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‘I Haven’t Been Happy for a Long Time’

crushThe other week someone asked me to decode, “I haven’t been happy for a long time.” (Also sometimes expressed as “WE haven’t been happy for a long time.”)

It’s trotted out when the chump is looking for an explanation as to why their family life just blew up.

Well DUH. “I haven’t been happy for a long time!”

This statement presupposes a number of things:

A) That the cheater’s happiness is the most important thing (and is a valid answer to the Why Did You Commit This Dreadful Betrayal?)

B) That they’ve silently suffered for a long time and gee whiz, isn’t it time AT LAST! that they experience some true happiness?

And…

C) How could you be so dumb that you never noticed how unhappy they were? Heck, how could you not notice how unhappy YOU were until they pointed it out? (WE haven’t been happy for a long time.)

This sends the chump into apoplexies of self reflection. Well, yes, I am sometimes unhappy, but it passes. Or… hang on, how could I have missed my partner’s cosmic misery? Apparently it was long and went on for EONS. Am I just that insensitive?

Of course you have no way of challenging this “I haven’t been happy for a long time” statement because you are not in their heads. You have no idea what they feel. So if you say, “BUT YOU LOOKED HAPPY. You had kids with me! We went snorkeling in Barbados! You drank the coffee I brought to you every morning! You said you LOVED your birthday slippers!” the cheater can just say, “Nope. I wasn’t happy.”

But you looked happy. Happy enough anyway.

“No, I was full of sorrow. Every minute. My life was a burden of grief and misery. At night I used to gnaw at the invisible chains that kept me tethered to you.”

Oh.

So chumps, how are you supposed to interpret this “I haven’t been happy for a long time” crap? Here’s a few ways to look at it:

1.) Take them at their word. Okay, you’ve been a miserable sod for decades. You, cheater, are responsible for addressing the things that make you unhappy and adjusting your life accordingly. While as a loving spouse I want to support you, if your needs are not communicated to me, there is jack shit I can do to help you.

2) Don’t accept responsibility. If the cheater was so unhappy in the marriage, they had ethical ways to go about ending it — beginning with honest conversations, therapy, and divorce lawyers. They could’ve gotten out honestly before they told all their “troubles” to a sympathetic fuckbuddy.

3) They’re bullshitting you. Cake is delicious. They were probably perfectly happy with you and the services you provided — paycheck, child-rearing, air of respectability. It wasn’t until they were busted at D-Day that their Great Unhappiness was revealed. Blameshifting their “unhappiness” on to you is an invitation to do the pick me dance. Oh, you’re unhappy? How can I make you happy? I can control that! I can WIN your happiness! Let me TRY HARDER!

And guess what, they’re probably pulling the same shit on the affair partner. Oh, my marriage makes me so unhappy, but I must stay for the children! I am a noble slave to convention! Woe! And the affair partner goes, I will PROVE to you that I can make you happy! I can control your destiny! I can WIN!

Cake, cake, wonderful cake.

This one ran previously.  

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  • One might paraphrase (from the Cheater’s perspective), with performance notes at the end.

    – I’ve just been caught cheating, but I’m not accepting responsibility.

    – The cheater’s happiness isn’t the most important thing that matters; it’s the only thing that matters.

    – Everyone in my orbit is responsible for making me happy. I have no agency to address this myself and accept no responsibility when the pursuit of my happiness ends up with my partner/kids getting thrown under the bus.

    In terms of delivery, the Cheater gets extra points for doubling down with any of the following:

    – You can’t prove anything.

    – You have invaded my privacy.

    – The problem here is that you will never let go of this.

    – We should open up the relationship and see other people.

    – Whatabout that time you forgot to unload the dishwasher? That makes you just as bad.

    LFTT

    • Forgot the “and the marriage has been dead for years” trope, which should have been filed under performance notes.

      • Ah yes: “the marriage has been dead for a while”

        At which I pointed out recent intimate relations, initiated by ME, and his enthusiastic participation: “So what was that, then- necrophilia?”

        Him: “Oh, but you only initiate when YOU want sex, never when I want it.”

        So… I was supposed to read his mind to find out when he wanted sex, and only initiate if I DIDN’T want it?

        Good riddance, fuckwit

        • “Him: ‘Oh, but you only initiate when YOU want sex, never when I want it.’ So… I was supposed to read his mind to find out when he wanted sex, and only initiate if I DIDN’T want it?”

          Bwa ha ha!!! 😂🤣😂 Yep. This proves it once and for all. They really do have the reasoning ability of toddlers 😆

      • Indeed.

        And let’s not forget “You were always in work” conveniently forgetting that they were the ones putting you under immense pressure to get promoted at work because they adore the extra money and status. It’s not like a Chump has a right to a work/life balance is it?

        LFTT

        • Mine said. “The only worth you are to me is the money you bring in” which led me to work 48-60 hour weeks.

          • Sir Chumpalot,

            They really are horrible aren’t they; they just see us as a financial asset to be milked and then discarded.

            I got the last laugh on this one though. I actually got the promotion at work that she’d been pushing me to strive for (and a pay rise of over £10K P/A) at very short notice. Sadly for her, it occurred 6 weeks after our divorce was finalised and, as she had agreed to a clean break, she didn’t get a penny of it.

            Go me!

            LFTT

            • That is winning!

              I did similar. When he drop kicked me, I had just starrted working full time, maybe for about three years. First in a bank then DoD. Within a few years, I was out earning him, he knew it because my daughter in law made sure he knew.

              Problem for him is, another man got to enjoy those enringing’s with me, to include building a generous retirement account. Of course my now husband is no slouch either.

              He got suck with his schmoopie, who got fired from the city, worked about three months at a retail store then never worked again. Hey he had to have her, hope she stayed dynamite in the sack. Though his continued cheating suggests otherwise.

              • What sweet, delicious, gooey karma!

                I might be biased though, every single OW I’ve ever seen is ultimately looking for a free ride or come up.

        • Yup. Same song and dance here. Before we were married, he wanted me to stay home with any little ones until they were school aged. “But what about my retirement contributions?” I asked. Oh, no worry, he said, I will put into the IRA for you during those years. What actually happened? Not a dime was put in my retirement when I was pregnant (we had moved for his job and I lost mine just as I became pregnant) and then home with my son. And he missed the $$$ so badly, he pushed me to enroll little guy in preschool full time so I could go back to work full time 2 years early. And then that was all I heard. “Can’t they pay you more? You should have negotiated your salary better. Aren’t they going to promote you soon?” And then control every dime I earned.

          • I agree Beans.

            I have not personally known of one yet who wasn’t looking for a meal ticket. Oh I am sure there are some, just never knew of any. And being the ex of a police officer, and having worked for DoD I have known of a lot of whores.

            My ex told my daughter in law back years ago shortly after we D’d, that Susie was very attractive and sex was never an issue, that he was amongst all the other officers who were screwing around and he just joined in.

            Blame the other guys I guess.

            However, it went on for at least 7 years. I am guessing the whore like most fruit broads offered NSA sex. Then as time went by the noose started tightening. I had mentioned before that the last year ish of our marriage he progressively acted more and more like a sweating hooker in the front pew. Darting eyes, alternately blowing up in a rage, then love bombing.

            Oh don’t get me wrong, he had no regard for me even as a person, much less a wife; but the whore had him by the short hairs.

      • Ah, yes…this was part of my cheater’s dialog…roommates for years…followed up by “you made me fat!” Yes, by mind control I stuffed your pie hole with chicken wings while you watched football in your recliner and I was outside doing yard work!

      • I was dating a guy for a while who said this was the reason he and his wife divorced. I saw it as a major red flag and cut him loose.

      • OMG I got that one too!!! Its amazing still to me this day that these A$$hats all say the same thing!! God I love this site.

      • Also (when asked what would make them happy) “You should just KNOW!”

        Today’s column made me feel a lot better.

        • The you should just know is sooo infuriating. At one point FW dropped the bombshell that he wasn’t a “mind reader” but when I asked him why he didn’t say something regarding wanting to be thanked for basic tasks around the house such as emptying the dishwasher he said “because I shouldn’t have even needed to ask. It should be a given.” Okie dokie, only…I wasn’t being thanked for those things.

          • My FW father (FWF) has said two contradictory things, which I am now learning he is an expert at in so many areas of his life.

            1. “Mom (my mother) was the only person who believed in me and supported me after I failed.”

            and

            2. “Mom never supported me or gave me congratulations for anything.”

            And, yes, I have heard from him the “we weren’t happy” baloney and the “dead bedroom” crap. Mind you, I do not need to hear this shit about the bedroom and I told him that. I mean, WTF?

            Also, being a narcissist, I echo what someone said above about how it is everyone’s job to make him happy. He is exhausting. His mother used to say to him, “you make me tired” when he was a kid. And he does. He makes everyone tired. And he loves it.

            Ditto what CL said about “providing an air of respectability.” THAT’s what FWF got from being a “husband and father” – some sort of image management that made people see him one way when really he is the opposite. Now that my mother has divorced him, the kinds of people he hangs out with are not nearly the “social caliber” that would hang with him before. Now he attracts bar-rat-whores who are just out for his money.

          • MrWonderful also expects heaps of gratitude if he puts his dish in the dishwasher or wheels the trash bin to the curb once in a while. I have never understood the idea of thanking someone profusely for just doing shit that needs to get done. It reminds me of little kids where everyone gets a medal just for participating. Well, OF COURSE you would help cook or clean up or do some laundry or whatever else needs doing around a house. You ate that food. You made that mess. It’s just stuff to be done.

            And he was so dramatic about finding something that had not been done yet. I could have just worked a 10 hour day and would walk in the kitchen to make dinner he would open the dishwasher, let out a big woe is me sigh, and say “Well, I guess *I* had better put away the clean dishes or it will never get done.” As though I was magically going to make it happen by twitching my nose. And then he would do it and expect me to kiss his ass because he did. Oh, THANK you for unloading the dishwasher. Meanwhile I was making sure kiddo had his supplies to do the project for preschool the next day, cooking dinner, and feeding and medicating the diabetic dog. The dog he never took outside when she had to go. But I would be juggling 3 or 4 things with not a word of thanks while he slowly unloaded clean dishes and expected deep gratitude. I didn’t need to be thanked. I was just pulling my weight. But to then be expected to thank him for his valuable contribution put me over the edge. “You never THANK me!” Insert my eye roll right here.

            • I told one of my friends his examples of not feeling appreciated and she said “my husband would be insulted if I thanked him for any of that. It’s just expected.”

              I wonder how much that actually bothered my FW or yours or if they just had to dig really deep for all these slights.

              • I think many have to actually dig deep, which is why their excuses sound so stupid.

                The only complaint my fw could make against me is my housekeeping. Keep in mind, I wasn’t a bad house keeper, just not a spit shiner. There was no; you were mean, you were stupid, you didn’t love me, etc; I just wasn’t up to his snuff in house keeping. Didn’t matter that I was working a full time job, doing all his volunteer work, washing, ironing (yes ironing) cooking anything done in the house I did.

                Then he married whore who per my daughter in law actually made me look like a spit shiner. I guess if I had been able to give him illicit sex, he could have overlooked the dust. Also as he aged he became a hoarder. So weird. That did surprise me.

              • Lordy, that reminds me that one time he told me didn’t think we complemented each other well. I asked for an example and he pointed at our sideboard, which was piled high with mostly HIS work crap and said “well this chaos.”

                I do think the ho-worker keeps or least kept a cleaner home than I do but he wasn’t living there so…we’ll see.

      • I really had no idea how common this was until SI and here. It’s so crazy. I had a friend read this site and she asked me if it makes me feel better or worse that everything he’s done has been so banal. I’d say better. Him and shmoopie aren’t special in the lease.

        • Yep, in large they are all sick liars. They are nothing special.

          Bad news is, we go though a lot of pain before we figure it out. I hope the news is getting out and it helps newly minted Chumps. I was so in the dark, for so long.

      • I will never forget receiving the ILYBINILWY speech from my then-wife. When I finally got to compare notes with AP’s then-wife, I discovered that she had received an identical speech within days of mine. There is no question in my mind that they prepared all this ahead of time, particularly because my XW is not a native English-speaker so the chance that she’d spontaneously hit on exactly this phrasing is basically nil. And yet my XW *still* claims that she never had an affair, despite her AP concluding his speech with the fact that he was in love with *my* wife, and was leaving his family for her.

      • Yep, that’s the one I got. It hurt even more due to the fact that the whole “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you” is such a cliché. It’s like, wow…you thought so little of me that you couldn’t even be bothered to come up with an original excuse.

        • Mschumpsalot,

          No chump ever accused their cheater of being original or of putting any effort into anything other than the cheater’s own needs. Cheaters are self-centred, lazy and unoriginal; ’nuff said.

          LFTT

          • You are absolutely right. I was just lamenting, I guess. As someone who suffered constant childhood abuse and trauma, I still often struggle with the “why” of it all. I know it’s pointless to focus on as the “why” ultimately has nothing to do with us. It’s just a bad habit of mine that I still struggle with at times. I suppose it’s a lingering response to the terrible trauma and self doubt infidelity visits upon the betrayed.

            • Mschumpsalot,

              I feel for you. If it helps, I have a stock response that I use whenever I ask myself “Why did Ex-Mrs LFTT do the things she did?”

              It’s “She did it because she could; either because she wanted to cause hurt or because she didn’t care enough about the consequences to not do it, and because she is a garbage human being.”

              Hope this helps

              LFTT

              • I asked FW whether there was anything he liked about me, while I was reeling from the shock of it all. The answer, after 26 years together, and a long pause ‘I can’t think of anything’. What a fool to stay with someone he didn’t even like, let alone love, for so long. Stupid doesn’t do it justice.

                15 months down the line, and in a much better place, I can say that I can’t think of anything I like about him. He is one of the lower elements!

            • Mschumpsalot,
              As a fellow survivor of childhood abuse (as well as abuse by a spouse), I can relate. My “why” answer when it comes to putting up with my abusive, cheating ex for 20 years is that I was groomed from birth to tolerate such treatment. My picker was never calibrated for a healthy relationship. I am grateful that I am finally in a place in my life that I no longer will bother with let alone have a relationship with anyone who would treat me like my ex or my parents for that matter.

      • Yes whatever that one means.

        I got both
        “I have been unhappy for a while”
        “I love you but I’m not in love with you”

        And also the nicest one
        “I want to break up but I am afraid in 5 years, you will be this super successful “insert profession” eating olives and french cheese and i will see you from afar and regret it”

        I’m at meh.

    • I got the “You invaded my privacy” when I used the find my iPhone feature and found Cheater ex at the happy ending massage parlor…………..while his family was waiting for him to show up at his dad’s birthday party.

      I told him that I thought our marriage was private. Of course his response was crickets.

      These cheaters will change the narrative to fit or deflect the scenarios to their benefit. It is all just smoke & mirrors aka image management. There is nothing real or authentic to work with. Sadly, us chumps get stuck trying to untangle the skein most of the time instead of just walking away. Looking back, one of my biggest regrets is not leaving him sooner.

      • CC,

        I got it in a roundabout way ….. her iPhone was synched to an iPad that the kids used. She was sending texts to her AP and the kids saw them. Thankfully eldest daughter had the presence of mind to photograph them and then bring them to my attention.

        Ex-Mrs LFTT gave me a tripple whammy of “you invaded my privacy” and “you caused the kids damage by showing them my private texts” and “you only did it to make me look bad”

        She just could not accept that (a) she invaded her own privacy because she was the one who set the synching up (b) that if the kids chose to show me the texts she had sent and they had discovered then I could not be held in anyway responsible and (c) the only person making herself look bad was ….. (drum roll) …. her.

        LFTT

  • When you are a newly minted chump and you search for what the hell just happened that’s up there along with unmet needs.

    You weren’t making cheater happy and you weren’t meeting cheaters needs you bad bad chump !!

    Nothing about the cheater doing this for you oh no you are supposed to be happy as the day is long and I’m guessing cheater is meeting all YOUR needs as they are great at being partners .

    I’ve read on various sites thousands of chump stories and all these unhappy poor people are just wondering around dipping their genitals into the nearest thing that makes them happy .

    Yeah no afraid not . I use to cry and cry and cry why wasn’t he happy ? We had everything and why wasn’t it enough ? Why didn’t I notice he was unhappy ? What need was I not meeting ?

    Omg I’m a defect wife !! I never even noticed no wonder he left me if I never noticed that !!

    Nothing is ever going to be enough . Nothing is ever going to make them happy I’m pretty sure there isn’t a happy in them .

    • “Nothing about the cheater doing this for you oh no you are supposed to be happy as the day is long and I’m guessing cheater is meeting all YOUR needs as they are great at being partners .”

      Exactly KM. For the last few years, I was exhausted, tryiing so hard to get promotions because we seemed to be always strapped, and he wanted a boat and a River property etc. Of course I had no idea that for at least 7 years, maybe more of our twenty one year marriage, he was supporting another woman and her big azzed boys.

      I still can’t wrap my mind around to this day how he could square that in his mind. The answer is of course, that he could square it easily because I didn’t matter, he mattered. He kept me for as long as I provided value to him. It is unlikely schmoopie could have helped him in politics and to get his Captains bars, but as soon as all that was in place he drop kicked me to the curb.

      Did he keep all that, no; but he thought he was going to.

      Oh he did give me two free gift certs to an expensive restaurant that he was given at the awards banquet, that he had to string me along long enough to sit by his side. He kept the money for himself/schmoopie, but what a guy, I got a free meal. I am sure in his diseased mind, that squared it.

  • How familiar…. Allegedy, mine used to ‘accommodate’ his unhappy feelings but couldn’t anymore. Used to sit in the car park and cry because he couldn’t believe what our relationship was like. I was able to frame things differently than he could. All those lovely family holidays and he was lonely on all of them.

    Surprisingly no mention of the endless calls and secret meet-ups with another woman when I was landed with this crock of shit.

    I am thankful everty day for CL and CN for helping me realise that this was all just highly unoriginal posturing and blameshifting.

    • I hear you DGC… I got “I almost drove the car off the bridge, I was so depressed over our marriage”… um fuckwit, the only reason you’d be crossing a bridge is because you were coming back from one of your trysts… so if you didn’t like how you were feeling about yourself in that moment, it might’ve been because you knew what you had just done and now you had to come back to your family and gaslight us all about where you were all afternoon…

      • This is a fantastic point.

        I think a lot of fuckwits can’t understand what the source of their stress and unhappiness is.

        It might be work, or gaslighting their loved ones, but somehow, that’s never in their control or their responsibility. It’s always everyone else’s – and especially, their chump’s.

      • ICSTMC

        Excellent description.

        My ex told me he was ‘confused, unhappy and anxious’

        This was all news to me.

        After trying to explain (pointless exercise by the way) that he was most likely feeling all of the above emotions because of his own disgusting behaviour and leading this double life, he looked at me like he had no idea what I meant.

        Looking back now I realise he genuinely did not understand my point. It was not an act.

        What really makes me scratch my head is that in this world finding a partner (or friend) who is trustworthy, loyal, honest supportive and kind is such a rarity, why on earth would you throw that away for a self obsessed, 24/7 selfie taking, been around the block a couple of times female.

        Oh…and the cherry on the top was that all his cheating was going on while I was caring for my terminally ill parent…

        What a prince!!

        Sorry, did I write prince…I meant fuckwit. 😎

  • I heard this exact statement “I haven’t been happy for a long time.” followed almost immediately by “This marriage has been over for a long time.” This was during marital counseling. When I asked, “Why didn’t you tell me a long time ago?” he had no answer. It was just a bullshit attempt to deflect responsibility for his actions and to present himself as a long suffering victim.

    Cheaters are unoriginal. They pull the same tired excuses out of the Cheater’s Handbook and expect that lame bullshit to work, again. Don’t play into that narrative. Leave. Leave the first time.

    • Amen. A particularly annoying and idiotic comment is the “I’ve been miserable for a long time AND didn’t tell you b/c I didn’t want to hurt you/you’d get mad…”

      Because this^^^ does NOT make them a long suffering victim, which is their obvious image management justification goal.

      Because even if it were true, it would make the chumps into long UNKNOWING victims and

      makes the cheaters, long term liars.

      Their claims of long term misery are ugly lies AND they’re also stupid lies. They do not seem to realize how much worse it makes THEM.

      • “They do not seem to realize how much worse it makes THEM.”

        Right? If they had any ability to self reflect at all, they would see how it makes them look.

        Or the “I never loved you” and they think that makes what they have done look better. Astounding.

      • So true. I asked fuckwit why all the lies? Him: ” I didn’t want to hurt you”.

        Presumably in *his* mind that made him ” a good person”. 🙄

  • The next leap made by cheaters when using this mindset — and the one that makes the world at large fall in line with the cheater narrative — is: “It was an inherently bad marriage.”

    Mindset:
    (A) My (Cheater) happiness is the most important thing.
    (B) I (Cheater) have silently suffered for a long time and it’s time I experience some true happiness.
    (C) You (Chump) did not notice how unhappy you were until I pointed it out.

    Therefore . . . (message to the world) “It was an inherently bad marriage.”

    And if the marriage is “bad,” you can’t blame someone for doing something, ANYTHING, to find some happiness.

    #Headinablender

    • SO true UXWorld… Mr. Sparkles had two failed relationships (one was a marriage) that produced children… our marriage subsequently failed… the OW he left for dumped him when she caught him cheating and he had another woman already on the hook from the gym… the common person (or red thread) in all these failed relationships is HIM… yet, he never saw/sees himself and his propensity to lie and cheat as the cause of all these relationship failures… afterall, he DESERVES to be happy…

    • So are friends and family who buy this line of thinking Switzerland, or have they just been chumped by the cheater, too, in a way? This perspective is so pervasive.

  • Yep, my ex told me HE was miserable and I had to change after I found out about his ex skank.

    Yet despite said misery he really, really didn’t want a divorce. Now why was that if I was so horrible?

    Doesn’t matter though because I DID want one so now he is free to pursue his 5 times divorced skank. He doesn’t seem to want that though…..I provided an image of respectability that his skank apparently doesn’t. He kept her hidden before he met me and still keeps her hidden….she’s just too stupid to realize it.

    He’s all about image management and he can’t be seen with an Asian woman…..especially one who’s been married 5 times. What would his family and church think?

  • This is a continuation of CHUMP ABUSE. It’s another way to blameshift and gaslight their spouses. It’s also a way to justify their shitty, cheating ways. Instead of taking ownership by saying, “I was a total FW,” they take the coward’s route and shift that blame onto us. They almost can’t help themselves, so reflexive is this behavior.

    The implication is that we chumps should have made the cheater happy. Our bad!!!

    Also, it further mindfucks the chump. This confusing revelation upends all those already shattered memories. What was real???

    This goes hand in hand with “there are two sides to the story,” which is my ex’s line and one that he just lobbed into my daughter’s court. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on. I do take some consolation in knowing that he’s probably doing the same shit to his OW. #notatmeh #youwonaturd

    • “Two sides to every story” and you can guarantee that his is nothing but lies. I hate how they try to save face by planting a seed of doubt, and in your daughter!

    • I love it when he says that “there are two sides” crap.

      I then get another delicious opportunity to say, “Yes. And your side comes from an expert liar, fraud, and con artist.”

      Or…

      “No. There are four sides. The two therapists who were in the room our entire relationship. And they agree with my side.”

      • “Two sides to their story” – mathematically inaccurate since the DOCTOR has given so many different (& contradictory) stories no one can keep count.

        But I do detest how he tries to erase our history so that I’m not supposed to have any good memories.

        I’ve been unpacking in my new home recently and I came upon love letters from him, hundreds of photos of what I thought were happy times, etc. Damn.

        Guess I was hallucinating for 35 years…

        But the DOCTOR should have won an Oscar for his decades long believable performances…

    • Ah yes… the two sides to every story… so for me, in addition to my keeping my wedding album for my son, I also kept my divorce binder which is filled with the emails he sent to hookers, AFF buddies, Ashley Madison dating profiles, hotel receipts… because “my side” believes in truth and facts. I want my son to learn what gaslighting looks like so he doesn’t become a future chump.

    • My FW father (FWF) just tried to pull that shit on me.

      “I know mom’s told you her side of the story and that she’s been hurt. I’m not going to make excuses and say I was hurt, too.”

      IN THE NEXT BREATH….

      “I was hurt, too.”

      I laughed at him and said how funny it was that in a matter of seconds he said he wasn’t going to make the excuse of being hurt and then he just said he was hurt, thereby making the excuse that he said he wasn’t going to make.

      I said, “I have my own story.” And left it at that.

  • “I haven’t been happy for a long time”

    Likely since he started fucking schmoopie about 7 or 8 years before he left me for the whore. I just found out he took my then adolescent son to the whores trailer and left him outside playing with a racoon while they went in the trailer. My son didn’t figure out what that was about, until he was in high school. He said it was one of the reason he rebelled against his dad so much.

    The man is dead and still managed to kick us one more time. Didn’t hurt near as bad this time, as I rebuilt a great life; but still it points out to others in the mire that they are just so much all alike that it is astounding. I am sorry, but there has to be a manual somewhere that these assholes access.

    • Once a parent does that the kids cannot trust them. My daughter remembers things her dad did when she was 3-4, and he thought she was too little to be aware. Now he’s claiming I’m alienating affection. I stand by he did that in his own. Not to mention all the fake work trips, outings, and trips that were just to see ho worker. People that do all that are prioritizing themselves above all else. Ultimate narcissism.

      • hahaha! You really can’t make this shit up! I feel so bad for Susie’s son, but this is making me laugh really hard 🙂

        • I know. It is scary, and also enraging to me though, even now. He doesn’t remember, but I wonder if his dad told him not to mention the racoon to mom, and figured that covered his cheating ass. Which it did. He knew my son would keep quiet if he told him to, as he was likely thrilled to play with a racoon.

          He loved animals even as a little kid. He has even as an adult gone into cages with wild animals, with training and the proper staff assistance of course. He also, volunteers at Zoos for animal care.

          He obviously would keep his mouth shut about it to mom. He said it didn’t hit him until he was older what that was about, then it caused him a lot of pain, because then if he told me he thought I would be hurt. We were able to really talk this last couple weeks. I made sure he knew as a kid his dads crappy behavior was never his fault, nor should he feel bad about any of it.

          • I meant to add, why I wonder do so many of these freaks insist on bringing their innocent kids in on the scam.

      • Right, the jackass let his own child play with a possibly rabid raccoon so he could fuck another woman. They really suck.

        • Yep.

          The whore was the city dog catcher, and he was her boss. So cliché. Seems like these cheaters are so lazy, they can’t even be bothered to look outside their own fishbowl.

      • I agree.

        Had I been consulted, I would have said no.

        I guess getting his dick massaged was more important than his sons safety. My son was a little kid, he was just on a outing with dad.

        When he (my son) told me, I thought how could he take his son into that situation, then I remembered he didn’t care. Evidently involving the kids with the whores is common place with cheaters.

  • Talk about unhappy– Dr. Kylie Moore-Gilbert said husband’s affair was harder than dealing with 800 days in an Iranian prison– apparently worse than solitary confinement in a freezing 2m x 2m cell, beatings and seven hunger strikes.

    He didn’t even bother to say he was unhappy, just ghosted her. And turns out she was imprisined because of his nationality. His shmoopie was her colleague at Melbourne University who acted as some kind of communication liasson between her husband and family and her while she was imprisoned.

    https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/kylie-gilbertmoore-said-husbands-affair-was-harder-than-dealing-with-800-days-in-iranian-prison/news-story/cd40f3b459b53ec838a1007b3d7700f8

    • Damn…wow, that is HUGE…and vindicating for me. I have never suffered what this lady has but during the lengthy abuse, I thought “I would prefer to be beaten and left in a pile by thugs than to be betrayed by the one person I trusted most”. I will include, though that my parents cluster B selfishness (when I was a kid and had actual unmet needs that they didnt even notice) was a close second.

      My Cheater’s death and mothers dementia has been much easier than abuse from Cheater.

      For real true life-invested partners, spousal betrayal IS trauma and we all are here to attest to it. I hope this lovely woman is actively gaining a life. Her XH sucks monkey balls.

      • ““I would prefer to be beaten and left in a pile by thugs than to be betrayed by the one person I trusted most””

        Yes, one can understand that, but the betrayal and all the hidden element of betrayal is so hard to grasp.

    • Holy fucking hell.

      “Dr Moore-Gilbert discovered her Russian-Israeli husband, Ruslan Hodorov, who she married in 2017, had been having an affair with her colleague and PhD supervisor Dr Kylie Baxter. But her family and her were kept in the dark over the secret up until her release, despite others being aware it was happening.

      The 33-year-old forced the truth from her mother on their first day in hotel quarantine in Canberra as she hadn’t heard anything from her husband, despite being freed after more than two years in jail.”

    • I’m in Australia- this really sucks!
      Don’t cheaters always trade down! The Lola Doctrine!
      This lady is amazing

  • Boy oh boy, did Mr. Sparkles pull this one out on the first D-day. Crocodile tears in therapy about how much he misses me/us… we’ve lost our spark… not enough sex… we don’t talk. What was happening during this unhappiness? Well, let’s see… we had a newborn, we both worked full-time, I cooked dinner every night and did the food shopping and housecleaning and laundry, my stepchildren (there were 5) came for the entire summer and I added getting them to and paying for airline tickets and summer camp and school clothes to my “to do” list. My happiness was no where to be found, I was adulting… and I tried to find joy in the happiness of the kids; Mr. Sparkles seemed to always be laughing and enjoying time with us… but could I be the sexy single woman he met and fell in love with amidst all this chaos when through it all he never lifted a finger or offered any words of recognition, praise or gratitude? NOPE – only the women on Craigslist could apparently make him happy.

    On the last D-day, when he was abandoning me and our family (after refusing to go back to couples therapy “it didn’t work the last time” (translate: it didn’t stop me from fucking around on you and addressing my issues)… his new mantra was “we were never really THERE for each other”… whattheeverlovingfuck… this one still triggers me a bit.

    In looking back and untangling my own skein, I had to realize and accept that I did show up for my marriage and my relationship and my kids and my love for my husband. I was 110% THERE. And it wasn’t enough because you can never fill a bottomless soul. Never.

    Keep the focus on yourselves Chumps… don’t join the choir on this narrative with your fuckwit. You aren’t the happiness fairy. You likely weren’t feeling like you were prancing in a field of sunshine and unicorns every day and yet you didn’t cheat… you didn’t blow up your family… you aren’t to blame.

    Rock on Chump Nation – you’ve got this!

    • “we were never really THERE for each other”… whattheeverlovingfuck… this one still triggers me a bit

      Sorry, ICanSeeTheMehComing. That triggers me, too! You obviously had his back and his family’s back, in every way imaginable. I think CL’s “happy” advice applies here, equally. Especially the part about bullshitting.

  • Oh, that’s so sad, small child in large body, you aren’t happy 24 hours a day and it’s all my fault? Well, surely we can’t have that, little diddykins. Here, let me fix it for you. All we have to do is remove me from your life and you’ll be right as rain.

    Feel free to take an hour or so to pack your things and leave, with my blessings, and you should instantly be wildly happy. Quick divorce with no arguing with my terms (because arguing makes diddykins so sad) and no pesky kids in your new home to make anything boring or difficult for you, and you should be in utter utopia. Congrats!

    Sign here, and you’ll never have the sadz because of big bad me again.

    You won’t need the key. It won’t work an hour from now anyway. Toodles!

    (I should have been that strong then. If it was today, I would be, thanks to all of you.)

    • Love this…. Made me chuckle.

      I wish I had been that strong too. My feet are still sore from all the dancing I did, but I’m healing.

      Hugs to you all ❤️

  • Mine seemed to be particularly happy when he was carrying on affairs or has done something to fuck me over. I started to see a pattern if he’s super happy watch out, he’s done something bad. He now claims “we were never happy.” It’s such a loaded statement. Especially after claiming the demise of the marriage is my fault. He was happy as long as he could continue cheating on me and controlling me with finances.

    • “He was happy as long as he could continue cheating on me and controlling me with finances.”

      I would add also, as long as he was controlling the whore. My guess is as long as he was controlling us both, he was in hog heaven. I remember the times he would come home all giddy and happy, and ready for some great sex. Now I know that except for the first few years of our marriage, those times were right after he had fucked schmoopie.

      Once he got his promotion and his big office by the mayor, schmoops started making demands. Couldn’t control her anymore. He was walking around that last few months sweating like a hooker in the front pew. Oh and all this time, at least 7 or 8 years; he was literally playing the dedicated church going Christian. I am not knocking Christians as I am one, and I was actually the dedicated church going Christian. Still am, though not perfect of course.

      • I started to really suspect he was wanting sex after being with someone else. Nice to know it likely wasn’t just my imagination. What twisted spineless sleaze does that?!
        Their attempts to play Mr Nice Guy are sickening be it church or love bombing the kids. It’s just infuriating.

  • Unhappy for a long time = I am an expert liar and a fraud

    It’s just more cheaterspeak that proves who they really are.

    He was so unhappy, which was hidden from me, and even MORE fucked up, hidden from our daughter (who mistook playing together as a family every day of her life for happiness) that he drew our initials inside a heart into wet cement at the end of our driveway during this very same time period.

    Which after DDay I went after with a chisel like the Taliban on a Buddha statue.

    He saw the chisel on the deck by the front door at one point later when he came over to pick up our daughter. Full of concern, he said in all earnest that I should put that away! Because some crazy person might find it and attack us and kill us!

    And I said, in all earnest, “Someone already has. You and your Craigslist hookup.”

    • Funny, my ex drew a heart in the sand and emailed me the photo after the first D-day (along with a photo of the flowers, in bloom, that I’d planted over one of our pet’s graves. He is such a creepy, manipulative sad sausage). Sand is a far more appropriate medium than concrete! I thought it was ridiculous, but I never dreamed that same weekend he was fucking AP in her camper. Why? He’d responded with rage days before when I’d asked if he was still IN ANY WAY in contact with anyone else – and to get out of my life if he was. At that point, I knew enough to be specific with my questions, but I still was only scratching the surface of FW’s duplicity. I was so naive then! As the truth – in stark contrast with what he’d told me – came “trickling” out, I came to know rage as a sure sign of lies.

  • Cheater: It was a mistake. Don’t leave me. I’ve been so depressed, but I didn’t want to burden you with my misery.

    Chump: Mistake? You accidentally paid for a motel room 10 times without intending to?

    Cheater: please forgive me. You said you loved me. What I did was nothing. You need to stay with me. I love you. Don’t overreact. My depression is not my fault. I want to make it up to you.

    Chump: I love you too. I married you because I loved you. I love you too much to force you to be trapped with someone as traumatized as I now am. You deserve to be happy. Your depression necessitates the happiest, most free environment I can give you. I’ve been selfishly and stubbornly sad since I fought out the one person who I thought loved me did the worst thing anyone could have done to me. You deserve so much more than to be trapped with such a sad woman. Don’t worry, I allowing you to be free, because you are right. You need to be happy. I want you to be happy.

    (Divorce immediately. Repeat same exact phrases as necessary.)

  • Yes the “I haven’t been happy in a long time…” I think this is in the top 2 of 10 most common narcissistic claims with the other being ILYBINILWY. Both are childish BS.

    My cheater said he hadn’t been happy for the last 10 years and I remember mulling that,and even then I thought I could find at least a million people who would have loved to step in and live your unhappy life for those 10 years.

    Much of this comment falls under the entitlement component of a narc. For my fuckwit, his increased earnings over the years bolstered his position. Narcs sit at the center of their own university and think I am not responsible for my happiness or anyone elses. I need to be entertained and catered to. He couldn’t help with housework because “he made to much money” but he could freely complain about it. By the same token he didn’t have to consider anyone elses happiness or do anything to help create it because he made too much money. The world should always be dancing for me.

    The truth is, they are right but it is not about a happy feeling, no-one can sustain that constantly. They are miserable souls who are not content, and who look to blame the outside world for something that comes from within. They have a hole or even a box of evil in their inner beings. Their punishment is never knowing such contentment in life. It is the skein we can’t untangle.

    • You are right. It cannot be our goal to try to understand these defective narcissists. They literally cannot be understood or helped. It’s sad, but they are malignant. You can’t help them. Run so that they don’t destroy you too. It’s sad but so, so true.

    • You are so right about these narcissists. The more money my FW father (FWF) made, the more horrible he became. He’d tell the neighbors, while at a dinner party with my mother(!) that he was going on a business trip the next day to sow his wild oats!

      Money gave him the perception of more and more power and less and less responsibility for his bad behavior.

      Right now I am going through some crazy bullshit with my FWF and people are spinning their wheels trying to get him out of the trouble he’s made for himself with a big financial purchase. His attorney asked him, “what do you want your life to look like?” He wants to buy this property and buy that property and spend all his money and make a billion dollars and buy an entire beach and and and. Nothing on his list of what he wanted included “I want to repair relationships with my family. I want to leave a legacy for my family. I want to do something with my family.”

      Nope, ME, ME, ME, ME, MY MONEY, MY MONEY, MY POWER, MY MONEY, MY POWER, MY HOUSES, MY CARS, ME, ME, ME.

  • I went through the international wringer
    after Xcobra did this when my kids were 4 months and 1.5 years old. One time I went 3+ yrs without seeing them – despite visiting 2-3x a year for weeks at a time and doing endless court battles while holding down a job + massive student and other debts he’d helped to incur.

    After he returned to US 8yrs later, at least there’s a court order but don’t think the court cares whether it’s obeyed. Lawyers are marginally helpful. He absconded to a new state. No one cares. The only positive from this nightmare is that I just don’t fear or care about things. I find pleasure in simple stuff. I did soul-searching and found faith in God. Otherwise the trauma is not anything I could describe.

    Best of luck, OP. Please master the art of gray rock. Your child will eventually see. Mine are teens, they resent me despite my efforts… it’s literally a cult … But they’re finally, slowly waking up as he now discards them and OWife for the next. It will pass and it will build your character.

  • This is one of the reasons it isn’t worth engaging a cheater in conversation. A chump can ask why, but the cheater is going to spew all kinds of nonsense. Anything to justify their bad behavior and blame the chump. I’m sure most chumps looking back would have taken another path after D-Day. No conversation with the lying, cheating bastard, just hire an attorney and move forward with the divorce.

    • In total agreement. The futility of “untangling the skein of fuckedupedness” and “sticking your head in a blender” are some of the hardest lessons to learn. FW said so many contradictory, hurtful, and untrue things and I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to make sense of them or refute them with evidence. Such a waste of my energy.

  • I got:

    “I have been unhappy for the last year”
    then,

    “I have been unhappy for the last two years”
    then, he skipped a few…

    “I have been unhappy for the last five years”

    Along with the unoriginal roommate comment:
    “We are just roommates”

    Cake eating, blameshifting, gas lighting cheater!

    Be gone you evil POS.
    Married his Ho Worker – may they forever wonder if the other is cheating –

    Onward!

    • I found this blog because my best friend is dealing with a serial cheater with a gang of problems.

      I just wanted to say that it’s crazy how everything that’s written on this site has been said by her “husband” and done, down to the “I haven’t been happy” crap and blaming it on her because she didn’t add him on social media. She even feel into the typical the pick me Dance, the competition with the OW, blaming herself and so on.

      I also see that I exited relationships before the guys could cheat (or be caught doing it) just when they began to make similar excuses for themselves.

      It seriously blows my mind how similar these people are. Actually, it’s creepy as hell to think who simple-minded and copy-pasted cheaters are.

        • Thanks! Sometimes I don’t feel like it when I have to force myself not to comment on her staying with this guy (she still defends him), but reading y’all’s stories reassures me that she’ll wake up some day.

          This last time was so close, but not enough.

    • My ex wife said she regretted her “fuck up”, her mess up with cheating with over 20 men in space of a few months and continued to have affair with one main AP despite being caught, then being caught on tinder saying she had a boyfriend who wants to watch her with other men. That’s a “fuck up” apparently. She said she is responsible for me leaving and for the divorce but then flips it to how I’m the one who left. “You left me” was what she said a few weeks ago. I have up trying to piece anything together as it’s all just lies and shifting of the truth. These are seriously disordered people. Like your ex, she also had apparently been unhappy and then that changed to how she was “broken”. Just all one big mind fuck with them. So glad I divorced her. I’m not even bothered if she is dating anyone as god help them. They will truly have no idea what she really is.

      • Holy s*** TWENTY MEN in a few months??? How does she even work that out logistically??

        Sorry you had to go through this experience, but I guess it made leaving her a no-brainer…

        • Well how it was working for her was sexting them every single day with sexual photos and videos and saving them under female names and then we had her snapchat were she did the same on a daily basis and we found her tinder profile. My legal team believed based on evidence she was sneaking to meet them at lunch during work. She would also pretend she was going to the store and meeting them in their car.

    • Yeah.. got the same. First it was ILYBINILWY…. then I haven’t been happy for 2 years… ohhh those two years where my mom had a stroke, sepsis twice and one of my family members died suddenly..while I was working FT, taking care of the kids, a puppy HE wanted, AND my mom? Wow.. then it changed to 3 years… then he was just not happy. No explanation..just not happy. So he left. A month later.. I want a divorce, I’m not happy… well you haven’t been here for a month… so….you still aren’t happy??? I just figured he didn’t want to be a husband or father anymore and just wanted to go screw everything with a vagina and his crappy sex.

  • I had all this along with her stating “for once in my life I’m going to put my happiness first” .When I challenged as to what would make her happy she said that if I loved her I would know what would make her happy. Not sure how I was meant to mind read?

    • My now ex wife when we were arguing over her cheating threw this at me “do you even know my favourite colour?”. So if you don’t remember someone’s favourite colour that gives them credit to go sleep with dozens of men behind your back?

    • I heard the exact same thing from my former wife! Because I could not see the subtle hints and signs she was not happy, it told her I did not love her ENOUGH. I did not know when we exchanged vows in the Catholic Church that I had committed to being a mind reader focused on her “happiness” alone.

      • Ahh but did you know her favourite colour? My ex wife also cheated on her ex boyfriend whom she lived with and with multiple guys so I’m assuming he also never remembered her favourite colour.

        • Actually yes, I do know her favorite color – red. Unfortunately that and everything else I did to show her I loved her did not matter. But I get your gist. 😉

      • My XW (also Catholic, from a conservative Catholic country) told me that if I had really loved her I would have been jealous and suspicious when she went on trips for work.

        I mean, in a sense she was correct, as she was having an affair with a work colleague, so I *should* have been suspicious. Ironically, she portrays herself as a staunch feminist – while using the fact that I didn’t complain about stayed home taking care of the kids while she traveled all over the world advancing her career as proof that I didn’t really love her.

        AP-now-husband is a lot smarter than I was: despite living and working 1000 miles away, he’s been flying back and forth pretty much weekly (including dozens of violations of covid quarantine regulations) so that she isn’t left alone for more than a couple of days at a time. When he’s in town they’re joined at the hip, too: my kids have started to comment on how bizarre it is that their mother can’t drive across town unaccompanied.

        • Maybe since he knows she is an untrustworthy cheater he is keeping an eye on her? No doubt only a matter of time before they are cheating on each other.

          • Chumpynolove….this is about 98% going to be. You are correct that he surely knows what type of despicable human he has poached . They will eventually grow tired of being hovered over and having to hover. This will gnaw at them in their own particular way. Its terrible existence having to constantly look over your shoulder

  • They are operating at a middle school level when it comes to relationships, so at the end of the day, it’s just as well that we are ending our MIRAGE (French for “fake marriage”)

    In the case of alcoholics (I am one in recovery since 1985, he is one who has been lying about being in recovery…no surprise), emotional development stops when one starts drinking. So it was very validating when our therapist asked me, “When did he start drinking?”

    “Middle school.”

    It really does explain a lot in my case.

      • I have outgrown my FW father (FWF). After he had a heart attack, he was sitting at his desk in a partially-demolished home office. He was talking about all the projects he wanted to do and he looked up at me and with tears in his eyes, begged me as if he was begging his mother for a cookie. He wanted my permission to continue with the demolishing of the lower level of his house because his “project” is the only thing that would make him happy. He’s never been happy before this project. [Sidenote, he has built two fancy houses that certainly brought him a lot of “happiness” before, as did his numerous affairs, presumably, world travels, and his work accomplishments, etc.]

        It was such a weird and creepy exchange between us. I chalked it up to post-trauma on his part and didn’t pursue further discussions about it. But, yes, he is so far behind me emotionally it makes me feel like Einstein of the emotional intelligence world. And I wouldn’t say I’m the most emotionally mature person, having grown up the daughter of a narcissist father. That should tell you how fucked up he is!!!

    • You make such an important points about alcoholism, one that also applies to drug abuse: “Emotional development stops when one starts drinking.” In the case of my XH the substance abuser, he started drinking, like your XH, in middle school. His emotional development was very much at that level, with major difficulty dealing with anger, frustration, or the viewpoints of other people. There are times I feel very sad because, like a middle schooler, he is capable of kindness and generosity but only on his terms. Adolescents are very narcissistic; it’s a hallmark of adolescent development that ends with development of more emotional and social resources and values. This is why I resist the sort of diagnostic approach about narcissism here–not just because I’m not a psychologist but because narcissistic behavior is characteristic of people who haven’t developed emotionally.

      But you can take it to the bank that someone who is abusing alcohol or other substances (all the way up the continuum to physical addiction) has arrested emotional development. If you are worried that your alcoholic cheater will change and find happiness with Schmoopie? Unless the cheater gets sober and into actual recovery, not only won’t things change, they will get worse.

      Like those of us who have done the work of dealing with FOO trauma, alcoholics can recover and do the work to catch up developmentally, as Velvet Hammer and others here have obviously done.

      But this is my public service announcement: If your cheater is an active alcohol abuser, there is nothing to work with. Nothing. You have arrested emotional development, narcissistic behavior, and lifestyle choices that lead to the degeneration of the brain. It’s slow motion suicide. And, finally, substance abusers are also, even within their limited emotion capacity, unavailable for relationships with others. Their primary relationship is the substance. It’s my hypothesis that lots of alcoholics cheat because their lives come to revolve more completely around their substances: getting it and using it. And because the substance is at the center of their lives, fellow addicts often become preferred companions.

      You can’t win a pick-me dance to begin with, but you sure can’t win one with a bottle of Jack Daniels.

      • Why I ❤️ LAJ ^^^^^^^

        PREACH!

        Thanks for the validation and reminder that without recovery = zero chance of change = gets worse

      • Yes, excellent points all around, LAJ! “Narcissism” is a very loose catch-all term that is probably more useful in describing behavior than in trying to diagnose actual DSM disorder, most of the time. Clinical practitioners who know what they’re talking about, like Dr. Ramani on YouTube, rightly focus on chronically hurtful/adolescent actions and choices, and our (chumps’, in whatever sense) responses to them. A commonality between substance abuse and most infidelity is an inability to sit in adult discomfort without the intervention of the substance or kibbles. That inability is a core issue that needs to be resolved before the person in question can be a responsive and responsible life partner to anyone. How I wish there were as robust and well-vetted a “recovery” process for cheaters as there is for alcoholism. Some RIC outlets like Affair Recovery use that sort of language, but of course I’m suspicious of any entity that makes reconciliation a key focus.

        • LezChump, Yes! I just responded to LAJ and mentioned what you wrote.

          “A commonality between substance abuse and most infidelity is an inability to sit in adult discomfort without the intervention of the substance or kibbles. That inability is a core issue that needs to be resolved before the person in question can be a responsive and responsible life partner to anyone.”

          So, so, so, so true!!! FWF doesn’t have the ability to do that. He just can’t. A therapist we tried working with essentially fired him and said that about him. His nervous system is shot and he is literally physically incapable of participating in a meaningful way.

          I am so happy for my mom that she divorced him. Fifty-four years later she is a free woman and very happy about it!

          • Thanks to all the chumps who’ve shared in this thread. My ex’s substance abuse was a major issue in our relationship for many years, even before he started cheating.

            I will add that getting sober does not lead to recovery from narcissism. If anything, the abuse worsened during and after my ex’s recovery from alcohol and drugs. I was also so concerned about supporting my partner that I did not want to burden or stress him, and I thought he was distant and cold and unreliable because he was going through a major life transition. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew it would be really hard – and I thought things would finally get better once he was clean and had adjusted to sobriety.

            He intentionally used his recovery as a shield, blamed me and tried (successfully) to make me feel as if my needs were selfish and unimportant. It was a really dark time in my life even though I did not know he was cheating. I think the confusion and fear made it really easy for him to take advantage of and manipulate me. I was blinded by the mayhem and stayed through things that I really don’t think would have, otherwise. It’s appalling to look back at those already brutal years, knowing what I do now. I compromised and gave so much of myself, willingly, for years – and he took it, and kept pulling me back in when I’d finally had enough, while also cheating on me.

            I have wondered if this is a common theme for cheaters with substance abuse issues – and whether other chumps were similarly thrown off balance and duped. It really is a double-edged sword.

      • You can take that to the bank LAJ. When in a relationship with a substance abuser, the devaluation has already occurred. The pleasure principle of the narc-addict means our discard will come. It’s a question of when and not if.

      • What you say is so true. My FW father (FWF) has the emotional intelligence of about a 13-year-old boy. Boobs!!!!! OMG, Boobs!!!!! Party, fun!!! Teasing! Mean jokes! Locker room talk!

        Based on what I know of him as a child, there was a lot of FOO trauma there because his father suffered from mental illness, himself, and left the family involuntarily for a number of years. I recently found out why but I don’t know if my FWF knows. If he does, he has buried it so deep, but the trauma still lingers and dictates his behavior. I do have compassion for him as a person who has suffered a lot as a child.

        However, we each are responsible for our behavior and for becoming solid citizens and good people. My husband also had a lot of trauma in his life. He realized when he was younger that his relationships were suffering and he was not being the kind of person he wanted to be so he went to therapy. A LOT of therapy. He is an amazing person.

        FWF just can’t see past himself. He is an addict. The substance varies, but like you or someone else said, he doesn’t know how to just sit with pain or conflict in a healthy way.

        LAJ, you wrote: “You have arrested emotional development, narcissistic behavior, and lifestyle choices that lead to the degeneration of the brain. It’s slow motion suicide. And, finally, substance abusers are also, even within their limited emotion capacity, unavailable for relationships with others. Their primary relationship is the substance. It’s my hypothesis that lots of alcoholics cheat because their lives come to revolve more completely around their substances: getting it and using it. And because the substance is at the center of their lives, fellow addicts often become preferred companions.”

        It is just so profound and true. FWF has all of those, especially arrested emotional development. He is a dry drunk now, but was an alcoholic for many year. Slow suicide for sure. His life revolves around his current substance which is sex. Porn, trolling bars, going through his phone contacts and even his LinkedIn contacts to try to get someone, ANYONE, to give him what he wants. He’s got fishing lines out to most of his old AP to see who will bite. He sends them gifts. He texts and emails them. It is really sad and pathetic, actually.

        And the lies continue. Now that I am involved in some business transactions with him, I am shocked that he was ever able to keep a job. Just about everything he says is a lie. I jump in and correct the lie, saying… “I just want to clarify what FWF said….” and tell the truth. I will not lie for him. He asked me to send some documents to someone he’s in a contract with and I explained that they would be misleading because of the divorce. He said that the partner just wants to know what’s in the bank accounts and it would just be “half” because of what will be FWF’s. Um, no. That’s a lie because: 1) the accounts are frozen; 2) they have mom’s name on them; 3) she is getting more than half because you owe her more than half of your half!

        I refused to do it.

        He just doesn’t even know how to not lie. I’ve finally realized he’s probably been operating that way his whole life!

  • Oh yes! I got this… so much so that I also got, “I haven’t felt married to you for a long time.” (uh, thanks for letting me know??)

    After many years, still grateful for CL’s helpful way of putting this baloney right where it belongs.

    • I got “I divorced you in my mind – how didn’t you notice?” He actually told one of his brothers the same thing – he had divorced me in his mind so the side piece did not count. He was the whole package – liar, cheater, and delusional!

  • They have more shit than a septic tank. How do we normally sensible with it business savy and otherwise great successful people fall for this bullshit. I kick myself in the ass when I think about it

  • This. I got “ I’ve been unhappy for 20 years” really? While we were raising out beautiful kids, building two businesses buying and selling vacation properties and going on exotic trips? All of that ( decided upon as a couple) made you unhappy? How about the cars, boats, motorcycles and all manner of toys you wanted that I bent myself into a pretzel to make sure you got? Did that make you miserable too? I also got “ WE deserve to be happy”. Puke.

  • This is what I got in the last marriage counseling I walked out of “When I first met Ready and became involved with her, I became sad.” This despite the fact he seriously pursued me and he is the one who asked me to marry him. He sure did not act unhappy for 30 years. He must have fooled a lot of people! He had told the counselor that the reason he needs to hang out with 20 something year old college girls is .”Because they make me happy!”
    And the day I left the house; “I have not been happy since I met you” What is there to say after that comment. I said “well then we are done, this relationship is over. There is nothing to talk about. “
    That just made him mad and he kept wanting to talk about it, which I refused to do. I fail to see the point in engaging in any type of discussion when someone says these things.
    It has taken me a long time to realize I’ve been married to a narcissistic jerk! Lots of red flags have been there. I just did not see them before.

    • Yep, when mine said I cheated for ten years and I never loved you, I knew there was no coming back from that; I mean for us.

      I managed after a few years to rebuild a good life, and archive the pain. I did let him come back for one week and I knew when I did it it was a mistake. He treated me like shit after the first day, when he was in the door. Quite honestly I walked through that week like a zombie.

      He circled back a few other times, to try to destabilize me; but I said no thanks.

    • Mine said that our marriage of 20 years was a disaster from “day one”. In the same breath he told me that we would always have to be a part of each other’s lives and get along and that I would have to get along with OW all for the sake of the kids. He also said that he thought that eventually we would all be friends. I told him that wasn’t going to happen and to go f*ck himself. I have not spoken to him since the day he moved the last of his stuff out of our home (about a month after the divorce was final. I blocked him on everything and have not communicated with him in almost 3 years. Kids don’t talk to him either – he did not realize that blowing up the family meant he would no longer be in control of all of us. I am sure he is aware of that now!

      • “he did not realize that blowing up the family meant he would no longer be in control of all of us.”

        That is so true. I think many of them are so shocked when they lose that control. I absolutely think that my ex fw thought he would go on telling me what to do, and I would just do it. He visibly struggled with the fact that after I gave him one second chance, (and he blew that all to hell too) I walked away and the only communication I had was absolute necessity. I think I called him three times in the year we were legally separated, all divorce related.

        He called me several times, and came by a few times, I was always polite, short answers and I wouldn’t let him in the4 house.

  • 4 years ago I was in the pick me dance of, are you going to stay. I had no idea there was another woman in the picture. Just “I’m not in love with you anymore.” And “I don’t know if I want “this” life” (You know the house and kids,etc”. He was trying to decide what he wanted. I was so happy he was being “honest” about his feelings.

    Turns out he was actually trying to figure out A.If he could afford to live wo me paying his bills, which included trips to rub and tug places. B. If the relationship with the OW was gonna make him happy. He kept yanking me back and forth for about 3 months. Until OW got pissed, and ratted him out, including about the rub and tug places. I filed for divorce almost immediately, but still let him messed with my head for almost a year.

    A whisper of hope for anyone who is in the middle. A couple weeks ago I found out his 19 yo girlfriend (not the OW but our daughter is 16) cheated on him and dumped him. I was Meh… and it was a Tuesday, I swear.

  • I received a group txt sent from an anonymous person to me and my wife that said she was having multiple affairs. She said she wasn’t a cheater but wanted to leave.

    She said she was miserable and it was all my fault because she was happy when I wasn’t around. If I had been her soulmate I would know this kind of stuff. I said, you seemed happy, which she replied she was a great actress and that if she had wanted to cheat she could have any man she wanted the way she looks. She said really terrible things to me and about me. In an instant she started talking and acting like a stranger I had never met.

    In 15 years there had never been anything more than minor disagreements. I did all the laundry, housework, majority of the parenting, vacation planning and everything in between. I was the husband all her friends said they wished their husband would be more like. How could I have made her so miserable? I still knew there was no way she was cheating.

    Well, then I began getting calls from two wives who apparently my wife had been cheating with. Complete with pictures, txt messages, phone records etc. Its been over a year and the shock has not lessened. I don’t miss her any. The person I thought I was married to had been acting all these years. I just can’t let go of the fake life I had been living and everyone was in on it besides me. Its like the Truman Show. I see strangers and just don’t like them because I think maybe they knew or were involved somehow which logically doesn’t even make sense.

    • These are the effects of betrayal trauma. I know how you’re feeling. It’s horrible to look back on your life and not know what was real and what was fake. I’m still struggling with this too. Knowing that other people knew about the affair and didn’t care about what it was doing to me bothers me as well. Everyone where the cheater worked knew. His carpool buddy knew. I once got up in the dead of night to give that guy a lift home when his car broke down. He was thankful, but never said a word of warning about me being betrayed. I despise those people who knew and did nothing. It sickens me that so many people have no sense of social responsibility.

      • I was in a thread about this recently where a majority of people said they would keep their mouths shut about a cheater in their friend group because they don’t want to “court drama.”

        But… you’re inviting the cheater into your home, working with them, low-key covering for them, etc. That’s called courting drama.

        It’s sad how cowardly and dishonest (either directly or by association) people are these days.

  • In addition to the “I haven’t been happy for years” I got:
    “I mentally divorced you two years ago”
    “I forgave myself because I can’t walk around feeling guilty all the time”
    And
    “You want me to be happy, don’t you?”

    Among many other cringeworthy tidbits. Never mind that he came home every day during the affair and told me I was the best wife and the best mom and he was so lucky to have me. 😒

    Yep, the “unhappiness” only comes out after DDay…

    • Oh, there is such a thing as “mental divorce”? I suppose that’s easier than dealing with alimony, property distribution, and the law. Just…ugh…

      • And a mental divorce gives the cheater to clean out some assets, that can’t be recovered. For them it is a win/win.

    • I can relate to this. I have a text from earlier on the same day he told me he had always hated me and fantasized about killing me telling me he missed me and couldn’t wait to get home from work to see me.
      The day before that we had a fun family outing. A month before that we took a vacation with close friends and he told them how happy he was and how much he loved me.

      Oh, but also I should have known how unhappy he was the whole time and done something to make him happier. Because yeah, that makes sense. LOL

    • Just when I thought I was the only one who was “mentally divorced”……that’s just not a thing; why do some of these idiots believe it is?

  • And another thing is that I told him he was welcome to leave since he was so unhappy but he refused. What is that all about? Particularly when he said he was going to file for divorce? I told him, “Ok then, just leave because we are done.” But no, he wanted to discuss his never ending unhappiness, claiming that I failed all these years to properly communicate! And that I’ve made everything about me, never a bout him. Oh yeah? Well how many years have I been the sole support because you refused to go to work? I guess that was only about me? And all of your illnesses I was there supporting you? All about me, yes. And all the times I overlooked your failure to uphold promises to work on the house? All about me! I did not say these things to him because it would not be worth it.

    • “What is that all about?”

      The pick-me dance. Cheaters often don’t want a divorce. They want to cheat. They want cake. They want a triangle. They want to chase something new while having a spouse at home (and the income and services that go with it).

  • If ever there were something that all chumps likely heard, this is it: “I wasn’t happy.” In my case, my STBX (we are both women) would sometimes check in with me, saying that I didn’t seem happy. I would reply that I rarely felt joyful, because I was tired all the time – STBX was well aware that I had never felt rested since our older daughter was born. (Newsflash: our older daughter was just sleeping through the night when D-Day #1 hit in 2004.) But I felt content with our life. And of course I did not resent STBX for my relative anhedonia, or lack of joy, and I did not act out by having affairs or whatever. STBX did not say that she felt horribly unhappy during these conversations. When she took me to couples’ therapy in 2015, asking me why I didn’t help more around the house, I was shocked and dismayed: did she really not see that I did 70%+ of the housework? She was working full-time, and I was working part-time, so I was happy to do more of the housework. I just wasn’t happy that she was devaluing me so much that she didn’t recognize or credit my effort. After a few sessions, the therapist said that she didn’t need to see me anymore, but needed to keep working with STBX on some things. Too bad the ongoing “work” didn’t help STBX: D-Day #2 came in 2018.

    I know for a fact that STBX spun the “I’m not happy” narrative with her most recent affair partner, because I have a dump of texts (in a file that STBX saved, and I found) between the two of them in 2018. Here’s a portion for your reading (dis)pleasure, or for the UBT to chew through…

    _______________________________________________

    AP: Fuck STBX you deserve this. I deserve you too
    STBX: And LezChump? And our kids? What do they deserve? It’s not just us.
    AP: This is meant to be that is why it is soooo fucking hard. They deserve to be happy too
    STBX: I’m sitting next to DD7. She’s still so little.
    AP: I just feel like I’m stealing you away
    STBX: You’re not stealing me
    AP: I’m being selfish. I’ve never been happy until you
    STBX: You’re being true to your own feelings, needs, and experience. I am being selfish. But I’m not sure I can be any other way right now.
    ______________________________________________

    There’s so much to unpack, even just in this short little exchange. Note the AP’s passive-aggression: elsewhere, she would often pretend that she “supported” STBX’s marriage, even though she clearly wanted STBX to leave me for her. (One of the first things that STBX told me about AP was that she was so wonderfully flexible. She served up some quality cake, though it’s also true that STBX did not register AP’s constant passive aggression.) Note also the emotional immaturity displayed by both of them. How does AP figure we can *all* be happy in this situation? How can our kids be “happy” when their family structure and security are at risk?

    Even now, a year after I moved out of the house, my older kid (DD18) is still facing serious mental health issues in part due to the cognitive dissonance of knowing what STBX did to blow up our family. STBX probably blames me for making STBX tell DD18 the truth, but we chumps all know where the blame actually lies. In fairness, though, it wasn’t Affair #2 that blew up our family. That was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, the biggest symptom of STBX’s general fuckwittedness that manifested in a number of ways over the years. The aftermath of D-Day #2 (and reading the text dump I cited above) allowed me to see that I was tired all the time because of my toxic marriage, and I could do something about it: Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.

    • PS Re: this business of STBX checking in with me about my “unhappiness” prior to D-Day #2, but not sharing the extent of her unhappiness with me…

      This kind of fixation on other peoples’ experience is a classic red flag for disordered people who lack self-awareness and who have overly porous boundaries. STBX later admitted that she didn’t really understand how boundaries work. She was internalizing all of (what she perceived to be) my own feelings. Most cluster B disorders, like narcissism and borderline, involve mirroring and emotional supply (aka kibbles). I don’t need to untangle the skein of fuckedupedness to see that it’s fucked up for STBX to act like *my* relative unhappiness is a problem, when *she’s* the one who repeatedly acted out when she can’t deal with the discomfort of adult life. Again, we can only control ourselves, and our happiness isn’t our spouse’s problem, though of course it’s nice to imagine having a partner who can support us in considering possible solutions.

      STBX was tuned to the self-pity mindfuck channel 90% of the time after D-Day #2. In one of the last conversations we had about emotional things before I moved out last year, she said, “I wish you had checked in with me more often about whether I was happy.” Talk about blameshifting! And, that was literally the only complaint she could come up with, about how I was as a spouse. Smdh

  • My ex husband didn’t say he was unhappy, he outright blamed me and said, “You’ve made me miserable for years!” Far be it for me to continue making him miserable, so I divorced him and handed him over to Shrek on a silver platter. I refused to do the pick me dance or “fight” for a man who was cheating on me. After I divorced him, his family told me he was miserable. Karma at its finest. Now, he can be miserable with Shrek!

    • I got something similar Sugar Plum.

      “I hate you. I despise you. You make my life a living hell.”

      This was during in-house separation (worst idea ever!). I spoke to him very little (tried to be as NC as possible) but did ask him on occasion to be less disgusting of a roommate. Like, asking him to make a path through his hoarded crap in the basement so I could get across the room to shelves where I had some things stored. Or asking him not to leave open bags of food on the floor. Yep, those requests are enough to make someone’s life a living hell.

  • I have a question- would this same reasoning also apply to the excuse to cheat that is “I didn’t feel loved” or “I didn’t think you loved me” or “I didn’t think you’d even care?” After getting caught. And then saying he’s so relieved that I knew and of course I immediately blamed myself because we had been growing distant the year before he cheated snd the year he was cheating. We had a lot of stressors in our lives (six kids, a sick kid, a miscarriage, a lawsuit). I could have done a better job of showing him affection. And I keep beating myself up for it. After I found out I did the pick me dance for 2 1/2 years, weekly therapy, and I was diagnosed with cancer a week after I found out the first time and went through 6 months of chemo and surgeries. He said he didn’t cheat on me during my chemo just started talking to her again at the end. I filed last December after catching them again and we are going through an awful divorce – trials etc.

    • No one deserves to be cheated on. He had many tools at his disposal to either work on the marriage (bring up his perception that you didn’t love him, find a couples therapist) or file for divorce if he felt things were truly irreparable, but he did neither of those. Lots of couples find themselves disconnected after having children. We get spread so thin. Emotionally healthy people realize that it’s likely temporary, or if it’s really become a problem to do something to find their way back to each other, only involving a third party if 1) they’re licensed to practice therapy and 2) not sleeping with that person (therapists can be shady too). It’s hard not having regrets over not doing some things differently in your marriage, thinking there was a point where you could have avoided all of this, but it was the WS who took things into the territory of “near impossible to ever recover from” not you. No matter how bad things were before the affair, they were likely not fatal wounds to the marriage. You didn’t deal it the death blow, he did.

    • Not your fault. My guess is your reaction may have been a response to him pulling away from you. I figured out that was my issue. Yes the last year I was backing off, because he kept saying it was work stress etc. I never accused him of cheating because honestly I didn’t think he was.

      I just recently found out after many years that he had been cheating at least the last 7 years of our marriage, with the same woman (and likely more) she in fact was his “fruit broad” on the police department.

      I think in many many cases where we think they have only cheated a certain amount of time, it is usually a lot longer.

      Finding out has been good for me, I now know that likely my whole marriage was a sham to him. He used me for as long as he was extracting value for his own life. Then I was coldly discarded.

      • Susie Lee, reading Sarah’s comment I suspected this as well. I had the same experience as you and have drawn the same conclusion.

        In my case, the cheater initially blamed the cheating and “not being happy” on my withdrawal. This really showed me what kind of person he was when I later learned that there were multiple affairs and they actually started years before he admitted. I was in so much pain and shock, and he had no problem blaming me when he KNEW it was an outright lie. And he knew I’d withdrawn for a good reason – not not was he was emotionally abusing me, but he was cheating, too. This is likely a common scenario and doesn’t surprise me now.

        • Yep. for years while I was totally committed to the marriage, he was having sex with the whore, and as I said likely more than her. Yet he came home and convinced me he was all in. He wasn’t. He just wanted my services and help until he could get his Captains Bars and get his life set.

          Bad news is, it hurt like hell. I thought I would never recover. Good news is not only did I recover, he lost his Captains Bars, his office by the mayor and any shot at becoming mayor. He and the whore basically slunk out of town to rent a house, and he finished his career as a street cop, and did an early retirement.

          Oh well, best laid plans and all.

    • They always project. If he said he thought you didn’t love him, it means he felt that he didn’t love you, but couldn’t admit it. Mine said the same crap during the week of Dday, but later admitted he was projecting and had not loved for me for seven years.

      The effects of stresses of life like work and kids are not your fault. Remember that he had a part to play in it. If he had taken on more of the responsibility, you’d have had more time and energy for him. But they are too selfish to do that, then just blame us for the results. Don’t fall for the con job. You did what you could, but it was never going to be enough for a pathologically self-centered person.

  • XAss used to be a health care worker. He milked that status for all he was worth. He was ‘on-call’ to respond to emergencies 24/7. Yes, it was stressful for him. Yes, he dealt with a lot of BS in his work. But he also used it as an excuse to shut me out. “You know I can’t talk about work” would be his go to when I would question why he was so tired, stressed, mad, difficult, moody, being an asshole….

    When female ‘co-workers’ would call him off work hours he would always deflect to the “its work related, and you know I can’t discuss it.” I’m sure they were AP’s now. But then I would always back off, make my apologies for being accusatory and scurry away to “not make his life anymore difficult than it already was.”

    After a decade of this I started to realize that he was never going to have a positive work-life balance, at least as far as I was concerned. And that he would use his job at every opportunity to shut me out. As an excuse to do whatever it was he chose to do. “I have a stressful job, I need to do this for my mental health…”

    And yet, everything, somehow, was always my fault.

    Once I realized that I needed to focus on my own happiness and leave him to wallow in the misery of his own making, my life became exponentially better.

    XAss is now retired and yet, somehow, his life has not gotten any better, at least that is what he communicates to me. Too bad so sad. Suck it up Buttercup.

  • I heard this one too. Mine went like this:

    We met and married in New York. He knew when we met that I wanted to move to Florida. We ended up moving to Florida buying a home and building a life. I thought all was well, but he was fucking whores during his lunch break for over five years. He was also very active on those Whore /John message boards were he would frequently review his whores like they were pizza places he was reviewing on yelp.

    After D-day, I hacked into his whore/john website account, and put a little post on their message board about how he was busted. He immediately created a new screen name on there, and replied in the thread about how we wouldn’t have been having this conversation on this website at all had I’ve been willing to move to New York.

    Oh, I see. The fact that I don’t like snow and cold was the reason that our final communications had to happen on a prostitute website. Got it. That makes complete sense. Totally my fault. Dumb fuck.

  • They always claim to be “unhappy” once they have the side chick lined up. They were perfectly content before, remember that.

    • yep yep yep

      I’m also convinced they engineer fights in the end. They create an argument; we react, and this confirms their narrative that “We’re not getting along” and, “I haven’t been happy.”

      Mind reverse-engineered fights in the months before Dday. In a post-Dday, head-spinning move, this “unhappy ” man asked if we could get back together in 3 years. How unhappy must he have been?

      • ” They create an argument; we react, and this confirms their narrative that “We’re not getting along” and, “I haven’t been happy.””

        This is absolutely true. I don’t think anyone who has been through it could argue the point.

        By the time we pick up on it, it is too late. So much damage has been done. By that I mean damage to us, screw them and the whores they rode in on.

        • Yep. A couple of months before our 20th anniversary, my XH picked a ridiculous fight. Two weeks later, he said his feelings for me had changed as a result of the argument. Talk about a mindfuck! It was actually a relief to discover the affair a few weeks later. Suddenly everything made more sense, and I could stop beating myself up for ‘overreacting’ to the manufactured fight.

      • Wow Spinach, what did you say about the 3 years?

        My ex fw’s statement was “if you love someone, let them go and they it comes back it was yours” I didn’t have an answer to that. I just stared at him.

        Keep in mind this was long before CL. A while ago when I read the cartoon she drew about “if you love someone, let them go and if they come back, no one else wants them either” I about doubled over with laughter.

      • My ex was picking fights and leaving the house like clockwork (as though he had a standing appointment to get to).

        He suggested we might get back together in two years. The divorce I filed was finalized 22 months after we separated..

  • Oh, yes, I received the royal “we” as well. No tiara or sash to go with it, certainly no palace.

    We weren’t happy
    We had been living as roommates
    We need to keep this between us

    Yeah, the last one made me laugh out loud, hopefully it makes you do the same.
    Keep moving forward everyone.

  • Totally rings true. “We should have never gotten married” (29 years later)…”I am complex and you are simple” (to explain his “need” for fuckbuddies)
    “I care for you but I can separate my love for you from my love for others” “I found my soul mate just like when we met”. “It’s in the stars” “Our soul contract ran out” That’s not his way of talking so I knew it was his whore that said it first and he just parroted it.

  • “And guess what, they’re probably pulling the same shit on the affair partner. Oh, my marriage makes me so unhappy, but I must stay for the children! I am a noble slave to convention! Woe! And the affair partner goes, I will PROVE to you that I can make you happy! I can control your destiny! I can WIN!”

    This is a revelation.

    My ex-wife and her affair partner are both now divorced, “suffering” the icky consequences of their affair. The losses of money, homes, time with the children and community reputation pale in comparison to the thrills of a covert affair. If either one of them fails to make the other “happy”, they will manipulatively protest “I gave up so much for you, so you must make me happy!” And the recipient of that message will be pondering how to do this, all while adding up their individual losses from the affair. They will be holding each other as hostages to a fundamentally lousy relationship. No wonder these relationships tend to blow up. And I am grateful to no longer be married to such a mentally unhealthy person.

    I’m two years out from D-Day, and I continue to be amazed at how much I learn the further D-Day fades in the rearview mirror.

    • I’m three years out from D-Day (it’s taken me this long to get my head/heart back to “normal”, relatively speaking) and, like you, it’s surprising how differently (and clearer!) I see things in retrospect. The further from D-Day I get, the clearer my recollection and understanding becomes, not to mention the more I start to embrace “Meh”.

  • Mine held up a short-term girlfriend for years as his ideal. Mind you, not someone who washed his clothes, bore his children, and took care of him when he was sick/recovering. Early in our marriage he talked about regretting that he dated her and how he broke up with her, but that changed. In time he talked about how she was an ideal woman in his eyes. She was gorgeous, sexually aggressive, and obsessed with him until he broke it off. He talked about how every man around her wanted her and how she chose him. Of course I objected every time he brought her up, but she’d return periodically in our conversations. How cruel and destructive! I don’t remember now how long he dated her, but it was mere months.

    She did call a few times after we married to check on him as a “friend,” and I always told her not to call back. One time she was in the area and wanted to have us all get together after we had been married for quite awhile. She clearly had done some research online about us. I told her to not call back. That made me very uncomfortable, to say the least. I confronted my now-ex, and he said he wasn’t in contact with her.

    When my ex ran, he chose the area of the country where she was last living. I no longer remember her last name, so it’s not something I can follow up on. I remember the city because she sent us a card once. My attorney pointed out that men who run are usually running to a romantic partner, and I explained my ongoing concern about that woman. He offered a PI and said that online research alone might bring up something, but I just wanted out and was trying to keep expenses down. Late he said multiple times that he saw so much that indicated another woman being involved, but we never looked into it.

    So he was very unhappy with me because I wasn’t like his ideal, short-term woman of many years before and for a host of other reasons, most of which were normal ups-and-downs of a long-term marriage. Even his attorney commented to mine that he had never heard anything from my ex that wasn’t just normal relationship stuff, and that in his eyes, I was better off without my ex (LOL). Of course my attorney and I had a good laugh about that.

  • x had ‘needs that weren’t met’ that instead of constructive conversation had a multi-year affair with a colleague. He blamed his stressed, angry demeanour on his demanding job, refused counselling and rebuffed so many attempts to communicate. He lied, gaslit and avoided consequences for what he said was an EA. Too much later when more deception emerged he raged his ‘privacy was invaded’ and scrambled to avoid consequences with lovebombing prose.

    Now happily NC. Have heard x’s miserable, drama prone ways and issues followed him into subsequent revolving relationships. Glad to be free, living quietly and peacefully.

  • Mine claims he was never happy during the entire 20 year marriage, he didn’t want to marry me, he acts like he was doing me a favor. Because everyone hates me and no one can stand being around me.

    But why not let me leave then? I sensed something was wrong a few years ago plus he told me I couldn’t expect him to be attracted to me at my age so of course he wasn’t anymore. We are the same age. Oh, excuse me, I’m an older woman I am 6 months older than he is. How sad for him that he ended up with an old lady. 🙁

    At that time I actually offered him an out. I had received a small inheritance from my father and I had a good job with good health insurance and said I would just leave with my inheritance and we could amicably split since he was no longer interested and stay friends for our son’s sake.

    Oh NO NO NO! He didn’t want that! He sobbed! He begged! He pleaded! He took time off work to prove he cared! Due to the lies he told during this time and new life plans we built, I quit that job. So he could dump me a few years later without a good job or health insurance and… wait for it… he thought he would get half of my inheritance. That’s the only reason he begged me back, he wanted the money from my dead dad. He was screwing teens the entire time.

    Well, my offer had expired. So I took my full inheritance, most of our investments and I get alimony for the next 10 years. His “half” of our money is the 200,000 that should have been in his 401K that he spent on other women. So I got pretty much everything we did have and he has to pay me. He should’ve taken my offer instead of being the greedy dog looking at his reflection in the water and losing his bone.

    But the whole, “I was NEVER happy!” narrative just tickles me now. How hilarious. What a whiny, pathetic little cowardly baby he was is that was true. I hope it was true, honestly. I hope he was completely miserable, it would be fitting and deserved. I found a picture he drew of a pig in one of his notebooks, probably drawn while I was cooking his dinner. I wouldn’t have known it was me because it had big luscious human lips and mine are thin and he always said I should get them done. But he angrily scrawled my name above the pig so anyone who found it would know, oh, that’s Katie. I laughed so hard and it still cracks me up thinking about it. That was a big turning point for me.

    • Oh sweet karma. You are mighty KatiePig. You take your inheritance, alimony, and 401k and live your best life. He’s the pig and the lipstick is not working.

  • Yup, I got the “I (& we)’ve been unhappy for years” and “I’ve felt so alone for so long” bullshit. Those were first followed with “I should have told you” and later “you should have known.” The one that really stung though was the “I want a new wife and new children.” F-ing narc. Apparently two decades of devotion and four beautiful children weren’t good enough for him.

    The two boys (27 & 18) refuse to see or speak to him and the youngest child only goes to his house because of the custody order (she says she hates it there and keeps asking me when she can stop going). The only child who still has a good relationship with him is the 20 yo daughter who wants him to pay for college and her car.

    FW married the 20 years younger OW and just had a baby with her. He is 50 years old and has more health problems than I can mention. Maybe he’ll die before he can screw this family up. He recently started complaining to me about how much he has to pay for our kids when I have the benefit of a two-income household. Whatever dude, it’s in the consent order you signed – did you not remember that babies are expensive? I told him that he could have had the benefit of my income if he hadn’t dumped me for the unemployed 25 year old right after I earned my law license.

    Anyway, my absolutely wonderful (formerly chump) husband and I (m. 2019) are currently enjoying having the time and resources to devote to our teen and adult children and are looking forward to many years of fun and travel when we become empty nesters in our early/mid-50s.

  • A fuckwit can never be happy, because who can be happy knowing one is a fuckwit! I mean, how do you lie to others, and be “proud” of yourself? It’s impossible! People with no core, aren’t happy people. They are unhappy people who hurt many others. Like a black hole, they suck up everyone in their path and bleed them of their energy.

  • They are never happy. When they say they haven’t been happy for long time, it’s true enough. Narcissists don’t feel feelings the way non-Narcissists do. They have confused Duper’s Delight with real happiness. But they don’t feel happiness as we know it. When they say “He/she makes me happy” I know they are lying since no one else can “make” us happy. Happiness is an inside job.

    I’ve stopped trying to do the impossible and make him happy. Instead, as I gain a life, I focus on what makes me feel happy, and I try to be grateful for all the little things that happen in my day that engender a feeling of happiness. I know that my XH does’t have the capacity for real feelings and I’m grateful that I can feel.

    • Well said. I’m also thankful that I know what real happiness is. I’m not there yet, but at least there is potential for me to be happy. For fuckwits there is no potential.

  • Happiness is based on happenings, happenstance, outside circumstances that we believe are going to illicit an emotional energy called happiness. Rather than enjoy it WHEN it HAPPENS we can develop this almost-addiction to it.

    Narcs, cheaters, liars throw the “Im not happy” around for fun. Its something they cannot achieve bc they are incapable of having real feelings as we know it.

    My x was never content and mostly not truly happy about anything, So sad to be him!!!

  • People who use the “I wasn’t happy” excuse to break their serious commitments and screw over their loyal loved ones, are telling the truth. They weren’t happy because they are not happy people. There is a hole in their soul, they have an ‘unhappiness’ beyond the marriage….or whatever. Even Michelle Obama said there are often several unhappy years in a marriage. Life is life, it’s not all roses. Marriage reflects real life.
    That statement burns on so many levels. People who are betrayed can also easily say they weren’t always ‘happy.’ Duh…. who is always happy… only inauthentic fake people. Chumps stick to their word and try to make their best life possible.
    Cheaters whine like 7 year olds and on top of betraying us, blame us for their sad self and purposefully caused devastation.

  • My jerk kept desperately repeating “I wasn’t happy!” on Dday and the days that followed.
    Later he admitted to realizing that he was actually unhappy with himself, but assumed I was the cause. He thinks this makes his cheating less hurtful.
    So he cheated because he wouldn’t even put the effort in to decode his own feelings. Our marriage wasn’t worth the effort. Nope, that doesn’t make me feel better.

    I also got three crazy variations of ILYBINILWY.
    Later he disavowed it, said it was becsuse he thought he was in love with schmoopie, but a few months after Dday, he realized he was wrong. Then he forgot he’d said that and claimed he only thought he was in love with her early in the affair. The fool is so self-deluded, even he doesn’t know if he’s telling the truth or not. He once told me never to believe him, then tried to get me to believe him a few hours later. The contradictions were never ending. I used to wonder if it was all calculated mindfuckery, but it became clear that he’s so stupid he mindfucks himself. He doesn’t have a clue what’s real and what’s fake. He doesn’t know how to do reality testing and just blurts out the first thing he can think of, not knowing if it’s true or not. So yeah, I paid heed to one of his few truthful statements and never believed him.

    These creeps do NOT deserve to be happy and they never will be. The want to live on Fantasy Island, but harsh reality is always going to intrude and they won’t know how to cope. Boo fucking hoo.

    • “The contradictions were never ending.”

      They flail, and can’t remember from one minute to the next what they have said.

    • ‘The fool is so self-deluded, even he doesn’t know if he’s telling the truth or not.’ It’s the Pinocchio effect. Except I don’t think some of them even know when they’re lying about the ‘why.’ They have to justify everything with these stories…
      The ‘why’ is because they liked it.

  • Ah yes, from the category of the elusive and ever-changing “unmet needs.” So many unmet needs, so little time, so much unhappiness. Followed shortly by “I never loved you,” “you never made me feel loved,” and “you never understood me.”

    There’s no winning and no end to this crap, other than no contact. My favorite was when I was told that I needed to make more money, but then when I got a better paying job (naturally with more hours), I was accused of abandoning the family. Gotta love that moving goalpost.

  • Sorry if someone else mentioned this, I haven’t had time to read all the comments yet.
    I keep thinking of the interview with Harry and Meghan. There was serious unhappiness in their life, but they picked each other, supported each other and worked as a team to find a solution.
    That aspect of their interview is something that should not go unnoticed.
    They put each other first, they honoured their partner and themselves. They did not use circumstances as an excuse to treat each other poorly, dishonour their vows and break up their marriage.
    Honourable and mature people can work on the challenges that life presents – including ‘unhappiness’ without shitting on their spouse or their marriage.

  • I am still reeling from the revelation that he hasn’t been happy for a long time even though he never gave any indication of this. When I challenged him about this, he shifted all the blame onto me and accused me of treating him like a second class citizen, whatever that means! It’s okay though because he still loves me; he’s just not in love with me anymore. Total mind fuck!

    I was recovering from lower back surgery at the time he decided to drop this bombshell. He “kindly” offered to stay and look after me but we would just be housemates so that he could continue his new relationship with the OW. I was so full of shock and disbelief, I briefly considered his “kind” offer before kicking him unceremoniously out of the house a few days later.

    I later found out that he had been having numerous affairs and even invited the latest OW to stay overnight in our home whilst I was in hospital having my operation. He has shown very little remorse for his actions and doesn’t understand why we can’t just be friends. Meanwhile, I am left traumatised and trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered life with the help of friends, family and my counsellor.

  • Nah. I’m sure he told her more like, “Oh, how I suffer, and you’re the only one who has ever gotten me!” What he didn’t tell her? Or maybe he did? “But I need to fuck her quite a bit, even though I am so unhappy, and have her do all the household and childrearing stuff that’s beneath me so that when I’m not fucking her, I can be in your arms, where I Was Meant To Be.”

  • “I’ve asked myself almost endlessly over the past 4 years why didn’t I think it was ok to just find you and be happy and hug you and say sorry this is it.”

    ‘Hug.’ Mmmm. Sadly, the shallow weasel addressed in this romantic email did not in fact make FW happy. I wonder, was he lamenting his unhappiness and pining for her while fucking other young women during those four years? Or was he only sacrificing his happiness while he was with me? (Before everyone accuses me of abuse – don’t worry! I didn’t have him chained up! Believe it or not, I would have *happily* sent him on his way if I’d been aware of ANY of this.)

    Ohhh, wait. FW was lying to her and just wrote that crap… couldn’t say why. It’s embarrassing but it’s not him and he didn’t mean it and she’s nobody. How could I could I accuse him of meaning what he wrote?! See, this is why we he can’t get along with me.

    It just got worse and worse. What a relief to see it clearly and be free! These days, I’m focusing on being grateful for that whenever bad memories or difficult situations pop up.

  • I don’t think I was happy after the first 3 years of my marriage, but I didn’t think of it that way. I was sometimes content. I often enjoyed my children. But I wasn’t happy. I had given up a lot for my husband, but I thought it was an investment in a relationship wherein I would eventually get my turn. As the years went on, it became clear that I was never going to be a priority, and when I did ask for more equity in our relationship, he was nasty and punitive. Weirdly, I never cheated. But I did divorce him after he discovered his “soul mate,” who understood him and appreciated him and made him happy. It has been delightful to realize how happy I can be now that I am no longer unhappy!

  • Oh mine I got from my ex-wife is truly original:

    “I’m not happy…but I’m not miserable.” 😆

    Oh but then she did lay down the whole ILYBNILWY and “I haven’t been happy for a long time.”

  • The worst cheaters are the ones who refuse to take ANY responsibility for anything and blame the betrayed for everything. They will do mental acrobatics and tell a betrayed HOW the betrayed forced them to cheat.

    When male, heterosexual cheaters do this, I refer to them as “vagina trippers.” Because they act as if they were walking along one day, whistling a happy tune, and WHOOPS they tripped right into a random vagina. It wasn’t their fault. They were out for a leisurely stroll, they tripped on a shoelace, and woke up in a daze, after they realized they fell into a vagina. Bad vagina! They couldn’t help it because the vagina just snuck up on them. Oh, the horror and the torment, they faced after their vagina tripping accident.

    The female version of this cheater is the “don’t hate me because I am beautiful” cheater. Cue the advertisement from the 80’s. “I can’t help it that men worship me wherever I go. Why are you blaming me?”

    I have actually witnessed cheaters turn positive qualities – in their spouses – into negative ones. Here are REAL LIFE examples:

    “Did you know my wife withheld too much money from her paycheck? Now I have to wait for a tax return! The audacity of my wife!”

    “I cannot believe he saved money for our kid’s college education. I had to miss luxury vacations because of him!”

    “My wife did not have an affair with a coworker who propositioned her. Obviously she has low self esteem and who wants a wife with low self esteem.”

    And the worst one. I have heard many cheaters say that when the affair partner propositioned them, they couldn’t possibly say NO, because they did not want to hurt the affair partner’s feelings.

    Yes, those are all real examples.

    I feel like cheaters get away with a lot because they have a partner (chump) who knows “how to adult” so that cheaters can behave like spoiled toddlers.

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