D-day happened over the course of two days where I gradually started to piece things together. Initially he cried and cried and begged for forgiveness and told me he would do anything to keep us together. Once I found out more about his cheating, it was over. Flip switched and ice cold version of himself appeared. He filed for divorce and that was it. This is SUCH confusing behavior and something that has really left me baffled over the past few months of recovering from this insane relationship. The way he can switch from sweet gentle lamb to enraged ice cold ogre is so scary to me.

    • I would like to add that he is of course seeking 50/50 custody. Although to date he has not had any overnights with our child and averages about 10-13 hours per week. Looking back it was probably one of the only times he was honest when he told me he didn’t want to parent.

      • Mine held me as I sobbed (for hours, who can hold somebody as they sob for hours and show nothing ?), he held his stepdaughter as she sobbed, but both times he was like a block of empty……..I don’t know what… It was really weird and disorientating.

  • I may be wrong, but I think I heard one time that if actors need to cry there is a pill they can bite down on that will bring the tears (or maybe they’re just told to bite their tongues – who knows)! I remember this because one time David Niven had to do it and instead of producing tears he said he had a whole pile of green snot come pouring out his nose – which kinda killed the romance of the moment on screen! I still don’t know if my ex can cry “at will” but he would work himself up into the most god-awful rages and when he had worn himself out HE would burst into tears, not me! I never could figure that out. I still always remember Gladitsover saying one time that her cheater admitted he could cry at will and that he would often sit watching a sad movie and “allow” a tear to trickle down his cheek. He wouldn’t wipe it away though, like most people would do, no he allowed it to run! The worst I ever saw was a batshit crazy narc boss who I have mentioned before. Damn that bitch could blub to order!

    • It’s ambush–an effective tactic of war. The have been planning their exit for a long time, making sure we are defenseless when they blindside (ambush) us.

  • He never cried but he was a big faker. Sometimes tragically ill and bedridden. Once as I tried to drive away after an argument, he pretended I ran over his foot. I, of course apologized and helped him into the house. He limped until he was out of my sight, I saw him later through the window walking around normally.

  • I don’t mean to hijack the thread, but I wonder if anyone else recalls an article from a couple of years back that discussed how cheating partners who leave can move on with their lives because they have a coherent story, whereas the partner left behind has a ruptured narrative that they must reconstruct.

    I thought it was in the New York Times, but I haven’t been able to find it there. If anyone else recalls this article and can send me the link, I would truly appreciate it!

        • That’s it! You’re a lifesaver. I’m writing an ethics paper on adultery as abuse, and this paper had come to mind, but I just couldn’t find it again.

          • David–

            Here’s something that might be useful for your paper– an academic article on “neutralization,” the narrative-fabricating, self-exculpating, conscience-assuaging, image-managing, blame-reversing mind trick of many types of bad actors. I can’t seem to copy and paste the PDF but below is the title and an excerpt. The article appeared in “Societies 2019” under criminology.

            It might provide an alt view to the NY Times article since it seems that the “stories” abusers construct as they “move on” from their misdeeds might not be so simple and appear to require a lot of energy to maintain. The Times article makes a valid point that, for many perps, social forgiveness/acceptance abets ill-doers in appearing to smoothly moving on from their ill-deeds while victims are more openly struggle. But I think I’d still rather be a chump than have to spend the rest of my life spinning that self-exculpating mental basketball on my finger 24-7 in order not to feel like a scourge. And any betrayer who doesn’t, if asked, dedicate themselves to repairing the broken narratives of their victims by filling in the gaps isn’t really reformed, are they?

            I don’t understand why neutralization isn’t discussed more in terms of intimate betrayal and abuse since it’s been applied to a range of misdeeds from cheating on tests to underage drinking to serial killers. It would seem to be the key to how any brand of abuser could both live down what they’ve done and go on to do it again. From “Denying the Darkness: Exploring the Discourses of Neutralization of Bundy, Gacy and Dahmer”:

            “By offering these neutralizations, these offenders attempt to make themselves and their behavior more tolerable, which is particularly the case when using denial of the victim. By stating the victim acted in some way to instigate their own victimization or that the murderer acted in self-defense,this allows the murderer to recast themselves as victim rather than perpetrator. They can mitigate responsibility for their actions, maintain their positive presentation of self, and minimize the stigma of being a “multiple murderer”.Although this research cannot be generalized to other serial murderers, it does provide potential insight into how these offenders view themselves, their crimes, retain control over the narrative of their crimes and lives [5,33–36,42], and account for their behavior, as well as the use of techniques of neutralization. This research also supports previous research examining how offenders, and serial murderers, rely upon the social processes and cultural categories to manage identities, present normal selves through social performance and engage in stigma management [1,5,12,32,34–36,38,42,54]. Additionally, an implication of this research is that not only do “minor” offenders (e.g., shoplifters) use neutralizations when discussing their crimes to minimize stigma, present positive selves, and lessen responsibility assigned for their actions, but so do serial killers. As a result, techniques of neutralization could be viewed as a universal theory of crime [12]. Moreover, these techniques might not only be used after-the-fact by killers to reduce shame, protect self-image, labeling and/or stigma associated with their crimes, but could be how an offender is able to do the same before or during the commission of acrime [1]. These techniques may, additionally, assist these offenders in moving from single murderer to multiple murderer, thus instigating future criminal behavior [33,36,38,54–56].Moreover, the use of neutralizations could be the way these serial murderers were able to commit their crimes while maintaining “normal lives” (e.g., be in relationships, hold down jobs, have friends) [1,12]. By utilizing these techniques, these killers protected their self-perceptions (to themselves and others), and could view themselves as “good people”, “nice guys”, “mild-mannered”, friend,neighbor, boyfriend, husband, but yet still engage in serial murder. As stated by Bundy, “I’m just a normal individual” [89]. The use of these techniques of neutralization could be how he (and Dahmer and Gacy and potentially other serial killers) could view themselves and present themselves to others in this way (despite knowledge of their crimes being known) [1,12].Future research should further explore whether, and how, these neutralizations allow serial murderers to drift between conventional society and murder. Future research should also, if possible,examine serial murderers who are still alive and incarcerated. Additionally, research should examine whether the use of neutralizations allows for future crimes (i.e., are used before-the-fact), or only help to manage and present selves, minimize stigma and mitigate responsibility after-the-fact.”

              • Hell of a Chump – be still my beating heart! Have I discovered a fellow psychology nerd? One who curls up with academic papers? Who downloads scholarly PDFs for their personal library, perhaps? In any case, thank you for my newest library addition!

              • Chump Queen– Kismet! I’m also an environmental health and evolutionary science dork. I curl up with epigenetic studies and a jar of olives lol. Please share your findings liberally on this forum and I’ll be ever grateful. 😉

              • ChumpQueen– I tried to respond but somehow my comment didn’t post. Yes, definitely a psych and social science nerd and also a general science watchdog. I’m always on the lookout for victim-blaming sci-fi, weaponized shillery, etc. Please share whatever you find!

            • Thanks for the reference. I’m definitely interested in attempts to document the impact of infidelity on those betrayed, as it’s an underappreciated component in both therapy and ethical discussions.

              • David–

                I was curious about whether anyone had ever applied neutralization to infidelity and at last found this: https://honeyandthehomewrecker.com/2017/11/11/crime-theory-meets-cheaterspeak-2/

                I think it’s a civilian blog, maybe a bit of a rant but done with humor. The interesting thing is that they were able to segue (as the author put it) from the extreme application of neutralization (murder, armed robbery) to adultery to show how neutralization as a self-assuaging and image managing tactic is the nexus where a huge range of ill deeds are rationalized.

                The author also asks an important question about whether sociopathy is really an accurate label in cases where ornate neutralization was employed by a criminal. I suppose it depends on whether the perpetrator employed neutralization solely to con bystanders and future victims and evade consequences or if the perpetrator used it as self talk to feel better about past deeds and to enable future crimes. The latter seems to suggest the existence of a conscience that needs to be quelled, no matter how anemic that conscience might be.

            • Going through this paper, I’m not going to extreme as to focus on crimonological examples like Gacy, Dahmer, etc. Neutralization is important to what I’m thinking about, though, especially as it relates to the ethics of how external observers and therapists respond to adultery.

              • David– Cool! Thanks for sharing. I found almost nothing on infidelity and neutralization so there’s a yawning gap there to be filled. Best of luck.

    • Yep, and th;ey generally have had months if not years to get themselves ready, while lying to the partner about what is going on. So when they are ready to pull the trigger, of course the tell us “we must move on quickly and not make it any harder”. My fuckwit actually said that to me.

  • Well, I guess you could kind of see this as evidence of my FW XW’s weepy sad sausageness. Honestly, I wrote up what follows this morning waiting for CL to post today’s subject, not knowing what it would be. I just needed to vent to a group of people who might actually understand where I’m coming from. And that’s you, CN. As I frequently am, I’m sorry for the length, but it vomits out of me at times like this:

    Here’s the latest bullshit move by my fuckwit XW. She sent me the following text yesterday evening after I texted her on Wednesday evening a picture of a new custody schedule that our our only remaining minor, our son, came up with, as he’s almost 15 and hates having long periods w/either of us now (currently, we follow a 50/50 schedule of 2/2/5/5 each week). He wants to change it to a 2/2/3/2/2/3 schedule, where every other weekend he has a three day weekend w/one us, if that makes sense.

    I told him that since he wanted the schedule change, he should be involved in coming up w/it, especially at his age (he’ll be 15 in early October, and entered full teenagerhood about a year ago, w/all its moodiness and dislike of being around parents). He came up w/the above schedule after I made him come w/me to Staples to get a large school desk calendar (at least $10 cheaper than a comparable wall calendar) to better plot out different schedules, and he came up w/this on his second try. I couldn’t come up w/anything better, so I sent a picture of it to his fuckwit mother, saying if she didn’t have any objection to it, I would prefer it to start by the middle of September (the picture showed the proposed breakdown of the schedule for September).

    One fact that’s important for you to know is our former marriage anniversary was September 26th (1992, just fyi). The last few years we were together (of our so-called 24+ year marriage, and as I was deep in depression and unknowingly battling diabetes), I noticed she cared less and less about our anniversary date, blowing it off to do things she wanted to do for herself and always claiming that we didn’t have to be rigid about the date we celebrated it. Looking back, that was a red flag. It bothered me, but I loved her, so I spackled over it. So, this is the text I get from the fuckwit XW in reply last night:

    I will talk with [our son] about that. I am going to Maine on 9/19, returning 9/27. Whatever calendar plan we work out should probably start after I return.

    Maybe I’m making more out of it than I should, but I really didn’t need to know she’s taking off w/her former boss and POS AP for what’s probably a romantic vacation to her AP’s vacation home on an island off the Maine coast. My son volunteered a year or two ago that his mother the fuckwit and her equally fuckwit AP had let drop that the fuckwit AP might have to sell the Maine vacation home because of his divorce (he’s rich, but he’s still a stupidly cheap New Englander. I say that because New Englander’s are supposed to be known for high levels of thriftiness; he’s just frequently a cheap bastard). I gather the home’s been in his family for at least a few generations, and that he bought his siblings out of their shares of it years ago.

    Apparently the information about it getting sold due to the divorce was wrong, or hasn’t come to fruition yet (I also want to go on record to say I never asked for any of this information. My son volunteered it a few years ago on his own. I just pay attention when the kid(s) drops this stuff in my lap). I should also mention that a year or so before the FW XW decided to officially start her affair w/her then boss, she showed me a picture of his vacation home, and gushed over it, obviously coveting it. She always wanted a vacation home or camp, and I’m sure the fact that I never provided her w/one (even a camp. I’m going to Hell!) weighed against me as one of my many sins of being a bad husband.

    Again, maybe it’s just me, but her text struck me as at most a not so subtle dig at me, and at least a callous disregard for anyone but the fuckwits themselves. Not only is she going off to be w/her POS partner on a romantic getaway around and DURING what was our wedding anniversary (which is shitty enough to me), but she does it while leaving our son behind (no request of would I look after him in her absence), at the beginning of the start of his freshman year in high school, and w/him dealing w/a COVID hybrid school schedule. Not to mention, she wants to delay starting a schedule our son wants and has been patiently waiting for his parents to entertain (he wanted it to happen back in June, but I asked him to wait until summer was over, as I didn’t want to mess up vacation plans).

    As it turned out, due to COVID, my son’s new lack of desire for traveling, and his mother and her AP’s usual shittiness (that’s my view), none of our kids had any real vacation this summer. The closest the kids got to a vacation was the two fuckwits invited all of them to the Maine vacation home in July, where they were supposed to spend five days together, then come home (all of this in three separate cars, as the kids don’t necessarily like traveling all together and it seems definitely not w/the fuckwits).

    The kids instead returned after three days, cutting the “vacation” short, and leaving the fuckwits there. Again, I didn’t ask for it, but my son let drop that it was no vacation for my kids. This was also the first time all three of them went to the vacation home. In the past, since D-day, it’s only been our son that’s gone w/the fuckwits. His two older sisters weren’t involved. This time, neither the kids nor the FW XW let me know this was happening until my oldest daughter let the cat out of the bag the week before they left. So anyway, I could have started the ball on this schedule sooner (his mother, though now claiming she knew of his desire for change back in June, never once broached the subject w/me this past summer).

    I’m hard grey rock w/the FW XW, only communicating by text or email, and as sparingly as I can manage (I’m civil, not cordial, as I promised her I would be at least six months after D-day, when I was starting to realize the pick-me dance was doing me more harm than good). I still wait at least 24 hours before replying to cool off as wonderfully suggested by someone here in CN (I apologize to whoever did suggest it as I don’t remember who it was right now, but it was a GREAT suggestion). The only exception to that is if it’s truly time-sensitive. I also said if it’s absolutely critical to the kids’ welfare, I will talk to her on the phone or in person (again, only if it’s essential). Thank God, that hasn’t been necessary yet, and I hope it never will be. That’s definitely a boon to my mental state.

    I am sorely tempted today, however, to send a caustic reply back to the fuckwit XW saying, “You were right. There is something TERRIBLY wrong w/you.” That comes from post D-day, when in the thirteen days after it (before she moved in w/the POS AP a half mile down the street), when I temporarily got over my anger at what she had done to our marriage and family, and played the pick-me-dance by begging her to give us another chance, as I told her I realized I loved her too much to just let her walk out the door w/out trying to reconcile. In one of our serious discussions, she seemed to break down and told me, “I think there’s something wrong w/me.” Even though it struck me as true at the time, I bit my tongue to avoid outright agreeing w/her and instead said I didn’t know if there was something wrong w/her, but she was definitely different.

    No, she was right. There sure as hell is something wrong w/her. There are things wrong w/me too, but at least I tried to love her as fully as I could, and never showed disloyalty by cheating on her. And I don’t try to abuse her, whether consciously or not, by showing such a continuous disrespect for our marriage, our wedding anniversary, and our kids thru her brand of selfishness.

    Thanks for listening, CN. Another roadblock to meh for me, but I’m still getting closer. I hope all of you are, too. Stay as healthy and happy as you can, and may we all find the peace of meh and Tuesday sooner rather than later.

    • dear TLR
      I wouldn’t respond in any way if I were you. This is for your son and her to discuss.
      Apparently you are a few years out from separating. Your ex POS has evidently moved on. Her text was actually pretty businesslike. The comment about might have been a jab, but it could also be that by now it is such al nromal thing for her to do. You only loose face if you respond to this. If she did it unknowingly you look crazy. If she did it on purpose, she knows it got to you.
      I know how you feel, because I can also get very angry with my exs BS, but I know only communicate in a formal matter, which infuriates her BTW . She calls it “using a lot of words but no substance”
      I ignore it and am GR.
      You should to: try to take the emotion out of it and think that you guys made a fair proposal. It’s up to her to her to accept it or negotiate with your son to come up with an alternative. Then you take it from there.
      Good luck

      • GuideDog,

        No, I won’t respond to the FW XW, or if I do, it will be in a businesslike, emotionless answer. This was just me venting, as I’m angry either way. Whether she decided to tell me that she’s going to her POS AP’s Maine vacation home during what was our anniversary on purpose, or if she’s so callous as to forget that fact. It’s a double-whammy for pissing me off. Which is why I think it might be intentional, and also why I needed to vent.

        To answer your wondering about where I am following my D-day, I’m about 3 1/2 years out from D-day, and about 1 1/2 years out from final divorce. I’m still prickly about what she did, and continues to do. Obviously. But thank you for your advice. I appreciate it. Believe it or not, I‘ve actually gotten better about it all in this time after D-day. Not that you can tell at times like this.

        • I know what you mean. There are times where you’re able to just shrug it off and there are times that you’re furious. I’m also 1 1/2 out from divorce and prickly.
          Hang in there and keep venting to keep you’re sanity and also to keep your kids out of the mix as much as possible

    • Fuckwits gotta do what fuckwits do.
      Keep up the dark gray rock and over time her antics will just seem humorous in a pitifull kind of way.

      • Sorry, Bruno! I meant to respond to this Saturday. I agree, fuckwits are gonna be fuckwits. It still annoys the fuck out of me at times like this, though. Still hard grey rock, absolutely. Most of the time now, I do find her bullshit humorous, and then zing! One gets to me like this. I’m waiting to talk to my son later today (she gets him this holiday weekend until 1800 today. Normally it would’ve been my weekend w/him).

        I hope things are happier in your life. Stay safe, stay healthy man (you and your family). Thanks for the good advice. Hope you’re well on your way to meh and Tuesday.

    • One of the most important guiding principles is “it’s not about you”. She had an affair because she wanted to, not because you drove her to it. And she’s going on vacation during your former wedding anniversary because she wants to, not because of you or to spite you. I guarantee that she didn’t think of you AT ALL while she was planning this.

      I understand where you’re coming from – my XW and AP took the kids to a lake house in New England this summer, in violation of quarantine restrictions – while I was stuck sweltering in Atlanta. It will pass. The less you say about it now the sooner it will recede into the distance.

      When I’m feeling resentful about this type of thing, I remind myself of what it was actually like going on vacation with XW (she’s a crappy traveler, never helped with the kids, really only wanted to lie on the beach and be catered to whereas I’d like to do something cultural or active). If you were actually in a house in Maine with XW, would you be enjoying yourself? Nowadays I would pay good money to NOT have to spend time with XW. Let her do whatever the fuck she wants and just work on being grateful that you are no longer required to be in the same house as her!

      (no disrespect to people who are still stuck cohabitating with their cheaters – but you people need to get the hell out asap)

      • Involuntary Georgian,

        Thanks for the advice. Check out my reply to GuideDog above. This was really just me needing to vent. I know what to do (or not to do). Doesn’t mean I’m not still capable of being pissed off by the FW XW. Hence, my venting.

        No, I don’t want to be w/her in the Maine vacation house of her AP. I don’t want to be w/her AT ALL. And the way the kids abandoned early on her idea of a vacation w/the two fuckwits back in July at the Maine house suggests they don’t want much to be there w/her/them either.

        I think I’m pretty good at ignoring 80-90% of her bullshit at this point. But like many things and many chumps, I believe, it’s achieving that last 10-20% of not caring what she says or does that’s proving hard to achieve.

        I was always good about remembering important dates in our marriage. Anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, holidays, etc. So it really pisses me off when she pisses on things like that, intentionally or not. And, I would not at all be surprised that she’s not thinking of me. Still pisses me off.

        Just slowly working my way to meh and Tuesday. I’ll get there at some point. Best wishes to you in your journey, IG. Be safe, stay healthy, and may you have peace and happiness in your new life w/out your FW. That goes for the rest of you lot.😉

        • Hope you find a good partner one day. No hurry on that. A good father and a faithful husband (who remembers anniversaries!) is a good catch.

          • Nemo,

            Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, I know I did a lot of things the FW XW should have appreciated more. I also did a lot of things she (and probably a lot of women) would not appreciate during our marriage. I am a very flawed person. I own that. All I can offer to mitigate that fact is, aren’t we all flawed? Isn’t that inescapable in being a human being? All I can hope is that I’ll have more positive things that I did in my life than negative things when I’m dead. That things like loving devotion to a spouse/partner mean something to most people in this world, as fucking imperfect as that devotion was. That good intentions, as flawed and badly executed as they might have been on my part, count for something.

            I just realized that could sound like I might have cheated on the FW XW at some point in our marriage/relationship. I just want to make clear that was not the case, EVER. Tempted a couple of times? Yes. Acted on it? A definite NO. And I told her that on D-day. Through teeth clenched in rage at what she had done to me, our over 24 year marriage and our family, I told her there were at least a couple of times I could have stepped out on our marriage. But that unlike her, I cared about and loved her too much to do that. Looking back, I was trying to say I respected her and our vows too much to do that. Again, unlike her.

            So, I’ve come over the years following D-day to the idea that as flawed and screwed-up as I was as a husband and am as a human being, I at least honored my marriage vows and showed my respect/love for the FW XW by not committing adultery, and by loving her fully, though imperfectly. The least she could have done if she was unhappy and wanted out of the relationship was to be a grownup and tell me. Then move on to another relationship if she wanted to (I think it’s fairly obvious she’s unlikely to be comfortable on her own, based on her actions, but that’s her problem). I’m convinced that would have hurt me more, fucked-up as that is, but I would’ve at least respected her more if she’d done that. I would have really respected her more if she had at least tried to work things out w/me, before deciding to leave. It seems that’s all too much to expect from a fuckwit like her.

            I have NO respect for her now. Funny how that happens when you show your spouse/partner/supposed best friend of over 24 years no respect by committing adultery w/your married, older boss, then leaving you for that boss and literally moving in a half mile down the street w/him to maintain your local political position in our shared village/town.

            Alright, I need t wrap this up. I could vomit up more, but I’ve already done that enough. So again, thank you Nemo, for being a caring person. I hope you’re well on your way to meh and Tuesday. May you and your family be safe and stay healthy, and find more happiness in your life than darkness. We’re here, so we’ve seen a version of Hades. The challenge is to keep moving forward w/our lives, and keep the past in the proper perspective. Kind of like modern day versions of Orpheus, I think. These last few hopes and thoughts are for all of CN as well, ‘natch. Have an enjoyable Sunday, if you can, everybody. Thanks again for giving me a safe place to vent about the fuckwit(s) in my life.

    • I agree that no response is the best response in this case. But as for an interpretation of if or why your FW ex would be throwing a dig into what should be just a pragmatic communication– yeah, probably. Which is all the more reason not to respond.

      The thing about cheaters and mate poachers is that they absolutely depend on the triangle to fill in the emptiness of the bonds they create with each other. I was reading an article on drug-induced “lovelessness”– when certain toxic chemical compounds induce a form of brain damage that destroys the ability to love. The clinical author made the point that human beings without love are nasty animals, basically just machines of need and ego vacuums.

      Maybe the central driving force behind personality disorders is just that– the inability to love and all their elaborate, confusing games and antics just boil down to that simple principle. They suspect they have no intrinsic value and wouldn’t know intrinsic value in another person if it bit them so they base human value on a stock market effect. In the stock market, things have value if others want them. The personality-disordered feel they have value only if others pine for them. Basically it’s no fun “winning” something that the “loser” didn’t really want after all and it’s no fun running away if you’re not being chased.

      The AP might have been the one to arrange the getaway on your former anniversary, either to extend his pathetic victory dance in order to feel as if what he gained (a fuckwit) has any value or to distract your FW in the case he’d noticed she gets mopey and itchy on that date which, to a poacher, can trigger doubt and jealousy (since if they cheat with ya, they can always cheat on ya). Or she might have arranged it on that day to distract herself from reminders she’s a fuckwit and as her way of sticking it to you in her mind in the hopeful delusion that her value is raised by someone being hurt or betrayed by her actions. That’s better than the creeping feeling that she doesn’t really exist– a sense that apparently chronically haunts people with personality disorders.

      People with personality disorders do this controlling shit like they breathe so it’s arguably a compulsive behavior that doesn’t require their full attention, but I don’t believe in accidents in this arena. The easy thing about dealing with bullies and abusers is that they will always attempt to engineer in their victims the humiliations, doubts and specific emotional injuries that the bully/abuser abhors and fears most when they’re on the receiving end, as if the bully/abuser can somehow avoid those ill feelings by engineering them in another person.

      It’s really deranged. So the instructions on how to respond to FW BS are built right into their abuse. She fears being ignored and forgotten by you and she wants you rattled and feeling betrayed so she can quell the chronic sense of depersonalization. Don’t feed that monkey. Don’t respond at all and just repeat the first request after a spell. Gray rock forever. These people are not normal.

      • Hell of a Chump,

        Very interesting thoughts. I appreciate them. You can see my responses to GuideDog and InvoluntaryGeorgian above. I hope in answering them, I made things a little clearer about this being primarily about venting to a group that has the best chance of understanding why I’m venting.

        I do like and agree w/you on the “it’s not likely a coincidence” when fuckwits like ours are involved. I don’t think her AP was much involved, though. This is the asshole who just lost his job last spring as chancellor of our state’s college system because he was so selfish in his thinking, he unilaterally announced the closing of a university he oversaw (which he had just in recent times created from two struggling colleges in the system), without taking the time to talk to everyone that would be affected by this closure (inclusion in the process? Why bother w/that?!).

        He’s at least as much of a fuckwit as the XW (he left his wife of 40 years to have an affair w/my XW, his administrative assistant of TWO years). I think it’s hard for him to think outside his own wants and needs, like most narcissistic assholes.

        Yes, these FW’s are both deranged and not normal to my mind (I guess you can’t be normal if you’re deranged, now that I think about it). But they’ve got a lot of people fooled. That’s why I come here. To communicate w/people who have seen similar shit, and know different than the unsuspecting masses.

        Thanks again for your input. Best wishes to you and your family, stay safe and healthy, and I hope you either are in a good place, or get there soon.

      • “ I was reading an article on drug-induced “lovelessness”– when certain toxic chemical compounds induce a form of brain damage that destroys the ability to love. The clinical author made the point that human beings without love are nasty animals, basically just machines of need and ego vacuums.”

        That’s actually very interesting. I’ll try looking up that article or something like it.

      • “The thing about cheaters and mate poachers is that they absolutely depend on the triangle to fill in the emptiness of the bonds they create with each other. ”

        That is interesting. I have been thinking of my ex cheaters recent actions of he and schmoopie blowing up his relationship with our son. Also, I know there have been fights ongoing between them and members of her family, and my son and his wife.

        I am wonder if that holds true with non cheater situations. In other words, is my son and or his wife their new triangle? Nothing I can do about it, and son and wife are handling it the best they can, but still interesting. It does seem that they need a common enemy for some reason. Maybe because that is how they started their relationship, or maybe they were each that way before and that was their draw. Chicken or egg. Interesting.

        I learn so much from all you lovely folks.

  • My Ex-Wife had a routine operation about a month after our divorce was finalised which saw her bed ridden for about a fortnight. I got a number of self pitying emails from her about how all of her friends had dropped her (surprise surprise, they took a negative view over her actions) and that no-one was helping her. The emails then went on to complain that I had not once asked her how she was and had not once asked if there was anything I could do to help her.

    Judging by her reaction – which was epic – she was not expecting me to respond along the lines of “your problems are no longer my responsibility and – since you are still in a relationship with your AP – you should perhaps ask him to come and wipe your ar*e if you are having trouble reaching it.”

    And that is how I found out that I am – in her eyes at least – a terrible person and a monster.

    • Good God. Fuck her and all other fuckwits like her. Rock on, LookingforwardstoTuesday. You know you’re so much better off w/out her. May meh, Tuesday, health and happiness be the future for you and your family. Sooner rather than later.

  • After my wife said she was leaving me and our young child because I couldn’t remember a name of a song at our wedding and because she started liking country music and I didn’t (along with 3-4 equally great reasons) she began crying.

    She was crying because she said this makes her look selfish.

    Within a couple of days I started finding out about the boyfriends I had no clue about. Idiot me thought all these girl nights and shopping trips had been real. I could write a book about what all she had done and how oblivious I was and beaten down I had become.

    • bigchump,

      What a shitty thing to do to you and your family. Makes her look selfish, huh? Damn right it does. Proves it too. Best wishes for you and your family. You’re out; let the healing begin. You certainly deserve it.

  • At first ex would only cry when talking about how sorry he was for hurting Schmoopie when he told her they had to put their relationship on hold while he and I tried to reconcile. After witnessing that, any time he tried to imply tears for losing me (not witnessed, he just said “I still cry over it too”) it just made me angry because I didn’t think he was entitled to those tears when the end of our marriage was entirely his choice. Why should he cry or get any sympathy over getting what he wanted?

    • I find this very interesting CIR

      Why can’t they give up the AP or they have to grieve the AP ? They don’t really know each other at the start of the affair so why the tears ? Why the I just can’t leave her

      Yet they don’t seem to grieve / miss / care about the long term spouse / partner at all

      How can you miss something you’ve never had ? Well not in a real sense , but can throw away decades of family , love and support

      I just can’t wrap my mind around it

      • Same here. No trouble at all walking away from a 20 year marriage to a woman he knew loved him and has been loyal and good to him.

        My ex had been humping schmoopie for at least a year, maybe two, but still at the beginning he had to just turn away from me.

        I am pretty sure I know the night they hooked up. It was September 5th 1987. Dday was Dec 25th 1989.

        The reason I know is the only time he had ever bought me flowers was when our son was born, and he ordered them while in Vietnam. On September 6th 1987, while at work I got flowers with a card that said: “since I always forget your birthday, thought I would send these a month early.” He did always forget my Bday, so I thought it was sweet. I didn’t suspect it then, but after Dday I started to figure things out. Those were guilt flowers. Didn’t get any flowers the next two birthdays, nor did he even remember my birthday.

        • Mine threw me away for someone he fucked for less 3 months !!!

          He then got engaged to her , and her pregnant less than 3 months after that . So bang to bullet less than 6 months .

          They married 2 days short from 1 year D Day which was 14 weeks after divorce .

          He simply couldn’t give her up – me his partner of 19 years yeah no problem at all .

          They are still together and will be forever no doubt .

          • I know that hurts, and for you, I wish there were some way you could be a fly on the wall. I am betting you wouldn’t feel so bad.

            I have been lucky in that I know of some of the things my fuckwit and schmoopie have brought down on themselves, through my grown son and daughter in law.

            I hope the very best for you. If you are early in this, it will take a while.

          • Karen you mentioned Reddit chump lady.

            Do they show your email address when you post? I don’t want my email outed and wondered before I sign up.

            • Hi Susie

              No they don’t it’s 100% secure in that regard . You just create a Reddit user name find CL ask to join and one of the mods will sign you up .

              My user name is the same on here as Reddit 💚

              • Thanks, will give it a shot.

                With this lock down, it makes good therapy for my recent set back, after he and his whore trashed my son and his family. It brought up a lot of old stuff and I was trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with this guy, that he would do that. So I googled Narcissist and up popped CN.

                I have finally figured out I had never really forgiven myself for being so stupid and let myself be a doormat for about two years before Dday.

                And now if my story helps anyone, it is worth telling. It is a horrible time. How far out are you from Dday? If you don’t mind answering.

              • Just curious Karen (and going off on a completely different tangent), did you ever have “the talk” with the friend who moved in with you?

            • I don’t think your email address is visible. That being said, you can always create an email address to use solely for your Reddit account. That way, you’re sure to stay anonymous.

      • karenb6702,

        I would venture to say you can’t wrap your mind around it because, like many of us here at CN, it requires you to accept the fact that this person you loved fully is NOT AT ALL like you, and can’t do that for another person like we can. It took me many months to get my head to accept this, so you’re not alone.

        It’s a VERY hard thing to get your head around, because you thought you knew this person, and that they loved you as fully as you did them. You thought they were like you. But once you do embrace it, it makes a lot of their behavior more understandable. Not more acceptable, but at least more understandable. They are incapable of loving like we do. Or if they are, they willfully choose the shallower, easier, shittier path. Nobody said love and a committed relationship would be easy.

        Hollywood and literature frequently make it out to be that way. It’s not. It’s a choice to love forever, and as time goes on, it can become very hard to make that choice. But if you truly love that person, not just in the moment when everything was fresh, new and happy, you try to work through those tough spots in your relationship. And if you truly can’t, then you do the adult thing of separating and getting a divorce, w/out cheating on your partner. Because normal people w/good character know they wouldn’t want that done to them, so how could you do that to someone else? Especially to someone you had truly loved. Also, you start any new romantic relationships after all that happens. Ideally you try to be amicable w/each other, especially if there’s kids involved.

        And then your job (should you choose to accept it), is to go out and be better about picking your future partners. Paying attention to their actions, knowing & enforcing your healthy boundaries, and not spackling over warning signs and red flags created by their actions. Don’t be fooled by their words. None of us are perfect, but there are some basic lines that should not be crossed (aka the aforementioned healthy boundaries). These people don’t think about those lines.

        They only think, and only can think of themselves in the end. To them, we’re disposable, there to serve a temporary want/need (granted, temporary in even a pseudo-adult, supposedly committed relationship can be many years due to deception on their part). And they don’t understand what they’re missing. That’s their hell. They’re just too fucked up to know it. Or maybe not. Anyway, it’s their problem, not ours. We only have a real shot at controlling ourselves.

        I hope this helps. Lots of wishes for meh and Tuesday to reach you sooner than later. I hope you and your family stay well, are healthy, and have more happiness than sorrow in your lives. God knows, the fuckwits gave us more than enough of the latter.

    • Yes! I remember feeling rightfully angry when he said he was mourning the loss of our relationship. The loss?????
      How about the toss.

      • Yep, they don’t get to toss a megaton bomb in the middle of the marriage then cry about how they lost the relationship. Well I guess they can cry if they want to, but they know and we know.

        It is how they excuse themselves for what they destroyed.

  • yup

    Consequences suck. They don’t want that. (My ex refers to consequences as “punishment” to remove any whiff of agency)

    I wonder how many other chumps experienced a cheater who seemed shocked by the extent of the consequences of his cheating.

    Mine was clearly willing to lose me, but, my god, the mushroom cloud reached far and wide. He lost his adult kids, many of his friends, the respect of peers, more than half his money etc….

    And he’s the poor victim now. King of the sad sausages. It’s unfair because he just fell in love. As I’ve written here before, he says his family (wife and kids) will suffer God’s wrath as a result of our “punishment.” (He’s areligious, or so I thought.)

    • I absolutely think he was astonished at how much he lost. He really though he had it under control, and I was the only obstacle to his new life. When he was busted, and put back on street patrol, I think he started to think Ruh Ohh. To late. You got schmoopie, now here are your consequences. I got out of the volunteering I had done for his benefit (though I did miss it). He tried to integrate schmoopie in, and she was shunned by all the married women. Plus she didn’t have a giving heart and it showed.

      So pretty quickly after she got fired (technically, they gave her the option of resigning or being fired, after she screwed up big time on the job) he bought a house in another country and hid her away until he retired.

      To explain: after their adultery was outed they moved her from her dogcatcher job (where he was her boss) to a dispatcher job. She was on the job for a short time and sent police officers into a building where the perp had a gun, but she forgot to tell the officers that. Luckily the police officers were well trained to watch out for themselves.

    • I think Fredo was surprised as well at the fallout. I think he thought we’d maybe keep in touch and go with the ‘we grew apart’ bullshit. I know he thought/thinks my kids will eventually come around. He said of my kids “it’ll be like now where I’m gone for work but when I come back we’ll go out to the movies and have dinner”. The first thanksgiving after second dday (May 2018) he came into the bedroom sobbing, saying “I still want a family!!” because he wasn’t welcome at my parents house. (He had/has rare contact with his parents, no siblings or other family). He also wanted to buy my parents Christmas gifts as they were the only parents he really had for over 25 years. On a couple of occasions during all the initial drama I told him “You will lose me. I am going to get to a point where I will cut you off and never see you again and I’ve been your best/only friend and the one constant in your life for well over half your life. You will lose your only children. You will lose the only family you’ve really known. You will lose the respect of anyone who knew you here. You will have to cling to nastywhore even if she acts like a total shit because she will literally be all you have left in the world. Now you can never say “If someone would’ve told me this would happen I would’ve made a different choice”. You’ve been told”. Tears? Oh tons. And as has been mentioned above I had thought they meant he had real regret but now can see all of the times he sobbed were times where he was absolutely feeling sorry for himself. So definitely think he had no idea of the consequences of his cheating he thought it would change a little but everyone would just be ok with it.

      He fled to the other country where he works and where whore lives; I’m no contact but I’m assuming other than the occasional “I miss you” text messages to my kids he’s put everyone here so far in the back of his mind that whatever story he’s made to comfort his victim self has become truth. I can totally see him competing with your ex for king sad sausage, able to break down and wail his suffering to anyone who’ll listen.

  • We were very early on in the ‘exclusive’ dating stage (and I don’t recall exactly what prompted it but it was harem related) and he was on his knees, hands clasped in the MOST dramatic of ways, tears welling. Flummoxed and embarrassed for him, I pretty much ignored it.

    In the ensuing days, I ended up speaking to the main harem member. Oddly she brought up his penchant for the ^^^^above scenario. “OMG, he did the same thing last week!”, I said. We literally shared a laugh at his expense. An odd bonding experience to say the least, huh?

    The next time he pulled it, I told him to “get up off your f’g knees, you look like a weak fool and I know it’s just an act. As a matter of fact, Karen (yes she’s a Karen) and I recently had a good laugh at your expense about your on your knees act”

    It’s probably the ONLY THING that I warned him not to do that he never did again. One of the ONLY things that was able to penetrate his narcissism and leave a mark.

  • I remember him sobbing, big wracking sobs in my arms after he’d been found to have done something particularly despicable. As he rocked there, with his head buried in my arms, I remember realizing that I wasn’t reacting to it emotionally. I just had no emotional pull toward him in his pain. And then I felt like a terrible person, because who could be utterly unmoved by a person suffering so? I worried that I was compassionless, broken.

    But no. It turns out it was just that deep down my gut knew it was fake. My empathy is intact. He is an actor who gives solo performances to unsuspecting audiences. And he doesn’t deserve any pity at all.

  • My EX was a crier, I remember when his Aunt sent him a card after he graduated from College at the age of 45. It was a great accomplishment of the our whole family, between the cost and sacrifices for me and the kids and the fact that he was always gone to school nights or studying. I was very proud of him but ready to move on with life and have help with our young sons, and the house after 7 years of his schooling. So he sat and held the “fake gold coin, good luck charm” that was glued to the card crying and talking about how they were proud of him. He carried that charm around with him always to remember what he did and how great people realized he was. He was never grateful to me and the kids for that. He told me we made it harder.

    He like to cry when he FINALLY got the praise that he deserved. A pattern that is easy to see now. He was always a victim in his life. A covert narc.

    I also remember him crying when he moved for his new job, he would be lonely and have no one. He was so alone. All the while he was scheming behind my back with one of the women he was seeing to leave me take the kids, the house, and all the money. My D-day was right after that when I found the email to the woman he was seeing at the old job. The tears were fake or just because he wanted things done faster so he did not have to live alone, but with OW.

    The crazy part was that I was part of the package that helped him get the new, greatly improved job. I even went on several interviews with him because the owner of the company wanted to make sure I was on board to move to such a small town. I often wondered how bad the story was he used to explain my never moving.

    • Your card story reminds me of a story about my ex. He decided he wanted to pursue his passion and become..a lifeguard. I guess one day he treated someone that got a dog bite and the person told his boss what a great job he did so his boss wrote him a letter of commendation. That fucking letter sat out on our desk visible for all to see for months. I think he liked it to remind himself of what a wonderful person he is. It was a dog bite. It’s probably framed in his new shitty apartment.

    • ” I often wondered how bad the story was he used to explain my never moving.”

      He may have flipped the script on you.

      My ex and his schmoopie were out doing political calls when they went to one of our neighbors houses. Schmoopie told the woman (who I knew) that fuckwit was so hurt when I started dating.

      Note: I went on a date the first time six months after we were legally separated, and I knew it was over. I had been asked several times before that and turned them down.

      She (the woman) came down to my house fuming, she said “how dare that tramp say that about you” she said I told her “He left her for you, did he expect she was going to spend the rest of her life mourning over him?” I have no doubt this lady said it either. I knew her for a long time and she was not shy.

      So my guess is: their story is to insinuate that the betrayed was the one who either left, or betrayed them. If they think they can get away with it. They certainly aren’t going to reveal themselves.

  • I can’t even tell you how many times during our 26 years together that people have told me he wears his heart on his sleeve and how that makes him a really special person. In a rare moment of truthfulness, he told me that he learnt to turn on the waterworks when he was only 6 years old to get the teachers to give him attention. He said he would tell them he was crying about his mother leaving when he actually didn’t even care.

  • I was with my ex husband in Costa Rica visiting his dad who could no longer come back to the US due to tax evasion. He was telling me the story of the breakup of his marriage to my exes mother and started crying and telling me how horrible she was. I remember being embarrassed for him, shocked since it was over 30 years ago, and very uncomfortable since his story wasn’t true. The marriage ended because he cheated with a flight attendant and his wife found out. Fast forward to when my ex abandoned me, and I discover he is doing the same crocodile tears/selling of lies to his new supply about me! I wish I could have seen the red flags then…like father, like son!

    • OH! The crocodile tears!!! My STBXH is a pro at the fake tears. He “cries” while sneaking looks at you to see if there is any affect. The kids are on to him, so they completely ignore the fake tears, which really messes with him! My daughter met with him and acted like he must have had something in his eye to make it water! Power move on her part.

  • I said yesterday that my now-ex put on a display of weeping and sobbing at the Arlington funeral of our Marine nephew, who was killed in Afghanistan, that outdid our nephew’s parents, and how puzzled I was, because my now-ex had spent maybe three weeks total in the company of our nephew in his entire 23 year life. At the time, I thought my now-ex was crying out of empathy for his sister’s loss (he and his sister are extremely close, bonded by the trauma of growing up with an alcoholic mother whom their father abandoned them to live with when he took off with a grad student). I now firmly believe that he was crying at least as much, if not only, for himself, because his sister’s grief made her less available to him. In other words, he was crying for his loss, not hers, and not for the loss of our nephew.

    I saw so many times when his emotional reaction was absent, when a normal person would feel empathy but he didn’t, and when the reaction he did have was not normal. Throughout most of our marriage I would spackle over it, excusing or explaining it by telling myself his reaction was a result of family trauma or socio-cultural conditioning.

    I never saw him cry other than that time at Arlington, although I was the recipient of many self-serving sad-sausage harangues teeming with resentment and a feeling of victimhood. I was so receptive to the sad sausage appeal that he never needed to flip to the rage or charm channels. The closest he got to manipulative crying with me occurred when we were in the process of divorce, and he sent me this “comfort me about the fact we’re divorcing” email: “…every step we’ve taken in the past couple of week has been a body blow. In fact, the one person I think really understands how much it hurts to disentangle a 40-year relationship is the one person I can’t talk to about it, namely you.”

    Crickets from me. In fact, I remember saying to myself, “Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me any more.” It took a couple of times of my not rising to the bait for him to understand that I wasn’t going to be manipulated by his sad-sausage missives, and I never got another overture.

    • Now that you mention it, I got a letter from fuckwit (it was pre social media days) He went on and on about how he doesn’t know why he acted like such a low life, and was sorry etc. I never answered it. I wonder if he was trying to elicit a response from me taking on some of the blame. Weird.

  • Ugh! My ex was the threaten suicide tupe. I started dating him when I was 13, he first started at 15 when I told him I wasn’t comfortable with his advances. I had no idea that it was an unhealthy response. I just became conditioned to blame myself for everything that went wrong. It often happened throughout our relationship. The last time was on D day when I was sitting at my fathers deathbed. I told him well then, why don’t you do it and hung up the phone. I guess he got the right amswer from his best friends wife.

    • Almost to Meh,

      That’s terrible. I’m sorry.

      I got some of that suicide-manipulation crap, too. It really sucks. (And two of his immediate family members had committed suicide during our marriage, so it seemed very much within the real of possibliy. He knew that and took full advantage.)

      These are lowlifes.

  • The more you know the better off you will be:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/5-types-people-who-can-ruin-your-life/201803/how-spot-sociopath-in-3-steps

    I appreciate and avail myself of all the helpful information I can get my hands on.

    I remember crying alone when my father died, whenever one of my fur family members died, while he watched TV. I saw no tears after he stopped to help a man who saw a woman’s car veer off the road and land upside down in the river, her two little girls inside. (It was on the news and he is in all the footage and photos…..it’s been verified). He and the man who was first on the scene could not get the children out. The divers needed over an hour to get them and he saw the bodies. He called me when he got to work to tell me and I dropped everything to be with him. I saw no tears.

    Oddly on the night I discovered the affair, I was sitting on the front steps of our house, screaming and screaming and screaming into a big pillow like I was being murdered (I was being murdered emotionally and psychologically and spiritually) and he came out and sat next to me and put a blanket around me.

    He shed lots of tears I had never seen in 27 years after DDay. I have no idea why. I’m not qualified to diagnose him.

    All that’s important is I get away from a scary traitor who can pretend to be a happy monogamous family Nice Guy while secretly knifing me and our daughter in the back and fucking cockroaches from Craigslist Casual Encounters (a well-known source of “sole mates”).

  • He cried for the police when they came to bust him for sending drugs through the mail.
    He cried for the judge when he told his lies to try to get sympathy. (Told the judge I was physically and emotionally abusing him.)
    He cried for his father when bemoaning all the persecution in order to get his father’s $’s to pay his debts and crimes.

    He never cried for me. He never cried for the loss of his family. He never cried for the loss of his marriage.

    He’s a selfish, emotionally stunted asshole who only cries for his own selfish needs.

  • My ex rarely cried, but came across as an empathetic person– he was a “knight in shining armor” for all our female friends.

    There was one episode of earth-shattering sobbing– I heard it from the kitchen and came running– I took it as a good sign at the time as I thought it meant he cared about me and was distressed with the situation.
    Background: He had taken a temporary job 2,000 miles away and came home one weekend and announced “he did not want to end up like his parents…” No asking for divorce, denied another woman, etc. We started marital counseling and had been doing some sort of exercise, and I stepped out for a minute. And then the massive sobs.

    A month later, he spent 3 weeks trickle-truthing me, and finally admitted to an affair from 13 years previously (gaslighted me on that one). Still insisted Affair #2 was not one (um, acted the same way as time #1..) and that though he loved this woman at the new workplace, he never cheated and therefore it was not an affair. He moved away, married her, and they have two children now.
    If you believe in karma, they got some. She miscarried twins before she filed for divorce from her spouse, and before my divorce was final. They got pregnant immediately thereafter (2-3 weeks!), and that child is autistic.

    • Erm, I’d hate to think that disability in offspring is “karma” for the parents. What did the poor kid do to deserve it (and such crappy parents to boot)? Especially autism with average early mortality of about 39 years, 40-fold risk of developing life threatening seizures, not to mention the woes faced by individuals with other forms of disability like a 15-fold risk of sexual abuse, etc.

      I think “karma” for a fuckwit is being a fuckwit with their limited ability to experience genuine emotions and bonds with other human beings and the fact they’re condemned to go through life spinning illusions about themselves to hide from themselves and everyone else who they really are. It all looks depressing, empty and like a big fat time and energy suck.

      • “I think “karma” for a fuckwit is being a fuckwit”

        I think so too. Karma is too sporadic sounding. But, they can’t escape who they are, unless they make visible changes in their lives; they are who they are and they will suffer the consequences of that. Whether they hide it or not.

      • Yes, I apologize for my quick response and lack of clear language. I even had this discussion with my eldest. The ‘karma’ is for the Ex and his OWife– finally living life with their “true loves” and not the first spouses who dragged them down…now, life is not as sparkly as they envisioned it would be.

        By no means do I want to include the autistic child in the “karma.” I feel for the child, having such parents. I have several good friends and family members with autistic offspring, and I am in awe of all that they do, above “regular” parenting.

        and a note about the increased parenting related to special needs children– my ex quit his job claiming he needed to spend more time caring for the child, helping with behavioral therapy, etc; took me to court to stop paying child support– and yet started his own consulting company where he would have to travel and be away from home 7-14 days at a time. Using the kid as an excuse.
        Yup, fuckwit being a fuckwit….
        (judge laughed, praised my attorney for her casework, and I kept my child support.

  • Absolute histrionic displays of remorse from the minute I found out. He wrote long letters, wept openly, went to therapy with me, and told me he was going to spend the rest of his life being the husband I deserved. I was such a good person and did not deserve what had happened to me. He
    said he was so relieved to have been found out because his double life brought him no happiness at all – he said I saved his life.
    Chump that I am, I bought it all and stayed married for 2 1/2 more years. Luckily my good therapist helped me listen to my gut and keep my eyes open to be sure his actions matched his words. The crying continued but shifted to playing-the-victim crying. He would lie on the couch and say that no matter what he does or how good and truthful he is I will never believe him because I am a bitter unforgiving woman.

    His eye rolls and his contemptuous sneers began as the blameshifting ramped up. At least I had the good sense to get a post nup although I did have to pay him a huge lump sum.
    He just got remarried and is building a house with his newest victim (carefully chosen to help his impression management).
    He still cries to people about how I have poisoned his children against him. He’s so convincing there are many people who won’t speak to me because of that. He is an utter shell of a human being but is a very accomplished actor and manipulator. I have not reached meh yet and feel it is going to take me longer than most…

  • My ex would cry at movies, at newspaper events, sad plays. I had to take my adult daughter 6 hours away and put her in a brain injury rehab place after she had suffered a life threatening stroke/heart attack combo that had left her in a week-long coma. He found out it was minutes away from the Virginia Tech shooting location and insisted on helping. He sobbed publicly at the makeshift tent memorial. His sympathy had not extended to me or my daughter and he angrily told me to ‘move it along’ so we could get to the Virginia Tech campus before it closed. He went to the car and kept honking the horn so I would get the message even better.

  • As movers were packing up my remaining things (I had left months before and did not want to be in a home he designed or near anything he had anything to do with) he walks in the room sobbing that he had taken care of our dogs ashes outside where she spent a lot of time. I turned to him and said “you told me every day how much you hated that dog!” he instantly stopped and totally morphed into his usual creepy self. I had found CL a few months before and knew I was staring at a total sociopath! CL & CN kept me from never falling for his sobbing routines. So glad that total nightmare is history!!

  • My ex rarely showed any kind of emotion other than rage and anger (and degrees of the above, like annoyance and impatience). But he would occasionally cry when we had arguments, and I took this for a good sign—that he was in touch with his feelings. But after reading this site and elsewhere, I realized he only cried when he felt sorry for himself: man, he was trying so hard, and I was being such a bitch….

    He was ice cold during DDay and discard (same day), but I did see him tear up once, when he came back to the house a week after abandoning me, and the dogs ran to greet him. At the time, I was still toking the hopium pipe, so I thought that maybe he was feeling some remorse for what he was doing and was reconsidering, but later I realized that he was just feeling sorry for himself that he was going to have to give up the dogs and our beautiful house, which he had sunk most of his bonuses into paying off and fixing up. For me, he felt absolutely nothing. That was when it dawned on me that all his tears throughout our marriage had only been for himself. And I’ll guarantee you he still feels sorry for himself: in his mind (and I know this b/c he once said it to my face) I was such a “nasty person” that I drove him to cheat on me and made him lose his dogs and house and friends and the beautiful life we had together….

    I’ll tell you what: he did a lot of shitty things to me over the 20 years we were together and during the divorce process, but weirdly one of the things I’m going to have the hardest time forgiving him for (if I ever get to forgiveness) is going to be caring more about losing his dogs more than he cared about losing me.

      • Yep. Mine treated the dog better. I joked that I wanted to die and come back as his bitch.

        He cited that joke as a reason to divorce me. Still think it’s funny.

        • I do, too. 😀

          I realized after my ex left me that what he wanted wasn’t a full-grown woman for a life partner, he wanted some combination of a horny 16-year-old girl and a border collie who would obey every command and follow him wherever he went….

      • My brother is a narcissist just like Dear Old Dad and flies with like minded people. Birds of a feather flock together. His friend R.,an attorney married to a nurse,said the following as he approached middle age. “Well it’s time to either get a dog or a mistress !” Ain’t he funny ? This couple has two sons both autistic. I feel sorry for his wife.
        Here’s to a fuckwit free life CN !

      • It was a wakeup call to me when I realized that I was jealous of the greeting the dog got when XAss walked in at the end of the day.

        • Same! Mine said something like, “Maybe if you greeted me like Rover (mouth agape, tongue out, butt wagging), I’d pet you, too.”

          Oh, and it should have been a wake-up call when I had a dream that he gave Rover my pearl necklace. Gotta say that Rover rocked those pearls!

  • I read his emails to OW. He was claiming illnesses, telling her he was going for medical tests that he wasn’t, saying he had lifted heavy things and felt chest pain, making childish threats to ‘end it all’ when she would pull away.

    When she later dumped him he ratted her out to her church elders. And said she had played him.

    It was horrible glimpse into a manipulators skeevy mind

  • Thing is, we don’t know what they’re actually thinking.
    They may be really feeling upset at losing cake and the tears can be very real.

    It’s just the actions that go with it are what matters.

    My ex had a puking fit several times when busted (once, admittedly, when I had falsely accused him).
    I’m sure he felt those feelings, it’s that they mean something different to them.

    He didn’t want to be busted, but he also didn’t want to stop hurting me (even said so himself, how honest do you want them? lol). So tears o no tears, those are out of the equation for me. Thankfully I never equated those reactions to derive his level of committment. The fact that he kept creating the problem for me is what ultimately gave him away. They can hide cheating, but they can’t hide their abusiveness!

  • My friends, he showed up at my apartment post-divorce, crying and seeking solace because his girlfriend, which relationship cost our marriage, had broken up with him. No, really. Only he didn’t tell me at the time. Oh no. I had to figure that out afterwards. So of course I opened the door and let him cry, because I didn’t know what was going on.

    No contact all the way, now. I had to move to manage it because he kept showing up unannounced. #worthit

    • Jae. That’s terrible. I can’t wrap my head around what it would take to use your spouse to grieve the loss of your AP. That takes some effed-up balls.

      • Yep, when I listened to some of those RIC videos where they told the betrayed spouse, oh you have to let them grieve their affair partner.

        How could a betrayed spouse stand to go through that?

  • My ex-husband never really cried now that I think of it. Occasionally, tears would well up – always for himself. What was really weird is when he was about to cry he would pinch the bridge of his nose on either side right by the corners of his eyes and then a few tears would emerge – I think he was literally causing himself physical pain in order to produce a few paltry tears. He did this maybe three times in the 20+ years I was with him. The last time he used this trick in front of me was during his deposition when describing an argument that he allegedly had with my deceased father – he used the alleged argument (he described the time and the place and it did not happen) as his excuse for not permitting me to talk to my parents for nearly 10 years. Thanks to ex I have an understanding of Stockholm Syndrome and CPTSD that will likely haunt me for the rest of my life.

    • I highly recommend EDMR therapy for CPTSD! Does wonders! Even better is that it can be accomplished online if where you live is still facing restrictions from COVID. There is no reason to let him ruin the rest of your life. In the mean time, be thankful that you got away! Congrats!!!

  • It’s interesting to read all of these comments. Just about every article I see describes exactly how my ex behaved after D-Day at one point or another ever since. Of course he refused to get rid of Schmoopie because she was such a “good person and didn’t deserve to be treated like toilet paper”. Or better yet, that he embraces his fuckedupness because that was how he was born and actually said he likes who he sees in the mirror everyday. He was so bold to tell me that I should just look away and let him be a man because all men cheat and just don’t get caught. He would tell me I was throwing away a good life when I left his ass.

    • Yeah, I got the “all men NEED to cheat” line as well. I asked, “do women need to cheat” and he said, “just the ones who are sexually adventurous”. His whole thing was that I was Soooo boring in bed, so I asked, “so, a woman can’t be sexually adventurous with her husband?” And he said, “well, my new WHORE will be a great, sexually adventurous wife.” So, I said, “well, if she’s sexually adventurous, she’ll cheat on you then.” To this, he got red in the face and said, “well, we are mature enough that we don’t need to be monogamous.” Sounds fun! Good luck with that. And then the pity here too….”well, I loved having sex with you, but I just NEEDED to do all these other things and you wouldn’t so I HAD to cheat on you.” Poor baby! I also got that, “you’re throwing a good life away” line. Oh, sure! A life where I get lied to, told I wasn’t good enough, stayed at home to cook and clean while my husband was out with hookers and trying to find a new relationship all the time while telling me he was out working hard.

  • Yeah…tears about how I would never trust him again then two sentences later , can we get a divorce without lawyers? I ran with that..hired a lawyer and did everything she told me. She stayed in the background sending him documents she had to sign and showed up on court day with everything buttoned up. To this day I so appreciate that woman. Cost me $3000.

    • Ahh ha ha. Love it.

      My ex pulled the “can we share a lawyer?” His of course. I said no. He said your problem is you can’t think for yourself. I said, well right now I can’t, that is why I need my own lawyer.

      I hired a really good one, his was some sad sack that lived in a trailer park. No offense to trailers, but generally you don’t expect good lawyers to live in a trailer park. Mine cost me about 1200 for a divorce that took a little over a year. But that was in 1990.

      He got me a years maintenance during the legal separation, with fuckwit paying the house payment and the car payment, that I had full use of. Fuckwits lawyer said no sweat, in Indiana the waiting period is only 2 months. So when he showed up for court and it was 6 months, I guess fuckwit didn’t think it was worth the fight when he compared his lawyer to mine. My lawyer actually only went for 6 months initially and fuckwit delayed for the next 6 months. Still can’t figure that out.

      However lawyer told me he could get me 3 years. I said, lets go for 6 months then re evaluate.

      I really would like to know why fuckwit delayed after the initial six months were up. But, I will never know.

      • Most likely he dragged his feet because he didn’t actually want a divorce; he just said he wanted a divorce to get you curled into the fetal position crying. To get you to do the “pick me” dance. To get more kibbles. Been there, done that. I actually used that against him. Every time he’d ask me to take him back, every time he feebly suggested counseling, every time he feigned remorse I’d simply respond, “A divorce is what you wanted and a divorce is what you’re getting.” Like a mantra. In the words of a friend of mine I took his power move and turned it against him. So essentially divorce jiu-jitsu.

        • Could have been. Not because he wanted to come back, but to destabilize me. I also think it is possible he also wanted to delay marriage to schmoopie, and he needed time to see if there was an out. There wasn’t.

          My guess is had he not married her there would have been a settlement made by the PD, and he may have been fired.

          But, I am just guessing. As I said, given that he was the one who left me for schmoopie, and he wanted the divorce; it didn’t make sense.

          ““A divorce is what you wanted and a divorce is what you’re getting.” ” I like that.

          The last time he called to talk about working things out, I told him he made his choice, he needs to get on with his life. But, I wish I had thought of yours.

  • I had no money. He had cleaned our accounts out. I wrote up our divorce papers (a friend gave me hers in Word format and I just changed the details) and asked him to meet me at the bank to sign with a notary present per the requirements.

    He arrived, sobbing. Sobbed all the way through signing. Asked me to reconsider and I said “I don’t know what the future holds, but right now, financially, I need to be separate from you, so I need you to please just sign”. He didn’t even read them. Just signed. Practically fell on the floor on the way out, sobbing, clenching his heart.

    Everyone in the branch stared.

    The notary, a young man, was silent for quite a while, then said, “You did really well. When are you filing?” I said “I’m driving there now.” He said “Good. That’s good. You go, don’t stop.”

    Yep.

    • I honestly thing for all chumps the best thing to do is get at least legally separated to protect finances. The other site I read, so many of them wait and wait. I get that they are trying to save their marriage, and I do believe some can be saved, but dang get those finances separated if at all possible. Most states in America provide for a legal separation with a temp maintenance agreement.

      It helps not only keep fuckwits from running up bills on the chumps dime, but also there is a different feeling once you are legally separated, at least there was for me. It was like I could slow my mind down and breathe. My lawyer saved my sanity. Not only with what he told me, but with his ability to get me temp maintenance. His stance was that fuckwit had at least two years to get his stuff together without me knowing, now it was my turn. My guess is that was part of his argument in court. I never went to court, as I didn’t need to go. He said I could go, and he would be fine with it. Especially if there was something I needed to say. I didn’t have anything to say.

      Sometimes I wish I had gone to the final gavel day, just to see if my ex would look me in the eyes, but I didn’t go. I was still in the “if I never see him again, I will be happy” Actually, I am still there.

    • Amiisfree– It’s strange and poetic when rare characters with nearly magical intuition appear at just the right moment. How did someone that young manage to see through a weeping fuckwit when the rest of the world would have been melting and applauding as if a toy poodle had just sung the Marseillaise?

      • Yes, would expect someone that wise to be older. Maybe the young man grew up with a histrionic.

        With time, bankers, notaries public, and clergy hear it all. Anything to do with money and/or sex. Oh, and hairdressers. And anyone who works in family law.

  • Mine started the crying a river thing whenever I asked about his misbehavior like large spending behind my back. I could not have a rational discussion, I was like the big mean mommy hurting little snowflake Johnny.

    Then it was threatening suicide, then rage, holding a knife to me and twisted my hand. This escalation was all within the 1st year of marriage and my moving countries. I felt trapped and scared. I left and ghosted, and life is good again.

    • Ka-chump–

      Thank God you got out alive. Gottman– back when he had anything useful to contribute– divided batterers into two categories– “pit bulls” and “cobras.” I read Gottman’s book on DV a long time ago when doing advocacy for survivors. It seemed a bit gimmicky when I read it and I haven’t thought of it in years but just realized now how misleadingly artificial those categories are. Many abusers can transition from one “type” to another. It’s good you got out before you saw the “cobra” side of that monster– when the anxious, jealous, dependent and unstable so-called “pitbull” gets the victim so beaten down that the abuser becomes icy, cocky and almost bored as they exert control. Staring down the barrel of that level of soullessness leaves a chill that lasts for life. So incredibly dangerous.

      • Def this one was a cobra, down to the snake eyes when the mask slipped. Yes, I get the chill when I recall. It changed my entire view of life and human evil. Thanks and thank God.

  • When all hell broke loose around DDay, I was desperate to hear some remorse or to have him take some accountability. The apology I got was, “sorry you feel this way.” It as awful. In the coming weeks after he left, he would send me occasional messages such as, “I’m having so much trouble losing you,” or I heard from my daughter how much he missed me. He also said, “I’m jealous” a lot or “I’m suffering” or “This is so hard on me”.

    All the while, he looked like he was really happy and flashing his new relationship around town. But with me it was all pity. In my brain addled fog of trauma, I clung to those words, “I’m having so much trouble losing you” as some kind of regret and reading that made me feel better, like he did actually love me after 25 years. Now when I reflect back and read those old emails, I gag! All that he said was about him and about making himself pitiful because that used to work on me. How enlightened I’ve become!

    Now during our legal battles, I get long, drawn out lawyer letters saying how advantaged in life I am, that he’s unemployed and I make good money. That I drive a better car, that I live in a home while he rents, that I am doing better than he is and that I have our daughter and ….blah blah blah. The lawyer letters even say, “We’d like it noted that x didn’t cheat on FormerlyKnownAs. That is not what happened to end the marriage.” It’s bizarre, pathetic and sad how he fucked his life up, tries to make me feel bad about it and tries to pull on everyone’s heart strings to make a case that I’m the aggressor. The pity is not just annoying, it’s used as a weapon. He uses pity with our daughter and she’s now a nervous wreck around him.

    When he does it now, I say to myself, our child and my lawyer, “I know what he’s doing and it’s not going to work.”

    • May he rot in hell for doing that to you and may he burn eternally for doing that to your child. That level of “FOG” can drive people to suicidality. It’s rank abuse.

  • In addition to the tears, id be curious to see which ones had some type of make believe illness/suicide threat pulled on them after D-day.

    About two months after my ex filed for divorce, he was living in our downstairs room because he refused to move out. I woke up to a text at 2am “just so you know I’m in the ER with extreme abdominal pain”. It took everything in me not to say “good” in response but I said nothing. There was literally nothing wrong with him other than what I hope was the mental turmoil of cheating on me and hiring a prostitute and leaving our newborn but it was probably just him having a pity party for himself. I’m sure his mom gave him plenty of attention though for it.

    • Ahh, the manipulation tactics!! Mine was convinced he had cancer. Also said he wanted to disappear in the woods. That same week he said he wanted our wedding champagne glasses. Go figure.

      And then there are the MILs. Here’s my take on them. I have no problem with them supporting their cheater offspring, but I think it should be more in the spirit of “I don’t approve of what you did, but I still love you because you’re my son/daughter.” It’s when they embrace the AP, minimize the betrayal, defend the cheater, and urge us to move on that I start to twitch. (My MIL did all that. I’ve ghosted her. Too toxic. Always has been.)

      • Oh god, yes the MIL. Mine is a narc and seems to wish she was married to my ex. She always seemed a bit jealous? She likes to call our son “my boy”..it’s not her kid, irked me to no end. Thank God I don’t have to deal with her anymore. Except his parents are fully behind my custody battle. I legit can’t wait for them to find out he likes to hire m/f escorts..

      • My ex is a hypochondriac. She was convinced she had liver cancer, MS, and a brain tumor. She had nothing. Turns out, she’s just mentally effed up and a shitty person.

        During separation, in response to me calling her out on her constant lies, she texted “if you knew my health right now, you would not be doing this. I will probably end up in the hospital. I’ve lost a lot of blood and some of this damage is irreversible.”

        I asked her mother what in the world she was referring to. She said “spotting. Just spotting a little bit.” That told a lot of people how incredibly messed up she was and what a pathological liar she is.

  • the first time i saw my ex cry EVER was in court. he was playing the victim role (that i was taking the kids away from him) and my jaw hit the floor when he followed up his soliloquy with tears. was the first time i ever saw this behaviour and it both shocked and amused me.

  • Ohhh yes and he’s still in the house I can’t function properly he wants to be GREAT! Like making America great again, great. God if it were that easy none of us would be HERE!
    Yes he sobbed once I said get out and that I wanted a divorce he acted surprised even regretted telling me it was obvious he felt he “messed up” by fessing up. He threatened to go someplace and take his life… told me he had nowhere to go. And No one. Said I was his life and the ONLY ONE for him:/ The reason he’s still here is my kindness and he saying it was years ago that this cheating occurred…
    I’ve been carrying this around since April and sometimes it’s hard to breathe it’s so heavy. Other times I think I can put it behind us. Until he tries to be intimate. Then I am reminded we have a serious problem. Pray for me

    • Prayer isn’t going to fix it – only you can do that. It won’t get better until you kick him out, finalize the divorce, and go no contact.

    • Sounds like he’s manipulating you. You deserve to be happy. I haven’t found happiness yet but I know I deserve so much better than my cheater.

    • Definitely praying for you. Praying that you will have the strength to kick him out. You can do this. It’s hard, scary, and overwhelming. My STBXH told me AFTER D-Day that he thought about telling me as well (only he never did). No clue what led your cheater to confess, but like you will read on CL, is this acceptable to you? Do you want to live the rest of your life wondering if he is cheating again? Do you want to be with someone that is willing to lie and betray you? You are mighty. You can do this.

  • Apropros of nothing, does anyone get a very ‘Eat Pray Love’ vibe from Glennon Doyle? I have just seen that Adele credits Glennon’s book untamed with her radical personal transformation so I’d thought I’d check it out. She left her husband (admittedly a cheater) for soccer star Abby Wambach, but I think there’s been a rewriting of the narrative around the end of both their marriages. Abby’s former wife patiently put up with the alcoholism and shitty behaviour, but now Glennon and Abby have found in each other the person that they want to be their ‘best selves’ for and just all of the articles I read about them and their relationship reek of self-justifying narciness. Anyone else?

      • My ex wife became all about “self love” after meeting her AP. This woman already pretended to be a Christian but is now all about new age bull crap with the occasional Christian post for social media to create impression management for those still oblivious to who she really is.

    • Hmm I listened to her ted talk very soon after Dday and I found it helpful. I also follow her on Instagram. I’ll be bummed if I’ve been fooled by another narc. I don’t know much about Abbys history though..

  • On GTFO day, skankboy was in the den, door closed for a long time, too long. I opened the door to find him sitting on the sofa sobbing. I gave him a dirty look and told him to “chop, chop, let’s go!” I was angry, thinking you have no right to sit there and cry when YOU created this mess!

  • The Stupid One decided to ride out the pandemic overseas with Schmoopie. Which was great because it gave me time to get my ducks in a row and get out of the house. He got back to the states on July 1st to a house that was stripped of all of the kids and my stuff. Oh my gosh! Was he ever upset. He emailed me that he wished that I was there so that we could “cry this out on each other’s shoulders.” YUCK! The mental image alone makes me sick.

    He immediately had his family over- even though he was supposed to do a 2 week self quarantine! He must have put on an epic show for them because next thing I know, they are bossing me around that I need to help make him happy. NO THANKS! He replaced me at that job! The kids and I laugh because our mental image of him was a fish out of water, flopping around in his misery, to prove to his family how much he cares about us.

  • Hey CN
    .
    If you want the hands-down most awesomely repulsive cheater crying scene in the history of film, see the Swedish-French film Force Majeure, around 1:34. Just saw it. The film is pure genius, darkly funn, all about rationalizations, revisionism, image management and gaslighting. It doesn’t sugarcoat the effects on kids. I’m betting there’s an historical metaphor in there that I’m not smart enough to quite grasp.

  • I dated a guy once, really charming never got mad but something wasn’t right so I told him I needed space. He would not leave me alone, followed me called constantly sent flowers. I broke up completely and he boo hooed in the fetal position on the floor. He tried to jump out the window, he threatened to shoot himself. The last time I ever talked to him he was boo hooing and I asked him what his mom thought of his constant crying. He went dead pan and said,”Nothing because I can do this any time I want.” Meaning shut off the “emotions” like a switch. I told him to get OUT. Fast forward 25 years, he’s in jail… a pedophile.

  • Holy crap!
    THIS! My ex was able to do it too. I had no idea he could fake cry on demand until he was turning the water works on and off one night. He was crying to me “I just feel like I don’t deserve a second chance wahh wahhh wahhh!” then she called that very moment and the tears were instantly gone. He was all smiles. I was stunned.
    After our divorce was finalized, I had been angry with him because he accused ME of faking it when I was genuinely crying. I said “Virtually no one can cry on demand like that. Even actors need help or fake tears!” He responded “I can.” I said “I know you can. That’s scary.”

  • Cheater didn’t cry – just sad sausage crap. A few months after DDay, we were in virtual marriage counseling (cheater had moved overseas) and one week I cried for the first time since the first session or two. The very next week he put his head down, rubbing his eyes and choking out his words. Fake cried because no one could tell on video. I thought about it for a week, and next session called him on it. He was so offended. Didn’t deny it though.

    I can’t remember if it was before or after this that he wrote me a sappy letter, and wrote that he “cried, like really cried” about us. Like really, lit-er-al-ly. Like a real live human with empathy and everything.

    If that entitled ass ever cried, it was because he’s sad about losing “his” money and his perfect self image. He cried. Whoo. Here’s your bitch cookie.

  • My ex-cheater could cry. As long as she felt attacked the tears would flow like cheap beer in a dive bar.
    And she wouldn’t express why she was crying, so my dumb ass would assume that the tears were coming from normal expressions of regret and remorse from all of the shitty decisions she had made.
    Jesus was I a sucker.
    Not no more though. 🙂 Crocodile tears are for crocodiles. And reptilians in general.

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