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He’s Sorry He Got Caught

sorrycheatercaughtDear Chump Lady,

When I asked my husband why he kept cheating, his reply was — he never thought he’d get caught.

What would have been a better response? This one isn’t comforting. Can you speak a little about what he could have done to show he’s sorry?

Thanks,

Anne

Dear Anne,

Wow. Such a short letter and so much wrong.

Can you speak a little about what he could have done to show he’s sorry?

Anne — it’s not your job to show him how to be sorry. Sure, I could write you a script, draw a 15-point diagram, create a multimedia presentation, complete with a rousing performance by the Solid Gold Sorry Dancers. Assemble a whole army of laser pointers and focus your cheater towards a Clue. Make empathy flash cards! Put him a room with a  rabbi, yogi, Methodist, 8th grade principle, and knuckle-rapping nun until he repents. Pantomime human expressions of remorse. (Cue Sad Puppy Eyes, NOW!) Force him to write “I’m sorry I cheated” 100,000 times on a mile of chalkboards. Lock him in the stockades and hurl rotten cabbages at his head. Make him watch a TED Talk. Make him watch an Esther Perel TED Talk until he begs for rotten cabbages…

It would be pointless, Anne — his sorry is not your responsibility.

First clue — if you have to show him how to be sorry? HE’S NOT SORRY.

Second clue — if he’s not leading the Amazon/Google/3 a.m. dark hour of the soul quest on How To Be Sorry? HE’S NOT SORRY.

Third clue — he’s sorry he got caught? HE’S NOT SORRY.

When asked my husband why he kept cheating, his reply was — he never thought he’d get caught.

So, he underestimated you. And now he’s stopped cheating? NOT because he sees the error of his ways, or feels one bit sorry for lying to you, exposing you to STDs, endangering your home life, your finances, or your children’s intact home life — no, he’s stopped because he got BUSTED?

That means, he’ll just find a workaround to get right back to cheating, because in his mind the problem isn’t HIM, the problem is the TRUTH.

Pesky, annoying, buzz kill truth. He had a double life full of delicious cake, and you had to go ruin it with discovery.

You’re not comforted from this, because yeah, it’s not very comforting. It’s what Scooby Doo villains say. “And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!” Is the Scooby Doo villain ever sorry, Anne? Does Shaggy ever say, “Gee guys, maybe Mr. Grimly is really sorry and never meant to scare us! Maybe we should ask ourselves what we did to make Mr. Grimly to don that zombie costume and frighten investors so he alone could have the mining rights to Haunted Mountain. Perhaps Mr. Grimly feels toxic shame and could be rehabilitated with our unconditional love?”

No, Anne! Mr. Grimly is carted off in chains and justice is served. No one wonders why Mr. Grimly isn’t sufficiently sorry. It’s OBVIOUS. He wanted to get away with his crime! But was thwarted by meddlesome kids.

Your husband wanted to get away with his crime. He’s sorry that you thwarted him.

I’m sorry he didn’t give you the apology and the sincerity that you desire. I’m sorry that it does not hurt him to hurt you. But really, Anne, his unvarnished assholery is a gift. You don’t want to waste your time in false reconciliation. You need to deal with the reality you were dealt — a guy who is A-okay cheating on you. You haven’t much to work with here. Giving him pointers on how better to manipulate you into a false sense of security (Genuine Imitation Naugahyde Remorse) is only going to hurt you further and keep you toking the hopium pipe.

Can you speak a little about what he could have done to show he’s sorry?

Yes. He can demonstrate his regrets with a credit report (to show any hidden monies, P.O. boxes, credit cards, or debts) and a generous post-nup settlement. Go ahead and suggest that. If you get any push back? There’s the depth of his “sorry.” Please see a lawyer.

This one ran previously. 

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  • Honestly though- this is more honest than so many other excuses. Much better than the, ” I fell out of love with you, etc.. gas lighting crap.

    • Or blaming his cheating on you; like my ex did.

      These personality disordered wing nuts never take responsibility for their actions. The entitlement is too embedded in them.

      She needs to run far away!

    • Agreed, and quite frankly I think it is what is in their minds when they start cheating. “No one will know” Then, they get caught… It usually takes a while to get caught, because they are good liars, by then so much damage has been done.

      • I agree, they lie and cheat and then blame it on you. Mine lied for 10 years and still never admitted that he cheated. I filed for divorce after 26 years of marriage and now free of his BS. The twice divorced whore he has been sleeping with can gave him. He is lying to her too but she knew he was married so now it’s her turn. She wanted him and she can have him. I am done with his lies and deceit. He was certainly eating his cake and never thought he would ever get caught. Now blames me that his two kids don’t want to talk to him. What a complete ass!!

        • Wow! The script is really the same. Right down to blaming me for the breakdown of his relationship with the kids. They are adults and made their own decision. My daughter now calls her dad “my abuser” or “your abuser” or in relation to my son “his abuser”. She’s more evolved than I am. I’m just now coming to grips the depth of the abuse I suffered, cloaked I’m the name of love.

    • Agreed. I got all the awful ILYBNILWY stuff, but really FW had a pathological ability to compartmentalize his life. I think a decent number of cheaters don’t think the two lives will ever collide.

      • I agree, I think many of them think they have it under control; and then they don’t and that is when they start the devaluing, so that they can have someway of assessing blame.

        My fw spent the last year gradually devaluing me, then the discard. I think up to that point he was acting like normal. He always had a selfish streak, but he was not being nasty, and there was still plenty of physical connection. So I don’t know if it was his plan to do it that way, or the whore started pushing, or who knows.

        He only acknowledged fucking the last whore for three years, but since he was a lying sack of shit, I will have to assume double that.

        He said he cheated (he called it dating) for ten years, but when he met the last whore he fell in love, and well they just couldn’t help themselves I guess. He made sure to tell me he made the first move, because of course she was an innocent delicate flower, and she never would have fucked him had he not pursued her.

        When I told him he and I and the whole town knows she had dated several married men, he just stared at me.

        • Oh girl, I feel your pain. Mine called it “seeing someone.” Seriously? WTF kind of person can utter those words while married?

          Their marriage vows are more like:

          1. You’ll be committed to me all the time and cook and clean and have the kids and take care of the kids and support my career and fuck me when I want.

          2. I’ll be committed to you when I’m in a job interview, filing my taxes, or talking to my mother. Otherwise, I’ll be dating. Here’s your ring, honey; what’s for dinner?

          “I now pronounce you husband and wife!”

            • Ha! I got the “I call it dating”, thing, too. Like they’re in high school!! Ridiculous freaks!

              OMG, CG, those vows are spot on!!!

              • Right? High school is exactly it. And he didn’t just call it dating, he said he had been dating this girl.

                Slut had not been a girl for many moons, she had had been married at least twice, and had three big load sons, and two of them were high school drop outs. But to his idiotic mind he was dating a girl.

              • Mine referred to himself as the “boyfriend” of the whore when we were still married. Ass

      • Yes-brilliantly put-
        they don’t think their 2 lives ever will collide.
        They think they are 100% entitled to two lives when thes rest of us have to put up with all the inconvenience of having only 1..!!
        My STBX actually said-I’ve had a hard time, all the rules don’t have to totally apply to me..!! And he believes it. Sad for the 49!year (yup) Chumpess who lived with Mr. I’ll do it my way and if it doesn’t work I’ll blame all the resulting fallout on …. let’s think..I know ….Y O U !

    • Yeah, but it’s not a REASON to cheat. It’s why he thought he could get away with cheating.

      I mean, run this through the criminal justice translator:
      –Why did you rob the bank?
      –Because I didn’t think I would get caught.

      What that tells you is the bank robber has no moral compass. The only thing keeping him from crime is fear of getting caught. The idea that robbing a bank is wrong doesn’t occur to him or her.

      In terms of cheating, this guy sees nothing WRONG with cheating. He did a cost-benefit analysis and though cheating was worth the risk because he was unlikely, in his view, to get caught.

      I would never lay my head on a pillow next to someone who thinks like a criminal.

      • There is never a reason, but in real time I think I would have rather heard, “I thought I could get away with it” rather than “I have cheated for ten years and I never loved you”

        Now of course, none of it matters as I have enough distance to know he was a horrible person to me, no matter his excuse.

        In reality I am pretty sure he cheated because he didn’t think he would get caught, and he didn’t for years. Then he got involved with his direct report and he got his nuts twisted around the workplace axle, and the rest is hsitory.

        Mr. controller was definitely not the one in control as his world crumbled around him. Of that I am sure.

  • “Giving him pointers on how better to manipulate you into a false sense of security is only going to hurt you further and keep you toking the hopium pipe.”

    This whole post is ageless gold, but for my stupid-ass self who looked right into the abyss for YEARS (trying to see love emanating from him towards me) please don’t waste years of your life trying to divine something that is simply not there.

    They cheat because they want to and for a good while got away with it. If your pain isn’t a motivating factor on its own, then you simply have NOTHING to work with.

    If you find yourself wanting to argue with this “…but years together, but children, but church, but he gave money to orphans so he can’t be a heartless narcissist …” (that was my list) you are in for years more heartbreak.

    This is hard and sucks and Im really sorry about it.

  • My ex was better at least at appearing to be sorry initially. He always made it sound like it was a one-time mistake. That bill for the phone sex line? He was just curious what a phone sex line was! It was the only time he ever called one! He hung up right away! He checked into a hotel when he told me he was out fishing for the afternoon? Well, he MEANT to go fishing, and then he drove by the hotel and thought how nice it would be to have a swim…

    The biggest Not-Sorry Clue though was his subsequent refusal to alter anything about his behavior. No matter what I discovered, he demanded that I immediately accept his dubious excuses and half-baked apology and go right back to how things were. If I demanded that he actually CHANGE anything, he was shocked and horrified.

    The most profound change to my thinking that led me to divorce him was the realization that he was not afflicted by remorse. He was not concerned about my feelings. He did not feel guilty or regret his actions at all. He enjoyed being exactly who he was. His “sorry” was just an attempt to put me off and get right back to doing it.

    I have since concluded that by the time most of these cheaters are discovered, they are beyond ever being sorry. If they can carry on that level of deception for so long, day after day, week after week, then they are not and never will be sorry. Trying to make them sorry is a waste of time. The only thing they will ever regret is that you found out.

    • That last paragraph was everything I needed to hear today.

      It’s almost been a year since my life imploded and I keep coming back to wanting him to show even the tiniest bit of remorse. He never will. If he didn’t care then, he’s not going to care now.

      • Same. This is surprisingly hard to grasp and articulate. I can relate to the second paragraph, too.

        • This chumps husband is being so clear…as much as it hurts you gotta hand it to him for showing her who and what he really is.

          After 35 years of what I thought was a decent “making it” marriage, I still struggle with the hope that the DOCTOR will express remorse to me and our kids (or at least to them, since he hasn’t seen them in over 4 years).

          I do NOT want to be married to him again, to be clear. He did things I cannot “un know.” I can never see him as I once did.

          But even now, even after I faced cruel indifference (and worse), a part of me is still surprised (which is annoying as hell)-

          and a sliver of me STILL wants an apology!! YES I know the futility of it, and it’s a challenge for me, and yet…

          Yet there is progress.

          After reeling for the first 3 years, I started accepting that the guy I loved was, in effect, dead. It helps with acceptance.

          But I still retain a glimmer of hope that he’ll reach out to our kids…but I’m not holding my breath and neither are they.

          This chump needs to accept that her cheater husband just told her that his reason was that he thought he’d get away with it. He doesn’t even understand her question because he lacks the empathy chip.

          She has nothing to work with here –

          so I hope she can get to acceptance of that (reality) faster than I did. Only then can she move forward to live her best life -which is shorter than we realize.

          • Just a word of caution – be careful what you wish for when it comes to your kids, after 2 years of radio silence my ex decided to reach out to the kids(both young adults) by sending cards on their birthdays. Per my youngest, the generic note that he wrote each of them was actually worse than being ignored.

    • Carol
      35 years married, told me when I caught them together “I’ve been cheating on you for 20 years “
      then smirked the narcissist smirk. 😈
      Your right on in your post! Still sad though 😥

      • So sorry. How disgusting that he was proud of a twenty year betrayal. I also was married 35 years. As far as I know, the cheating went on for three years (at least that’s what I have told myself). He actually started working with the whore about 25 years ago—so the cheating may have gone on a lot longer. As he has never TOLD me about his cheating, I actually have never had the opportunity to question how long! No matter the length, he will always be an ass in my eyes!

        • 35 years here, too. Kathleen, that he was proud of his betrayal is beyond gross. I do think a lot of them (all?) are a bit proud of themselves; some just hide it better.

          NotMyFault, I agree about the timeline confusion. Even when they seem to fess up and tell us how long the affair lasted, we can’t believe them. I’ve been writing here that mine had a 2 1/2 year affair, but why the hell should I trust his timeline?

          For me, it’s the lying that’s the worst. Oh, and the devaluation/discard.

          The lying is mixed with their cruel attempts to turn us into the bad guys to justify their behavior.

          I know I’m mentioning nothing new here, but I just can’t get past this.

          • Ex told me two weeks before 50th anniversary he’d been cheating once, 5 years, 15 years, and most of our married life. Seems to be a multiple choice answer. I’ve lost much of my family, many friends, and all my past memories. I’ve leaned I should have trusted my instinct, I should have hired a private investigator to discover the facts so I could have gotten on with life when I first suspected adultery. I chose to let it go, believe my ex when he swore he never had, never would cheat. If that nagging feeling is there, deal with it now. At least you will be free of the wondering, worrying, and regret.

            • AuntBea619, I’m sorry that what should have been a glorious milestone for your & your spouse was ruined. 😪

            • Oh AuntBea619,

              I’m so sorry.
              I hope you have some remaining friends and family who stand by you. You only need one. And we’re here for you!

              p.s. Your ex is a putz (so is mine).

              p.s.s. Good advice for any youngins reading this. Trust your gut!

            • Oh wow 😔 AuntBea619. 50 years!!! 31 years here (34 together). It sucks. I’m currently having the toughest time as in the divorce grinder – now calling it Battle Royale after reading it named this on here. I really hope you have found your happy and I’m sending you hugs. Wish I could rock up at your gaff with a smile and some good chat x

            • What a jackass he is. I hope you are finding ways, Aunt Bea, of living your own authentic life. I’m nearly 70 years old. It’s never to late to free yourself.

            • Aunt Bea-
              I’m a 49 year survivor of deceit, manipulation,and who knows how much cheating. Now have done a Late Life Makeover, and moved to a beautiful home in Florida. I had forgotten what the simple joys of sunshine, flowers, beach and actually interacting with normal people
              can do for the spirit. I’m mad at myself for living in the cave-cage-prison he locked me in emotionally for ages. I had the key all along. He exploited my emotional vulnerability so he could keep me as his convenience-just because he thought the universe was there to supply him with people. Years I was robbed of. Blinded by trips to Europe, vacations in the Vinyard, and other icons of the good life made me believe he “ wanted” our life. HA! A full blown Potemkin Village. ( That’s a cardboard movie set ). Trying to figure out how this magic show….” now you see him now you don’t” happened.

          • I can’t yet, either, Spinach. We’re still early in the game, so here’s to hoping it gets easier, like everyone here promises.

            Just yesterday, I learned that ex has a (genuinely, I think) substantive and wonderful new girlfriend. Much younger, of course. She came right after/during final discard, which I sensed, but I’ve been resolutely avoiding any info about of them for months. Already friends with all the friends I left behind. I still think FW is a loser and am revolted by him, but I hate how this new prize, and fw’s resulting happiness, bolsters the narrative that I was the problem – in his sick mind and for everyone else he worked his magic on. I’m feeling the opposite of mighty compared with this woman, and I’m battling my instinct to internalize these feelings of unworthiness – and also repeating the mantra that I don’t care what anyone else thinks. My sisters and good friends and chumps see me, and that’s all I can expect for now.

            • Oh bread&roses, that must be so hard. I’m sorry.

              I’m glad you have people to support you.

              These cheaters cause so much pain. It’s frustrating when they seem to suffer no repercussions.

              • Thanks. The good news is, I’m off hopium, so I am not “taking it personally” the way I would have even a few months ago. He sucks, and I see him for who he is, not who nearly everyone else sees and believes. Thankful that now there is no love and no sadness or jealousy that some FW didn’t pick/doesn’t love me, only disgust and frustration at the unfairness of the situation. And this time around, I know that being chosen by an fw doesn’t make someone better than me, just like being discarded by one doesn’t make me worthless. So I just have to reset and remove that loser’s centrality and continue to not care about what he says or does with his one, short life. So I can get on with being me in mine.

          • My ex told me he had been “dating” for ten years (half our marriage” I have to assume he was committing adultery (lets use the correct term) for our entire marriage.

            • Mhm… mine was dating, posting, actively looking for women( later hookers) from before we knew each other- during our 2 years being together ( monogamous relationship) after engagement, another 6 months, and for the rest of our marriage ( 3 kids and mountain of complains about me not being enough on every level)
              I ended up obese( thyroid was malfunctioning due to ongoing stress) clinically depressed and with a textbook PTSD
              He ended up happy as a clam with plenty of memories, cakes and a great careeo

      • Yep, my ex told me on the day he left that he had been “dating” for ten years and he never loved me. He said it in a sad sausage kind of way, kind of like (in hindsight) that he thought that some how made it ok. As in, well I was never happy so anyone would do the same.

        It was horrendus in real time, but now I know he was a totally messed up person, and his life after we Divorced got worse and worse the older he got. So bad that I almost (not quite but almost) felt sorry for schmoops.

        I only know because we have a grown son who was also the brunt of some of his selfishness.

      • Ugh, I’m so sorry. I know that smirk so well now. He flashed it on me constantly before I got him the hell out of our house. Every time he’d say something nasty. They just get off on being cruel.

    • “…subsequent refusal to alter anything about his behavior.” THIS!

      And he sat there in MC and accused me of denting him the right to have female friends. How DARE I not want him contacting females privately after he had a burner phone filled with the texts and emails of over 50 women. They are just friends! How awful of me to cut him off from female friends he has known since high school. And I only said to him that if he couldn’t post a comment publicly on their FB wall for the world to see, it is probably a communication he shouldn’t be having. But no, he MUST keep all these women who only seek his wonderful advice. Who else will they talk to?

      He changed nothing. Only took it further underground every time.

      Sorry, my ass.

      • Yep, this was my ex. Any time I had an issue I was being paranoid and trying to stop him from having friends. One of his “friends” from high school I actually met. We had brunch at her home the day after Thanksgiving. I met her husband and my son played with her children. She had a week old baby too. Three children with her husband in total. At New Years I used the computer and a message popped up and I saw that she had sent him pictures of herself cheating on her husband with three different people just since her child was born two months before. She wanted to let him know she was available to him sexually. Oh, and available to me too. I was horrified and disgusted.

        He spun that as he didn’t know what to do and didn’t want to hurt her family so he just ignored her inappropriate comments. I exposed her which rained down a ton of harassment on me from her BDSM friends and we went no contact. I even had to change my phone number due to the pervert brigade harassing me. Well, I thought “we” went no contact. He just arranged his facebook so I couldn’t see he remained friends with her. During the divorce when I was gathering info I looked at his facebook from a friend’s account. Every single woman I’d ever had a problem with was still on his friends list, just hidden from the view of my account. He would pretend to agree with me and then just hide it harder. Makes me sick now. He could have just let it go but I think he delighted in abusing me.

        • KatiePig,
          Unfortunately I do think some of them delight in the abuse. Mine did. Looking back, during the height of the gaslighting regime, I suspected my STBX of cheating and he denied it of course, but he always had this little twinkle in his eye. When I saw that, I’d ask him, “Why when I’m sitting here crying and feeling hurt trying to figure out where you’ve been that you are smiling?” He would say dumb shit like, “I’m just happy today”, or “I like it when you’re jealous.” One time I said, “So, you like it when I’m upset?” He did a big dramatic step back and pretended to be so hurt that I would suggest such a thing. After DDay, and some of the truth was coming out, he seemed proud and delighted to spew all the shit he’d been doing over the years. It was kind of like, “Oh well, jig’s up! Now you get to hear all the great techniques I used to lie to you.”
          It can be really scary to realise that the person you loved actually delighted in hurting you.

          • “t can be really scary to realize that the person you loved actually delighted in hurting you.”

            Horrifyingly scary.

          • I totally get the smug smirking satisfaction they get. The night of our 6 year anniversary (living together, not yet married) I decided to try to communicate with him about how I was feeling that something was off. He denied, denied, denied—I wasn’t even thinking or accusing him of cheating, i just felt like there was something wrong with our relationship. I couldn’t understand why it didn’t feel right. Later on that night, we met some friends at a bar, and at one point, he said to me “…There’s a lot about me you don’t know, Smartypants”. (it’s a line from American Beauty). He was definitely smirking and so pleased with himself. The next day I broke into his email and saw at least 5-6 people he was fucking, or trying desperately to fuck. I was livid. I kicked him out immediately.

            I assumed I was doing everything right—but I didn’t know anything about hoovering/narcissists, etc. He started love-bombing me for months, took me on a great vacation, and when we got back told me he had “booked city hall”. I am such a fucking idiot. I married him. What a fucking tool I am. 7 more years with him. I can get sooooo fucking mad when i think about it. I just have to remind myself—you got out of it—-eventually—-and it was NOT easy.

            But that smirk and that smug delivery is something I will never forget.

            • SeeKay,
              Don’t beat yourself up. You loved him with your whole chumpy heart, that’s your biggest crime. Fuck him for shitting on you and your love. It’s not you-it’s him being an abuser. See, that’s what they do-they choose to abuse. Love yourself, and take that smirk and smugness and put it in a box and set fire to it. You’re worthy of love.
              Hugs. Stay mighty!

              • Thanks Formerly. it’s nice to hear that. I think i need to do a literal burning of some things. And yeah, fuck him and the rest of them!

          • Oh wow, that is so cruel. I recall after a year or more of hearing all about this co-worker of his finally saying enough, you have to stop talking about her and you two are too close. (I’d never said much about it because he liked to accuse me of being jealous and I was trying to be a “good” wife). He was so happy when I finally said something about the co-worker he said he didn’t think I cared, and was actually giddy with happiness.

      • Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

        Consequences, I might add, that they hadn’t even considered, which is shocking. And when the consequences hit, they feel victimized.

        It’s on the cheater wash tag. Cheat, feel smug, get caught, feel victimized.

        • Love this cheater wash tag. It’s so true! I think some of them still feel smug after being caught. The victimization is what they put up for others to see… more image management. “The chump is unforgiving! Chumpy says it’s over and won’t go to the RIC. Chumpy won’t accept that he/she MADE me do it by being busy/successful/cold/jealous.” They think their family and friends will buy it and sometimes they do.

    • Exactly, they never felt sorry enough to stop the affair or tell the truth. The only reason many confess because there is no other out.

      Mine is a slippery snake and still lies and denies. I know enough to know he cannot be trusted and that he cheated. The deniability kept me in his web much too long, and he knew that and worked it to his advantage. That was his angle. They all use what they have to get more cake.

    • Yes, and they continue to deceive and image manage after. My children (teens) found his live box with lube, condoms, viagra, burner phone and her number. They phoned it and told me who she was. He is still with her. He tells his children “when you get a girlfriend tell me and I”ll do the same for you”. Really? He is so delusional. He also portrays himself as the victim because not everybody was cool with what he did. He is actually upset that my family didn’t want anything to do with him. I can never decide whether he has actually convinced himself of this or he just does it to avoid responsibility. Either way I have no respect for him.

  • Anne,

    In my experience, cheaters are only ever sorry when consequences come home to roost ….. and even then they are only ever sorry for themselves. If they cared about other people (their spouses or kids for example) they wouldn’t have cheated in the first place.

    On the upside (and it’s a small upside I’m afraid), at least he sparing you the “I’m not cheating and you are imagining everything” BS.

    LFTT

    • It is difficult to see that gift in the middle of a discovery. But as a chump with the deny til death cheater, the certainty of knowing he cheated is huge. I feel like there are more chumps out there that likely believe their partners due to the deniability, and stay trapped in their web for way too long.

  • What I wish I’d known before wasting an additional decade and change:
    On the first D-Day, it’s too late. They have already learned they can trick you.
    After that, all they are trying to do is find out whether they can trick you again.

    • And, deeper into the skein and the real dealbreaker, as I see it now… they are the type of people who rationalize, even delight in, cheating others. Correction: cheating their unsuspecting, loyal loved ones.

  • I read frequently, don’t post very often, but I have an update for the community.

    My WW and I are moving to D.

    This was her idea. 6 months since D-Day, and tired of carrying this effort, I told her on Saturday that I want honest answers, and if she can’t be all in, then let’s just rip off the band-aid and move on with our lives. I’ll be OK.

    Sunday after a tense discussion, she told me no, she can’t be all in. She can’t be the healer I need her to be. She wants to do in house separation until she moves out next month and we can work on D.

    I’m very hurt but I’m feeling OK in a way. It is only one day now and I’m thinking of buying some new clothes and getting a new look, and I started thinking about the possibilities of what life will be like.

    It is tempered heavily by the huge financial drain, but that is beyond my control.

    • Double-chump –

      I wish you nothing but the best. Yes, the financial drain is no fun but you will gain so much peace of mind when this sordid mess is firmly in the past.

      Be well!

    • I have found that even though I lost a ton of money in the divorce (it was contentious), I’ve made so much more back. FW was a drain on our accounts. He is in finance but was and is an idiot with bills and his/our own finances.

      Once the divorce is over, you will have control back and can make healthier decisions for yourself and your finances. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this — but you’ll feel so much better once you are free of the emotional, physical and financial drain of your STBX.

      • My experience too. Despite much higher mortgage on one income I was able to save money and remodel the house. I knew where every penny went.

      • Same experience here. I was working a minimum wage (but secure) job. It took me a few years; but it was not long before I realized that though he controlled the money, I was much better at it. I mean really it isn’t like it is hard. You pay your bills, and do not make purchases you can not afford. Oh and you don’t spend money on a whore.

        The ex and schmoops ended up in bankruptcy due to massive gambling debt. I didn’t feel happy about it, (though I was surprised, that he let that happen) but I also didn’t feel sad about it. They brought it on themselves, I am just thankful, I got out in time.

      • Same here. Magically I have more money and he was on a very high salary! Hookers and girlfriends are expensive though.

    • I’m sorry you are InThis mess. Consider the cost the price of freedom from Fw, her lies, deception, betrayal. Go get your new clothes and look!! Be safe, take care of yourself and do nice things for you! Be well! Huge hugs!

    • Double-Chump: I’m sorry you are experiencing betrayal and pain. A wise acquaintance, and comrade-in-chump, advised me about my cheating STBX and in-house separation, “Get her out of your house. Your new life won’t start until you have your own place. You need your own home.” They were/are right. My healing began only after she finally moved out. If you can, financially and logistically, tell your WW to move out or move yourself out. If you cannot do either of these things, then everyday plan a schedule for yourself to be able to keep as great of a physical and emotional distance from your WW as possible. You can do this!

      • I’ve been stuck in house bc my cheater won’t leave. It’s pure hell. I’d agree, get them the f out if at all legally possible. On the flip side I know 100% know that I am done and am making the right choice.

    • Please see a good lawyer. “We can work on divorce” is a grave danger when you are dealing with someone who cheats.

      • When divorcing a cheater, there is no such thing as “our attorney”. “My attorney” and “your attorney”.

    • DC, you feel OK ‘in a way’ because you know in your heart it’s over.

      She made her choice now it’s time for yours. She’s not all in because she’s protecting her side piece.

      Cut bait Bro, the fishing is better elsewhere. Bag her shit and put her out. It’s inevitable. Serve up a huge plate of consequences and get her out of your sight and smell. Go NC/ grey rock and cut all ties.
      4 1/2 years out I promise you’ll be laughing at the term “wayward”

  • Basically, chumps actually are empaths, and chumps can make a mistake and feel remorse. We have to learn NOT to project our capacity to be an authentic human with boundaries and values onto others. Just because we can, doesn’t mean they will.

    Your capacity to learn and grow from your own mistakes cannot be given to or taught to another person who does not have that capacity. It is not that they don’t see, it is that they don’t agree.

    • Or that they don’t understand empathy as normal honest people do. In my FW mind, his needs superseded mine regardless of the situation.

      • Years before D-day I was teaching the kids when, why and how to apologize if they hurt someone or did something wrong, whether intentional or not. In addition to giving them the words, I also taught them “do unto others” and that everyone is human and makes poor choices/mistakes that need to be addressed. When I asked ex to partner with me as he would go silent and let me handle the hard parenting, he told me he didn’t think kids should be forced to say “I’m sorry” when they don’t mean it. I wish I had seen this for the big red flag of his lack of empathy instead of doubting how I was raising my children. While I was trying to raise three kids with morals and values, he was carrying on for years with a ho-worker.

        He’s never apologized me and I don’t expect him to. He’s not sorry one bit.

        • The hardest part of teaching kids how to respond if they do wrong is getting them to see that they have in fact done something wrong that requires amends.

          Clearly, your husband had a blind spot there.

        • Idk if it’s a red flag – I never forced my son to say he was sorry, because I felt like it was just teaching him to lie and manipulate emotions to get out of a situation. Do whatever you want and then say “sorry” and you are off scott free.

          I always tried to get him to focus on the other person, “That boy looks sad that you took his truck, what can we do to help him?”

          Either way, we are both trying to teach morals and empathy – something most of our spouses had zero of. The lack of caring about others emotions is the red flag.

  • “his reply was — he never thought he’d get caught.”

    Isn’t it glorious when they make it next to impossible to overlook that they are simply crap human beings?

    I know it’s a re-run, but I want to give a special shout-out to the Solid Gold dancers. I miss them.

  • Even when they are caught red-handed, they’re like a two year old with a chocolate covered face asking you, “what chocolate?!??! I love you mommy!!!”

    I had installed spyware on Mr. Sparkles computer because a friend of mine had recently done the same and came back with “proof”… after years of gaslighting (“I’m just going out to shoot pool…”)… I decided to get me some proof.

    Within 24 hours I had months of sordid detail history from his browser, his email accounts, his downloads. I need to scour my eyeballs it was so disgusting. BUT… when confronted with it all, he still went to gaslighting… “I knew you had installed the software, I did all that stuff to get back at you because I knew you were watching me.”

    UM… then why was everything I found HISTORY of activity… going back six months (e.g. stuff he moved in to a trash folder but never emptied… typical).

    Bottomline – once you’ve caught them and outed them, the only thing left for them is more gaslighting and to step up their game to replace you because you’ll never look at them again with those same love-soaked gazes of adoration. My two cents… if you even think you need proof… you already know in your heart you’ve got a cheater… now the onus is on you to do something about it.

    Good luck!

    • When you join the marriage police to get the evidence you need, you actually already know. You are just convincing yourself that you have done everything possible to save a relationship which cannot be saved. You often learn things you wish you did not know. Use this evidence to harden your resolve, or shorten the divorce process, They will deny, deny, deny, and lie. But, now you know. Don’t believe the post evidence “sorry”. That is to buy time and use you a little longer.

      My biggest regret is the amount of time I wasted, and how long it took for me to fix my picker. Whatever, it is all in the past now, and my mental health and peaceful life is well worth whatever it took to get here.

      • I joined the marriage police because I needed reassurance I wasn’t losing my mind. Klootzak had made it out that I was a jealous person imagining things. I needed to find what I did. And once I was able to absorb the full extent of everything, I resolved to stop my emotions and think with my head. The hopium ended. Then he announced he wanted out and I learned that the evidence of adultery I had was too old to use in a D so back to policing to get evidence. Only it has gotten harder. He locked everything down well. We have many assets so hiring a PI will likely be well worth it. I also identified another bank where he thinks he is hiding funds. The difference in surveillance now is the focus from before (“Did he do it?”) to now (show a court that he is doing it and bust him). I don’t even want to see or know more than I do but it is very much in my interests to as it affects my ability to buy the house and keep as much stability as I can for my son.

          • Thanks. I feel like I want whatever evidence is found to be handed straight to my attorney. I know full well the stuff he has done. I don’t need to know more than I do to know I want him as far from me as possible. It doesn’t hurt my feelings anymore because I don’t give a damn who he hooks up with. When I think that I ever slept with him much less married him, I shake my head at the poor choice. But him being a skank is not something I take personally. He’s a pig and a FW. I don’t expect him to be an honorable human being. I only want the evidence as leverage so he agrees to a fair settlement and saves me the expense of going to court and putting it all out publicly. Mr. Wonderful doesn’t want testimony and evidence of his behavior. I’m willing to be fair and I wouldn’t hesitate to go to trial as I would love to depose a few of these APs and enter his texts and emails as evidence. He worries about image management enough that he will be forced to the table. But really, I care about as much about his sex life as I do anyone else’s, which is to say that I don’t. I am all transactional now. He has no clue how mighty this chump is.

        • I know where you are with this. I also saw and know so much but, the proof I have is only a small fraction of what he’s been doing. It’s still adds up to cheating but not the the full extent. And just like your cheater everything is locked like a vault. I also have wished I could get more for legal reasons but recently just gave up and will go with all that I do have.

  • My ex asshole had a friend from dental school who was also cheating on his wife, which he told me about after d-day, and after months of fake remorse etc. I asked him what advice he had for his friend, after he told me how “sorry” he was (I assumed for the pain he caused me and his kids) and he said “I told him he is going to get caught.” Nothing to work with here. Cold hard reality

  • Such hubris to think you’ll never get caught!!

    When I was a kid, we would ring doorbells at dusk on the night before Halloween. We’d sneak up to the door, ring the bell, and run! Part of the fun was the risk of getting caught.

    Sometimes I wonder if these cheaters want to get caught and/or enjoy the thrill of the risk.

    And/or perhaps there’s another subset that is so intoxicated with their own cleverness that they think they can outsmart us forever.

    Maybe both are at play…

    • You’re absolutely right. It’s adrenaline and oxytocin and all those things to give a boost. While some of us are being the same parent – and while I was trying to learn for the future (my mantra was “own the loneliness”) – he was continuing the affair, and keeping the affair going months into his new relationship (he’s now married to the new one and I think he cut back to one woman after being diagnosed with HPV oral cancer).

    • My ex was/is a classic passive-aggressive covert narc. Yes, I think he wanted to get caught. His behavior was so outlandish at the end, what did he expect? But I was the one who had to “discover” his affair, call an end to the marriage, hire the attorney and file. Even at the end of our marriage, I was the one who had to make the decisions and do the work!

      • CL talks about this in her book – it is so insane that they do all the destroying and we are stuck doing all of the “work” of filing the divorce, hiring the attorney, separating out the documentation of assets, etc. He was off with his nose in schmoopie’s twat while I was crying tears over the scanner. Still today, several months after the divorce was final – I am making an appointment at the county treasurer’s office to get my vehicle title and tags put into my name only after he did a quick “I changed my address” with them and all my notifications are now sent to him. That’s what he did with everything – never told any of these lenders and companies that it was a divorce. Just that he changed his address. Then I have to guess and by golly my way around – trying to find out what is missing. I told my friend, “It’s like someone came and took a big dump in the middle of my living room and everyone said, “oh, well shit happens.” But, I’ve been cleaning it up every day since.”

        Mine’s big “sorry” or “regret” was his ranting that he should have just let me find out. His big decision point after 40 years of marriage was whether he should just flat out tell me or wait until I found out through the gossip mill. He decided to tell me. And he told me several times was sorry he didn’t just let me find out. He felt it would have been easier on him that way.

        Nothing to work with there.

    • I don’t thnk there is any doubt that they enjoy the thrill of the duping.

      I don’t think most of them anticipate getting their short hairs caught in an axle, but for most; they just keep doing it until it blows up.

      The reason I think that is, if they really hated their married life, they would quickly end it as soon as they found a soft landing to escape to.

    • Spinach@35

      “Sometimes I wonder if these cheaters want to get caught and/or enjoy the thrill of the risk.

      And/or perhaps there’s another subset that is so intoxicated with their own cleverness that they think they can outsmart us forever.”

      32 yrs married and heard multiply sorry/not sorry …. the best one was “I had alot of opportunity”. Oh gee, by all means then cheat, lie, and steal from your family its apparently your right. Oh my God the Stupid Shit Cheaters Say!!!! Remorse is not an attribute and I agree in my case he was intoxicated with his own cleverness thinking he would outsmart me forever. He was also a thrill seeker so it was consistent with his personality and being in law enforcement he was correct in saying he had alot of opportunity.

      5 years divorced from this toxic person ………

      • ” I agree in my case he was intoxicated with his own cleverness thinking he would outsmart me forever. He was also a thrill seeker so it was consistent with his personality and being in law enforcement he was correct in saying he had alot of opportunity.”

        Identical to my situation. He did outsmart me for a long time, and in fact up to the last three months of our marriage. In the end he didn’t outsmart himself though. He lost his recent promotion, his cushy office, his political power; and the best part he married the whore, and spend the rest of his life having to deal with her family issues, and slovenly nature.

        I only know because we share a son and a daughter in law who I am close to, who has needed someone to talk to once in a while.

        He is gone now, and they or the grandchildren have nothing to do with the whore. She (the whore) treated them like dirt, as did he. But, because he was his dad; they dealt with her as best they could.

  • When I finally had proof of my now ex’s financial infidelity, amongst all the other infidelities, which took a few years to uncover, he had wracked up over 60K in credit card debt. Thankfully it was all in his name, but throughout our 11 year marriage he/we never had any money saved even though he made six figures, and I had no choice but to go back to work full time even though I was home raising two young children. Even though we were already separated and a few months away from being divorced, I urged him to get financial counseling and get his life back on track, for the sake of his financial future. He looked me straight in the eye and said “This is how I choose to live my life and there’s nothing you can do about it” and walked out of the room. That was 5 years ago.
    Flash forward to the present: he still makes 6 figures and still has no money and is still drowning in debt and our kids suffer from his poor choices when they are with him.
    People like this don’t care. They don’t care who they hurt or how they hurt.
    Luckily my kids have me as the sane, financially stable, debt free parent who doesn’t make poor life choices.

    • Same here. He was making 6 figures and came saying I needed to go back to work. I was a SAHM and planned to go back to work – as WE had previously agreed – when my son started kindergarten. Not when he was only 3. But klootzak wanted to retire from the military earlier than planned and completely change his career field instead of walking straight into a job ready made for him. Not only could we not afford necessary home repairs but making any improvement was impossible somehow. The money was just evaporating and he wanted to work an unpaid internship to do something different. And then maybe there would be a job and maybe not. He eventually got 3 fat job offers and then decided he didn’t need the spousal appliance and said he wanted a divorce. Then the pandemic messed up his plan and he never filed. Now he earns double what he used to and still the money evaporates. It’s magic! I bought tickets to take our son to a baseball game and he forced us to walk 2 miles in the heat to go because he didn’t want to pay for parking.

      Once my son is in school full time, I’ll be ready to drop papers but until then, I just grit my teeth and survey for new evidence of his philandering to hand the court. Then he can go and “lose” money on his own and I can control mine. At least I will be able to spring for $5 parking at the stadium.

      • Wherever you can take a little extra cash and buy gift cards that you keep with trusted family or friend. In the 14 months before I filed I was able to sock away almost $6k in $20 bills and $25 gift cards. I also bought myself a new laptop, eyeglasses, extra sneakers for me and the kids, cosmetics, a dishwasher, some furniture and other stuff. I paid off the orthodontist and negotiated with the landscaper for 2 years of discounted service for pre-paying. I told Asshat about these purchases to throw him off the scent of the cash and gift cards I was collecting and keep him from realizing that I knew he was fucking around and planning to divorce him. I also knew that if it ever came up in court proceeding these would be seen as typical legitimate expenses for a household of 5. It was especially easy at Christmas.

        • I am tightly under his thumb financially. He has all my account passwords and checks every dime I spend. I bought an extra bottle of melatonin when it was on sale and I was grilled about it. The financial abuse is awful. He expects to see all my pay stubs and directs how much of my pay is to be deposited into each account. When I put a bit into my own account, he uses it all to pay a bill even though I already contributed a share to the bills paying account. Those companies who have double sign in validation, he says to me, “They are going to text you a code. Give it to me so I can finish signing in.” I have been able to stock up on shoes for my son and myself but that’s about it. I have been trying to get our old oil furnace upgraded to a gas one which will really cut heating costs in the winter and want to get the driveway paved, too. I have gone through the house taking pics of everything so he doesn’t make off with stuff and claim it wasn’t there. There are multiple hammers, pliers, etc on hand so there is no reason we can’t each have a full set of tools but that is just the kind of thing he’s take all for himself and then lie and say there was only one screwdriver.

          • I understand the financial abuse. I’m loving it as well. Would it help to go to your HR department and have a portion of your direct deposit go into an account at a completely separate bank from your other accounts, in your name only? That way he can’t get his grimy hands on it in the first place.

    • So the financial infidelity was there from the start, and was intentional. He made sure you could never take “half his wealth”, simply by building no wealth. He has the income so if the marriage ends you are, he thinks, SOL.

      Is there any chance he is also hiding assets? One common way of hiding assets is to put money into accounts or property in someone else’s name.

  • The FW I was married to was mad he got caught too. He didn’t want to be married—it was a “prison” but apparently a prison he wanted to continue with while leading a secret life at casinos, with hookers, and drinking (he’s an alcoholic who had been sober). When I started asking questions, like “why do you smell like that” after a early morning “trip to Walmart” i.e. the casino, he’d get defensive. I didn’t want to think he was drinking at 6am and had no idea he gambled… He’s now thrilled with the divorce, has the freedom he wanted to do whatever he wants. I’m currently cleaning out our home of 19 years, getting ready to go to a 45 day trauma recovery program, for which he has to pay. Now he’s trying to delay the divorce decree in order to delay the lump sum settlement awarded to me—saying he’ll pay it in installments. Um no. As my religious aunt says “Satan get behind me”. I want him out of my life completely.

    • ” As my religious aunt says “Satan get behind me”. I want him out of my life completely.”

      Yep; “In God we trust, every one else pays cash”

      If he can do payments he will dick with you for years. Too much stress.

    • Faithful Rage,
      I am so glad you are going to a trauma recovery center. I certainly would have benefitted from being at in in-treatment facility. Or I should have been heavily medicated at least. I didn’t know I was having a nervous breakdown until long after.
      I hope all of the support and therapy will lessen your suffering and give you amazing tools moving forward. (((Hugs)))

    • Keep insisting on the lump sum payment Faithful. I fired my lawyer because he was trying to get to me to accept a multiyear payout. I paid extra to bring in a “closer” and she got the job done. I can’t imagine where I’d be if I the door had stayed open for the disordered creep to abuse me for years more.

    • Hi Faithful Rage:

      If you like the Trauma Recovery Program, could you share later where it was? I feel so stuck and so traumatized, and I would love to go someplace to deal with it.

      And good luck! I hope it is a powerful and healing experience for you.

    • Good for you on getting a lump sum. I would encourage anyone who is in the settlement phase to try to do that. I wish that had been an option for me and I wonder why my attorney didn’t mention it. I’ve been divorced six yrs with only one not having to file contempt. He filed to reduce payments that ended in a 5 hr trial last month. I’m free until the next time he’s bored. Get a lump sum!

      The ex said I’m glad you found out. I don’t have to hide it anymore. My shocked brain interpreted it as I won’t do it anymore. Nope. He just dropped the mask and continued being his disordered self.

      • Hi Informal. I feel your pain. Been divorced for 10 years this month with a total of 7 years (and still counting) spent in nonsense litigation that he’s started and lost every time. His current motion is so stupid and off base per the law that it’s sat idle for 6 months since I filed my response. He has no direction to take his motion and he’s too much of an asshole narc to withdraw it. My youngest emancipates in exactly 1 year so I’ll let the clock run for another 6 months then petition the court to toss it out. I hope you don’t have too many more years with the jerk. I know how emotionally and physically draining constant litigation is; the roller coaster of post trial peace that only lasts until the next round. I hope your judge starts to see his pattern and things move more quickly the next time. Every day is a step closer to the end. Hang in there.

  • I briefly broke no contact when out of the blue XH sent me a sappy song about being “sorry.” I responded “why do YOU think you did it (cheated, blamed me and kids, walked away with psycho OW)?” His response, 6.5 years out, having lost everything — including the love and affection of our children, confirmed the utter futility of trying to make it work with cheaters. His response was “I really don’t know.” Chilling. He’s had 6.5 years to consider his actions, gain insight, experience true remorse and humility, experience personal growth, improve his character. . . . He hasn’t had one iota of insight or change and likely never will.

    I’m so lucky I found CL and got away. Divorced. Built a new life free of cheaters.

    • I don’t expect any introspection. Introspection is hard work. Cheaters are basically lazy people.

        • My cheater left with his schmoopie and then died of cancer. On his deathbed he told his best friend to get a message to me. The message was, ‘I had to do it.’ What does that mean? Why was it so incredibly important to make sure I heard it?

              • That’s only my take on it. Who knows what transpires in these weirdos’ worlds of thinking. He even dispatched one of his flying 🐒s with his final message. Was it supposed to be a coup de grâce ?

          • Because even ON HIS DEATHBED the most important thing was image management and avoiding responsibility.

            He could have said “Please tell Knitted Robin I am sorry from the bottom of my heart I hurt her.” That would have been a decent and possibly kind thing to have done. It may have been a little healing for you. He had one last chance on this earth to be a better man, and he failed.

            I am so sorry he wasn’t a better man, that he could never be who he pretended to be.

            • KR,
              How sad for him he couldn’t find his way to being decent from his death bed. My STBX (unfortunately still alive) has also said that he’s “had to” go and have kinky sex with various women. Um, no, you don’t. And if that’s true, I feel very sad for them because they basically lost it all for the chance to cheat. Pathetic. Sorry you had to be abused until the end – it’s amazing how they won’t take responsibility for all the pain they caused.

              • Very kind of you, Principed Life, Formerly Known as and Sucker Punched by a Saffa to think about my problem, and comment. It is so much appreciated. I’m pretty sure trying to be a better man at the end was not something he was interested in.. He refused to let his children visit and say a final goodbye, which was incredibly cruel.
                I don’t really have much curiosity now about why he did it. One of the books that has helped a lot with that is ‘The Verbally Abusive Relationship’ by Patricia Evans.

  • These post are like a best friend regularly knocking sense and insight into our heads. No matter where you are in this “chump-transformation”, they are imperative🤍
    I’ve come along way in a year…
    My gratitude to CL and CN

    • I agree 100% – this has been a lifesaver. I feel supported and have come a long ways towards healing from reading the posts and comments each day.

  • Honest, but only so far.

    Mine swore he wasn’t despite bits-and-pieces of evidence. He even told me after he left that he was sorely tempted and might just give in. Later my attorney said he was 98% sure we’d find it if I got a P.I. Adultery is still a crime in my state and the state he ran to. Money was tight, and I told my attorney to just get it done.

    Whether they tell or not, it’s still not good.

    A therapist friend of mine once observed that when someone cheats on a spouse that they are supposedly committed to or sexually acts out with a minor in a familial relationship, certain psychological boundaries are broken that are very rarely ever dealt with. They go into deep denial and entitlement and stay there in the vast majority of cases. Like Chump Lady, he believes that the stories of reconciliation after adultery are overblown.

    • Honestly, I think most recons are just the chump living with shit sandwiches the rest of their life. Yes maybe rarely, a cheater will do his/her part; but rarely.

      I am basing that mostly on the reconciliation stories I read on another site. Most of it is just women putting a positive spin on shit sandwiches, and making excuses for the cheater, while taking the blame for an imperfect marriage.

      • My attempt at reconciliation involved a lot of decipher work of everything he did like he was the Rosetta Stone and not a human being capable of having an honest conversation. “He bought a new piece of furniture for the house. He wouldn’t do that if he was planning on leaving. Oh, maybe he got it so he could take the old couch to a new place.” Crazy microanalysis.

        • Limbo Chumpian: Yes! I did microanalysis, too—about gifts, appliances, furniture. Your framing or characterizing that type of hopium-work as microanalysis helps me greatly, to label my actions, understand them to not repeat them, and feel comforted that I’m not alone in these experiences. Thank you.

          • I think it’s helpful to view it through an “infidelity is abuse” lens as well. Hypervigilance can be a sign of PTSD. You’re constantly surveilling your life for threats.

      • Yes, more than a few times I’ve heard of “amazing” reconciliations that later ended quietly in divorce.

        After I had been separated over a year, I went to a women’s retreat run by a family therapist on dealing with the broken places in our lives, and she talked about her side of working through her husband’s affairs and how they were “better than ever.” There was good material on other types of brokenness as well that I thought was helpful.

        Later I saw on Facebook that she had completed a certification on helping the wives of husbands with sexual addiction.

        Then I saw that she was separated and was investigating attorneys and appreciated any recommendations via message. She also asked that people following her on Facebook respect her privacy and not ask what happened. Mmmm…I think I know.

        I think that’s far more common than not.

        • “I think that’s far more common than not.”

          Yep, the stats I have read said that of all the marriages that go to counseling for adultery, that within 5 years 75 percent of them are divorced. Makes total sense. Living with that shit has to be horrible. I didn’t even have to live with it long after Dday, it still took me a while to feel human again.

          I buried some anger at myself that I didn’t release until years later when he and the whore did my son and his family wrong. (that is when I found CN)

  • I got:

    “I’m sorry you had to find out about it this way.”

    … when I’d discovered his extensive searches for prostitutes and Craigslist hookups on his computer. I would have never known had a friend not told me to check there. I had trusted him so much but his symptoms of affair were so rampant I sought a friend’s comfort and she told me to check his computer. Oh and he had TWO mistresses too.

    My point: CHEATERS ARE NEVER SORRY!
    They get off on Duper’s Delight. They ENJOY hurting you for the cheap thrill and fix of POWER AND CONTROL over you.

    Be glad you caught this POS and are free of him and will now gain a life without him.

  • I read this while the kids watched Scooby Doo before school and was dying. Brilliant as always.

  • My cheater said he was glad he got caught. The secret life had lost it’s thrill for him and he wanted to be a good person and spend the rest of his life being the husband I deserved. He said he thought of me as his savior and would be forever grateful to me. Of course chumpy me projected my values onto him and believed every word. Point is, sometimes it’s better if the cheater behaves terribly after getting caught because it’s the truth and they are a terrible person. The quicker you can see that the better. When they do the whole mindfuckery thing, the truth is hard to see and you get lost in the lies and don’t know what to believe. Thank god I had a good therapist who told me to watch his actions and see if they matched his words. It still took over a year for me to get clear (spoiler: his actions did not match his words). Years later I still feel traumatized.

    • “Years later I still feel traumatized.”

      Yep, I let my ex come back, it only lasted a few day; I realized he was using me. I have gone on to have a really good life; but that still pisses me off, that I let him back in the house. Cheaters are snakes to the core.

  • My ex after 38 years would keep giving disclaimers as to why he wasn’t upset when it all started to fall apart for him and he was exposed for the low life he is. I would be crumbling in pain from the discovery and he would keep saying that he couldn’t get upset over it because it wasn’t new to him, it was going on 20 years. He was as cold as ice, even seeing my complete devastation.
    In retrospect I thought, if he had any love for me in his heart, he would have been upset for the agony he was inflicting on me. They are doing what they want to do, it’s not about you and it never was. They’ve created a narrative in their heads that makes it all okay and not anything in life can come between them and that narrative. They need to believe it fully or suffer complete destruction. They will not save you over their own survival. You are replaceable and fully expendable. Impossible to grasp it really, but we must accept that they are not fixable and move on without them.

    • I heard this comment too that it wasn’t new to him. My d day was after the affair had been “over” for 3 months.

      They just don’t care about hurting others. They can’t feel it.

    • “They’ve created a narrative in their heads that makes it all okay and not anything in life can come between them and that narrative. They need to believe it fully or suffer complete destruction.”

      ^^THIS!

  • I was so convinced by The Python’s multi-year con job – I believed he really loved me – that for a long time I couldn’t comprehend the basic truth that CL shared today: “it does not hurt him to hurt you.”

    During wreckonciliation I assumed he was capable of feeling guilty and thinking about the consequences of his cheating whenever he was pursuing or screwing another woman. Nope.

    Out of sight, out of mind. Empathy impairment means never having to feel you’re sorry.

    • Yes, it doesn’t hurt him. He likely has a certain enjoyment and sleeps fine at night. Mine was retired, so he had all that time to focus on the manipulation games and then the wild-and-crazy divorce. When I closed my file with my attorney, it felt like the final bolt in the door to keep him out.

      He rebranded himself in a new town, and I’m sure has a story to tell of what happened to me and how the horrible lawyers made it so bad.

      • Yup, ex also rebranded himself in a new albeit has-been, rundown, crappy town over an hour away with his 24 year younger bride. Schmoops dumped him shortly after dday & the youngin was the rebound. I picture her lapping up his narrative of having to divorce a crazy, loser. Oh wait, I’m projecting here as he is the crazy loser hands down.

  • The very idea of a cheater struggling with the immorality of what they do and having genuine remorse for it is BS. Given the chance they would (and do!) do it all over again and then some. When you love your spouse, you don’t cheat. Period. Those who do love themselves and are not sorry for putting themselves first one bit. They are not sorry for hurting you as they were OK with it all along. Give up the hopium.

  • Knave-man apologized for “rocking my world” a little more than a year ago when I learned of his affair.
    The marriage is toast; I sleep in a separate room and we don’t have sex.
    I don’t do his laundry / make him dinner, etc.
    I am readying myself financially, mentally, physically, and practically for a solo life.
    But he hopes to live together, even after a divorce.
    How could he be okay with living this way?
    Because he was NEVER sorry to begin with, only sorry about any inconvenience my leaving will bring.
    I don’t quite understand this, but I’m not investing much energy to figure it out.
    You’d think he would be eager to jettison the indifferent wife appliance.
    This also leaves me to do the work of moving and filing – perhaps there’s a clue there!

    • I wasted a year and some money in group therapy led by a blame shifting male therapist. One of the other players in the psychodrama was a cheater, who used the services of a “Tantric masseuse”. Still living with his wife and two sons. He broke his collarbone falling off his bike. If he lived all alone, it would have been quite difficult to shower, get dressed, do anything. Spouse appliances are quite handy especially as cheaters age. By the way, the cheater was a former therapist.

      • Good thinking, SPS.
        Maybe this is Knave-man’s feeble attempt to have cake while coming to terms with his mortality – he recently turned 60.
        These days, he’s also frequently reminding anyone who will listen how vibrant and active he is, and how appealing others still find him. Maybe a fissure in Knave-man’s armor?
        He does ride a bike, but he can nurse his own broken collar bone, for sure.
        Thanks for sharing the benefit of your experience with your awful-sounding therapy group – glad you saw through that!

  • I often wonder about the whole “getting caught” thing…

    I believe my ex wanted me to find out about the last affair. I think he just wanted to try to make me jealous at first by dropping little hints-then it got away from him once I started investigating.

    Plus he picked a friend of mine-no of course ex-friend. Stupid.

  • My ex moved the other woman into a property that we owned, which was in the same complex as the townhouse where I lived. She would peek her head out the door, look to see if anyone was there, and then get on the elevator and go down, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. (A friend told me.)

    Another one of our friends told my ex that his name was mud in our circles.

    So when my ex and I were signing some papers one day, and he said, “You know, I wish I’d done it differently.” (I heard, “I’m sorry…” and I perked my ears up…)

    “I shouldn’t have moved her here. (So his name wouldn’t be mud.) I should have moved into her place across town.”

    That was the last time I talked with him.

    • I can’t imagine putting energy into a relationship where I had to hide myself or my partner from other people. That just sounds humiliating.

    • Oh my goodness-so freaking frustrating!!

      I’ve never received an apology. From either my ex nor my ex-friend.

      As a matter of fact-about six months ago I was walking out of the neighborhood nail salon when she was walking in. I didn’t say a word to her.

      My friend that works there told me that when she sat down she asked her, “Was that (StrongerNow)? Good thing she left! I HATE her! I would have kicked her ass!!”

      She and my ex aren’t even together.

  • This is slightly off-topic, but I just came across something my ex wrote on or about Dday. I took a picture of it. Does this sound like a sorry man?

    Needs the UBT. Please take a stab if you’d like.

    “No chance to return to what was.
    She (Spinach) is not willing to pause and think.
    She has decided that life moves forward.
    She doesn’t see the problem–lack of love and respect. It’s mutual.”

    Ugh. I remember reading that at the time and being so angry, heartbroken, and confused.

    • Spinach-

      DARVO – Denying his actions were the deal breaker, accusing you of being impulsive and oblivious, false equivalencies – he’s a victim, too.

      Did he always leave his writing/feelings where you could find them?

      • Good question. Yeah, I guess he sometimes did. He must have wanted me to read this.

        That makes sense. A guy who could hide a multi-year affair would know how to hide a pad of paper.

        • I guess it was a passive-aggressive way for him to let me know he’d lost love and respect for me, to shift blame, and to portray himself as the victim.

          It fits his MO of trying to hurt me. He was always good at cutting me with his words.

          Btw, days later he would tell me that he still love me. “I think you can love two people at once” and suggest we get back together in a few years.

          What a mindfuck!

          ICanSeeTuesday, thanks for your insights!

  • My ex was very sorry he went looking for my replacement before divorcing me. Doing things out of order did serious damage to his “good guy” image. Knowing that is his biggest regret hurts.

    • Same for my fw.

      He lost everything that was ever important to him, by screwing his direct report. His promotion, his cushy office, his standing in the community, his political clout. Everything that mattered. I was not on that list.

      He went on to gamble himself into bankruptcy. Blow up his relationship with his (our) son. I honestly think he just kept searching for something to make him happy once he threw it all away. I do believe he thought that once the D was final, he would just bring in schmoops and he would keep it all. He didn’t. He lost it all before our D was even finalized. He did get to keep his job, but he retired early. Must have been quite a kick in the teeth.

  • I think my ex thought he would be happier once he got rid of me and that he was most upset about losing his reputation (which was not as high as he thought it was anyway). And now he tells me ( in the brief exchanges we have about our kids schedules, because they do not want to spend much time with him) how life is just a sham now, how he pretends to be happy, but he is full of regret and misery. But the regret is about him – his loss of kids respect, the OW who dumped him, his reputation. Mostly the loss of what he thinks people thought of him. Not for the pain he caused all of us. I am still to blame for that

  • Mine stood there, arms crossed, a smirk on his face, and a twinkle in his eye.

    The person I literally gave my life to, as if I somehow deserved it. In his mind I guess I did. After all, I was human with thoughts and needs of my own.

    It comforts me sometimes to revisit Dante’s ninth circle of hell in The Inferno. The circle closest to Satan. The one for the betrayers. I pray it’s real, and I’m not even a Christian.

  • OMG! Chump Lady gold! The script with cued puppy eyes, lines on the chalkboard etc so funny. But with a serious message. If he was sorry he wouldn’t have cheated in the first place. You can’t expect a genuine sorry from a cheater!

  • My ex was only sorry he got caught and that he had to (finally) pony up 50%. Remorse is no where to be found when you’re phony liar and you’ve got some bimbo’s hand down your pants.

  • Yesterday, I remembered my STBX saying to a counselor “I got caught.” Today’s post sent me back to my journals from that time. It was in 2011, and the exact quote was “I got caught red-handed.” There were so many more quotes from him that I wrote down that year, ones that were telling me who he was & how little he cared for me & the children. I did understand how sick & crazy he was back then. That actually surprised me tonight. I just didn’t have the strength at that time to get out. So I spackled and smoked hopium. I am looking back with such empathy for myself.
    I was originally nicknamed LimboChump by CL and for years I felt like a bug caught in a jar, knowing that there is a better life, and trying in vain to crawl up the slippery glass walls. That’s why I chose the name UpAndOut.
    I got out. And flew away from him.
    Tonight I have so much gratitude for CL and everyone’s posts. Thank you!

    • Glad that looking back has left you in a positive place, and so glad you did get out! Wishing the same for others who are still stuck.

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