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UBT: ‘I’m Trying Right Now’

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Dear Chump Lady:

I am checking in for some support and encouragement as I enter the home stretch of leaving the cheater. The hoovering is in overdrive as we approach her move-out date, so I need to buttress my resolve.

Some background, D-Day was about 2 months ago, she had confessed to a year-long affair with a guy 10 years my junior. Usual stuff, I worked too much, she’d been lonely for years, lost herself, she feels like we’re brother and sister, the usual fuckery. She said if money could buy happiness she’d be the happiest gal in the world. Apparently her affair partner’s part-time schedule makes him available to make her (and other married women with kids) the happiest gal in the world.

She was contrite and remorseful for 2 days after D-Day, but by day 3 she was back to texting and calling her AP every day, and even picking up “extra shifts” at work. Just a FW with a real defiant attitude.

Fast forward 6 weeks later, she has a place ready to move to in 2 weeks, and all of a sudden she wants to work things out and try to save our 8-year marriage. It has been entertaining to hear some of the things she’s been saying lately, feel free to translate her cake eater speak where needed!

FW’s latest quotes as we approach her move-out date:

“Maybe you can research a couples counselor in the area for us?”
“If I do leave, it will be very hard to come back. I don’t think I will ever come back if I leave.”
“I’m just kind of numb right now myself. Scared, too.”
“I feel like you are pulling back. Are you pulling back? Just be honest, please.”
“You’ve been very pessimistic about us the last few days and it is disheartening.”
“I’m trying right now. I’m not mindfucking you.” (I accused her of mindfucking, btw). “I’m being 100% honest here. And I love you.”
“I’m looking forward to therapy. I really want things to work out. I just have to get healthy emotionally myself. I’ve been lonely for so long.”

As you can see, she’s been really turning it on thick lately. As mentioned, she’s due to move out in about 2 weeks and has said her relationship with AP is “nothing”. Today is Wednesday, and I overheard her talking with AP as recently as Friday. They sounded like they may have been arguing. Anyways, I just need some inspiration to stave off this massive hoover storm that I’m in the middle of so I can complete my mission.

Thanks!

R

Dear R,

Complete the mission! Of all the mindfuckery you submitted, she didn’t even attempt a lame non-apology apology. The self-pity dial is cranked to 11. Poor Schmoops must be balking at this 24/7 availability thing and you’re refusing to be Plan B. What’s a sad sausage to do?

Serve itself on a snack tray to the Universal Bullshit Translator, that’s what!

“Maybe you can research a couples counselor in the area for us?”

Maybe you could research U-hauls?

(Sorry the UBT is feeling salty.)

Maybe you could clean up this mess I made, and do a little pick-me dance shuffle to win me back? We’ll call it “research.”

“If I do leave, it will be very hard to come back. I don’t think I will ever come back if I leave.”

Alone in my broke-ass apartment. Unrequitedly dialing Schmoopie as he’s out servicing other suburban housewives. Trying to figure out the television remote by myself…

It will be very hard to come back! Act now on this super special offer of my awesomeness!

“I’m just kind of numb right now myself. Scared, too.”

I’m just kind of dumb right now.

I has a sadz. Comfort me from the affliction of my own stupidity.

“I feel like you are pulling back. Are you pulling back? Just be honest, please.”

I can’t imagine why you’d be distant after I fucked another guy and persisted in texting him in front of you. I thought that sort of behavior would endear me to you. Be honest. Is this a boundary?

“You’ve been very pessimistic about us the last few days and it is disheartening.”

I need to be bludgeoned with a clue bat.

“I’m trying right now. I’m not mindfucking you.” (I accused her of mindfucking, btw). “I’m being 100% honest here. And I love you.”

And that’s what really matters — I’m trying. It doesn’t matter what the actual effort is, or if you welcome it, I SAID I’M TRYING. Do you realize the depths of humiliation I have sunk to offering you this kibble of my EFFORT? The injustice that I have to come to you. Just the thought of that inequality will have me revenge texting Schoompie the moment you turn your back, but the point is: I love you. In that fuck other people and lie to your face kind of way.

#notmindfuckery

“I’m looking forward to therapy. I really want things to work out. I just have to get healthy emotionally myself. I’ve been lonely for so long.”

You made me lonely and drove me to fuck strange. How are you going to heal me? Won’t you research that therapy and see if there’s a cure for fuckwits? I really want things to work out…. in my favor.

****

R, damn the torpedos, full speed ahead and all the rest. As amusing as her UBT fodder is, no contact is the path to healing. She can’t hoover you if you refuse to engage.

Besides, I think she needs to spend some time alone contemplating your boundaries. She sounds like a slow learner.

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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.
  • R,

    She is trying to keep her options open, avoid the natural consequences of her actions and ensure that you remain “off balance.” After all, it’s much better for her to have a Plan B in case schmoopie doesn’t work out, to make sure that everything is your fault and avoid having any of the sh*tstorm that she created land at her own feet. You have literally nothing to work with here and I would advise that you protect yourself, protect your children if you have them and divorce her cheating, lying ass.

    The only way to “win” this game is to quit playing and walk away from the table.

    LFTT

    • Shmoops didn’t offer her 4ever-n-ever or at least temporary shelter? Like maybe his choice to bang married people indicates more than a slight hesitancy to commit?

    • Yup. The sparkle is wearing off now that they are going to be living together (and paying their own bills) instead of sneaking around while OP is a spouse appliance. And I’d bet FW is starting to realize that she’s not Schmoopie’s one and only, or even his #1.

      Stay strong!

    • The force is strong with you my friend. Power on! Kick her to the curb. Be brutal and cruel (as I’m sure that’s how she will describe it) Don’t give an ounce more of your wellbeing and energy toward making her more comfortable. You deserve better.

  • Good God. She got used by predator Schmoopie and she should feel shame, embarrassment
    But instead she is blaming and shaming you, somehow her needs were not met, a spoiled child.
    Lines/Lies as old as time.
    If you would just turn your head and fix everything.
    UGH.

    • Exactly! The same happened to my FW XW and she got me to fix a lot of things on her behalf. Don’t be me, R, don’t fall for the same old lies/lines. If you have children, focus on protecting them from the trainwreck that is your FW and let her deal with the consequences of her choices. You got this!

    • I basically said the same to DrEx the one and only time we went to couples therapy. I told him he had to make the choice to quit his workwhore BEFORE I would try to fix our relationship. His response, “How do I know she (meaning me) will forgive me?” The therapist’s response, “You don’t.”
      That was when I knew I had nothing to work with. He didn’t was a possibility with me, he wanted a ‘sure thing’ with her. Of course, the fact that he left the next week for a 2 week vacation with her in Greece was the nail in the coffin of our marriage.
      I had him served with papers when he got back.

  • My guess is that the arguing with schnoopie stemmed from her putting pressure on him for more then cheap fucks. Her security blanket is about to be gone and OM doesn’t want that job.

    She probably assumed he’d want her and now realizes he doesn’t.

    So now she’s attempting to get her security blanket back.

    Nothing to work with here but entitlement. Get rid of her, but be prepared for her to try to throw all kinds of sex at you in the coming weeks.

    • “She probably assumed he’d want her and now realizes he doesn’t.”

      This.

      and how I wish I could turn back time, hand my Cheater over to Schmoopie and declare “no take-backs”

      • I think male and female cheaters are a little different in that women will very often take off if they think the other man wants them.

        Men are more likely to enjoy having a wife appliance at home and strange on the side. Look at how many here had to force their fuckwits out….I know my ex enjoyed the image management I brought and absolutely did not want a divorce. He just didn’t want to give up his whore or do any work at all for the marriage.

        Not that men cheaters never take off on their own and women cheaters don’t try to stick around because clearly both of these happen. I just suspect the former is more common.

        I have nothing to back that up though so my opinion is worth what it’s worth.

        • Can confirm that my male cheater is absolutely refusing to leave, even though I’ve gone completely grey rock and asked him not to speak to me and to move out. Nobody’s the boss of him. He perches on a chair in the living room waiting for me to pass by so he can glare at me and I can’t use the room. He doesn’t turn on the TV or anything, just plays on his phone, taking up the room. They are petty like that.

            • Signed the retainer agreement for mediation today. I know, I know, don’t try mediation with a FW, but I am going to have my own lawyer look everything over carefully. I think he’s ready to discard me and will make it quick and not do any shenanigans that would delay it. He was just refusing to move out of the house while we separated, even though he has another place to live, because I am not the boss of him and he likes to do things that bother me because I took the kibbles away.

              But! My very first email to the new mediators was about how I want him to move out and he’s refusing, and that it shows that he has no compassion for my pain (I had previously told him I was going to ask for compensation for cruelty [even though I don’t know if that’s actually a thing yet.]) And *magic*! Getting an authority figure and possible money involved made all the difference, he suddenly texted me to ask if I wanted him to move out. I reminded him yes, I’ve asked you to move out about a dozen times, and he had no answer to that, but just said okay he will move out now! He says he needs a few days to completely move out, but hey, baby steps toward walls that sing!

            • Very useful piece of advice I got was to consult with multiple lawyers. Freeze her out of using anyone good, if possible!

              • DO NOT do this. It’s not good advice. It’s actually such bad advice that it’s a common question on the professional responsibility exam would-be lawyers take. And it will make the eventual judge you’re in front of very unhappy if it comes out.

              • Plus, unless you live in an area with a very very limited number of attorneys, it’s not likely to be all that effective. I live in a major metro area that has hundreds, maybe more, lawyers. So even if I had consultations with ten lawyers, that leaves hundreds+ that I have t consulted with to choose from.

              • I agree it’s not practical to talk to many. But I would still talk to the top couple while FW is distracted.

                It worked really well for me- I asked around, and 2 names kept coming up. I talked to both, picked the one of the two I liked.

                There are many local lawyers he could have chosen from, but FW was so enamored with schmoopie that he didn’t invest time in finding a lawyer. He pouted that a friend of his had recommended my lawyer to him, and I suspect he called the other one I talked to also based on recommendations. The one he ended up with very nicely complied with all of the requests my lawyer made, so I’m happy!

              • There’s nothing wrong with talking to more than one lawyer if you’re really trying to determine which one would be the best choice for you.

                But talking to multiple lawyers in the hopes that you can “freeze out” one ore more of them for your ex – that will bite you in the butt.

            • I have one I think will be good, but haven’t hired him yet, going to meet him soon to make sure he’s a bulldog type.

        • My ex certainly thought she could run off and join the clown show. “We can still be friends!” she yelled over her shoulder as she packed her red nose in her valise and hurried out the door.

          Alas, the clown show rejected her application, and now she is alone and unemployed.

        • For me, my husband didn’t want a wife appliance at home and strange on the side. He resented the wife appliance and wanted to marry the strange (“true love”). Everytime he packed his own bags and skipped off into the sunset.

        • Ha, Kim I tried to post what you said, but you said it better.

          Not meant to upset anyone, I just think what you said in most cases is accurate.

          Doesn’t make either cheater better or worse, just how it plays out a lot.

          My fw did leave me for the whore, but he had been keeping her in the alley for years. I am pretty sure what prompted him to leave was having an ethics charge filed against him. (he was boinking his direct report). I am also pretty certain, that had no one dropped a dime, his original plan was to abuse me worse and wore until I had not choice but to kick him out. A few months later he could drag whore out of the back alley into the sunlight as his brand new chaste wuv.

          He couldn’t have fucked up his life more if he had set out to do it.

            • Seriously, sometimes I think about how shocked he is going to be when everyone who knows us isn’t like “Oh you needed to be completely free to have all the girlfriends you want, without your wife having any say, and she said NO to that? Well of course you had to leave her.” It’ll be more like, dude, maybe you have a sex addiction problem? Why would you do that to your family?

    • I’m hoping the letter writer doesn’t have kids with her now. And really don’t have sex with her. If she were to conceive at this point, aside from any potential STDs she might carry right now, would be bad for everyone.

    • “be prepared for her to try to throw all kinds of sex at you in the coming weeks”.

      So true.

      Resist, R! This will be her trying to mindfuck you even further (look what you’ll be missing out) or get pregnant to keep you stuck out of obligation and care for the baby and the mother. Not to mention you being exposed to STDs.

      Protect yourself and children that you may already have had now and (don’t) fuck the cheater. If you fall for the temptation, I promise you will be grossed out at yourself shortly after.

      How much I wish I could say I have never touched my FW XW after DDay(s)… 🤢🤮

  • It’s muddy now, but if you keep going, you’ll find lovely people who act like adults in relationships.

    And even if you don’t want any more relationships, you’ll grow and become proud of yourself and the new, healthier person you’ve become.

    That alone is worth this pain. Trust me!

    • Yes, please find some people who act like adults! People who blame shift, gas light, waffle when they have betrayed you are not adults. If you let her stay she will pull this again down the road and if you let her stay again then, the pattern will repeat itself or she will repeat the pattern, etc. Absolutely nothing to work with here. Get your divorce, go no contact and let her pick someone who wants the same kind of f’ed up life that she does. Cheaters are actually all the same, they LIE LIE LIE and think chumps will believe them, feel sorry for them, etc. or that they are so wonderful that the chump will be delighted to have them back. Best of luck.

    • I want to hang out with adult people who you could do stuff like play Scrabble with and if you said to them stuff like “Oh please don’t leave your boots there,” they would just move their boots and it would not be a big deal at all.

      • Oh, sweetie, idk where you are but I would totally leave my shoes outside and kick your ass in scrabble if you had good snacks. That seems a really simple ask.

  • R, I’m sorry you have to go through this. Her comments make me laugh. Hopefully you will laugh too in time. I had a very similar situation pretty much exactly one year ago.

    “Maybe you can research a couples counselor in the area for us?”- So she wants to do counseling, but not enough to do any work to set it up. No, she just asking you to pick me dance.

    “ I’m looking forward to therapy. I really want things to work out. I just have to get healthy emotionally myself. I’ve been lonely for so long.” – My ex used this line too. He justified moving out saying that he needed space to himself to work on himself, so he could come back a better person for me. He wrote me an eloquent love note that he left in the house the day he moved out, professing his love, how hard this day was for him, etc. I laughed at that one even then, mostly because my eyes were finally opened to the chasm between his words and his actions. Since then, his actions are completely predictable. He didn’t magically go to therapy to make himself better. He has never once tried to rekindle our marriage. He walked out the door and didn’t look back.

    Pay attention to her actions, not her words. They say one thing to distract from the behavior that is telling you the complete opposite.

    And I agree with the others- you are not plan B!

    • Yes, both my therapist and my divorce attorney said that very rarely do people truly put in the effort to save the marriage after they pack up and leave. My therapist described it as effectively closing an emotional door when you do that. She predicted that he would never see a mental health professional like he said he would, and he did not as far as I know. Later, my divorce attorney said multiple times that when a spouse runs as far as my ex did, a judge would view that as “over and done” no matter what the intentions. Even in the legal world, actions speak louder than words.

      My attorney also had a saying that I’ve repeated here about being friends with your ex, “Only a fool would be friends with the person who burned down their house.”

      • Elsie,
        My ex told me that he knew if he ever left, he could never come back. That statement hurt so much because, to me, it suggested that he had thought about it for some time and just used me until he could find a replacement. It’s so hard to work through the fact that I was just a placeholder when I thought we had a great marriage. But, at least I did know that I would never want to be friends with a person who hurt me like he did. What he did is selfish and childish. I deserve much more in a friend. More pain was that I always thought we were best friends. We had thirty years together. I was such a fool. Regardless, he’s the soggy, stinky, moldy trash at the bottom of the landfill. He’s proven that. It will sure be hard for him to crawl to the surface and ever be a valuable friend to anyone.

  • R, There is no downside to “no contact”.

    If the cheating continues, you won’t have a painful front seat. If it ends, you will have given yourself a period of legal and emotional clarification.

    Sometimes I have to remind myself of the intentional, numerous instances of entitlement and deceit necessary for the cheating to have occurred.

    There’s no hurry here.

  • Im endlessly amazed at how much latitude some people believe that they have with others.

    If I fucked a Schmoops, it wouldn’t even occur to me that I could get caught and then expect my marriage to roll along unfettered by my betrayal. I would expect consequences, immediate and significant. (Even the thought of my {subsequent}sweet husband suffering such a thing makes me sad. No sexual escapade would ever be worth hurting him). I know that the precious bond of trust we have would be forever fractured.

    Cheaters thoughts are in a totally different orbit than those of the Chump

    • This x 100. ^ I cannot fathom the callous disregard of these FWs. It truly defies comprehension to have watched him sit with one arm slung across the back of the couch without a ping of remorse or scintilla of understanding that fucking other women, porn addiction, and sexting are harmful to a marriage. I’ve tried googling this phenomenon. I guess it’s a big girl/grown-up lesson – the world is filled with mind bending unfairness, but lots of greatness too. I don’t ponder it as much. Thanks, Unicorn.

      • It’s tough, I think the truth is that everyone who does something, from lying to murder justifies it in their mind first, then they are very incentivized to stick with it. Whatever people do they have decided doesn’t make them a bad person in advance and they are very motivated not to go back on that after the fact. People kill, rape, betray and all tell themselves they are still good people. Most people’s standard for being a good person is not murdering. We don’t live in a culture of accountability.

      • After he died, I learned that I had zero understanding of what that thing was for 26 years that I thought was a marriage and he thought was something the name of which I do not know.

        I dont think that he cheated in the last 5 years of his life but neither did he ever tell the truth. I learned that he likely cheated on and off for the first 20 years of that non-marriage thing. He told himself that we had an agreement (and I was likely getting some on the side) and I deserved it since I was substandard.

        During those last 5 years, looking back, I now think that he vacillated between “She did deserve it, she sucked” and moments when he realizing that I was a good woman and never deserved the betrayal…he couldn’t live with himself long in those moments. We would have a lovely bonding moment and he would turn away in rejection.

        I think he realized that if I knew the full truth, I would be DISGUSTED and he would be outed as a monster. I remember looking at him and thinking “he looks like a man with a terrible secret” and yet I STILL didnt grasp it. My mind never imagined anything near what the truth really was.

        I think he got away with it for so long…the image of the guy with arm slung on the couch and not a ping of remorse. I imagine him telling himself that if it were so bad, something awful (bolt of lightening) would have happened by then. The universe owed him and he got even by fucking strange. (I was collateral to this whole universe balancing process).

        I still live in the house where he dropped dead. I know where he was when God demanded his life from him. I know what he was looking at. The other day I stood in that spot wondering what that was like…as if I were at the door to the portal. And he cannot (with his clear mind in Gods presence) reach back and explain or show remorse (his earthly self never would).

        Yes, what huge and strange lessons life gives us

  • Wow. She is one entitled, manipulative, shallow, hollow, nasty piece of work.

    Cheaters LIE.

    She is definitely trying to keep you on board in case the life raft doesn’t hold water. Then use you as a life saver to stay afloat while pushing your head under water.

    No don’t she will need a hand moving her shit into her new fuck pad. Then when she needs anything fixed you are on speed dial.

    So glad you see through her mindfuckery, R.

    This gal has zero clue what “honest” and “love” are.
    Have a nice life Shmoopie!

  • R, I know it’s hard right now and while she’s still in the house… but for everything she says, please respond stone faced and walk away. Disengage. Let your attorney do the talking.

    As everyone has said before me… she needs to make sure you’re her parachute if her AP doesn’t work out. You’re nobody’s parachute. You only have one parachute… save yourself. Stay strong. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

  • She’s playing the victim to keep you as Plan B

    And it’s dawning on her that she won’t have her pasty chump for much longer

    She’s shocked because he has stopped kissing her ass

  • Yup. Understand exactly what you’re going through.

    The only thing you can do to keep sane is to get rid of her. Erase her from your life and memory.

    These people talk the same, think the same and act the same.

    Good luck my friend.

  • She is trying to rub all her slime off on you. ( a little DARVO action there).
    They don’t want to be the reason the bottom fell out of your lives, let’s make it your fault instead.
    You don’t even want to try, you are not accepting her forgiveness and offerings of renewed love. She’s so distraught, can’t you see she was lonely and needed to cheat on you to go on?! How is that her fault?
    You’re so cold and unforgiving, you don’t even want to try and save your marriage! Well, at least she tried, it’s certainly not on HER when it doesn’t all work out.
    Games, games, games, they are sooo skilled at manipulating the picture!
    They can’t tolerate the shame, the narrative must lean favorably towards them.
    That’s all in the bonus chapter of the ‘partner abuse manual’, they all have a well worn copy and memorized it.
    In the ‘ leave a cheater’ manual it is clearly highlighted in red, TRUST THAT THEY SUCK!!!
    That’s all the info you need to make the right call on this one, R.
    Sadly, your partner of 8 years is deep in the abuser club and she’s just not fixable.
    Walk away, it’s hard as hell, but it feels very empowering to know you will no longer tolerate abuse.
    No contact helps the most. Good luck to you. You got this. 👍

  • R, The best thing you can do is to let her believe her bullshit. Rent her a truck and help her move with a big smile on your face pretending to be Plan B. Once she’s out get a lawyer and file for possession of the home. Have her served, problem solved.Change the locks and tell her you’re speaking only three a lawyer.

  • What an entitled slut. You do not deserve her abuse- no one does.

    Go no contact and push that divorce through as fast as possible.

    You’ll look back and you won’t believe you spent one more minute allowing her abusive words in your ears (or eyes, if you are allowing her to text or e-mail you).

    The divorce will be a real shit show, I’m sure, but when you’re going through hell do not stop. You only have to do this once. Then you’ll be free so you can heal. It’s going to take time. Be kind and patient with yourself.

  • This is exactly what I needed today! I knew that CL and CN would give me all the fuel I needed to get over the finish line. Can we just give CL a Pulitzer already? These had me rolling on the floor:
    “Maybe you could research U-hauls?”
    “… as he’s out servicing other suburban housewives.”
    “You made me lonely and drove me to fuck strange.”
    Pure.
    Fucking.
    Gold!
    Now, off to finish the mission. Thanks again, CN!!

    • Laughter is a great tourniquet. It’s also like a jet pack to propel us out of danger. There was a study of POWs and gallows humor that found those who employed the latter had a better survival rate.

      No surprise to me. I was lucky to find a funny therapist who understood this. It was a needed antidote to lugubrious RIC perveyors who expect chumps to hangdoggedly search their own souls for the cause of partners’ betrayal. Even that seems comical to me now.

      Your story reminds me of the plot of Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy where (spoiler) the wiley Soviet agent Karla figures out George Smiley’s Achilles heel, which is that Smiley has so much integrity that he will automatically be wary of losing objectivity if personally affronted. So Karla schemes to distract George Smiley from uncovering a mole by having the mole seduce Smiley’s wife Anne.

      One possible overlap in your story is that Anne Smiley is summarily dumped and humiliated by the mole once the goal of getting Smiley off the scent is acheived. But what I really see as a parallel is the pitfall in these situations that is exploited by RIC and cheaters alike: inciting the chump to behave “responsibly”– i.e., doubling back chump strength (being responsible, checking themselves for fault) and turning it into a liability. That’s what Karla depended on. The book is as much about infidelity as it is about espionage.

      So humor is also the emergency escape hatch from being chumpily manipulated. It occurs to me that the cell of double agents in Tinker, Tailor could have been exposed much sooner if Smiley had gotten his hands in a copy of LAGCAL. 😉

      • It’s a pity that Smiley takes Anne back repeatedly.
        And it’s no coincidence that Le Carré’s first wife was named Ann, to whom Le Carré was
        unfaithful. Although they were opposites in many ways, both Anns mirrored Le Carré’s and Smiley’s inability to have a complete relationship with a woman based upon honesty.
        Le Carré’s situation was entirely his own making, but in Smiley, he found some personal redemption, or at least the honorable man he aspired to be.

        • I love the Margaret Atwood’s quote, “Wanting to know a writer because you like their work is like wanting to know a duck because you like paté.”

          How typical that his character Smiley was the man he wished to be but wasn’t. I didn’t know Le Carré was a FW. As such, it would also be typical to reverse blame on his chump wife, making her the cheater in his fiction. Interesting that in many of his books, there’s a heartbreaking cheating theme. Maybe no one other than a cheater really knows how destructive cheating can be, as if it’s secretly their own worst fear and they’re just paranoically beating their victims to the imagined punch. How demented.

          Anyway, taking Smiley’s arc at face value, I do like the takeaway that a thoroughly dark character (Karla) knows that infidelity is a reliable means to stun and paralyze even a top notch intelligence professional. At least it’s not a minimizing assessment of the effects of betrayal.

    • R, sounds like we are in similar situations only I am 4 months ahead. She just left pretending she was unhappy after I found a love note. I was blindsided by what I learned. I don’t know who I was with for the last 22 years. I guess in 2015 she flipped and went into narcissist mode. But it was slow. She was always sweet and therefore most people believe it is me and she is a victim. Very frustrating. Of course I was painted as abusive.
      The chumps will recognize and support you. You will find there are a lot of us out here. I have found that most of her women friends still don’t believe it, justify it, or pretentious to be neutral. Just ignore them. Leave ACheater is such a good source to have along with CL and CN. Stay strong and follow what people say here and what is in the book. It will get you through the tough days.

  • R, always remember that it’s fake. You want the *real* love from a real person, not this fake trash. It’s scary, but push on through, you got this! And I bet if you started to challenge her, like ask “What specifically do you love about me or our relationship” she’ll have to tantrum out of the scene.

  • R, Looks like thing are not working with her Schmoopie as she wanted them to. You are Plan B. Don’t live like that. If you haven’t already, lawyer up and go as no contact as you can. Make sure that she has mover and get her the hell out. They do not change. Don’t engage with her, make everything go through attorneys. My FW hates that but I love it (probably in part because it pisses him off). Get rid of a cheater and start healing. I am in the middle of my process right now and it really sucks. It will end though hopefully with our court date which falls on a Tuesday.

  • Like someone on here said you have to be like Lt. Joe Kenda in all interactions (that you cannot avoid). There is nothing to work with here. Do not fall for her crap. You have no idea of this guy is the first or number 652. He will not be the last if you let her back in, she will just keep interviewing replacements while you pay for it. She is not a unicorn because she is not consistently taking accountability and doing whatever she needs to do to fix it. Next time she tries to hoover, mention a very restrictive post-nuptial with a cheating clause.

  • My high school Spanish teacher also taught a class called “values“. He frequently taught lessons from that class in Spanish, one of which was “trying“. Some gal in the class said she would try to do the homework and he said “don’t try just do it“. And we all asked what that meant. So he had The girl stand next to a stuffed animal and he would ask her to try to pick up it up. And then she would, and he would correct her and say “no, don’t pick it up, just try to pick it up.“ So she would hover her hand over it and he would ask her to confirm that she was trying to pick it up. Then he asked her not to pick it up, so she just stood there. (And confirmed she wasn’t picking it up). And then he asked what the difference is between trying and not doing something. There was a long pause and I said “nothing!“ He looked at me and said “exactly” and then we went to conjugate some verbs.

    That incident always stuck with me. From results point of view, trying to do something, and not doing something are the same.

  • This is called:
    Keeping your options open.
    When she starts hovering, look past her and in your mind, picture it:
    She moves out, she’s there 2 weeks, other man slowly disappears from her grasp… he stops texting her, doesn’t answer the phone…
    Imagine the moment when she realizes…
    And yes, Change the locks!!!!
    PS – I just watched an old movie “The Heiress”
    It’s a story of betrayal… the last scene is so perfect and empowering! Highly recommend!

  • Another vote for no contact forever. Yeah, she discovered Mr. Right considered her Ms. Right Now. Big wow. zzzzzz….

    If you take her back, chances are she will lick her wounds until she goes on the prowl again. Cheaters do continue their ways.

    Am so sorry this has happened to you. Be kind to yourself. You deserve something/someone better.

  • I went through the same situation, down to every line in the script. Creepily familiar. She never stopped seeing the AP. If your narrative continues to turn out as mine did, listen: it’s going to get much, much worse. I lasted eight months of humiliating emotional abuse before I finally initiated divorce. Get out now. Really. It’s over. Find someone who knows how to love.

    • David is right, R, it’s over and if you give second and third chances things are bound to get much worse. I’ve been through similar shit as well. They all use the same old playbook.

  • FW cheater is so badass, getting her new single pad to live her hot new life. Gee, what happened? They hate being on their own, that’s probably it.
    R, this woman is a user. You might still be useful….

    You sound determined and strong, keep going! One thing I learned from my years, and many AP’s of my FW, is that they do not change. Just when you’re comfortable again, and Oh, they LOVE you, you know! Then- it’s happening again. AP’s seem to be everywhere, for a married person who gives no shits.
    Set those maniacs free!
    CL, this was GOLD! -I love you. In that fuck other people and lie to your face kind of way.
    Do you know my X? That sums him up completely! To this day, he tells people he loves me, and sometimes calls me his wife. (Serial cheater, 32 years) See? It doesn’t change, until we divorce them, because we require more than fake talk in a relationship!

  • Yes, a life coach I was seeing during our long-distance separation encouraged me to write out the crazy things that were said after every phone call and email so that I could look at them as a whole. She was not pushing me either way but said that it would help me think. It did.

    I marvel now that I didn’t see how disordered all that was as it was unfolding. I’m so glad to be living in reality now.

    • Yep! I recently unearthed some old emails and text messages from FW XW (some of them 10+ years old). Crazy was always there from the very beggining. Unbelievable how I put up with that.

      We normalize very weird things if we allow ourselves to be subjected to them long enough. It helps a lot during the healing stages to look back and gain some perspective.

  • 1. Look at her statements as you record them in this letter to CL. They are full of I, I, I, me, me, me, my, mine, mine.

    “If I do leave, it will be very hard to come back. I don’t think I will ever come back if I leave.”
    “I’m just kind of numb right now myself. Scared, too.”
    “I feel like you are pulling back. Are you pulling back? Just be honest, please.”
    “You’ve been very pessimistic about us the last few days and it is disheartening.”
    “I’m trying right now. I’m not mindfucking you.”

    Where is: What do you need, R? What is best for you, now that I’ve cheated?
    And if someone TELLS you they are not mindfucking you—> They are mindfucking you.

    2. Why would you take someone back who says “she’d been lonely for years, lost herself, she feels like we’re brother and sister.” You don’t want to live with or be married to someone who sees you as a “brother.” That’s not a wife or a partner or a lover talking. It’s someone who has DISCARDED you.

    3. Her hoover move is to discard you without losing your income, your home, the services you provide. She wants to live comfortably with you and screw around with someone else. The narcissistic relationship cycle includes “devaluation” and “discard.” Devaluation has to begin before the affair starts or she wouldn’t cheat. You don’t cheat on someone you value. The discard, however, can come in a number of forms, one of which is living with and using a devalued spouse AS A WAY to continue cheating and other selfish behavior.

    I hope you don’t cave to this faux remorse and calls to continue to cohabit without expressing any real remorse.

    She may be right that she needs therapy. But wait and see whether she is willing to on her own first find a therapist and then do the hard work of change. One thing you can say is: “Move to your new place. I don’t want contact with you. Get into therapy and let’s see where we are 2 years.” That’s a minimum timeline for someone like this to learn to care about the feelings of other people.

    Meanwhile: low contact. Stop talking to her about this. You made a decision. Stick to it. You can always take her back if she really changes. But that’s not going to happen. And once she moves: NO CONTACT. You are only 2 months into D-Day (and hopium is still a potent drug). If you must, tell yourself you will take a full year to process what’s happened WHILE SHE IS NOT LONGER LIVING WITH YOU.

    And get thee to a therapist, even if it is of the online variety for some help in holding your boundaries and figuring out what has happened to you in this relationship. She’s no good.

  • Eh. It takes time, energy and money to exit a marriage. It’s not surprising she’s having second thoughts contemplating the hard work of nuking her married life. It doesn’t mean she’s changed her opinion – she’s just a little discouraged at the moment. In a couple of months she won’t need you and you won’t hear any more about her sadz.

    Remember that until she’s out of the house and self-sufficient, you’re still useful to her – anything she says now needs to be taken with a large grain of salt.

  • Her boyfriend has a part time job. Sooooo, she figured out that you have more money than he does. You pay bills, have money for the basics of life and probably extras. If old BobbyJohn there moves in with her SHE has to pay for it all. If he is only her boyfriend she pays for dates and movie popcorn is getting really expensive.

    I will pick B and take A underground. Yeah! That works. Hey, call and get us some therapist to see us but not on these two days. I’m busy on those two. In fact run the dates by me first. You know, so we can work it out together, and stuff.

  • Keep going – having been in a similar position years ago I can tell you liars and cheats don’t change. There is a better life ahead. I recently remarried to someone who loves me properly and is about a million times better person than the cheating ex. You can do it!

  • “What’s a sad sausage to do?

    Serve itself on a snack tray to the Universal Bullshit Translator, that’s what!”

    I just busted out laughing and someone passing in the hallway looked over at me. This isn’t gold – it’s PLATINUM.

  • Typical cake eater, plan B crap. Oh don’t they hate consequences.

    When I told mine I was done with his crap and am leaving, the hoovering started. He offered to keep his phone unlocked and ‘try’ to get better with counselling. Waving the carrot of things I’d been asking for for months. When I didn’t bite, hoovering went to rage then to victimhood. Now he tells everyone I was abusive for years, hence he had to screw around with a 100 women.

  • Stay strong. My ex tried to hoover me with sex after DDAy and he was in the process of moving out. He’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted to stay married to me, but just have his girlfriend as well. When he tried to have sex with me, I cried and said, “No, I can’t do this because you don’t love me.” He went into a big explanation about how he can love two people. They are hopeless…

    It’s all about them. It’s hard for them to lose their marriage, it’s hard for them to move out, it’s hard for them when other people start to think they’re a piece of shit, it’s hard for them to lose respect, lose their children, their jobs, etc. But, funnily enough – they still do it. Worse yet, you get blamed. She’s just getting the jitters because she’s realising what she’s done and the comfort is gone. Your biggest clue to stay away – she’s still in contact with the affair partner. She’s making it easy for you!

  • So many questions though. Did the OP & wife discuss how much time he would be spent on his career? What would she do while he was working that hard? Did they take time out to prioritize their relationship? Idle minds & body & all that…and before ya jump on me, I’m not excusing her cheating!!!

    But I made the same mistake with an ex-boyfriend. I thought he would keep “on the shelf” while I finished school. He didn’t, of course. We really didn’t have a game plan & maybe we would’ve broken up anyhow because he couldn’t or wouldn’t commit to it. So I do recognize the part that I played (neglected) in that relationship.

    Now the wife’s lack of remorse is a problem. Nothing to work with there.

    • Forgot to say my ex-boyfriend did try & subtly tell me that he was unhappy. I just didn’t listen or hear. Of course, he didn’t tell me that he would start dating! So that’s on him.

  • Hey R,

    Mine never even tried to hoover, she just moved out. Be happy that she’s already seeing the consequences.
    Honestly, let her go and don’t look back. One of the best decisions I ever made.
    Brick

  • I love the remark how she wants HIM to arrange for marriage counseling. Not touching responsibility with a ten-foot pole…

    I got this from FW: “I support you in working on our marriage and then I’ll see how you’ve done.”

    Less than nothing to work with. I filed within days. He was livid. I think I did very well.

    • My FW’s version of that was to turn and look at me with his sin dead eyes and say “I can’t make any promises”. As if to say, I am giving you a chance to win my awesomeness back.
      This was in front of our preacher.

      I stood up thanked the preacher for his efforts, and said “we are done here”.

      Asshole had likely crawled out of bed with his whore that very morning before he came to the meeting he asked for. He was hoovering, not me.

      I honestly was pretty nervous, as I knew I was not going back to him, I just wanted to reject him. I was worried that he would beg and plead and I would look bad for walking away. LOL, I should have known better.

    • Ha! Mine used to rate my “progress” in working on the marriage, and surprise! I always failed and still have no idea what criteria he was judging it on. Probably whether I was adoring him or not?

  • R, this woman like every cheater only thinks of herself and what she gets. Imagine you stay with her and you go through illness or need care. You’re healthy and not only is she not having to take care of you, she can’t handle you not worshipping her. This woman would never have your back she’s a taker. Also she left you with no choice. Don’t struggle with it jsut remember she gave left you with NO option. She became single behind you back and humiliated you. She broke off the relationship when she hooked up with another guy. It stopped being a couple when she first hooked up with that guy and she didn’t have enough respect for you not to use you at the same time. That’s the only reason people cheat rather than breaking up – they want to use you while they date someone else and they know you wouldn’t agree to it.

  • I like this. Every single one of her bega ti get you back has either “feel sorry for me” or “how could you not fight for me?” vibes 😄

    She’s gonna be sad and alone in her magnolia-painted apartment without love, a clue, or you

    You? Block her on everything and have a great life! You got this

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