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‘Bagged Salad’ and Other Excuses

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word salad

You drove ’em to it.

That’s the blameshifting of the RIC and cheaters themselves. Your superpowers of suckitude could launch a thousand ships or create Adult Friend Finder accounts. You! You did that!

So, Today’s Friday Challenge, by popular demand, is to share all the “bagged salad” reasons given.

FourLeaf shared the genesis story of bagged salad earlier this week:

Those “we had problems” red herrings that cheaters throw out there in order to justify their adultery is maddening, I know.

Take heart that it’s all BS; it’s all empty, hot air. They will say anything in order to justify their affairs and if they’ll fill in the blank with *anything* then their reasons are always empty–always BS.

I was a member of another left behind spouses group in the 2000s and my favourite in-joke of ours (on the subject of asinine reasons the FW gives for cheating) was bagged salad. We were encouraged to list and share all the stupid, stoooooopid things the cheater said in order to justify things and we got the usual suspects:

– You’re not the nice girl I once knew.
– We’ve just drifted apart.
– You love the kids more than me.
– I don’t like that you became a stay at home mom.
– I don’t like that you didn’t want to become a stay at home mom.
– You stopped wearing short skirts.
– You started wearing short skirts.

Etc etc etc etc. When we piled all these “You did [this] therefore who could blame me for cheating?” reasons all together on the table we saw how stupid they all were. How empty. How nonsensical. How much these empty, blame-shifting excuses didn’t matter.

But our favourite one–well, my favourite one!– was this one (I’m paraphrasing):

– He told me he was leaving me because I always served bagged salad at supper instead of fresh salad.

Everyone agreed that if she had been a green goddess who harvested fresh salad everyday and served it straight from the garden then he would have said “I’m leaving because I prefer bagged salad” instead. It helped us to finally realize that it didn’t matter what we did at all, what we wore, if we lost weight or didn’t, if we worked or didn’t, if we served bagged salad or fresh salad. None of it mattered.

The bagged salad excuse was the icing on the cake for us for awhile before, like most fads, it disappeared. But I liked it because it made me chuckle in some very dark times. We’d say, “So, what was the bagged salad excuse your cheater gave you?”

Thanks FourLeaf for this new glossary term — Bagged Salad: The offense by which you compelled someone to cheat.

Confess your crimes, CN.

TGIF!

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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.
    • We were separated so it wasn’t cheating. Ok then why did you tell me in the hospital you cheated on me. I had an emotional mental breakdown not a psychotic one.

    • Mine told me his co worker friend (20 years younger) only sent photos of her vagina to cheer him up while we were having a rough patch.

      Since then I offer all my sad friends a photo of my vagina. No one has yet said yes.

  • I’m a few years out from DDay and the reasons below were his justification for ILYBINILWY and I haven’t been happy for a long time. I laugh every time I think of them! These four tidbits were presented to me in the following order. I kicked him out the next day, separated all of our finances and found out about his affair three weeks later. Filed for cause, named her in the pleading and stayed the course until my divorce was finalized.
    1. You watch Rachel Maddow and I hate her show
    2. You don’t stop what you do when I come home and greet me at the door to welcome me
    3. You are asleep when I come home late from my meetings at midnight.
    4. You are to stressed from the impending organizational restructuring at your company.

    I still remember thinking at the time, what in the hell are you talking about. I am a firm believer in you can’t fix crazy or stupid. He is both with a large sprinkling of man-child thrown in. My Tuesday is right around the corner and it’s glorious.

    • Haaaaa! I also got the “you don’t run downstairs and greet me at the door” complaint! What am I a golden retriever?!?! Wtf…

      • I got the “you’re not happy when I come home” too, plus “I can never make you happy.”
        Well, having a secret sexual life just won’t make any spouse happy, will it? But let’s not recognize that. He was big into believing “what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

        • I had the same flaws, You’re not happy when I come home, I didn’t run up to greet him when he walked in the door and give him a kiss. I was never happy and he couldn’t make me happy. I didn’t know what he was talking about, I felt happy.., (Now that I”m wiser, it was projection, it was him that wasn’t happy). “He no longer felt butterflies in his stomach when I walked into the room.” there’s more but these are the few that came to mind. Once cheaters begin to cheat or consider cheating they look for excuses to justify their behavior. They become highly critical of the Chump, magnifying any perceived faults. It never occurs to the cheater that they may have faults or appreciate that the Chump isn’t cheating despite their imperfections.

            • I posted a response but lost it when my computer froze.
              I’ll keep this one short.

              After being together 25 years, married 20 years, experiencing all life’s ups an downs, job losses, major moves across the country for his career, furloughs, having a child, living in less than desirable neighborhoods, families.
              Ex tells me we have nothing in common….

              • Now that I think about it ex is absolutely right. I have nothing in common with a liar, cheat, manipulative con artist.

                Ex met someone in a hotel gym, while they were pedaling on their exercise bikes, he turned the channel to South Park, she mentioned that she liked watching South Park,
                What! he likes South Park too!
                South Park in common overshadows being married 20 years.

          • I got the “you were never happy…I could never make you happy…” etc….

            I had no idea what he was talking about either. Was I supposed to sing and dance all day every day to show I was happy?

            But then I learned about projection and realized it was he who was not happy – for years!!!

            Why did he have to waste 30 years of my life, then? Why not leave me after 5 years? Why wait until I’m 50 and pretty much not wanted by any man my own age while he runs off with a 29 year old?! How can they be so incredibly insensitive?

            Before that, he always said he loves me to the moon and back and I was his best friend. All the while unhappy… It’s something I can never grasp because I would never do that to another person!

            • I think they don’t run off earlier because they are still getting value from the marriage. When they have used up the value (in their mind) they bail. Be it money, time with kids, image for their position in society or to nab that promotion; if they were not still getting value they would have already bailed.

              They are simply more important than their spouse so therefore we are expendable.

              • That!
                Of course they are not so deeply unhappy. They use married chumps. When they find the new supply, less exhausted – they just switch.

      • “Haaaaa! I also got the “you don’t run downstairs and greet me at the door” complaint! What am I a golden retriever?!?! Wtf…”

        HAHAHA. Yes, I also got this one. Together with “when I come to the office she smiles to me and you dont”.

        Dude, you are her boss and we are 15 year long relationship…Yyyy

        • Free_Soon,

          Ex told me “he no longer felt butterflies in his stomach when I walked into the room.”
          We aren’t teenagers, we had been married 20 years..
          I’m guessing he got butterflies when she walked into the room.

          I’m also guilty of not running to greet him at the door. At first I thought he was joking. I laughed and asked, why don’t you run up to me and give me a big kiss when you come home? lol!
          He didn’t reply, just gave me the look of disgust.

          • Yep. Got the whole no butterflies anymore schpeel. I was like yeah I don’t have them anymore for you, we’ve been together 14 years. Anywho, can’t compete with butterflies for 24 year old. Also refuse to be with someone who would allow themself to have said butterflies for another woman.

            • Idiots- who the hell has butterflies after being together for more than a couple of years? These cheaters are seven year olds. The science is there… the chemicals that give you that ‘ Life is amazing feeling’ wear off sooner than later.
              And having said that, some people marry their best friend and never even experience the butterflies. These people often have the happiest and most fulfilling long-term marriages.

              • It wouldn’t have made a difference…when he came home, I would stop what I was doing and stand on the bottom step so I could give him a big hug and a smooch.

                Excuses: You don’t drink enough. You don’t gamble enough.

                Wait…what now?

    • After D-Day, my MIL (whom I was very close to) said “You never waited for him with a hot meal when he got home.” Oh, you mean at 3am when he stumbles in drunk? Smfh. Thank GOD I’m rid of that loser.

      • I got both. When I would greet him at the door he’d be annoyed and ask why I had to be all up his ass and he needed time to relax alone after work.

        But when I didn’t, then I didn’t care enough and his feelings were hurt. Looking back it’s not surprising I had a breakdown and ended ups heavily medicated. There was nothing I could do right.

    • #2 !!!!!!
      At first I was laughing when my h said that…. Guess what?he expected me to drop everything (3 kids under 4 at home at a time while I was a full time student) and greet him at a door.
      It was comical…. But hey, at some point I said to myself- it’s silly and ridiculous but since it matters to him…. Whatever, I can do that
      So- I was doing it.

      Well, he was fucking Craigslist dates, hookers regardless of #2.

      Now- I know better.
      I feel good- I see everything clear and no one ever will be able to sell me a bag of salad like that.
      I’ve been there, I’ve done that

      I just feel sad for my young self- so confused, loving and trying….
      Any good man would appreciate and feel lucky to have a good looking, smart and devoted partner.

      Mine- broke my heart and sent me to a hell of self doubt and feeling worthless.

      • Oh Elsa, I can surely relate. I am so sorry you endured those horrors. You deserve so much better than that disgusting pig. X would come home and angrily announce I never ran to greet him in mudroom to show affectionate welcome home. I was in kitchen every time he arrived preparing his favourite meals and would greet him with kiss and hug (I tried but he would turn his body a quarter turn away!). I used to think he was kidding at how odd this behaviour was. Now I know. Was his stance against me as he fucked prostitutes, hooked up with Craig’s list randos and mistress(Es) my heart was broken too. Good riddance to the trash that took themselves out.

        • Chumpadellic

          You know what puzzles me to this day?
          He was Having a wife- not a super model, but a good looking, kind, loving , smart REAL person- yet, he would fuck any random hooker/ woman picked on Craigslist…
          I’m not getting- it’s like eating left overs at the restaurant ( after 20 other men ) instead of having a nice dinner.
          Well, he probably thought that he was oh, so Special that each and every one of them was just falling in love instantly 🙄

          I’m at Meh… but my self esteem was gone for many many years….

          Now- over 40, with plenty of stretch marks, wrinkles, and imperfections- I look in the mirror and smile. That’s how I look, that’s who I am- my body is not my enemy anymore 😊

      • “I just feel sad for my young self- so confused, loving and trying….
        Any good man would appreciate and feel lucky to have a good looking, smart and devoted partner.

        Mine- broke my heart and sent me to a hell of self doubt and feeling worthless.”

        I really do understand that. It was the same for me. I didn’t suspect anything for the ten years he said he was cheating. I was not perfect, but hard working, sacrificing so he could have the boat and camp sites he wanted. Hell I even learned to use a wood stove to save money, so we would have extra money for what he wanted. All along he was romancing other women and they were getting money and gifts.

        I still feel a twang of pity for that young woman that sacrificed so much for so little in return. At the end he left me in a puddle of humiliation and despair. His best friend would say, good lord fw, you have your wife living like a pioneer woman. I have no doubt the friend had no idea. In fact this is the same friend (he wasn’t involved with the PD) who told him, when it hit the fan, that he was going to regret throwing away the life he and I had built. I don’t think fw believed him. I think at the time fw thought that though he would lose me, (no biggie) he wouldn’t lose his place in the community and on the PD. Quite frankly I didn’t believe it either. He did, and within a year. In fact he was busted and put back out on patrol before our D was even final.

        Oh I am fine now. My now long time H has treated me to a loving marriage, the way marriage should be. I just want a magic wand to wave it over chumps who are still in the midst of the pain and make it all better.

  • I gained weight and made him go on too many vacations (which I always paid for). Lol. And he had soooo much in common with the 19 year old he traded me in for. Sounds like he’s really enjoying his new life of chronic unemployment though.

  • I worked too hard – said to me while I was on maternity leave with our third child, and therefore not working at all.

    • Okay what is with the standing at the door thing because I also got that. I was like I stay at home on a Friday night to wait on you when you come home from a business trip (he used to go every week), I get you dinner but I also am clearly not doing it right because I don’t come to the door and wag my tail?! I also work full time and study a postgrad degree part time, I don’t just sit around all day.

        • Oh my gosh. ME TOO! What the heck is that greeting at the door BS? He also said that we hadn’t been happy for years. I told him that was his story.

          As my 25 year old daughter said, “Enjoy your mid-life crisis, Dad.”

          • So many things he said I can see were just him scrabbling around for any reason to make it my fault. But it’s still a complete mind melt when I think of just how misogynistic some of it was in hindsight, and how maybe it shows there was this insecurity and resentment festering all along. I also got told I was too independent, especially financially. I don’t even know what that means, or why it would be a bad thing!

            • I have said this before but from my experience and reading so many others, I think these fw’s are just flailing, and most of them don’t even remember what they say from one minute to the next.

              When my fw wanted to come back (I shouldn’t have let him) I said, but you said you never loved me and that you cheated for ten years. He said “oh I just said that to make you hate me, I thought it would be easier for you” Quite frankly I don’t think he even remembered saying it, but he knew I wasn’t a liar, so he came up with a quick response.

              • Susie Lee, that’s *exactly* what my FW said after I took him back too! I asked, “Why did you do all those horrible things and say all those horrible things?” He said, “I really, really wanted you to hate me because that would have made this easier on both of us.”

              • It wouldn’t have made a difference…when he came home, I would stop what I was doing and stand on the bottom step so I could give him a big hug and a smooch.

                Excuses: You don’t drink enough. You don’t gamble enough.

                Wait…what now?

            • A lot of archaic internalized gender roles come out. My XW told me that I didn’t really love her because I wasn’t jealous and suspicious when she traveled, and that our marriage was passionless because I never screamed at her.

              XW grew up in Italy, which is a solid generation behind the US in terms of gender roles; on the surface, she is now a liberated modern women but deep down she lost respect for me for doing all the cooking, cleaning and childcare during our marriage. AP (now husband) is a bully and a mansplainer, and yells and throws things when angry (plus he lives 1000 miles away most of the time, so XW has to tend her own house now), so she has got her (unconscious. I’m sure) wish for a more traditional family dynamic.

              • Involuntary

                You cook, clean, don’t yell and adore your wife? Oh man…. You are a horrible person to live with!!!
                Joking
                That’s the man I thought I was marrying..
                Calm, trustworthy, honest, committed to his wife/ family.
                Well, my h was cheating on me from day one with anyone willing, paying for hookers, endangering my life while pregnant.. still- was able to portrait the picture if a family man while destroying me behind the closed door.
                Unfortunately for me- I knew nothing about narcs, hidden narcs, gaslighting, hooker industry etc.
                I just wanted to have a lovely family- filled with trust and kindness.

                I ended up with complex PTSD, broken heart and autoimmune disease.

                I still believe in love and good people.
                But knowing the other side- I can prepare my daughters for what’s out there. I paid the price- hopefully my kids won’t.

          • I got the “why don’t you drop everything and greet me at the door” too!!! He even dared to ask how come the sailors who come home from war are greeted with long kisses and torrid sex. Ummm…because you just got back from work 20 minutes away with traffic? They are bumbling idiots. All of them. It’s hysterical how they think so highly of themselves.

        • Me as well! I also told family not to call around the time he usually came home so I could give him undivided attention. BTW, he never greeted me when I came home from work , I guess because it was part time I wasn’t worth the effort?

        • I did always greet H at door with a kiss! But I got among other things ‘ we don’t ALWAYS go to bed at the same time’

      • Me too! Despite the fact that we both worked full time jobs, I was supposed to pretty-up and meet him at the door with a cheerful smile and a Tanqueray and tonic.

      • I actually did the greeting at the door thing. For four. fucking. years. between DDay#1 and DDay #2. So if you were ever in any doubt that doing it might have saved your marriage, it wouldn’t as I learned the hard way. Four years. What the fuck was I thinking? Oh yeah, I was thinking I wanted to save my marriage. Well, I finally wised up when DDay#2 happened (I’m a slow learner). I kicked him out, divorced him and am living happily ever after.

        • When my FW was devaluing me I took special care to always greet him at the door. I wanted him to know that I was happy he was home and I wanted him to greet me when I came back too because it broke my heart whenever I would come back home and he’d visibly shrug or refused to get up from the couch. I wanted to show him how good it felt to have someone care when you got home.

          It didn’t work and he didn’t care. Sometimes it even made him angry. Turns out when you’re hiding a girlfriend the last thing you want to see is your wife at the door with her arms stretched out when you get back home.

      • I think they’ve watched too many episodes of “Leave it To Beaver.”
        Did June run up t the door to greet her husband?

        Which reminds me, I can’t believe I forgot this,
        Ex actually, “You’re no June Cleaver.”
        I paused for a moment, not knowing what to think, all I could come with was,
        I never said I was, or aspired to be June Cleaver.

        I’m wondering now, did he picture himself as Ward?
        lol!

        • That reminds me, we used to have a guy who went to our church named (fake name: Sam Smith) He was so polite and treated his wife so well, in fact he was polite to everyone, he was also very nice looking. FW used to say I (meaning himself) am just not a Sam Smith.

          Anyway down the line when I started dating again, he made a snide comment to me, I can’t remember exactly what it was, and I said “yep, I got me a Sam Smith” I could tell it really pissed him off.

          My daughter in law told me and my H that even up to just recently before he died, fw made it clear he really hated my H. Lol, he didn’t even know my H except the few times my H gave him a polite nod at family functions.

  • I bought the salad wrong!

    I didn’t use the re-usable mesh bag and instead chose the plastic option when doing the weekly shopping!

    And I always purchased the broccoli wrong (too much, or too little).

    I would have left me too with these horrible decisions! 😉

    Funny.

    • Lol.

      My ex didn’t say this on his exit, but about two months before discard day, he jumped all over my ass because I ran out of salt. It was the first time in my life I ever ran out of salt, but I did indeed run out of salt. (I had been under stress for the last year due to my husband treating me like shit).

      Anyway he ranted and screamed at me for what seemed like ten minutes, I am sure it was only a few, but still he ranted and raved and insulted me. Evidently the most heinous crime a wife can commit is to run out of salt. His emotional, verbal, sexual, and financial abuse/betrayal against me, pales in comparison.

  • One of the times he cheated on me he said he did it because I don’t drive a car and I don’t clean the cat litter. Let me add here that getting the cat was his idea and I am allergic to cats but after months of relentless cat-talk I gave in because “having a pet has proven to help improve sleep and I have sleeping anxiety”. He said “you can just take antihistamine (for the next 20 years or so)”.

  • You got too independent (he was deployed for 8 of 15 years)
    You grew a ramrod instead of a backbone (darn)
    You’re too excited about getting old (had a married kid, was looking forward to being a grandparent)
    You don’t wear Tiffany anymore (he never bought me jewelry, not even a wedding ring)

  • He said that he had checked with “people” and other wives didn’t expect their husbands to explain where they had been or wanted to spend so much time together after thirty years together.

    This was a man who was a musician and I went to less than 5% of his gigs (my choice). He had standing 2x a week dates with his car buddies. It took him four hours to buy a screw at a hardware store – everytime.

    His reason for being unhappy was I didn’t appreciate him.

    • My cheater claimed he felt alienated because although I had attended every single show for two of his bands (always helping with gear, cheering in the front row), I had only sporadically attended gigs for the third band.

      Also, I fell asleep at night before him.

      At the time, I was working 8-5, 5 days a week, and he had a record store job he could roll into at 11 AM, part-time. But fuck that! I really shoulda been up until 1 AM every night, at a show, or at home with him.

    • Almost Monday I got a similar one. I was always begging my ex to set up a regular date night. He said he asked his friends and none of them did that. I reminded him that his best (and kind of only) friend took his wife out every other weekend. How did I know? Because my house cleaner at the time did their babysitting! To that he said he didn’t want to have a “high school” relationship and basically said I was a dope to want date nights. Here are the reasons he cheated on me though:
      -I didn’t do a big special sexual performance on his birthdays
      -I once let him tie me up because he had a fantasy. It was horrible and I felt raped. He blamed me for not liking it and it really bothered him that I didn’t like it
      -I was comfortable with aging (I think that was his code for I was getting old)
      -I’m too insecure about my body (happens when one is being cheated on)
      -I’m too vanilla and I have a sexual preference that doesn’t lend itself for being beaten, tied up, hit with chains and cut with razor blades
      – I’m a terrible communicator
      -I have no moral compass
      -I’m no fun and don’t like video games and Magic cards

      So there you have it. He also hated the way I cooked broccoli and he preferred it raw so I had to keep aside for him. I reckon that was what finally did it.

      • Yet they want to have a high school relationship with the other person. In fact they act like 17 year old boys. (speaking of the men now, because that is my experience)

        My fw gave her flowers and gifts, dinners etc. Made time for dates, snuck out at night to see her. Imagine how great I would have felt if he had done a fraction of that for me. But the ow has a shiny new vagina. Well new to them anyway. My fws whore had pushed three kids through hers with three different fathers. I doubt she had that new car smell.

        Of course they can’t give us a brand new sparkly dick either, but then most of us don’t expect that, we just want love and attention, and exclusive rights.

        Date nights are a great thing to do. We set time aside for each other when we are dating, we should continue doing it.

  • I have been around a while and read the “bagged salad” post on real time.

    I was, for a long time, a very compliant wife. I pretzeled myself long before D day. When I got the “Im leaving you because you are a bad wife (but there is no one else)” speech, I kept pressing for reasons…I kept asking “why?” and since there was no good why, I kept getting stupid answers.

    So Cheater told me in response to my “why” that I had been “defiant” at every turn. I lived in the city he chose in the house he chose…drove the car he chose and went to the Church he chose so “defiance?” where?

    “When you do laundry, you use bleach.”

    Well, yes, we had 2 grade school aged boys who played in dirt and soiled their underwear and socks like kids do. When they had mud on their socks and poop smears on their underwear, I used bleach in the load of white laundry.

    Please dont be shocked at my impertinence.

    It gets worse.

    He moved us from a town and house where we were all happy and had plenty of room. Something in his career had gone badly (maybe fucking his coworkers) and he had to uproot us. The new place had expensive houses and gone was my nice laundry room and instead I did laundry in a niche between the kitchen and garage.

    When I first saw the house (he had already bought it, I didnt have a vote) I noticed this challenge and I reminded myself that he did not like clutter and I would have to be very efficient with laundry and not let piles sit around and bother him (notice the compliance here?).

    One a day I was doing laundry (but had nary an errant sock on the floor) he found (gasp) an empty laundry basket in the laundry area. He stormed into the kitchen, verbally raged then drop kicked the basket across the house.

    Unusually, I gave him a deadpan response (I should have thrown his ass out) “when you go to your ‘Husbands of Bitches’ meeting, I dont think they will be impressed with this story”.

    • Another fav of mine is that he told me (at the start of a litany of my faults) that I was “too holy” and at the end of the list, I was “too sinful” (for having premarital sex…with him).

      • Heh.

        Mine was, I was too perfect, like a Stepford wife.

        She drinks tea, you drink coffee. Hinting at coffee breath.

        You can’t have children. I can. Look at Boris Johnson. (We both had fertility issues)

        You’re blocking me from a second marriage. (Polygamy)

        You don’t take initiative to seduce me. You should know how to, I don’t need to tell you.

        You took the pill the first week of marriage without asking me. (This came out after 13 years of marriage).

        More weird stuff I think a bit more…Don’t want to dig deeper. Something about my 36 year old boobs no longer like my 23 year old boobs.

        • I was told that my boobs and lady parts were inadequate. I pushed his sons out of my nether regions and one of them was 9.75 pounds and did some damage. I am of a belief that changes that happen from childbirth are sacred in the larger picture of the selfless sacrifice of bringing forth life.

          One of the patterns I now see in the women I now believe he cheated with was that they were all nulliparous (none had ever had children). I think he believed that the world owed him non-child-bearing vaginas.

          The Bible says to “rejoice in the wife of your youth…may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.” I find it interesting that scripture repeatedly speaks of “the wife of your youth”….4000 years ago, they knew there was a temptation to dump ones wife for a younger one and warned against it.

          I remarried and my new husband loves my boobs and lady parts. I love the entirety of his various perfect and imperfect parts too. I believe that is what real marriage is, relishing the person as a whole and not parsing out parts.

          • A friend who birthed two children shared that her ex-husband whinged that he couldn’t get enough friction with his pencil ✏️ dick to orgasm. She was “too loose” after giving birth, according to him. Did she suggest a penile implant for more girth ? Of course not. How ruuude of him !

            • What a jerk.

              Also, I have read that “loose vagina” is primarily a myth. There are several sources I have found and they all pretty much say the same thing. Aging and multiple childbirth could affect the elasticity slightly, but not enough to make any significant difference between two loving people.

              Good point about the pencil dick though. It is never their fault.

              • Susie Lee,

                Some women subject themselves to vaginal rejuvenation surgery after having kids. Sounds barbaric to me.

              • SPBAS, I agree it sounds barbaric. Someone posted that on here. I had never heard about it, the surgery is sometimes used for leaking issues.

                I doubt it makes much difference to an excited lover. At least that is what I have read in multiple articles.

                Years ago after my son was born my doctor joked that he had taken a few extra stitches for my husband. (this was in 1969). I had about 40 stitches because my son was a nine pounder. I laughed at it as a joke, but who knows.

                Anyway according to what I have read; it is rare for a vag to lose its elasticity to any significant degree. Although dryness and other health issues can of course affect the area.

          • How else would love last if we dissected people into and tossed them away over their aging parts? Love the entirety of a person is a beautiful notion, and one for which I am still striving should I do the whole partner thing again. Not settling for less, never again.

            What kills me is that they can find the faults — anyone is perfectly allowed to find those deal-breakers and things that can’t deal with — and LEAVE. But they don’t leave, do they? We’re the ones who needed to realize we weren’t being valued the way we were supposed to, which opened us right up to being strung along because of ideals like this. It’s so absolutely sad and horrible that people would use other people in this way, and shit all over what marriage should be.

          • I love that bible reference, not just because I am Christian, but because it is just common sense. So much history and fun together. I look at my now husbands brother and his wife and she is now helping him through Parkinsons, but he was loyal their whole life, just as my now husband is to me.

            These boys were raised to honor their wives and every last one of them have (four brothers).

            My now husband was dumped by his wife after 29 years, they were having issues over her drinking; but I have no doubt he would have stayed with her to the end had she not decided she wanted to be single. He even retired from the AF and gave up the top rank he could attain to try and save their marriage. (to get that rank he would have had to sigh up for another tour) Didn’t work. Her loss.

            Yep my now husband loves my body, and we enjoy each other because we love each other and treat each other well.

        • Yas,
          I got I always wanted children
          That one REALLY, REALLY hurt 😢 . When Dday hit i had just turned 50 and he was almost 49. We had been married over 20 years. I found out 2 years after we were married that i could not concieve. I was around 32 and we discussed the various options and decided that childless would be the route for us. He fully agreed and never brought up children again until he started sticking his hands in the neighbor with 2 children’s pants.

          The 2 other crazy excuses I got were
          You read to much
          And
          You take to many walks

          Those 2 bizarre excuses just confused the heck out of me at the time!!!

          • Lorie, what a dick. They love to make you feel like shit in any way possible. My ex and I suffered infertility but it was him although he somehow spun it in his mind that it was me. I didn’t know how what think about that but I figured at the time he just couldn’t deal with his terrible sperm count. We eventually did have one child after serious hell. One of his parting shots when he left was, “My new partner is a lot younger than you so we’re planning on a big family together.” I was 50 then. It was hideous and cruel and I spent a week sobbing in bed. My lovely mum helped me out of it by reminding me over and over that he has shitty sperm so good luck with that again! His young thing was also a druggie for years. They are assholes and they just love to look for ways to devalue us. Big hugs to you ❤️

    • What a great response. My basket was hurled because it was empty and waiting by the dryer for the cycle to finish so I could haul it all upstairs to sort. There was plenty of room for him to walk past it but he decided to be an ass and have a conniption because it was “in (his) way.” Klootzak threw the basket so har, he broke the handle. Wish I had thought of a comeback like yours!

      • Klootzak! You must be Dutch! Hahahah…also…I call FW Mr. Wonderful as well…and the lovely registered clinical counselor he left with is the Cunt Canoe.

  • I wasn’t a good enough house keeper. Which I am not a spit shiner, but I am also not bad. I worked full time, was going to school, did all the laundry cooking, any cleaning that was done. Kept the wood stove going because the asshole ripped out the gas furnace because he hated the gas company.

    I also in the summer mowed the lawn and did any other outside yard work, that I was capable of doing.

    But, things just didn’t sparkle enough.

    Oh and whore was a slob in housekeeping that makes me look like Martha Stewart. I actually laughed when I found that out.

    The only other thing he said and that was later to the preacher was that he always tried to get me to be more independent. (Total lie) But assuming it is true, I guess he showed me. He took on a lazy whore who got fired and with the exception of working at a retail store for a few weeks never worked for the rest of her life, starting from the age of 36.

      • Ha.

        I never could figure out his hatred for the Gas Co. He said his dad hated them. I guess this was some part of a big family vendetta. Anyway in both houses we owned to live in he made the gas co rip the gas lines out.

        I had to cook on a fucking electric stove and I hated it.

        When my now H and I married I told him I don’t care how much it costs, if there is no gas we get it put in. I told him the story and he just shook his head. When we moved to GA and bought our house there was a gas furnace but not gas hook up for a range. So he called the gas co and had them run it. I got my gas range.

    • I am definitely not a tidy person but did the lion’s share of cleaning, cooking, household and child management while working full time. He would have the gall to complain about the house not being clean (but certainly wouldn’t lift a finger to clean it). So I got a robot vacuum. He said it was too noisy. So I would only run it when he wasn’t home at night, which was often. And then he would complain about how I picked things up off the floor to make room for the robot. I finally realized I was never meant to win this game. Like others, I also got the complaint about not dropping everything I was doing to be excited about his drunken return at 1am. Or more specifically, when I would complain about his not being home, I was told i should be excited to see him at whatever time he came home. I am working on the divorce. I see now he does the same with the kids. He is basically never home during normal hours, so that when they do see him, they are falling all over him. Cant wait to be rid of him. He would come up with contradictory complaints:. In one sentence I was too lax with the kids; in the next, too strict. But never anything constructive or helpful from him about parenting the kids. Ugh looking back I just can’t believe I accepted any of this.

  • I wish I had gotten “bagged salad” bc I would have laughed in his face.

    Instead I got the “haven’t been happy for a while”. Which, of course, didn’t go over easily since we had a daughter barely 3 and had only gotten back from a 10 day trip without her a few weeks before. Did for a while extend to before we got pregnant? If yes – well you are disordered. If no – well that isn’t a while and it is kinda normal. And you seems just fine on our trip…. certainly capable of sex….

    Yeah. Even if it isn’t as obvious as bagged salad, it is all just BS.

    I’ve decided the real answer is: He had a poor model and FOO = extreme discomfort w confrontation or addressing issues of any kind. Coupled with the normal marriage sucks when kids are under 3 and then starts rebounding + I’m a 42 year old man and my dad died and I am having an existential crisis that I won’t talk about + howorker looking for an upgrade + I didn’t have many girlfriends and being chased is heroin + my wife is a very strong woman who loves me but doesn’t need me =

    I suddenly hate you and need to end our marriage tomorrow w 0 discussion and no it has nothing to do with her.

    Projection fellow chumps projection is what these freaks excel at.

    Trust that they suck, indeed.

    • Holy crap. Everything you describe is my WH to a T.

      “I’ve been unhappy for awhile” – you are correct, you hated your job for years. But you always said (and journaled) thank goodness for wife and kids because being with them are the only times I am happy.

      Normal marriage suck – check
      3 kids under 10 with all associated normal life issues and activities.

      Turning 40 this year

      Multiple deaths of friends in their 30s due to cancer and suicide in the past several years = mortality crisis/midlife crisis

      Howorker looking for an upgrade – check. This girl was 23 though. So probably looking for an easy life. Ha! Try raising 3 kids for 10+ years 50% of the time that aren’t yours that know you are the reason you broke up their parents (eventually). That doesn’t seem like an easy life to me.

      Dating at 18, married at 23 so “I never lived on my own”. But, but you aren’t on your own now? You have a girlfriend to mitigate any feelings of loneliness or fear. That’s a big part of “being on your own”.

      She (AP) adores me. She needs me. You have just chosen to love and stay committed to me for the past 16 years (and show it – there was no confusion on that, he definitely knew I loved him). But you don’t NEED me.

      That last one I hate. Absolutely hate it. So I’m being punished for being capable? For handling the stress of the house and the kids and a husband who hates his job, all while I also worked, since you work 60 hour weeks? That’s why you left me for a 23 year old? Because she needed to be taken care of? You know who else needs that? Our 3 children. They are the ones who NEED a dad. She only needs a “daddy”.

      That’s hardcore messed up in so many ways. A real man would have appreciated me more because I was able to do this. Not faulted me for it. It’s all bagged salad though because if in would have fallen apart I would have been faulted for not being able to handle the stress of being a surgeon’s wife.

      • It beats all understanding.

        Your post about “never living alone” reminded me of a conversation:

        My ex mother in law when she first started to turn against me said to me: “I think fw just wants his freedom, you two married young” I just looked at her and said “fw’s mom, yes we married young, but I didn’t cheat, and also he is not getting his freedom, he is leaving me to marry whore” Of the two of us, I am the only one who will be gaining freedom.

        She really didn’t like that. I know she was horrified at the woman he chose, but it was her cross to bear (and his) not mine.

      • Wow. Were we married to the same guy? He was turning 40, long term marriage so we got serious in our early 20s, married howorker looking for an upgrade (my ex was 10 years younger than her), He wasn’t happy for a long time, my career was flourishing & his was stagnant. 2 kids under 6 was no fun and screwing married coworker on biz trips so intoxicating. Yep, I was told on discard day that I left the family for an employer (extremely competitive job that required a few months of training); my side hustle biz was in the way of us (never did any work while family members were even awake), and that I never had time for him during grad school (umm that was 15 years earlier).

  • I mentioned on a post earlier this week that ex yelled at me on dday saying, “you think I like crab cakes on Thanksgiving?” Mind you he bought the meat & prepared them, all his idea.

    I was also told that whenever he was home I was there. In tears from other false accusations I replied, “because I live here.” Didn’t know what else to say.

    • Winner Winner! along with “Bagged Salad” we now have “Crab Cakes on Thanksgiving.”

      Geez. Trust that they suck indeed.

      • Another Thanksgiving bagged salad here! I made a Mexican food dinner for thanksgiving one year complete with homemade tamales, etc. he said -YOU MADE MEXICAN FOOD FOR THANKSGIVING?!!!

        Only thing was, he wasn’t at this thanksgiving meal. He was down at the beach on a 2 week “work trip” remodeling schmoopies condo over the holidays. Schmoopie was there for 2 weeks also. This was 2 months before DDay. And funny thing, I found out later they had shrimp and all the trimmings for thanksgiving that year.

    • How dare you be at the home where you live! lol Where were you supposed to be!?! Why were you not supposed to be home? That is some top notch BS right there.

      • Guess what? I’m still here – got my lovely circa 1880s home free & clear in the divorce including 95% of the contents. Ex went on to an apartment over a dollar store in an armpit of a town the next county over.

  • I forgot to remind him he wanted a glass of wine at Epcot Center on our honeymoon. He carried that around for 2 years and then used it on his exit affair.

        • If she was available and so was I (I’m now in a healthy relationship) I would go for it. 🙂

          Not cheating though.

      • Wait wait…. I have a contender: “you never bought me a comfortable chair.”

        7 figure earning-partner in a large international firm said 25 years into marriage where he never once mentioned any furniture preferences… and I’m also a law partner and we had 4 kids!

        • Ha, Ha, MC99!

          Same, same. FW is a big law partner and shortly before discard mode exclaimed with a grand wave of his hand at the SIX armchairs and sofas whilst glaring at me,

          There is not a single chair in this house for me to sit comfortably in!

          • I will add that in his apartment he now has one of these sofas with an electric button to press that makes the seating area wider by coming out 20cm.

            Upon child pick-up in the early days, when I had to go in, he actually stopped me to show me. Explaining proudly how to change from sitting to lounging mode and wouldn’t I like to try it?

            Oh sure, let me FEEL how you get OW laid on your new gadget. Literally. Geez

        • Mine exclaimed right before DDay that our house wasn’t “cool enough” and he stomped around like a toddler feeling upset about it. I reminded him that we were both in good salaries and working hard so if he wanted an upgrade let’s do it! I set about making plans for how we could remodel. I was so excited that we could at last do something together! Asshole- turns out it was just another devaluing move by him

      • ChumpNoMore: I’ll bring the ‘creamy’ salad dressing—say, a homemade ceasar or when it was appropriate to the meal, occasionally a homemade bleu cheese. Otherwise a homemade balsamic or mustard vinaigrette–‘ugh, too much mustard’. And I never loaded the dishwasher correctly in 24 years.

      • That is actually one potluck I’d love to attend! 🤣🤣🤣 I dragged my Ex to hear Rachel Maddow speak in person, and wait while I had her sign my copy of her book. Looking back now, he didn’t deserve the privilege!

      • My crime was that I kept a grocery list on the refrigerator. The nerve of me! I guess we could make a divorce grocery list of all the foods that cause divorce. Bagged salad, crab cakes, etc. After that comment, I took my notepad off the refrigerator and started making lists of divorce attorneys instead.

  • Dear Fourleaf,
    You are a fine chump and you and your experiences and the way you live are essential to the world. Keep sharing you to CN so all future chumps will benefit.

    My salad.
    My soon to be ex freak told me it was my fault that her pregnancy hormones made her fall in love with her twu wuv — the baby is mine and I didn’t know of twu wuv until just before our baby was born.

    • XX,

      Thanks and I shall certainly try. These morning visits to Chump Nation over coffee are certainly meditative and centering.

      Your FW’s excuse certainly takes the cake: “*My* hormones which drove me to make *my own choices* are really your fault.” Oh my gosh. I can’t even (as the kids say).

  • Voldemark said he was having an affair with Sallatrix because I was guilty of “emotional adultery” when I wanted to watch tv after he was ready to go to bed AND because “he came after the kids and the cats”…….can you say emotional development of a 5 year old? 30 year marriage with a covert narcissist….
    the pieces all fit…….

    • Mine is a Penn State Guy. Yes, I wish I would have known about covert narcism. It all makes so much sense now. I knew he was passive aggressive, but the covert narcism explanation put all the puzzle pieces together.

      • My parents have such deep Cluster B disorders that in contrast, Cheater was much more reasonable than they are. That alone prevented me from realizing that he was a covert narc until after he died.

        • this is also my experience, except for the dying part. Now that I know… damn. It’s like my STBX was the case study…

          • I should market “I survived being married to a Covert Narcissist and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” shirts…..I could probably retire tomorrow

            • I was married to a covert narc for 26 years. He was too inhibited to be a cheater. He did gaslight and emotionally and financially abuse me.

              My next relationship was with the love-bombing cheater. A completely different kind of narcissism.

              Now I think I’ve fixed my picker. No narc traits or red flags in the 10 months I’ve known him.

    • So… you had an emotional affair with a TV show? I’m trying to parse the “emotional adultery” comment and figure out how it applies to watching TV when he wanted to sleep. That is one of the dumbest things I’ve heard yet and I’ve been here a looooong time, lol.

      • I guess I was committing infidelity with Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon…….When I told my attorney , at our first meeting, that he had said this, her response was…”Holy Hell, I have been practcing family law for 20 + years and I have never heard such a painfully idiotic comment in my life..” Lucky Me.

        • Klootzak controls the remote and the only time I can watch anything is after he foes to bed. I was treated to a speech that it said something that I refused to go to bed the same time as him. I said yeah… it says that you control the TV and I have to stay up late to watch the news or anything decent.

  • All I did was work, cook and go to bed early! This, from his mother. I had a very challenging job while he was retired. Then she said I should have retired with him. I informed her that like he, I was not being fired. When I stated that I got three weeks notice of his impending retirement (and no discussion), she stated “what, he needs your permission?” This all from a woman that never worked a day in her life.
    Also, I “forced” him to watch TV alone.
    Good riddance to them both.

    • I too was married to a retiree, who was already retired when we married.

      He asked me to retire early so we could spend time together. I said that I could do that if he would gift me (for xmas) with an annuity that would cover the gap in benefits I’d lose with early retirement.

      I got the silent treatment for about 3 weeks.

  • I got… I haven’t been happy in years… I gave you enough hints to choke a horse! I was only happy the first 7 years…married 20! Ummm oh did those hints include building our dream home for 2 years together with no argument or disagreeing, which we moved in to a mere 18 months before he left? Or was it the $30k upgraded wedding ring given? I realized the truth once I discovered the affair… ho hum, I got the dream house and beach house mortgage free, and a whole lot more. He was said to be sobbing at the close of our settlement negotiations! C’est la vie dude!

  • After our separation, I rifled through papers on his desk and found an enumerated list of more than 100 of my faults. The dated list had been running for months and referenced things that had happened years ago. For example, I failed to purchase cilantro when I served tacos (and I had served salsa when he had wanted taco sauce). I had failed to put into the mail one of those little subscription cards that fall out of magazines even though he had told me he wanted to order that magazine. I was less appalled by the faults the list revealed than the recognition of how petty he was and how long he’d been tracking and holding grudges. (And, of course, there was the fact that he was barely contributing to the parenting of our kids, any household chores, or working to keep us afloat, but he did have time to sit and brood over all my inadequacies).

    Unlisted, but verbalized, during a conversation that preceded the implosion of the marriage was his sudden epiphany that I was a lesbian (no shade to lesbians), because any heterosexual woman would fawn at his feet and appreciate him with depth and passion. Eventually, I learned that his “soul mate” (who was at least 25 years younger than himself) did admire and support him appropriately. Labeling me a closet lesbian was just a way he could justify cheating and sustain the belief that he was the victim of a fraudulent marriage.

    • A whole list of stupid, bagged salad reasons! Oh my gosh. And you can bet a million dollars that if any of those reasons were the reverse–say, you always used cilantro to make tacos–the list would have reflected that.

      Reason #23 why I am a poor soul trapped in a loveless marriage: She always uses cilantro when she makes tacos for me. It’s like she doesn’t even love me anymore!

      There’s no winning. When they’ve decided that one foot is out the door then anything we do is always the wrong thing.

    • Eilonwy, what a horrible thing to find. But so glad the list was comically stupid. Failed to buy cilantro?!!!! That list is a gift. It validates you as the normal one and shows you that he is petty, pathetic, and permanently unsatisfied.

      When I first suspected my FW’s affair and confronted him, he went on a full rage and said no he is not having an affair, he loves me, but he wants a divorce. I said why do you want a divorce if you are not having an affair and you love me? He said it was because I always told him to work more and make more money. That was the exact opposite of the truth. I always, always, always told him to work less. For all the 22 years we were married! I was so confused! But spackler that I am, instead of interpreting it as a raging lie, I thought he had a brain tumor for saying something so opposite from the truth. I actually brought him to a doctor and he had all sorts of tests done to rule out a brain tumor. Everything was normal. Augh, so embarrassing. Two years later, I found out that he had been living with another woman and her kids all this time. He was living two lives, 100 miles apart. No wonder he was so confused.

      • I think we need to remember that for sensible people spackling is always a part of fixing the walls. Hasty people move out every time they find an imperfection, but healthy people do try and do repairs. It’s only when we’ve put up so much spackle that we can barely see the original paint color any longer that we realize it is time to redecorate or relocate. You were kind to assume a health problem before leaping to the assumption he was a raging jackass!

    • Yes, mine was a list maker too, and he decided that I was a lesbian. Never mind the psychological disorders required to make such a list on another human being, and that my “bent” was entirely based on his view that I was not properly idolizing him.

      Trying to make sense of that and more, I shared those sorts of things with my therapist after he took off. Her summary was “some people just shouldn’t be married.”

      He ran so far away that I never knew the whole story. My attorney suggested a PI because he “smelled” adultery all over what happened (still a crime in my state and for-cause in divorce), but I chose not to do that. Money was tight, and I just plain wanted out. We did settle out of court, and I was happy with my settlement.

      Live and learn!

  • My ex told me, and anyone else who would listen, I refused to have sex with him for a year. I guess he must have been astro projecting from the bed? And the couch, the kitchen floor, the boat, the restroom at Denny’s. Ok, not the restroom at Denny’s; I actually declined that one. 😅What an idiot.

    • Ha that sounds like me. He loved to have sex when there was danger of getting caught.

      I should have seen that big red freak flag flying, but I thought it was normal for young men. He was my first sex partner. Of course I knew the nuts and bolts of sex, but had no experience other than what he taught me.

      That is why I have no trouble believing that he was enjoying the hell out of sneaking around. Then he got his nuts caught in the office auger; the rest is history.

      • That’s right from the “secret sexual basement”: Deceptive Sexuality. I know the ex-FW got off on the sneaking, because he cheated way down and only got vanilla sex. (He vomited many details when asked directly). I was the freaky sex, that’s why he had tried to get back with me many times. Rejected every time.

        It was the ego boost and deceiving me that was the turn-on. That mind-fucked me for a while. I know I’m at meh because I’m happy that it’s over and done with – it would’ve happened eventually. We weren’t married so it was easy to kick him out of my house.

        He was my “first pancake” after my divorce. The one you feed to the dog. (Sorry doggie). Not my concept, I heard that somewhere else).

  • I didn’t run marathons with him.
    I cleaned too much.
    I was an extrovert.
    I was too independent.
    I wasn’t independent enough.
    I spent too much time on the couch watching TV (…which was with him, btw).

    • Your independent quotes remind me.

      He told our preacher that he had always tried to get me to be more independent, (preacher looked at him like WTH). Then in the next breath he said “I (meaning him) am a controller” Those two statements are a total contradiction. And he didn’t even notice it.

      The preacher was still a little stunned because as he told me later, since the ex had requested this meeting to talk about “trying again” he was surprised that the ex was sitting there talking about my faults.

      But, to break that down. He didn’t want me going out at night. He made me turn down a job where there would be a lot of men working, and travel. He didn’t want me to travel. When I questioned why on earth he didn’t want me to travel. He said as a man he could handle himself, but I couldn’t. There are lots of examples of him having to be in control.

      Yeah, we know how well he handled himself.

      Anyway, I got up and left when the preacher told us that he couldn’t counsel us, but he could refer us to someone. My ex turned around and looked at me and said “I can’t make any promises” So I stood up thanked the preacher for his time, and said “we are done here”. and walked out.

      • Talk about projection. Sounds like the preacher surprisingly didn’t gaslight you.

        I realized later the projection. The ex-FW was jealous that I was talking to a man, someone that I would never meet, who was a friend through an online support group for a rare disease that we both had. I stopped talking to the man, and later found out he passed, which was a huge loss as he never knew why I stopped talking to him. It is a lesson I learned the hard way.

        • I don’t think he thought I would cheat, he was just simply going to maintain control of me, until he was ready to boot me out; then all of a sudden I wasn’t independent enough. Guess again fw, I did fine without you.

          No the preacher was great. He was the one early on that told me I need to get mad. Which I did before too long. I had mentioned it before, but I didn’t tell our preacher a lot of the horrible stuff he did and said to me, I was so humiliated. I should have. I regret it to this day. He could have helped me a lot more if he had known the whole story.

          He was just trying to get us the help we needed if both of us wanted it. When I walked out he knew I was done, and I suspect he was relieved. He told my ex that he would never build happiness on the destruction of someone else.

          FW didn’t believe him, but if the way he lived the rest of his life was happiness; I certainly wouldn’t want any of it. I am so relieved I escaped that.

          • “You will never build happiness on the destruction of someone else”

            This was God’s message for the “kerfuffle” that is my life!! Thank you sooooo much for sharing!!

      • The exFW loved that I ran with him, trained and did triathlons with him. His AP didn’t work out at all, and neither does his new victim. I happened to see his sad sausage social media post about needing “a new training partner”. Well, he had one that he didn’t appreciate.

        And Mr. “I ran State: – the last half marathon we did together – he choked.

    • I got my “friends” (from his college days) said he changed and was different now. I said my friends would say the same because I’m married, have kids, a house and responsibilities. Of course I changed! It’s only normal. He also said he wanted to be able to travel and see these “friends” but I would never let him. Of course he never mentioned this in our marriage and I have no idea who these “friends” are. But he never sees these friends because they are in a Mexico and we are in the United States. Apparently their opinion was more important than that of his wife of 24 years. We traveled often to Mexico to visit his family. Another reason to exit our marriage was he wanted to travel alone to Mexico and also he wants to go to Brazil. His AP is Colombian and he has pretty much forgotten about his family here and in Mexico. I doubt she will let him travel anywhere alone. His oldest brother died of Covid about a month ago and he didn’t even go to his funeral or go to support his siblings and mother.

  • Amongst my many high crimes and misdemeanours , I am largely tee-total; quite clearly beyond the pale and ample justification for any punishment or criticism that my Ex saw fit to administer.

    The day after D-Day I was told “I am embarrassed to bring my friends to our house because you do not drink. You are a lousy host because you do not fill peoples’ glasses up often enough and when you do fill their glasses up, you look as if you are judging them. You have no social skills whatsoever and none of my friends like being around you. You obviously have a drink problem.”

    And this is why Ex-Mrs LFTT (a functioning alcoholic) felt that it was OK to hook up with her ex-boyfriend who is (according to those that know him) ……. a functioning alcoholic.

    Well at least they have something in common; they are welcome to each other.

    LFTT

  • Wow these people.

    In our marriage counseling in the days following DDay he lamented: “I had to do all of the laundry”. He left out a lot of context. First, I used to do his laundry but he complained that I didn’t do it right so I stopped doing his. When we had a nanny, and I only worked four days a week the nanny and I did the laundry between us. We also cleaned house and, of course, looked after the kids. I can’t remember if she did his laundry too or not. I probably had her skip his so she wouldn’t be burdened by the complaints of “you aren’t folding the socks right”. It wasn’t until he voluntarily gave up his high paying job to become a SAHD for a few years that I Iet him do the laundry so it would be done right and because he really didn’t have much else to do while the kids were in school. He hired a housekeeper we couldn’t afford to clean the house. He never asked me to help do the laundry during that time.

    I also got complaints that I didn’t buy expensive enough clothes, go clothes shopping often enough, get my hair done often enough, wear expensive jewelry every day or carry a purse (preferably an expensive one). In other words, I was low maintenance and that was a bad thing. I am sure there are many on here who did their best to look good for their spouses every day only to be told they were high maintenance and that was the cause of the cheating. There really is no way to win this game.

    • I once accidentally washed a new towel with his clothes resulting in cotton pills all over his stuff (oops) he went into a rage and forbade me from washing his clothes. He also had a system of which dress clothes went to the cleaner when and how and forbade me to interfere with that process also. I did as told and did not touch his clothes.

      At the MC he said “at this very minute there is a bag of dirty clothes in my closet that she refuses to take to the cleaners”. This was typical of him telling me something then being mad that I did it.

      I so wish that I had realized that he showed that he didnt love my in a thousand ways. I knew, however if I ever left, he would backtrack/deny all of it to look blameless. He was a selfish, manipulative fucker.

    • “There really is no way to win this game.”

      Nope, as CL says it is a stacked deck. We don’t even know we are in the game until it is over.

      • “We don’t even know we are in the game until it is over.”

        Agreed. And I, for one, don’t feel like sitting down at the table to play another round with anyone anytime soon.

      • SL,

        The only way to win the game is to refuse to play …. but to do that you need to recognise that a game is being played in the first place. My approach, as soon as I sensed a hint of game-playing was one of “Strategic Non-Engagement.”

        It drove Ex-Mrs LFTT nuts, as it denied her the ability to manufacture a grievance, lay it at my feet and then claim victim status.

        LFTT

        • Oh I agree.

          But as you say if you don’t know there is a game, you can’t refuse to play. By the time I found out about the game, it had been played against me for so long and it was two players against one, it just didn’t matter anymore. I had been emotionally and financially raped. (He had to pay that money back by way of a year long maintenance plan while we were legally separated.)

          I am betting schmoops didn’t like that because there she sat with an engagement ring and he can’t marry her. He seemed fine with it though, I am betting he would have agreed to the full three years if I had wanted that. But, I didn’t want to stay tied to him that long, I just wanted time to save some money.

          I am fine now, because I had to focus on my job (it was all I had) I was out earning him within a few short years. I eventually married way way up. Even if he and schmoops had not gambled themselves into bankruptcy, I would have been too far out for him to ever catch up.

          • SL,

            That sounds a fantastic ending to your story.

            I got a clean break from Ex-Mrs LFTT and a significant promotion at work less than a month after our divorce was finalised. I now make more than her and her AP put together and then some. In the 4 years since the Decree Absolute I’ve gone from £25K in debt to being almost ready to buy a new house for the kids and I (I am currently renting).

            I am still single (by choice, as the kids and my career keep me very busy), but I still think that I traded up by getting rid of her.

            LFTT

            • “but I still think that I traded up by getting rid of her.”

              Absolutely, I would have felt the same way, in fact I did because I didn’t marry for several years after the D.

      • Yes. Even when I had a nervous breakdown b/c of the game playing and had to go to therapy as a result, it never occurred to me I was being gaslighted into losing my mind—because what sane, decent human being would do that to another human being? It was only after he abandoned me that I figured out what he had been doing all along. All he wanted from me was an emotional reaction—because he was an energy vampire who fed off others’ emotions—and he didn’t care what it was or how he got it. I was pretty even-keeled as a person (which actually *attracted* him to me in the first place b/c he had just come off a relationship with too much drama), and so he learned the best way to get a rise out of me was to drive me into a corner where I felt trapped by never being able to please/satisfy him—then, he would get either anger or despair from me, depending on what space I was in. Yum yum. Fucker.

        • And, let me guess….he then whined that you were sad, angry, or “too negative” all the time.

        • I had a nervous breakdown too and therefore he had to leave. He wrote a 2 page letter to my attorney telling her all about it.

          • I didn’t have a nervous breakdown, but XW left me anyway because she believes that I am going to have one someday: I will have a breakdown, lose my job, and she will have to take care of the kids all by her herself while I am institutionalized. She needed to divorce me because she couldn’t face that future.

            Except that her scenario is actually not my life, but basically her father projected onto me … and of course XW never mentioned that she’d been having an affairs for year(s) and that she and her AP were coordinating kicking their spouses to the curb.

  • After not being happy for a long time when I got cancer that was the final straw. My cancer drove him away. I’m such a terrible person

    • To me, the Cheaters who abandon a spouse who is sick are beneath contempt.
      I am so sorry this happened to you.

      • Newt Gingrich took the grand prize for that because he’s a public figure and we all heard about it. What pieces of shit.

        An older guy hit on me at the track, with his sad sausage story of his sick wife. I told him “Sounds like you need to join a caregivers support group rather than chatting up other women and asking for their phone number.” What a loser.

        • After my Cheater died and I was dating now husband (Col Greatguy) I was telling my “love story” while getting new glasses and the gal said “Oh that’s like me, my husband is dying and I just reconnected with an old boyfriend”. GAH!!! Her husband needed her more than ever and she was all excited over a new love. I did no such thing.

    • Mine denied it was due to my breast cancer, my double mastectomy and reconstruction. Yet, he was gone a year later.

      Besides the requisite “I haven’t been happy for a long time.”, he said it was because I’d remind him to take out the trash and that he’d always hated the pattern of our dishes. Even though he bought me pieces as gifts. 🙄

  • One of the reasons why my husband gave was because I was not happy enough when I was sick. (I was facing possible brain surgery thankfully everything turned out fine anyway). He compared me to his friends wife who had back issues and supposedly was happy all the time.

  • After 35 years, “ I would’ve have cheated if you didn’t nag so much”. I guess us having sex almost every day didn’t matter to him.
    I’m sure his Owhore never nagged. ( she died 2 years later). The woman he’s living with now probably doesn’t either. So sad I gave him my youth. 😔

  • He and I had become like brother and sister. With an 18 month old child. In addition to the 4 year old and 7 year old. Never met a brother and sister with a baby before, but sure.

    • OH – Also, he was “too good to be married to a 40 year old woman”. I was 39, so time was ticking I guess. Little mistress was his 25 year old intern.

      • MaisyL, you just reminded me of a similar situation my with ex. I went through menopause relatively early at 45. I was experiencing menopausal symptoms and had gone to my doctor for help. She told me I was in menopause and gave me some advice to manage it naturally. I sat my ex down and told him what my doctor said. He looked at me in disgust and told me he didn’t know if he could be with a menopausal woman. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but was that enough of a red flag for me to leave him? No. Instead, I went on hormonal therapy to fight Mother Nature and hopefully keep him happy. I got my breast cancer diagnosis 10 years later. He was gone the following year.

        When I think back on that situation and so many others like it, it makes me feel sick and ashamed. Over 30 years of my life spent with that pond scum.

        • I’m sorry to hear that. So cruel. I bet he never asked how you were feeling about this news.

          Bastard. I’m glad you are rid of him now.

      • Yep! My ex started an affair on my 40th birthday — while I was 8 months pregnant with our 4th child — because having a wife who was “so old” made him feel “desperate.” How dare I insist on continuing to age year after year!

        • Me too. I turned 40 and he turned to 29 year old howorker. Cheater later said in his bag salad defense: “you got old”.

          Yep. Shocker. That’s how it works. Oh he’s a decade older than me, but apparently women age in dog years for him.

          • See what gets me about these you got old deal is this:

            As men start to age, their sex drive will (in most cases) start to decline, in many cases as their drive is declining, a woman’s drive is increasing because she is getting away from child care, and constant stress and work etc.

            As these men age do they expect their partners to have affairs because quite frankly they can’t do it as often as they used to. And for almost every man, regardless of his love and attraction for his woman, or any woman he will likely lose the ability to get it up every time. So does that mean his wife, who can still have sex should have affairs, or leave him for a younger man who can perform.

            These are just the fact of life. Are there exceptions, sure; but I doubt there are many.

            That is kind of what the loyalty and vows are about. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and married folks should compromise and work together.

            I know I am likely going to get pinged here, but I think part of the issue now with old men going after young women is Viagra. It allowed the men to have a stiffie, whereas in previous years they couldn’t.

            Again, there are exceptions. Does anyone really believe Aristotle Onassis was able to go at it with Jackie Kennedy. (this was pre Viagra days) Or any of the old time rich men with 20 year old hanging all over them. Think George Burns.

            Nope it was money. That was why you saw rich men with young women on their arms. Now those poor young women have to put up with an old man humping them for their money. In the past, they just had to walk on his arm and keep their mouth shut.

            • I just want to add, if a couple are committed to each other as they grow old, they are not seeing an old person, or their flaws; they are still just enjoying the person they love, flaws and all.

              I am just so sorry for everyone’s pain. (been there) It is real and it takes a while to recover. I will just be an old church lady and say “some folks ought to be ashamed of themselves” But, they lie to themselves, so many aren’t.

  • Bless me father for I have sinned. And these are my sins:

    “You slept on the edge of the bed .” (Earlier in our marriage, I’d spooned with him, and he said, “I can’t sleep like that.” He also criticized me for breathing on him. I guess while in a subconscious sleep state, my body knew to get as far away from that man as possible.)

    “You didn’t want to move to Montana.” (Note: he’d never asked me. I guess he chose Montana because of its fly fishing. As I might have mentioned here once or twice, the man is addicted to that sport.) Corollary accusation–and for this, I should hang my head in shame–“You want to live near your kids so that you can have a relationship with your grandchild.” He’s right about this. And now that I’m no longer with him, I do live near my grandchildren (another one was born recently!). He hasn’t been allowed to meet the new one. He hasn’t seen the older one since Dday, nearly two years ago.

    “You didn’t like fly fishing enough.” (Note: Just before Dday, I went with him to a remote cabin in Canada and fished for…get this…8 hours a day. I wasn’t enthusiastic enough, apparently. I didn’t realize I was competing with the OW who, unbeknownst to me, had scored a perfect 10 by getting a massive fish tattoo on her upper thigh.)

    “You weren’t perfect either.” (True, but…)

    “We had problems.” (Umm, ok. But you never said you were unhappy.)

    “You didn’t initiate sex enough.” This was accompanied by the head-spinning, “You have to admit that we’ll never have better sex than we had with each other.”

    “She really likes it when I go down on her. You don’t like that enough.” (Note: it never dawned on this Casanova that he wasn’t good at it. Also, how sweet of him to reveal this to his chumped wife while she was sitting in the wreckage of her bombed life. Classy guy.)

    “I don’t need porn to have sex with her.” (Ouch. After 35 years of marriage, I couldn’t be an exciting new thing every day. My bad! Also, ignored in all this is his assumption that he remained a hot Adonis for me. JFC. No doubt the OW made him feel like Brad Pitt, which aligned with how he saw himself.)

    “You don’t understand what it’s like to bond over taking care of patients.” (By this logic, all nurses and docs are fucking each other. Ummm.)

    “You spoiled the kids.” (I have a good relationship with the kids. I’ve treated them with kindness and respect, something he could never manage. #myfault And the kids are successful adults–good careers, honest, kind, caring. So define “spoiled.”)

    …I’m truly sorry for all my sins.

    • “You don’t understand what it’s like to bond over taking care of patients.” (By this logic, all nurses and docs are fucking each other. Ummm.)

      He is full of shit. Ive bonded with plenty of team members over patients and never fucked a one of them…

      In a post Dday talk, Cheater asked me if I had a good childhood (he knew the answer was no, mom is an alcoholic) and said “OW and I both had wonderful childhoods, since your childhood was bad, you and I could never be as close as me and her”…..wow, blamed for my bad childhood.

      I also got the “I would move to Montana but you won’t” (there was never an actual proposal to do so.

      I am feeling wonderful over the image of your Cheaters OW with a giant fish on her thigh. Hope the next guy likes fish.

      • Wayyyy after D-day and I dumped him, when he told me about his most recent victim, he said that “I was never loved as a child”. “Her and I both come from families of 4 and carry a calm demeanor”. Umm what? He rewrote my childhood story, revisionist history, to make himself feel better for losing me to boring Christian woman.

    • “She really likes it when I go down on her. You don’t like that enough.” 

      This is what the kids these days call a self-own. That, almost delicious, but unsaid rebuttal hovers in the air obvious to everyone but him, just as you noted: “Maybe…. maybe because you’re bad at it…?”

      • He gets a faker. hahahahaha. She’s gonna get bored with that.

        She didn’t learn the first rule: If you fake, then you’ll always get the bad sex.

      • I got this one too! Ha! I had spent years trying to teach him what I liked but he couldn’t let someone tell him what to do so eventually I just told him to stop. I hope the next one to buy his bs enjoys awkward, non-relational relations. I for one will never settle for a lame lover again.

        My exfw had been driven to cheat (constantly and with anyone who would pay attention to him) by the 45 hours per week I spent working. He felt that I should be able to text him, sext him, and trade memes all day. I was confused at how he could expect that when I had to, you know, do my job during those hours. Then I found out what he was doing at work… He was spending his work hours chasing and flirting and meeting illicitly.

    • “My bad! Also, ignored in all this is his assumption that he remained a hot Adonis for me. JFC. No doubt the OW made him feel like Brad Pitt, which aligned with how he saw himself.)”

      Yep, these fw’s never see themselves. The whores make them feel 17 again, at least for a while. I think a lot of them think it will last, so they abandon ship and go for it. Which is why most of them cheat again.

    • I’ve told this story before but I gave up a wonderful job in Switzerland to move to the States for him and “wing it” (neither of us had a job). Then I got a job at the World Bank but 2 years later he was still sorting mail and hated it, so I gave up a wonderful job at the Bank to move to Pittsburgh – where he still had the same crap mail sorting job! When I was offered my job back in Switzerland we jumped at the chance and he was eventually able to get a job too and work his way up. After about 15 years he also wanted to “give it all up and move to Montana to build a log cabin” (neither of us had ever been to Montana)! I said “we have great jobs and live in the fuckin’ French alps, why don’t we build a log cabin here”? When that wasn’t good enough I told him to go ahead and move to Montana and get us all set up and then we’d follow. THAT was what finally shut him up because he knew he couldn’t do it without me!

    • Dear Spinach, for your penance, please buy yourself a few new outfits, have you hair done and take a friend to lunch. Enjoy being FW free.
      Signed, His Holiness, The Pope

  • I didn’t wear pink. My hair was unstructured (AKA curly). I stayed in shape for myself not him. I was out of shape. I wore cloths I liked and got complimented on even though he did not like them. I went to bed at 10:00 and didn’t stay up with him (I need 8 hrs dumb ass and if you came home at a decent time we could spend time together). I didn’t really “see” him (hard to do when you are always gone).

  • His excuses were.
    1) You were not happy all the time.(I went through early menopause and it kicked my ass.)
    2) I thought you did mot love me anymore. And you would not care.
    3) You told me to find someone else. (We had an argument one tome about going out to a bar to play pool. I did not want to go. So I told him then ho with someone else).
    4) You seemed tired and depressed all the time.
    5) You got a credit card that I did not know about. I thought you were going to steel my money.
    6) All you did was bitch and she was happy all the time. And paid me complements all the time.
    The main reason ge said was my menopause. He thought I used it as an excuse. That he asked other people and menopause really does not affect women like it affect me. That I was basically Faking It. Looking back I probably would nit have been so depressed during menapause. If he was not around. All he did was bitch and call me names. He made it miserable. Then he used it against me and cheated.

  • He made me out to be some sort of crazy left wing extremist. My political views are pretty moderate, I think.

    I found out after we split he cheating with a 22 year old subordinate at work, and I’m pretty sure that is why he was fired. All in the midst of buying a house and his mother moving in. So, chump I am, I got the loan for the new house in my name only, and felt so sorry for him for being fired, and bent over backwards helping him look and apply for another job. Ugh, I can’t believe what an idiot I was.

    • I love that Rachel Maddow is listed more than once as the “cause”. She is a badass and if you like her and your guy doesn’t, that’s definitely a red flag.

  • In a journal he kept re our last trip together, he wrote that he didn’t feel sexual tension when he was with me. He wrote this while I was taking a nap after our cross-country flight. It’s called jet lag, fucker.

    Later he would tell me, “Yes, we travel well together.”

    I also discovered that the OW had written out a list of places we should visit while on this trip. So nice of her!

  • I didn’t like sushi.
    I cared about the environment- which made him feel guilty.

    I mean really 😒

      • Yep exactly. So lame.

        During the affair he was coming home every day and saying how great a wife and mom I am, how lucky he was.

        After DDay – I’ve never been happy (for our whole 15 year marriage!), I wish I had met her back then, I’m waiting for a sign from God on whether to stay or leave. And then the BS about an open marriage.

        Gotta say he was really shocked when I filed for divorce. He said, I kid you not, “But I haven’t decided if I want a divorce”. I said “it’s not up to you. I want a divorce.”

        Entitlement much? It’s mind blowing.

        • Wow!!! Mind-blowing, indeed.

          Also, I didn’t know God gave his signs through cheater’s dicks. Mysterious ways and all that, I suppose!

          Glad you filed.

          • Lol.

            Reminds me of just recently when my daughter in law were talking over some old stuff. She told me that whore told her that “God sent me to fw just when he needed me” My daughter in law told her that first of all that is sons mother she is talking about and she is a wonderful woman, and also that she does not believe God send women to married men to steal their husbands.

            I about died laughing when she told me that. I wish she had told me years ago. I said to daughter in law “oh yeah, I think the bible backs that up; doesn’t the 6th commandment say “thou shall not commit adultery, unless you really need it”.

        • Here is the Golden Rule for your important choice.
          If you can’t decide between your spouse and your side piece,
          pick your side piece.

  • Mine had a list of things against me AND wanted to reconcile. Periodically while we were together and during separation, he would recite the list as if that was going to improve/fix our marriage. Of course, I had issues with him that I’d bring up one at a time (big issues FWIW like his pill habit and workaholic tendancy), and he’d always blow those off. But oh, the list. Some of it was long past (even things that happened decades ago) and some of was completely normal, everyday stuff like “salad.”

    Then during separation, he became convinced that if we just both shared our lists over a long weekend, it would be over-and-done. We could go on as if none of the past had ever happened, or so he said. Given the comprehensiveness and length of his list, I knew that he would always have a list that he would hang over me. I also knew that a list would never, ever resolve the core issues at all. If I had agreed to that mess, I doubt that I would have lasted a week. His ultimatum if I refused the list was divorce (although he was more euphemistic), so I chose divorce. I began reading the blogs and asking around about attorneys. He continued to try to convince me that his method would work.

    During that period, I talked with several mental health professionals and folks that I considered to be wise souls including our church’s leadership. Not ONE recommended that approach at all and felt like it was indicative of deep, cancerous problems in the relationship. Yes, I knew that, but the feedback helped.

    And yes, we divorced. Not “quick and easy” like he promised, but long and crazy. Even his attorney got on his case and observed that my ex had never said anything about me that wasn’t normal marital stuff. He told him to get over himself and get the divorce done, which of course my ex didn’t. Stretching it on-and-on was somehow satisfying to him even though the attorneys did all they could to settle it.

    Well into closeout he was harassing my former employer over my pension, and a senior paralegal in HR called me and asked me what his problem was. He was so bad to their people over something they couldn’t give him by law that they were discussing various ways to end it including court action. Thankfully she and her boss figured out how to stop it with a letter that my attorney said was useless legally for my ex but protected my rights. My ex agreed and signed it without consulting an attorney, and that was that.

    But yes, the bagged salad. He probably still has a list on me.

  • And this gaslighting, projection-heavy gem: “You said you wanted a threesome with my friends.”

    Ewwwww. WTF!!!??? I say projection because I honestly think he has the hots for his male friends. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    When he said he wanted a separation, one of the first things I asked was, “Are you having an affair with (insert name of his male best friend)?”

  • There are people who are “grudge keepers.” In the south, everyone in my FOO culture knew about the Hatfield’s and McCoys from Kentucky. That feud went on for generations. My Dad’s family had some similar stories, my mother’s family didn’t admit it if they had those stories, they all claimed to be “washed in the blood and born again.” Dysfunctional environments teach dysfunctional habits.

    I don’t think I am a grudge keeper, but I am a hurt me once, blame on you, hurt me twice blame on me type. I never forget a grave transgression. I figure if you did it once, chances are you will do it again. So I don’t really believe in forgiveness on a fundamental level for adults. I believe you can accept an error in judgement and decide to move on. It is like detente and a peace treaty. There are agreements which must be upheld, or there are consequences.

    I found that things which were attractive at first become threatening as time goes on when you have an unequal pairing. If you read through the responses today, look at the inequality of work ability, distribution of labor, tolerance, entitlement between spouses. In the beginning I was attractive because I had an education, a job, a home, knew how to live on a budget, expected to work, and adjusted the home work load for different job requirements. Those things became unattractive as time went on, because being independent means you don’t “need” them, so they cannot manipulate you as they please. When you figure out you can stand alone, an insecure person who has lived a life requiring others to contribute to their dependencies does not find your independence attractive.

    The reasons given for infidelity never make logical sense. They are poor excuses to cover up a weak and entitled personality. I came to believe that those who make this choice are not capable of living authentically. Cheating seems an easy way to cover up deficiencies, or rebel against authority. Facing and solving adult problems is hard work. There are consequences, no matter which choice you make.

    • “I figure if you did it once, chances are you will do it again. ”

      When my ex and I first dated, (he was in the Army, I was still in high school senior year).
      he came home for Christmas and we went out a couple times, then for the last week he was to be home, I didn’t hear from him. We had just started dating, (though he was friends with my brother and we had flirted back and forth for a while) so I didn’t call him or anything, but I did like him and thought he liked me. I just chalked it up to oh well.

      Anyway, he went back to Ft. Devon’s and about a week later I got a letter full of mush and love and apologies (can anyone say huge red flag). I told my mom about the letter and said I don’t know if I should give him another chance or not. She said and I quote “if he did it once, he will do it again” For background my mother was a true southerner from Arkansas.

      So of course I totally ignored her advice and well we know how that worked out.

      By the time he was outed my mother was long gone, (she died fairly young) but you better believe that when it hit the fan, the first memory I had was of my mother saying that. I should have listened. It wasn’t like I had no other options.

    • As with many of your posts, Portia, I so appreciate every word you have said here. Your second paragraph is a summary of my marriage.

    • “I found that things which were attractive at first become threatening as time goes on when you have an unequal pairing.”

      Whoop, there it is.

  • That is so horrible.

    I met a woman when I was in post D counseling. She had cancer and her husband had left her. I was amazed at her strength. I have often wondered how she fared. She was getting treatment and was optimistic, so I hope that meant remission.

    I just don’t know how these guys/gals can do this to another human being, especially one that has loved you and been so close to you.

  • My ex wife told me “you’re not the same man I met”. Well no shit. We were 21 years old when we met and I lived at home with my parents with no bills nor major responsibilities and there we were stood at 37 years old with young kids, house to pay for, bills to pay, jobs to go to and health issues to worry about, but yeah, I changed from that care free 21 year old 🙄

  • After 20 years of paying for everything and allowing her freedom to hang with her friends, workout, travel, and get loaded at happy hour, she explained to me that she cheated because she wanted to “live a little and enjoy life.” Besides that, she blamed me for:
    1. Being boring and sitting around reading all the time
    2. Not wanting to have sex (after she had with held sex for most of the relationship)
    3. For being dark and paranoid because I wanted to stock up on supplies in case there was a trucker strike, natural disaster, or pandemic (cough)
    4. Yelling obscenities at the TV when news reports came on about animal or child abuse

    Yep, it was all my fault. How dare I be an introvert who likes quiet nights at home reading to improve my mind while she’s out getting sloppy drunk. What audacity that I would dial back my sex drive because she never seemed interested and I, you know, loved her for her, and didn’t want to pressure her into sex. And who do I think I am prepping for emergencies because I want to protect my family and be responsible. But the worst…caring about animals and children being abused? Showing my outrage at such human depravity?

    Well, it’s clear I’m such a loser and she and her new sparkly, non-reading, sex addicted, drinking, financial disaster, shallow grifter of an affair partner is so much better than me.

    Ahh…life without the f*ckwit 2 years out from d-day #2 is bliss. Betrayal still hurts, but life is tons better!

    • You and I would have a fantastic relationship. We could stay in and read while cuddling with the rescue kitties on the sofa and I’d drink wine in the evenings while crafting for a side gig. Also, I work off nervous energy by giving massages and back scratches, am very touchy/feely, love to clean and garden, and will be loyal, caring, and look you in the eye while being honest.

      Damnit now I miss a relationship I’ve never had lol.

    • I keep seeing, “You read too much” as an excuse on here. I’ve gotten the same complaint. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what was so wrong with me reading a damn book. Then I realized- it’s because HE isn’t getting my undivided attention when my nose is buried in a book.

      I’ve also been bitched at for using my, “Five dollar words” by both FW AND my first husband. Now, none of you know me so you don’t know that while, yes, I have an extensive vocabulary, I’m not throwing around fancy words all the time. For crying out loud, part of the time I SPEAK, I’m throwing curse words around more than “$5 words” or I’m busy trying to talk like a Valley Girl or a Kardashian (because it’s funny to me and I fucking enjoy it, okay? Lol).
      What. EVAAAAR!

      Reading is bad, mmmmkay?

      • I’d also like to add that I’ve been an avid reader my entire life and FW is the first person that’s ever complained about my ‘reading habit’. How is reading bad?
        He also hates that we have to make room for all of my books (I have over 500 books in the house – it’s the only thing I collect. Well, besides children lol.) yet is an LP, CD, cassette, and movie collector and all of HIS stuff takes up more room than my books do.

  • From Cheater #1:
    1). You’re never home. (I was working double shifts at the hospital to make enough money to cover all of the bills, his tuition — I was financing his degree — and cover all he spent on toys for himself.)
    2). You’re too fat, you’re too ugly and I deserve something better. (I was 5’8”, had long, straight blonde hair and weighed 127 pounds. This was the 1970s.)

    From Cheater #2:
    1). You won’t let me do anything. (I had asked him if he was planning to be home for dinner so I knew whether and what time to cook.)
    2. You told the Base Chaplain that I hit you. (Well if you didn’t want anyone to know you hit me, maybe you shouldn’t have hit me.)

    From Cheater #3:
    1). Your stomach sticks out more than your boobs. (Cancer treatment sometimes causes that, especially when they remove most of your breast tissue.)
    2). You never wear your hair the way I like it. (He liked long, straight blonde hair and mine was just growing in brown and curly.)
    3). You never clean the kitchen (while I was cleaning the kitchen) and,
    4.). You should have known not to mop the kitchen floor when I was going to be coming home from work.). He was two hours early.

  • I had just returned from a fully-funded, ten day writing retreat in Cabo where I wrote poetry with guidance from a renowned poet, ate fresh ceviche, and walked along the ocean.

    He said, with scorn, that he had “never seen me happier” than when I’d returned from that retreat. (Like enjoying time to myself in Mexico in the dead of winter was something I should be ashamed of. Like by enjoying the retreat meant I didn’t love him or the children.)

    • Maybe you were so happy and refreshed because you hadn’t been around Mr. Toxicity for a spell.

  • We were on a cruise and went to a late night “blue” stand up comedy act. The comedienne was pretty funny, but not too many people were laughing. She was riffing off old Rodney Dangerfield material. “I get no respect!” kind of stuff about marriage. She throws out the question, “What tips can you married people give to newlyweds?.” Crickets. So she looks at me and says “How about you sir?” I respond, “Know when to keep your mouth shut.”
    Three months later she tells me she wants a divorce. One of the reasons- “When you said what you did to that comedienne I knew our marriage was over!”
    The fact that she had secretly been cheating for years and just started a new romance had nothing to do with it? No, because I played along with a comic on a cruise.

  • oh yes also,

    I was a vegetarian
    I didn’t drink
    I had poufy hair

    He knew all of these things about me when he voluntarily married me. I never tried to turn him into a vegetarian nor did I make him stop drinking.

    • Same here. Many of the grievances he had with me were *things he already knew about me when we started dating.*

      “I love that you’re introverted and that a night at home watching movies with me is your idea of a good time” later turned into “You’re so boring. You’re idea of a good time is staying home at night!”

      I mean… yes. You knew this already.

  • I left him but in the years before he was more and more distant.

    1. I totally loaded the dishwasher wrong.
    2. I didn’t over see the kids correctly and punish them enough.
    3. I let the kids get away with “murder” I was too nice to them. I compromised with them.
    4. I gained weight.
    5. I went to bed too early (he stayed up trolling dating sites and porn till 3am nightly)
    6. I quit the being a cool dive bar bartender to start my own business. That made me WAY less desirable. As that job made me “cool” (who cares about cool in your 50’s)

    Ugh I wasted 28 years on that jerk.

  • my X is a functioning alcoholic and, after the fourth serious talk about his drinking in 30 years of marriage, he got mad and said he didn’t want to be married anymore. bagged salad spewed from his mouth like:

    1. you’re not the nice girl i married (i have opinions)
    2. men like to be adored; i get nothing from you (except love and loyalty)
    3. maybe if you’d managed menopause better we could’ve worked this out but you didn’t (i too had a difficult menopause and didn’t figure out hormone replacement for a few years)
    4. you’ve stopped trying (re: aging). you should rage against the dying light! you don’t need to be invisible. (he’d lost weight + got tattoos + changed clothing style to a younger man styling)
    5. this is who i am (mean)

    it’s all from the pressure to stop drinking. our daughter came to us a couple years ago and said she is an alcoholic and joined AA. she’s sober and proudly working her program. this caused a perturbation in our family, and rightly so, and unsettled my X. he’s willing to say he’s a functioning alcoholic, but is uncomfortable that his wife goes to Al-Anon and his daughter to AA. you know, to deal with it? cue a mid-life crisis, complete with flirting (at minimum) with co-worker who, surprise-surprise, is his subordinate.

    it’s cliche and he’s made a cliche out of me.

    • I think he might have been telling the truth with reason #2. He wanted to be adored. If you wouldn’t unconditionally adore him and, consequently, agree that everything is always about how best to make him happy, then he wasn’t going to tolerate you anymore!

      I wonder how he let a kernel of truth slip in like that?

  • 1. I gave too much attention to the kids (never mind she needed an hour and a half of alone time in the shower every evening, leaving me to get the kids in bed).

    2. My aunt came to our 5 year old’s birthday party.

    • I was also guilty of paying too much attention to the kids and not paying enough attention to him. Never mind the fact that I had just gone through over two plus years of pregnancy and breastfeeding and both of our babies were still in diapers and I was the primary caregiver and exhausted all the time when he decided to start dating GF#1 in secret. It was all my fault; he didn’t feel appreciated enough. :/

  • “You don’t dye your hair and it makes you look old”
    “You are too fat”

    But the best one is: “I’m a failure and it’s your fault”.
    FW was driving when he bellowed this pearl of reasoning in my left ear, my eardrum was numb for a while. But FW then swore he never said this….

    (It is true FW is a failure, at least he recognizes this)

  • My crimes were many and various. My favourites:

    1. ‘You make people feel VERY, VERY uncomfortable’

    2. ‘You are too altruistic’

    3. ‘You wasted your talents’.

    I guess I didn’t have time to use my talents effectively (I was the recently retired CEO of a high-profile professional body – he was an in-house lawyer with a belief that he should not have to sell himself because, his words, his ‘talents should be obvious’). I was too busy being kind AND making people feel oh so extremely uncomfortable. It was a hard job but one of us had to do it 🤷‍♀️.

  • Do y’all remember that scene 10 years ago when Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch? Well, my ex did the same to me the day he told me about his new girlfriend. He was literally jumping on the couch with joy while he explained that the reasons why he left me were because I was not good at Karaoke, didn’t dance in the rain with him, and didn’t go to bars with him enough! He was so excited about quick stop girl! She is 20 years younger than him. I laugh my ass off about it now, but it was quite shocking and utterly heartbreaking and humiliating at the time.

    • Mine couch-jumped about GF#1 to me as well to me. His wife. We were in the car talking about our marriage. I was sobbing and he was excitedly–with hearts in his eyes– rambling about how fantastic GF#1 was and how amazing it felt to be with her.

      To me. His sobbing wife. It was bizarre then and it’s bizarre now.

      Turns out she wasn’t that amazing as he left GF#1 for GF#2, left GF#2 for me, and then finally left me for GF#3/Wifetress.

      Good observation though. His enthusiasm in talking about his first affair partner does evoke Tom Cruise and the couch.

  • He had told me he no longer “had lead in the pencil” so we could quit fighting about sex. Fast forward two years and he announced his affair. I questioned him on his earlier statement. At first, he burst into rage and said, “I NEVER said that.” So, I proceeded to tell him exactly where we were and what we were doing when he said that. Being caught in the lie, he responded with, “Well, that was just with you. I don’t have any problem with that with her.”

    The kicker to this story is that rumor is they’ve been written up at work twice now because they keep getting caught in the closets at work (blowjobs). A few months before D-Day, he had mentioned he was going in for some checkups. Schmoopie works in the doctors office who writes the Viagra prescriptions in our town.

    He married her just as soon as he could get his divorce final so he had enough money to pay for her divorce. I can’t help but wonder when she will discover the reality of the situation she is now in. It is forever a one way street there, schmoopie. Hope you don’t mess up your knees on those concrete floors.

    As CL says though, I am thankful the trash took itself out. Twu wuv. Cake!

  • “I was sick of looking at new furniture and fabric swatches for the remodeled house.”

    [I suspect he got this idea from Bill Murray’s character in Lost in Translation.}

  • I was straight up told “you no longer bring me any value”

    Probably the only truthful thing he said to me, and I’ve known him since 1983.

    • Oh FFS. I’m sorry. I mean, I guess that’s what they’re all telling us in their bagged-salad ways. Yours simply served it up without the dressing.

      • I got ‘I can’t think of anything I like about you’. After 26 years! How stupid can one man be, to subject himself to 26 years of life with a woman he doesn’t like! When he didn’t have to! It was sad at the time. 2 years later, I laugh at him from my delicious ‘no contact’ life.

    • Hi Ginger. After one one-night stand that I know of and three affair girlfriends that I definitely know about, my FW dispensed with bagged salad and other malarkey and served up, what I still consider to be sincere to this day, uncomfortable truth bombs:

      – I only married you because I was a fat kid and I thought you were a real catch. I figured I’d never do any better, so I settled.

      – You’re not that important to me. Not even as a friend.

      Stuff like that is hard to hear but it’s a darn sight better than bagged salad, blameshifting BS, and hot air.

      • Having been gaslit for years, it was such a jolt to finally hear the truth. He also said “HoWorker/Wife and I only lie to you” wish I almost laughed in his face with that one. She has no idea how much he lied to her.

        It just proved what a covert narc he is and there was nothing I could do. He’s damaged goods and not even worth purchasing on a 99% off clearance rack!

  • I’m glad we are freely tossing around the idea of bagged salad: an excuse for adultery so stupid and benign (“It’s because I served you bagged salad at suppertime…? Really?”) that even in the depths of our despair we can jolt our heads up and either chuckle or, at the very least, raise that “WTH are you talking about” eyebrow. I felt like talking about the FW’s stupid bagged salad reasons was like engaging in some muchly needed emotional relief while still talking about the trauma at hand.

    And of course, it goes unsaid but it hovers over that bagged salad excuse like a cloud. The rebuttal:

    “I lovingly prepared you supper each night. That takes time, money, and energy. To prepare a meal for someone–no matter their ability–is ultimately an action of love. Here, *I* made supper *for you.* And you’re telling me that none of that mattered but it always bothered you that I used bagged salad instead of fresh salad. Okay.”

    I was a doormat. I wouldn’t have said or thought of any of that until years later. I just would have absorbed his salad criticism and apologized.

    But, I’m projecting. The bagged salad story wasn’t mine; it was someone else’s story and it briefly became a useful shorthand meaning “A benign, often domestic, reason the FW presents as Exhibit A in order to blame shift. Note that this reason can and will reverse itself at will. Bagged salad can easily become fresh salad and ‘You never greet me at the door and I hate it’s just as easily becomes ‘You always greet me at the door and I hate it.’ Bagged salad excuses don’t matter at all; they’re just deflection.”

    I have my own list of small grudges against him in my head. I won’t pretend that I won’t. But I didn’t create this list until I did the hard work of doing no contact and asserting my own independence. When I was with him I hero-worshipped him (and disregarded so many red flags in the process) and didn’t think about all the little things he did that made me sad. Once parted from him, I was free to finally dwell on these things.

    One of those things was: he never greeted me at the door. I know it’s been mentioned here that the FW used the door greeting as a bagged salad excuse for why the chump sucked and had to be discarded but I’m coming at it from the other side. My H never greeted me at the door when I came home. He could barely be bothered to get up from the computer or couch when I came back. Sometimes he threw a “hi” or a quick glance and a shrug my way to acknowledge my return. I wanted to tell him that I always thought it was polite to greet someone when they came in. That it would have really pleased me, this small gesture. That it would have made me feel like he was glad I was back home. But he was in full “devalue the Chump” mode at this point and everything I wanted from him, even these small things, was a big marriage-breaking deal to him; I really was walking on eggshells around him all the time trying to do everything the way he would like it.

    Which was, of course, impossible. He had a secret girlfriend so anything I requested, did, or said was going to be wrong by default.

    The door greeting bagged salad was, admittedly, a bit of a trigger for me. It was something I always wanted from him but never got over the last few years: some sort of acknowledgment that he was pleased I was back home. Instead, I got indifference and, sometimes, hostility. So, like an idiot, I tried to model the loving behavior I wanted from him in the hopes that he would understand. If I made him the center of the household then he would see how good that felt and he would see my value. I greeted him at the door every time he came back and asked about his day while telling him about mine because that’s what I wanted from him: acknowledgment of my presence and pleasure that I was there.

    It angered him, my door greetings. Years later I finally understood that if I had backed off and never greeted him at the door that he would have hated that too. Unwinnable. Bagged salad.

    My one certain bagged salad reason, the one I found that he had put down in writing, wasn’t given to me; it was sent to his secret girlfriend (GF#1) in a message:

    “[Fourleaf] has supper ready for me each night when I come home. It’s so boring and predictable. I hate that supper is always there when I get back. It drives me crazy.”

    That was it. That’s my bagged salad. Oh sure, there were other reasons he gave me in person over the years but that was the biggest bag of salad tossed my way.

    Because you know what that message would have said if I didn’t have supper ready each night. If I let him fend for himself when he got back home after work. I don’t even have to write it down; it probably sprung into your head.

    Unwinnable. There’s nothing we can to to please them when they’ve already determined that we are of no value. I’m glad I’m out of that game now; it put me on antidepressants being there. I have no desire to subject myself to that kind of situation again anytime soon.

    • Thanks for your thoughts and for the idea for this Friday challenge, Fourleaf.

      I accepted these little hurts—obvious signs of disrespect and devaluation, signs that chumpy me didn’t recognize at the time. During the discard phase, mine no longer greeted me when I came home or said goodbye when I left. He stopped looking up from the computer when I spoke. I excused these slights because I thought he was deep in thought about his post-retirement future or thinking about patients or just socially awkward. I remember telling him that the greatest gift you can give someone is undivided attention. That made no difference, of course.

      I’m not sure why I put up with such poor treatment, except to say that it happened slowly over time, so maybe I didn’t really recognize it. Abuse does that.

      I, too, will never subject myself to this kind of treatment again. I’d rather be alone.

      • Same here Spinach. It slowly becomes normal, it ramps up, it becomes normal, it ramps up etc until the end. I did the best I could with the knowledge I had during the marriage and I trusted that he would not hurt me. I made a judgement call that turned out to be wrong. That’s sad. It isn’t the end of my world though; it’s the next stage. And doing old age with those people! Imagine!

    • Wow, Fourleaf, who complains about someone having dinner ready for them every night? Then, who decides to sleep with someone who complains about dinner being ready for them every night? To me, that sounds like someone complaining about having a million dollars in the bank. So free of financial emotional rollercoasters! So boring! Waanh!

  • In quick succession (same incident):
    He was lonely (although we saw each other nearly every day and chatted via text or phone all day)
    He thought we were going to break up (but was happy to hide it and continue the relationship)
    He blamed an anabolic steroid addiction (he’d apparently used for 10 years, but suddenly had a revelation)

  • I bought new dishes. My FW told me he cheated because he was afraid that he would break a coffee cup and I would yell at him. He lost ALL credibility with me that day. A blessing actually — I realized it was futile to expect any truth from such a pathetic excuse of a man.

  • -I am too independent. (When we married, he was so glad I was independent because he was Navy and gone a lot and I could handle everything without him.)
    -I “don’t understand how infuriating it is trying to make everything a two person proposition.” (Because I liked us continuing to date after we were married and take our vacations together.)
    -I don’t put my purse where he wants me to.
    -I’m not social.
    -I don’t ask him about his day.
    -I watch Rachel Maddow and he can’t stand her.
    -I resist putting things in the dishwasher and cabinets the way he wants them.
    -I don’t have dinner on the table on time. (I work 9 hour days plus ferry the child to school and lessons, also. He works maybe 6 hours per day and putters around in the garage and yard after that.)
    -I don’t trust him.

    So much bagged salad.

  • Over the years all the things I did wrong, its too many to list. Some that stand out:

    -You aren’t a cheerleader for me.
    -I felt like I was very encouraging and supportive.
    -You hate the things that I like.
    -I hated him leaving all the time for his hobbies which he prioritized above all else.
    -You are low functioning.
    -I work, raise our children nearly alone, ensure our home is clean and his laundry is done. I burned
    myself out completely trying to please him.
    -You need to exercise.
    -So I start exercising he teases me then accuses me of cheating.
    -You aren’t affectionate enough.
    – I am touched out at the end of the day with young kids. He couldn’t respect my need to be left alone and
    he wanted me to be all over him (maybe this is what the others did?).
    -You are mean.
    -That has been covered so much here by CL.
    On the bag salad topic, I found old text messages from him and he was so mad that I brought home baked chicken from the grocery store instead of rotisserie chicken. I bought all the store had and the kids wanted dinner. The threw a big fit and then made a huge deal to go get another dinner for himself.

    • These cheaters throw tantrums. Don’t they?

      Mine stormed out of the house once because I’d grilled salmon for dinner. You see, we’d already had salmon that week.

      • Yes they do, I remember thinking mine acted like a spoiled toddler. Just unbelievable how grown men/women can act so childish.
        Meanwhile most of us chumps would be so thankful the fw cooked us dinner we wouldn’t complain, even if it were bagged salad, salmon twice in a week or the baked 8 from the grocery store.

  • – Our age difference. I am a gen X, he is a millennial. Except he is not, by one year 😂.

    – I don’t understand that he has to be on Instagram all day, texting during dinner and while spending time with me and the kids.

    – I want him to be home.

    – he married too young and we live in a no fault state. In the same sentence. The weirdest part was that my question was : “how are you going to see the kids when we separate?”

    – I also got the thing about not greeting him at the door with the kids. In our defense we never knew when he was going to be home, and they were asleep most of the time.

  • I dumped him on Dday but didn’t go NC for a while. Which was great because I got to yell at him and also got answers, great for closure.

    He didn’t blame me, not right away. He then paid for RIC counseling. Which fed him the excuse for cheating: his “brain malfunction -that can be fixed!

    Then, to justify my rejection of him for cheating, he told me he didn’t like that I was upset when RBG passed. He started cheating August 2019. RBG passed Sept 18, 2020, one week before D-day. So for the week that I was “sad”, that justified the prior year-long affair. He emailed me later, during the election, saying he missed my insights into politics.

    Later on, to make himself feel better for cheating on me, he called me a “dried-up c*nt”. Well, yes, but your AP had a hysterectomy and your new victim is even older than me, so apparently you prefer dried-up c*nts. (And we had frequent and varied sex, so it’s not like there was ever an issue due to menopause, besides needing lube, which was stashed all around the house).

    Yet, the man still tries to get around every NC block I’ve put on him. He must enjoy being ignored and rejected. His brain malfunction apparently isn’t fixed because I’m sure the current victim doesn’t know he hasn’t gotten over me. I am so happy that he is someone else’s problem.

  • “I feel guilty complaining that you give the kids too much time.” ( I had a 1,2 and 3 year old at the time and he was air traveling very frequently and we lived 1400 miles away from any other family. I loved the hell out of the guy and could not fully grasp why he didn’t see that love, so I tried harder and harder to show it. )

    “ You don’t want or ask for anything.”( he likes to buy all his gf’s gifts and woo them with things so they think he is a hero and I believe felt like I didn’t appreciate it all enough or even look for it as much as he would have preferred) I tend to enjoy the intangibles, the memories, quality time with loved ones, appreciation and enjoyment of nature, you know, those useless endeavors compared to a brand new car)

    “You bite your nails.” ( triangulating me with his gfs all the time and I ‘pick me’ danced till my shoes wore out. He would brag how his gf would never even dream of having a chip in her nail polish)

    “ You don’t do enough”. ( referring to the way I dressed, which I took great pride in and always made efforts to look nice and was frequently complimented by others. His gf buys $1000 dresses, takes 45 mins to put her makeup on, gets flirted with on the elevators by professional athletes, won some contest through People Magazine “ top 40 most beautiful ppl in the world” that her SIL entered her in but, of course, she was much too humble to actually be a part of.) When I think on it now, it’s all pretty laughable how superficial he is and the things he finds value in and would actually tell me about, but while it was going on, I was frantic to measure up in some way.

    “ People don’t live like this”. ( we were in the process over a few years before his retirement, of preparing our current home for sale and moving things we would keep down to our exciting new beach house four hours away. He helped me with none of that, he flew back and forth to a job he was wrapping up and when he came back around every other w/e for around a year, he only would go to the beach house, he wanted nothing to do with the house in current disarray. He is a project guy on steroids, so a good deal of the chaos in the house was due to countless half done projects everywhere you looked that were his. I always supported and helped with the majority of them, it was very disruptive and all consuming to our lives, in retrospect. He was always a tornado and you had to try and match his rotations to have any value. He is extremely talented on so many levels and I was always his biggest fan, ready to help where I could and forever clapping for him in the wings. Once he knew for certain he was bailing on me and going with the latest of a long list of always younger women throughout the 38 years married, he walked around the house in transition one day actually videoing every room and telling me that “ other ppl don’t live like this”, completely divorcing himself of any culpability to the issue and projecting it fully onto my lap. The insinuation meant to be I was almost like some sort of hoarder and he was going to get away from this element and move into his ‘no shoe out of place’ life style that he morphed into becoming. The reality they create is so delusional and warped, but they are able to fully embrace it and step into the next facade of a life without missing a beat. I’m sure he used his video as proof to all the new ppl in his life who had sympathy for him, having to deal with such a deadbeat of a wife. People will continually buy their stories, why shouldn’t they, I did.

  • * My first published book was not a bestseller and would have been if I had tried hard enough
    * I didn’t want to go to concerts four nights a week (and leave the kids with a babysitter who would also stay overnight and get the kids to school so we could live like teenagers)
    * When I did go to concerts with him, I didn’t hold my ground in the crush up front so we got pushed back and he couldn’t see
    * I didn’t make my own costume, or even dress up, for Comic Con like the more fun women there
    * I didn’t like the same movies, music or TV shows as him
    * I wouldn’t spend my Saturday mornings watching him play his pick-up ultimate frisbee games
    * I wasn’t as much fun as the other women he hung out with
    * I asked him to change some lightbulbs
    * I was the least emotionally available to him when I was pregnant with both kids so he had to seek out hookers and strangers on Craigslist

    I could go on. The mindbender for me these days, from the wonderful land of meh, is that I ever wanted him in the first place.

    • Ah, you married a Peter Pan! They are a special breed indeed who never want to grow up. I married a Pinocchio, a wooden puppet with wooden emotions who never really could become a real boy.

      • I so get it … I married the Pied Piper who seduced away everyone in my life including family, with his lying narc charm… finally my now teen kids are seeing who is really is and can’t stand him.

  • My first cheater many years ago:

    I didn’t support his porn habit. “I’d rather be alone and be allowed to have porn than be with you and have sex.”

    I once caught this man rifling through my dad’s porn drawer.

    But how DARE I not let him!

  • He hated that I drank my coffee with milk and sugar.

    At age 17 he strangely declared that it was “alright with him” that I prepared it that way, and he even wrote this Noble Concession in a love letter to me. He made a BIG thing about it and I remember being confused that he would get angry with me about how I prepared my own beverage. I was being set up for narcissistic abuse from the start but I was already an expert at spackle and ignoring red flags. Who knew of such psychology when only 17? I was in love and was telling stories in my head about his potential.

    Thus began his list of grievances.

    It took me 31 years to realize that as a covert narcissist he could not abide that I preferred something different from him and he did not see me as a separate person. I know now that he always had a seething anger directed at me for anything I did that was not exactly like him, even though he reserved the right to have his own preferences remain as an ever-changing Rubik’s cube of uncommunicated ideals so that he could never feel vulnerable nor be controlled.

    Any dissent was punished by passive aggressive rage and ultimately, his abandonment.

    I take some comfort in knowing that his rage is directed at his latest Schmoopie and not at me or our adult daughters, and he certainly has constant anxiety about how to passive aggressively punish the people in his current orbit. He is disordered.

    What a worthless, agonized life.

    • Damn!!! We had been married only a few months and just moved to D.C. He was making hot chocolate and asked if I wanted some. I told him I’d make my own as I wanted to make it with milk, not water. “But it says on the box to make it with water”! “I know, but I want to make it with milk”. His blood pressure started going up and up until he exploded in one of his as yet unknown to me rages and screamed at me that I was a stupid cunt who didn’t know how to make hot chocolate!!!! He always claimed to “not remember” whenever I mentioned an incident like this, but at least this one he admitted he remembered doing some 35 years earlier!

    • My STBX LOOKS for things to get angry about. It’s like his day isn’t complete unless he rages about something completely pointless.

      • My ex did that for the last few months of the year of discard. He didn’t do it much through the earlier years. I pretty much knew the last couple months he was fooling around, I had been told by someone years earlier that men get mean when they are cheating.

        I was still trying to convince myself it was not that I guess. I was so confused and scared I just kind of hunkered down. I wish I had gone to our preacher when I first suspected. Wouldn’t have changed anything about us, but it sure would have put a crimp in his planned exit. He would have had to leave much sooner, and for some reason he wanted to wait until after New Years.

        Asshole even wanted to go on our yearly Christmas Caroling ride to all our friends. I said no. Why the hell he was trying to act normal I don’t know. He was screaming at me non stop, but yet we had to go to all the events.

    • My ex would get angry if I didn’t/couldn’t drop everything to see and comment on whatever he was pointing out – which he was constantly interrupting me to do. Yet he was put out out if I ever tried to show him anything. I tried to explain to him that as much as he was noticing with his eyes, I also was with mine; I just didn’t provide a running commentary. (I wouldn’t have mentioned or cared if he hadn’t been so resentful and pushy about needing me to look and affirm; I even found it endearing for years.) It was impossible when we were driving and things would fly by. So frustrating when I was focused on a project or assignment. I would read while he watched tv every night, or I would tune out while eating dinner because he always had to have a show on. He’d get mad when I’d miss something good and would repeatedly tell me to look up at the tv. He was in own world. Man, that shit wore me down.

  • I bought the wrong Gatorade. I got mud on the driveway. I moved some planters to the garage. I set a massager on his chair for his back. there’s much more but those are a few highlights.

  • Knave man said it wasn’t so much about what he considered lacking in me, except that I’m just me.
    His magnetic charisma, intelligence, wit, and irresistible sex appeal were just too overwhelming to bestow on one woman.
    It had to disseminate everywhere — like a radiation leak.

  • During the Devalue I discovered just how terrible a person I am. I could not park the car in a manner that pleased him. I begged that man to tell me where to park the car, NO, I was supposed to intuitively park the car in a manner that suited him. Every day he came home and bitched about where I parked the car. But he would not tell me where he wanted the damn car parked. He created a situation where he could yell at me daily.

    I kept the house too clean and I had the gall and audacity to vacuum while he was home. He wanted to never see the housekeeping crew AKA me, working. The sound of the vacuum interfered with his nonstop television viewing.

    I turn the television off when he left the house. That is right. I was a horrible person who forced him to cheat because I turned off the television when he left. He wanted it on 24/7.

    I never did the mending so he was forced to hurl a stack of ironed and folded laundry in my face as he screamed about the mending. Dear Chump Nation, you know I had already mended everything. When I demanded he show me what needed to be mended, he couldn’t and that made him furious. I asked for an apology and he said “It doesn’t matter.” and refused to apologize.

    But his biggest bagged salad excuse was “I haven’t been happy for a looooong time.” uttered with a tear in his eye while in marital therapy. ( Big mistake, don’t do marital therapy with a cheater) When I responded “When were you going to tell me?” He didn’t answer. The therapist called him on it and he stonewalled her too. He refused to go back to therapy.

    So this poor dear man was forced to cheat as his wife was a bad Parker, too clean, used the television remote when he wasn’t home and made him deeply unhappy for 33 years of marriage and 35 years of a relationship.

    I’m so awful he is obstructing the divorce. It has been over two years of him pulling every trick in the book to get me to accept a less than stellar settlement. He wants me to accept less than the law allows.

    I’m showing him just how awful I truly am and fight back tooth and nail. My boundaries are so tight LTC Fuckface is reduced to sending me a postcard demanding answers. I just forwarded that to my lawyer. Thank you Chump Lady for showing me how to handle a cheater!

    • I’m reminded that the house looked like ‘a Chinese laundry’ (but he definitely wasn’t at all racist) because I had to hang our washing somewhere to dry. 😂. He refused to have a clothes dryer in the garden because of the ‘aesthetics’. He refused to have a tumble dryer (and microwave and slow cooker) because his mother didn’t have them and they are ‘unnecessary’. What was I supposed to do? Not wash, just buy new! Well then he needed to earn more money to add to mine. I’d forgotten that one.

  • My FW justified his cheating because I hadn’t lost the baby weight fast enough. I was a size 8. I realize it was never my fault, but the trauma scar left me with an eating disorder.
    This same FW justified leaving me because our son was diagnosed with autism. He insists on 50/50 custody, so basically he’s keeping my son, but chucking me – Parent of the year! I hate that this moron and his AF are raising my kiddo half of the time.

  • Now that I made my own entry here I want to note that the list of things I made about all HIS faults is pretty damned incredible, and NONE of them are as banal as bagged salad.

    After he poofed on me I started that list as a coping mechanism and visual aid to remind me of how much crap-tacular shit I had put up with for 31 years. I covered 6 pages, front and back, and I carried that list for months and added to it frequently. I put up with his annoyances, some truly awful stuff, and still managed not to cheat. For new chumps, The List can be really helpful as you realize you never have to put up with those things again.

    My favorite entry might be that he wore dashikis in public. He was white as paste. Nonetheless, he loved to put on a dashiki he bought in the middle east and parade himself around to the ball game, concerts, and restaurants, enjoying the stares of the confused people around him. He even got on the Diamond Vision when at the ballpark and thought he was totes cool, when clearly I could see that he was being mocked. I was mortified but I NEVER SAID A THING about how ridiculous he looked; he was a walking mid life crisis of cultural appropriation but I was the Cool Wife who did not nag. I have said it would be like me wrapping my Irish head in a tall African turban and strutting around with my nose in the air.

    Still, I managed to put up with this and dozens more behaviors like that and yet I never cheated.

    • OMG Now I.C. I did the same! When my life fell apart last year I started a list on my phone titled: “All the Things I Will Not Miss.” I have since changed it to the things i do not miss, and it’s at about 70 items and I often pull out this list in the more trying moments where I feel that I lost everything.
      I do not miss how he would try to help me make “hot mom friends.”
      I do not miss how he would tease me cruelly in front of my friends and i would have to laugh it off.
      I do not miss how he taught me to hate my body.
      I do not miss him sending me articles about “Fit Mom” while I was pregnant.
      I do not miss him!

    • This dashiki story needs it’s own cartoon! I’m sorry you were stuck going places with him, but this strikes me as hilarious! Do dashikis ever wear out? Is he wearing them still? You’re so lucky to be free of him! (I have a white friend who got into Bollywood movies, as did I, she got a sari and sometimes shows up to movies or dinner in it. I love her and she has many good qualities, so I just hang with her in her (very lovely) sari).

      • I was such a doormat. I took pride in being able to carefully wash them and treat them with vinegar so the vibrant colors would not bleed.

        After the divorce was final, during our final blowout phone call and last time I have ever spoken to him I let him have it and told him that he looked LIKE A FUCKING MORON in those dashikis and everyone could see what a complete ashhole he was, and it was only now I was letting him know about it because I had silently put up with his mountain of crap for 3 decades. I think it actually touched him, he was pretty quiet for a few seconds and it might have occurred to him that he was an idiot.

        I doubt he wears them anymore and resents me for somehow preventing it. Just another thing I ruined for him, I am sure.

        • No to cultural appropriation ! Don’t people realize how f*cking stupid they look ? Cheongsam, dashiki, 🥻, kente cloth, etc. Take your pick.

      • I think we have an idea for a Friday challenge! The really damaging ones we all have (the cheating and abuse) but here are a few of the ones that are more bagged salad worthy:

        No more of him picking through restaurant doggy bags in the fridge, demolishing everyone else’s leftovers and then lying about it.

        No more licking popcorn from the big shared bowl.

        No more having him be 8 minutes late to everything unless it was something HE wanted to do.

        No more waiting for him to be done on the magazine aisle at the grocery store (having left me to do all the shopping alone).

        No more ignoring me when I spoke and waiting at least 30 seconds before he would reply to even the most minor queries.

        No more rage-driving and insisting we travel different paths to familiar destinations so he wouldn’t get bored.

        No more of him only beginning to get ready for guests just as I was trying to wrap up dinner prep– he constantly left me having to get coats and drinks while watching the gravy as he only then disappeared to get in the shower when he heard them drive up.

        No more waiting for him to wrap up his marathon shit session on Christmas morning while our kids and I waited by the tree.

        No more growing out his fingernails on just one hand to disgusting lengths to play guitar better, and then not keeping them clean (and wanting to poke them at me and in me, not caring that they fucking hurt).

        No more having him order “5 star hot” ethnic food to show off and then watching him deal with his resulting snotty nose through dinner. The staff came out more than once to watch the white boy eat scorching hot Thai chiles to see if he might burst into flames.

        No more watching him drink the rest of my tequila, which he said he didn’t like, just to “clean this up” but really so I couldn’t have it.

        No more having to hide my bonuses and raises, which I put into joint accounts, so the little boy wouldn’t get mad that I earned more than he did. Actually, that one is abuse.

        It is hard to limit it to only bagged salad worthy entries but that is a good dose, leaving out the worst horrors. As I recall the list most of them are actual abuse I endured, all rooted in a selfish, petulant, childish entitlement delivered with passive aggressive, silent-treatment rage. He truly hated us all.

        Good to be free. New Chumps, start your lists!

        • Thanks I.C.! Oddly enough, I could put a few from your list on mine: weird fridge stuff, spicy food dramatics (a rude show when at friends’ houses), cutting me with his toenails, driving different routes at inconvenient times, finishing my drinks (that was part selfishness, part alcoholism), etc. The List highlights would be a good challenge! Bet we’d find a lot of common themes and traits. Idiot-synchrasies. Remote “control” problems? Our sentimental items “accidentally” broken when we’re not around? Really loud and disgusting repeated clearing of nose/throat (only when around people who don’t matter)? Diminutive and unwelcome pet names for us? ALL snark-worthy when looked at in isolated instances or shared with other enlightened chumps after the fact. Sometimes even laughable.

          The bagged salad distinction is good, although it’s bringing a couple realizations as I try to sort my own mental List: it all adds up to patterns of control and abuse, even the little, “harmless” items – the reason this stuff is so insidious and we wind up like boiled frogs, normalizing the abuse as it undermines our judgement and mental health. A relationship between a fundamentally chump character and a cheater character can never work because of the inherent power imbalance. Chumps give these disordered people the benefit of the doubt, assuming they operate on the same moral/ethical standards we do. They swear and pretend they love us, withold and give intermittent rewards, and act out all the manipulative and coercive patterns CL/CN write about more articulately and perceptively than I can.

          A few weeks ago (I wish I could remember the chump and the post, because it was really beautiful and stood out to me), someone wrote about her ex’s “imperfections” such as balding hair, a growing gut, etc. She pointed out that she’d never judged these and wouldn’t want to be judged meanly for her own humanity; it was only FW’s cruelty and hypocrisy that made her evaluate him critically. I could relate to this. In fact, people’s “flaws” are what part of what make them lovable and unique to me, and I want to help people I love heal from wounds and solve problems. And after all, what matters? I don’t want to be reduced to judging people for shallow and subjective traits just because a fuckwit does. Anyway, the criteria are subjective and ever-changing, as bagged salad excuses show us.

          The difference between “normal” idiosyncrasies and even subjectively annoying traits, and those of abusers is, again, that FW’s faults and oddities manifest as control issues and a lack of love and concern for other beings. The dealbreakers for me were never the annoying traits others couldn’t believe I put up with (this was a joke among mutual friends, and I shrugged them off; it was part of FW’s eccentric clown, Kramer act – and I didn’t find their partners or relationships appealing, either). I stopped loving FW when I took off my sparkle goggles and saw him for the dishonest, cowardly, entitled, unoriginal, cruel, abusive creep he really is at his core. That’s a dealbreaker.

        • Loving that list. It just show how much we overlook, and yet don’t feel the need to go fuck strange.

          “No more having him be 8 minutes late to everything unless it was something HE wanted to do.”

          This one reminds me of the mid summer of discard year. he was acting a bit distant, but still had not gone full on rage. We were returning from the River, where he had conned me into buying a river property for our retirement. (as if) Anyway, I needed to stop at a service station for the bathroom. He slammed into the station bitching about how he was going to be late for a meeting that the Mayor had scheduled. I finished got back in the car, must have taken all of five minutes. Anyway, he kept bitching and I let him have it. I said you know what any time we are out and I am in a hurry you just blow me off and tell me to relax we will get there when we get there. Why are your “meetings” more important than mine.

          Obviously in hindsight I know there was no meeting, he was like a dog in heat trying to get to the whore. I guess he could smell her that far away.

          The mayor was also someone I considered a friend. I have always regretted that I didn’t schedule a meeting with him and tell him of all the times he claimed that the mayor was scheduling meeting in the evenings and late night calls.

          The mayor had him demoted and put back out on patrol. (she was his direct report) But, still I think he would have been interested to know what the fw was pulling, while using the mayor as an excuse.

  • Mine told me I wasn’t living up to my potential (amongst other things) but that I could be a pro golfer if I wanted to. I told him I didn’t want to be a pro golfer and where was his PGA card?!

    • Well, he was right. You were not living up to your potential–and as long as you remained married to him, you were going to be working at a stiff disadvantage to do so! I’m glad you’ve given yourself the opportunity to be more of whoever you want to be now!

      (Sometimes they just don’t know how right they are!)

      • We were ‘holding each other back’. 😂 He definitely held me back. And having heard him described by someone who doesn’t know that we were married, via my ex SIL/friend who went through the exact same experience with the brother, that the someone thought he was my ex FIL aged 87 because he is so dull on a fantasy football WhatsApp group, it seems that what I was holding him back from was being boring. Fortunately the UK has put Canada on the green list. He can fly off to be dull with his ex gf from his small home town. I assume her husband has been ‘disposed of’ and they are both free to play Romeo and Juliet. I have bigger fish to fry!

  • Gosh I do hope the lady will chime in here who was virtually assaulted in the shower for …., sorry, I get emotional … for ….. oh dear, here I go again (takes a big slurp of wine) FOR BUYING THE WRONG GODDAMN PICKLES!

  • Let’s see with his latest sweetie… I didn’t text him enough so I began to text him and he just didn’t respond. I worked too hard but then again he came home everyday at 8 or 9.with the married dating site it was that I was into it enough though I was literally dying a slow psychic death by sex starvation. He controlled literally every aspect of our sex life and would reject me every single time. With past affairs apparently he thought I knew because he mentioned their names in conversation. In other words I was unwittingly complicit.

  • He lied to other women about me, in great detail (I eventually learned that he had been lying to me in great detail about all sorts of things for as long as I’d known him: quite the accomplished teller of untruths).

    But to my face he couldn’t come up with anything specific – just “you sucked as a partner.”

    I replied “at least I didn’t cheat and lie.”

  • “When I was with him I hero-worshipped him (and disregarded so many red flags in the process) and didn’t think about all the little things he did that made me sad. Once parted from him, I was free to finally dwell on these things.”

    Same with me. One of them was he never (except for maybe a couple times in the early years, remembered my birthday. Even if I reminded him ahead of time he would forget. I gave up. He actually seemed to take pride in forgetting, he would joke about it. I honestly just gave up and just figured eh, that is how he is. But once discarded, it was one of the first hindsight visions I got. It was only then that I realized it did bother me. In fact it hurt me. Especially after I ran a three year credit card history and saw all the money he spent on whore for flowers, dinners, clothing etc. I am betting he remembered her birthday.

    In hindsight I think he did it on purpose as a way to PA show me that I just wasn’t as important as he was.

    Oh and by the way I never forgot his birthday. There was always a cake and a gift from me and our son. His birthday was 8 Jul, mine was 6 Oct.

    The year of discard was our 40th birthday year. His best friend’s (my friend too) birthday was mid Nov and he decided to throw a big surprise 40th birthday bash for him. I did most of the work, which was ok because I thought a lot of our friend too.

    It was just all too weird.

  • He blamed me for not getting a higher paying job so he could quit his and be a stay at home dad. Not that he had any interest in actually being a dad, just if I wanted to have kids, he should not have to work. Sure, that makes sense in this economy…

  • Well from FW, all I got was “I don’t know.”

    BUT, from the RIC marriage therapist I did get this gem: it was all because I was “soooooo controlling.” Um, I love him, but this dude here is perennially underemployed and couldn’t manage to pay a bill on time if his life depended on it, so everything is in my name (because his credit was worse that terrible) and thus it’s MY credit that will be ruined if I just let him have at it, I do 100% of the adulting – I bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, do all the housework, kid stuff, pet stuff, plan, execute and pay for all the entertainment and vacations, blah blah, etc., ad nauseum, while just bops along, has his way fully paid and never lifts a finger, and I never say a single word about him being incapable of being a grown up… but the problem is that *I’m controlling*? If I wasn’t “so controlling” we’d all be unfed, unwashed and living in a Charmin box under the freeway wearing nothing but dirty underwear, but sure, whatever you say lady. Insert eye roll here.

    I never went back to “therapy” coz fuck that noise! LOL

  • My ex-husband and I used to play a sport together. He learned the sport growing up (went to specialized camps, school programs, college, etc). However, I was brand new to the sport. I signed up for adult sport clinics led by skilled professionals. We even took several clinics together but unfortunately he would argue with the instructors about their lesson plans. Keep in mind that these individuals achieved the highest level of competition while he was mediocre at best! My ex was in no way a peer to them. I hired trainers that played and coached the sport professionally. I hired a female coach that I saw almost weekly to practice and train. So far so good…

    For my birthday, my ex-husband said he was gifting me the next 10 sessions with my regular coach. The chump I am, I actually thanked him for giving me the gift I was already giving myself!

    Fast forward to his cheating and then our divorce – He said we were incompatible. One of the reasons he gave was that instead of taking lessons from him and allowing him to teach me – I was taking lessons from a professional athlete and that hurt his feelings! What?! He said it was evidence that I didn’t respect him as a mentor and teacher.

    A couple of years later I bumped into the other woman (now his wife) in an adult sports clinic. I guess if/whenever they split, he’ll be able to recycle the same dumb excuse.

    As for me? I continue to play my sport at an adult recreational level. I have a great community that stepped up to support me. My regular coach became one of closest friends. And I am no longer embarrassed by association when attending sports clinics. Win-win for me in the end.

  • – I got : “ I can never be as emotionally mature as you are”. I’m a few years older, he was just telling me I was too old, in a nice way 🙄.

    – “we bring the worst out of each other”. Me taking care of the kids and the house by myself, supporting the whole family while he was starting a business and was never home brought the worst out of him. His being an absentee father and husband and asking for a divorce without giving any explanation brought the worst out of me? Fair enough…

    – “you’re too nice”, he was actually crying when saying that. I guess I was making it too hard on him being an asshole, poor sausage.

  • The first time he cheated on me, to my knowledge, was 7 years into our marriage with some engineer he worked with on a ship. He told me that I didn’t make a big enough fuss over how fit he had gotten exercising

    I also had the inability to load a dishwasher properly that fuckwits are so incredibly brilliant at knowing.

    Another bizarre one was while I was cooking ( I can cook and really enjoy it) he would ALWAYS come over to the fry pan on the range and ever so gently, position it one atom over to dead center of the flame, even though, to my unseeing eye, was already there. He would do the same with a drink or a mug of coffee I had put in front of him. He would have to reposition it microscopic inches, as if it somehow had an exact spot it needed to reach to keep the earth on its orbit, that only he, in all his knowingness, knew.

  • He told me (after 34 years of marriage) “We got married without knowing what marriage meant.”
    Excuse me, FW! First of all, have the guts to speak for yourself!
    I told him that I knew what marriage meant when I married him. And I ended the discussion. I knew he was making a shitty excuse but it still took me 2 years to get the courage to divorce. Grey divorce here – very scary with limited earning potential ahead of me.

    • I am glad for you that you won’t have to live your entire adult life with a fuckwit. Congratulations for being brave, because it’s going to be hard. As much as you might wish it hadn’t/wasn’t happening, I somehow doubt you will ever wish to return to what you had.

  • * * * * * WRINKLY SOCKS * * * * *

    CN – As a quick sorting method for laundered socks, do NOT loosely tie the matching socks together.

    Because otherwise ^^^^ DUH!!! SOCK WRINKLE AT THE ANKLE!

    This (alleged) sock wrinkle can’t be seen under a trousered leg… but that’s not the point!! HE KNOWS IT’S THERE!! 😱

  • Because I like candy and like to watch TV before bed. Apparently Mr. Boss McBosserton didn’t, so that made him better than me. Oh, and he made more money than me too. That reason didn’t come out until later though.

  • About 2 months after D-Day, my ex and I were in a therapy session. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but it must’ve been something like what are some things Chump has done that you feel contributed to the decline of the marriage. My ex started listing all of this really petty, ridiculous bullshit, but the worst one was about that time 8 years ago when I bought one of our dogs.

    I’d lost my doggie soul mate in 2009. I was devastated by her loss, and waited a while before getting another one. We had a Lab at the time too. We talked and talked about what breed we wanted to get, etc, and had decided on getting a Shih Tzu instead of another large breed. The point is that we had many conversations about getting a new puppy & how much to spend on it.

    Long story short, I found a pup I wanted, told my ex about him & went to go see him w my friend & mom. He damn well knew I was gonna come home with that puppy.

    So back to the therapy session. He starts yelling, literally yelling, about how I ignored his wishes and put us in dire financial straights by paying $400 for this pup. He got so angry that he stalked out of the room and slammed the door. The therapist looked at me like WTF was THAT? I’d never seen him behave that way in almost 28 years, all over a dog that he loved, BTW, that I’d gotten 8 years before.

    BTW, getting that dog didn’t put us in dire straights financially. That was just more revisionist bullshit.

  • I have thought a long and hard about this very subject of blame shifting to justify cheating because it did not happen to me. My ex never blamed me, said only ” you were a better wife than I could imagine ” That strikes fear in my heart. He never felt justification was needed but was apparent. Arrogance should be obvious, he said because of the job he held he felt entitled to do whatever he wanted. Once I finally got proof of his adultery and confronted him I was of no further use to him. His only goal then was to leave and to quote him ” I just want to forget all about you and start a new life.” No further explanation needed. D-day took place two weeks before our 50th wedding anniversary. Psychopathic? I. Fear. Him. Every. Day.

  • He had to cheat, because I was getting a degree. He said he was lonely, and I was always studying, or in class, or at one of my two jobs. He had also decided to stop working, because of family trauma, so I had to work two jobs, thanks a lot, ‘husband’! The head-scratcher is, the trauma was his elderly parents dying ten years earlier. (I guess he’ll never get over it)
    Since he was so lonely, he had to spend most of his day with the also-unemployed woman across the street, she was always available! And she loved to drink, just like him, so lucky. 🙄🙄🙄
    So, I got my degree, with honors, he got booted from my life. I also got an education in CN wisdom, so hopefully will make much better choices from now on!

  • I have the nerve to fall asleep on the couch while he is talking about his favorite subject, himself. How dare I?! After feeding the kids breakfast, getting them dressed, packing their lunches, taking them to school, working a full day, picking up groceries, picking the kids up from school, doing homework with them, cooking dinner, serving dinner, giving the kids a bath, getting them ready for bed, reading them a bedtime story, putting them to bed, cleaning up, washing the dishes, starting a load of laundry? He had to work, and commute, am I not happy to see him?

  • Fellow member of the, “I don’t do his laundry correctly” club, right here!

    I read too much.

    I won’t sing to him.

    I don’t drink enough. Apparently I’m way more fun when I’m drunk and sober me is boring.

    I don’t do things exactly as he wants them done. Then, when I do EXACTLY what he asks, he still finds a way to complain.

    Many times, when we’ve been arguing about the last one I listed, he’ll throw out, “What do you want me to say? I’m an enigma.” And I started responding to THAT gem with, “Actually, your a fucking hypocrite.”

    Everyone here is right – there’s no way to win with these people because nothing is ever “good enough”. Nothing.

    • You don’t sing to him and you don’t drink enough? He’s a self described enigma? This is the funniest posts I’ve seen on here, at least these people give us a laugh once in a while

  • These abandoners can be very cruel and cutting. A few I distinctly remember (after 36 years together):

    I’ve done my time. It’s my turn now.
    We’re just roommates.
    You feel like an old pair of shoes. You still fit and I can wear you, but I’m ready for a new pair.
    You keep the house too clean,
    I don’t believe in monogamy.
    I don’t want any responsibility or obligations.
    Everyone deserves to be happy.
    Maybe I’ll come back and find you again after a few years.
    You didn’t make me my favorite oatmeal cookies when I asked you to.
    I should be able to come back home anytime just like our grown kids do.
    I didn’t have a male role model growing up. What do you expect from me?
    I need you to love me unconditionally, no matter what I do.

    Emotionally stunted and regressed much? Me thinks so…

    • “I should be able to come back home anytime just like our grown kids do.”

      What the ever-living fuck! Laughably delusional.

  • There were quite a few. This is another personal favorite of mine
    I wasn’t nice enough to our neighbors
    I was always nice to the neighbors, I waved and said good morning etc.
    And the entire thing is bizarre because he was sleeping with a neighbor for over a year😂😂😂
    How nice did he want me to be!! lol 😂

    • Stupid ass. I’m a member of that no-fun club, married to a neighbor fucker. Or used to be 😀 I maintain that they are mostly lazy, sneaking across the street is so convenient! The X also loved that the other neighbors knew, so he felt like a stud. Most of them thought he was nuts and low class, but he had his delusions as usual!

      • Freewoman
        A neighbor fucker! lol! Thats a good one! I usually just call him the schmuck! I might borrow that one if you don’t mind!

        • Feel free 😊 It’s mostly for my own amusement, I am totally taking the high road with the ‘kids’, people who know him, etc. I find it really satisfying to just shake my head and say how he’s fallen apart, and is living in a crazy world of his own. Everyone understands.

  • Sometimes I left the lights on when I left a room.

    This was disrespectful to him. Just like his having a secret sexual life was disrespectful to me. So we are both even and when the hell was I going to ‘Heal?”

  • One of the absurd “reasons” was that I just thought of him as a pretty face. At the time I was fully dependent on him, staying home with three kids hanging from my boobs. And I just wanted arm candy according to him. I’ve always thought this was something the sociopath OW fed him but after reading all these comments, it was probably just something he pulled out of ass.

    • “ after reading all these comments, it was probably just something he pulled out of ass”

      CL/CN brought me to the same conclusion.

      • In fact, when clueless people ask me why FW said he did “it,” I tell them: 1. he’s a liar so it doesn’t matter what he said, it’s not believable; and 2. his reasons were contradictory and illogical, so I really couldn’t begin. Word salad.

      • ” after reading all these comments, it was probably just something he pulled out of ass””

        I mentioned before I honestly think my fw was flailing. I doubt he even remembered what he said from one minutes to the next. He was in a huge snafu at work, he was exposed to me, and all the folks he had played politically by playing the part of an upstanding father and citizen.

        I think that is the case for many of these fw’s, saying whatever they can to save themselves. Kind of like grabbing rotting wood while in the process of drowning.

  • My year, make, and model is a 1963 Caucasian woman and I was told he had always been attracted to something different, so he went shopping for a new ride on Craigslist and found his “sole mate” in the Causal Encounters section. Where the quality people are found.

    If you marry someone, you agree to forsake the other 6,999,999,998 people on the planet and that’s a total buzzkill for a cheater who can’t abide the idea of YOLO and having to make choices. Although cheating sacrifices plenty, starting with your family and your integrity. Peanuts, right?

    I think if you want to sample a smorgasbord of people you shouldn’t get married, but cheaters need a warm body to do the laundry and provide the illusion of human decency. So the flimsiest excuse will do.

    • Cheater logic dictates that if you get a flat tire, the solution is to get out of the car and flatten the other three.

      I don’t want to be tethered to anyone who can’t even comprehend Marriage For Dummies.

  • My cardinal sin? “You have a fuck you attitude.” Which is to say I had my own opinions, my own ways of doing things, and I wasn’t shy about voicing them. He wanted to call the shots in literally everything, with me doing all the work.

    Ah, no. I didn’t clean the house up to his standards. He got “Tell you what, I will clean up to my standards, and you are welcome to pitch in and bring it up to your standards.”

    He had very limited food choices, would only eat a few foods prepared the same. The kids and I liked a much bigger variety. I would make him his meal and would make the kids and I a meal we enjoyed. He thought we should all eat his way. Nope, nope, nopety, nope. Not happening. Not in my kitchen. He shut up when invited to cook his own meals.

    He was a very frustrated guy towards the end. I compromised plenty on lots of things, but some personal things, nope.

    So of course he just had to cheat, me being such a bitch and all.

  • He had to leave because “it would be to hard for [me] to find someone else in 10 years”. Ouch. Ok I get it already, I’m old (at 45) And FW deserves not to feel like a creep for hitting on girls half his age (his “demographic”) because he is *married* to a*MOM*. Wow, just wow. And don’t worry it won’t be creepy at all when these girls are his daughter’s age.

  • He had to leave because he didn’t get the stainless steel finish he wanted on the new kitchen appliances. Of course he never said he wanted that, he asked me whether stainless steel or black would look better, because, in his words, I had such fantastic taste and always made the house look so nice. We had hunter green paint in the kitchen, so I thought black would be better than stainless steel. Hilariously, I actually liked the previous appliances and didn’t want them to be removed at all, but I gave into his desire to change them out. So even though I lost, apparently I was the one who got what she wanted. (What?) None of this makes any sense. I’m now in a new high-end luxury apartment with stainless steel appliances and sometimes I do think I should text him a picture with the caption “You’re right, stainless steel is da bomb!” 😁But I’ve been no contact for 4 years and wouldn’t dream of breaking that, even though that would be pretty funny. 😁

  • This discussion REALLY makes me want to start watching Rachel Maddow!! 😂 Anyone that makes FWs uncomfortable is a good egg in my book.

    Bucko said I didn’t “dream.” It occurred to me after the fact why he felt I didn’t dream — I didn’t dream LIKE HIM. Bucko fancied himself an entrepreneur, even though he never successfully started anything in his life. He was an IDEA MAN. O that someone would be wise enough to pay him to generate ideas. 🙄

    However, I’m thriving in a trade that I love, am at the top of my skills and getting better. 13 months after D-Day I’ve crossed off two major professional goals, am thisclose to being debt-free, AND I just started classes toward my bachelor’s degree — which I LITERALLY dreamed about and he knew damn well I did, and he knew that I was planning on enrolling in the 2021 fall semester. D-Day didn’t delay that plan one bit 🙂 And he knew I was wanting to do all the other aforementioned stuff too.

    Bucko’s real Reason was the 20-year-old he was fucking. He wanted a new Manic Pixie Dream Girl. 21 years ago I was the Manic Pixie Dream Girl but after a while, ya know, I started ATTAINING the hopes and dreams. I guess success is dull.

  • First I took the “you are to blame too” bait and promptly stated reasons of how yes I could be the blame. He stood there nodding in agreement of my self perceived faults that caused his 22 ys of misery at that point. Then I worked to make up for those faults in the long pick me dance.
    He put in zero efforts while continuing to live a triple lifestyle.
    I directly heard-
    It’s not because you have one breast
    You used to be pretty
    You can’t compete with a 20 yo ( prostitute was my guess) our daughter was an olderteen so I didn’t allow her friends over if I thought he may show up.
    You aren’t as close to your brothers as I was mine
    Your nieces used to be pretty – teens like our daughter
    I know you think son is sooo special- ( ex checked out the day the first kid arrived)
    Your family caused this
    The kids caused this…..
    Everyone here gets the bull they give. It was never any of his actions that caused issues.

    • those fish sticks must’ve been mighty bad, like kung-fu fishsticks, racing through Hong Kong on a mission to destroy your X before their Hong cuts them off. #kungfufighting

  • For me, I was the recipient of nothing original, like “bagged salad” (ha!), but rather my ex-wife informed me that WE had “grown apart” (there was no “we”; she began drifting from our marriage 6 months prior) and then she gave me the ILYBINILWY speech (which I realize means “I’m turning 40 and have but one life to live for ME, so I’m screwing my married supervisor and moving-on to perceived greener pastures. Adios, chump!”).

  • I didn’t wash the curtains often enough
    I didn’t dress up in the bedroom
    I would put a lamp on and read while he was in bed
    I didn’t ‘listen’ to him.

    These are just some of the reasons why he had to screw 100s of women.

  • He went on a week-long, sex-filled cruise with his XGF because I didn’t fold his socks and underwear correctly. I stopped trying to do it right since he kept moving the goal posts. If I folded them the way he wanted, something else would be wrong, like I didn’t put them away right. Anyway, after finding out about his cruise, he actually whined, “you don’t fold my socks correctly and you said you never would!”Yeah, we’re done.

    • Women need to stop doing men’s laundry 😕
      You can’t win! The criticism, perfection expected, and then being told you’re mom-like. Screw it, they can do their own laundry on their day off!

      • The laundry thing is usually a ruse. They pick a fight about it so you don’t do their laundry so it isn’t weird when they do it themselves. They do it themselves so you don’t see/smell the OW/drugs/smoke/bodily fluids.

        • My ex must have showered before he came home. I never stopped doing his laundry up until the day he left. Either I wasn’t very observant, or he usually showered before he came home. Hell he may have even kept clean underwear at her house. Who knows.

          Back then I had a pretty sensitive sense of smell, so I think I would have noticed had he been putting tuna fish boxers in the laundry.

          He did lose his expensive leather jacket once. He accused me of losing it. a couple weeks later he came home with it and I asked about it. He said it had fallen down behind some file cabinets in the briefing room. Sure. Of course I believed it then.

          • Wow, my XFW started doing his own laundry a few months before we separated. I had no idea it was a thing…

            • It does make sense.

              I wish my fw had done that. I would have asked him if he is going to iron his shirts too.

              I do remember early in our marriage when I put away his socks, I folded the top over the bottom. He hated that, instructed me to roll them and place them neatly in his drarw (Army Style). I did because I was in love. vomit.

  • Excuse given: Timing of nachos. If I had made nachos for dinner one month prior (I make pretty awesome nachos), he would not have made the decision to leave me. Perhaps Schmoopie doesn’t know how to make nachos, or her nachos just suck.

    I’m so glad I did not make those nachos. One year after he left, I met an amazing guy and fellow chump. And his nachos are better than mine.

  • I found out that I apparently had traumatized my husband early in our relationship by abandoning him in the grocery store. This was 18 years ago, and he had just moved in with me. I took him to my favorite grocery store- Fairway on the UWS. It’s like 2 aisles wide and long, and two people can barely stand side by side in an aisle. I “left” him there to fend for himself while I went off to shop on my own. He told me this was a major red flag that proved my selfishness and he should have left me then. He raged about this during one of our final couples therapy sessions. This was the first I had heard of it! If only I had gently guided him through the harsh, intimidating aisles, then who knows where we would be today…

    • Ah yes, abandonment. I was always accused of that anytime I did anything not involving him, including flying to be there for the birth of one of my nieces.

      • I “abandoned” him by suggesting we watch a movie together. I know. It’s hard to grasp. I guess he wanted to have sex instead. I was supposed to read his mind and anticipate his every need. #mybad

    • I “abandoned” mine by taking a theater seat that was not next to him when none other was available. He raged that I should have demanded somebody give up their seat. I was a horrible wife for not doing that.
      He had been cheating for years by then, but still felt “rejected”.
      Moron.

    • 🤣🤣🤣 this guy takes grasping at straws to a whole other level! Lol. Grocery aisle abandonment PTSD? Pull up your big boy panties and stay single asshole. Much more room for you in the aisles that way.

  • I got the typical “grown apart” and that I’m “not fun anymore” and that I’m “too critical”.

    But he also told me this gem… because I didn’t like to garden.
    I had no gardening experience and no time to garden. I have no idea if I like it or not.

  • OMG these are hilarious. I could list 100, but here are my faves:

    I wasn’t fit enough…but then…
    I spent too much time at the gym
    I didn’t earn enough $…but then…
    I abandoned my family to return FT to the workforce
    I wasn’t 35 any more (neither was he, lol)
    I didn’t praise him enough for trimming the hedges
    I was too attached to my family (who helped us buy a home and loved him like a son)
    I had [insert need here]…really, just any personal need was too much
    I didn’t praise him enough for “being supportive” of me helping care for my dad during a life threatening health scare
    I didn’t put sunscreen on his back lovingly enough

    lolololololol I could go on, but we’ve all heard some version of these gems. Unhappy people gonna be unhappy, and there ain’t nuthin you can do about it

  • Also got – “you’re a sorry wife,”
    I knew I never trusted you ( after I left and got an attorney) after 33 yrs together
    It took me years to understand he is disordered and I have super traits. It a single person that knows me and cares about me would use any of his demeaning sick adjectives to describe me.

  • First time poster. This place has helped me through some dark places the last 12 months and has been a sanity saver.
    I won’t bother with my whole story as it’s just the typical BS but my (soon to be) ex wife keeps bringing up that this is my fault because when I found out she was in a fully fledged emotional affair with her ex boyfriend (I know right) I told her to leave. She left me and three small kids and ran to him and started sleeping with him and its my fault because I couldn’t put up with her lying, dishonesty and gaslighting anymore.
    Yep I’m a real bastard and definitely it’s my fault. Just like everyone else you wonder where the beautiful person you have know 20 years went 🙄

    • hi james, welcome to a safe, relatively sane space to share your vulnerabilities. i’m sorry to need to be here but glad to hear from you.

      i too miss the person i thought i knew, but he’s gone AWOL and, well, thank god for therapy, you know?

    • Glad you find CL helpful. It’s a good place to find some understanding, and peace, and a few laughs, too! When you get there, that you’re able to laugh. Hope you’re managing ok, welcome!

    • Hi James. I was left for the ex gf. After 26 years. They went out at school and broke up, went out in their early twenties and split up. They, the ‘soulmates’, are trying again in their mid-fifties. What could possibly go wrong 😂. It’s a special kind of pain when they go back to the past like that. And quite common apparently, for those who are deeply emotionally immature. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. It does not help that the media gets gooey about these rekindled relationships, without looking behind the surface mush. The first 12 months were the worst. My life is infinitely better. I come here every day for an injection of vitamins. It helps!