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UBT: I Will Return With a Fuller Love

butt faceThere’s nothing like a good serving of cake to make cheaters really appreciate their chumps.

Shana submitted this gem to the Universal Bullshit Translator and says it was from an exchange of emails with her husband as he worked overseas. She asked him:

“Are you seeing someone, having sex, etc.?”

“I really appreciate the courage and strength it took for you to ask me this directly. I love you and respect you too much to lie to you even though this will hurt. Yes, I have met someone here that is important to me, and I have been together with her. The details of it really don’t matter. What matters is that I will return to you and the girls with a fuller love for you than I had when I left. You know how deeply I love the girls and how important it is for me to be in their lives. That hasn’t changed. I also still love you and it’s important to me to be in your life.”

Now to fire up the UBT…

I really appreciate the courage and strength it took for you to ask me this directly.

Busted! Fuck.

I really appreciate the courage and strength it takes for you to keep being my chump.

 I love you and respect you too much to lie to you even though this will hurt.

But I don’t love and respect you enough to not cheat on you. Really Shana, the problem here is the truth. You insist on damaging honesty, even though you KNOW those mean, ugly words take courage and strength to hear and will hurt you with their polysyllabic cadences. I blame adverbs, participles, and the Oxford comma.

Yes, I have met someone here that is important to me, and I have been together with her.

And can you fault “togetherness”?

The details of it really don’t matter.

I don’t care to tell you the details. Like if I endangered your health in any way, or got an Important Person pregnant. Such trivialities, like your basic well-being, really don’t matter.

What matters is that I will return to you and the girls with a fuller love for you than I had when I left.

What matters is my entitlement. What matters is that I return to YOU! and the kids! My primary source of kibbles! Aren’t you the lucky ones to win the wonderfulness that is ME? Sure, I may fuck around with Important People I Just Met, but I always come home to you! With deeper wells of bullshit and mindfuckery than before.

My love is fuller. Riper! It swells like a fetid pustule on my ass and bursts only for YOU.

You know how deeply I love the girls and how important it is for me to be in their lives.

You know how deeply I hate consequences and how important it is for me to avoid them. I love being in our children’s lives so much that I work overseas and fuck around on their mother. #fullerkindoflove

That hasn’t changed.

I’m still a douchebag.

I also still love you and it’s important to me to be in your life.

As an aside, I still love you how you are of use to me! It doesn’t matter if you don’t want me in your life, it’s all about what’s important to ME.

I didn’t say you are important to me. (Like the OW is Important To Me.) I said having you in MY LIFE is important to me. Doing stuff like raising my progeny, folding my underwear, and swapping out the AC filters. I need a chump so I can attend to the important work of ME-ness. You wouldn’t want to fuck that up, would you?

Shana? Fuck that up.

Sincerely,

The UBT

This one ran previously.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
    • Shana
      OMG!! I almost could finish reading this post because of the anger and disgust I felt. Please leave the narcissist man/child!
      You deserve so much more and by respecting yourself by divorcing him you will be free to a better life. Entitlement much?? 😈

  • So, explain to me how cheating on your wife makes you have a “fuller love” with your wife and children?

    I hope Shana has a fuller life…without him.

    • I don’t know. Cheating on me did not make my FW have a fuller love for me. It made him say I love you but I’m not in love with you. And it also made him say I can’t stand one more day with you. Fuller kind of love? Not so much. That part is a lie.

    • All they do is spend more and more time with the fantasy, while blaming the spouse for their inability to live the fantasy full time. Because of course this wonderful excitement and fun will last between them.

      Must get rid of spouse.

      Ha, my divorce took a year. We were legally separated for a year, I bet the whore had to dance like a MFer during that time. My guess is had she not been his direct report he would not have married her. There is evidence to support that.

      It was one of my worries at the time. I was so afraid he was going to get away from her and not marry her. In my mind, which I think even without CL around to tell me; I just knew the only way he could pay was to marry her.

      It wouldn’t have been the only way of course, he was a FW and he would have fucked up his life whether he married her or someone else, but I didn’t know that at the time.

  • Oh this is so true. There’s part of me that still craves the relationship that I had with the ex. But that part of me needs to remember that he fired me from the job of being his keeper. He has somebody else in his life and if he needs help that’s where he needs to go. That was his choice. I trust that he sucks.

    No contact is the hardest, most wonderful thing to do.

    It is sanity. I left almost 16 months ago, actually I didn’t leave, I locked him out, but I’m free now. And there is zero part of me that wants to go back. He can have as many lovers as he wants, I don’t care.

    I care about my kids and I care about myself and I’m so thankful that they are old enough to make their own choices about whether they interact with him or not.

    • Good for you! I must admit. Though it has been 6+ years since my divorce, I may not yet be over the trauma. I KNOW without a doubt in my head that I’m better off without a fuckwit in my life. I do NOT ever want that dick in my life again. But maybe I’m not over the whole trainwreck when I secretly get glee (and admittedly, not so secretly) whenever I hear something shitty happening to the fuckwit. I not only have to laugh, but I get a thrill telling my sister some of the shit show that the fuckwit is going through. She laughs and we make snarky comments. So does that mean that I’m not truly over it all? Should I just avoid hearing anything about him and then that would make me truly at meh? My sister and I laugh at the fuckwit’s stupendous fuckups because I was married 30 years to that dick and I no longer have to put up with it. We like the fact that his skank won him and all his glorious self. It’s like sitting back with a bag of popcorn watching the stupidity. Should we be this way?

      • You gotta get some joy out of life! LOL.

        I’m 6 years out. Grey rock since Day 1. Just won the last custody battle (kid wants to spend his last year in HS totally with me.) And now I hear through 2 -3 sources the whining and pity parties he is throwing himself. He’s still alone after many a sex worker, internet porn session, numerous dating and hook up sites. Gee wonder why? And I just had a REAL date with a successful, good looking, SANE man! And it looks like my life is sailing ahead smoothly right now.

        So when I hear a nice little nugget of woe that is my X’s current life, I enjoy it like an Amuse-bouche, as I sip my wine in the sun on my peaceful and happy porch.

      • I’d say you’ve 100% earned it. I mean, it’s really part of the divorce settlement; in return for being treated like dirt in (I’m certain) many ways, for being lied to, betrayed and so on, you get occasional entirely-justified (private) hilarity with your sister. Carry on!

        It’s not ”wishing for tragedy to befall ex”, it’s not plotting revenge or doing anything at all really, just leaning into the chips falling where they may. You get my vote to continue!

      • I think it makes you human.

        If that is your whole life (which I know it isn’t) that might be an issue.

        I just recently after thirty years found out some things from my son, we had several long talks as his dad was getting sicker and sicker. Not bashing him, but just talking about things he dealt with and that I dealt with. Unfortunately there was never any indication that my ex (his dad) ever really put anyone above himself. Not me, not my son and not schmoops.

        We cried over some things and laughed over others. Why, because even though both my son and I have had happy lives, he was a part of our life and we are both human. He loved his dad, and they had a troubled relationship for the last few years, but he was his dad; and they did have lots of good times when he was young.

      • Eh, don’t feel bad for experiencing a bit of the schadenfreude. I think where chumps can get stuck is if they make their happiness dependent on their ex-FW’s unhappiness. Because sometimes the karma bus comes late or not at all and we got to be ok with that.

      • You’re lucky to have a sister who will indulge with you on this. I have one too and I couldn’t have survived this mess without her. I have taken tons of measures to wall off my ex from my life, but stuff still seeps through and I share it/process it with her with humor. I definitely relate to that feeling of glee when they f* up, and the sense that it feels too good to be good for me.

  • Cheeeeesus Rice!

    Yup. ‘Dat is the Wiki of what the definition of entitlement is.
    He is actually directing her on how to react to his abuse, like he is some sort of benevolent overlord.

    Puh Leeeze, Shana. There is nothing here to work with. There is nothing that you can fix. He does not even want to be fixed…. Tell him to take the “improved” version of his loving self and take a hike.

    Be warned that this type of “nice guy / benevolent” cheater often turns on a dime and becomes the nastiest player out there.

    • “What matters is that I will return to you and the girls with a fuller love for you than I had when I left.” And when he needs a quick pick me up, he’ll go right back out again, have another affair, so he can come back yet again with a fuller love for Shana. Wow!

      • Yep, I can hear it now.

        Honey, I am going out for a few hours need another fill up on fuller love for you. Keep my dinner warm.

  • I remember this UBT rerun…. All the time.

    I swear there must be a sexually transmitted virus that selectively infects a part of the brain responsible for cooking up false equivalencies and sophisms and overall fuckwitted reasoning and lying, because the BS it produces has almost the exact wording.

    • ^THIS! lol ClearWaters, I wonder if we can get the CDC to examine this theory once coronavirus has passed.

  • ME me me me me me me me me me me….

    And watch me ME sprinkle word sparkles on that shit, so it all seems ok.

    There are so many lines that reveal entitlement here, but this one hit me: “I also still love you and it’s important to me to be in your life.” TO ME!!!! What the ever-living fuck! No consideration of what might be important to this woman!! None.

    She doesn’t even matter. To him, she’s like a small child, although even children should be allowed to have input into so many decisions: the red lollipop or the blue one?

    It reminds me of when my ex told me that he was still trying to decide whether to stay with me or leave me “up until the day before I confessed.” What? You think it’s ok that this is 100% your decision? You get to keep me in the dark and make a unilateral decision about something that will affect my physical, financial, and emotional health?

    And if presented with this crazy thinking, my ex would give that deer-in-the-headlights look. He wouldn’t get it. That’s how deep the entitled met goes.

    For some cheaters, it’s in their marrow.

    • They are so full of themselves. Honestly, I think most are flying high up until they get outed.

      My ex used the old “if you love something let it go, and if it comes back it was yours” I was still in shock, otherwise I am sure I would have vomited.

      Then years later I read CL cartoon of: “If you love someone let them go, and if they come back; no one else wanted them either”

      I rolled with laughter.

      • ” If you have to choose between me and her, choose her. Because if you really loved me, there wouldn’t be any other choice” Not sure who said this quote but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than the babble your asshat ex spews out.

        • Yes exactly. This is almost word for word what I told my husband. He was so torn about whether to choose me and that meant the choice was already made.

    • Straight!

      I can’t get past that unilateral decision thing myself. It’s the reason that divorce law needs to be completely revamped and based on contract law.

      What’s love got to do with it anyway?

      • ^^^^Truer words were never spoken. Divorce should be based on contract law, where there are concepts such as detrimental reliance, estoppel, damages, etc.

        • Tortious interference….

          I wish there was some way to sue the OW in my situation. She’s a wealthy trust fund baby who’s done this twice. Mine is the 2nd family she’s broken up, and the economic impact on me has been substantial.

  • Cheaters have an incredibly inflated self esteem and gall. They see themselves in a heroic light.

    I’d rather be dead than be that self unaware.

  • Hah! I got “I cannot at this time return to you and be the wife you need me to be.” (I’d begged her to stop her affair and return to me and our children.)

    • Oh! And “…I think that someday we will find our way back to each other after we’ve traveled our own paths.”

      Retch. I divorced her.

      • Oh I got similar. I was asked to ‘not give up on us’ while he fucked off on a 2 week orgy with his ho worker 🤦🏼‍♀️

        Straight to divorce 👍🏼

        • Claire – my STBX said once after D-Day #2, while still planning her next meeting with the (long-distance) AP: “I’m going to fight for us.” I think STBX also told me I was the love of her life. 🤢 These were obvious prompts to get me to return those sentiments, but I didn’t.

          Later, I recognized that STBX must have been mirroring language used by the AP or by some friend in whom she was confiding. It’s true, though, that even as recently as a few months ago, STBX still wanted to whine about how “hard” she had worked on the marriage after D-Day #2. If she was working hard, I’d hate to see what slacking looks like, in her opinion.

          • omg – the mirroring – they really do all have the same play book. I started to wonder who he was talking to even before D day. So many ideas I did not hear before. They were all hers.
            It makes me angry/sick to think of my pick me dance where he was picking my brain and texting her MY IDEAS. Ugh – the insanity of his entitlement.

            • When I lamented to my attorney that I couldn’t understand the asshat my ex had become during the divorce proceedings, she sagely said “Remember, you’re not dealing with him any more, you’re dealing with THEM.”

            • I was wondering who he THOUGHT he was talking to literally at the second he was by all appearances talking to me. He would say shit that made me think, do you actually not know who I am as a person, or are you having a conversation with yourself in your own head and words are just randomly coming out? He would tell me the same story multiple times as if when he started talking about it, he was in another world and would forget I was standing there, so that the next time he told me he literally didn’t remember that he already said this in front of me, like four times. I only noticed it with stuff that ended up being cheating-related. And no he doesn’t have memory problems, he just turned 40.

              • I classify that as “talking at you.” It’s literally all my ex did. The last few years I kept a book and pen on the counter and wrote everything he said with date and time. Every detail. No more gaslighting and parts were useful in court. It wasn’t second party information.
                I was an object/appliance.

      • Good God. Her message is part Hallmark, part psychopath. You did nothing so well as when you divorced her.

      • I got “maybe we can get back together in two years or something” and “maybe we can still do stuff for each other”. I remember trying to explain (using monosyllabic words) how preposterous his statements were.

        • I got, “Maybe we can get back together in, say, 3 years.” When he saw the look on my face, he said, “Ok, maybe 5.”

          I couldn’t mount a response because it’s hard to talk when you’re jaw is on the floor.

          • I got “I’d like to think we could be friends after this. You’ve been in my life a long time.”

            In his life?? We were together 22 years, married 15 and he’d been cheating for 12 or 14 years. He’d just announced he was moving 150 miles away to be closer to the horse-faced cow.

            Reader, he is no longer in my life.

          • “I couldn’t mount a response because it’s hard to talk when you’re jaw is on the floor.”

            Yep, I thought of so many thing I should have said a couple weeks after his exit shit speech, but alas; it was too late for any real impact.

            I hope now that CL is here, a lot of baby chumps find things they can use in real time to burn the assholes.

            • I absolutely used what I learned here. Mostly, I was grey rock, but a few times I just didn’t take his bullshit gaslighting. He would actually cry because I am “so mean”.

              • And the pick me dance didn’t last very long at all – I owe that to CL and CN. I am forever grateful.

              • Mine cried, too, complaining that “You’re psychologically stronger than I.”

                He even tried to be the greater victim of his own infidelity! WTF?!

            • omg, Spinach – the vitim role they play is just unbelievable. BTW – you ARE psychologically stronger 🙂

          • Spinach omg. “Sure, I’ve got nothing else going on, I’ll just sit on the shelf here so you can come pick me up when you’re good and ready. ”

            Kinda felt like this when we were together and he would take off (for work, of course) and then just show back up like ok, I’ll just click the power button & you have 3 minutes to reboot & resume wife function!

            I think OP Chump was getting that exact same treatment from FW. “Yes, but when I’m not with you, you barely exist, so what does it matter what happens? None of it matters until my triumphant return, at which point you shall be switched back on and resume wife function.”

            Please sir, just let me orbit the irresistible gravity of your shiny red giant of an ego, planet Chump at your service.

        • My ex wife said she would like to hold onto the idea of us getting back together in the future and she would come live in my new house with the kids. I told her I’d rather die of terminal cancer. I had never heard of a thing called future faking and that most pathological lying cheaters do it.

      • Oh ugh, David, I’m so sorry. What utter BS.

        Also, I just misread that last bit as “after we’ve traveled our own pants.” Just thought you might appreciate that LOL

      • Haha! I got, “We can get divorced now and then in 2 years we can remarry.” She had also put a timeline of 6 months for her to make her mind up between me and sparkle dick. I filed soon after that. So glad she’s now my ex.

      • I got ‘I’ll be coming round here to dinner and Sunday Lunch and we can go out to theatre and cinema and for meals’. I said no to that generously considerate offer.

        The last time we met, March 2020, he lurched to hug me, having just come back from New York as the pandemic started. I said ‘no, you’ve lost the right to touch me’. He looked like he’d been shocked. What, she said ‘no’. Might have been the first time but certainly wasn’t the last.

          • This reveals a stunning lake of self-awareness. It’s really hard for me to grasp how someone can abuse someone else and then feel that she’ll want a hug.
            #noempathy #entitlement #lowEQ #Isparkle

            • I totally agree! The ex would stand inches from me to intimidate and rant about how sorry of a person he thought I was and everything he wanted me to do while I stood silently blindsided. Then of all things, he’d reach out, hug me and walk away. He was all good I guess after getting his aggression out. No normal person would think either of those is an okay thing to do.

              • Yeah. That’s weird.

                My therapist told me that my ex (for years!) dumped his shitty feelings on me and then felt better. I functioned as the repository for his bad feelings. Once he got them off his chest, he was all good apparently.

                Bully for him!

  • Shana
    Get on with planning your amazing life without him
    We will see if the details wont matter to him….

  • Emotional flattery bombing where by the cheater bombs you with praise of your good qualities with intent to lessen the impact of the betrayal and dumping (or to keep options open) Ugh pass the sick bowl!

    • It is sickening, NurseMeh. Keeps me from Meh still. It’s so stupid that cheaters think shallow platitudes (which still miss and run shy of the mark, since they don’t actually see or appreciate us) borne of ulterior motives will somehow soften the blow of the horrible betrayal, theft and abuse. Mitigate the consequences we suffer, past preset and future.

      I don’t care what an FW pretends to think of me! They are obsessed with themselves, as this UBT highlights. When my ex-FW lured me back by promising to finally put my name on the deed and give me a financial stake in what I’d been investing in for over a decade, he quickly turned the tables. When I tried to have a conversation about what was going on, he shifted the issue to how he’d recently made a (lame) video in which he mentioned me (after never once mentioning me in weekly YouTube videos about the home we were building, for years!). He thought that this cameo on his ego stroking channel, in front of a random audience, was a gift? The equivalent of a home? Would make me happy? It’s a joke. Cheaters are a joke.

      I want an actual life, not sliding doors. I have actual worth, and if I have a partner, I want him to genuinely care about and admire me. This BS is so insulting, and I was wasted some time trying to get FW to acknowledge it. I also tried to get him to acknowledge how entitled and coercive and pathetic and abusive he had been, and to acknowledge and attempt remorse and amends. CL nails it: the more FW faced consequences, and the more confident I grew in what I needed and deserved (and never got from him, of course) in equity, compensation and damages, the nastier he grew.

      • bread&roses I agree when the mask is off and we cut off ration their supply refuse to be treated badly and drained of energy and resources the cheater moves on to the new ( who has no idea of what is to come) The OW thinks he has potential but has “let himself go” Weighing in at 378lbs (172kg) Other people are to blame for that though as he was force fed food and alcohol dont you know? He is also a feeder as was his father before him. Good luck with that then. Ha!

  • The “Ode To Assface” cartoon never fails to amuse and gratify me after all these years of seeing it.

    Initially I thought I was the only woman in the world who had to frequently see something that I never could have imagined previously. 40 yrs later I can still recall my ‘What the fuck? WHY? HOW?’ reaction the very first time I saw my then new boyfriend’s pimply ass.
    Eventually his ‘angry’ ass came to match his intolerable angry demeanor.

    After 25 years of avoiding the sight off/touching it, it’s no wonder that I loved to grab and hold on to his successor’s bare, pimple free ass whenever I got the chance. Shame he was a fucking cheater, though.

    Like my husband’s, HIS ass is also AtTheCurb.

    • Now, I know I’m not the only one who uses the “Ode to Assface” cartoon to represent a certain someone in my phone that I have to share a child with.

  • Cheater lie: “I love and respect you too much to lie to you…”
    Cheater Truth: I love only myself, disrespect you completely and lie to you too much.
    Shana Truth: There is no love, no respect and no truth in him.
    CN Reality: A perfect example of the dark arts of the passive aggressive covert narc.

    • “I love and respect you too much to lie to you…”

      However cheating on you is another story…

      • exactly, until he got caught in the lie. The lies never stop because it’s all they know how to do. There is no authenticity.

      • I guess the dumb guy overlooks the fact that cheating is LYING among other things and that cheating is dishonest any way you look at it. He only said blah blah blah I would not lie to you because he knows she knows.

  • “I love being in our children’s lives so much that I work overseas and fuck around on their mother. #fullerkindoflove”

    🤣😂😅🤣🤣😂

    I want a pocket UBT for my birthday! I wish I had one at the ready several years ago when the smug asshole started dribbling BS all over my life.

    The problem isn’t that I don’t know how to do this kind of thing – my friends’ partners tend to dislike this particular talent of mine.

    The problem is that, when it’s my own relationship, this talent gets overshadowed by my desire to believe the BS.

    Outside of never dating again (which feels like a perfectly good option), what do I do about that?

    • Ah, wouldn’t it be great to have a UBT app on our phones. It could be like Google Translate.😂

    • Practice, ChumpQueen, practice. Come here with your scenarios and ask for CN to validate your belief in the BS. I think we have enough collective experience to suss out any FWs. Plus it would be fun and helpful to other chumps too.

      Maybe not as convenient as a phone app but helpful nonetheless.

      • agreed – practice makes perfect. I am honing my bullshit meter skills and turning other chumps and vitims on to the alternative narrative.

  • Wow. They are in this novel about themselves where they are the hero. We’re just characters written in to serve them and their story. It’s taken me many years (with lots of help from Chump Lady) to get to the point where I can even imagine their lack of investment in their families. They aren’t like us, Chumps. They don’t bond. Their hearts don’t grow to weave their loved ones into their world. When “opportunities” arise, they aren’t holding an image of us and our family in their empty heads and hearts because there is really only them in the story. (The covert narcs, the “nice guys” who blow up their families -they’ve just been pretending the whole time, friends.)

    My ex wasn’t much of a talker, so I guess I just filled in the blanks with how a normal human would think for 20 years. I assumed he cared about me and the kids the way I cared about our family. Until he showed his true colors, and I spiraled, trying to untangle the skein because it made no sense. Emails like this, they help me understand. They aren’t like us. Like CL says so succinctly, “nothing to work with here.”

    Ive felt so much more “me” and secure in myself these last few years than I did for my entire marriage. I met an old close friend from my pre marriage days (who lives in a different state) for dinner yesterday. I don’t know how to describe this, but I’ll try. While we were eating and laughing and connecting, I felt so alive and confident. It was like I was having deja vu for who I used to be before 20 years of not being seen by my perfectly benign (until he started cheating) ex. I’m happier than I’ve been for years. But it wasn’t until last night that I actually remembered and knew I was that happy in my own skin before my marriage.

    This sucks. We bonded with a wire monkey. All we can do is let go.

    • “ This sucks. We bonded with a wire monkey. All we can do is let go.”

      It took awhile for the shock and despair to wear off enough for me to accept this. Acceptance is a slow process because we have such a deep bond, and it’s such a massive mindfuck. Once I did begin to accept that the person I’d loved and built my life around was actually wire monkey, which was too painful and unreal to grasp at first, the pain finally began to lessen. I couldn’t rush that, as much as I wanted to and felt I should be able to; I could see it, but I couldn’t feel it. I’m still plenty sad (and angry and worried), but I don’t feel sadness about losing FW. Relief is the best way to describe my perspective now. I also do not care about knowing or changing his mind, feelings or opinions. I noted this shift when I recently read a comment from another chump who wondered what her ex (?) FW would think about Bill Gates, and whether he would feel ashamed of himself. I once thought about everything in the context of, ‘What would FW think/feel?’ And now… I don’t. That’s a huge shift.

      • That is a huge shift! It’s a huge shift not to think of FW and what he would think/feel? The FW doesn’t enter my head much at all lately. (Of course, it has been 6+ years since I divorced him.) I don’t know how long it has been for you since you no longer have a FW in your life, but you will reach the other side eventually. And life gets great again, just like it has for Gettingthereslowly.

    • You have perfectly captured my experience with my ex-husband. Perfectly.

      “When ‘opportunities’ arise, they aren’t holding an image of us and our family in their empty heads and hearts because there is really only them in the story. (The covert narcs, the ‘nice guys’ who blow up their families -they’ve just been pretending the whole time, friends.)”

      This is what I struggled so hard to understand–it did not compute and I spent so much time trying to figure out what happened, what *I* did wrong, how a twenty-year relationship (sixteen years married) could just … end and my partner and best friend could just stop loving me, seemingly overnight. As you say, “They don’t bond. Their hearts don’t grow to weave their loved ones into their world.” They attach, then they unattach, and then they just attach to someone else. Mind-boggling.

      • And, of course, the unattaching and attaching to someone else coincidentally happened at the same time, amid angry and defensive denials that there was someone else. I should also point out that, because I didn’t actually know I was bonded to a wire monkey, I dismissed the idea that he could be cheating (what FW and OW described as a “friendship”) because I wrongly assumed he was like me–deep attachment, a strong grasp of the bigger picture (the well-being of our two early teen kids, our shared history and plans for the future, the rich fabric of a life spent together through two decades), and respect for his partner. And I absolutely believed he was fundamentally honest (not that he hadn’t lied about things in the past, but I always attributed that to other reasons–i.e., I chose to see it as a bug, not a feature). But nope … wire monkey.

        • I’m saving this comment thread, Suse and Gettingthere. If I ever feel the desire to explain what/why/how to someone worthy, this will help! And thanks for the encouragement, Amazon. About half a year into my new life.

      • “They attach, then they unattach, and then they just attach to someone else. Mind-boggling.”

        It really is hard to grasp. Yes I know most times they start detaching long before we become aware, still in the context of a long marriage…

  • My father stayed in cake and surreptitiously brought it so far that it was nearly impossible for me and my sibling to reproduce.
    He and the OW determined that we have no descendants. The line had to continue on their end only. And they succeeded.
    Actually, their idea was that we die.

    On a tangent note, I have often thought that my body might have shut down my fertility when the perfidious betrayal happened, when I was still a girl, and he had progeny with the OW.
    I’ve read things on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis or HTPA axis), in relation to abuse and trauma.
    And I have often thought that my body might have shut down intentionally, to protect me from having children descendants of my father (his father’s end perfidious).
    And possibly even of my mother, since, there is perfidy in mother’s mother line as well.
    Maybe my sibling and my bodies wanted to make sure that we never encounter that again.

  • OMG. I know CL’s husband would advise against it, but I would love Shanah to respond, on an unrecordable phone, that she was pleasantly surprised to hear what the FW said because she has also found someone important. Someone who has showed her how a real man loves and how deeply sexual she is as a woman, and how she would not have wanted to go her whole life without knowing what adult love and sexuality is all about. And that the kids already love him and call him Dad, which she knows will make them appreciate him all the more when he returns. And then mention that she deeply appreciates her husband for his talents, such as: he teakes out the trash with real flair, his parallel parking skills are better than most, and his impressively correct pronunciation of words like nuclear and worcestershire.

  • The sooner chumps all over the world stop putting up with this dysfunction, the better for the world. This is now a full blown pandemic. What on earth!!!!!!!!!!

    • I’m afraid it always was.

      My own father pursued multiple (if perhaps sequential) affairs throughout a near 30-year marriage (of which I only knew of the last — resulting in a late-middle-age divorce divorce — and came clear about the total situation decades later, after he passed away). Our mother was afraid to leave, for several of the usual reasons, and tried to hide from us kids the chronic abuse that she suffered; she has opened up about it some in her 90s. We kids, unfortunately, ourselves suffered emotional neglect and abuse because an abused/abuser couple of parents can’t possibly provide the consistent care, discernment and guidance needed by children; and by trying to playact “happy family” — with lapses of rage, silent treatment, etc. — gaslit the children as well. We each grew up certain we were somehow fundamentally defective, and trying desperately to hide or compensate for this; it has been a journey. Neither of us chose to have kids.

      My high school BF told me his father had taken him for a father-son day out one time, _in order to introduce the son to his mistress_. It really messed up my friend’s head.

      Etc., etc., etc.

      Parent chumps, pls do not spackle, don’t stay! The truth hurts, but lies hurt worse.

      • Cake Eater – your comment is solidifying my belief that my father had double (or more) lives with other women. The money always being gone, he was never around, he was always “working”, we were always punished for EVERYTHING, I could go on and on.
        I have four siblings and not one of us has any children or a “good” relationship to speak of. Three of us never married and the fourth is going through a horrible divorce with a Narc Princess.
        It is no small wonder I am attracted to the people I let into my life.
        Somehow, I find myself here, healing in spite of everything.

  • I’m surprised the UBT didn’t explode with this one! Holy shit what a cake eating narcissistic asshole this cheater is!!

  • “It’s important to me to be in your life”
    *shudder*
    Reminds me of when Narkles the Clown said “I’ll always be in your life.” It was one of those moments where something clicks. Didn’t matter how nice he said it. At that point, to me, that was a threat and I just looked at him and plainly said “no. no, you won’t.” In my soul, I had never meant anything as much as that sentence. It wasn’t just a phrase to rebuff him. It was a commitment I made to myself. No Contact is the path to the truth and the light!

  • Tune by Phil Collins, lyrics by chumps: https://youtu.be/ZPJwtfVa6PQ

    When I forsake you
    All I have to do
    Is gaslight you
    Then I’m not so blue

    When you’re texting me
    my VIP’s on my knee
    Coddling my personality Disorder overseas

    I therefore decree
    Chumpy, you and me
    Got a fuller kind of love

    Full of fibs and lies
    Small and jumbo sized
    Full of hope you’ll stay blind for eternity

    Full of risk and danger
    For you, not Pussy Ranger!
    From my sketchy stranger
    And potential STIs

    And so full of shit, it’s
    Coming out my ears, it’s
    Drowning me stank and drawing flies

    That’s why I decree
    Chumpy, you and me
    Got a fuller kind of love

  • After he left (note who left who), he would claim at times that he love me “more than ever” and then other times it was all blame-and-shame. It took awhile, but I eventually figured out the blame-and-shame was the truth. Confusion on my part of course meant that he was manipulating.

  • What’s really sad is that I actually thought that “returning with a fuller love” was possible while I was being chumped.

    At the time, all I knew about my ex’s involvement with the OW was that he was someone he had recently met to do some accounting work and that he had only met with her a few times to get information (and they chatted for a bit). Then, I learned that he was shoveling her snow for her while she was away for a week’s vacation. The email I discovered said that he was missing her. The conversation that followed resulted in admission that he kissed her once a few weeks before, which caused him to cut her off because it scared him. We had just started marriage counselling, and he thought that he would keep quiet about what happened and dedicate himself to the counselling.

    It was all a lies.

    As the months progressed and he became stranger and meaner (I believed I was dealing with a mental health issue), I even suggested that maybe we should separate and he can go off and do what he wants for a few months, and then we could reconnect in a few months and see how he feels. My messed up theory was that he just needed to get some things out of his system and that he would see the grass is not greener, then he would return with a new appreciation for me and our family.

    I essentially gave this man a license to go off and cheat. He didn’t go. He stayed and kept getting even stranger and meaner. I know now that he just didn’t have the courage to take the leap to leave, probably wanted me to call it quits so that I would take the blame for the end of the marriage. He wasn’t ready to let go of what he gained staying with me. He knew that this OW wouldn’t be looked at favourably by others, so he didn’t want to hedge his bets with her.

    But, I don’t forget how I seriously thought giving him a break would be such a great solution. When he actually left the marriage to be with the OW (after 13 months of pick me dancing), I still hung on for about 6 months that he would return a new man. I woke up from the Twilight Zone in which I had been existing and learned about trauma bonding. But, I can see how cheaters who want to have their cake and eat it too would delude themselves into thinking they are entitled to a “break” and then return with no consequences.

    Never again.

  • You insist on damaging honesty, even though you KNOW those mean, ugly words take courage and strength to hear and will hurt you with their polysyllabic cadences. I blame adverbs, participles, and the Oxford comma.

    I love you Chump Lady. I hope she changed the locks before he got back.

  • Oh my the f$4kery?

    I really want to hear the update on that one…

    How he got dragged by the pubic hairs into court and the fullness of his love smirk wiped cleanly from his face…

    My FW thought I could be told a similar story and sit there taking the shit sandwich. He definitely got a few pubic hairs pulled…

  • It’s the smug sense of superiority which makes this letter so unbearable.
    They come in all shapes or forms.
    My ex wasn’t quite as eloquent and just wrote that I should take her back , once she had her issues sorted.
    Meaning having had enough dick from tinder hook ups .

    As a chump you go through such stages .
    I knew when I received that letter – I had by then asked her to leave and she lived in an apartment not too far away – that I tried to reason with myself , that she could be right. Maybe I should just wait until her issues are sorted.
    I didn’t , in part thanks to what I learned here.
    Nowadays, the breakup is 3 years ago, do read letters such as this one, recognise the patterns and just think :” such a letter is just a good confirmation that separation is the right thing to do. The other person yet again demonstrates how much they suck “.
    But that takes time and work. In my case, my Tuesday took more than 2 years .but hey it feels good.

  • Ok, I finally got it.

    The “we both made mistakes” email.

    Behold!

    “I feel like you are illustrating me to be the reason why our relationship failed.

    We both contributed.

    We both made mistakes. When I see you use my mistakes and provide no consideration for your mistakes in an argument, I feel like you are not playing fair.

    I hope that makes sense.“

    Nope. It doesn’t. And thank goodness I don’t expect it to.

    He brought his Spreadsheets to mediation yesterday. He offered me half the 401K in December. That goodwill display was used to massage subsequent agreements until the beginning of May when he decided he wasn’t comfortable with it. So He Who Hid Six Figures from me for 20 years, among other things, brought his spreadsheets to mediation to discuss the New Deal. I told our mediator that he brought spreadsheets to financial counseling a number of years ago and we now know he was hiding money then. I asked for independent verification of Traitor Math, and the email above is his response. No, I did not lie and cheat and hide money. I did not deceive you. I did not buy a Dodge Ram hookup truck masquerading as a tax credit for our business. I did not leave town and ditch our daughter for the Craigslist Casual
    Encounters Sole Mate Special.

    I love love love Dr. Frank Pittman. He says to cheaters “the problem with your marriage is YOU.”

    Agreed.

    • Stay strong VH. You are just stating the facts about his dishonesty in the past. He’s putting his cheater spin on it, confusing the issue.

    • I can’t seem to get past this: “…you are illustrating me.” VH, do you draw?

      I’m going to go out on a limb here are say that Mr. Sole Mate doesn’t seem to be your intellectual match. #understatement

      And he’s not a good character match, either, as evidenced by his actions.

      Stay mighty, VH!

  • “It’s important to me to be in your life.”

    Seems like such semantics to really parce the meaning of this one sentence – but it says everything.

    My ex once told me after the big discard/split that one of his issues was that he had always wanted to be my whole world. It took me a couple of years to understand what that really meant – and it was just EXACTLY what he said. They don’t want to share a space, a life…they want to be CENTRAL to it. Now that I understand his language, I can easily see that he pretty much always spoke his intentions. It was just me that added the nuances to the actual meaning.

    • I think you’ve hit on an important point here. The people who want to be a partner’s “whole world” sound romantic but are actually terrible to live with. They refuse to wrap their heads around the fact that kids take time, that holding a job down takes time, that doing the dishes or mowing the lawn takes time. All they are willing to see is that their partner is busy and isn’t constantly available to them. Mind you, they don’t want to do the work that would free up their partner either. They just want to be the sun at the center of the family’s universe around which all other bodies rotate.

  • My ex emailed me something similar to this just today, totally out of the blue– some screwed up missive about how important it is for him to be honest with me and so he needs me to know that he doesn’t actually care about me, that he might have implied it a couple of months ago in a 3 sentence text exchange that we had. (If he did, I totally missed it.)

    There was also a more nefarious reason he sent it: He copied the AP/wife on the email. I’m pretty sure he did this for her benefit to reassure her of his undying love for her. And I think he did this in order to bolster their marriage, which, according to what he said in the email, is struggling. He was pretty blatant in confessing his love to her, right after telling me how little I meant to him–something about how he is never going to leave her…ever. The dots were his, not mine.

    I wish I could say that it rolled off my back. Instead, I nearly threw up. First, no one likes to be told that they mean nothing to another human being, especially after 27 years of marriage–even if it’s true. And second, as his ex-wife, the LAST thing I want to do is be used by him as a prop to help save his broken marriage to his mistress.

    I responded by simply saying, “I read your email and I do not want to be pulled into this conversation. Instead, here’s the information about our son’s wisdom teeth appointment. Let’s keep conversations limited to medical things concerning the kids.” He didn’t respond.

    Grey rock. Grey rock. Grey rock.

    • I can understand that you nearly vomited.
      I applaud you to sticking to grey rock.
      This is a big win.
      It’s not about him anymore .
      You acted as if you were in total control and you appeared to be in total control.
      His opinion about you doesn’t matter .
      You will be in total control.
      Big win for your sanity .

    • Dignity:

      Removing oneself from the triangle
      calmly, succinctly, firmly

      Dignity.

      Thank you, Cloud.

    • What you are witnessing is their “Karma”, you are in her head and she is making him miserable about it.

      I am so glad you handled it like you did

      Deal is, he doesn’t care about anyone but himself. There is absolutely no reason for him to write something like that to you after you are divorced, he is following orders, he is treading water.

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