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Rejection man
Rejection Man

Dear Chump Lady,

I wasn’t married, but had been seriously dating someone for a year. I know this is nothing compared to a long marriage with kids and a house etc…but…

It’s been 7 months since D-day and 6 months of no contact, yet I still have days where I feel like I’m slogging up a hill with a bag of rocks on my back.

I’ve read your book, gone through most of the articles on your blog, read countless hours of articles online about how to overcome the mindfuck of being cheated on and I’ve meditated to try and release the trauma not only from my mind but also from my body. I try to practice forgiveness, I workout, I eat well and I spend time with friends… yet I just can’t seem to get over it.

I consider myself to be a strong person, but this has thrown me for such a loop because it’s not something I’ve experienced before. I’m still so incredibly heartbroken. It doesn’t help that FW moved on into a sparkly new relationship less than a month after D-day as if I never mattered.

Some days I feel rage, some days I feel sad, some days I want him back and other days I don’t. It seems to be a constant roller coaster of emotions.

You see, I’m the type of person who really tries to self-examine and take responsibility for what I contribute to the circumstances in my life… but I feel like in this scenario, constantly asking myself what I did to contribute to being cheated on from a seemingly good guy, or so I thought, isn’t getting me to a better place. I’m not perfect, but I feel like I was a pretty good boyfriend.

Upon D-day, I was told that:

1) “The relationship felt one-sided”, yet I work from home, so I would help do his laundry and clean the house while he was at the office just to help out. I also would buy him flowers and gifts just because, tell him that I loved him and show affection.

2) He felt he “had to walk around on eggshells around me”, yet I would always ask if I was meeting his needs or if there was anything he needed to talk about. He would always say things were great and that I was great.

3) He was “afraid I would leave him because I seemed wishy washy in my feelings for him at the beginning of the relationship”, yet I was a little guarded as one usually is at the beginning when you’re getting to know someone..

4) “You used to be fun, but lately you’re being needy and paranoid” — Of course I was coming across that way…my gut was screaming at me that something nefarious was going on and it was accurate.

All of the above was new news to me… he had never mentioned or communicated any of the above before D-day.

Moving on…

I’m cute, I have a great body, I’m smart, funny and kind. What makes the new guy better? Maybe my ego is just bruised, because I’m so confused at how someone could tell you how in love with you they are and treat you really well on the surface, all while lying to your face at the same time. I’ve never experienced this kind of hurt before.

Sometimes I feel like I won’t be able to get to meh until the Universe delivers justice… I just don’t see how I contributed or understand what I did to deserve what has happened.

I feel guilty about feeling this way, but I want him to suffer the way I have had to suffer, yet he has ridden off into the sunset with new lover.

Any advice on how I can just get over it already???

Sincerely,

Chumpenhearted

Dear Chumpenhearted,

This blog is one long recitation of how to get over it. But for every new person who stumbles over this place, the chump experience is unique and raw and feels insurmountable. (It’s not. The pain stops on Tuesday.)

Chumpenhearted, you’re normal. Self-recrimination? Check. Wobbly about trusting? Check. Nebulous thoughts of revenge or karmic justice? Check.

You bonded with a barbed wire monkey. A manipulator. A cheat. It happens. I can’t make you any promises it won’t happen again, because sadly these freaks are out there. But they aren’t the majority of people. And the good news is that once the pain wears off (it will), you’ll learn from this. You’ll develop better boundaries, and you’ll know yourself better — what you will and will not tolerate. Who shares your values, and who’s a phony.

As I say here a lot — we don’t control other people, we just control ourselves. So, going forward take comfort in your resiliency and your big loving heart. Of all the kinds of people to be in this world, wouldn’t you rather be the sort of person who commits? Who cares? Who talks things out and behaves ethically?

Your ex was a shallow puddle of a man. You aren’t. He’s not your people.

I know, he was a really nice mirage of a man. He fooled you. But thank God you’re not investing more of yourself in a toxic puddle.

Let’s break down his mindfuckery, okay?

1) “The relationship felt one-sided”, yet I work from home, so I would help do his laundry and clean the house while he was at the office just to help out. I also would buy him flowers and gifts just because, tell him that I loved him and show affection.

Yeah, it was one-sided — you were doing all the work. And he was enjoying the lopsided benefits of your care, plus cheating. Healthy relationships are based on reciprocity — find a guy who wants to do for you as much as you want to do for him.

Thing is with freaks is, no matter how much you do, they NEVER feel like it’s enough. They sit on the sidelines and point out where you missed a spot. Thus his projection — that the relationship feels one-sided. Unsaid: In his favor.

Takeaway — check yourself, are you over-performing when your partner is under-performing? Do you tell yourself “Oh, he would do the same for me…” and then he doesn’t? Do you think you need to jump through flaming hoops to be worthy of a boyfriend? The goal is a good man, not a circus ringleader.

There are a bazillion people on this planet who would CHERISH a generous, thoughtful boyfriend like you. Don’t doubt your worth for a minute.

2) He felt he “had to walk around on eggshells around me”, yet I would always ask if I was meeting his needs or if there was anything he needed to talk about. He would always say things were great and that I was great.

More projection. I’m guessing he was not the most sensitive conversationalist after D-Day if he’s responding with this barrage of blameshifting.

He didn’t speak up before about his “needs” because his need was an un-level playing field. An abusive power dynamic, where you invested fully and he did not. His “need” was secrecy about his advantage. So, now after discovery? He needs to gin up some unhappiness that compelled him to cheat.

Takeway: You did right to communicate your needs and ask about his. You only control your side of the investment. It’s HIS job to communicate his unhappiness. He didn’t, because he doesn’t actually value honesty in his relationships, he values advantage. Nothing to work with.

3) He was “afraid I would leave him because I seemed wishy washy in my feelings for him at the beginning of the relationship”, yet I was a little guarded as one usually is at the beginning when you’re getting to know someone..

Poor Timid Forest Creature. If this guy has abandonment issues, I’m a woodland mushroom. Sounds like you were cautious of his love bombing.

Takeaway: This is nonsense. If you’re afraid of being left, you don’t do the thing that pretty much guarantees you will be left. He’s just setting the manipulation dial to self-pity. And blameshifting — you’re the baddie and gosh, he had to cheat defensively because of something you MIGHT do.

You could extend that “logic” to anything. I have to hit this puppy with a shovel because you MIGHT wear a pearl-snap shirt today.

4) “You used to be fun, but lately you’re being needy and paranoid” — Of course I was coming across that way…my gut was screaming at me that something nefarious was going on and it was accurate.

Yeah, being gaslighted is so jolly.

Takeaway: Listen to your gut.

Now, let’s do you.

I’m cute, I have a great body, I’m smart, funny and kind.

Yes, and none of this protected you from being chumped. Which probably challenges your assumptions about how the world works. I Did All the Right Things! Why did this bad thing happen?

Because love makes us vulnerable and you can’t do intimacy without trust and vulnerability. There are bad actors who will abuse trust. The answer is NOT to never be vulnerable again, but to be less smug and do better risk assessment. Have faith in your worth AND your resiliency. That’s the way forward.

What makes the new guy better?

Nothing. He could be anyone. He’s shiny. You started seeing through your ex’s shit. Your shiny was wearing off. Vapid people need narcissistic supply.

This is all untangling the skein. Who knows the ways of fuckwits? The answer is you are cute, hot, smart, funny and kind. Is your ex-boyfriend worthy of such awesomeness? NO. But I can’t really make that decision for you — you’ve got to ask yourself, is this relationship acceptable to me? Should someone this worthy give someone so unworthy his mental real estate?

I’m so confused at how someone could tell you how in love with you they are and treat you really well on the surface, all while lying to your face at the same time. I’ve never experienced this kind of hurt before.

I’m sorry. It really sucks. Cheating is the theft of your reality. People don’t really understand that unless it’s happened to them.

After D-Day, you got your reality back. It’s incredibly painful, but always choose reality over artifice.

You lost a FAKE boyfriend. When you miss who you thought he was, remind yourself — he’s a fraud.

Being chumped says NOTHING about who you are. You still have your loving heart, your great body, and your humor. Your ex has rotten cottage cheese for character and a new sucker.

You lost a year. Please don’t give this guy another minute.

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.
  • There is something restless and broken in these people. They are never satisfied for very long.

    Even when they do stay with the new person for awhile, you can be sure the same mind games continue.

    The good that was in the relationship was all YOU.

    • I seem to have come to the realization on reflection that the hoewrecker he replaced me with isn’t better, just different.

      I also reflected on some of the things he said to me throughout the 7 yr relationship: according to the ditch pig, intimacy was the feeling after an orgasm. Yep, without that he couldn’t feel close or intimate. I’m, like what? There’s so much more!

      I realized 6 yrs, 9 months too late that his idea of relationships is primal, basic and really only amounted to infatuation. The hormones that give you the butterfly feelings and when those wear off he looks for another partner to stir those feelings.

      He found one and probably others through the 7 yrs I was with him.

      The interaction I unfortunately had to whiteness because of what we were doing at the time I sure couldn’t understand. She acted like a bitch in heat. People asked me what was wrong with her. I don’t know, think of a female cat that’s in heat and you won’t let her out of the house. Almost unbearable! She knew he and I were together but he was the Käpt’n she wuvs. Her husband and I were totally chumped and gaslighted by the two of them. It’s amazing what this can do to your grey cells in an effort to comprehend.

      Leave the 2 vapid, sociopathic users and abusers to their own demise. Being alone is far better than being with a partner that is so callous, simple and selfish.

      • “I seem to have come to the realization on reflection that the hoewrecker he replaced me with isn’t better, just different.”

        Exactly! And the difference is she is oblivious enough to buy all of his bullsh*t.

      • How are you even able to recall all this shyt without vomiting? God this shyt makes my head hurt.

  • Note to the newbies: If the person with whom you are in a relationship ever describes you as “harsh”, “inflexible”, “too black and white”, “judgmental”, or that they “have to walk on eggshells around you”, that is a tell. What that means is that they are aware you have strong boundaries around certain issues, i.e. cheating, and they are engaging in behavior that comes right up against or crosses over those boundaries. This is blatant gaslighting in an attempt to throw you off the scent. Listen to what your gut is telling you, and don’t be fooled. If you feel uneasy, there’s always a good reason for that. They are aware that what they are doing is wrong, and they are also very aware that you would not be okay with what they were doing if you knew the truth. So their goal is to manipulate your reality, so that their version of the truth is the only one you believe.

    • Check on all of those phrases. Odd because all of the other people I met commented on how “accommodating, laidback, flexible, available, sincere, and easygoing” I was. I should have listened to them instead of the cheater.

      • Before D-Day, I repeated FW’s DARVO-isms to a friend and lawyer who I’ve worked with pro bono on advocacy projects for years. She started laughing hysterically. When she calmed down, she said his blame reversals were total garbage and that’s how she knew he was “obviously cheating.”

        After being boiled like frogs for ages in FW bullshit saunas, we all could use a nice refreshing plunge in the icy-objective-perspective pond. Great for the complexion.

    • 👏👏👏

      Yes! Along with saying you are “mean” “cold” “frigid” or “you hate me” and “you don’t love me” – all when you are working your ass off to please them.

      • “Jump through the hoop little circus dog ! Now higher !”
        Or
        “Tap dance faster Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire! Now spin ! How ‘bout a back flip ?”

      • I would add these two (my cheater’s favs):

        1. “You’re too sensitive.”

        2. “You never liked x,” which is often a lie but a way for the cheater to rationalize being with someone new who (apparently) does like x.

        • When I see “searching for my soulmate” on dating apps I understand it as “searching for an idealized perfect person that shares 100% of my interests and tastes, will never disagree with me. Ever.” One of the things my ex trotted out post d-day was that I made my ramen noodles too fancy and he liked them plain. 🙄

          • “One of the things my ex trotted out post d-day was that I made my ramen noodles too fancy and he liked them plain. 🙄”

            I think when the excuses are that lame, it shows just how low they are.

            The best my ex could come up with was my housekeeping wasn’t spit shiney enough. Did matter that I worked full time and did almost all of his volunteer work for him, so he could get his grand promotion.

            Then he went with the whore who my own son said made me look like Martha Stewart in comparison. I didn’t know that until just recently, when he and I were talking about some things.

            • Have you heard the song “Build-a-Bitch”? Hilarious.
              https://youtu.be/FLGCGc7sAUw

              The boys are always playing dolls
              Looking for their Barbie
              They don’t look like Ken at all
              Hardly have a heartbeat

              Need someone who falls apart
              So he can play Prince Charming
              If that’s the kind of girl he wants
              Then he forgot

              This ain’t build a bitch (a bitch)
              You don’t get to pick and choose
              Different ass and bigger boobs
              If my eyes are brown or blue

              This ain’t build a bitch (a bitch)
              I’m filled with flaws and attitude
              So if you need perfect, I’m not built for you (one, two, three)
              La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

              • Ha so true.

                My ex literally let termites destroy our laundry room and a portion of our living room, while both my then teen son and I were telling him it was termites. he kept saying no it isn’t.

                Bottom lone was he didn’t want to spend the money on the fix. He was too busy fucking around and fucking around takes money. He rarely did any home repairs, I learned to do some of them, and he would just do temp/crap fixes, but yet I was at fault because I didn’t dust often enough. I guess that was it, because I kept it cleared out, his laundry done, (I even ironed his dammed work shirts) kept the bathroom and kitchen squeaky clean, did all the cooking, worked full time, did his volunteer work, went to school to try to get a promotion so he could buy a bigger boast. None of it mattered, he lived a double life; until the last year when the discard started.

        • … and they never connect the dots that the reason you aren’t happy is because they are cheating/lying/abusing you.

          I got the “you’re un-pleaseable” line constantly. And you know what? He was right. I would never be pleased with cheating, lying, smashing stuff, breaking things, stealing our money, and forcing me to take care of everything. No one sane would be happy with that.

          • Oh good night! I got both the “you’re un-pleaseable”, “judgemental”, “I can never make you happy” and “That’s why I don’t talk to you- you know because you are such a difficult person.

            Just like the others above said. My coworkers and family see me as being easy going, kind, fun, and generous.

    • That walking on eggshells thing really fooled me.

      As my relationship grew increasingly unacceptable (and abusive), and I started to think, ‘Huh, this all seems abusive.’ Then I started looking into emotional abuse, and one of the red flags is feeling like you’re walking on eggshells – which my ex always claimed he had to do around me. He would do or say something really unreasonable, and then if I disagreed, expressed how it made me feel, or quietly left the room, he’d say something like, “I just wanted to have a nice evening!” Or, “and I was really looking forward to you coming home.” He’d get angry with me and say I was too sensitive.

      So when I saw the abuse red flags, I thought, maybe I’m abusive? I was confused by other parts of the cycle, too: neglect and no sex were problems for me, not unwanted sexual advances. And he’d love bomb me, which was the opposite of nasty verbal remarks. And of course, cheating is never included in the cycle of abuse. My ex was also physically abusive, in “small” ways at first. He tried to say we both were. I wasn’t. It’s part of the game, but it’s mind bending.

      In the past week, I’ve been learning about the narcissistic cycle of abuse. This, and the cheater cycles I’ve learned about here, fit my experiences in often eerily similar ways. I’ve been grateful
      for this information and the validation/reassurance it provides.

    • “What that means is that they are aware you have strong boundaries around certain issues, i.e. cheating, and they are engaging in behavior that comes right up against or crosses over those boundaries.“

      Sunny, thank you for writing this! And everything in your comment. Being abused doesn’t mean you’re weak or don’t have any boundaries. I think this is one of the most confusing parts about coming to terms with abuse and what it means to be a chump. To decipher what’s yours and what isn’t, and to learn how to grow and how to avoid repeating mistakes. This is also why my recent discovery of the narcissistic abuse cycle made so much sense to me! It includes the victim fighting the abuse and standing up for her/himself before and after the devaluation.

    • Yes, projecting on you. Standard game when they don’t want to be responsible for their issues.

      I always struggled with all the labels he threw on me because my friends and other family members said I was a kind and caring person. They said that I was very intuitive and thoughtful.

      He said I was a utter wreck and didn’t deserve to be married. He said that if my friends knew what I was really like, they would hate me.

      Thankfully I sorted all of that out. His divorce attorney initially believed all the cr*p my ex told him, but ultimately sorted out who-was-who. As if a thrice-married divorce attorney (he had been married to wife #3 for over 20 years) didn’t know anything about that sort of thing. When closeout wasn’t going well, he told my attorney to tell me that he felt sorry for me and was doing all he could to get things done.

    • That did me so much good to read! My ex would call me ‘totalitarian’ or tell me ‘Everything’s such high stakes to you’…and I would be like, I just have boundaries (you know, weird ones like don’t sext other women…he called me thought police and I was there going um…texting is an action, not a thought), and yeah, my life and my heart are pretty high stakes. He made my head spin because he was always making me feel uptight or prudish when previously I’d always been described as laid back and easygoing. Yet somehow, until I read this, I never totally understood it for the controlling shit it was.

  • Cheating is the theft of your reality.
    That is a relatable definition. So tangible I can fold it.
    Thanks CL

      • So true Mitz and Marcus.
        And for me accepting the reality of who Mr Great really was has been key. In the early days when I went for counseling, all I could do was talk (sob) about how wonderful he was… So I was sure I must have done something because nobody that wonderful would do what he did. The therapists never thought to say that perhaps he wasn’t that wonderful after all! Needed CL for that!

        • In his own way our preacher did tell me that. He said to me, you need to get mad, I don’t understand why you are not mad. I was mad, but I think I was still in such shock i couldn’t react yet. I finally did. I used that rage to move myself forward.

    • “Cheating is the theft of your reality.”

      Yes, and it encompasses the whole of marriage; trust, respect, physical health, finances etc”

  • Chumpenhearted – It hurts. It will continue to hurt for longer than it “should” because YOU invested. YOU cared. YOU valued the relationship.

    He is a hollow chocolate bunny. You are a solid chocolate bunny. He tried to chomp on your ears and tail to then fill up his emptiness but it didn’t work. It couldn’t work. If he truly wanted to be a solid chocolate bunny (or even a real one), he would do the hard work on HIMSELF, not use others as some sort of ganache or cheat sheet.

    You are still a worthy person – no matter what.

    Tuesday does exist and it will probably appear so gradually as you go about living your life, free of Fuck Wit, that you won’t realize it immediately. But it is coming. It will come faster if you banish him and any vestiges of him from your life.

    That includes Switzerland friends. They can go too. Your standards are much, much higher!

    • “He is a hollow chocolate bunny. You are a solid chocolate bunny. He tried to chomp on your ears and tail to then fill up his emptiness but it didn’t work. It couldn’t work. If he truly wanted to be a solid chocolate bunny (or even a real one), he would do the hard work on HIMSELF, not use others as some sort of ganache or cheat sheet.”

      OMG this is profound, and comic genius. Thank you NSC!

  • I don’t think partners are ever really “real” to FWs, where they see us a full person, intrinsically valuable, with emotions, feelings and needs of our own. We are more like a vase or a toaster, an object of utility If it breaks, how sad, go to Target and get another one and explain to anyone who notices that your old toaster was crappy and defective and you had to replace it.

    Of course, this is not visible to us toasters in the begining, because our partners real selves are hiding behind a mask of love and sanity. The mask dropping was the single most shocking experience of my life.

    • ^^This. I’ve heard the appliance metaphor many times, but the version that really stuck with me recently was the Vending Machine. Other people aren’t people in my ex’s world. In his world, he is the only real person with real thoughts, needs, dreams, etc. Everybody else (especially women!) are just Vending Machines that are there to dispense kibble to him if he just pushes the right buttons for each machine. And he dedicated a great deal of time and energy to learning which buttons he had to push with me, in which order, to get the kibble he wanted. Some narcs only want positive kibble, but mine would take any flavor: happiness, tears, rage, affection. The only thing he couldn’t stand was pushing my buttons and not getting anything out. When that finally starting happening (because my buttons were just plumb wore out), he started looking for a new Vending Machine.

      Somehow once I grasped this concept, my 20-year relationship with old Best Regards snapped into focus. I don’t know why I couldn’t accept before that he didn’t love me, that he didn’t know what love was, but for some reason once I understood that people aren’t people to his toddler brain, they’re vending machines, everything popped into place. It was a major step forward in my recovery. I could stop blaming myself for not being able to forge a real connection with Best Regards. How can you, if you believe you’re in a relationship with a living, breathing, sacred human being—meanwhile, they think they’re in a relationship with a Vending Machine? It helped.

      • Hilariously relatable metaphor! I think of my nipples as those pull handles on vending machines now! Thanks!

    • I remember when we were young, about 20 had been married a couple years.

      He told me a joke which was: the definition of a wife; “an appliance that you screw on the bed and it does all the housework” It was just a joke that a co worker had told him (he was in the Army at the time).

      Little did I know…

      • Yup. He joked to his single pals that men needed to “manage down expectations from the beginning, that way she’ll be happy when you meet that low bar you set for yourself.”

        In retrospect, he had more red flags than a communist China military parade. I waved them all off. Ugh.

    • Yes I agree. You know what’s messed up? My ex husband told me I should read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut. I liked what I had read of his but I hadn’t read that one.

      My ex described it as a man who thinks everyone around him is a robot therefore he can do anything he wants because who cares if he hurts or kills a robot? So he’s basically all powerful. He made it sound like a horror story about a serial killer.

      So I read it and I’m thinking… this is nothing like he described. Yes, the man has a delusion of people being robots but it’s more fearful than him saying, “heh heh, this is awesome, I can kill or rape all these here robots as much as I want.” It’s a mental breakdown. It was a good book but I didn’t see it the way my ex did at all. I was confused by his interpretation.

      Now I look back on that and I think oh my fucking God! He seized on that everybody being robots thing because that’s so exciting to him. Because he doesn’t see people as people and would love to use and abuse them with no consequences at his whim.

      So many weird little things that didn’t seem important at the time now make sense. It is definitely a shock when the mask falls off and you get it and start thinking about things that happened in the past and go oh, that’s why they did that. Now I get it.

    • You described my ex perfectly. He never thought of me as a person, just a toaster. (Of course I didn’t know that until it was too late.)

      “The mask dropping was the single most shocking experience of my life.” Yes! If anyone had told me he was capable of cheating, lying, and gaslighting, I would have told them they were hallucinating.

  • Reciprocity. Reciprocity. Reciprocity.

    That’s the boundary and the armour and the goal. You clearly are emotionally literate and giving, so take the time to find those qualities in a partner.

    The length of a brief, failed relationship doesn’t mean less pain, but the MUTUAL effort required over the long haul are what a committed relationship looks like.

    • Just to be clear – reciprocity does not mean “keeping score” or “matching gifts”. It means being aware of the balance of emotional investment and risk.

  • Dude. Please believe me when I tell you, its not you. Some people are just pathological assholes, they come in to.our lives daily. You may have been zealous but those who possess pureness in their hearts accept and honor the efforts. Your FW is certainly going to feel the errors of his ways rest assured of that. Your best course of action is to be strong and live. You obviously have so much love to give that only a moron would be blind to it. Please look at yourself in a mirror every day and like what you see. It may not happen all at once but it surely will if you give yourself a chance.

    • I very rarely hear this on this site, but reciprocity can work in reverse too. My fuckwit liked to do a lot because he was covertly controlling and a covert narcissist. He wanted all the praise and all the light to shine on him. He would literally take jobs away from other in our family. He would get up before me to do chores around the house and then (in hindsight) would be passive aggressive about it.
      I was always trying to do more for him, and tell him he didn’t have to join me in tasks… because he was always there always helping out with everything – if he wasn’t doing it on his own.

      ‘ no matter how much you do, they NEVER feel like it’s enough. They sit on the sidelines and point out where you missed a spot. Thus his projection — that the relationship feels one-sided’ –
      in my case, during the discard, I was told for the 1st time that I didn’t help out with this or that & I was made to feel like I clearly wasn’t pulling my weight! Even though he was NEVER asked to do anything, he always turned down offers of help (said he enjoyed the task) and he took over things – he was sitting on the sidelines judging me, feeling like a victim and being all passive aggressive about it.

      • I’m so pleased to read this comment, the FW I married was the same, he worked 12 hr shifts so would cook and clean when I was working, he did everything for the kudos of Mr wonderful. I thought he was. Nah, the real him is an out and out liar, cheater, gaslighter, miserable boring, friendless POS.

      • I had the same. My FW was endlessly helpful and generous. Way over the top. It made me feel guilty that I wasn’t as “good” a person as him. It was all a front for his sleezy coercive harassment of women, numerous infidelities and lies, and coercion of me sexually. People were shocked when I told them who he really was. But there were several among my friends who weren’t that surprised, they were the ones he’d propositioned or saw him acting slimy or just felt there was something creepy about him.

        • Gavin de Becker in “The Gift of Fear” calls it loansharking. Classic manipulation tactic.

  • If someone hit you with a Mack truck, by accident, at full speed, when you were looking the other way, the impact would be about one second long. The pain, damage, and trauma would be significant and the time to recover would be inestimable.

    Being cheated on is the emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual equivalent of being hit by a Mack truck. Intentionally. By the driver and a passenger invited into the cab to make sure they inflict maximum damage.

    I think the length of time you’re in the relationship matters only in how long it takes to clean up the crime scene or how long it takes to heal.

    I know I would have been far less injured in a less lengthy or less invested relationship. But the gauge is how I was affected, not how long the relationship lasted.

    If someone uses the sharpest knife in the drawer to assault me, it doesn’t really matter how big the knife was. Respecting how I feel and getting help is what matters. Don’t pay ANY attention to anyone who dismisses or minimizes how you feel.

    Trauma is relative to the individual and defined by the individual, not an outsider.
    (Dr. Peter Levine)

  • It’s only been 7 months since DDay. That’s a very short time, you’re still in the throes of processing it all, and that shit takes a *long* time to get through. Six months of NC is *really* mighty, well done!

    Keep on doing what you’re doing, it will get better. Make your mantra “trust that he sucks”, because he really does, and you *don’t*.

    And as CL points out, it’s not that the new guy is better, he’s just new – these fuckwits have all the depth of a puddle of piss.

    You’re a stock that trades high, honest, articulate, faithful. Make sure you have strong boundaries, watch for red flags, insist on reciprocity. ((hugs)). 💕

  • The new guy isn’t better. He’s just new. Fuckwit can impress him. But you know him better, so you know he isn’t so great, therefore your value is diminished in his eyes. New guy will be in that same position in a few months, then he will need another new guy, on and on until he’s too old to get it up.

    He’s a pathetic little turd. You’ll recover in time and have a wonderful life without people like him in it, but he’ll always be a coward and an asshole.

    Oh, and those accusations he made? Straight out of the cheater playbook. They all project their failings onto you and try to twist your virtues into flaws. It’s uncanny how alike like all are.

  • Oh boy, all this sounds so familiar. I’m sorry you had to go through this. It’s like they know exactly how you’ll respond to the self-pitying blame shifting: by questioning yourself. And even when you realize nothing you did or didn’t do made them cheat, you start questioning how chumpy you must have appeared in the relationship that they think you’ll buy their load of manipulative crap. Two years out it’s embarrassing he thinks I’m that stupid, tbh.

    “If you’re afraid of being left, you don’t do the thing that pretty much guarantees you will be left.”

    Thank you, Chump Lady! This completely illogical justification by cheater was one of THE key realizations that freed me from self doubt. It makes no logical sense in any universe, and you start to see that half of what he says is complete bullshit after-the-fact justification. Chumpenhearted, pay attention to this! It will free you from the toxic manipulative bullshit mixtape playing in your head.

  • “‘ “You used to be fun, but lately you’re being needy and paranoid” — Of course I was coming across that way…my gut was screaming at me that something nefarious was going on and it was accurate.”

    I think this is the most insidious part of chumpdom, they manipulate us, and use us and when our emotions and body start to react to what our minds are telling us, they flip it on us and say you were at fault for distrusting them, or pulling away from them.

  • I was floored the first time I was cheated on. I would never cheat on anyone, and it was just so shocking that someone else would do that.

    I was abused by my parents, and bullied terribly as a child, so I had that story in my mind that something must have been wrong with ME. Why didn’t my parents love me? Why didn’t I have friends? Why did the first man I loved lie to me and cheat on me? What’s wrong with ME? I became obsessed with becoming the best person I could be… if I could fix myself, make myself perfect, then maybe someone would finally, actually, love me.

    Ug. It took 20 good years of therapy to realize none of it had anything to do with me. NONE OF IT. I was a victim. I wasn’t bad. I didn’t do anything wrong.

    Chumpenhearted, don’t spend 20 years blaming yourself for other people’s failings. You didn’t do anything to deserve being treated this way. Take it to heart. ❤️

  • Chumpenhearted, so much of what you wrote is what I went through -“someone could tell you how in love with you they are and treat you really well on the surface, all while lying to your face at the same time. I’ve never experienced this kind of hurt before.”
    This was my 2nd marriage, 1st Div. was traumatizing enough, but nothing like being cheated on and discarded by somebody who you thought was really really good to you. It’s a whole different can of worms when you actually really liked that person and thought you were in a great relationship.
    Unlike most chumps here, my partner did a lot for me and for his stepchildren. If you were on the outside looking in and you saw how incredibly giving and generous he was with us you would have thought that he was madly in love.
    We were coming back from a vacation, about to go on another holiday… I was still receiving over the top love cards and he was still treating me like a queen. He became distant… but that’s all I noticed.
    Then one day to the next, he discarded me and became the ‘stepfather’ to another family and no doubt is the same ‘amazing guy’ with them.
    ‘Sometimes I feel like I won’t be able to get to meh until the Universe delivers justice.”
    I feel this all the time!
    The OW, is living my life! Her kids are the same age my kids were when he met them. They even look like my kids. My former in-laws who ‘adored me’ and were a huge part of my life, now comment on her Facebook all the time. They dropped me like a hot potato when he did, and moved on to her.
    I’m just saying I feel you.
    The amount of pain this kind of mindfuck gives you is so over-the-top it’s almost mind boggling.
    It definitely gets better with time, I’ve come a long way. But the scars run deep.
    For me, I have to constantly remind myself of what CL said – he’s a phoney, a barbed wire monkey, a shallow fuck…..a FAKE husband, his parents were FAKE in-laws.
    They are all so enmeshed with each other and sparkly, composed, full of flattery and positive, charming and ‘lovely’ – they never say the wrong thing or show any negative emotion. I was in awe of their wonderfulness.
    I’m sure none of them have given any of us a thought since Dday. He said he wasn’t happy, justified the affair, left and moved on. My kids were also traumatized – they thought he really loved them and they thought he loved their mom.
    I keep reminding myself that this person has zero integrity – therefore it’s better that he’s out of my life sooner rather than later.
    But when “the show” was so good, it’s hard to not get sucked into big hurt.

    • Dear Zip,

      I am so sorry for you and your children to have had such a deceitful person in your life.

      My mind boggles at the audacity of him and his parents to treat you all like this, but my heart especially bleeds for your children as how could they possibly make sense of having someone who loved them, just disappear, like they were worth nothing??? Wtf. I’m angry FOR you.

      My stbx wasn’t like this at all – lazy, argumentative, distant etc, just a horrible human being with a double-life. I think my son was sort of relieved when his Dad moved out. Life became peaceful. My son and I have similar personalities- sensible, gentle and kind, we love reading and pets – I consider our similarities as the best legacy ever. We love being together.

      But although my story is different to yours, I feel upset for you and your children as you were completely blindsided.

      You are right to be angry, you have been treated like you weren’t worthy. They are shallow and cruel people to treat a loving family like this. But you have seen who they are now, you can’t change them.

      Try not to look back, you’ll never understand insanity.

      Focus on your hurt children, give them as much TIME as you can. Hold them, tell them something special about them everyday, rebuild and fill that gap.

      My son loved hearing stories such as when I was pregnant with him and he loved to kick and do somersaults in me – we have lots of giggles. This is a long way from the day our life imploded 8 months ago and I nearly cried writing that and thinking back to the terrible shock of it all.

      I told my 10 year old the truth in an age appropriate way. This wasn’t that easy to do, as his dad was addicted to pain meds, a drunk, stole from us, lied and was so angry all the time at nothing, plus all the other women that he texted all the time.

      My son clung, emotionally and physically, to me after dday, he needed a lot of reassurance about friends (no change to his friends), school (I told him by hook or by crook I would see him through), that life would continue on as it had before for him and I told him I would never lie to him. We made a promise to have fun and to travel. He is pretty happy nowadays and we are travelling to the Great Barrier Reef next week!

      I guess I just put one foot in front of the other until my brain unscrambled.
      When I had a bad day, pissed off about the unfairness, I cried, I called my Mum and cried some more and then slowly I’ve found I just don’t need to cry much anymore (much to the relief of my Mum I’m sure!).

      Healing takes time. Focus on the most important people in your life – your children and you.

      Hugs to you and I wish you strength.

      • NoMoreChoas, thank you for such a heartfelt response. You sound like an amazing person and mom.
        My ex walks on water to his family, he is the golden boy and he is really is good to them.
        Of course I’m sure he offered them the whole sad sausage story ..´ he shouldn’t have married me´ ….. it was a mistake….. she was a good friend, he didn’t mean for this to happen…blah blah
        He was married before me, apparently he suddenly dumped his previous wife as well. That wasn’t how it was put to me when I met him.
        Unlike a lot of the SCuzzy exe’s I hear about here, he was still V good to me after the split (which was confusing and infuriating)- until my big time anger set in.
        Good luck to you and your son it sounds like you’re on a good track.

        -and you are right about looking forward not back, I’m trying to train my brain to do that. It feels super challenging because of how he presented as such a catch.
        For those who are interested I just happened to have listened to a podcast partly on rewiring your brain
        https://www.kathysmith.com/episode-6-patrick-k-porter-ph-d-3-easy-steps-banish-bad-habits/

  • Sometimes our brain works against us. I think you may benefit from some advice my therapist gave me. She said sometimes our brains get stuck like the needle on a record player (old analogy😀).
    You need to deliberately pick up the needle and move it many times before you finally feel that Tuesday coming. When I would feel the racing thoughts coming on, I would drive to a hiking trail and walk. I probably walked 100 miles that first summer but it helped.
    You could pick any healthy activity to distract yourself. You can do this!

  • The cheater wants fries AND vegetables with their entree.

    It’s not about someone else being better than or less than you. It has zero to do with anyone other than the people involved in the illicit relationship and the high they get from it. Why else would they not leave the relationship with you and be free of the horrible baggage they claim you’ve been For Years?

    If I don’t like a restaurant, I don’t keep eating there.

    If I don’t like what I’m watching on TV, I change the change the channel.

    Not so for Poor Helpless Cheaters.

    JFC. What other type of assault mindfucks their victim as thoroughly as this one? Child abuse, for one. Which IMHO cheating hooks right into. And abuse does not have to be extremely horrific to be valid abuse.

    They feel entitled to have whatever they want when they want it. They don’t think they have to make choices. Cheating is proof of many things icky and best avoided….lack of boundaries, self-centeredness, the ability to inflict massive harm and not care. Etc. None of those things are the actions of “love”, the concept they are so spectacularly, obviously unclear on and ironically use to justify their conduct.

    If cheating or hooking up with married/committed people is AOK with you, please stay the hell away from me and enjoy life feeding on the bottom.

    • Sometimes they do leave, but it’s still all about them.
      Some of them make sure to line up their new source before they dump you – you are kept to the end – just in case their new supply doesn’t work out. They need to be filled up by something outside of themselves.

  • Dear Chumpenhearted,
    Big Pride month rainbow hugs to you! I’m so sorry you have had to join us here, but we get you. There are many other LGBTQ+ people in Chump Nation. Come find us on Reddit (search Chump Lady to join the group) if you want to chat at length.

    Trust that your ex sucks. As other chumps have said above, 7 months is like a heartbeat in chump-time. Please be gentle with yourself and do as much self-care as you can while you heal. If you can work to fix your picker and get rock-solid with your boundaries, you’ll be much richer for the experience, though I can’t deny it hurts like a mofo. Learn from those of us who unwisely stayed with our cheaters (in my case, I was married with one toddler at D-Day #1) only to be chumped again years later. I’m not saying it’s impossible for cheaters to change, but it’s statistically highly unlikely.

    And, sadly, gay cheaters have a wide arsenal of mindfuckery and manipulation to use against us chumps. Like, “all our friends are poly!” And, “this person is my FRIEND! You wouldn’t try to control my FRIENDSHIPS, would you?” Unfortunately, precisely because we don’t have the old bromides to fall back on, we have to be excellent with boundaries, *especially* with friends.

    I didn’t realize until much too late that my STBX engaged in “affair lite” behavior even when she wasn’t actively sleeping with other people, by having inappropriately intimate friendships with other women she was attracted to. (STBX and I and her APs are all women.) Even if STBX and her friends did not exchange sexual language or physical intimacy, she was still pining after them in her own heart, and of course comparing a devalued version of me with an idealized version of them. She confessed after D-Day #2 that she had been fighting feelings for her “best friend” (who wasn’t me) for YEARS. I could see very clearly after the fact, how she had devalued me all that time. The second affair was just the most visible symptom of a very deep rot.

    You’re truly better off without him, even with the feelings of emptiness and abandonment. Those will go away over time, as you Gain A Life. He, on the other hand, will always have to live with himself. Hugs and Pride to you, (((Chumpenhearted)))!

    • You are SO right that gay cheaters have extra things to say. My closeted ex (I am a woman and he is a gay man) said “I had to cheat to see if I was gay!” Even though he knew the entire marriage and admitted he knew prior to said statement. And it worked! Straight people believe him when he says he did not know and feel sorry for him. It’s another level of mind f$&ckery
      Thanks for confirming they have extra things in their arsenal.

      • My ex (closeted trans-identified) pulled the “shame card” on me. And I bought it, too, until I realized he hadn’t been too ashamed to “explore” his transness with an ex-student. When we split I got the blame-shift of “Our problem was communication. But I didn’t feel I could talk to you.” This, after I went 110% to accommodate his new gender identity–which turned out to be nothing more than garden variety naked-pick me dance.

  • I appreciate everyone’s comments. This whole fiasco has been SUCH a mindfuck. Here I am thinking I’ve met my soulmate. I mean literally, from day 1, I was the apple of his eye or so it seemed. He called and texted me everyday, wrote me love letters, bought me gifts, took me on trips…I had never been treated better by anyone I have dated. So it’s been really hard to reconcile the actions he displayed towards me (those of love) vs. what was really going on behind the scenes (cheating). And I only know of 1 – I’m sure there were others. But the dissonance between loving actions vs cheating actions is what is so hard. It’s like…what did I do for him to take his love away from me? Looking back…I think maybe I was love-bombed. The thing that really bothers me is the “one sided relationship” defense. He did do a lot more for me than I did for him, even though I did a lot. I guess he expected to be love-bombed by me the way he was love bombing me, but I’m not a love bomber. It’s just all too much to try and figure out…which is untangling the skein of fuckedupness. I guess I will never have the entire truth and I’ll have to accept that. At the end of the day…I just know that I am not perfect, but I would NEVER have cheated. If I had a problem or was unhappy, I would have told him that I was. I never got the same respect in return. It leaves one feeling, will I ever be treated the same way on the surface by anyone ever again? I’d love to be treated as well as he treated me minus the cheating. I think this is what is so confusing about being with a narcissistic person. It’s so confusing to FEEL immensely loved by someone based on their surface actions but then find out none of it was true…I think back to the things I did not do perfectly…like one time there was a guy openly flirting with him at a party and he reciprocated. I got super angry after the party and told him I was not going to put up with that bullshit. He acted hurt and said “you could have just told me it was upsetting you without getting angry.” I think in my gut I already knew other stuff was going on, which is why I reacted so angrily. We ran into the same guy at another party and the next day he literally said to me “If I were single I would have F that guy…” Who says that to their boyfriend!? It was at that moment it all went downhill. I took a different approach and told him how much that hurt my feelings. This is where he got the “I have to walk on eggshells around you.” Again, he apologized and said that he felt like shit for saying that to me. After the relationship ended, I was contacted by a random person on Instagram who told me that he had also sent them sexually explicit videos asking if they were interested in a online sexual relationship. Anyhow, I guess I am just having a hard time thinking about what I could have done differently or what ways in which I could have handled problems differently because at the end I basically got blamed for everything. And he made it sound so accurate…where I did indeed doubt my own sanity. Here I am 7 months later still reeling and he’s had a new boyfriend for 6 months. I blocked him on social media but I hear they are fabulously in love. I feel sorry for the new guy…he has no idea what he’s dealing with…but you still think that this person is going to be “better” for someone else…they just need to meet the right person for them that will make them not want to cheat. But at the end of the day, I know character rarely changes…

    • Hey there, Chumpenhearted –
      I hear you so much. You were absolutely lovebombed. And the whole point of narcissistic lovebombing is to manipulate a romantic partner into reciprocating, so that the narc can receive emotional supply (=kibbles). It’s a testament to your emotional health that you did not lovebomb your boyfriend back, and so he tired of you rather quickly. Please don’t internalize any of his fucked-up DARVO techniques (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim/Offender). It’s sounds to me like there’s very little you could have done differently, although you might recognize red flags sooner in another relationship.

      As for wishing to be treated like this in the future: I hear that too, but I’m now so allergic to lovebombing that, if I ever date again, I’m going to take it SUPER slow and remain very independent for a long time. I’m happy to be honest with any new partner about why that is, and that it’s not about them. If they want to be treated like a queen, then maybe I’m not the person for them. But, I have many excellent qualities that could make a good match for the right person. I’m honest to a fault, loyal, emotionally healthy, and have had master classes in boundaries. Despite all my trauma, I have a generally cheery attitude and love to enjoy the good things in life, in a grounded, non-dramatic way. I can Netflix and chill with the best of them, no lovebombing required. I’ll listen without defensiveness. If you’re not into me or the situation, I’ll gladly wave goodbye and set sail for other shores. All good – no harm, no foul. To me, being treated with basic respect and honesty is way, way better than being put on any kind of throne.

      Much rainbow love to you, CH. As I said in my comment above, come find us on Reddit.

      • PS: Part of the reason that lovebombing works so well as a narc (or other character- or personality-disordered) strategy is that all of us, regardless of orientation, have been socialized to believe that’s what Twu Wuv looks like. Feel the Pheromones and Damn the Torpedoes, says every romantic movie ever made.

        If I ever date again, I’m looking primarily for character, and only secondarily for That Magic Attraction or whatever. Not that it’s not at all important, just that it’s not a reason to invest hugely in someone. And unfortunately, it’s hard to distinguish between lovebombing and New Relationship Energy in a healthy relationship, at least initially, and especially when you’re young. I think older folks with more responsibilities are more independent in general, and lovebombing will stand out more as we mature, since it smacks of adolescence.

    • PS: And don’t feel bad about falling for the lovebombing. Part of the reason that lovebombing works so well as a narc (or other character- or personality-disordered) strategy is that all of us, regardless of orientation, have been socialized to believe that’s what Twu Wuv looks like. Feel the Pheromones and Damn the Torpedoes, says every romantic movie ever made.

      If I ever date again, I’m looking primarily for character, and only secondarily for That Magic Attraction or whatever. Not that it’s not at all important, just that it’s not a reason to invest hugely in someone. And unfortunately, it’s hard to distinguish between lovebombing and New Relationship Energy in a healthy relationship, at least initially, and especially when you’re young. I think older folks with more responsibilities are more independent in general, and lovebombing will stand out more as we mature, since it smacks of adolescence.

    • Thank goodness you only wasted a year. As for the new boyfriend? Of course they are fabulously in love, it’s only been 6 months! I’ll wager it doesn’t go beyond 18 months…tops and the last 6 months will be brutal for the new boyfriend. You were dealing with a classic sociopath and no he will never change, not for anyone. He’ll just become meaner and angrier when he ages.

    • Chumpenhearted, your cheater is probably the closest sounding to my cheater that I’ve read on this site. In the beginning, there was a part of me that thought he was too good to be true, there was a part of me that knew he was stuck in fantasy because I was put so high on a pedestal ……. but they always say look at the actions… and the actions were all above and beyond any expectations I ever had. His actions, continued to be loving and giving and selfless (although I started to see some passive aggressiveness , moodiness and quiet ) until shortly before Dday. I see now all his loving actions had nothing to do with me. He was an extreme people pleaser and this is how he got his worth. It was all fake.
      Or whatever?!

  • Dear Chumpenhearted,

    You are fresh out of the gate and therefore the race to wellness is still ahead. But, alas, there IS a finish line – GUARANTEED.

    It’s fantastic you’ve found CL and her blog this early on the track. Pat yourself on the back as there’s a humongous pile of horse dung to wade through on the internet AND in seeking professionals before most Chumps get to the source of true healing. Knowing this shit for what it is is crucial!

    X’s game play is mindfuckery. Gas lighting. LYING! Keep reading up on Stupid Shit Cheaters say and you will discover just how textbook identical these freaks all are. In their world, all Chumps are “needy and paranoid.” They always “walk on eggshells” around us. My personal favourite after the Cheater gets caught with pants down…
    “We weren’t happy.”
    Because, you know, lobbing a grenade at loved ones then running for cover brings about bliss???

    I have one solid piece of advice:
    Consider yourself LUCKY you got out with short term investment. Being cheated on is a fast track EDUCATION into the school of hard knocks. It hurts like a mother but I’m telling you, it is like earning a degree in Psychology if you pay close enough attention in reflecting back as to exactly what TF happened in the relationship.
    He’s a POS and you’re not a POS. You are not compatible. The End.

  • “… so I would help do his laundry and clean the house while he was at the office just to help out.”

    I wish I could remember where I read it, but I ran across this online: “Don’t do wifey shit for f*ckboys.” It was a real thunderbolt moment for me. Reciprocity, reciprocity, reciprocity.

  • Honest people are susceptible to charming liars. We mistakenly assume others are as honest as we are.

    It’s so shocking to find out that someone we loved deeply and trusted completely was lying to us all along. When you add in all the lying by omission, the number of lies can be hundreds or even thousands.

    Cognitive dissonance occurs when we can’t reconcile the affectionate, sparkly person we saw at first with the lying, uncaring, and often cruel being they turn into. BELIEVE that the liar/cheater is who they truly are. Such a person is not worthy of you.

  • Cheaters will throw around “you are too cold, too needy, too wishy washy with feelings, too suffocating” and all at the same time to see what sticks. They’ll say anything to justify dumping you for AP. Chumps tend to listen and then take what they say to heart. Never, ever listen to what they say as they are making it up as they go along.

    • Yea, I’ve read that a covert narcissist will listen to you all along and then when they discard you they will use your vulnerabilities against you.

      • I trusted my cheater WAY TOO MUCH to be trustworthy with what I said hurt me. Towards the end, I intentionally told him a specific thing to see how long it took to be weaponized…it wasn’t long.

        Before I knew of OW, he had been acting horrible and I was dancing in circles trying to keep (get) him happy. One night he bombarded me with “Im divorcing you, you have been a terrible wife…there is so much wrong with you…” I sat quietly while he rattled off 2 hours of complaints. He started with “you are too holy” and ended with “you are too sinful”.

        I had exactly ZERO suspicions about an affair so my mind never glanced at the idea, but he added “there is no one else, this is between you and me” what an odd thing to say.

        The abuse of him telling me our family was over and it was all my fault was profound. It was a LONG time before I understood that it was ALL ABOUT CAKE

        • I am so sorry that happened to you. I love that they blame US for their fuckedupness. And we are so distraught, we blame ourselves too -until we know better.
          I hope I live to see the day where it’s common knowledge that it’s not the chumps fault that their cheating partner is a fuckwit.

  • 👍

    They absolutely are, and in fact many times they are just flailing and don’t remember what they said from one minute to the next.

  • CL wrote that cheating is the theft of your reality. That is so true. It steals your past, your present, and your future. But once you get rid of the cheater, you get reality back. And life gets sweet and possible and wonderful again. Go no contact, trust in the goodness of other people, be glad he’s gone. Meanwhile fill your life with light and hang out with us. We know and we understand.

  • What I did for fun after D-Day was to re-read the criminology and ab-psych material that had been required for working as an advocate for sexual assault and dv victims. I’m not sure it was unraveling or just assessing risk. I wanted to double check my impression that behavioral manifestations, MOs and personality disorder profiles of domestic batterers and spouse killers were similar to that of cheaters. Turns out that, yep, there are multiple eerie overlaps. The psychology of it is so similar– emphasize the “psycho” in psychology.

    In response to my sharing the research, some chumps recognize the abuse cycles right off the bat because their FWs were overtly physically abusive. Others will admit their cheaters share certain traits with violent perps, though they point out their FWs weren’t violent.

    The takeaway from reading dv research is that virtually all cheaters are “batterish.” So what does degree really matter? If you think about it, you wouldn’t want a partner who smelled a little like “eau de serial killer” or “eau de batterer” any more than you’d want one who smells a little like shit.

  • He said “we are just on different schedules” regarding sex. He likes it when I was asleep, I asked for sex before bedtime so I could get enough sleep. “Apparently you control our sex life then” he would project.

    • What is it about cheaters wanting to have sex in the middle of the night when you are asleep?

      Mine would always wake me up having sex with me even though I was non-responsive. I did get better at saying no if I did wake up before he started. But still now I’m like WTF? To me that’s just like raping some drunk non-responsive person. Just sick!

      • I enjoyed sex at night but my preference is morning because it energizes me. We had evening sex and he said it puts him to sleep. I replied that it takes me a bit to sleep afterwards. A statement just like his. You would have thought I assaulted him. He got a horrified look and said we’ll never have sex at night again. I tried to explain that’s not what I meant to no avail. We didn’t really have sex from that point on. He was already sleeping around and at that time. If he came in during the night when I was sleeping he would sometimes start wildly jacking off in bed. My therapist said that was high risk for violence when he did this. I learned not to move and control my breathing when this happened. I never understood his rationale concerning that night. He was heavily into porno and sex workers but i realize that’s about control.

        • Informal your story chilled me because it’s so much like what I went through. The look or horror on his face when I once told him I didn’t prefer to be touched in a certain way… it made no sense to me. Then the rage, and “I’ll never touch you again.” And the jacking in bed, almost to make a point of it. I froze just like you.

          They want everything their way, and they don’t want to respect other peoples preferences, boundaries, or need for safety.

  • LOL chump no more, sadly I realize now that my wife wanting to have sex with me in the middle of the night was mostly after a tryst with next victim number whatever. Yeah, ewwwww. Being the guy, well you know that our caveman brain takes over when you’re lover gets naked and throws themselves at you. But I still remember feeling a bit awkward. Mega sign of cheating is when they all of a sudden get super sexual and crazy in bed for no reason at awkward times. I’m not sure how to explain it, but I think they’re on a super high and you’re the cake for their narc desires. Like they just got away with robbing a bank and now they’re counting their money in front of the police station laughing. This only seemed to happen when I was completely oblivious. Start asking questions and that stops immediately that’s when the real gaslighting starts, which they enjoy just as much as having sex with you when they think they’re getting away with murder. They love to drink you’re tears as much as they enjoy cake because both things make them central.

  • Aaaaand of course he texts me this morning – Happy Birthday (today is my bday). First time I’ve heard from him in 7 months. You cheat on me, make me feel like it’s my fault, get a new boyfriend a month later, I tried to talk to you after it happened…but you ignored me…didn’t talk to me for 7 months…and now you wanna wish me Happy Bday? The pits.

    • Why can he text you?

      *Block* the fucker’s number.

      NC isn’t just you not contacting him, it’s making sure *he* is unable to contact *you*. Block *everything*.

  • I come many times to read how what happened to me so long ago happens to someone every day. And the pain that comes with the realization that the person you’d take a bullet for is the one behind the trigger. Life moves on and you learn. I wanted closure , it never came. I wanted an apology , it never came. I wanted my family intact , it never came.
    I reached meh by logic. You want them back? Why? Why would you want to be with someone who would outright lie to your face. Why would you want to be with someone who would betray you without concern? Why would you want to be with someone who purposely schemes to figuratively stab you in the back. That’s the world I came from. And that’s how I accepted a new life.
    Over the years (we had 2 children which I got custody of , 2 and 4 at the time) as they grew they learned who their mother was. They would drop bits and pieces of her trainwreck of a life over the years. Her life became like a roundabout with the karma bus constantly running over her with every rotation. I’ll admit , I never stopped caring , but I never wanted to get back with her for the reasons above. Now the final passing of the bus has arrived . She is now 62 and has been diagnosed with malignant brain cancer. Her time is drawing nigh . I feel horrible for my kids(40 and 42 now) , absolutely horrible. After all she is their mother. But for her the best I can muster is extreme pity because that’s the life she chose.

  • This mindset is a trap. People can be great but not be the right partner. Every guy I ever dated was somewhere on the continuum between good and a great catch, but none of them were the one for me. It’s not that they weren’t enough; they just weren’t the right kind of enough. It’s a parallel, not a hierarchy.

    • If your partner is not the “right kind of enough” , you should tell them. Not being the “right kind of enough” doesn’t give you a license to cheat, lie to your partner’s face and then blame your infidelity on the victim. This is called a coward. It’s funny how you can be perfectly enough that someone tells you how in love with you they are and how wonderful you are…until they get caught cheating. Then all of a sudden you’re a terrible person, which is why they had to cheat. If I was so terrible, why were you with me to begin with?

      • Exactly.

        I was scratching my head over that post.

        Finding out you married the wrong person, or you didn’t love them like you thought you did is a fair reason to make an ethical exit. Not to emotionally, mentally, physically and financially abuse them for years, then dump them and blame them for their abuse against them.

        There are no perfect people and no perfect marriages, that is the whole point of the vows.

        • And the same goes for relationships in which you are not married. In the original letter I wrote in to Chump Lady, if you read it, I would always ask my partner: Am I meeting your needs and is there anything you need to talk to me about? His answer was always you’re wonderful, you make me happy, you’re great. All the while he’s fucking around on me behind my back. I’m sorry, but mindset is not the issue here. If I am not meeting your needs or there is something more you need from me, I have a right to know and you have a responsibility to tell me. This is reciprocity, just as I told him I felt that something was off and gave him the opportunity to tell me. Instead, he decided to lie further and then proceeded to make me out to be “paranoid and needy”. I may not have been meeting is needs, but mine were also not being met – faithfullness. Did I choose to jump ship and cheat on him? No, because I’m not a fuckwit. I chose to to tell him how I was feeling. Cheating is ALWAYS a series of lies that lead up to the act. And they do not involve empathy or compassion or thoughts of gee, how might this hurt the person I claim to love. They involve selfishness, lies, betrayal etc.

          • Exactly CH. My fw feigned happiness (I assume he was faking it) until the year of discard began, then he systematically tore me down little by little, then went full force the last month. The month of December by the way. What is it about Christmas dumping.

            Also, he begged me to marry him and poured out love to me, to tell me 21 years later; “oh I never loved you” I have now found my tru luv all wrapped up in the town whore.

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