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UBT: Don’t Give Up on Me

insincereToday’s it’s Tuesday on a Wednesday. (Tuesday: the day the pain stops.) I got a really nice update from Gay and Monogamous, whose ex’s self-serving faux apology was fed to the UBT a few years ago.

GAM writes:

You impacted my life at quite a vital choice point, so, while it may seem odd, I guess I just wanted to update you with what’s happened in the years since!

After I wrote you and you helped me leave my ex-, I was able to earn the scores necessary to enter medical school. I then graduated from medical school and matched into my top choice residency program in a dream city. I am now finished with my first year of training and received “Exceeding Expectations” on my first official review by the program. These are all things that I imagine I would have been too distracted/depressed/anxious to accomplish had I stayed with my ex. I also reached “meh” about my ex, especially on Tuesdays.

Oh, and did I mention I’m very popular on the dating apps? I have TOO many choices now!

Warmest Regards,

Gay and Monogamous

We LOVE our leave-a-cheater-gain-a-life updates here. Yay! I’m sure you’re beating them off with sticks, GAM. Congrats on all your well-earned success.

And to remind everyone how things can change a few years on, here’s the old letter going down the UBT gullet:

****

Dear Chump Lady,

Long-time reader, first-time UBT submitter. I’m a gay man and was with my ex-boyfriend for about 7 years. I need some UBT help on a handwritten letter I got from him after official no-contact for a month and some change. I still love him and am weak in the knees after getting a card like this. Now I know this might be a tall order, but if there is anything that stands out as legit and not bullshit, please let me know.

A little background…

Ex cheated on me twice in the first couple years of our relationship and told me about it in the third year voluntarily, but claimed he was polyamorous and seeing other people was a part of his sexual identity. I accepted this and laid some rules out that would help me feel comfortable/build trust, even though I was still very hurt. On his first date with someone else thereafter he didn’t follow the rules — not sure why he admitted that he violated the rules instead of lying?

Anyway, I didn’t break up with him, he followed the rules thereafter (presumably), and then I, myself, tried fooling around with other people. That didn’t go over so well with him and he said we should go on a “break.” I begged him not to do so and stopped seeing other people because I didn’t want him to feel uncomfortable, though he continued to see others despite my reservations.

Fast forward to this past year when I said I didn’t want him seeing other people anymore and we needed to go to couple’s therapy. He had also tried breaking up with me a couple times because I was withdrawing my affection, but I begged him to stick it out with me. At the start of the very first session I explained that much of my withdrawal of affection was because I couldn’t trust him, didn’t feel like an equal partner, etc. LO AND BEHOLD! A month and some change into therapy I saw a text message on his phone (just on the lock screen, I wasn’t snooping!) from a guy. I confronted him and he said that they had met through Grindr and had had sex at least a couple times. (Apparently this guy knew that I was in the dark about the affair and was totally cool with it! Stay classy, Grindr.) I cried until I lost my voice and terminated our relationship, though we stayed in contact for months. I said to my ex that we should decrease the frequency of our talking and he agreed, but then berated me shortly thereafter because he felt I was “using” him. I also said that he needed to go to individual therapy and he found that an unreasonable request. Eventually I said enough is enough and initiated no-contact.

Here’s his letter…

I guess by now you’ve completed [your entrance exam for graduate school] and what an accomplishment that is! Well, I guess I was nothing more than a deterrent to you, and I vow to never be that again. I’ve been doing so much thinking about myself and about us, and I feel so horrible about how I’ve treated you; on so many different occasions I was completely selfish, recalcitrant and worst of all deceitful. I’ve spent the whole winter thinking about this. Can you find some place in your heart to forgive me? I know it’s hard to see since we live so far apart, but I really have made lasting changes and I really am genuinely remorseful for my numerous indiscretions. I want you to think of my positive attributes, all the times I really was there for you and the ways that I’ve forgiven you for some of your wrongdoings. We’ve taught each other a lot and we’ve grown together in so many ways. I know I haven’t shown you the respect you deserve and I’m so sorry that I couldn’t see sooner how important you are to me. But I see it now even if it’s too late. I wish I could go back in time but I can’t. All I can do is move forward with honesty and faith, two things I couldn’t allow myself to give before now. Please don’t give up on me. I promise to be faithful and true. It’s what I ((with “I” heavily underlined)) want. I never want to lie again and I’m so ashamed of myself. I don’t ever want to make you cry again; I want a happy future together. I know we can have that, if you can find some place in your heart to forgive me.

Sing me my song, Chump Lady.

Gay and Monogamous

Dear GAM,

I’m sorry, GAM. I don’t see anything in that letter that isn’t bullshit. I know your chumpy heart swells to hear “I don’t ever want to make you cry again,” but guys like this LIVE to make you cry again. And again. And again. And hey, back that kibble tanker truck up and dump the gallons of tears here.

He’s not a changed man. Besides, isn’t being a deceitful fuckwit part of his “orientation”? Can’t pray the stray away, you know.

He shouldn’t have to hide his true nature. He should be out and open as a deceitful fuckwit. (So we can throw rotten vegetables at the Fuckwit Pride parades.)

Oh right, but if he was out and open as a deceitful fuckwit, loving chumps would stop being of use to him. So he sends his “regrets.”

Let’s feed his hand-written apology through the Universal Bullshit Translator.

I guess by now you’ve completed [your entrance exam for graduate school] and what an accomplishment that is!

Pat, pat, pat!

Well, I guess I was nothing more than a deterrent to you, and I vow to never be that again. I’ve been doing so much thinking about myself

(The UBT can smell the Change from over here.)

I always think of myself! I vow to never deter myself from thinking about myself again!

and about us,

By which I mean “me.”

and I feel so horrible about how I’ve treated you; on so many different occasions I was completely selfish, recalcitrant and worst of all deceitful. I’ve spent the whole winter thinking about this.

I cheated on you for seven years. And every time I felt so gosh darn horrible about it, I created another Grindr profile. Selfish, recalcitrant, and deceitful works for me.

I’ve spent the whole winter wondering how to better to batter-ram your boundaries and respect your no contact. Oh hey, I know! A hand-written apology!

It’s like a chump decoy! Now, if I can just find my chump whistle to mimic the chump mating call. “I never want to make you cry again! HA-LOooooOOOO!”

What’s that rustling through the underbrush? A chump! Approach the chump lick! It’s made of salty, dried tears.

Can you find some place in your heart to forgive me?

The proper reply for GAM is “Oh yeah, it’s right there in my pocket next to, ‘Go to therapy’ and ‘Quit cheating on me.'”

I know it’s hard to see since we live so far apart,

I can’t show you any sorry, (how convenient!) but I’ve got plenty of pretty bullshit.

but I really have made lasting changes

A whole MONTH! Seven years of serial cheating and a “polyamorous orientation” POOF! Watch it LAST! I feel week 5 coming on.

and I really am genuinely remorseful for my numerous indiscretions. I want you to think of my positive attributes, all the times I really was there for you and the ways that I’ve forgiven you for some of your wrongdoings.

Let me demonstrate my genuine remorse by making false equivalencies.

That time I said “Let’s have an open relationship”? And then you went and actually HAD one? With someone ELSE? That kind of level playing field was really unforgivable. But I forgave! #biggerperson

We’ve taught each other a lot and we’ve grown together in so many ways. I know I haven’t shown you the respect you deserve and I’m so sorry that I couldn’t see sooner how important you are to me.

It took seven years of serial cheating, risking your health with Grindr hook-ups, disrespect, mindfuckery, and one pointless, sullen couple’s therapy session for me to realize how important your kibbles you are to me.

This is the kind of solid foundation every healthy person aspires to!

But I see it now even if it’s too late. I wish I could go back in time but I can’t.

And isn’t saying “I wish I could go back in time” what really matters, versus good character and all that shit?

All I can do is move forward with honesty and faith, two things I couldn’t allow myself to give before now.

I couldn’t allow myself honesty and faith before. I keep them locked in a steamer trunk in the bottom of my fetid consciousness, bound and gagged. Whenever I let Honesty free, she says crap like “PROUD TO BE A DECEITFUL FUCKWIT!” Back in the box, Honesty.

Please don’t give up on me.

It’s hard to find replacement chumps. Fuck buddies? Sure. Invested, loving people who’ll agree to all my lop-sided terms of engagement for the occasional starvation kibble ration? Not so easy.

I promise to be faithful and true.

Hahahhahhahhaaaa! #Islaymyself

It’s what I ((with “I” heavily underlined)) want.

Fuck what you want. (Back in the BOX, Honesty!)

I never want to lie again and I’m so ashamed of myself.

Like I DO shame! Really, if I had any shame, do you think I’d send you this shit?

I don’t ever want to make you cry again; I want a happy future together.

I want a happy future of making you cry again. #kibbles #centrality #awesomeness

I know we can have that, if you can find some place in your heart to forgive me.

By “forgive me” I mean take me back with zero conditions, zero demonstrations of remorse, and allowing me to blameshift my shitty actions on to you.

GAM, Tell him no. Find it in your heart to forgive yourself for wasting seven years on a fuckwit.

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.
  • GAM, I’m so glad you followed up to show chumps that you CAN get free of a FW and gain a life. I’ve had too many friends that wait and wait and wait and then either the FW leaves them anyway or they are just stuck. You are a rock star!

    In my case, FW left me on DDay and never looked back. So the choice was made for me. And I was divorced in one year. But as I worked through my divorce, I had a friend dealing with her FW and started her divorce just 6 months after I started mine. But she was so worried about “money wasted on attorneys” and other crap, she dragged her feet. 3 years later she was begging me to find out how to put a nail in it and move on.

    She finally realized she wasted more money dragging it on… FW was using up all the assets anyway. She finished her divorce, met someone else and now she’s remarried and happy!

    My point is… the only way to do what you did and find your own happiness is to fully kick a FW to the curb. You got through the hard and did it! Congratulations! Happy Tuesday/Wednesday!

  • Bravo to GAM! Excellent! The thing about fuckwits is that 1. They don’t self correct, 2. They are compulsive liars, and 3. They are consistent on the first two. Past behavior is a perfect predictor of future behavior.

  • My ex (the Worm) wrote a similar “apology letter”. It strikes me that neither letter actually mentions cheating or abuse.
    Glad you are rocking your new life!

  • Excellent. I’m happy to hear this update.

    I’m about to start the second year of my PhD, something I always wanted to do but couldn’t with my unsupportive ex.

    For so many of us, the cheaters really are just smothering the real us and holding us back.

  • My favourite UBT evah and to be so (underlined) empirically proven to be true!!! Go GAM, blaze the trail for chumps post-fuckwit and celebrate the CL and CN support in fixing your picker (ie choose the good ‘uns).

  • Way to go GAM!!!! So happy for you❤️ I remember your letter and thought I’m dealing with the straight version of your FW. Yet, Millionaire Match and Luxy were his dating platforms of choice. He would say and do all of the same as your ex. So, glad you found your Tuesday and your first year was excellent! Cheers to many more!!!

  • I remember your letter…good on you !! So glad you are doing well !

    I did the opposite of you and lost enough years and years to the struggle. I now describe that for many years, I was pushing boulders up hill all day, every day. There are only so many boulders you can push up a hill so I didnt accomplish things I otherwise could have while I was pushing the Cheater Boulder. You wisely chose a great boulder to push up hill and will benefit from it for years to come.

    We are happy for you !

  • Wow, GAM, congratulations! Your ex had probably been siphoning off all your extra energy and concentration like a vampire, and when you mightily kicked him out of your life, you could finally do the wonders you were meant to be doing. So glad to hear that your hard work and bravery paid off!

  • I just *love* it when OP’s come back to tell us about their escape from the fuckwit’s machinations.

    Good for you, GAM, and thanks for coming back to tell CL how she helped you. 👍😊

  • The word “recalcitrant” ran a big bell in my head. It’s not often such a word is used in song (or song parody). For all newbies, I ran this with the original post:

    (Music by Kenny Rogers, lyrics by the fuckwit ex)
    Tune at: https://youtu.be/PjWcMLFdNLU

    While he sits waiting, I stay out late at night and dip my wick
    And sometimes it’s enough to make me sick
    But it’s good, and I make his pretty head fill with dread…

    While he stays trusting, I fire up my Grindr app alone
    But suddenly he wants to see my phone
    And I tell him that he’s using me again,
    and I need more men…

    And I’m recal-ci-trant! I’ll never know just where my kindness went
    I told him someday, if he stayed with me, I would finally see,
    And we’d both know why, but I lie

    And now he’s leaving me! But he can’t help but still be grieving me
    So who knows, maybe, if I write this note, he won’t stay remote
    And I’ll start again, start again …

    • I remember this one too. And while recalcitrant is definitely some thing to celebrate so is “But he can’t help but still be grieving me”.
      That one made me laugh too.

    • Thanks for the repeat since I missed this gem the first time you published it.

      YAY. When it breaks your heart, make art.

    • UX World – thanks for re-posting your lyrics. You have a gift, brotherman. And it makes me LAUGH AND LAUGH AND LAUGH!!! 😊😂🤣

  • I don’t “want” to lie again. I don’t ever “want” to make you cry again.

    Can’t even say “I won’t lie again”.

    GAM is a better person and so much better off without this FW.

    • I noticed that! Also, just because someone has the desire to behave differently, doesn’t mean they have the skills to. (Especially if he resisted individual therapy.)

    • Good catch, there, IPM!
      They lie & still tell us who they ARE. Words matter. I love to count cheater words in their “apologies” & assorted horse feces.
      E.g., this letter had:
      14 sentences
      38 references to himself (“I/me/myself”)
      15 references to the amazing GAM (4 of those in the false equivalency blameshit – oops, I mean blameshift sentence).

      He wouldn’t even praise GAM directly or personally for the passed entrance exam – used all kinds of vague pronouns.(“what an accomplishment that is”) then immediately launches into Sad Sausage.
      Ugh!!
      Team FW is always all about themselves, 24/7.
      Trust that they suck.

      GAM – thanks for the carbon-arc spotlight of hope! Go live your authentic, happy life! And thanks for coming back to CL & CN.

  • Isn’t it “funny” that a FW can cheat and lie but they won’t tolerate you having outside relationships?

    • Yeah, I test-asked FW if he wanted an open marriage right before D-Day when suspicions were rising. His answer, and I quote, (sharp intake of breath)”NO-oooo!”

  • Bravo Gam! You’ve come so far! Like you, I’ve done amazing things since leaving a long term relationship with a FW; I’m on my way to a PhD! That never could have happened when I was with him. He was very unsupportive whenever I did anything “just for myself.” I joined a choir (something just for me) and he, well, he haaated that. I almost quit the choir on several occasions because of the angry, sour faces he’d give me when I’d get home. He would actively talk me out of trying to advance myself in any way (I still remember trying to join a course that would have required him to help me out with the kids more so I could complete the coursework; he told me to drop it because he was scared I would have too much on my plate to do and I should just stay home with the kids instead) but was only too happy to let me encourage him to spread his professional and creative wings (I found him freelance work, clients, and encouraged him to join a local theater company… he did none of that for me). I didn’t see the forest for the trees and didn’t realize how unbalanced everything was until he left to pursue his final affair partner.

    And thank goodness he left. I look at my moxie and all the cool creative/professional things I did before I met him (so many!), while I was with him (nothing, I spent all my time and energy having kids and trying to make him happy), and after he left (my moxie came back! I’m doing amazing things just for myself again).

    They are truly anchors, aren’t they? Either they don’t let us captain our ships anywhere or they pull us under.

    “I know your chumpy heart swells to hear “I don’t ever want to make you cry again,” but guys like this LIVE to make you cry again.”

    Ain’t that the truth?

    • I still remember my ex fw talking me out of accepting a promotion I wanted. He didn’t want me to travel, not because he didn’t trust me; because I know he knew I wouldn’t cheat.

      In hindsight I still don’t know why he didn’t jump at the opportunity for me to travel. It would have opened up so much more time for him and whore. I still wonder why he didn’t want me to take that job; it would have been perfect for him and whore. He was actively planning my discard; so why not grab this opportunity.

      • Because he could not hide behind you if she knew you were away? He might have to answer to her?

        FWs generally don’t like obligation. It’s close to untangling the skein and I know you are way past meh, SL, but perhaps these questions are helpful to newbies trying to figure out WTF to do.

        • Could be, who knows the working of these fw’s brains. At least what small part works.

          My mind when I found out and remembered the promotion went to maybe he wanted to use my travel as his excuse for his cheating, or discarding me. Because he had not been outed yet, and I do think their master plan was for him to discard me, then whore would comfort him as a friend then twu love blossoms, and no one is the wiser that she was his whore for many years.

          I just never saw whore as having much power, she knew if he got outed too soon then her gravy train would end. But, at the time of the promotion she had become his direct report, so as George Costanza said maybe she did indeed have “hand”.

          I agree I come back here to help anyone if I can; and also because of the smart/funny folks here.

          I actually found CL, when fw blew up his relationship with our son, and I was searching for info on narcissist’s. I sure wish CL had been available in my year of discard. I did fairly well; but dang it would have helped.

      • @Susie Lee

        The FW started schooling on 7 separate occasions AFTER already having a degree. He did nothing with the education, never finished any program, and caused chaos, hardship and financial loss. It was always about him.
        I always put myself last because I was supporting him and his pointless education. What a waste of my time and energy.
        I have found that I am so much more than I realized, and very capable and intelligent. FWs really do hold you back. Maybe it’s their insecurity, but man it feels amazing to take back control and not have someone punch you down all the time.

      • He did it because he got his jollies by thwarting you. It was fun for him to deny you something you wanted.

      • Vampires who talk you out of things come in more than one form.
        My mom was disordered and talked me out of accepting the invitation to have dinner at the White House in the 80s. It was her dream and she hated that I had been invited so she preyed on my uncertainty and convinced me not to go. Forever regret on that one.

        • Unicornnomore- I am so sorry your mom did that..crossing my fingers that you will have a chance again. My X convinced me to turn out an acceptance for a PhD so we could focus on his education- forever kicking myself for that one.

          • Im sorry he influenced the decision to not do the PhD. We trust partners to consider what is best for us when big decisions are being made and to realize they did not give a fuck what was best for us. My parents wanted me to get an education that they could brag about while not costing them any money. Newsflash…not every one in the country can get a full ride to college. I didn’t finish my degree until I was 53.

      • Because traveling would have taken your focus off of him. FWs need centrality and kibbles and their wife appliance taking care of the home so they don’t have to. He may have been planning a discard but he needed you under his thumb and unaware until he was ready. #powerandcontrol

      • It is all about power and control. Let you do something that would make you less dependent? Not a chance. Something gives you extra confidence? Knock that down , Quick.

  • Congratulations! Isn’t it amazing when you get away from a-holes who do nothing but batter your self esteem? Don’t ever settle for less than you deserve.

  • Hats off to GAM for trusting he sucks and taking CL’s very good advice. Others of us, by which I mean me, succumbed to these exact sorts of missives. (Is there a letter template in the cheater’s handbook?) and ended up with more ddays and a longer road to meh. I love seeing these updates – there’s a light at the end of the fuckwad tunnel!

  • “Can’t pray the stray away” – I’m dying! LOL

    Congratulations on all you’ve achieved, GAM! You never needed this kind of dead weight in your life. Emotional attachment and sunk costs can be a bitch.

  • You know what the worst part of this is? We feed the cheaters bullshit by continuing to believe in the common decency of people. Then, when things don’t work out the first, second, third, infinity times we try to stay together, the cheater uses each and every “time” against us as if they did not do anything wrong that started us down our hopium path. Then they mind-fuck us as if our life exists in a vacuum where nothing happened before and nothing will happen again. Until it does. When I’m alone and doing no contact (not very good at it yet) all I do is stew over what she did behind my back. I want to tell her but I do not think she has the mental capacity to understand that what she did and how it tainted everything from the point of discovery.

    • I am not sure they ever get how what they did behind our back affects us. It didn’t happen to them, plus they built a case against us in order to do what they did, so in their mind their situation is “different”.

      The case against us can be and usually is, as flimsy as a wind sock at a used car lot; but it worked for them to excuse themselves.

      • “Ever” is a long time and if you ask me, I think it includes the “after” part… the time when you die and meet your Maker.

        I married my Cheater in a Church where (with no gun pointing at his head) he vowed before God, 2 priests and 180 of our closest friends to honor me. I think part of the Big Debrief With God includes being accountable for how their behavior affects us.

        What more sacred, witnessed oath do we take on Earth? I think there are consequences to violating it.

  • I never believe non-specific apologies, or “I’ve changed.” Actions speak louder than words for me. If someone has real remorse, and has done the hard work of changing, they can seek amends, like those in the 12-step programs do. I also don’t like denial of an offense, or “you misunderstood my intentions.” If I am offended, and say so, there is an offense. “I am sorry you are offended” means nothing to me. “I don’t feel I did anything wrong” is another stupid strategy. Then why are you here? Why am I angry? Don’t know? Can’t figure out why? Then don’t waste my time.

    I am also not partial to “I know you are doing more than is humanly possible right now, BUT” phrases. They obviously believe you can do more, for them, and what is the implication? Am I not human? Any apology that does not recognize the specific offense, and how specifically they intend to make amends is worthless.

    I do believe the FW’s are sorry, for themselves, that they got caught doing “things” and truly regret not receiving our services, money, and sex anymore. They regret that we are no longer useful to them, because a good spouse appliance is hard to replace. Also, it will probably be much more expensive to find a replacement appliance.

    • I agree with these points, Portia. My least favorite element of a fauxpology is “I just didn’t think.” Both my narc dad and ex were fond of this phrase; it is completely infuriating.

  • My reaction to this is always to follow the money. I think this piece of shit knows exactly where are you going to be financially and wants a part of it. He is worse than horrible. I can’t think of the word.

  • I love how FW used so many cliches he ran out and had to reuse 😆

    GAM you have done AMAZING! FW got one thing right – he was holding you back. Look what you can do when 80% of your energy isn’t dealing with his nonsense!

  • I love Tuesday fare. So happy to hear GAM is doing great now but it kills me to hear how simply being loyal (capital crime!) sets such obviously valuable people up to be made to feel less than, unattractive, thrown off balance, to be derailed in their lives, discouraged, etc., by basic creeps.

    It can create an illusion that the creeps are seeking something better but that’s all it is– smoke and mirrors. Abusers tend to ultimately lie down with worse dogs and find their own level (and fleas). When I worked with an organization that provided resources for survivors of domestic violence, the founder– by way of explaining how batterers usually ended up– would point out how Jeffrey Dahmer ended his life: dressed up in pigtails and doing a debasing pickme dance for prison rapists with more upper body strength and fewer brain cells.

    The moral of the story is that many sadists are secretly masochists. Maybe not all but in general. The organization’s founder was making the point that typical clinical victim blaming ignores the fact that it’s actually mostly abusers who are hybristophiliacs– those who are attracted to liars, cheats, felons, etc.– while victims were typically conned into believing the abusers were great people at first. In that sense, victims simply can’t compete unless they can have their basic integrity surgically removed. Like batterers, it seems some cheaters cyclically choose loyal, normal, non-personality disordered chumps as a change of pace after being chewed up a few times by bigger sharks. But then I think the abusers often become stifled from having to pretend they’re someone else and– rinse repeat– they’re back to hankering for the danger pigs.

    In retrospect I think it’s funny that I initially thought that FW’s history of getting hung up on remarkably homely women before he met me meant he had standards and valued character. This meant a lot to me since I’d modeled to pay for school and I’d learned to avoid what are called “model toinkers” in the industry just like my Korean friend refused to date white men with histories of dating exclusively Asian women. It’s because fetishists suck.

    But what if someone fetishizes fuckwittery? The interesting thing is that FW didn’t seem to view his ex things as homely so I never really remarked on it until he began viciously attacking my attractiveness/sexuality/femininity during his affair and I discovered he was in fact an objectifying misogynist.

    He didn’t tell me until after D-Day that every one of his past situationships/relationships had been with cheaters– either engaged or in long term relationships when they started up with him and/or who ended up flagrantly cheating on him. He attempted a few insightful moments during the otherwise useless RIC debacle and said that the reason he didn’t tell me his old flames were all cheats was because he didn’t want me to know where his Achilles heel was: that the WORST thing on earth for him was being cheated on and he didn’t want to hand me that kind of power to control him.

    But see I think that’s not quite it because I really don’t have it in me to do that. I think he knew it and that actually downgraded me in his perspective. I do think it’s probably true that he subjected me to what he himself felt was the worst thing ever because, like serial killers, there’s a tendency for the disordered to reenact their own traumas but with roles reversed and that this is done almost superstitiously as a kind of incantation against being personally victimized (better to kill than be killed in a “kill or be killed” world view). Studies have reported that this is the case for mate-poachers and I’m betting it’s true for cheaters as well. So I think what he was really avoiding was giving me the power to tear down his idols. His sense of self worth as a narcissist depended on what he thought was the stock market value of his conquests. If those conquests were exposed as dank creeps, it reduced his self image. And I think the reason he lied about these relationships or situationships was because he continued the pattern during our marriage. He’d gotten into blatant flirtations with a series of bleary, stumpy, alcoholic married/attached coworkers until he’d finally found one desperate enough to fuck him. Her first come-on was to tell him she wanted to cheat on her long-term boyfriend along with hinting at all the expensive crap she wanted. He admitted that he hadn’t previously found her attractive but ZOING! Upon learning she was a sexually transactional liar, cheat and enabler not to mention a habitual drunk driver prone to Tinder hookups, suddenly her acne scars, nasal monotone, intellectual limitations and beer belly became ravishing traits!

    But somehow I ended up convinced I was utterly worthless for awhile. For some reason the whole thing reminds me of the Stephen King short story of a psycho who hallucinates that random other people are monsters. I feel like my best traits were seen as terrible deficits to FW when he was in cheating mode because, deep down, he’s always been looking for Mrs. Goodbar.

  • Hi all!

    I’m humbled that my update/UBT was published, and that you’ve all received it so well. Seriously touched! There is a certain camaraderie I have with this community that occupies a special place in my heart.

    Things are so much better for me, and not just in an outside-looking-in way. I feel more at peace. It took so long, and it took lots of therapy and support. It was agonizing. But I accomplished things I was too suffocated to accomplish when I was with my ex. I mean, I’d even taken that medical school entrance exam before I left him, and I did mediocre on it. Certainly too poorly to gain entrance to any medical school. Lo and behold, I left him and was able to get my scores up! There’s this hokey saying that I’ve actually really connected with, and it goes something like, “A bird perching on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not in the branch but in its own wings.”

    Also, public service announcement to get tested for STIs / STDs always and forever. My ex- left me with gonorrhea which festered for too long and caused health stuff I still deal with to this day. I manage just fine, but it’s a real bummer. Even if there is someone out there reading this and not ready to leave their partner, just go ahead and get tested ! No one will ever know besides you and your doctor, and getting early treatment will save you so much grief in the long run.

    Stay lovely Chump Nation. My warmest regards !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Loved the bird quote and copied to my notes!
      So glad you are not just surviving, but thriving! It’s a boost to everyone to see that. Good for you!
      There is something special about this community, I certainly agree whole heartedly with you there. It’s probably the only place in my life right now that there are ppl that completely get my experience, that’s truly empowering and validating.
      Keep up the great work in school! (it will be a cake walk from what you went through in your relationship, lol!)
      Sorry for the STD issue, sad that’s a pretty common outcome these FW’s leave as parting gifts. All part of the healing adventure we are on.
      All the best to you and thanks for sharing. Helps the chump team get a tiny glimpse at that end zone somewhere very far out there yet for some of us, put it’s a possibility, that’s huge to know!

    • G and M – So happy to hear things are going well for you. Getting through the various stages of “chumpdom” is not easy.

      Now this might be a function of my advanced age, but I hope you’re also meeting potential partners in real life. Busy schedules can make that difficult, but you will learn so much more about yourself and future friends.

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