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UBT: “I Made a List”

Dear Chump Lady:

After my divorce from an abusive man, I didn’t date seriously until 4 years later when I met the SparkleD*ck. He was an accomplished professional engineer, as were all his friends, and I’m a first responder. I didn’t want to be “judgey” in this relationship or seem like the “lower educated one.” But I became Chump 2.0 because I didn’t want to be the “jealous” girl or let my past marriage cloud judgement on this new relationship, even though he was still “friends” with all his exes and hung out with them without telling me. Unfortunately, I wished I had listened to my gut feeling that has saved my life out there on the job.

When he became “best friends” with one of his coworkers, I did everything you write about: I spackled when I found dubious texts and caught him in lies, tried to untangle the skein, fed free cake and kibbles to him, and did the pick me dance until ultimately, of course, I lost.

Coworker knew we were dating this whole time and made her official move on him when her boyfriend dumped her. Bit of a back story on him: the supposed “worst day of his life” was when he caught his college girlfriend cheating on him when he caught her kissing a coworker in a parking lot. Plot twist: I found out he was cheating on me the exact same way with his coworker — when I caught them returning from a secret New Year’s vacation together (but they didn’t sleep together! Suuuuuure). There’s a special place down below for people who know exactly how painful an act is and recreate it for the next person.

When he told me he was leaving me for her, I was sobbing on the ground, and he wanted to take a picture of me (gross). He said because I was never his “girlfriend” and only his “Significant Other” that it wasn’t “cheating.”

I called a therapist a week after that, and then found your site (my therapist approves)! I have learned SO much from your writings and have them saved when I feel myself slipping back into beating myself up over being a chump.

After everything was over, I went completely no-contact ghost. Blocked him on everything. Shortly after, I received a hand written letter from the guy who, in 3 years, had never written me anything on even a birthday card.

Please run it through the UBT because I know I’m not the only chump this has happened to:

“Dear Chump No Longer:

I hurt you terribly and I will never feel better about that. I’m sorry, and I always will be.

There are so many things I wish that I had done with you. There are so many things that I wish I had done more of with you. I know I stopped being as cheerful and bubbly these past few months, and I’m so sorry for not giving you 100% — the amount you deserve. This isn’t intended to be a sappy letter, I just need you to know that I want so many wonderful things for you, your daughter, your family that I can’t possibly hope to express. You all deserve so much happiness and love, and I am sorry to have caused the opposite.

When we last spoke, I was unable to share nearly anything that you deserve to hear and feel. Closed behind this letter is my list. It includes everything that makes you spectacular in my eyes. Well, almost, but not close by a long shot, really. I understand if you don’t read it.

*Proceeds to list 120 sentences of what he likes and loves about me*

Miss and love you always,
*Mr. SparkleD*ck* “

If I hadn’t been on your site, I would have fell for this. I didn’t respond at all! I couldn’t’ have done this without your help. Please run this on the UBT for other Chumps to beware of.

PS: I’m going to graduate from college soon and no he’s not invited! 🙂


Chump No Longer,

Dear Chump No Longer,

The comic possibilities would be endless if only you had included that list of your lovable qualities. Was it the way you toast his sandwiches? The turn of your ankle? How you answer to “Babe”?

I’d love to know how he cribbed together his love-bomb list, because based on his pathetic attempt at hoovering, his writing is utterly vague. “So many things,” “can’t hope to express,” “things that I wish.” Blah, blah, you could be a lamp-post, blah.

But wait! Here’s 120 sentences of validation! Gee, your hair smells terrific!

I’m thinking Schmoopie dumped him, or he’s just really missing cake and your pick me dance. (Did she get a list too? Was it the same list?) Or maybe he just wants another snapshot of your sobbing body.

The Universal Bullshit Translator is happy to parse his pedestrian mindfuckery.

“Dear Chump No Longer:

I hurt you terribly and I will never feel better about that. I’m sorry, and I always will be.

Your hurt makes me feel powerful. Was it terrible? Can I take a picture? I will never stop being turned on by your pain. I’m not sorry.

But I am vague! Sorry means never having to give specifics.

There are so many things I wish that I had done with you.

I can’t be bothered to fill in the details. Imagine them. Yeah, I was thinking exactly that! OMG, we’re meant for each other.

There are so many things that I wish I had done more of with you.

If only I wasn’t under an evil enchantment that prevents me from having agency. If only the goblins had not bound my tongue or hobbled my typing fingers. (I wrote this missive using my toes.) I only have wishes. Wishes for you!

I know I stopped being as cheerful and bubbly these past few months,

I’m a fuckwit of sunshine.


and I’m so sorry for not giving you 100% — the amount you deserve.

I deserve 100% of your attention. You aren’t giving me what I deserve. I object to this no contact. Look! Here’s a “sorry.” Now, can we resume kibble production?

This isn’t intended to be a sappy letter,

I’d have to be a much better writer to achieve sappy. I’m still in Cliches for Beginners.

I just need you to know that I want so many wonderful things for you, your daughter, your family that I can’t possibly hope to express.

I just need you to know that I lack details. (We covered that in cliches class.) Imagine wonderful things! And me wanting you to imagine them is as good as me giving them to you. What matters is that I thought it.

You all deserve so much happiness and love, and I am sorry to have caused the opposite.

“I caused the opposite” is the apex of specificity you’re going to get in this non-apology apology.

When we last spoke, I was unable to share nearly anything that you deserve to hear and feel.

When we last spoke, you were curled up on the floor sobbing as I was leaving you for my co-worker. Then I took a picture of your misery to remember you by. I was unable to abuse you further, what with Schmoopie waiting in the car, and our hot date to watch Storage Wars that evening. But it’s been three months and I need to start the mindfuck cycle again.

Closed behind this letter is my list.

Closed behind this letter is my fist.

Come here closer so I can hurt you.

It includes everything that makes you spectacular in my eyes. Well, almost, but not close by a long shot, really.

Don’t you want to be validated by ME? Don’t you want to believe I think you’re spectacular when you have abundant evidence that I think no such thing?

You’re so spectacular, I will deny that you’re my girlfriend.

I understand if you don’t read it.

I don’t understand boundaries.

*Proceeds to list 120 sentences of what he likes and loves about me*

Oh look, there’s a gerbil cage missing its liner.

Miss and love you always,
*Mr. SparkleD*ck* “

As I miss and love all my friendly ex-girlfriends. Let’s get together soon! On the sly.



Chumped No Longer, congrats on your upcoming graduation. Keep rocking the no contact.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Woooooooow….that’s a new level of clueless from a fuckwit, and I’ve read a lot of clueless on this site.

    • I literally laughed out loud. Perhaps these fuckwits all attend the same grooming school? The things they come up with 🙁

  • This man is very dangerous and is enjoying hurting you from his position of total centrality.

    Please get the hell away from him, and don’t ever let him near you again.

    Just because he doesn’t hit you doesn’t mean he’s a safe person. He isn’t.

    He is at best a liar, and at worst a disordered person of poor character, and not partner material.

    • Yeah, the wanting to take a picture of her sobbing on the floor is all you need to know to deduce that he’s a sadist. It makes sense of why he was cheated on himself and decided to deliberately put that kind of hurt on somebody else. He’s one scary dude, circling back at her for more sadistic kicks.

  • Another thing that should be picked up on is a grown man describing himself as “bubbly”. I’ve never in my working life, military, social clubs so forth ever heard a man use the word bubbly to describe anything to do with his personality. I’d run from that alone.

    • I figure it’s one of those things that if a dude is *truly* bubbly (and there are some who are, I’ve met some guys who are just effervescent about life), it’s something other people observe about him, not something he might say about himself.

  • He ain’t bubbly the past few months because he was too busy pulling ng away, treating you cruelly, make you dance and planning hot dates with howorker while blaming you for his unhappiness.

    Sadly, I know. My STBXH wants to be friends and hang out. I have given him kibbles and attention, but now I know. Cake is no longer being catered.

  • hes probably playing mind games. fuckwits like to do this.
    he wanted to take your photo, did you let him. I feel he always been abusive. have you contacted him, I wouldnt. when he was with the ow, did he care about you. hes playing games and you know it, i wouldnt be surprised if his girlfriend is pregnant, you dodged a bullet.

  • “There’s a special place down below for people who know exactly how painful an act is and recreate it for the next person.”

    Indeed! And taking a picture of you while you’re writhing in pain because of something he did makes him a sadistic sick puppy.

    Kudos to you for going NC! Block him on everything. Unfollow him on social media.

    Good luck!! Congrats on your graduation!

    p.s. Make your OWN list–but yours should be of the shitty things he’s done and said. Do this so you can refer to it if he attempts to hoover you. You might need the reminders to stiffen your no-contact resolve.

    • On Dday, my ex told me he was seeing a therapist (for the first time). I pleaded that he wait until we return from our trip to Italy (in about three weeks). At work that day, I typed out a list of the things that he should mention to his therapist…it was a long list. As he was leaving in the afternoon (with his duffle bag), I threw the list at him and said maybe you should talk about these things. He said “I’ll get back to you on this!” Never mentioned the list again.

  • Ha ha ha ha ha….that is the biggest load of bullshit I’ve seen in quite a while.

    Whore coworker must not have worked out so well so he’s looking for more kibbles.

    Fuck him and the horse he rode in on (said with gut busting laughter).

  • The taking a picture thing!!!!! This is like the serial killer who photographs the corpse! They are the non violent psychopaths, they have that one little bit of self preservation that keeps them on the side of severe emotional abuse but not physical violence which has consequences they fear. Mine is totally the non violent psycho path. He actually bragged about his ability to make women cry but of course turned it into “I was only joking”, nope, he was serious. He loves the power and control over women and AP is just his next conquest.

    • My stbx took photos of my mother in an ambulance—she’d collapsed at a NASCAR race. She was a kidney dialysis patient and had gotten dehydrated. My stbx, the doctor, thought it was funny to take the photos. This was years before the collapse of our marriage. His disordered thinking was a thread that ran through our entire relationship. I just chose to smooth it over—“oh, you asked out our friend’s girlfriend even though we’re married—you’re right it’s because I’m too flat chested”. I heard the “I was only joking” so many times—the cruel comments at my expense. I tried to believe he was a good person, but now I see he never was.

      • Um, technically him taking photos of her in an ambulance without her consent is illegal. And you could have nailed him for that. You could argue it’s a HIPAA violation. Unless he’s directly involved in her care, which she can revoke that privilege at any time, or deny it altogether in the first place, he can’t just be taking pictures or video of her like that. If she’s in a position where she cannot give consent to him taking pictures, he should put the fucking phone away. I work on an ambulance and I’m directly in charge of the care of the patients for the duration of their time on our rigs, and my ass would be FIRED and I’d have a mark on my license if I took photos of ANY of them.

    • Yeah, my cheater was texting his AP in front on my face, describing the scene to her as I writhed and cried on the floor, grieving both the marriage and the miscarriage his deceit had caused from the total shock and awe (dead baby in belly at the time). He just sat there, watching me and texting with her. Complete psycho.

      • Do you mean you miscarried, and instead of calling 911 or taking you to the hospital, he just sat around texting his whore about your agony?
        OMFG. That is serial killer level evil. You could have bled to death. He should be in prison for attempted murder.

    • My ex has taken this to the next level, because I left him and he can’t reach me. So instead he has verbally told me he will be hurting them in ways that won’t leave marks.
      My word against his. It makes sending my young kids to overnight visitation just sickening. Then he starts accusing me in court of parental alienation, even though I’ve been following the rules to the letter, while he is practicing parental alienation. There was documented domestic violence when we were married, but in family court (in the US) domestic violence towards the mom from the dad never carries over to the kids once the parents are split up. Huh??? So any fears of my ex hurting my kids would show that I’m unfairly punishing him because I’m still angry that he used to beat me. So I send my littlest to visitation and when she comes home distraught and not herself, I can’t even ask her about it beyond some generic “are you ok, nobody is crossing your boundaries, right?” It’s hard to tell if she is distraught because it is generally miserable to be around my ex (even his own mother can’t stand it after awhile- and she loves him) or if my ex is straight out abusing her.
      She is in therapy but will not talk to the therapist about anything upsetting. The therapist is a huge advocate of Dad, because all dads are good, The assumption is that he is good for her. I have to go along with this assumption, or I am parental alienation.
      I go over in my mind all the ways he hurt me and got away with it, and it makes me sick. But I think that might actually be his game. That he will actually do nothing to our daughter, he just wants me to ruin my life worrying about it. He loves the idea of having the power to hurt me. He even once told me that is why he had kids with me (the kids are easy targets) and that is why they are my greatest weakness and he never loved them. I said he was wrong, they are my greatest strength (and they truly are, they inspire me to try harder all the time, and to fight for them and myself).
      The sickest part of this game is that I can’t even talk about it to anybody.
      If my ex could take a picture of me, he would.
      Yeah you dodged a bullet. This guy is sick, taking time to take a picture meant he was already thinking (as you were confronting him) about how later on he would really enjoy seeing EXACTLY how that looked… Considering the memory tends to fade.
      Think about the thought process there, it’s not even your typical cheater’s.

      • Just reread what I wrote^.
        So this is why I should never post first thing in the morning without coffee! ????‍♀️????
        Sorry for the rambling incoherence.
        Just felt I had to chime in on the covert behavior and how it starts off with things like a pic, but escalates (to where my ex is now)

        • Boudicca, your post if horrifying. I feel so angry and awful on your daughter’s behalf.

          Is that a court-ordered psychologist? If not, please find a new one. For your daughter’s sake. There’s a reason she’s (your daughter) is not talking to the psych, probably because she doesn’t trust her — and your daughter should have absolute trust in a mental health professional that is supposed to be helping her.

          • Psychologists and therapists should not be pro Dad or con Dad. Or anything for that matter. This therapist has some serious issues with being objective.

        • Oh you poor mama. I can’t even imagine. Have you discussed with the pediatrician? They may have experience and can give you some things to look out for. You could also schedule her regular exam when XFW would not expect it to be, so if he was doing something they might be more likely to catch it. He wouldn’t have time to cover up or coach her, and the Dr. would probably ask questions differently than a counselor so might get a different answer.
          I know I’d trust our pediatrician’s advice and I hope you have, or can find, someone like that.

          • I keep writing these long responses and then the site or my phone crashes-
            So I’ll try short and sweet-
            Thank you so much for the ideas and feedback! It got me thinking-
            A court psychologist is not an option- but I could try switching her to a new therapist within her therapist network to see if she can develop a more open rapport or dynamic. Someone who is not so biased (as calling spades pointed out). Also I know my daughter would be open to this idea.

            The pediatrician thing is unfortunately a big problem- her Dad has a legal right to call the pediatrician and say whatever he wants about me and my daughter, and he does frequently. He follows any and all testing or medical treatment and hounds the doctor until he gets sick of it and stops taking her as a patient and sending her to someone new. My ex sets the narrative with all her doctors. Just the same as he set the narrative with family and friends about me before the cheating came out. I don’t know what to do about that yet. I try taking her to a different doctor, but then that doctor is a stranger so my daughter doesn’t open up. And then Wormtongue says things to court like:
            – why am I switching her doctors? Am I doctor shopping? Am I trying to move around my daughter to hide abuse? Is she being abused by her mom so she switched her doctor before he catches on?

            Wormtongue is a formidable opponent, I’ll give you that.

            • Thanks again though, everyone, for your ideas ????????. I’ve actually been afraid to post about this, even though I need some feedback! I just thought you guys would think this one is too twisted to be believed.

              I get into loops of worry sometimes, not thinking of it in new ways, not problem solving like I always need to be, to stay two steps ahead.

              ALL the wisdom in this community has directly made it possible for me to get, and keep, sole custody. You guys are amazing.

              I wouldn’t be where I am today (and other than Wormtongue, we are happy) without Chumplady and everyone here who shares their experience and their growth ????
              I have been reading Chumplady every day now for 6 years. I have brought her book for multiple people over the years…
              I love this site

              • B,
                This is not too twisted. A version of this is happening to me. I am sure we are not alone.

                When I document what happens, it helps me to write down specific facts instead of the way you’d normally write about something.

                For example: “Today at the doctor, my daughter had tears running down her face. She stayed silent through the whole visit and turned her face away every time the doctor spoke to her.”

                As opposed to “Today my daughter was scared of the doctor and she cried.”

                It is horrifying, so hang in there.

            • Can you call the best pediatrician of the bunch and just ask them to take your daughter. Tell the doctor you’re concerned that there is no continuity to her care and your daughter has no rapport with any of her past doctors because she keeps getting shuffled. So she doesn’t trust in order to open up. Might be worth a shot. Your ex really sounds like a peach. Ugh.

        • I have never commented on this site, but your post is truly disturbing. I am so sorry that you are going through this torture. You don’t deserve it and neither does your sweet child. I would encourage you to visit ASAP to set up a consultation/get advice on how to deal with that monster. His intention is to destroy you, but you are strong.

      • The only solution I can think of is to use a voice activated recorder. It will necessitate speaking to him again, though. You could meet with him, playing the concerned parent, to ask him why your daughter seems so distraught after visiting him. If you say something to piss him off, like telling him he’s not a good father, he might let another threat or an admission slip. Then you’ve got him.
        You could plant a nanny cam somewhere, like in the eye of a cuddly toy (I believe they make toys with cams already in them) which your daughter is to take with her to visit him. Tell her to hold it to help comfort her the whole time she’s there and to take it to bed with her.
        Desperate times call for desperate measures. You need to find out if he’s abusing her.

        What a horrific situation to be in. I’m so sorry.

        • OHFFS,
          Omg I actually thought of this too. Daughter told me that he has her change clothes and take everything on her and hand it over immediately. Then he throws everything in the washer and leaves it soaking overnight. I couldn’t understand it at first. I mean- he was washing a coat I’d literally just got out of the dryer to send her in. Honestly, I thought he was just trying to make a point that I don’t wash her clothes enough or something. Or that she’s dirty ????‍♀️ and not cared for.
          But then daughter told me she is not allowed to call me from visitation. This is confusing to me because our other kids have their own phones and it was never an issue at all.
          So I thought maybe it was Wormtongue not wanting to share his phone with daughter and porn pops up or something (has happened before)… So I used a credit card and bought her a watch that could only call me. Because she was panicking about visitation and begged me too. I was also thinking desperate times = desperate measures. I wasn’t giving her a smart phone because I don’t think she is at an appropriate age for that. Sent her to visitation with new watch, thinking… Problem solved.
          Wormtongue flipped out. Accused me of trying to track their location. Told me he will never allow her to have a phone at his house. He was furious. I offered to put him on her phone as well so he can stay in contact between visits. He flat out refused.

          And THIS is when I realized that he has been washing her clothes in case they are bugged.
          That sort of blows my mind. Why be so scared of being bugged? I’m totally gray rock, no threats or craziness coming from me ever… No reason to think I would bug our youngest.

          Somehow I have to steer her through this thing, blind, without ever talking to her directly about it (lots of talks about boundaries, but anything related to sexual boundaries she is uncomfortable and flat out won’t discuss it). Her therapist says I should never push her. I’m wondering if there are any age appropriate books? That would be specific enough to be helpful?
          Honestly I should switch to Reddit because I don’t mean to hijack the letter writer (sorry!). But for some reason I can’t get into the forum.
          Anyway thank you for the response

          • To clarify-
            The porn popping up on his phone happened years ago, not with Daughter.

            • As far as meeting me- he refused to. Already thought of that. Sort of relieved he refused, because it would be breaking gray rock, and because I’m terrified of him.

          • Hon, I don’t want to alarm you, but I’m seeing red flags in her being specifically uncomfortable talking about sexual matters and him trying to prevent her from calling anyone. You have to let her know that if she can’t get to a phone, she’s to run to a neighbor if anyone (emphasis on ANYONE, no matter who it is) ever touches her in private areas or shows her material that is pornographic. You could call it “gross stuff with naked people in it” so she understands. She can refuse to respond to you but she can’t refuse to sit there and listen- you are the parent and this is vital to her safety. It isn’t “pushing” to try to keep your kid safe and her therapist can go straight to hell! Her father is either up to something if he’s trying to eliminate bugs and take away her means of communication, or he’s a paranoid raving lunatic. Either way he shouldn’t have access to her and a any competent therapist would be very concerned.
            Doesn’t it violate the terms of your agreement to not let her have a means of contacting you? I would ask your lawyer about that.

            I’ll bet there are age appropriate books like you are looking for. A simple google search should turn up plenty.
            Please continue to let us know how it’s going and if we can help in any way. ????

          • Maybe attach a recording device to her shoe? Chances are that he doesn’t change her shoes….

            • Also, abusive people tend to project. If he sends her to you wearing or carrying clothes/toys she did not have before, check them for devices.

          • “– why am I switching her doctors? Am I doctor shopping? Am I trying to move around my daughter to hide abuse? Is she being abused by her mom so she switched her doctor before he catches on?”

            I don’t want to make you worry more than you do, but I sense projection. Why would he ever ever accuse you of such a thing, unless there is something worrisome that he had witnessed between you and her? This isn’t for you to answer here but to yourself. Unless he has a reason to believe you would ever have abused your child, this is just – in my opinion only and I’m not an expert – such a glaring red flag.

            I am a professional worrier so take this with a grain of salt, but this whole situation makes me want to say don’t ignore your intuition. It reminds me of “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. I think you’re doing the right thing by pursuing this.

      • This is horrifying to read! I agree with all the suggestions on here: get a different therapist and document EVERYTHING. Consult your lawyer to see about building a parental alienation case against him. Sorry, that’s all this childless chump can suggest at the moment.

      • This chills me. The therapist should be for your daughter, noone else. I think you need to talk to a lawyer about what you just told us. Write it down, minimising nothing, just repeating what happened, and talk to your lawyer about this. Your ex saying he had kids with you to get to you and that he will hurt them in invisible ways is just terrifying. If nothing else, if your lawyer allows, have it filed on record, or go to therapy and get it noted in your notes, which can be sopena’d (sp) later if needed. This guy is a psychopath.

    • If I ever hear put downs followed my “I’m just joking”… I won’t be sticking around to find out ever again. My stbx and his dad are both this way. I’d call them covert narcs. Those snide remarks and “jokes” are the furthest thing from jokes, they are put downs to erode self confidence and belittle. I would agree those types are psychopaths, hungry for power and control, but just more aware to be able to paint themselves as victims or “nice” guys. It’s dangerous.

      • Ugh. I have run into more than a few men who do this. I used to write bits for a comedy show in LA. I was on a first date with a guy who could not stop turning everything I said into a joke. I put it off to his nervousness. Then he insulted my clothing by making a comment about how some items matched. When I bristled, he said it was a joke. So I put it back on him, what is funny about that? Then he turned it on me, saying he thought I understood jokes since I was in comedy. Yes, I do understand a joke when it’s funny. What was funny about your joke? Then he said he only “made the joke because he thought if he complimented me, I would make fun of him”. So you hurt my feelings because you thought I would hurt yours if you said something nice to me? It’s my fault you had to hurt my feelings? He stammered. I left. Total narcissistic jerk. Thankfully, I’m much quicker to spot the flags slapping me in the face and walk away. Thanks, Chumplady!

  • “When he told me he was leaving me for her, I was sobbing on the ground, and he wanted to take a picture of me (gross).”

    I will keep it with other mementos of pain and suffering I have inflicted upon others. You should see all the drivers’ licenses I have stored with my Topps baseball cards!

    Congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

    • His letter reads like an amends form letter he sends out to all the exes, trying to get you into his “friend” stable of former girlfriends who can then make it seem like you have the problem, because “look at me, all these ladies are my fwends, and I can be bubbly with them!”. Ugh. Stay strong, Chump No Longer, congrats on your mighty degree, and toss his “list” into the trash. You don’t need him to validate what you already know.

    • Yes!! The taking a picture was just so creepy and weird. Like, who does that? Someone is crying cause of something he did and his first thought is “let me get this on film” ??? Most of these losers get angry or want to leave.

      And don’t give him credit for being a white collar engineer. Your job as a first responder (especially in today’s times) is greatly appreciated and requires skill and competency. Congrats on college!

      • I, too, was on the floor writhing in pain when my then-husband confessed to the affair. I don’t think he took my picture (gross), but when I uncoiled myself and stood up, I’m quite sure I noticed a look of delight on his face–dead eyes with the hint of a smile on his lips. It creeped me out.

        • My ex got off on upsetting me too. It’s because he was a conflict avoidant passive aggressive coward and seeing me upset made him feel powerful and in control. He became much nastier when I showed weakness, but when I got up and told him to go to hell he went right back to his cowardly self.

          • Same! They’re all the same! Well, except for the deviant fucks who want pix.

            I want to knee him in the balls really hard…. and post it on Twitter. #dickpic

            • Someone on another post mentioned the same thing, his wife enjoyed seeing him cry. It reminded me how my FW was bothered that I couldn’t. Eventually I did but it took a few weeks to even access that part of my emotions. At the time I didn’t understand why he was so interested in whether or not I cried but eww to hearing it’s common for cheaters to get off on the pain ????

        • I think like Kim says it is that “made him feel powerful and in control” that is what they are feeling. They need that feeling.

          I didn’t fall on the floor, I was sitting in a chair when he told me what was going on (I had been suspecting it for about three months, maybe two ish. I was stunned, and immediately went in to shock. I said nothing, when he left; I remember sitting there for the longest time.

          While I don’t think my ex enjoyed my pain, I think he needed to know he was still in control. He wasn’t in control for long as his work situation was imploding. I think he felt he needed me as a back up until he could get it all under control.

          I didn’t stay his back up for long, but of course he had no way of knowing that on Dday, he had always had control and he thought he would continue.

        • Mine burst out laughing

          I was screaming crying and he was laughing at me . He then scrolled through his phone showing me some of their texts shouting and laughing see Karen she loves me and I love her

          • What a fucking asshole. That’s horrible. Laughing? That’s seriously sick. I’m so sorry. I want to kick him in the balls, this is making me really angry on your behalf!

        • Sorry, you experienced that [email protected]. That is a look, the dead eyes and a grin just short of a smile is something you never forget once you have experienced it- the memory of that look on my exes face is enough to sustain me when I am having any doubts about exactly what he is – a cruel narcissist and sociopath.

          • ????

            That dead eye look is unforgettable. I saw that about a week after Dday (new Years Eve). He had not left yet, was still putting on a show at work and I believe trying to conceal the whore. Didn’t work, blew up in his face at work, but he tried.

            • Why is it so common that they lose their wives and their jobs (or at least fuck up their jobs) at the same time? I truly don’t understand this dual implosion. It’s so common on this site. It’s not always about the OW at work, although quite often. Mine was fucking someone at work, but he lost his job due to bullying, lying and otherwise being incompetent and he was never actually at work – the fucking a client thing wasn’t even discovered until after they decided to get rid of him! But it seems their lives go to shit all at once, and yet, they blame us for their failures. I don’t get it! Any thoughts?

              • I have no clue why some many seem to take the same pattern.

                In mines cases he seemingly was at the top of his game, work wise and marriage wise. At least up to about one year before the implosion that was what he was acting like.

                My brother said he was around him a lot when we were young, and he never saw him disrespect me or our son, seemed to be loving etc. He said he thinks he got in over his head; and couldn’t figure a way out of it.

                He thinks he would have been better of never getting involved with politics and never getting a promotion. Too much power and he couldn’t handle it.

                One guess is as good as another. I do know one thing. I was so fortunate to be taken out of that mess, though of course at the time I didn’t see it.

              • Same thing. He spent minimum time at work and got a letter from his employer. I believe that they are so infatuated, that they want to get rid of “the old” that they can no longer stand.

        • When I was on the floor crying for two days, my STBX literally stepped over me. He didn’t bring me food or care at all that I couldn’t move. Eventually he yelled at me to shut up because he was worried about what the neighbours would think if they heard me. Then the worst thing happened- he tried to have sex with me while I was red faced, heaving and terrified. I rejected him and he got defensive and angry. Can you fucking believe he tried to have sex with me in my traumatized state? He’d just told me that I was too vanilla so he’d been fucking sex workers, random hook ups and now he had a girlfriend – my client. He told me that he explained to her that I didn’t give him the sex he wanted and asked her if she’d do it- she said she would do anything he wanted so they were going to be together because of that. That ended our 25 year marriage. And he was upset that I wouldn’t have sex with him after he’d just told me all that? That basically I wasn’t enough for him and he was fucking my client, and many others? His cheating dated back at least a decade. It was the worst day of my life and I replay it over and over in my mind. It’s horrific. I can’t imagine the sickness that comes with taking a photo of someone in pain. What is wrong with them?

        • Spinach,
          I remember the almost gleeful look that he could cause another person to hurt so much. My stbx was almost drunk with power over the whole thing… I even remember him saying “I should do this more often.” Ah, do what?! The cheating you claim to not have done?!
          The fact they are incapable of such feelings or empathy towards us makes them sociopathic.

        • That monster!????
          You really dodged a bullet when the creep fucked off. Once a sadist’s evil genie is out of the bottle, they don’t put it back in. They escalate. I know this from bitter experience and from hearing so many stories like ours.

          • So true OHFFS. My therapist at women’s refuge said that I will no longer recognize my STBX. Once the mask comes off, she said, that’s the REAL them. This has been hard for me to grasp. I was living with the fake person for 25 years. In the space of a few days, he went from my best friend and loving husband, to a creepy, sadistic, mean, bizarre, selfish, cold, odd person. Snake eyes too. He was also doing weird shit as he moved out, like asking me, “where did we get this lamp?” And, “I’m so jealous of this lighting YOU’VE got”. Who’s “you”? You mean, OURS, as in, OUR FAMILY HOME WE LIVED IN TOGETHER?? It was cray cray. It’s been 18 months and I’m still terrified of him. His emotional abuse of me knows no bounds as he doesn’t give two shits if I live or die now that he’s lost control of me. It’s frightening to watch someone turn on you so fast, and turn into something you don’t recognize. It haunts me and it’s the source of my PTSD still.

      • OK, I do know some lovely engineers. However, one of the most disturbing people I have ever dated was an engineer. He had absolutely no self-awareness, and was a sex addict.

        I could see him writing something like this. He was a bag of squirrels crazy!

        You are awesome! Maybe you should write yourself a letter about what you will not accept in your next relationship.

        From my experience with cheating Engineer dude, he would Hoover back on a regular basis when he needed validation.

        He trampled all over my boundaries, which is a huge red flag. You need to set some serious boundaries for yourself. You were not married to your idiot,So time to go no contact.

        • My mother worked at a top engineering firm many, many years ago, her grandfather brought her in. Of course her grandparents wanted her to marry an engineer and according to my mother they were all off the wall, different wiring. Of course most of them were lovely but she had absolutely no interest.

        • I am engineer, and my sex-addicted ex-assface is an auditor who could never get ahold of his own finances, but he was good at auditing others. My therapist puts him high on the NPD scale and thinks he might even evaluate to a malignant narcissist. He went to therapy after I found out on our honeymoon he was cheating on me, and he learned how to use therapy terms and concepts to further mindf*&$ me and our therapists for several more years. To say I hate him is an understatement. I try to view that hatred as a ready source of energy for me — I need energy to finish my run? F*&% him! I need gumption to ask for a raise? F%$6 him! I want to love my favorite color again? F$#% him! and so on. 🙂

  • “Closed behind this list is my fist. Come closer so I can hurt you.” These two sentences are everything to a chump. These two sentences are the reason No Contact is the only way to deal with a cheater.

    This letter is a lure, RUN and don’t look back.

  • Dear Chump no Longer,
    Keep your eyes on the future and keep rocking the No Contact. He’ll likely try again, the bozo. I left my cheating husband of 24 years almost a year ago and I went as far No Contact could allow as we have kids. Be grateful you didn’t marry this loser.
    Last week, on my birthday, he invited me out for a “birthday drink”, because “we’d had a bad year”. Notice the “we”? Only disordered people can take your birthday and turn it into something about them.
    I never, ever reply to these texts.
    Keep up your No Contact for you. Congrats on graduating as well!

    • Nice.

      My ex sent me a card on my birthday after I divorced him (he kept an ex gf around our entire relationship and lied about everything when confronted).

      He always did cards because they were important to HIM…..he knew that they really aren’t that important to me.

      He then had the nerve to email me and ask why I hadn’t thanked him because he thought it was “nice considering what had happened”.

      As if I’d wronged HIM. Fucker didn’t even include a gift card….maybe I would’ve thanked him if he’d actually spend some money. LOL.

      He probably needed to save though because he doesn’t make much and his whore costs money, including the pills needed to get his dick up.

  • OMG CL, THANK YOU for running my letter to you!!! All these comments and your reply just solidify that I did the right thing with the no contact. I’m still no contact EVERYWHERE and still in therapy but I’m definitely a better person with a better life without him in it. Your site is a life saver and I wish all fellow former chumps nothing but happiness.

    • Get the hell away from him. Really. Seriously.

      I’d do DEEP No Contact – where you scrub friends-of-friends just to make sure there’s no trace.

      And grow strong!

      • Oh yes, I dumped all the friends of his too: they all covered for him! They were letting me hang out with them while he was “working late” with the coworker, and covered when I asked where he was for functions, etc. A total friend cleanse was done as well, including social media. He even found my blog that I never told him about and signed up to follow it and commented there: blocked him from that too ????

        • He may well keep trying to reach you, so you must be quite vigilant about stopping him.

          Depriving them of oxygen can lead to escalated attempts to lure you back.

          Usually it stops eventually, but only if you are thorough and persistent.

        • Don’t take this the wrong way- but I would also really look at what attracted you to him in the first place- not that any of this was your fault. But you want to avoid this type in the future.
          Fix your picker as much as you can, because you can find so much better.

          I spent a lot of hard soul searching hours looking at my FOO issues and why I picked my ex (before I went into a new relationship). Now I am with a wonderful guy who is my best friend. I see all the subtle “yellow flags” I never knew to look for before.
          Study that and I think you will have an amazing future!
          Your ex will just get more pathetic. They always seem to degenerate.

  • My soon to be ex husband said some very similar crap about not giving 100%. He said he felt bad because I “deserved 100% from a husband and he felt he couldn’t give that.” He said other including a brand new narrative (story number 4 of why he cheated) that he was pressured into getting married which is a whole other bunch of nonsense. I feel like the further you get away from the FW, the more you see right through their bullshit. Glad you got away from this guy. Sounds like a real pathetic charmer. His motives are ALWAYS about himself. I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that my FW didn’t care about me at all. It hurts. But at least you can call BS now!

    • Mine made a similar claim- that I forced him into marriage. What I did was say (after we had been common-law married for years) that I wanted a marriage certificate and a ceremony so if he didn’t make up his mind and propose within six months I wasn’t going to waste any more time, but was going to end the relationship to find somebody who wanted the same things I did. He could just as easily have found somebody else who was okay with just being common-law, but was too lazy to bother, so he faked it and proposed. That’s his idea of being forced.
      Naturally I didn’t find out he hadn’t actually wanted to marry me until 25+ years later when he used it as an excuse for cheating.
      They’re all the same. Smh.

      • Yep, Nitwit said the same thing: he was pressured into marriage, therefore he was justified in cheating on me. I must have missed the part where I held a gun to his head and forced him to propose to me. He could, you know, have just not married me and found himself a woman who was okay with a LTR. But of course, that would have meant no wife appliance to pay the bills, fold his laundry, and generally smooth his path. They really are all the same.

      • They ARE all the same. My God!

        Mine told our adult daughter that he married me because he didn’t want to be alone when he moved to a different state. Clueless, he actually must have thought that our daughter would nod in agreement as if marrying someone for that asinine reason made sense. Thank God she doesn’t take after the f*wit.

        His little faux confession (a version of “I Never Loved You” except it was “I Never Loved Your Mom”) just confirmed for her his overall dickishness.

        Maybe he never loved me and married me for that reason, or maybe he made up the little story (lying is what he does, after all) to justify his affair. Either way, he sucks. Oh, and btw, on D-Day he told me he loved me; I got the I-think-you-can-love-two-people-at-once line.

        Also, what not to tell your own kid! Might as well say, “You were not the product of a loving marriage.” Oh, and no boundaries. Geezus.

        • Cookie cutter, same same. Mine started out by telling me that you can love more than one person, that you can also fuck a lot of people, but still want to stay married. Then it was that he loved the other woman more. Then he didn’t give a shit about me at all and was horribly abusive. Then my daughter used to come home and say “dad misses you a lot.” I snapped and said, “no, he doesn’t.” Maybe that was a bit harsh towards her, but there is no way he could miss me – he missed the services I provided and the control he had over me, that’s all.

          • Yep. They miss the services.

            Right now mine is missing that I did our taxes for 35 years.

            Yesterday I had to send him a digital image of a tax doc I received that I know he’ll need (we were divorced last June, so there’s still some common stuff). I also asked him to forward any pertinent docs to me should he receive them in the mail. Courtroom voice in my email.

            In his response, I could tell that he’s nervous about doing his taxes. Schadenfreude Lol. He had to master paying bills and now THIS!!! Adulting is SO HARD!

  • Amazing . .. this guy must see himself perched on a throne somewhere . I’m often in awe of the degree of self righteousness these creatures give themselves . Takes a picture ? Wow what a dick wad ! 120 things he likes about you? I imagine he was trying to move you into the “strange piece ” column after the fact . The pick me stuff is narssims fuel he was energized by it and had a ready supply keeping his ex’s as “friends “. I would say without question he fed on that and many dropped off after realizing his focus and he now needs to replenish his stocks. You are truly mighty for not falling for it . This punk needs a beating ( metaphorical not promoting violence . ..however , you know New York Nut bag and all).

  • Gerbil cage, ahahahahaaaaa, classic CL snark! ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

    (Cheaters. Toddlers in big bodies with none of the qualities that are great about toddlers. All waaah waaah, stomp stomp, I wanna, I don’t wanna, and me me me, zero good, with a bonus dose of STIs. Nothing good about ’em.)

  • This exact same thing happened to me when my ex hoovered me 11 weeks to the day after he married “the love of his life”. He had just put her on a plane to go be with a friend whose husband was in a hospital in Houston. He showed up on my door crying and telling me what a mess his life was, he missed me and still loved me. I sent him packing telling him he needed to be true to his wife.

    He called me two more times begging to come back. On a third call, he proceeded to tell me how wonderful I was, to not let anyone tell me otherwise. I remember listening thinking you have spent the last few years telling me and others how horrible I am, but I guess he forgot.

    Needless to say, he got my message loud and clear that I was done and certainly not interested in being a skank like his wife and helping him cheat on her.

    Thankfully, have not seen or heard another word from him.

    • Good grief. What a mess, and likely he did find someone to listen to his tale of woe, about how awful his now wife is. If the wife was the whore in your situation, well she is getting what she asked for. If is was someone totally innocent after your divorce, well I kind of feel for her; but either way not your problem.

  • The whole he was cheated on and totally devastated story, I doubt any word of that is true. Sounds like mirror imaging you and your past – something relatable, lookeee you are both victims of evil ex’s, let’s bond over that.

    The pic…yeah…sadistic. These creeps do try to hide that side of them and so it often comes out only in these subtle little ways, but make no mistake about it – he enjoys hurting people. Just like so many things, sadism isn’t always about chains and whips, in fact, most of the time it’s subtle and psychological rather than physical. Just another thing most average people aren’t taught about.

    The hoovering letter….I’d bet good money that it’s the same bs he’s sent to every ex ever. He might have personalized a detail or two in that list to make it appear like it’s about you, but I bet it’s a saved doc in his computer that’s been there for years under the heading “Send in case of kibble shortage”.

    Please stay away from him and I’m glad you are seeking out some therapy. Onwards and upwards. I hope you reach a point where a letter like this just gives you the creeps and you toss it into trash like it’s poison….because it is and also that you listen to your gut and recognize these types from far far away.

    • I agree, the whole ‘he was cheated on and devastated story’ is probably something he made up so you would feel connected to him. My exFu**Wit had almost the exact same story. He told me this when he was trying to justify 25 years of cheating on me. He wanted me to think he was such a sad, broken person… so I would continue trying to fix him.

      The cheater free life is so good! Thank you CL and Chump Nation, I could not have done it without you! Celebrating 3 years of divorce here!

    • The devastated by cheater story was told upfront so that chump would think that he would never cheat on you, and thus you would drop any guard and never suspect him, and never bring anything up, even in the face of what would normally be suspicious things.

  • “I hurt you terribly and I will never feel better about that.” Is it just me, or does this sound like he feels really really great about hurting her?? Why not just say, “I feel badly about that”. It’s like he couldn’t feel any better about it…it’s just not possible….and he obviously wants to feel that high again.

    • That is odd phrasing. Hurting someone is never something normal, heathy individuals strive to feel better about.

  • The photo thing…very creepy, psychotic for sure. Are his other hobbies drowning puppies and kittens? Stay as as far away as you possibly can from this guy.

  • One take-home message from this is that (as always): it was never about you; it was always about him. He is telling you that you’re awesome and wonderful … and he cheated on you anyway.

    This is a common theme on CN: “I was a great spouse, but my ex cheated on me anyway. We didn’t quarrel, our values aligned, we had great sex, I supported him emotionally and financially … but he betrayed and discarded me anyway.” The truth is, it’s always about them and their character flaws.

    My marriage wasn’t perfect (because whose is?) but I look around me and see SO many marriages with SO many more problems than mine had … and the people in those marriages can be kind and faithful and loving to their partners. It’s not about you or your faults in the relationship – it’s about him.

    • Great observation, Georgian! We are awesome and wonderful – and they cheated on us anyway!

    • You are so right, IG. I know many many couples who are loving and supportive, accepting of each other as they are, not remotely on the prowl because of bumps in the road. They appreciate what they have at home. One of these couples, the husband was married before and they were truly incompatible. They had married young and after divorce when he was much older, he married wife #2 (one of my best friends). Their home is calm and drama free. After D-day, he gave my friend the name of the opposing counsel from his divorce to pass to me because she was tough and thorough and he regretted that she was not his attorney. My point being that he was not a FW and is capable of growth and a relationship built on trust with his wife who he treats with love and respect. These people really exist and I am so happy for them! It’s amazing to see normal couples who have love and weather the storms of life. It is so much easier without FWs. I wish I could find what they have but feel I will never trust my picker after this….

  • OMG! A list! I had completely forgotten (dismissed) the list POP (Predatory Opportunistic Parasite) left on my desk one day after yet another discovery of his cheating and my ultimatum of his getting out of my house and life.

    It contained several ‘things’ about me that did not pertain to me in any way, shape or form. Not behaviorally, physically–you get the drift. I immediately suspected that it had to be a recycling of a ‘list’ he would have prepared for the town bike–his favored harem inhabitant.

    And yep, one day I did come across that exact list addressed to her while playing relationship police. And a signed ‘contract’ between them from when he lived with her that included such oh so normal provisions as ‘I will not cheat on (bike) (POP)’, ‘I will answer my phone/texts’ etc.
    How thin on brain power does one have to be to think that recycled platitudes that pertain to someone else will be effective?

  • Wanting to take a picture of you as you sobbed on the ground – that is no garden variety narcissist. He is a sadistic sicko who enjoys inflicting pain.

    Keep up the no contact! Stay as far away as possible from not just him but his circle of friends – for your safety’s sake you want to stay off his radar. This is a potentially dangerous dude.

    • Yes that’s not just a red flag but a red total wave! What a psychopath!

  • I got a list too! Things he loved about me: the way I looked at him; my crooked teeth; my limp; the way I took care of the cats; my laugh. I mean, it was like something written by a 14 year old. And these were all things he’d made fun of when we were together.

    I made my own list about him: he is deceitful, unfaithful, amoral, reckless, selfish, unprincipled, manipulative, and REALLY TERRIBLE IN BED.

  • “He said because I was never his “girlfriend” and only his “Significant Other” ……” Honestly, by definition, the title “Significant Other” is considered more serious than the title “Girlfriend”. Per the Cambridge Dictionary, a Significant Other is a person with whom someone has a romantic or sexual relationship that has lasted for some time and that is likely to last longer. A Girlfriend is a woman or girl with whom a person is having a romantic or sexual relationship with. Both are considered exclusive. What a pretentious idiot!!! Congratulations, Chump No Longer, on your degree and you’re getting away from this FW.

  • Gosh, he is a total asswipe. Such the brilliant engineer but to think he could write a list out and that would make his behavior ok shows he’s dumber than a box of rocks.

  • If she ever replied, which she should not, it should be:

    “I’ve moved on, I have never been happier, life rocks now “

  • You are not the loser here. Repeat ten thousand million times a day until it sinks in.

    I am so dying to see that list.

    The list I heard about, which he didn’t want to get into, was a “laundry list” of grievances he for some reason never shared with me in 27 years, despite a therapist who shared his cultural heritage on the right and 12 step recovery available on the left, the entire 27 years of our relationship. He lied lied lied in both places.

    At the end of the day, infidelity aside, there is no chance of authentic intimacy, emotional OR physical, with a crappy communicator. There is no problem solving, and there are no problem-free relationships. There is no reality and no authenticity, the stuff of healthy relationships. Which is what I want. The infidelity is just the tangible proof of his emotional unavailability. It’s very necessary for me to do the autopsy and see why I picked him. That does NOT mean I am responsible for what he did. It’s just like when you drive a car there are blind spots and you need to be aware of them.

    I watched He Named Me Malala last night. My former husband and his various hitwomen were the Taliban who tried to kill me and my family, who tried to destroy me. They didn’t. They made me stronger. And louder. And even more compassionate toward victims of emotional violence. And many other good things.

    Near the end of the movie, Malala shares a quote from the Qoran that her mother likes. (See below)

    • “Speak.

      Speak from your heart.

      Speak what’s inside your soul.

      Truth has to come and falsehood has to die.”

      There is nothing lost and the whole world gained when walking away from someone who lives life according to deceiving and lying and hurting, aka emotionally abusing, other people, especially someone who does that to their own family.

      • “ There is nothing lost and the whole world gained when walking away from someone who lives life according to deceiving and lying and hurting, aka emotionally abusing, other people.”

        This really resonated with me today, Velvet—Malala’s story as well. There is a lot of good work to do in the world. We’re the kind of people who can do that work. Every minute spent soothing/catering to/trying vainly to speak truth to/obsessing over a cheater is a minute taken away from the beings in the world (first and foremost, ourselves) who actually need that work and know what it’s worth—that it’s pure cosmic gold.

        Chumps are beacons of love and light in this world. Cheaters are energy vampires who are drawn to that brilliance and feed on it. But because they are spiritual black holes, they will never be satisfied. And they keep us drained so we can’t feed ourselves and others.

        I’m going to try to count myself lucky and blessed enough today to have finally shed the parasite who latched onto me for 20 years so I can start feeding myself and the beings around me who want and need what I have to give.

    • Uh, yeah, I wanna see the list too. Lol, we will properly shred it in the comments.

  • Ugh, an ex of mine from a long time ago did the same shit. I’ll tell you what happened: His relationship with howorker broke up and he thinks you’re still sitting and waiting for him to come back.

    Back in my early 20’s I dated this…gawd awful guy who ended up cheating on me with multiple people. I caught him with girl number 6. Confronted him, confronted her, etc. Whole chumpy nine yards. Anyway, after that, I cut him off and got into therapy. No contact.

    7 months later when I was in a new relationship, guess who rears his ugly head in my text messages again? *Eyeroll* He was doing the same thing. Talking about how much he miiiiisssed meeeee and how he remembers all the things about me that he looooved, spammed me with text after text LISTS of all the things he remembers to tell me “how much he truly knows me.” (Puke) First thing I ask is what happened to schmoopie number 6? He very conveniently avoided that question.

    Yeah what happened to schmoopie was he got her pregnant and was trying to run away and he figured I’d be waiting for him 7 months later with open arms. …Nope. Apparently his “love” for me he suddenly “remembered” was news to her, and when she found the texts he had been sending me, the stress gave her a miscarriage. Which he decided it meant it was safe to go back to her. She took him back, but dumped him a month later for cheating. He was a real head case.

    Don’t reply. Burn this letter, shred it, or put it up on the wall and label it “Idiot In Print” by Cheater Boy’s Name. But I would bet all the cash in my savings something went wrong with schmoopie and he’s trying to run back to you. He didn’t suddenly have a change of heart.

  • The UBT did such a good job, I really have very little to offer, other than to urge newbies to study how the UBT identifies and mock passive voice, sentences empty of content, an the dominant use of “I” in every sentence.

    WhatI want to comment on is what got dear Chump No Longer into a relationship with SD in the first place, although she started out with a 4-year break from dating after an abusive relationship. That’s a good long time to fix your picker, but in this case, note that CNL undermined herself from the start.
    1. “I didn’t want to be “judgey” in this relationship –To fix your picker, you have to be “judgy.” That’s the PURPOSE of dating–to make judgments about whether this person is good for you and the sort of person that can be long-term in your life. So if he doesn’t pay taxes? Judge that. He’s willing to play the edges, cheat the government, take a huge risk that will impact everyone in his life. So she makes fun of you when you are out with friends? Judge that. Do you want to be with someone who mocks you in public. Stop being afraid of making judgment! Would you date a serial killer? No.

    2. “…or seem like the ‘lower educated one.'” This problem cuts too ways, with the chump with less education or job status feeling inferior. The other side of the equation is the highly education partner doesn’t want to seem patronizing or act “elite.” If both people in the dating relationship are secure in their own knowledge, talent, expertise, and level of education, there really may be no problems at all with differing levels of education or job status and pay. But you don’t ever want to get into a relationship with someone who feels inferior because you got that MBA or went to med school or did a Ph.D. Then the undermining starts, the minimizing of your own talents and success. It can lead to open contempt in the worst cases. And if you are the one with less education, look for signs of contempt, condescension or just simply not fitting well in the other person’s social circle. I work at a university and manage these issues by simply keeping a social firewall between work and the rest of my life. And that works because I respect the man I date and his talents and he respects mine. But here is where the judgy comes in. You aren’t judging a person, necessarily; you’re judging the fit between you and another person.

    3. “I didn’t want to be the ‘jealous girl.” If you FEEL JEALOUS early in a relationship, that’s either a sign that you are insecure in yourself OR that the person you are dating has very poor boundaries. This is one to check out with a good therapist. Those of us who have experienced abuse, devaluation and cheating may indeed not feel secure in a relationship that offers a lot of ways for that old stuff to surface. Again, once you really know a person, you can make a judgment about whether that relationship with an X is really a a giant pool of kibbles or simply a sign of no boundaries.

    4. “…or let my past marriage cloud judgment on this new relationship.” Of course your past marriage should teach you to have better judgment. Somebody cheats on you? You want to avoid cheaters. So the judgment is about WHETHER THIS PERSON HAS GOOD CHARACTER AND IS TRUSTWORTHY. It’s not about the old relationship; it’s about what you learned about people in that relationship.

    5. “…even though he was still ‘friends’ with all his exes and hung out with them without telling me.” Well, then. All the exes? That person is a kibble collector. He hung out with them and didn’t tell you? He can’t be trusted.

    None of this is all that hard, right? But what we require is the ability to trust our instincts, to see dating as a process of making judgments about whether a person is honorable, kind, good for us and a good fit for what WE want in a relationship. CNM got into this mess because she didn’t put her own needs first as she selected a partner. No one should date unless they are willing to break up with someone because the fit isn’t right.

    • You’re correct, I completely undermined myself and learned that it is unacceptable to do that. Therapy has been very successful in addressing all the points you made. Especially about trusting your own instincts and not dismissing them. 🙂

      • Part of my life education has been education offered by my local domestic violence agency. It’s a very insidious and tough pattern to break….the link between love and abuse was established in my family of origin and those roots are deep. I thought I had done enough work to break the pattern….turns out in choosing my XH I had just “graduated” to someone whose abuse was not physical and invisible. He didn’t yell at me, didn’t call me names. Rarely if ever even expressed anger. It was all mental physical emotional passive aggressive covert. He still daily polishes his Nice Guy facade and has a lot of people drinking his Kool Aid.

        Avail yourself of those resources. It’s tough to break those magnetic pulls. They are cunning, baffling, powerful, and often unconscious.

        • Yes! VH, you are spot on. In my family, grandmother was physically abused. For my mother, my father was a better husband than her father because he never hit her… but he threw a dish full of food and put a doorknob into the plaster wall busting into a room. Me? I graduated to someone like the FW you married. Controlling psychological emotional covert narc. Hey! He didn’t hit me or throw things! Oh, yay!

          Even my best friends don’t understand the level of control these people exert. “Why don’t you just put your foot down? Does he yell? Record it!” As if it were that easy. People on the outside don’t grasp how much abuse one can suffer without bruises. They understand that FW whoring around with any sparklytwat is bad but don’t really grasp the rest. People who haven’t experienced it don’t understand.

  • Oh how I think we all here know that feeling of desperation on the floor, with a shattered heart, and tear soaked face. For him to take a picture of that is in fathomable, basically he’s a sick fucker.

  • MrWonderful had made a list of the woman he was looking for before we met. I found it on his computer once. It was an impossible list and the bulk of things on it had elements of him looking for a sugar mama. I remember thinking how gross for an adult to make up such a list and save it in their computer. FW had all kinds of lists of how wonderful his schmoopies were and he would make them playlists. Mentally, he is maybe 12 years old. Oh! And he is an electrical engineer by training but has spent his working years trying to sort out what he wants to be when he grows up. He stayed in the Navy until retirement age because it didn’t require him to look for a job but then was angry that he didn’t promote to captain. Because the world revolves around him.

    I sooooo want to see the list. lol

    • My disordered STBX (we are both women) had a problem with sharing inappropriate files with DD9’s iPad until recently. Every so often I would check to see whether any of these files were still visible on the iPad, so I could remind STBX to deal with them before DD9 would see them.

      That’s how I saw a list that STBX had recently made (like, maybe August 2020?) of the attributes she will be looking for in a new partner. (This is after STBX went on a dating app like 3 weeks after I moved out in March 2020, and had a new girlfriend by May. During a pandemic, when she was in a contact group with my parents and me, and after I had specifically asked her not to date until our divorce is finalized.) Anyhoo, STBX’s “ideal partner” list was hilarious – maybe I should have taken a picture, just to have a laugh sometimes, but I was trying to be good and not wallow in fuckwittedness. Several of the items on STBX’s list were things that she herself could not fulfill herself – like no history (including family history) of mental health challenges like depression, great communication abilities and good boundaries, etc. Of course, it likely would never occur to STBX to make a list of ways *she* could be a good partner to someone else in the future, after what she’s put me through. Good riddance!

  • Yes, so very painful. He was bad news from day one and just proved it to the n-th degree with that letter.

    When my ex called to say that he was starting the divorce process, and was actually lovey at the end of the call while I just wanted to get off and go to bed. He said it would be quick and kind. He emailed the same later.

    Not by any stretch of the imagination was it quick and kind. His legal team got so enraged about how he was acting that they actually worked against him near the end of negotiations, and his attorney frequently called mine to blab about “the worst client ever.” He only stayed in the game as favor to mine because mine was retiring, and they knew each other well.

    At signing, my attorney commented, “And now you truly know what ‘the boy’ thinks of you. He wanted to destroy you and everything near you.” Yes, he did. I got a good settlement, but it took time and money that I really didn’t have at the time. I had to fight though, if for nothing else but my self-respect.

    As recently as this weekend, a mutual friend of several decades asked if I knew how he was doing, knowing what I went through and that I never initiate contact with him at this point. Of course I said that I have no idea, but it undergirded my belief that some of our mutual friends still believe that he is a decent soul somehow. Well, good for them. I was there, and I disagree.

    • ^^This. My ex behaved exactly the same way except he was actually relatively reasonable and quick about the divorce process because he wanted to keep that fake-smiling mask up for everyone except me. Boy did it work. He had everyone fooled, including my lawyer, who said to me at settlement, “He seems like a good guy….” A year and change out from the divorce, I still have a few Switzerland/bystander friends who are shocked that I’m NC and am planning to stay that way forever. To them, my ex seems like a nice guy who just wanted to consciously uncouple, and I seem like the sore loser. Like you say, Elsie, I was there, and I disagree.

    • Hi Elsie:

      My sister had a terrible boyfriend, then fiance. I disliked him intensely and he gave her friends an off feeling. But she did not want to hear any concerns. He has been out of her life for years and I still occasionally ask about him. To make sure he keeps his distance and she is safe. The last time I saw him I told him if he ever harmed one hair on her head, or she was harmed under suspicious circumstances I would break his legs first, and then really hurt him. Because I thought it was a real possibility he would seriously harm her. Point being that your friend may simply be pinging her radar to make sure your ex is not around and you are safe. If you were my friend of decades, I would be unable not to ask the same question, out of concern for you.

      One of the saddest things about being chumped is that our natural state is trusting and seeing good intent. Afterwards it is so easy for hypervigilance to make us question even innocent and loving gestures. I am not saying that this is what is going on with your friend. But it might be. You could tell her how it makes you feel and ask. I have found a direct approach helpful. Good luck.

    • I get such a laugh at these fw’s who think they will control the divorce process.

      My ex fw did the same. First he wanted me to file once he moved out. Nope, you wanted the divorce, you file. So he did, he let me know that the divorce would take two months, and that would give me some time to adjust.

      Divorce took a little over a year from the date of filing, and the fucker paid my house payment, my car payment and my heating bill for the whole time. Well except for the last couple months, as I went ahead a bought a car and turned the marriage car over to him. He also had to pay my car insurance for the whole time I was driving it.

      Turns out when you abandon the wife to go to your whore, after screwing around on her for almost two years and making your exit plans behind her back, some judges no likey. I had a kick ass lawyer. I could have gotten two more years, but I declined. And this was in a no fault 50/50 state. By the end of a year I was ready to only view him in the rear view mirror.

  • All I need to know about this guy is he really enjoyed inflicting on you the same kind of pain he felt when his girlfriend cheated on him, which just sounds like Friends of Ted Bundy to me (Ted supposedly never got over being dumped by his Freshman girlfriend and went on a rampage to show all uppity women students that they were responsible for his pain) and that he wanted to take a photo of you sobbing when he had taken you to one of your lowest moments (also quite Serial Killer Trophy Sunday, if you ask me). This dude is an evil, woman-hating douche, who will wreak havoc on his latest prey when she does something displeasing to him that outrages his sense of entitlement. So glad you got out, and that CL has trained you to ID bullshit in all its various scents.

  • I’m so sorry that your first experience with serious dating post-divorce was so terrible. It just goes to show how deep some our chumpy tendencies can run and how long it can take to deprogram the chumpiness from our souls. It’s discouraging to hear that fixing one’s picker can take years, but important for chumps trying to decide whether to date or not to understand. Fixing your picker is basically a lifestyle that many of us have to live for a long while before attempting any kind of coupling.

  • “– why am I switching her doctors? Am I doctor shopping? Am I trying to move around my daughter to hide abuse? Is she being abused by her mom so she switched her doctor before he catches on?”

    I don’t want to make you worry more than you do, but I sense projection. Why would he ever ever accuse you of such a thing, unless there is something worrisome that he had witnessed between you and her? This isn’t for you to answer here but to yourself. Unless he has a reason to believe you would ever have abused your child, this is just – in my opinion only and I’m not an expert – such a glaring red flag.

    I am a professional worrier so take this with a grain of salt, but this whole situation makes me want to say don’t ignore your intuition. It reminds me of “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. I think you’re doing the right thing by not ignoring this.

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