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UBT: ‘You Should’ve Been a Better Husband’

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Dear Chump Lady:

Since my previous UBT experience was very informative and helpful, I thought I’d serve up another platter of sanctimonious cake speak from the very same FW that delighted us with her previous profundity.

These particular gems occurred right after I told her that I had filed for my divorce. She was especially insulted because I had the audacity to file the papers without her knowledge or participation. I guess I disrespected her wonderfulness. I reminded her that she decided to blow up our family without my knowledge or participation, so I guess we’re sort of even.

FW’s quotes after I nonchalantly told her I had filed my divorce papers the previous day:

“I can’t believe you made me think we actually had a chance.”
“You are going to regret this, and there will be no fixing it.”
“I really thought you loved me.”
“Maybe you should have been a better husband.”
“I’ll never forgive you for this. Ever.”
“You aren’t there for me. What you did today (filing) is unforgivable. You promised you would tell me before you did anything. You’re a liar. You just did what made you feel better.”
“What we had is absolutely dead.”
“I can’t trust you anymore.”
“You closed the book on our family today.”
“We were both responsible for how our marriage was before I did what I did.”
“I know this all comes down to money. That’s all you ever cared about. You’re a Judas.”
“I’m so disappointed in you. If only you put as much work into our marriage as you do your work.”

Also, I did go to a couple of rounds of RIC-shitshow marriage counseling before filing, mainly out of morbid curiosity and to buy some time while I made my necessary preparations. But, I was gratified that the FW brought up CL and CN. It went like this:

FW: “Also, it doesn’t help that he reads this Facebook page on affairs that this lady has.”
Therapist: “Oh, is it Esther Perel?”
Me: “No, quite the opposite.”
FW: “It’s this thing called Chump Mama. It’s basically a bunch of bitter people that rip apart their spouses after their affairs. It’s not helping.”
Me: “Actually it’s Chump Lady. And her website and book, Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life, has helped me immensely.”
Therapist: “It’s actually a good thing to have a support community of any kind. So, this is an online support community that he’s been able to relate to. It lets him know he’s not alone. It is a good thing for him. Also, isn’t it funny how we sometimes use the term ‘cheater’? It is actually a ‘person that cheated,’ not a cheater.”



Dear R,

Please thank your ex for keeping the Universal Bullshit Translator in Lebkuchen.

It’s always amusing when A Person Who Cheated feels betrayed by divorce papers.

Well, without further ado, Chump Mama’s got a machine to feed.

“I can’t believe you made me think we actually had a chance.”

I can’t believe you faked a commitment, all the while conspiring against me… after I faked a commitment, while conspiring against you.

You made me think I actually had a chump.

“You are going to regret this, and there will be no fixing it.”

You’re going to regret getting that cancerous mole burned off your neck seven years ago! You will rue the day you ever rejected paint protection and undercoating from that car salesman! You will think back to that lukewarm sea food buffet and WISH you had feasted.

I am a one-time offer! Act now!

“I really thought you loved me.”

I really thought you were useful.

“Maybe you should have been a better husband.”

Maybe I should’ve been a better wife and not had a yearlong affair with a much younger man and blamed you for it.

Nah. Let’s make this about how you could improve yourself.

“I’ll never forgive you for this. Ever.”

Your boundaries are unforgivable.

“You aren’t there for me. What you did today (filing) is unforgivable. You promised you would tell me before you did anything.”

Just like I told you I’d have an affair before I… oh, hang on.

You’re a liar. You just did what made you feel better.”

Help! I’ve fallen into a vat of Projection and I can’t get out.

“What we had is absolutely dead.”

Until I need something. Hey, could you check my rear taillight? Maybe get one of those light bulb thingies on your way home?

“I can’t trust you anymore.”

I’m not to be trusted. But villainy looks better on you.

“You closed the book on our family today.”

You destroyed the family when you made me cheat on you with that much younger guy. #marionthelibrarian

“We were both responsible for how our marriage was before I did what I did.”

ZZZzzzzz. Snork. Zzzz.

(I’m sorry. The UBT has fallen asleep from the banality of this mindfuckery. Off to go make a stronger pot of coffee…)

“I know this all comes down to money. That’s all you ever cared about. You’re a Judas.”

I get alimony, right?

“I’m so disappointed in you. If only you put as much work into our marriage as you do your work.”

I’m so disappointed in you. If only you put as much work into pick me dancing as you do your work.

You should aspire to be more like me. Put more energy into fucking around and blameshifting atrocious decisions on to others.


Well, that’s all the UBT’s got time for today. R, I hope you’ve made your escape.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Sounds exactly what my shitbox (this is what I thought STBX meant for a long time until someone clarified it????????)
    said to me, it was all my fault he left.
    His mantra, “ I didn’t cheat, I left so I wouldn’t cheat.” After you’d been cheating for 15 years…????????????????????????the BS is deep here, wear hip waders!!!!????????????????
    6.5 years out and my laughter is hearty for these foolish narcissistic assholes!!!!

  • “It’s this thing called Chump Mama. It’s basically a bunch of bitter people that rip apart their spouses after their affairs. It’s not helping.”

    It’s comments like this, from fuckwits like that, that keep me coming back every day (6 years post DDay) and an enthusiastic patreon sponsor.

    (This, and references like today’s nod to Judas and JSC. If I didn’t have wall-to-wall meetings, today, I’d happily create a parody that begins “Cut the protesting, forget the excuses . . .”)

    • I mean, fair enough, as long as the end of the sentence is ”… it’s not helping ME feel good or get what I want”.

      • Yes JCS amazing recording with Yvonne Elliman, And Jesus was sung by Ian Gillian from deep purple. I’m hard rock To the core, but I love that album. First heard it in the 70s in music class. I tried to get the church band I’m in to play it

    • Honest question here, since my religious knowledge is thin: my impression was that of Judas’s two defining characteristics (disloyalty and avarice), it was the betrayal that was the bigger sin – not the fact that he pocketed some silver. I would use “Judas” for anyone who betrayed someone else, not just for someone who did so for money.

      In my mind, someone who’d broken his wedding vows and betrayed his spouse would be much more accurately described as a Judas than someone who was just being run-of-the-mill greedy (even accepting that negotiation within an accepted legal framework can be classified as greed).

      Am I reading the term wrong?

      • Involuntary Georgian,
        Hope this reply helps some.
        Yes, Judas betrayed Christ
        & became the example of
        the ultimate betrayer since.
        The religious rulers (with few exceptions) were Jesus’ enemy.
        Judas knew this full well, but befriended enemies secretly. Traitor-betrayer. Jesus called them hypocrites:
        ACTED holy on the outside, while BEING unholy inside.

        Judas became hypocrite too.
        It’s said Judas was treasurer & was stealing. Love of money only reason? Perhaps motivated by disappointment? Jesus wasn’t becoming Cesar or warrior or politician or taking power as expected
        motivated by confusion?
        Spiritual king, not earthly one
        motivated by fear?
        The conflict wasn’t resolving
        motivated by self-interest?
        Best to side with established, respected winners?
        Maybe there was good motive?Just get Him arrested, flogged & corrected, but not killed ?

        They hated Jesus because He exposed them, their hypocrisy. They decided they wanted Him dead. Judas enabled them to arrest Him without crowd around to interfere with arrest. Judas got some“blood money”.

        Judas also the cautionary tale of tragic error. Whatever his motives, Judas stopped loving, trusting, believing, following Jesus.
        Truth vs Deception War:
        Darkness (deception) Hates
        Light (truth)

        • Thanks for that D&H. Have to say I have become more religious after being chumped. Interestingly, I am finding that many guys who have been chumped have turned to God.

  • 4 years post d-day, and I still love how the ex and my former mother in law threw at me the “maybe you should have been a better husband” card. I have my faults, am the first to admit it, and generally don’t think very highly of myself. But after 4 years of weekly therapy, I will tell you I was the best fucking husband I know, and I’m also the best father that I know. Which is exactly why I have custody of the kids. Don’t let them fool you, you’re better than they would have you believe.

    • I got the “you should have been a better husband” line too. All I can think is while you are setting my bar so low you are able to easily slide under it with your performance as a cheeating spouse.

      • I got you should have been a more on top of the cooking BS routine as he’s from an old fashioned German family whose only claim to fame is a kitchen stove the old bag wore out! I do enjoy cooking but not 7 days a week is all and I don’t make homemade jams, so sue me!????

    • Well said, DaddyPants! I, too, hold my head high knowing I was kick ass when it came to being a terrific spouse and mother. My now adult daughters never fail to let me know that and my relationship with both has never been better.
      Here’s the thing… no matter how much love, effort, support, etc… one gives wholeheartedly to an unhealthy and abusive partner, it is an exercise in futility. Nothing we attempt makes one whit of a difference. They are who they are, which in my case was a person completely and utterly empty of any capacity to be the loving, respectful, giving, and decent partner I deserve.
      I may or may not have that in my lifetime going forward, but my future will be free from abuse going forward, as will yours. And isn’t that simply grand?

      • “no matter how much love, effort, support, etc… one gives wholeheartedly to an unhealthy and abusive partner, it is an exercise in futility. Nothing we attempt makes one whit of a difference. They are who they are, which in my case was a person completely and utterly empty of any capacity to be the loving, respectful, giving, and decent partner I deserve.”

        Quoted for indisputable truth.

    • Omg after 4 years why are you still interacting with your ex MIL?! I would go insane. Hopefully you don’t have to deal with her much.

    • This. absolutely this. Theses fws try to convince you that you are a terrible partner and parent when in reality you are doing 90% of all the adulting. It is completely unreal. I have been told im a narcissist, I’m selfish, I only care about me, and I work too much for 2 years. None of it is true. I have done what I had to to support my family and keep our home running. and there is very little left over for me.

  • You are what you do. We say ‘therapist’, not ‘person who provides therapy.’

    And I’m definitely going to add ‘fell into a vat of projection’ to my snark repertoire!

      • It’s actually, “Person who once raped,” not “rapist.”

        That would have been my last therapy session.

        • Well, since you’re including number of crimes, that might justify a little linguistic awkwardness. Joseph Stalin: “person who killed nine million.”

    • One of the few good things that the couples counselor (or ‘person who provided bad therapy’) did was share FW’s private email to her: “I don’t think it’s helpful for B&R to think of this as cheating.” Then he was furious when she betrayed his trust by telling me! So weird, because he was still secretly fucking an OW while I was in therapy with him because he’d begged me to give him a chance. And at that point, I knew the tip of the iceberg about OW #1, and I didn’t know about OW #2 yet. We’re talking years of double lives. Crazy, crazy making gaslighting!

      Anyway, I’m stumped. If he wasn’t a cheater, nor even a “person who cheated,” what would it be “helpful” for me to think of him as?

  • I love it so so much that Esther Perel has her own tag here on CL. This woman is vile. She is often the first resource that chumps find online (it was at least the case for me). Reading her was swallowing a 100 shit sandwiches of how I the chump ruined everything by not being cool, mysterious and detached enough when I found out about my FW’s affairs. It’s like getting hit by a bus and then instead of the ambulance driving you to the hospital to recover, they take you to Esther Perel who unceremoniously unloads 10 kg of cow manure on your concussed head and tells you to take a shower because you smell bad.
    No thank you, CL is the real tertiary referral center for broken-hearted chumps.

    • Yeah, I really don’t understand why she’s basically revered. When I was dating post-divorce, my therapist suggested I read Mating in Captivity. I read it, and mostly my reaction was, “huh? What did I just read?”. It didn’t resonate with me at all, but maybe it’s because I don’t think sleeping with other people, oops, I mean “polyamory” is the solution to boring long term relationships.

      • I’m pretty sure Perel’s popularity is 80% wag-the-dog and she never would have risen to this level of notoriety on her own steam without frantic promotion. The phenomenon fits perfectly with Noam Chomsky’s and Edward Herman’s “Five Filters of the Media” model from Manufacturing Consent, except Chomsky and Herman focus more on wars for profit and corporate and govt. malfeasance. Maybe more to the point is the 90s feminist tome “Backlash” which painstakingly documents how certain self help authors, programs, products, fashions, ideas and concepts were artificially and relentlessly foisted on the public in defense of patriarchal values in the 80s, sometimes at the expense of the bottom line, because the corporate powers that be and media honchos didn’t like all that uppity female liberation crap. The most famous case of this was when the award-winning, highly rated TV series Cagney and Lacey was taken off the air at the height of it’s popularity in 1988 because CBS execs and sponsors thought the female protagonists were encouraging butchness in women. Also fashion companies kept pulling fashions that were wildly popular with middle-aged professional women and were very vocal that they didn’t think women should look like that (middle aged and professional). The 80s were just an exaggerated case of this though the same media campaign had been launched every decade or so since the Victorian era (back when reading books would shrink women’s ovaries).

        Personally I think Perel cynically understands her usefulness to multiple agendas, such a stick to beat #MeToo with (maybe because, according to research, “infidelity tolerance” is tied to “rape myth acceptance”:; support for online dating companies, several of which consciously facilitate cheating; and the streaming porn industry. There’s also your stock cheating media honchos who love content that serves their personal DARVO stances. “Backlash” documents how misogyny-apologist Camille Paglia was given a similar artificial media platform back in the day for similar reasons. The difference with Perel is that men get cheated on too so I think it’s been a slightly harder sell.

        • Thanks so much Hell of a chump! Backlash is added to my reading list! It is so important to read feminist literature. what frustrates me is that a lot of my friends who are otherwise vocal feminists have fallen into the traps of her tactics. One of my friends got cheated on by her ex-FW. She came home one day out of the blue to find him with his suitcases packed, he confessed his affair and went to live with his AP.
          We both got chumped at the same time. My friend didn’t like CL and CN (she said we were too bitter) and she said she has nothing to forgive. She just moves on and pretends he doesn’t exist. She read many books of Esther Perel and went into “self-flagellation” about what her faults were, why she picked a cheater, what she could have done wrong. 2 years post D-Day, I am on a much better way to finding Tuesday/Meh. She finally gave up all the RIC crap and admits that EP is a vile woman and she started reading CL/CN.
          Everyone moves at their own pace. As CL, this is not the pain olympics or the Meh Olympics but I cannot forgive EP/RIC because they actively delay/derail people’s healing journey.

        • Eh idk if it’s a “patriarchy” thing because every person I’ve encountered (including my WW) that has fawned over Perel we’re feminist women who waxed eloquent about how empowering Perel is, how no man owns their body, and how monogamy is an oppressive patriarchal institution.

          I think selfish ass people can use any worldview to justify their selfishness.

      • Agree.

        And honestly if folks live their lives right, there are so many new chapters to a lifetime together. Honeymoon, children, empty nest to finally get to have some alone time again, then grandchildren, then great grandchildren.

        So many folks have it in a life time marriage, because they understand marriage and commitment.

        Unfortunately, many of us married fw’s who never got it. A content life, with good sex and good friends just doesn’t do it for them.

    • Our couples therapist was like Esther. She asked me in session 2 or 3 when I would forgive, anyway. ????
      Also, wondered why I had hateful feelings about the AP.
      I mean, can we say ‘re-traumatized’?
      She was awful. Ex liked her A LOT. ????

      • Mine was too. She was absolutely fixated on the fact that I’m bisexual. “FW, were you scared that MollyWobbles might cheat on you because she’s bi? Did that factor in to your need to go outside the marriage?” She literally fed him bullshit excuses! Never mind the fact that I had never cheated on him, but he spent the entirety of our 30 year marriage with a stripper habit that I didn’t know about (plus so much more). That was over two years ago, before we separated. And, of course, he still sees her to this day.

        • Same! Our therapist told me I needed to stop being so angry and learn to forgive in our second session. Therapist couldn’t understand why I didn’t accept FW’s apology text. It was like ‘hey, could you grab some milk on your way home and oh, sorry for cheating.’

      • What is it with RIC therapists defending APs? I got literally screamed at by an elderly male RIC therapist because I wondered aloud if the AP might be a bunny boiler. He turned beat red, jutted his head forward like a bull about to charge and started mimicking what I said about the AP… except I hadn’t said any of it. “Oh she’s such a bitch she’s a WHORE” etc., etc.

        Because I worked in a really top-down, nasty industry for much of my adult life, I’m kind of a pro at wet-blanketing raging narcissists. I just blinked and said calmly “I didn’t say any of that. My concern about affair partners turning violent is purely practical and all over the news, by the way. This woman called me the devil and wished me dead. I didn’t sign up for attack therapy.” The guy was so over the top that even FW said, “You’re out of bounds and we’re leaving.”

        The screaming geezer tried to change tacks quickly by pretending it was all a test to prompt FW to play the hero and defend me. But it established that criticizing APs was the therapist’s major trigger. Of course this guy was supposedly a reformed cheater. I think RIC is the bastion of psychos, abusers and freaks. If I’d had the energy at the time and had taped the session, I might have lodged a complaint with the licensing board.

          • 50%? I think your underselling it.
            I am looking for a therapist for my S15. He has given us no problems but want to make sure he is alright because he too was blindsided by FWs actions. Dday and mom moving out occurred right before start of high school this year. He has been doing great on honor roll. Just hate it for him.
            I have found that many of therapists are condescending and pushing an agenda that fits with a social justice narrative. Having gone to medical school I find this frustrating.
            ” no he is not struggling with his sexuality, his parents are getting divorced and he needs to know it is not his fault”

        • Great retort to the quack, HoaC!
          About APs turning violent, yes, it is all over the news and their violence often targets not only the cheater but also innocent bystanders as cheater’s children, that get almost inevitably caught up in one way or another in the whirlwind of the parent’s affair. It still freezes my blood to remember that my FW XW tried to expose our children (the youngest a non-verbal autistic, the eldest full of autistic traits – very gullible and anxious, for instance) to her very unsavoury, probably criminal AP. He threatened me when I confronted him. She told me that he has killed somebody in action (he is a crooked cop). Also, his best buddy was arrested at their workplace (they were both FW’s subordinates at a military hospital) for involvement in a homicide. And nevertheless she continued to fuck him after all that, went to his house in a militia-dominated area and was making plans to take my kids to a pool party over there (nor she neither the kids can swim). The bunny-boiling scenario has always been my biggest concern in all that shitstorm. Thank goodness this part of the nightmare is over.

    • Oh, yes. My FW “helpfully” suggested I read EP’s tome of sewage, since he treated it like his personal bible. Then, later, had the audacity to say 1) he wasn’t familiar with her, and 2) I suggested he read the book. WTF???

  • Wow, these people who cheat are just awesome when it comes to generating BS! My FW used a lot of these and with our settling process ongoing has even added some ore winners to the list. He has some true classics:
    a. It isn’t cheating if she is a hooker
    b. I did not waste marital funds, Schmoopie needed that money to pay rent, utilities and food for her kids
    c. I can send money to support her because it is my money that I earned
    d. If I did not give her money, she would have had to go back to hooking
    e. Everyone buys sex toys and underwear for their true friends
    f. I needed that vacation to get away from you and the stress you caused me

    Our adult son also got some zingers since he went no contact. My son ad photos of his activities on his shared account (FW apparently let his nudes of him and Schmoopie load to son’s account)

    1. It is not what you think (nope they really aren’t naked in the pics)
    2. I know your mother is trying to turn you against me
    3. Your mother is accusing me of cheating and we know that is just not true

    It could go on and on but my son and I remain no contact. All our settlement arrangements are being handled through attorneys. I have no intention to engage with STBX because that would provide him kibble and that supply has been cut off.

    • “Wow, these people who cheat are just awesome when it comes to generating BS!”

      They are indeed amazing in their lies and cons. It is the most painful part of adultery.

  • My husband used to say things like “you ruined any chance of us making it work” and I would think to myself “I thought it was already over?”

    He also got SO angry when my lawyer sent him a letter asking to have a sit-down to discuss terms. He kept yelling at me that I’d “served [him] divorce papers”, when I hadn’t files for divorce. It was just a request for a meeting. When, six months later, he found out that I WAS about to file, he rushed and filed first. Gotta control the narrative, I guess. *I* couldn’t be the one to leave *him*, because then how could he justify his whore? I had to be the bad guy he “had” to leave because I made him so miserable. LOL. He saved me the filing fee, and his complaint laid out his whole case against me (which was laughable), so it was actually very useful.

    • Yes, I remember this reaction. XW controlled every step of the divorce (she announced the marriage was over; she refused counseling; she moved out; she refused to sign settlement she’d already agreed to, prolonging divorce for another 6 months) *except* the actual filing. That was the one and only thing I did on my own timetable (though I didn’t ambush her: warned her it was happening a couple days ahead of time, and delivered the papers by regular email rather than having her served) and she called me crying and screaming (the only time I saw any emotion during the entire year-long process) as soon as she had the papers in hand. Because – yeah – it sucks to not be in control of your own life. As everyone here knows.

      It never ceases to amaze me how they can’t perceive the hypocrisy in complaining when we – every once in a while – treat them the way they treat us.

      • IG,

        I really don’t understand what it is about cheaters that (a) makes them cheat (b) makes them say they want a divorce once they get busted and then (c) go totally apesh*t when the chump actually divorces them.

        Ex-Mrs LFTT went absolutely wild when I divorced her … even though she’d said that she wanted a divorce.


        • Yeah, it’s bizarre. It shows something is really wrong with them, I think. Mine wanted a divorce, hated my guts, told me he’d fantasized about killing me for years, then would not talk to me at all about anything regarding our marriage but wanted me to small talk him about his day when he came home. It was like living in fucking bizarro world. If I tried to actually talk to him I’d get this hateful dead eyed glare and I’d shut right up thinking he might kill me. But then he’d start chatting about something that happened to him at work and when I just sat there silently staring at him in shock he’d get angry and stomp away.

          So I filed. I was sleeping behind a locked door with a gun because I was afraid of him and he wouldn’t leave. That couldn’t go on. But then he got to tell everyone how I “just left him!” and he got all the support while I was the bad guy. It was unbelievable.

          • KP,

            Not only was she mad that I divorced her, she dragged her feet throughout the whole process. Once we had finally settled (and she hadn’t got close to getting what she was demanding), she went on a tirade telling everyone who would listen (our kids included) that it was my fault that it had all taken so long, that it was my fault that her legal costs were so high and that I had scr*wed her over.

            And even then it didn’t stop; no sooner had she cashed the cheque for her proceeds from the sale of our house and received the paperwork transferring part of my pension pot to her, than she demanded to come to the rental property where the kids and I lived. She was adamant that no-one could stop her from going though the contents so that she could pick up everything that she claimed as “hers” and take half of everything else. The fact that she had signed over the entire contents of the house to me as art of the settlement clearly meant nothing to her. When I said “No” she threatened to sue me!


            • My ex did the same thing – said he wanted a divorce, but then didn’t file for almost two years. At that time I DIDN’T want one, so I did nothing. Once he found out I was finally ready to file, he filed first. Then he dragged his feet on EVERYTHING. His discovery was MONTHS late (but when mine was a week or so late, he filed a MOTION TO COMPEL on me, wtf?). He fought me on every little thing, wouldn’t answer emails from my attorney, ran up the bills with the need to repeatedly contact him or answering ridiculous allegations his attorney made, etc. He wouldn’t sign the sales contract for our house (that he said he wanted to sell). On and on. Then he turned around and blamed me for the fact that he was broke and his lawyer dropped him for non-payment. In spite of his GF giving him in excess of $20,000 (I was shocked when I found that out). It was absurd. He always blamed me for our dire financial straits, but tellingly once I separated my finances from his, I had plenty of money (in spite of living alone and shouldering all my expenses, as well as paying for my attorney and paying off all my credit cards) and he was flat broke (in spite of OW paying for at least half of everything). He was angry when my attorney informed him that I would no longer be paying any of the household expenses for our home (which he was living in). Somehow he thought I should continue to fund his life, even though he was with another woman.

              He eventually took his own life and left his attorney with a huge unpaid bill. Meanwhile I’m still paying my attorney off. The divorce cost me $50,000 and we never even got to trial. We had a house (not terribly valuable) and a handful of possessions (two cars, a nice computer, etc.), and a child to decide custody for. It should not have been that hard. My attorney and I both thought he was deliberately delaying the divorce so he could avoid marrying OW, who clearly expected that he would do so as soon as he was “free”. She ended up leaving him.

              He wanted me to walk away with nothing. I got everything by default.

              • Sorry you had to deal with that. My ex husband dragged out the divorce for 3 years, and we never went to court either. It was finally accomplished through mediation, where I agreed to his laughably low valuations of our properties as long as we split them equally. (Half of a low value is the same as half of a high value) The mediator said, “You are agreeing to use his values?” I said yes, so he was incredulous when he came back and said that my husband was refusing to agree to use his own valuations. It took two hours at $300 per hour to get he and his attorney to agree to use the average of his values and mine, then he wanted to keep the marital residence and not include that at all in the split. At one point, the mediator came in my room and asked “How long has your husband been crazy?”

                I had offered for my ex to buy me out for a reasonable sum at the beginning of the divorce process. He refused and ultimately gave me double that amount through mediation. These people do things that make no sense. Mine was threatening to kill me and then commit suicide by the end, but I went into hiding and got a restraining order and security system on the house.

          • KP, it’s not really bizarre if you look at it from a point of view of somebody who is extremely entitled: people around them are not human beings, they provide services. Being an emotional punching bag at one moment and an impromptu therapist/listener were basically services he expected of you. There is a guy on YouTube/FB/TikTok called Lee Hammock a.k.a Mental Healness, a diagnosed narcissist who has been in therapy for a few years now. He is very honest about how narcissists think and manipulate people in their lives. Suddenly a lot of my partner’s behaviour became clear to me!

        • Yes! Exactly. Their thinking is crazy-making.

          Post D-day, x actually said, “It really bothers me that, after we’re divorced, you might have sex with another man.”

          Holy hypocrisy!! When the control slips, they go apesh*t. Also, that goose/gander thing never really registered with him.

        • Lol, exactly. FW said the D word to a total of three people long before I even suspected the affair. But when I retained a divorce lawyer, he was howling that he’d never even Googled “divorce” nor checked out divorce laws for our state nor contacted any lawyers. Oops, my bad. I took his ruse to string along and future-fake the idiot AP as reality. I couldn’t keep track of which lies he wanted me to believe and which he didn’t.

        • It’s because if you take the initiative to divorce them, they are no longer the one in control. What they wanted was not really to divorce, it was to string you along and keep you as plan b while holding the threat of divorce over you to keep you in line. They wanted to keep that going until such time as they were completely secure in their new kibble supply, which they likely never would be because new kibble supply is a FW and not trustworthy. If you file you have officially rejected them, and how dare you take away their entitlement to control and to reject you.
          If they really wanted a divorce they’d have initiated it themselves.

          • You know, you might be totally right about that in my case. I had not thought of it like that. He told me how much he hated me, how much he wanted to murder me, how he had never loved me BUT he wanted us to live together for almost another year until our lease was up and he kept trying to talk to me like things were normal again. When I filed he was shocked I did it so fast and wanted to wait to sign the papers. He kept trying to put things off even though he claimed he hated me so much and couldn’t wait to get the hell away from me. I just saw him as an insane and dangerous person, which he is.

            But maybe he was also bluffing. Hoping I would dance harder and faster to keep him happy. Instead I was just devastated and like holy shit, there’s no fixing a 20 year fake marriage with a person who hates my guts and wants to murder me. LOL Maybe it was a bluff. If that’s the case, it did not work out for him and it kind of tickles me to think that’s what happened.

            It would actually explain some of the strange behavior during that time. He didn’t want to move out even though we rented and I was taking over the rent. It was like, get the fuck out and start this new life you want so bad without me. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t seem to want to go. LOL He’s not good at playing poker either though.

      • IG, I doubt you have ever treated your ex the way she (mis)treated you. At a minimum, I’m guessing you show her honesty and basic decency. Maybe even compassion, patience and generosity. I could say some awful things about my ex, but it would all be true. And I could probably land him some consequences that would hurt, but even then, they’d be fair and far less than what he deserves. He, on the other hand…

        In response to your ex losing it and “yeah – it sucks to not be in control of your own life.” Sure does. I’m reflecting on how cheaters have such an effed up relationship with power and control that they can’t even handle it when they lose control of chumps. (I witnessed this after dday when I exposed my ex’s lies, then left and blocked him. He lost control of me and his image in one swell foop, and he lost his mind. For months…right up until I returned and got on board with his image management campaign, at which point he was back in the drivers seat and returned to the abusive behaviors literally overnight.

        Divorce papers, filed by a chump? Wow, they must *really* short circuit when they *genuinely* lose control of their own lives. And of course, this is not because they are being manipulated and abused, the way they willfully steal chumps’ agency; they’re merely facing natural consequences of their selfish, reckless, risky and dishonest patterns of behavior. They lose control. No one takes it from them.

  • I still don’t understand how they say such things with a straight face. Feeling indignant, instead of feeling really stupid. I have watched politicians do the exact same thing. Boggles my mind! Worse for me is how I wasted years, trying to explain to him, why his behaviors were wrong. All along the problem was me not understanding how selfish and stupid he was.

    • Right. Exactly. But on the other hand, such a great lesson to learn? To be our own, walking, talking, living, breathing UBT? This is my goal.

    • Another life skill learned here: if I have to tell someone how to treat me, I’m wasting my breath. BOOM. I use this philosophy with all the narcissist/BPD/assholes in my life (co-workers, family members, XH, former “frenemies” etc.) it is so freeing!

      • Wow! That is BRILLIANT !!!

        “If I have to tell someone how to treat me, I’m wasting my breath.”

        I feel like somebody just yanked a murky film off of a *lot* of my life, or like when “The Wizard of Oz” swaps from black and white to colour.

        That mantra just burned itself into my brain, no need for me to have to “try to remember it”.

        THANK YOU!

  • R, I sure needed this today. Thank you (and Chump Mama). I particularly love the tone of your letter, your almost-sinister (in a good way) ability to see right through her bullshit and name it with a twist of your own brilliant word-knife. Oh, if I could be blessed with this ability as I wade deeper into psycho-divorce. I’m learning about the necessity for unflappable distance and truth, both of which do cut deep. Please, I am not advocating violence – only applauding the brilliance of excellent word play and the ability to lob a crisp phrase, while watching FW stumble over her two left (wholly-juvenile) feet. “No, quite the opposite…Actually, it’s Chump Lady.” Keep Calm and Carry On. Words of Warriors. And CL’s UBT. Just the dose of intelligence and clarity I needed this morning.

  • “We were both responsible for how our marriage was before I did what I did.”

    This hits close to home.

    Here’s what I imagine that my ex would add: “And I did what I did because of something you did (or didn’t do), like buy coffee in the correct decaf:caf ratio. You also didn’t enjoy fly fishing enough. What? Yes, you fished 8 hours a day for 5 days while we were in Canada? But you didn’t seem enthusiastic enough. Also, you didn’t initiate sex as much as I wanted. What? I was otherwise occupied? My attentions were elsewhere? I complained about my hemorrhoids? True, but that’s your fault too. Give me a second to come up with a non-laughable reason.” #Icausehemorrhoids

    Then his brain does a back flip, which allows him to add the following: “You showed your true colors just now because you filed for divorce AND found a new place to live, using marital funds for the first month’s rent. Yes, I did the same for my apartment, and yes you needed a place (I guess) because we sold our home, but you are worse for reasons I can’t really explain right now. You are also a meanie because you filed for divorce and because you have stopped engaging with me (Kibbles R Me) and apparently forced our adult kids to go NC.”

    So you see; I, Spinach???? ???? am the mastermind of all of this. Oh, and I’m a puppeteer, too (kids are puppets). #chumpskills #abusedmyself

    • T’here’s no logic to what they say, no wonder we get confused, we’re trying to make sense out of the nonsensical.
      My ex said, “there’s nothing wrong with his cheating because we weren’t getting along.”
      What?? Cheating is the solution when you’re not getting along with your spouse.
      Maybe we would have been getting along if he wasn’t cheating.

      • Brit
        Geez. They are all alike.
        Mine told everyone we weren’t getting along, lots of arguments. Why was that ? I ask.
        He says because of the lying ???? Yep. The lying about money for drugs, howorker, and whereabouts…

    • Maybe we weren’t getting along because I didn’t compliment him enough, like on his biceps when he came home from the gym? I parked too close to the garage? I never learned how to properly load a dishwasher?
      I’m so glad I found Chump Mama and joined this group of bitter people.

    • Spinach, I agree that we chumps have some powers that we never even thought of. I am not sure how I drove my adult son to NC with the FW. Our son is 26 years old and on his own and makes his own decisions. The FW brought him into this by “accidently” loading his nude pics of he and Schmoopie to son’s shared photo account. My son was shocked to say the least and went no contact. Of course with cheater logic, it would probably be my fault that he had to cheat and take pictures and somehow my fault he uploaded them to son’s account. Add in that son must have gotten a moral compass from me, well, I guess it is my fault in cheater logic terms. Or maybe I just have secret mind control abilities………

      • Mind-control abilities. You’ve got it all! lol ???? ????

        So gross that your son was exposed to those photos. Ugh. That’s tough. Your x was sloppy and technologically challenged. Period.

        Hope your son is doing ok. Some stuff you can’t unsee.

        • My son is fine and is happy with NC. At first he was a pit of rage when he came home on leave (he is in the Navy). I was not too used to seeing him in full anger but he is recovered (of course he probably still wants to poke his eyes out with a spork). My son can is pretty religious and squeaky clean (at least from a mom’s point of view). The nice thing about the kid is he is very respectful of women of all ages and really bends over backwards for my mom and dad. He turned out great even with an absentee FW father (but there were moments in his teens….). FWs lack of tech experience was great though. My lawyer loves it and it is helping with a better settlement. Of course FW lied to his attorney about cheating (go figure)so his lawyer was shocked when my lawyer started talking about the pics. It changed the whole thing because once my attorney mentioned and described the pictures, we got a call about settling within less than a day. Now it is down to details. I am hoping to be free in the next two months.

  • Bitter. Yes. Yes, I am bitter.

    BITTER stands for Being In Totally Truthful Emotional Reality.

    That’s MS. Bitter to you.

    Soooooo, one should be overjoyed when one finds out one has been fucked over and one’s life has been a lie?

    I supposed people whose emotional wiring is broken would see it that way. I finally understand how they can do what they do.

    Ux, we can wait for the parody.

    And just in case the STBX Mrs. R shows up here?

    Fuck you, you fucking freak.

    • And of course, an affair is not ripping your spouse apart, and all the negative smack you talked about them to The Person Who Cheated With You is not ripping your spouse apart either. Yep. People Who Cheat are happy, kind, thoughtful, caring, generous, honest, mature, loving, selfless relationship experts who had no choice. Yes. It was self-defense. That’s it.

      “I can rip you apart and you’d better not tell anybody about it, and you’d better not get angry, and you’d better not cry, or else I’ll keep ripping you apart and I’m going to blame you for it, “ said the Person Who Cheated.

      Just like the people who molested me and abused me when I was a child.

  • they say the weirdest things, it’s true.

    i can’t decide if the weird excuses/comments are to drive me crazy or an indication of his disordered thoughts/emotions. i tend toward his disordered thoughts/emotions these days. these days, i can see/hear through the logorrhea.

    it’s a fucking relief to almost be done with him and his nonsense. i mean, i’ll likely hear about it through the kids, but their contact is limited.

    it’s weird. i used to see him as so smart and accomplished, and now i just think of him as fucked up. he is fucked up. i can’t believe he’s so outwardly successful when his insides are simultaneously empty and twisted up.

    • I think it’s to control the narrative rather than admit that they’re pieces of shit.

      When I left my ex I later found out that he refused to tell anyone on his side what happened…..but he did go out of his way to say there was no cheating. Some time later I got a call from his step mother to tell me his father had passed and she and I spoke for a while. When she mentioned that all ex would say was “no cheating” I asked her why she thought he’d go out of his way to say that.

      It was like a light bulb went off in her head and she understood. I told her everything and she was sympathetic, but we both agreed that it was for the best that his father had passed not knowing that. He had really liked me and I found out was very upset that I’d divorced his son….and he knew it was probably his son’s fault. He was in his 90’s and would’ve been so much harder on him had he known his son was a cheating scumbag.

      It’s all about image management…thet just don’t fool as many people as they think.

      Side note….I love your screen name!

      • Yes, I was glad that FW’s father passed away before the shitshow blew up despite knowing his father was the model for a lot of FW’s destructive behavior. FWs dad was also the cautionary model of what happens to old narcissists as their charm and charisma fade, no one wants to listen to their bs and they die literally alone in a hovel. I think this is why FW’s father was always trying to coach his son to treat me well when he was alive. I felt torn about it because, while I didn’t approve of how FW’S dad had behaved most of his life, his dad was the only one in the immediate family who was consistently nice to me while FW’s raging narc mother had always treated me like a usurper and had tried to turn as many people against me as possible. Anyway, I’m not a sadist and wouldn’t relish precipitating death even for elderly FWs.

        Interesting that FW had a nightmare right before D-Day that his dead father and recently deceased playboy uncle both came to him saying they were “so lonely.” Though FW was probably too drunk to remember the dream at that point, it gave me chills. After D-day, I realized it presaged how FW would likely end up. I took it as a reminder that NC was the way to go because, by then, it would all strike me as sad, pointless ugliness.

        I swear that FWs all think their spouses are destined to be the tree in “The Giving Tree.” They think they’ll be sitting on our butchered stumps in their weary dotage after having devoured, wasted and consumed the rest of us. Not exactly how it works out all the time, nope. I always hated that depressing book. Maybe someone should rewrite it as a parody and dose of reality.

    • I tend to agree with you but it doesn’t really change my strategy for self preservation. Like, I don’t give an F why you act and talk this way, you’re not allowed to treat me this way (anymore!). Was having a conversation the other night with the ex about a health issue our kid is having, asked him some direct questions to try and understand what was going on, and he told me I was being a bully and yelling at him!?! Lol. Dude, I was asking questions. It’s more like, you F-d up and that’s all coming to light so now you’re turning up the victim dial. Super annoying

      • Anytime someone claims you’re “yelling at them” when you’re calmly speaking to them, it’s a dead giveaway they’re full of BS. Classic DARVO, and super immature.

      • They hate questions because their life is so much easier without them. It’s taxing to try to remember some other lie they told you that might come up or is tangentially involved with the topic at hand so they just attack, and figure out a way to make themselves the victim – mostly to start a secondary argument so you are no longer talking about the thing they they want to avoid.

        My husband actually said: “I need you to never ask me a question again.” ???? Riiiight. Let’s just go full handmaiden and cut out my tongue while we are at it.

    • I have a hard time believing they do most anything intentionally. You have to be very aware and thoughtful to deliberately mindfuck a person. Most of these shitboxes are too superficial and selfish to put that degree of thought into someone else. They lie, blame-shift, gaslight, abuse, project, DRVO, and spew abject stupidity not because they’re clever or slick. They do it because the alternative is to accept that they’re losers who ruin things. I’m convinced that’s why they inexplicably “hate” us – they can’t look at us without seeing who they really are. They go with the AP because the AP reflects who they wish they were.

      The ones who see and accept their own lack of character – who are intentional with their mindfuckery – are antisocially disordered.

  • I was thinking “I wonder if that FW is going to read this since she knows R goes to the Chump Mama site?” But nope. She is too in her own mind that this is a bunch of angry bitter chumps and she has nothing to learn from it. Or if she did read the truth, she’d probably combust. It’s better to bury her head in the sand and practice semantics (like the therapist saying that it’s “funny” that we use the term ‘cheater’ when it is actually a ‘person that cheated,’ not a cheater.” — ermmmm K. ) and DARVO to avoid all growth and responsibility.

    Ahhhh cheaters. If they weren’t so horrific and traumatizing, they’d be hilarious.

    • I hope FW XW never discover this site. It’s like I can hear she telling people I “was brainwashed by a bunch of losers, internet retards, bitter nerds who are fixated on having been cuckholded, that’s why BC divorced me” (I feel I can predict her exact words and that would be them). Oh, and she would scan through it like hell to see if I had the gall to leave a comment that might stain her spotless (self-)image (oooops…). I do think she would combust. She would say I am infringing on her privacy, she would threaten me with filing charges againt me on grounds of whatever, just like when I snooped a little to discover her infidelity and that she was full of shit in general. But I think it is improbable that she finds CL, because she is not into reading anything longer than an instagram post or some inspirational self-help quote on how to get rich quickly and live the good life. But I do worry that my eldest kid might catch a glimpse of my phone’s screen, so I avoid reading when they’re with me. He asked me once what was this “Tinder” app his mom had at her phone; I’m affraid he could ask her who is Chump Mama.

  • “I’m going to rip you apart. You’d better not cry. You’d better not get angry at me. And it’s your fault. I don’t care how you feel. How you feel doesn’t matter. You don’t matter. And you’d better not tell anybody. If you do, I’m going to lie.”

    Said the Person Who Cheated. And the Person Who Cheated With Them.

    And every Person Who Abused me when I was a child.

    And they can’t believe we feel hatred for them.

    And they think they know what love is.

  • “Quit acting like your a victim”
    “you were only suppose to go to see the lawyer to see your options” “if you wanted to reconcile, you shouldn’t have filed for divorce”
    After giving me a list of 30 things I needed to improve on “you need to do these things for me to reconcile with YOU”
    “The process server felt sorry for me” after being served at her work
    “I am not the only bad person here.” Before starting the WW2 size smear campaign a week before I filed.

    We all have things we need to work on. Don’t allow their ACTIONS to be put on you. Unless we put a gun to their head we didn’t make them cheat on us. They could have made different CHOICES.

    After years of therapy I realized I wasn’t a horrible husband as she told me all the time.

  • The Lying Cheating Loser is a sociopath who not only lied and cheated during our entire 4-year relationship, he was also an unapologetic moocher.
    Way too early in our dating, he lived with me for three months in my tiny apartment without contributing so much as a bag of groceries, despite my repeated requests that he pitch in financially.
    Later, when his apartment lease was about to be up, and we had decided to live together (except his narrative is I “forced” him), he simply didn’t pay his last month’s rent. Then called me in a fake panic saying the apartment office had lost his rent check and was going to deny him access to his stuff that was still in the apartment. Chumpy me showed up in my truck and helped him move all his stuff into storage that very day.
    Still later, after we had lived together for over a year, with him constantly coming up short on his share of the bills, he got fired from his job. Chumpy me reassured him he could come work with/for me for the time being, with the eventual goal that he enroll in college on the GI bill.
    He could have been enrolled 6 months after he got fired (sooner maybe), but he purposely dragged his feet, missed deadlines, and lied about not being able to get a hold of people at the admissions office.
    Meanwhile, I was literally pulling him out of bed to go do jobs with me (painting houses), where he was sullen and disengaged (when he wasn’t flirting with my clients), taking excessive breaks, and generally causing me to hate a job I love.
    I ended up basically enrolling in college on his behalf a full year after he’d been fired. The BAH (GI bill $) started coming in. We had agreed to a more equitable arrangement whereby he would pay the rent and I’d cover all other bills and household expenses. It left him with several hundred dollars a month in discretionary funds, which I NEVER had.
    Obviously, our relationship had been in a state of decline due to his lying, cheating, and all around fuckwittery. I kept telling him things had to change or our relationship was over.
    I guess I don’t blame him for not believing me – after all, I had ended our relationship before and always taken him back.
    In May of 2018, though, I had finally had enough. After one particularly disappointing exchange with the LCL about the state of our relationship, I finally pulled the plug. I had secretly arranged for a new apartment for myself, and as I drove off to work (semester was over for the LCL so he was home playing videogames, smoking, drinking, and doing fuck shit) I called my landlord and told him to go ahead and put a for rent sign in the yard.
    Well, the LCL threw an absolute shit fit. Not because I was leaving him, but because it was the middle of the month. If he had only known by the first of the month that this time it was over for real, he would have refused to pay the rent and left me holding the bag. I *deliberately deceived* him by making sure he fulfilled his financial commitment.
    Nevermind that he was refusing to enroll in summer classes AND refusing to work with me over the coming summer. I was just supposed to work 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week, supporting his life of leisure.
    The warped sense of entitlement, and the double standards these cheaters employ, never cease to amaze me.

  • Therapist: “Also, isn’t it funny how we sometimes use the term ‘cheater’? It is actually a ‘person that cheated,’ not a cheater.”

    I’m all about concise writing (well, except here where I add parenthetical phrases all the time), so “cheater” seems preferable to “a person that cheated” (“who cheated” I would say, but whatevs).

    What am I missing? Is the therapist trying to say that it’s wrong to define people by their deeds? So a cheater is a person who cheats. A baker is a person who makes cookies. A pilot is a person who flies a plane.

    Maybe it only applies to flaws. I’ll try again: a liar is a person who lies. A killer is a person who kills. An abuser is a person who…

    Oh forget it. My head hurts…

    My x is a CHEATER and a betrayer (a betrayer by nature, by his own admission). He’s a liar, too, although I guess he might not lie ALL the time (like when he said he was a betrayer by nature).

    • “My x is a CHEATER and a betrayer (a betrayer by nature, by his own admission).”

      Exactly, I was married for 21 years to a lying, cheating sack of shit, by his own admission. Of course, it was my fault because he never loved me, and he had to cheat to make him’s sad sausage self happy. It was my fault because I believed him when he begged me to marry him before he went to Vietnam, begged me to have a child, then for 21 years, sans the last few months told me he loved me and was committed to our marriage, family and church. All me.

    • My take on it is that the therapist is trying to confer humanity upon the cheater by insisting she’s a “person who cheated.”
      I wholly embrace this concept where appropriate, e.g. “enslaved people” not “slaves.”
      But a cheater is a cheater is a cheater.

      • Totally agree. I feel like this concept is useful when someone is a victim of someone else’s actions, as to not let them be defined by how someone else treated them. I think it’s perfectly fine to let someone’s own actions define who they are.

    • Spinach, while I agree with everything you say, I think this “person who cheated” baloney is a misapplied extension of the impulse behind the desire not to dehumanize people in ways that reduce them to a single characteristic: “enslaved person” rather than “slave,” for example.
      Me, I think a person who cheats is a cheater.

      • Sure, but that’s true of every noun you associate with a person: no person is one-dimensional, so (this argument goes) using any single noun reduces a person to a single attribute (or experience, or whatever), which is dehumanizing because it denies the other aspects of that person. If we applied this argument consistently, we’d ban ALL words like that. But in practice, people only require the indirect reference (“person who cheated”) when the association is perceived to be negative. So it’s fine to call someone a “Nobel Prize winner” but not a “cheater” (OK – to be fair – the particular person I’m thinking of may just have been a shitty husband, but as an abstract example it still works).

        I think it’s bullshit: we are all aware that people are complex and are not defined by any one descriptor. It’s disingenuous to imply that using a label that happens to have negative connotations means the speaker is denying anyone’s humanity. I am well aware that my XW is not only a “woman”, a “mother” and a “college graduate”, but also an “adulterer” and a “liar” and I am able to hold those concepts in my head simultaneously.

        I guess I’m not disagreeing with you, but just pointing out that there are serious normative implications baked into these types of proscriptions, which I don’t think the proscribers acknowledge honestly.

      • Yes. The “lead with the person not the condition” impulse works with people in situations they did not choose or have no control over so as to not reduce them to one bad thing that happened to them. A person who is disabled, a person who was enslaved.
        I don’t think it has the same effect when dealing with decisions or actions a person willingly undertakes.

    • Wow, a RIC therapist who’s wrong. Go figure. I’m the typo queen but very interested in linguistics so I looked it up and cheater is used in Shakespeare: “Thou abominable damn’d cheater, art thou not ashamed to be called captain?” from Part 2 of King Henry IV. Elsewhere it’s suggested that Shakespeare cheekily coined “cheater” from escheator, the unpopular agents who would revert property of people who died without heirs to the ownership of local feudal lords.

      I just noticed for the first time that Shakespeare sometimes used “people that (do such and such)” rather than “people who.” But there weren’t really codified rules of grammar until about 150 years after Shakespeare’s death. Now there are, but we still use terms coined or popularized by Shakespeare (like cheater, green-eyed monster, in a pickle, the world is your oyster, catch a cold, “It’s all Greek to me,” love is blind, wild goose chase and heart of gold to name a few) if not his free-flowing use of grammar.

      • Note my irrational use of commas. You can be interested in the history of something without being a particularly great practitioner of it, lol.

  • My ex was so offended that I told my mom I wanted a divorce before I told him. Of course he discovered this by snooping on my phone. He read the text message “on accident.” It’s been a long, slow process for him to realize he’s not my top priority.

  • One of my favorite lines from my FW was when he said “I can’t believe I am going to be one of those divorced people!” Meanwhile he was the one who cheated, disappeared and filed for divorce. Can’t make this crap up.

  • Ooh, that therapist’s bullshit about “iT’s A pErSoN wHo ChEaTeD, nOt A cHeAtEr” made my eye twitch so hard I almost lost a contact and gave me a flashback.

    Back when I was literally dying of an autoimmune disease and misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and heavily medicated (thanks in part to my ex husband and his fucked up friends’ gaslighting me while I was seriously ill) one of my ex husband’s friends decided to attack me for calling myself schizophrenic. Because I wasn’t going through enough already, I also needed to be accused of insensitivity, ableism, and just being an all around piece of shit person from people I thought were my friends.

    She went on a rant about how offensive what I just said was to all people diagnosed with schizophrenia (the group I was a member of, not her) and how no other disease is described that way. Because saying it that way suggests “they” aren’t human beings, just “their” disease. I threw out diabetic, epileptic, and paraplegic and asked if she yelled at any of those people for using those terms too. She rolled her eyes at me and asked if I was going to continue to be disrespectful to those with mental illness and ableist.

    There was an audience for this, which included my ex husband.It went on for quite some time, with me asking her repeatedly to please stop.Did anyone defend the newly diagnosed, struggling schizophrenic being attacked and called ableist for using a term about herself some other bitch didn’t prefer? Nope. Silence.

    Well, silence until I finally told her I’m the one who has the fucking disease and I’m the one who has to fucking live with it and I will call myself whatever the fuck I want. And if that’s a problem for her, she can go fuck herself about it. Then it’s ohhh, you’re overreacting, this is your disease acting up. You aren’t being logical. Just use the word she told you you’re allowed to use.

    It makes me so sick and angry when I think about it. That they did this shit to me just for fun. They better hope there isn’t a hell.

    • That reminds me of the old saying that goes something like if you ever think you might be mentally ill, you should consider the idea that you might just be surrounded by assholes.
      Evil assholes in your case. I’m sorry they did that to you.

    • KatiePig I want to meet you someday! Your stories always resonate with me. I have a child with severe disabilities and the lectures I’ve received from teachers and other parents would make your head spin. I have had several severe medical issues in my life and my family (and countless doctors) were oh so happy to tell me it was all in my head and dismiss me.

      In a way they weren’t wrong – I had a tumor in my head, one that took five years to get diagnosed because no one in my life cared an ounce about the constant pain I lived in.

      Thank god we both got out – I hope you are healed and feeling well!

    • Wow, Katie, having this people around you atop of your FW must have been a living hell. I’m sorry you’ve been through this.

  • It never ceases to amaze me the complete lack of self control these cheaters have when confronted with a consequence. They manage to have enough control to lie, cheat, and steal, but put up a single boundary and all of a sudden they have hysterical verbal/text/email diarrhea. My ex still does this after years apart when he’s faced with a consequence for some stupid parenting thing he’s done. Lately I’ve taken to saying, or typing, some version of “I can’t believe you’d [put that in writing/say that out loud]. You’re not protecting your interests with that outburst, but by all means, keep talking.” I’ve even used his own shitty words against him in legal matters…and yet, he still says these ridiculous things when faced with his own behavior. They’re all just a pack of mindless honey badgers backed in a corner when one thing doesn’t go their way. Total brats. For me, it’s gotten a little emotionally easier to deal with him (on health issues related to our kid—the absolutely only time I deal with him) if I envision him as a cranky bratty teenager. At least I get a good laugh out of it while being verbally assaulted.

    • “It never ceases to amaze me the complete lack of self control these cheaters have when confronted with a consequence. They manage to have enough control to lie, cheat, and steal, but put up a single boundary and all of a sudden they have hysterical verbal/text/email diarrhea”.

      Well said. My FW behaves exactly like that. Her anger is frightening even she being small and sometimes get physical. But the verbal diarrhea alone is enough to annoy the crap out of you. She wrote me the most crazy and long emails and text messages during the shitshow, but just the other day I was looking at old texts and emails when I realized she always did. And still do sometimes whenever something doesn’t go her way. At least her lawyer must have talked her out of emailing me. She now prefers text because she thinks I cannot use it in court if needed be.

      And don’t get me started on stupid parenting things… OMG, that’s essentially what’s keeping me from Meh. Fuckwits are birds of a feather aren’t they?

  • Yet another example of how they use the same lines from Ye Olde Cheater’s Playbook. My ex-wife said much of the same stuff. Good for you finding this site and the book — both were critical developments in my recovery.

  • Can someone please explain the meaning of the reference to “#marionthelibrarian” (“The Music Man”) after the UBT translation “You destroyed the family when you made me cheat with that much younger guy”?
    I don’t remember anything in the plot about a cheater or a destroyed family ?

    • I’m interested in solving this relevance riddle too. I’m sure it IS relevant and I’ll crack up when the the secret is revealed, but for now the only thing I remember from the lyrics of Marion the Librarian was “rhymes with carrion.”

      “If I stumbled and I busted my what-you-may-call-it
      I could lie on your floor
      ‘Till my body had turned to carrion… Madam Librarian.”

  • Esther Perel causes Existential Peril! Cheating is one of the shittiest things human beings can do to one another that isn’t considered illegal. It should be.
    Ms. ‘Peril’ has creatively packaged it up in her ‘too cool for school’ sexualized, romanticized hip style with perfect hair and outfits, so if you aren’t in the ‘cool club’ and can’t see the modern hip level “exuberance” in cheating on your partner, you are WAY too square and in the dark. ( probably why you got cheated on in the first place!)
    There is nothing noble or exuberant about that horse shittyness you are touting Esther Peril!

    She pretends to dig deep into the ethereal mysteries of infidelity and all the shallow excuses imaginable and then magically packages that up and spackles a Mt Everest pile of crap into just simply some noble pursuit for “ aliveness”.
    Who doesn’t want to feel alive people?! Get with the program!

    It’s incredulous to me how she gets away with it. She turns turds into delicious chocolate bars and makes a shockingly substantial and respected living doing it.
    (What a cosmic level of fuckedupedness that is!)
    Why she is not called out more on her bullshit selling journey through life is the real mystery?

    I so wish someone would cheat on her and then maybe she’d be forced to become a born again chumped christian, with a brand new shiny proverb to sell, “ infidelity is abuse!!”
    She can then shuffle around through life with a sad face on and twigs in her hair, when she realizes the harm she’s done for years to chumps with her grossly misguided and scary dark support of cheaters.

    She can sell the bumper stickers “ infidelity is abuse” to make a lucrative profit, instead of the unscrupulous false hope and lies she happily globe trots the world in her designer pumps selling now.

    R, one of the biggest giveaways of an entitled sociopathic narcissist is their magical ability to lob the DARVO guilt shit right over the net and into your court. Sure sounds like your wife has that skill level.

    They will never take any responsibility for their poor choice of actions that caused the marriage to collapse, they have to stay clean in their deranged, illogical
    minds at any and all cost.
    There is not an ounce of truth that lives in them.

    So, basically, your wife sucks and you are headed out on the only and also pretty difficult path.
    I believe you already know that.
    Welcome to the club no one has chosen to join, but here we are just the same.
    You got this.

    • Adultery/infidelity should be illegal. It used to be.
      Esther doesn’t get called out because porn is normalized.
      That’s way too simple, but with history review & connecting dots, that’s my opinion.

      • Adultery is still a crime in some states (including the one in which I live) and I think it should be decriminalized for the following reason. Because adultery is technically illegal and although no criminal charges have been brought on the grounds of adultery in my state in at least half a century, the cheater is able to hide behind the Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination and refuse to answer questions about their cheating even in a civil divorce case. Which is exactly what my cheater did. If adultery had been decriminalized, he would have had to answer those questions in a court of law.

  • My ex kicked off the divorce, and I had to agree. He had a $700/hour attorney set up as an advisor and said that I wouldn’t have to hire my own attorney until the agreement was done. My ex was writing the agreement. Well, you can imagine how wrong that went, particularly because the advising attorney said my ex could ask for anything he wanted and left out or downplayed that I would have to concur.

    So I hired my big gun attorney, and he wrote a decent, legal agreement. And that made me even worse in my ex’s eyes, truly a horrible person that he couldn’t wait to get rid of. All because I wanted something that was fair and legal that a judge would actually sign off on. My brazen decision to get proper legal counsel kicked it up into high gear over and over.

    Ultimately he blamed the attorneys and me for it all, but the attorneys knew better. Late in the process and in closeout, his attorney would tell mine to tell me that he felt sorry for me and was truly trying to contain my ex and get the legal part done. But yes, if I had just been a better wife all of that would have never been necessary.

    • Well done, Elsie! I love that you used the legal system to assert your rights and that FW didn’t know what hit him.

      When they can’t control, they become enraged. It’s almost fun to watch. Almost.

      Over the years, others here have pointed out that opposing attorneys have expressed sympathy for their plight, especially when their clients (cheaters) act like entitled jerks.

      These lawyers get a front row seat to cheater entitlement and overall suckitude. They’ve seen it all.

      I half expected x’s attorney, whom he fired (lol), to call me and say, “Omg. I get it.” Of course, I’m sure that goes against professional ethics. Still, it was fun to imagine.

      Stay badass, chumps!!

      • Yes, they’re supposed to stay strictly in their own lane. My ex’s attorney did not and started blabbing other things that he shouldn’t have to mine after my attorney announced that he was retiring. We knew way more than we should have, frankly. If it had gone to trial, we had all kinds of dirt. It settled though.

        Yes, his attorney could have been disbarred, but he probably knew that the bar association generally doesn’t call upon retired attorneys who are no longer practicing to give their side. And mine said he would claim attorney-client privilege if they did to protect me. His associate took over and did a wonderful job for me, and then my ex’s attorney died of COVID late in closeout. Thankfully we got it done despite my ex going pro se.

        Truly a bizarre case for that and so many other reasons.

  • Guaranteed he worked as hard as he did to keep his wife in the lifestyle she felt entitled to, but of course she would turn it around on him. Nothing the chump does for them is ever appreciated, yet they feel the chump owes them bitch cookies just for existing.

    Mine was resentful that I did not put him on a pedestal just for having a job and bringing in a paycheck. So I asked if that meant that he was only working because of me and that if he hadn’t married me he’d be happily unemployed for life. Crickets was the response, because of course the job had nothing to do with me and he’d already taken it while he was single. It wasn’t even that great of a job, he was just an ordinary federal government office worker when I met him and he stayed one, but kept moving further up on the feeding chain. He acted as if he had some brilliant, heroic and vitally important career that I failed to acknowledge by not falling all over him in gratitude over it. How pathetic is it that the only thing you have to recommend yourself as a partner is employment and you’re angry that your spouse isn’t bowing at your feet for it. Well, the whiny little bitch is retired now, so he has nothing to recommend himself as a partner or to be proud of. All his self esteem was wrapped up in his job and he has no other source. Sux to be him.

    In today’s letter, we once again have an example that illustrates that there is not one original thought, excuse or blameshift to be found among cheaters. They are clones of each other, they are massively entitled, and they are completely full of crap.

    • OHFFS, same! I did 90% of child rearing and housework, still had a part time professional job, and he “resented” that I didn’t fall over myself thanking him when he came home every other weekend from a job he knew I’d prefer he didn’t take (still supported his choice, but it was a huge hardship). He was doing it for himself. Then STILL today the months after we signed the MSA he has to sign a form about splitting retirements, and he’s emailing me whining about how his pension isn’t vested (implying that I get none of it even though the lawyers told him repeatedly that doesn’t matter). During the marriage I didn’t have access to any account he put money in for over FIVE YEARS. While he traveled nonstop – what if there was an emergency? So, I should be kissing his ass over his job, but none of it is for me. Ok.

  • Off-topic comment here. Many thanks to CL/CN for turning me on to the book, ‘Cheated On – The Divorce Minister Guide for Surviving Infidelity and Keeping Your Faith.’

    Great resource!

  • I remember my FW being upset that I hired an attorney right after he told me he didn’t love me anymore. These cheating idiots are just that…cheating idiots. They think there are no repercussions for their behavior.

    • Duped, exactly. They get so indignant. My FW was flabbergasted when I filed. “But you said everything was going to be ok!” It will, darling – LAC/GAL ????

      Today I found a recording I made, when he was trying to convince me to stay, of him saying if we divorced I could “have” the house. I just found it funny. That jerk fought over every penny. I had to email him about business today and it was SO HARD not to attach the recording with a bunch of ROFL emojis. But I was good – thanks CL & CN!

  • The audacity of cheaters to play victim never ceases to amaze me. Mine left over four years ago, maintaining to this day that he never had an affair with the OW. Still doesn’t know that I discovered his secret email account with this woman and printed all the emails (met her 21 months before he left the marriage). Doesn’t know that I spoke to the woman before her and she confirmed that it was an emotional affair that he attempted to make physical. Doesn’t know that his friend told me he was sleeping with another woman as he was leaving me to be with the OW. Doesn’t know that I got the phone number to another woman from his phone (I didn’t pursue more info about that one).

    But, according to him, I am the bad person in the equation. Sure, he acknowledges that it wasn’t “right to have a friendship with this woman who listened to him at a time that he needed support.” Support from what? Oh, yeah. Horrible, controlling, emasculating me. The source of all his anxiety. The one that was making him become ill by just being in his physical space. He had forced intimacy with me for years because he felt no attraction to me. He had to distance himself from me because he was losing weight by staying in our home trying to work out our toxic marriage. The marriage he claimed he regretted shortly after the wedding when he realized that he didn’t really love me. He was concerned about his well-being because of how irrational I was and how I was twisting everything he said and did.

    R – I am proud of you for quickly re-grouping and calling out the ridiculous things your cheater said to you. When they are so clearly lacking in self-awareness, there is no hope. When the frequency of their self-victimization is so high, it isn’t likely that she’ll ever really change anytime soon. We never like to be the “bad guy,” but in cases like this, just take it and run to freedom!

  • It always amazes me on posts like this how it reinforces the fact they are all reading from the EXACT same script, yet they want us to believe that, if given one more chance, they will be the unique one, the proverbial unicorn. I wonder if they research this shit, because it really is uncanny how identically they all act.
    As for the escape, it is in progress. We still live together since her place isn’t ready yet, and we have kids. So, going totally NC is not yet possible. Thus, the love bombing is in full effect as she desperately tries to cling to her comfortable life. The many emails and texts about how much she loves me and cannot live without me flood my inboxes daily, and she summarily gets angry when I don’t respond. I’m just counting the days, playing along yet resolute and unswerving thanks to the guidance and support the CN and CL!

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