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UBT: We Are All Complex

word saladDear Chump Lady,

I was hoping you might run this through the UBT. It’s my now ex-wife’s (the divorce came through a month ago) response when I sent her something you had written about the things that cheaters say. We were together for 18 years. We have an 18-year-old daughter. I discovered she had been cheating for years with multiple partners. My replacement is 25 years younger than me. 17 years younger than her.

As you can see, she is claiming not to be a cheater while at the same time saying that everyone cheats at some point in their life.

Dear Chump

There is no special group of people called cheaters. Everyone is capable of it. Most people have done it. Some do it in past relationships.

You have all the answers. You have everyone in their neat little boxes. And everyone who cheats is a narcissist and everyone who is cheated on is pure and a victim. I know where I sit in your eyes. Which box are you in though?

The truth is we are all complex and hard to pigeonhole. In one context we are one thing but change the players and we are something else.

When you’re cheating you have to lie. Small lies at first but over time the web gets wider and deeper until you don’t know what’s real. If you really wanted to hurt your partner you’d tell them the truth. But you don’t want to and also don’t want to be found out. You’re ashamed but also enjoying the excitement.

I did what I needed to do to breathe. Could anyone have stopped me? I doubt it. Once that train starts rolling the only end, sooner or later is to run off the rails or crash into a wall. And that’s what happened. Usually into someone else’s safe arms. Someone else to help you through. To tell you you’re not a monster. Make the landing softer.

I felt ashamed and scared when you found out about my cheating. I desperately wanted to hold back the tsunami that was about to hit. But I couldn’t. I would have said anything to give myself space to think. My daughter. My parents. My friends would also know what I did. How could I reduce the damage? That’s why when someone cheats they say all these things. They’re in a corner. Desperate for a way out. And there is none.

If I had my time again with you I would try with all my might to do things differently. It would have still been hard and messy but I would have tried. With hindsight.

For you and me it was complex. So complex that I couldn’t tell you why at the time. And I struggle even now. I don’t think it was your fault. Although certain things you did put a strain. It was my choice. I needed more freedom. I needed to break away. I had become so entwined in your personality. I even said all the same phrases as you. I felt like I didn’t have my own thoughts any longer. I had become you. Yet at work and outside the home I was able to explore who I was and becoming and I liked that freedom. People liked me. Those same people still do despite everything. A lot. But I also loved you and our daughter. But as I said the only way to stop the hurtling train is to hit the wall. And that’s what I did.

Would I say I was a lifelong cheater? No. Am I a narcissist? No. (Our daughter agrees and she knows everything about my behaviour). Are you a narcissist? A little. You swing between thinking you’re the greatest. The smartest and the funniest to complete self-loathing. I think now you have a chance to loath me it gives you a break from loathing yourself. Well if it makes you feel better why not?

I don’t think you have all the answers. You’re very far away from it from what I can see. You’re just as unhappy, bitter, and full of hate as you were when you first found out I was having an affair. When I wish for us to all get along those are not the words of a cheater. They are the words of a mother. We can both get on with our lives without each other. But our daughter is at the centre.

I will always want us to be friends in the future and I believe it’s possible. But there is a long way for us to go.

Signed,

Back to Reality

Dear Back to Reality,

Gosh, I don’t know if the Universal Bullshit Translator can handle this, what with all its deep complexity. The UBT is a simple machine that only wishes to be rewarded with cookies. And this is a delicate differential equation of super specialness, which only the most learned minds could possibly comprehend. Are you sure you want to feed it to the crushing mandibles of the UBT?

Nom, nom.

Okay, here goes. Hang on to your lebkuchen.

There is no special group of people called cheaters. Everyone is capable of it. Most people have done it. Some do it in past relationships.

People barf. We do not call them barfers. Everyone is capable of barfing. Most people have barfed. Some barf in their past relationships.

I fail to understand why you don’t want to be barfed on. Repeatedly.

You have all the answers. You have everyone in their neat little boxes. And everyone who cheats is a narcissist and everyone who is cheated on is pure and a victim. I know where I sit in your eyes. Which box are you in though?

I am in the DARVO bento box. The problem isn’t my cheating, it’s you trying to understand my cheating. I will NOT be understood! I am NOT NEAT! I am gelatinous ooze with a little sprinkle of seaweed. DO NOT TRY TO CONTAIN ME.

The truth is we are all complex and hard to pigeonhole. In one context we are one thing but change the players and we are something else.

I’m not defined by 18 years of cheating. In one context, I’m a terrible person, but change the players and I’m something else — a pathetic sugar mama to a much younger man. #switchochangeo #complexcougar #cantpigeonholetwuwuv

When you’re cheating you have to lie. Small lies at first but over time the web gets wider and deeper until you don’t know what’s real. If you really wanted to hurt your partner you’d tell them the truth. But you don’t want to and also don’t want to be found out. You’re ashamed but also enjoying the excitement.

This is just the hypothetical mind of a cheater. I have no idea what that’s like, because I’m not that person, so I’m writing in the second person. For all you know, I could be writing about wombats discovering a carrot. Ashamed, but enjoying the excitement. I don’t know what’s real.

I did what I needed to do to breathe.

I fuck for the oxygen.

Could anyone have stopped me? I doubt it. Once that train starts rolling the only end, sooner or later is to run off the rails or crash into a wall.

Poor me. I crashed into a wall. Must be lack of oxygen.

And that’s what happened. Usually into someone else’s safe arms.

The UBT is confused. We started this metaphor with breathing, moved on to trains, and now we’re at arms. Its transponders cannot take this kind of complexity.

Someone else to help you through. To tell you you’re not a monster. Make the landing softer.

Grendel needs a softer mattress! Alfalfa sprouts! Dialetical materialism!

(The UBT is malfunctioning. Excuse me while replace its spark plugs….)

I felt ashamed and scared when you found out about my cheating. I desperately wanted to hold back the tsunami that was about to hit. But I couldn’t. I would have said anything to give myself space to think. My daughter. My parents. My friends would also know what I did. How could I reduce the damage? That’s why when someone cheats they say all these things. They’re in a corner. Desperate for a way out. And there is none.

If only there were conversations, divorce lawyers and therapy! Why must we live in a world without these things? Woe! Trapped in a corner with only self-serving bullshit. What I wouldn’t give for agency.

If I had my time again with you I would try with all my might to do things differently. It would have still been hard and messy but I would have tried. With hindsight.

If I could turn back time, but alas, the laws of physics. I imagine I might have tried to not suck. Perhaps. With hindsight.

I offer you this half-assed regret as an example of my munificence.

For you and me it was complex. So complex that I couldn’t tell you why at the time. And I struggle even now. I don’t think it was your fault. Although certain things you did put a strain. It was my choice. I needed more freedom. I needed to break away. I had become so entwined in your personality. I even said all the same phrases as you. I felt like I didn’t have my own thoughts any longer. I had become you. Yet at work and outside the home I was able to explore who I was and becoming and I liked that freedom. People liked me. Those same people still do despite everything. A lot. But I also loved you and our daughter. But as I said the only way to stop the hurtling train is to hit the wall. And that’s what I did.

Damn your personality. I became you and you are a train wreck. I crashed the train for freedom! And PEOPLE LIKE ME.

#2complex

Would I say I was a lifelong cheater? No.

Just 18 years. That’s hardly a lifetime.

Am I a narcissist? No. (Our daughter agrees and she knows everything about my behaviour).

Because there is nothing narcissistic and emotionally incestuous about telling my daughter how I fucked around on her father for years.

Are you a narcissist? A little. You swing between thinking you’re the greatest. The smartest and the funniest to complete self-loathing. I think now you have a chance to loath me it gives you a break from loathing yourself. Well if it makes you feel better why not?

That’s my motto — If it feels good, crash the train.

I don’t think you have all the answers. You’re very far away from it from what I can see. You’re just as unhappy, bitter, and full of hate as you were when you first found out I was having an affair. When I wish for us to all get along those are not the words of a cheater. They are the words of a mother. We can both get on with our lives without each other. But our daughter is at the centre.

I will always want us to be friends in the future and I believe it’s possible. But there is a long way for us to go.

Because I really want an unhappy, bitter, hateful friend.

Even though I would accept miserable you, we’re very far away from friendship. You’re going to have to work on this. Up your kibble game. For Our Daughter’s Sake.

These are not the words of a narcissistic cheater, they are the words of an imaginary platypus. Who just wants to be held. I believe it’s possible.

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.
  • Fark. That was horrible. Was she drunk when she wrote it?

    Nothing to work with here.

    I’ve just finished an excellent book called ‘Predators’ by Anna Salter. She’s spent decades interviewing sexual predators of all kinds.

    She writes about the skill of interview analysis – very like the UBT.

    This ex-wife is officially full of shit. She dances around questions, won’t give direct answers, and says what she wishes was true.

    • Yes, Dr. Salter, Harvard Psychologist. She literally wrote the textbook on working with Sadists and Pedophiles and trains the FBI. Very cool career. She’s a wonderful person as well, generously helped my daughter who has been considering psychology as a career (gave hours of her time and a class video presentation to help a high school student!)

  • Why in the world did you send her something from CL about things cheaters say? And more curiously, how did your ex hack into KK’s brain to create this tommyrot?

    • Deep down the chump is hoping that the cheater will somehow have an epiphany and see the light of all their wrongdoing. It could also be that the chump wanted to throw all the crap cheater’s say in cheater’s face. Let cheater know that they are just a run of the mill cheater, nothing special. In any case it is a total waste of time and the cheater will see it as a pathetic attempt for their attention.

      • “Let cheater know that they are just a run of the mill cheater, nothing special.”

        Kb22 this is the number one reason I want to send CL articles to Cheater over there on his fainting couch crying about his needs. Oh poor baby, it must have been so hard for special you, who deserved so much more, just like the 748,000 other cheaters that have used this bullshit unmet needs excuse. Don’t worry, you’re the exception and Still a Good Person Despite One Mistake, of course you are. Just like these thousands of other pathetic personality disordered twats.

        But I don’t send it because CL shares evidence like the above proving that it is a pointless exercise, and just gives them another platform from which to hawk their word salad surprise.

        • I totally understand the need to want to “let the cheater really have it” by exposing what they really are (plain old scum) and not letting them get away with what they think are or what they are trying to portray to the world. However, we are dealing with a different animal with different wiring. Anything we say is lost on them and we’ll never get the reaction we desire, just more frustration. Never respond to their antics with more drama. If you want to frustrate the cheater, smirk and roll your eyes when they start their ridiculous victim drama. Answering “if you say so” will really piss them off. Then you need to make sure and leave or cut them off as they have wasted quite enough of your time.

          • 🤣 “if you say so”
            I mean I don’t want to make his head literally explode, my kids kind of like him still.

            • I usually respond to douchecanoe’s verbose meandering emails with a single word: SURE or YES. He’ll immediately respond with “Sure/yes what” along with chastising me like I’m one of his children. This message I ignore.

      • For quite a few months after d-day I was in denial, thinking that he’d see the light, he’d understand what he has done, he would understand how important what we have is, and he’d want to stay. I never thought of sending him anything, but I believed he’d eventually get it. And you just have to let this thought go… they won’t see it, they won’t get it, and even if they do they don’t want to be the villain in this story so they’d find some excuses just like the person from the letter does

    • It was a while ago. I was lost and shell-shocked and had just discovered Chumplady’s book. It gave me a form of validation that I was desperately seeking.

      I wanted to show my wife that the things she was saying to me seemed to come from some kind of cheater’s rulebook. I know it was ill-advised to show her but it was on a whim.

      • Ah, now you know — they DID come from a cheater’s handbook. (We’ve all had that particular hammer come down on our heads.)

        Here’s hoping that you now bask in the glorious and blessed serenity that comes with No Contact.

        Let the ex have her ‘Golden Cock of Nebulon’ — you’ve got something much better.

      • BTR: No apologies and no shame. Ours is a nightmare journey that makes us crazy for answers and validation. You did what you needed to in the moment, and it’s perfectly reasonable and okay.

      • Don’t worry. I have done some crazy shit trying to understand and get a response from my ex. But I accept now that I’ll never understand what it’s like to be a selfish prick. Whew, I’m happy to give up!

    • I’m also wondering why send CL to cheater. I do remember when I thought I could explain the irrational behavior to Mr X and he would surely understand but CL has cleansed me of that hogwash. Absolutely zero purpose in “helping” the irrational cheater understand anything about cheating and if there were a reason- not my role.

    • Histology, CAT, T2 MRI, T3 MRI and/or fMRI won’t reveal anything that justifies her behavior. Trust me on that one.

  • One thing I learned in Al-Anon was to own my own story and use proper pronouns as a result. It’s sometimes really hard to do, but it has been a good rule-of-thumb for me when it comes to keeping my side of the street clean.

    Consequently, I notice and am rather fascinated by people when they don’t: “When you’re cheating you have to lie. Small lies at first but over time the web gets wider and deeper until you don’t know what’s real. If you really wanted to hurt your partner you’d tell them the truth. But you don’t want to and also don’t want to be found out. You’re ashamed but also enjoying the excitement.”

    Because it’s a whole different thing to say, “ When I’m cheating I have to lie. Small lies at first but over time the web gets wider and deeper until I don’t know what’s real. If I really wanted to hurt you, my partner, I’d tell them the truth. But you I didn’t want to and also I didn’t want to be found out. I was ashamed but also enjoying the excitement.”

    Despite this fascination, I try not to be in the business of deciding for her why she’s doing it (and besides, the UBT did a really good job of observing the second-person nature of the comment).

    Still, it does mean that when someone writes that kind of thing to ME, it gives me a beat to breathe, and remember that this kind of stuff isn’t about me. Finding that kind of differentiation, even for a moment, guides me towards the ability to choose a response rather than react out of emotion.

    • I noticed this too. I undertook an educational process where they used the same method of insisting that a person not use “you” when referring to themselves. It can actually be a life changing interface with ones own reality. After that experience, Im not keenly aware when people say “you” when talking about their own issues/behaviors.

      • Mine did this too. I found out he’d been messaging the OW while we were waiting for the hearse to arrive for my mother’s funeral where I would be giving the eulogy. When I asked him how he could do it and if he’d thought about what would happen if he was discovered, he said “Well you have to keep things going, don’t you?” I said I didn’t know and made him repeat the sentencing using “I”. It’s a distancing technique, as is using the passive voice, which he does all the time too.

        Once you start to notice these things you can’t stop seeing them. His other verbal tick was answering a question with a question. Funnily enough he picked me up on this the one time I tried it back at him. They know exactly what they’re doing.

        • Oh yes, mine was a genius at obstructive communication. Like he majored in it or something. Answering a question with a question, lying by omission, using suggestion to create doubt, using threatening body language, staying silent or not responding so that I felt the need to clarify, apologize or explain, acting like he was having a mental breakdown when I got too confrontational. I’ve been watching YouTube videos on investigative techniques in criminal psychology, and I’m dumbfounded by how crazy sneaky he really was with me. (Check out JCS Criminal Psychology if you’re interested.)

          • YES! All of those. Lying by omission was his specialty- he was working that weekend, he was just working in the honeymoon suite of a luxury spa hotel enjoying the strawberries and champagne package.

            And he was on a cycling holiday in Majorca but just not on his own (that was the only time he told me he was going on holiday rather than a business trip because he knew I would notice the tan lines. Her sister had just died so he took her away to cheer her up, except she waited behind in the hotel while he disappeared all day on his bike. Ain’t love grand!)

            He was also pretty blatant with outright lies. He told me he was travelling to Bangalore to meet his off shore team, sent me the link to his hotel, and all kinds of time-difference appropriate messages about what he was having in the works canteen, and his terrible jet lag, too much curry, etc. When I got his bank statements after the divorce, he was actually in the Travelodge in a seaside town on the north east coast of England. He seemed to enjoy making up little stories for each weekend and sending me just enough detail for it to sound convincing. My therapist thinks he’s a full blown psychopath. Who am I to disagree?

            • Been there too.

              Mine was supposed to be in New York on business but actually in South West London. She didn’t think to turn off Find My Phone.

          • My STBX lied by omission, but he also does this really clever thing. He takes something completely out of context and uses the information for other purposes. Here are a couple of real-life examples:

            Before DDay, I had a goal to save more money. So I told my husband and he was like, “okay”. So I set up an automatic payment to bump up our savings by a lot.

            After DDay, I told him that I couldn’t afford to pay our daughter’s private school tuition by myself. He wouldn’t commit to paying half, so I had to pull her out. He came unglued and sent me a letter via his lawyer saying that he was mad that I wouldn’t pay for school because I said I wanted to save more money and that paying tuition would “interrupt her personal savings goals”. I said no such thing.

            Another one:

            We still jointly own the house I live in, and there was a burst pipe that did some significant damage to the laundry room. I sent him a photo of the damage and he never responded to the email as to how to deal with it. Several months later, I sent his lawyer a home valuation that listed the laundry room damage as part of the assessment, and the value of the damage to be repaired was estimated to be about 5k (it’s been sitting there with exposed piping for months!).
            He then sent a letter back via his lawyer that said, “The photo supplied by you is not sufficient evidence of the repair estimation.” Wait! What? I sent the photo many months ago just to show him the damage, not for the valuation.

            It’s constant bullshit like that. It was also a thing he did during the devaluation phase-taking something I said out of context and throwing it in my face about something totally unrelated. But the maddening thing was that there was a partial truth in it – it was usually something that happened or something I said, but he misapplied the information. It did my head in, and I sometimes ended up rocking on the floor, crying with my head covered out of utter frustration. The manipulation is next, next level.

            • That is horrendous and all too familiar. After D-day I discovered just how much he’d been spending on taking her on holidays while I was at home watching TV and taking care of our cats and generally being his point of stability. When I confronted him about the tens of thousands they had gone missing he said “Well you’re the one who wanted separate bank accounts.”

              He also told me he cheated because I was “obsessed” with having children (ie, I wanted to have them after we got married) but also that if I’d gotten pregnant, he would have made “different choices” re: the extramarital activity.

              I find this site so amazing because it’s only when I see other people’s experiences that I realise quite how disordered my ex was. I was so habituated you his bullshit version of events where he was sacrificing himself for his job so he could help us to be financially secure. In fact he was frittering away his money and had around the same in savings and pensions as me despite earning 3-4 times as much as I did for the last ten years. I am have been no contact except for two conversations for two years and am still processing all the word salad that got thrown at me. In Sheep’s Clothing really helped me to identify what was actually going on and how I was being played.

  • Erm… No… She was very sober when she wrote this. And I have literally over 160,000 words of other messages that she wrote to me in a similar vein over the two years before I divorced her.

    She’s busy right now posting on FaceBook trying to find a job for her Italian toyboy, (whom she refers to as her ‘friend’, ‘his passion is helping people, ‘he’s 34, fit and strong). He was laid off from his waiting job before Christmas because of the pandemic.

    I don’t think she wants to be ‘friends’ with me anymore.

    • OMG. An Italian Toyboy! Oh yes, I am sure he is really into your ex (eye roll). This should be entertaining down the road a bit.

      • I want an Italian Toyboy! He better have one f**** good job, though! Ha – that’s hilarious! As you say, this ought to get quite entertaining down the road a bit. Cheaters are so full of themselves there is no room for brain cells.

      • Speaking of novels and Italian toyboys:

        https://youtu.be/bvu0kz3E18A

        Lilia Heriton is not a cheater in the book, but she takes a much younger Tuscan lover. E.M. Forster had an opinion about how that goes. Could be satisfying viewing.

    • The letter perfectly illustrates why it’s a complete waste of time and effort to try and make these people see what they’ve done and what they are.

      George Simon nails it again: “it’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree”, or as I prefer to state it, it’s not that they don’t see, it’ s that they don’t give a flying fuck.

      Dear BTR, don’t waste any more of your precious time on this profoundly entitled and arrogant bitch, sending this ghastly bint stuff from CL is a waste of your time. She evidently thinks she’s perfectly splendid. 🤮🤮

      Youe ex cougar is in for a shock when Luigissimo dumps her/cheats on her, but no, she probably won’t really feel it, she’s as deep as a puddle of piss.

      Incidentally, what’s she doing on fb trying to get this wanker a job? He’s 34 years old, and he can’t do that for himself? 😂🤣😂

      ((hugs)) to you BTR, NC is the way to the truth and the light.

      I also think it’s *appalling* she should be looking to your 18 year old daughter for validation of her sleazy skankiness. *ugh*.

      • ““it’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree”, or as I prefer to state it, it’s not that they don’t see, it’ s that they don’t give a flying fuck.”

        I do think your quote is more accurate than Simons, with all due respect to his work.

        My ex didn’t disagree that he was a lying sack of shit, he just simply didn’t care because what he wanted in his life was more important than what anyone else wanted or expected. True for me and unfortunately for the RFW, true for her. She did not get that gift giving wonderful guy who was just unappreciated by his wife, that she thought she was getting. But, she did get the meal ticket, so there is that.

      • “The letter perfectly illustrates why it’s a complete waste of time and effort to try and make these people see what they’ve done and what they are.”

        Yes! This letter is a perfect example of why it is impossible to shame or get back at the cheater. It only leaves the chump more angry and frustrated.

      • Pointless to try to make them see that they did horrible things. Yes.

        Cheater was mean, critical and prone to rage in addition to his abusive cheating. I pointed out his behaviors in hopes that he would (somewhere) find the motivation to change.

        One day he said “You just try to make me feel bad about myself” like I was shaming him for being too short (or some other unchangeable trait).

        Maybe he felt bad about himself because he betrayed every promise he ever made

    • Her letter to you is unbelievable. It’s like some bass-ackwards explanation to the world why her cheating was OK. There is no acceptable reason to cheat. It is not inevitable.

      When people ask me what my ex says/thinks about what he did, all I can say is that he thought it was wrong but reasonable. You know, given his NEEDS and how it’s so common and accepted. Given that I was no longer available to worship him 100% because we had kids to raise, and went back to school and work. Totally reasonable to need more attention, from a woman 10-years younger who needed a sugar daddy to furnish her home, buy her groceries and wine and dine her. Why I raised the kids alone, which is not glamorous.

      I’m sorry you are having to deal with her bullsh*t. It’s just her rationalizing so she can find a way to live with her evil self. Best to you. I’m glad that your eyes are wide open.

    • I don’t know what part of the country you live in, or her, but anyone in my area who wants a job working in the food service industry is being welcomed with open arms. There are signs everywhere. Business’s everywhere are trying to start back up post epidemic.

      Just saying, she should not be looking for him, anyway. Probably not on point, but that struck me as odd.

      • She’s probably looking for work for him because he’s using her as a stepping stone to a better career. This relationship sounds highly transactional to me and is on a fast track to nowhere for the stupid woman. I suspect BTL is in for some pitiful hoovering after she’s landed the sausage a good position, and she’s no longer of use to him. BTL: take some comfort in knowing that she’s being used up. Karma…

        • This young dude could also be sitting on his ass while she works. She’s trying to find him a job because she’s sick of supporting him. He’s on a sweet gig with his mommy doing everything for him. He’ll be getting his own aged sex on the side no doubt. I ALMOST feel bad for her. Almost. She’ll be posting on this blog when she finds out about his cheating and how horrible it feels! Karma.

        • Her toy boy is likely using her as a stepping stone to a richer woman. It’s just a matter of time – he has tons and aging is not her friend. It’s so easy for him to flex and flatter a much older woman. She will become needy to him, expect him to play house and he will grow bored. He likely will cheat on her with younger attractive women for thrills and also “audition” for older women as her potential replacement.

    • There are very few actions we chumps can take to significantly lessen our pain. Divorce is one of them, no contact/gray rock is another. My ex was a great talker – but it was usually one way. When it came to resolving issues in our marriage, he was more apt to stonewall. I am actually relieved to have few memories (and no letters) of his attempts to justify his behavior. Even remembering his few words can cause me an afternoon of pain. Over 100,000 words would set me back years. You will be reminded to limit communication to what his necessary to parent your child. Please start your no contact for yourself – take back your power.

    • Ha ha

      Cheaters write these kinds of rants when they are unhappy

      She misses the days when you were paying her bills, and she is bitter about her current scene with the work shy toyboy. So she wants to share the misery.

      She is ridiculous

      • You hit the nail on the head with the unhappy part. I don’t care if he is 34 and fit an trim – the guy is an unemployed waiter…….

        • I never wanted to be rude but a 34 year old man being a waiter is a bit strange. It’s a teenagers job. No offence to anyone who is a waiter but it’s not a typical job for a 34 year old man.

          • He was just waiting tables till the perfect sap of a woman came along to support him…and guess what? She came along!

            This Italian boytoy has no plans to get a J.O.B. which is why ex Mrs. Cheater is basically pounding the pavement for him. Of course she is wasting her time.

          • It is perfectly normal and acceptable for a grown man to work as a professional waiter in Italy. But if he returned to Italy, he’d be just a regular guy working a regular job. Here he’s exotic. There his accent is normal; here his accent is sexy.

            In fact, when I was between jobs (for about two months; between spring and fall semesters as I switched universities) my Italian BIL told my Italian MIL that *he* would never be unemployed and not providing for his family: he would work as a pizzaiolo (pizza baker) if he had to. Meanwhile, in the real world, that same BIL was actually in debt to the Calabrian mafia for upwards of $500k and was trying to pay off his debt by collecting envelopes of extortion money from all around greater Milan.

            I think we Americans are particularly vulnerable to seeing all Europeans as more sophisticated and cultured than we are – probably because we’ve internalized the whole Yankee Doodle thing. Take it from me, though: just because someone has an Italian accent doesn’t mean s/he has any interest in or knowledge of art, music or literature, and Italians have their own version of white trash. Though it’s harder for us to recognize (because the cultural cues are different there), they can recognize their own – unemployed waiter guy may be making a shrewd choice to stay in the US where he is a rarity and his flaws are either unnoticed or excused as “cultural differences”. But maybe I’m projecting here…

            • I never knew being a waiter was normal in Italy for men. I’m British and in the UK being a waiter is very much a teenagers job. Same when I lived in the US, was mostly all college kids doing that job. Owing that amount of cash to the Mafia does sound a bit stressful. I do know that the Italian mafia makes the US Mafia look like Girl Scouts.

              • Well, to be fair, it’s not totally clear that he really owed that much. That’s how much various people collected from his parents, who bankrupted themselves paying off his debts, but it’s possible that he and the loansharks were maybe colluding to extract as much money as possible from his parents and then splitting the proceeds. Probably it all went to gambling.

                Also, the Calabrian mafia will chop people up and leave them in garbage bags in the forest, but unlike the Albanian mafia they don’t go after the wife and kids (according to a childhood friend of my SIL, who was trying to reassure her after people started calling her at night telling her to pay off her husband’s debts), so it could have been worse.

                It truly was like something out of a novel. Real estate scams, overdrawn bank accounts, checks disappearing from locked safes, cars forced off the road late at night, people “leaning too far over the balcony to look at the neighbors’ dog”, tapped phones, wads of cash from Monte Carlo. After the guy turned up chopped to bits in the woods, my BIL was picked up by the police and kept for questioning for three days – not because they thought he’d done it, but because they knew he owed money to the chopper and they hoped he’d be scared enough to flip on him. He didn’t.

          • Depends on the establishment. In my city, fine dining restaurants have male and female servers who are older than 30. At the super-expensive Italian place, most of the staff is Italian. The tips are very good, I am sure. There is an upstairs private bar; only a select number of people allowed at once. The sole bartender picks and chooses who he wants to admit. Drinks are pricey, but absolutely perfect. Intimate and awesome place!

            • I’ve seen that in London to be fair in the likes of Gordon Ramsey restaurants. Though a poster above commented that it’s rather common for men to be waiters in Italy. One of my dream locations to visit and of course a trip to the Lamborghini place.

      • A few months after dday, the asshat sent me an email describing what was “wrong” with me & our marriage. I replied to each paragraph (almost a primative UBT but in pre CL days) with the truth. In the reply, I cc’d his parents & his 4 married siblings.

        Never, ever received another email from him again. Never heard from the family either although that was fine with me because no one ever reached out to me went it all went down. I want to believe he controlled the narrative & my email blew it up.

    • BackToReality,

      She spouts the same nonsense that so many of our cheaters spout. I got many of the same head-scratching justifications. They’ll say anything to make themselves feel less monstrous. They shift the blame. They say they had to lie to protect us. They deny they are narcissists. They claim some version of needing to breathe. (Mine had to listen to his “voice of defiance to ward off despair.)

      I would recommend that you avoid looking at her FB page. Go No Contact!

      And don’t exchange any more words of wisdom from CL. It’s kibbles to her. It won’t matter.

      Above all, don’t accept any blame for her cheating. None of us is perfect, but, dammit, we didn’t make our cheaters cheat.

      • From the XW,
        “I never lied to you.”
        A line definitely worthy of blowing the morning breakfast cereal out your nose.
        She lied directly, implicitly and by insinuation. But as you wrote “They’ll say anything to make themselves feel less monstrous.”

        • From my ex wife
          “I’m not a slut” after I seen a video on her phone of her going bare back anal with some guy she had met of tinder that very same day. Absolutely disgusting and she was coming home to me and acting like nothing was going on.

          • Eww. What woman in her right mind visits that kind of pain, humiliation, and danger upon herself? Does she have no sense of self worth whatsoever? This behavior smacks of serious psychological issues.

            I know you’re angry and grief-stricken, but consider yourself very fortunate to have her gone. Get some therapy, and then find a woman who takes better care of herself.

            • I’m beyond grateful she is gone. My therapy team and doctor believe based on evidence I’ve shown them of her emails and messages and going through most of what happened that she does have a personality disorder. Her sister has a personality disorder and also her half sister which I stupidly never knew till after marriage.

              I found plenty of evidence that she was having unprotected sexual activity with near all the dozens of men. I was tested for STD’s and thankfully I’m clean. I believe it’s only a matter of time before she is pregnant to some random but that’s no longer my problem.

        • Mine: “I lied about only one thing.”

          He lied every day for almost three years.

          Also, he asked, “Am I wh**e trash?”
          I didn’t respond—just left his emailed question hanging in the air—and felt the awesome power of NC!

          • Mine used exactly the same line. Unfortunately the one thing he lied about was everything.

            He was cheating for 12 years, and for the last seven living the full double life, pretending to her we were divorced. He was going on secret holidays and weekends away, attending weddings and funerals with her, he told me all his work projects were complete disasters he was singled handedly keeping on the road, hence all the weekend working.

            I could never understand why he was earning six figures but we lived in a terrible neighbourhood (cannabis house next door, acid attacks, gang violence) and everything in the house was falling apart. And why the car was always in the garage when I was told he was only using it to drive to airport and back once a fortnight (he was actually secretly coming back to the country and driving 300 miles to see her). And that’s before we got to the porn and the sex cams.

            He said to me “I know I’ve done terrible things but I’m not a terrible person”. In my book, actions define us and if you do terrible things you really are a terrible person. And a complete fraud.

            • Chumpawamba,
              Mine lied about everything too, for a really long time. Mine didn’t have one steady OW until the very end. Then he decided it was time to “settle down” and find a girlfriend. No shit-he actually said that to me as if this was a good thing for us now that his days of hookers and casual hook ups was behind him. It’s now only one OW. Oh gee, thanks asshole. My whole 26 year relationship was a lie-he spent all his time, effort, resources on others. I minimized myself down to nothing-it was like I wasn’t even allowed to have any needs or desires at all. He was a master manipulator and a con artist. He weaseled his way into my business, and it turns out he was completely incompetent and nearly bankrupted us. He conned them too. It all imploded at the same time. He lost his marriage, his family, his job. But he gained a whorey young woman. I have a very good therapist at Women’s Refuge. She doesn’t buy the “I’m not a terrible guy” bullshit for one minute. Anyone who cons their wife and commits abuse in the form of “death by 1000 cuts” is a hideous person. Lies upon lies upon lies and conning the woman you married makes you not just a terrible person, but an evil one.

              • “Lies upon lies upon lies and conning the woman you married makes you not just a terrible person, but an evil one.”

                I absolutely agree, and these guys don’t change for the whore; whether we see it or not. There is absolutely no reason or motivation for them to change.

            • Every time we make a decision while married to a cheater, he or she is lying to us. Every time we do their laundry, cook a meal anything we do for them they are lying to us.

              Making daily decision while in a relationship with a cheater is a decision based on them lying to us.

    • Why is she helping him find a job? Eventually he might make enough that he doesn’t need her to pay his way anymore and then where will she be? It might be fun watching that unfold.

    • This says it all – she cheated with a man-child who can’t seem to find another wait-staff job? Even though things are opening back up. Again – Cheaters always trade DOWN. Way down. What’s the over/under that he’s going to want to stick around once she’s 60+? And wrinkly, sagging skin, she’s going to want to retire and he’s going to be stuck working still? Waiting tables?

      Again- Cheaters are Ridiculous. You’ve learned your lesson – don’t engage, don’t send them articles or links. All you’ll get back is Word Salad Drivel.

      Any interaction I have with Dracula, I always preface it in my mind with these questions: 1) Do I have to have this interaction per a court order? 2) Will this interaction reflect well on me in front of a judge? 3) Will this interaction & it’s resultant response result in any anxiety or sleeplessness on my part?

      Sometimes, the answer to #3 is yes, but I must do it because Questions #1 & #2 take over & supercede. (My kids are still minors.)

      But, sending Dracula links to CL, or excerpts from LACGAL, or any other source to try to get him to be a better human?
      Questions #1 & #2 would be a “no”, and there would be a huge “YES” to #3 – lots of rage in a response would ensue from Dracula. Thus, not moving my mental health forward, but only a detractor. Thus, the correct answer is “don’t engage with Dracula”.

      Bottom line – there are truly very few reasons to contact a Cheater. Even items that ARE IN my court orders, like “both parents will pay for half of activities & sports”, Cheater disregards or would not respond. (I just send those non-responses to my lawyer & she keeps a huge file).

      Never engage with these Freaks. If you need to see a freakshow, visit a carnival or circus.

      • Oh, and BLOCK her on all Social Media. Again – #3: viewing her FB only causes YOU anxiety & sleeplessness. Thus, harming your mental health. You don’t need to check up on her & her Freakshow.

        The less you get Cheaters out of your head, the less nightmares you have, the more you can heal, the quicker you’ll get to “meh”. This takes discipline, I know. It’s hard. You are doing this FOR YOU!

        CN is here for you!

    • It is so irksome when they accuse you of still being bitter and unhappy because you won’t be nicey-nice with them. It’s more gaslighting because they’re still making you the problem. It’s you that holds grudges. It’s you that can’t move on. It’s you that makes everything an issue. It’s you that can’t let things go.

      Ummm…buddy, take the hint. My ignoring you is me letting you go. Take a hint. Now fly, little bird, fly. I don’t need friends like you

    • “I don’t think she wants to be ‘friends’ with me anymore.”

      I disagree. I think she very much wants to be seen as YOUR friend. Why? Because you have so many more character points than she does and people respect you more than they respect her. Double ditto for trust!

      So if she can only convince you to play along, then she won’t be viewed as a lying cheating sack of dog crap by nearly as many people and/or for nearly as long.

      Glad you’re not buying her line of bull shit. Don’t bother taking it to her home turf, she’ll win and you’ll get sullied by assocation.

    • Italian toy boys

      Do they have an expiration date?
      34 is not the youngest one out there to play with 😂😂😂
      Plus/ no job?
      That’s a real gem…

      I would take any kind, honest, family oriented and loving ( me) man- daddy body or not- in a heartbeat

      But that’s just silly me/ boring expectations and needs

  • Poor, poor cheater who needs to be safe into someone else’s safe arms.
    Boy, talking about being sorry …. for getting caught.

    Goodness, pigeon holes? No, we just need the toilet bowl.

    The UBT did an excellent job, BTR, but I was so angry at your cheater’s letter that I couldn’t even laugh.

    Sorry for this to happen to you and your daughter. Here at CN, we all know exactly how you feel. For me, the worst part is seeing the pain of disappointment in my sons.

    Take care.

  • And this is why no contact is the only way forward. Don’t seek for them to understand or ever accept your feelings they simply don’t. They are entitled and frankly think you are a piece of shit and given half the chance, like this above, they will tell you how deficient you are, remind you how you contributed to the demise in your marriage and then act like are unreasonable for not wanting to be their friend. The big lesson here is never ever contact them about anything other that factual kid related matters. It made me fume just reading this on your behalf Back to Reality but a great reminder of why you will never get any sense from them.

    • I have to second Dudders on this.
      It is a process to let go of the need for the XW to accept responsibility. Part of this is remembering a time when your relationship was good and there was mutual consideration. But that time is gone and she has made other, destructive choices. Like you, it took me a couple years to go No Contact, except for our kids. When that wasn’t working for her she would use our oblivious adult sons to triangulate. Expect more of that and be sure to cut it off by not responding.
      Faithful partners are gold. Soon enough she will be fading from view in your rear view mirror.

  • She’s a steaming pile of shite and what she did to your daughter is abuse—she is not mature enough to understand what her mother is but she will eventually. Just be there for her, be the sane parent. Watch for the rage when toy boy dumps her. Hugs friend

  • Just wow…she is still so far away from the truth and reality she will never find her way back..I would rather be bitter angry and full of hate than a cheating piece of garbage full of self deception and stds..but maybe next time she can throw herself under that train instead of her family…sorry my guy you got nothing to work with here…my cheater of 28 years justs wants to be friends too…never going to happen. I have never had an enemy do to me the things he has…noone has ever hated me that much..

    • Agreed. The whole part where she declares herself not a narcissist based on the analysis of her 18 year old daughter. (Daughter has a degree in psychiatry, I guess?) And then to accuse the chump of narcissistic behavior because he didn’t cheat and is her victim. She ran over him with her train and thinks he isn’t a victim but a narcissist for being injured. That’s the kind of mindfuck klootzak participates in. No contact all the way. I hid my CL book because if klootzak found it, there would be rage, for sure. This FW response above is a warning to me why I stay out of trying to unravel the skein. Communication with FW is pointless. They only dig their hole deeper. I honestly don’t give a crap about his “why” for his behavior. FWs have zero ability to self-analyze. They hide away from first person and refuse to really accept responsibility. They are only sorry they got caught.

  • Her pronouncement that she is not a narcissist!!!! It would be akin to CL proclaiming she has no sense of humor. Please!

  • Bam.

    And that response is why it’s useless–useless, I say!–to reason with a FW. It’s a pain boomerang; FWs are really good at dodging and there’s only one place where that boomerang of “look at what you did and how it made me feel” you threw is going to land: back in your face.

    Chump: You destroyed me emotionally!
    FW: No, *you* destroyed me emotionally!

    Chump: You were a bad partner!
    FW: I only did what I had to do because *you* were a bad partner first, even if I never let you know that until you found out before I wanted you to.

    Chump: You are an adulterer! Here are news articles, videos, and books explaining in the most basic layman’s terms what cheating is and how it affects the person being cheated on. Now do you see how that your actions hurt other people… like me, your spouse?
    FW: *carefully and thoughtfully reads* I see, I see… what I read here is that I may have made a mistake but you drove me to make it, so really, I’m in the clear because I believe in true love and you… why are you bullying me? I’m innocent in all this! You are such a bad person; I can’t believe I ever married you. Thank goodness I escaped.

    A short conversation later, the Chump, after trying to explain to the FW what infidelity and basic human emotions are, limps away with their tail between their legs, feeling like *they* are the bad guy and how the heck did that happen?

    I can’t even count how many times I tried to explain to my then-H how his affairs were destroying me from the inside out. He would not accept that blame and somehow I always ended up apologizing to him instead.

    FWs are experts at dodging and throwing down those reverse Uno cards. Don’t try to engage them in any kind of conversation on the topic of their behavior. You’ll just end up limping away and they’ll leave the ring feeling the same way they did when they entered: like a million bucks and a handsome pile of good decision making. No words will dent that shield and anything you lob in their direction just gets assigned to you anyway.

    It took me a long time to realize that I didn’t deserve any of what happened to me. But everytime I tried to engage with my FW about it he always came out on top and I felt like I deserved what I got. I only started to feel better about myself when I fully embraced No Contact. No Contact is a blessing.

    Don’t talk to them. Don’t send them letters. Don’t send them Chump Lady articles explaining why cheaters say what they say. Don’t send them a page ripped out of the dictionary that defines cheating. Don’t explain how you are feeling. Don’t engage with them. At all. At no point will the FW “come around to your way (or the dictionary’s) way of thinking.” Engaging in dialogue with the FW never works. It’ll just make you feel badly about yourself.

    No contact. Estrangement is salvation. Don’t do it to be a big jerky meanie-pants; do it because you value your emotional sanity.

    • Holy crap. I seriously had to read the dictionary definition of cheater to Asshat the Ex, he still denied that it described his behavior, sat quietly for a few minutes, then flipped to Rage Channel- screaming- “FINE!!! I AM A CHEATER!!! BUT YOU MADE ME ONE!!!”

      That was my attempt at trying to get him to understand anything about why I was divorcing him. Waste of time.

    • That is what I got before I discovered he was a cheater. Any time I called him out on anything he did that upset me I somehow ended up being the one apologizing to him in the end. Once the cheating came to light, however, I didn’t accept that crap anymore. He behaved badly and it wasn’t my fault. I would still have forgiven him if he had pretended to take responsibility for his behavior and shown any serious desire to reconcile, but I wasn’t accepting his DARVO anymore.

    • Four leaf, this is a brilliant description of engaging with a FW: “You’ll just end up limping away and they’ll leave the ring feeling the same way they did when they entered: like a million bucks and a handsome pile of good decision making. No words will dent that shield.”

      And BTR, thank you for sharing your cheater’s letter. What I find most helpful about reading it is that after all the lying, she’s finally telling the truth about who/what she is. It’s shocking to see printed in black and white, isn’t it? We chumps want so badly to help those we love; we go to such lengths to pursue restoration. I totally understand why, in your genuine impulse to help, you sent her some CL. Many of us have done the same – cast pearls before swine because we simply couldn’t see that our cheaters were pigs in disguise.

      For any newbies here, this is a long process of grief, and the only way through it is through it. The emotional devastation is all-consuming. We’re in trauma, and our limbic systems are in overdrive, hampering the abilities of our prefrontal cortexes to avoid mistakes, miscalculations, and tactical errors.

      What I’ve learned in the past few years is that the pain is inevitable. What is, to a degree, within our control, is the duration of suffering. We can shorten the suffering by choosing to “get up from the table when love is no longer being served.”

    • This is really good. Mine tried a lot of this shit. First, he said that he was just into S&M and he had to go and do it before he got too old. Then it was he’d been cheating on me for a long time with various creatures. Then it was he’s in a relationship and they’re in love. Then I got mad. Then he said, the reason he had to leave was because I am a bad communicator. Then it was because I was too “vanilla” and it was my fault he had to cheat. Then it turned into an ideal that maybe he could still cheat and stay married to me and it would be fine. Then I got depressed. Then he said that he wasn’t sad because he’d known for a long time he was going to leave me but he didn’t know how. Then he said he didn’t feel bad because he didn’t do anything wrong. Then he went around telling everyone that our break up was mutual. Then he looked me straight in the face and said, “this whole thing is your fault, this marital break up is on you-you need to wear this for the rest of your life.”
      Sooooo, moral of the story is that you can’t communicate with them. The story changes to suit their particular mood and whatever narrative they need to spin at the time. It’s mind fuckery.

      • Exactly, Formerlyknownas. As well as wearing armor that makes the FW completely impervious to criticism, or even basic explanation (my X refused then and likely still refuses now to take responsibility for what he did: “Is it adultery if I regret marrying you and I finally found my true love? I’d say no. No, it’s not adultery. Wait… what are you doing? Put that dictionary down. Fine, you know what… *both* you and the dictionary are wrong.”) and, on top of being shielded from all criticism and explanation, the story the FW weaves is fluid and will change to suit their moment or narrative. Whatever it takes to ensure that they remain in the right.

        Engagement with all that is… pointless. It’s all so pointless. And it just hurts us, not them. And, as Chump Lady says, it keeps us focused on the cheater when we should be investing that energy into ourselves.

        What hurts most of all is all the time we waste on FWs. Our time on this Earth is finite–we’re not going to be around here forever. I look back at all the time I invested into X through the friendship, dating, engagement, married, separating, and early divorce years and realize that I invested that time into someone who never had any respect for me and considered me a “stopping off point,” or a soft place to fall, until he could catch a bigger fish. I regret all that wasted time and I regret the time and emotional energy I invested in him after his affairs were revealed in order to just try and squeeze some empathy out of him so I could still have some respect for him. All that investment of time yielded… nothing. Nothing.

        I compare what I’ve accomplished in my life personally and professionally before and after my entanglement with FW (Young teenage me had so much professional moxy before I began dating FW. I forgot how ambitious I used to be. And post-FW me is on her way to completing her PhD which is… wow) to how much I advanced my life when I was throughly entangled with him (…honestly, when I was with him I didn’t move forward in my personal ambitions at all; I just disappeared into his) and it’s easy to see the results: I am awesome and ambitious when FW is not in my life; I am codependent and invisible when he’s there.

        To all chumps, newcomers and those of us still limping through the process years after, do not spend any more precious time on the FW; it’s the poorest possible investment of your time. Spend it rediscovering how awesome you are.

      • Moving the goalposts as the chump zigzags down the field, trying to the ball in play (keep the marriage together)

  • Talk about nothing to work with here, his ex is a narcissist with a capital “N”. Back to Reality should just cut all contact. It will be interesting however, to hear cheater ex-wife’s version or take, when her narc ass gets dumped by the younger AP. Will she understand that way younger AP just needed to breathe? That AP needed freedom? Needed to get away? Somehow I think cheater ex wife will be very angry and very bitter.

    • “after the sacrifices I made for him, this is how I get treated…” It might be fun to watch but it could be annoying for BTR if she thinks she can land softly back in his arms.

      • Yeah, watch out, BTR! She’s a user, for sure, so be prepared. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind using you one more time.
        Make sure you have your life going full speed ahead, and all your walls up, when she comes hoovering back!

  • I think the key is in the line about the daughter. She desperately needs BTR to be friends to get this narrative to stick. However, like my ex, she can’t stop dishing out the narcissistic mindfuck because that’s who she really is. Stay strong BTR! Your daughter is an adult and her cheating mother doesn’t need to be in the middle of your relationship.

  • This is an especially painful twist that the cheater has their daughter so deeply involved, but if they can do it they will.

    They are all about themselves. Fascinated by themselves.

    This is why no contact is a blessing. It doesn’t give them a platform for further abuse.

    • My ex wife has involved the kids so much trying to justify her cheating and years of lying. Sick.

  • I think it’s an accurate look into the cheater’s mind. There’s nothing to work with and best to walk (run?) away.

  • My own ex could perhaps have written this – but they all go from the same playbook don’t they. Didn’t expect any consequences, it was all about her her her. Last I heard she was telling people that “there were reasons she left and they aren’t the reasons people have heard from BT”.

    I would imagine that even when you were together BackToReality that there was a daily level of toxicity.

    I searched for wombat eating a carrot – but this is perhaps more apt. A farting wombat eating corn.

  • BtR,

    If I’ve learned one thing since D-Day (6 years ago and counting) it’s that Cheaters are not big on self-reflection; CL is wasted on them. They are big, however, on deflection, blame-shifting, denial and describing their chumped Exs as “bitter” when they don’t buy into the cheater’s narrative.

    No contact is your best way forward, and you may want to consider whether your daughter would benefit from therapy.

    LFTT

  • Chumps try to fix others. We want to believe we can give others the right words or combination of assistance and support, and others will do the right thing. That is part of what makes us chumps.

    There is an ancient piece of advice, do not throw your pearls before swine, which applies here. If someone wants your help, asks for your help, is genuinely interested in receiving your help, that situation may work out. When we, as chumps, decide others need our help, we are throwing our pearls before swine. It just makes them angry. It is a waste of our time. In addition, it keeps you caught up in association with someone who is not good for you. Stop.

    Take your pearls home and chill. Plan something which will help you, make you feel better. Do something fun. You can wear your pearls, you will probably look really good. No contact is great. Low contact with a co-parent, essential information only. Stop engaging, for your own benefit. Just be the sane parent for your daughter. She will figure it out eventually. It is not a competition. Neither you, or her mother can tell her what to think for long. Children grow up, and sooner or later, have to think for themselves.

  • ” For all you know, I could be writing about wombats discovering a carrot. Ashamed, but enjoying the excitement. I don’t know what’s real.”

    Wombats shit square bricks. True fact. It’s really all I can add to the UBT’s thing of beauty here.

  • “You’re just as unhappy, bitter, and full of hate as you were when you first found out I was having an affair.”

    Translation: “I did lasting damage to your life–how dare you hold me to account!”

    • What’s the big deal about years of cheating and treating you like crap. Didn’t you really like my shit sandwiches all along? You should get over it and be my friend now For The Child! Show her what a great person I am. *eye roll*

      FWs think they are so special and wonderful we need to be friends with them. Our lives should revolve around them, apparently.

  • “Which box are you in though?”

    I’m rubber and you’re glue! Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!

    I know you are but what am I?

    Playground level logic, just with more syllables. Sounds all too familiar.

  • Wow…this is a narcissistic sonnet.

    My ex said very similar things to me. That he wishes he could change things. That he wishes he could have been a good husband. Meanwhile, he was still banging the OW and got her pregnant. I’ve learned that anything that comes out of his mouth is a lie or a manipulation. That’s what your ex wife is doing. She wants to maintain some sort of image so people don’t dislike her. But she sucks. She is a cheater. In fact, her justification for why she isn’t a cheater is insanity. Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results…insanity. Why doesn’t she find another way to find herself? Fucking other men won’t do the trick. She’s got a personality problem. Maybe she should deal with her own shit instead of putting it on how you reacted to her betrayal.

    I am so sorry you are going through all this. You’re in a safe place here!

    • Same. I have hundreds of emails and messages from my ex wife about her regrets and undying love for me and how she has ruined everything but was still cheating away with dozens. Pathological liar is all she is.

  • My ex could have written this. I have dozens of these sorts of emails, texts etc. No Contact is the only way with this lunatic. I hope your daughter is has a good therapist – the lack of boundaries combined with the DARVO/gaslighting is breathtaking and definitely beyond the scope of what anyone should have to deal with let alone an 18 year old whose world has been nuked during a pandemic no less.

  • “I had become so entwined in your personality.”

    She’s talking about mirroring. Like all narcs, she doesn’t have a stable, authentic identity. Bitch sure went through a whole lotta mirrors.

    I hate how she’s brainwashed the daughter to accept cheating. So sick and creepy. The jerk’s OW did that as well, only she was more covert and sneaky about it, never outright admitting it, but making sure they knew, and knew her “friends from work” made her “happy”. I consider exposing children to unhealthy, destructive forms of adult sexuality a particularly vile form of emotional abuse that skirts the edge of sexual abuse.

    • My stbxw complained in my most recent discard that we had, “basically morphed into the same person” after she had taken on my taste in music, TV shows etc.

      • What does that even mean? This just sounds like some shit they spit out to make it sound like a great thing that they have to differentiate themselves via cheating. Word salad, all of it.

    • Can’t assume she is telling the truth about the daughter. I’d check with the daughter about that. Projection and lies are rampant among cheaters.

  • I have to have minimal contact with the cheater. No contact is the ultimate, but I can’t do that right now.

    My Kevlar bullshitproof vest has been to be patient, listen carefully, speak when spoken to, and ask questions when what he says makes no sense. Which is often.

    If I have to engage, I listen carefully and patiently. I take mental notes. When something doesn’t make sense, which is often, I ask questions. I then sit back, relax, and enjoy listening to him hang himself with the copious amounts of rope he paid out.

    Like convicts who have nothing to do but make weapons with ordinary items available in jail, cheaters use being told anything as bullshit deflection practice. Stop with the telling and deprive them of the foil they need to hone their word salad fencing skills.

    “So, after you moved in with the Craigslist Sole Mate, you cheated on her because you were unhappy with me and our marriage?”

    Ironically, the whole letter above is one big What Cheaters Say. I heard almost everything in it from my fake husband.

    If you listen carefully, they actually give themselves away and validate what you are trying to convince them of.

    When you feel furious, get curious.

    If you have to engage, listen. Ask, don’t tell.

    • Detectives, prosecutors, judges deal with unrepentant liars every day all day long. They have no investment in making the perpetrator feel sorry or making them understand.

      They care about actions, evidence, and consequences. They are not wasting time trying to educate and reform the offender.

      I practice setting aside my
      emotions and concerning myself with facts, actions, and consequences and if/how I need to respond. If cheaters cared about their character none of us would be here.

    • VH…in long retrospect, I see that Cheater made a lot of veiled confessions to me…likely to assuage his conscience. I either thought he was joking, or speaking of someone else, or referring to passes made towards him that he accepted (even while he allowed me to think he would only have told me because he would NEVER do such a thing).

      They will also project a lot…what he accused me of are likely what he did.

      He once went into a wildly abusive rage on the way to a work event. I literally sat speechless in the passenger seat while he rage-drove and verbally ripped me to pieces. He achieved his glad as I was so destroyed by the time we arrived, I wouldn’t have noticed if there are hookers giving blowjobs under the tables. Upon arrival, he saw a Lt Col gal and said to me “Oh there she is”…odd since he had never mentioned a female superior before. Now, of course, I assume they were fucking during that assignment of his.

      • I remember one night about three months before he Dday, he sad on the bed with me and said whore (his direct report) was dating a fifty year old man. I think I said something like “well it is pretty common knowledge she dates married men”

        But, anyway, turns out she was fucking a 40 year old married man who happened to be my H. Oh she may have indeed also been fucking a 50 year old, but my H was the brass ring she grabbed.

  • Distillation of what is behind this tripe:
    I do not wish to be held accountable for my actions. Yet you have sent me Chump Lady’s words on my actions, which are a clear articulation of why my actions are inexcusable. I reject this attempt on your part to urge me to understand or admit that my actions were inexcusable. So now I will excuse them, and defend myself with an account steeped in the technique of DARVO, and I will compound the damage I’ve done by informing you that I have also abused our daughter by seeking to make her my ally.

  • I’m always baffled by the “finding myself” defense.

    Yes, cheater lost her own identity and sense of self becoming too much like her partner, so in order to get back her individual identity she:

    A. Leaves the relationship honestly
    B. Has an actual conversation with her husband
    C. Joins therapy to work on identity issues
    D. Cheats

    Yep, D. Cheating must be the best answer. I’m sure she can find herself in the reflection of a younger man. That’s where it’s been hidden all along!

  • And this is why no response is the best response. Even if Back to Reality sends this spot on UBT to the special cheater in his life, she will respond with more BS. And on it will go to eternity. Get out of this mindfuck, guy!

  • If daughter is seeing a therapist, pass this on. I doubt daughter actually said this, unless she was pressured, but your ex has admitted to emotional abuse. In some states, depending on her age when (and if) she was told “all” about ex’s affairs and behaviors, it may also be sexual abuse. Share this with your attorney, too. Your divorce is over, but if you co-parent, this is pertinent.

    Was there a particular reason to bring this to CL now, post-divorce? You said you don’t think your ex wants to be friends any more. That can hurt, even after everything else she’s done, because it’s yet another rejection and another power-play “win” for her. Has she flipped the channel to rage or self-pity? Daughter may have unexpected financial or housing needs due to COVID. Is your ex looking for something from you, especially since ex-waiter boytoy remains unemployed after 6 months, even though restaurants re-opened long ago and there are plenty of summertime manual labor jobs for someone who’s “fit and strong.”
    You don’t need ex’s “friendship.” You have the support of Chump Lady, the UBT, and Chump Nation. If you need more validation that you did the right thing, that letter alone is proof enough. Thanks for sharing it.

  • You are wasting time and energy with anything but a hard no contact.

    You want her to “get it”. Sorry but you are the one who doesn’t “get it”. This is who she is and will always be. You have no young kids. Block her on everything unless you want to waste your time and keep yourself in dramaland.

  • CL is brilliant. So spot on. Back to Reality, your ex is empty. Her meaningless blather is that of someone who does not love anyone or anything. She’s cold and cruel. Take it from all of us- the third party readers. None of what she wrote is legitimate or insightful. She should have written one thing and one thing only: “I’m sorry I wasted 18 years of your life instead of being truthful or decent from the start. I should have left you before I started seeing other people. I am a bad person. Full stop.”

  • So, we are to understand that the Italian ToyBoy is 17 years younger, unemployed and looking to find a job waiting tables? Furthermore, these are not things he can manage himself, but he is relying on a woman technically old enough to be his mother to help him find? Any chance he needs a work permit or help immigrating or getting permanent status as well?

    I am sure this relationship will work out brilliantly for your EX, at least until he finds a wealthier customer who leaves bigger tips and offers more benefits.

    I hope you are thriving. The combination of ego and idiocy being exhibited here by your EX must have been exhausting to live with.

  • A few responses:

    1. There was no particular reason that I chose to ask for the UBT right at this moment. It’s something that had been on my mind for some time.

    2. I rather overplayed the affair partner’s career. In fact, he was working in a kitchen peeling potatoes before losing his job. He is, however, very good-looking indeed. Very nice arm-candy for a 50-year-old woman who regularly undergoes cosmetic surgery in order to hang out with a much younger group of ‘friends’.

    3. My ex-wife has a very well-paid and powerful job. During the divorce I was granted access to her personal bank accounts: she is already regularly giving him ‘loans’ and has been doing so for some time.

    4. I’m not surprised that my ex is the one who is looking for work for her lover. She likes to control everything and I mean EVERYTHING. I didn’t realise how much until I left her.

    Thank you so much everyone for your words of support and validation.

  • This is funny, because I made a post on reddit not so long ago saying that there’s nothing complex in this, it is very very simple. They either want out, want something on the side, or they fell in love with someone else. And instead of dealing with those feelings, they make a mess out of it by lying and gaslighting. One bit that annoyed me the most was this:

    “If you really wanted to hurt your partner you’d tell them the truth.”

    No. By telling the truth you set someone else free. Nearly everyone would say that the actual cheating isn’t even the worst part, it’s the lies, the gaslighting and being played for a fool that stings the most. The years you’ve lost because someone wouldn’t tell you the truth. The things you would have done if you only knew the truth.

    Fwiw, I don’t think all cheaters are narcissists. They’re all entitled assholes though, and no I don’t think everyone is capable of cheating, that’s the equivalent of those who tell you everyone is capable of stealing or murder in certain circumstances. As CL points out, in our society we have the opportunity to split from someone without having to mindfuck them first

    • Add to your list, deep desire to destroy anything they touch because life without intense drama is not worth living. My ex thrived on drama, loved to cause it, loved to live it, loved blame everyone else for it. When I refused to accommodate him he made sure to find it elsewhere. When I told my therapist that he withdrew from me she correctly pointed out that my refusal to live in and engage with his drama was actually me withdrawing from him hence his blowing up our family for a woman who really made it clear in no uncertain terms (she aborted his baby) she was not interested in building a life with him.

      • Mine says he hates drama, while creating all the drama. And the woman he chose (she’s the AP on top of it) is already twice divorced at 38. Now, I’m not divorce shaming, I’m just pointing out that the choices my ex makes are soap-operesque

    • “If you really wanted to hurt your partner you’d tell them the truth.”

first let’s remove that passive voice:

“If I really wanted to hurt you, I’d tell you the truth.”

      Such a mindfuck of a statement. It got under my skin too. But it also surprises me how much cheaters own themselves whenever they open their mouths. 

She thinks she is making some statement about how she didn’t want to hurt anyone, but all she is doing is proving she knew it was wrong all along. “I knew the truth would hurt you, and I didn’t want to face the consequences of my actions, so I withheld the truth.”

      Not to mention there is a veiled threat in there, “I can hurt you when I wish, by telling you all the terrible things I’ve done behind your back.”



      It’s not showing the character she is so desperate to project in this letter.

      • My ex used the excuse to lie to “protect” both me and our son many many times. I think it’s victim blame-ish, like look I have to lie to you because you cannot handle it! Whereas they’re just protecting their own arse. It’s true, it’s better when they shut up, when they speak they show how they live in another dimension

    • vee,

      “They either want out, want something on the side, or they fell in love with someone else.”

      The only thing I’d like to push against here is the notion that “they fell in love with someone else.” That implies a certain passivity–as if they were struck by cupid’s arrow while minding their own business. Instead, there are so many actions, including texts and trysts–that had to take place before actually falling in love. They *choose* to take these actions.

      And I would tweak your list a bit because I don’t think all of them are even unhappy with their marriages and want out or want something on the side. Instead, they see an opportunity and jump on it because they prioritize their own selfish needs/wants.” #YOLO!

      • I wasn’t justifying it, however I do think it’s pretty “mundane” if it makes any sense. My ex went to great lengths to avoid admitting he fell in love with his colleague, he made it massively weird by telling me the oddest made up stories, whenever he was just the run of the mill husband who makes it big and replaces his college sweetheart who was by his side for 17 years when he was neither rich nor flashy, for something that in his opinion suits his image better. I’ve always heard stories like this all throughout my life, it wasn’t complex, and he wasn’t complex either.

        I think those who don’t want to leave and just want something on the side are the yolo type, selfish to the core. I do agree that the majority aren’t even unhappy in their marriages, nevertheless even then it’s not complex. It’s just plain old fuckwittery

      • Yep, I can’t help falling in love shit don’t hunt.

        You have to actually get to know someone to fall in love. Fell in lust, sure that happens. And if you act on that lust, then don’t be surprised when the neurons and chemical start firing and you fancy your self in luv, for the first time ever. BAER (Big Ass Eye Roll)

        Most of them just want to act on the lust, then act surprised when they get their short hairs caught in a mess.

        • I will admit that I have a narrow definition of “love”.

          God is love…He created it, He is love personified. “For God so loved the world that HE gave His only Son….”. Real love is pure. The God I worship does not concoct situations where someone has to betray and abuse the very people they vowed to care for and protect. Im sure my Cheater had dopamine niggling some receptors in his brain and there was surely interest and lust, but I refuse to see what my Cheater did as “love”.

          As much as everything he did to me hurt horribly, his claim that his true love was for Susan was something I refused to accept. They didn’t KNOW each other, they only know the images that each other flashed in their forbidden mating dance. She didn’t know he was an abusive rage, he didn’t know see that anyone willing to fuck a married man is not a good woman.

          and I hate the excuse of “falling in love” like its a sprinkling of fairy dust. People need time to develop feelings for each other…the sort of time that married people ought not spend with other people. Even with my now husband, I avoid the “in love” phrase…it is too fragile…as if unexpectedly “falling out” could happen at any moment. For me, love is not a passive state of being, it is manifest action of a solid reality.

          • I feel this to my core. The pure love you speak of. And the FACT that To fall in love you have to spend a lot of time together. Time a married man ought not to be spending with someone. I feel this so much and think of my ex and schmoopie.

            I told him he was watering someone else’s lawn, and maintaining someone else’s lawn when he should have been watering and maintaining his own lawn. He didn’t even understand me. He said I mow a lot of lawns. Am I supposed to be having an affair with Mike too? (He’s does make ready for rental property so he mows a lot of lawns for Mike the homeowner). What an ass had to deflect the truth with some gaslighting.

  • At the end of my 36 year marriage I pictured my STBX as a high speed train hurtling off the tracks. Trouble is, I was stuck on a train ride that I didn’t purchase a ticket for. And when it crashed, the kids & I were just collateral damage.

    Back to Reality’s XW is only thinking of herself. She wanted her train to crash “ into someone else’s safe arms. Someone else to help you through. To tell you you’re not a monster. Make the landing softer.” Not a care for the passengers. Not a care for the promise she made on your wedding day that the train would go the speed it was supposed to go & go the places it agreed to go to. What a pity letter, excusing herself, & full of blame for BTR and pretending that their daughter is on her side.

    This letter is a perfect example of why there really is no meaningful contact with cheaters – it’s simply not possible. I’m sorry you had to try, BTR.

    • I adore you for that, Yogi Chump. I felt like for years I was the only one that said “WTF?” when I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-serving BS

      And Back to Reality — just let that shit go. You now know for absolute certain that you got freedom from crazy. You can now step outside, breathe in the fresh air and find real friends (grey rock her, however)

      Brovo CL! UBT had it’s cookie-laden hands full with that tripe

    • SchmooperFreak LOVED Elizabeth Gilbert. Which, thankfully, is one of the many reasons I have not (and never will) read a single, sick-inducing word she’s written.

      • I’m ashamed to say I loved reading Eat, Pray, Love, but was then appalled when I found out what she really did before that trip. She confessed it in the NY Times or something, that she was not only cheating but literally going to couples therapy with her husband and doing a different couples therapy with the guy she was having the affair with. And then she just ran away from the giant mess she created. Cheating may be common, but it still turns my stomach that so many people think it’s thrilling to betray people who love them. Like, why wouldn’t you know how fucked up that is and go to therapy first? When we’re chumps, we’re basically slowly becoming some hallucination of a parent the cheater wants to rebel against and they’re seemingly completely not self aware enough. They blameshift etc. like this stupid bitch did in the letter above. Anything but look at how they are not that great and not that special to say the least. They’re rebellious and immature attention whores. That’s it.

  • Ummm, this whole thing is blowing up my mind. My favorite part of the salad? The look inside the cheaters mind, at a little item called ‘consequences’:
    ‘I felt ashamed and scared when you found out about my cheating. I desperately wanted to hold back the tsunami that was about to hit. But I couldn’t. I would have said anything to give myself space to think. My daughter. My parents. My friends would also know what I did. How could I reduce the damage? That’s why when someone cheats they say all these things. They’re in a corner. Desperate for a way out. And there is none.’
    Rarely is there a peek into the twisted mind of a completely self-absorbed human! Probably a good thing. This is just like how X thinks- oh, those unfair consequences! Who did that? Surely not me!
    Deal with it, you dumb cheaters! It’s all you!

    • “I would have said anything to give myself space to think.”

      There you go. She would have said anything to “give [herself] space to think”–about how to turn things around so that she’s not the villain. About how to minimize the consequence of her actions About how to make it all someone else’s fault, which CL shows she goes on to do in the rest of this masterpiece of BS. And she thinks that EXCUSES her behavior.

      They will say anything. That’s all we need to know. This is why we don’t send them posts from CL or her book or websites on the narcissistic relationship cycle. They aren’t interested in learning.

  • “ I’m in the Darvo bento box”. CL, have you ever considered stand up comedy as a career? The way you combine humor with that razor sharp samurai sword you flawlessly wield through the deep dark bullshit is a thing of tremendous beauty to behold.
    BTR, so sorry for what you are going through. There is no joy gained for any of us to see the numbers of chump membership grow exponentially, it truly does suck.
    Thanks for sharing your story with us, I think you already know full on what you’re dealing with there, but I get needing the continuous validation of “ is it me or them?” cycling through our minds in an endless loop.
    “Trust that she sucks” and write it on your bathroom mirror so you stay the only sane member of the nightmare that has invaded your waking days. It’s eerily sick how similar they are in their flip the scrip narratives and incredulous belief in their own made up hand written life story, which bears no resemblance to actual reality.
    It frustrates them beyond measure that you no longer engage their narrative and they cannot get their masks back on and they have become tarnished in your view, image is everything to them. They’ve played the lie, betray, deceive game for so long they actually really do believe ( mandatory to their survival) that they are justified in playing it.
    What’s the matter with you? Why don’t you want to drink the special batch of kool aide she’s concocted just for you? How are all her plans of how this ridiculous scheme is going to work out happen if you don’t go in the square on her chess board she has assigned to you?! Damn, she is furious you won’t play along! Your are screwing up her vision of the grand plan of how she would make this work for everyone, she’s calculated it all in her head. Why are you not playing along?
    Of course, the only person that it actually will ever work out force benefit in any way is her, but she is after all that special that it only seems reasonable to see it that way.
    And what she is doing to your daughter is criminal. That’s been my biggest hurt with all this craziness, the harm it is doing to my three amazing kids. That’s hard to take in.
    But they don’t see, they can’t see,they don’t want to see and you can’t make them see. And that’s what we are dealing with here. We’ve got nothing to work with.
    I agree with the consensus of CN, no contact or only essential contact is the only way to heal. Distance from the madness does help.
    Yes, she is on the planet of narcissists, maybe a high ranking official of some sort, and the indication from her written word displays she is way the hell up there in rank too. It is not you.
    Distraction from them living in our minds as much as we can till we find ourselves in a beautiful field surrounded by nature with them nowhere in sight and we begin to feel the peace and safety warm us. These are terribly sick, unfixable people, we can’t change that up, no one has those tools.
    I don’t wish my ex anything bad in this world, I just wish him gone from mine is all. I sometimes wish he could get it though, but the more posts I read here, the closer I am to understanding that is not something remotely obtainable or worthy of wishing for.
    Hang with CL and her nation for awhile, so many wise, kind and giving people post and some really helpful advice I’ve garnered here, it’s been a great source of comfort in my own healing journey.
    The UBT is a tremendously accurate instrument, trust in its ability to expose truths we wish we didn’t have to see.
    Sorry for your hurt, I do believe we will all get to a better place. The support here has been priceless.

    • “I don’t wish my ex anything bad in this world, I just wish him gone from mine is all.”

      This is a perfect encapsulation of how I feel as well.

  • Oh, my the word salad, straight out of a drunk existential philosopher-of-old’s mouth.

    But the cheater diatribe was so worth it for the UBT’s “I fuck for oxygen.” We need bumper stickers to apply to cheater cars.

    • My thought exactly…word salad! Sheesh. How about instead, a simple “I’m sorry I cheated, it was shitty of me and I’m self reflecting on what part of me allowed that to happen so I can change it. In the meantime, take most of our assets and know that I won’t bother you again so that you can build a life without my toxic presence.” lol, as if

  • “You’re just as unhappy, bitter, and full of hate as you were when you first found out I was having an affair.”

    Yep! as CL says, “It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it.”https://www.chumplady.com/2016/10/yeah-thats-not-apology/

  • I read somewhere ( quite possibly CL ) the best strategy for dealing with these idiots and have lived by it for a few years now ( as far as possible when kids are involved). It’s summarised as:

    Don’t talk to Stupid

    It really is a waste of time dealing with these twats. Dr Simon ( and the other versions quoted) nail it. This letter just confirms it.

  • It’s been a couple years since I left a narcissist who was likely cheating on me (mostly left because he was just an emotionally and psychologically abusive asshole). But I keep coming back to this website especially for UBTs like this. I feel like it keeps me sharp whenever I see people write BS like this. The structure of this letter actually reminds me a lot of one of the last emails I got from someone I am no longer friends with. It’s a letter that acts like they want everything between us to be smooth, but really it’s all your fault things are this way no matter how horrible their behavior was. These f’ed up people are not worth being around no matter whether they’re your romantic partner, friend or family. Nothing but very limited communication and strong boundaries against these types. If you have no ties like a child, just no-contact.

  • This website is a stupendously great resource. No matter how healed you think you might be, there’s always a place for more healing.

  • This is such an awful letter.
    To bring in the daughter as a character reference makes it really worse.
    Why can’t cheaters say :”Hey, I really fucked up . I see the errors in my behavior and aim to do better in my next relationship ”
    I could live with that .

    I recently got an email from my ex.
    We are 3 years out, the divorce is settled. I have paid her 65% of everything to make her go away.
    After the mediation I found out that she had not declared two bank accounts.
    Which is illegal.
    I told her that I knew about it, about a year ago.

    Since then she repeatedly accused me of only caring about money.
    How I have been awful and punishing to her.
    ( I got cheated on and paid her more than $600.000 . I am awful)

    She just needs this narrative: AFS is evil, therefore my cheating is justified.

    I replied :
    I am not available for discussions about the past.
    I have moved on.
    Thanks
    AFS

    Maybe no reply would be better

  • Dear Back To Reality,
    I’m so happy that you are now free.
    When I read the letter you posted from your ex, my head spun.
    I nearly drowned in the BS.
    I felt disoriented reading it.

    What a completely manipulative B****

    For your mental health, go no contact – Facebook, everything. Rid yourself of Satan.👿

  • Here is a little micro UBT moment. The cheater writes,”Would I say I was a lifelong cheater? No.”

    She’s not saying she is NOT a lifelong cheater. She’s saying she won’t SAY she’s a lifelong cheater.

    Note in the next line she most directly states she is not a narcissist (and no doubt she believes that. How convenient that she can define that term any way she chooses). But she can’t redefine “lifelong cheater.” So she can only tell you she won’t SAY she is one.

    She knows what she is.

  • I sincerely doubt that “she knows what she is”. This revolting bint is totally invested in a faux scenario which portrays her as an Esther Perel figure who is a *victim* of nasty old BTR’s ‘spite and refusing to let go’. Ugh.

    A creature like that will *never* take any responsibility for anything. How I loathe her.

  • Ok, I’m just in a mood and I;ve always loved the UBT’s. Please allow me to post my own on this one.
    There is no special group of people called cheaters. Everyone is capable of it. Most people have done it. Some do it in past relationships.

    You have all the answers. You have everyone in their neat little boxes. And everyone who cheats is a narcissist and everyone who is cheated on is pure and a victim. I know where I sit in your eyes. Which box are you in though?

    Yes, I wear the scarlet letter. But you yelled at someone for running that red light the other day!! How dare you compare my right to do the naughty with Bob to your emotional abuse at the dinner table!! Seriously, I am done hearing about why I leave wrappers on the table. You see it’s about communication. You could have let me know about the wrappers. Instead I had to do the nasty with Bob. He doesn’t complain about picking up the condom wrappers, or wait, maybe he didn’t have one? Did I tell you that before we had sex again. Oh never mind about the little things.

    When you’re cheating you have to lie. Small lies at first but over time the web gets wider and deeper until you don’t know what’s real. If you really wanted to hurt your partner you’d tell them the truth. But you don’t want to and also don’t want to be found out. You’re ashamed but also enjoying the excitement.

    She isn’t lying about this. Yeah, truth hurts. If you care about you’re partner and you truly are remorseful, you’d man or woman up and do it. This is saying, well Damn, if you wouldn’t have found out, we’d be fine……LMAO. No, just NO.

    Forgive me if I gloss over a few things, I’m still not as mighty as Tracy. But I’ll go with the points that stick out to me glaringly.

    Would I say I was a lifelong cheater? No. Am I a narcissist? No. (Our daughter agrees and she knows everything about my behaviour). Are you a narcissist? A little. You swing between thinking you’re the greatest. The smartest and the funniest to complete self-loathing. I think now you have a chance to loath me it gives you a break from loathing yourself. Well if it makes you feel better why not?\

    Why are you talking to you’re daughter about this. That’s textbook narcissist or worse. Once again she makes this about you and you’re faults. This is no apology my friend. In her mind this is an absolution.

    She accepted absolutely zero blame in this letter without counterbalancing it to her perceived faults of you.

    I’m sorry your’re here friend. Tracy’s site was my salvation. Empowering. Do what you need to do for you. Without that, you can do nothing for anyone else. Godspeed

  • Jfc I’m so outraged this mindless twatwaffle had the fucking gall to call *him* the narcissist for basically having mood swings (which infidelity abuse can totally cause via ptsd and cptsd) but like cheating on you for 18 years being evidence of narcissism? Psssh come on, my *child* says no way and I definitely in no way manipulated that response out of her or am just lying. “I asked the barely adult person *I gave birth to* to explicitly condemn my most horrific actions and she didn’t, take that!”??!!?? What the everloving fuck is wrong with these people?

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