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UBT: I Wish You Were Still Nice

NiceThe Universal Bullshit Translator gets a lot of “It’s not what I did, it’s how you reacted” pitchforked into it. Blameshifting lays around in piles. Why can’t you chumps be NICER? The cheaters miss their kibbles!

In today’s UBT submission, Lori writes:

He was on his way out last year and did a complete 180, I figure the “supply” dumped him but here’s his response…….

“It was because you became nice. I wish you were still like that. We wouldn’t be in this situation. But then it became worse and you became pissed at me. About everything under the sun again! I wish you could be that Lori. I would still be there. I don’t know why you have to, then and now, be such an angry person. I was waiting for that Lori to come back. She never did. I’m sorry. No matter what you say or think. I’m sorry.”

Roughly translated: “Lori, I’m sorry you’re such an asshole.”

It was because you became nice.

“Became” — implying you weren’t nice before. You transmogrified into a kinder, gentler you and stopped being a raging Gorgon. Thank you.

I wish you were still like that.

Yes, it had to end because you could not sustain nice. Why oh why did you ever cease kibble production? It’s a mystery to him.

We wouldn’t be in this situation.

What “situation” is that? His cheating and lying? He can’t spell that out, because to do so might confer responsibility upon him, so we’ll just use the euphemism that the current unpleasantness is a “situation.”

But then it became worse and you became pissed at me.

Oh Lori, you just can’t stay nice, can you? Being a terrible person is just congenital, un-niceness just laying below the surface, ready to rear its ugly head. Without provocation!

About everything under the sun again!

Everything! Nothing pleases you! He can’t do ANYTHING right! It’s just you and your unreasonable meanness. You’re a grinch! You hate Christmas! And kittens! And cupcakes! You’re pissed at everything under the sun! He’s under the sun, ergo you’re pissed at him. It’s not like he DID something. There’s no reason to this pissed-offedness. It’s Just Who You Are.

I wish you could be that Lori.

The Nice Lori. The person who fed me kibbles and believed my lies and didn’t stand in the way of my cheating. I miss her. Chumps are so nice. Why can’t you be my chump again?

I would still be there.

My wandering dick still wanders and it’s all your fault.

I don’t know why you have to, then and now, be such an angry person.

The Problem Is Not What I Did, It’s Your Reaction To It.

I was waiting for that Lori to come back. She never did.

I am a sad sausage. I sit by my window and pine for Nice Lori. Sometimes I think I hear her coming, and I paw at the door and wet myself from the excitement… but it was just the mailman. There’s nothing in my mailbox but cobwebs and loneliness. And bills I wish you would pay. And Pottery Barn catalogs addressed to you. Your name taunts me. I remember the Nice Lori and I cry.

Maybe she’ll come back? I’m steadfast and true — unlike Lori. I wait and I wait and I wait. My pants are soiled. But she never returns. (sob)

She abandoned me, all because she couldn’t be nice.

I’m sorry. No matter what you say or think. I’m sorry.

I’ve done nothing whatsoever to apologize for. I can’t say what exactly I did that I’m sorry about.

No matter what you say or think, or experienced, or feel, or exists on this cosmic plane of time and space — I’m sorry.

That you’re not nice.

****

Traveling today. This is a repeat. Be nice everyone!

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.
  • Stay sweet, Lori.

    This whole thing gave me the chills. Big, Arctic, patriarchal chills right down my spine.

    If you aren’t nice, Lori, no one will love you. Remember your place.

    • Same here. Women are supposed to be nice and squash their angry feelings with lovely smiles on their faces. That is true feminity, or not…

      Early in the divorce process, my attorney asked me why I wasn’t angry at what had happened and how it was going. He said he needed me to join him in the anger because we were in a bad fight. Then and there it occurred to me that I was over being “nice.” It was fine and good to fight for what was mine under the law and to demand a level of justice. The divorce was done long-distance with no face-to-face, but I’m sure that my ex thought “what happened to her?” more than a few times. He thought he’d just run over me like I was nothing.

      In the last phone conversation before the lawyers got wound up, my ex told me that I was incapable of making good decisions on my own and that I should discuss major things with him after the divorce. Being a phone call, thankfully he didn’t see my reaction. What a crock! I was perfectly capable before marriage and have managed just fine afterward, even starting a full-time business and buying a house during the pandemic. I hired the perfect attorney for the situation and got a good settlement. I’m not exactly incapable.

      • I had a very similar conversation with my attorney. I had told her that it wasn’t so much that I wanted to protect his feelings, but more that I believed placating his feelings would perhaps result in him being more generous with the division of assets. She flat out asked why the hell I believed that after all he did to me despite being kind and reasonable back then too. She had a point.

  • Lori must have been married to my ex because this sounds exactly like him. Everyone was supposed to paint a phony smile on their face and pretend.

    He was a self proclaimed “nice guy” and accused me of “just wanting to be miserable”.

    In fact, he fought the divorce the hardest once I went grey rock and ignored him because that was very close to the phony surface crap he wanted.

    Why can’t you be nice is code for why can’t you be phony and rugsweep my shitty behavior.

    • FW has committed 2 indictable offences against me in the last 6 weeks (both involving threats) yet I’m the angry one. Riiiiiight!

  • If the thought of me ever crossed Cheating Bastard Ex’s mind, which I highly doubt outside of perhaps the inconvenience caused by a wife appliance not being there to cook and clean, I would hope like hell he is still underestimating me. Go right ahead, let’s see how that works out for you, shall we? It’s working out pretty darned well for me.

    Saying “I’m sorry” … well, some of us hear it, others never will. Those who’ve heard it know it isn’t the panacea that cures the deficit in character that led your partner to cheat. Those of who didn’t hear it may wish they had, but need to trust the words mean little or nothing when they are said.
    He/she wasn’t sorry when you didn’t know. Let that sink in and remind yourself of it often.

    Let your ex practice the gaslighting on someone else. You’ve done your time in hell.

    • “He/she wasn’t sorry when you didn’t know.”

      Such a big difference between cheaters and chumps. No empathy. Only “sorry” (for themselves) when they get caught and have consequences.

      • And so entitled and arrogant that they can’t conceive of how absurd this is. After I left, my ex sobbed into the phone, “It’s just not fair… that you think I destroyed your life.” I was flabbergasted. He DID destroy my life. He got away with it and faced minimal consequences. THAT was the injustice. What a fucking idiot.

    • “Those who’ve heard it know it isn’t the panacea that cures the deficit in character that led your partner to cheat.” Just want to concur with this. I’ve heard “I’m sorry” many, many, MANY times. It doesn’t undo the fact STBX lied to me every single second of two years. It wasn’t some flighty one-off. Even if he did everything “right” from here on out (apologizing when I’m triggered, attending therapy regularly, etc), there is clearly a deficit in character. Or as a friend of mine says, he is limited on his capacity to love others well.

    • After you realize what a liar they are, the apologies with no follow through seem so obviously phony. It just makes a mockery of the remorse you actually deserve from them.

  • The old “guilt inducer” strikes again. What he’s saying is he wishes you’d go back to the old trusting, unsuspecting, genial dupe he knew before he was discovered. You know; the pleasant, happy, contented likeable person that is easy to perpetrate lies, deception and infidelity upon. After all, if you’d just go back to your “place” long enough for him to win your favor again, he could then become more stealthy and devious when he sets you up for round two.

    • “he could then become more stealthy and devious when he sets you up for round two.”

      And if he thinks the excitement is high in the first level, just wait until he gets to round two. He may die of a heart attack.

  • Or, as my untreated alcoholic lying cheating mindfucking diagnosed narcissist mother said about me, “SOME people just WANT to be angry, for. no good reason!”

    (The mother who primed me to pick Traitors X.)

    Anger and crying were not allowed in my family of origin. We were punished mentally, emotionally, psychologically, physically for expressing those feelings. And there was plenty going on to be angry about. I left home when I was 17 and am still unpacking the effects of that to this day.

    Of course there was a similar dynamic happening in my MIRAGE (not marriage) and in his family.

    After DDay, my therapist kept asking me, “Where is your anger?”

    A big part of my recovery, still, is expressing anger in a healthy appropriate way. I get really upset by suggestions and advice to “let it go” and “don’t hang on to it” and “move on” and other admonitions dismissing my feelings by people who are uncomfortable with anger and also probably inept about expressing it.

    Let it THROUGH.

    It’s fucking normal to be fucking angry in this motherfucking fucked up “situation” which is so loaded with fuck-up-ness it’s not fucking funny.

    You have my support to feel angry. Like other feelings, it comes and goes. My efforts to avoid it and not feel
    It only creates more problems.

      • Anger is so important to feel consciously. It’s a core emotion from the wisdom of our bodies, with lots of information for us.

        Here’s Audre Lorde speaking in the context of racial oppression but it’s still valid for any of us trying to live as decent people not wishing to respond to violence with violence but who still need to feel and acknowledge:

        “The angers between women will not kill us if we can articulate them with precision, if we listen to the content of what is said with at least as much intensity as we defend ourselves against the manner of saying. When we turn from anger we turn from insight, saying we will accept only the designs already known, deadly and safely familiar. I have tried to learn my anger’s usefulness to me, as well as its limitations.

        For women raised to fear, too often anger threatens annihilation. In the male construct of brute force, we were taught that our lives depended upon the good will of patriarchal power. The anger of others was to be avoided at all costs because there was nothing to be learned from it but pain, a judgment that we had been bad girls, come up lacking, not done what we were supposed to do. And if we accept our powerlessness, then of course any anger can destroy us.

        But the strength of women lies in recognizing differences between us as creative, and in standing to those distortions which we inherited without blame, but which are now ours to alter. The angers of women can transform difference through insight into power. For anger between peers births change, not destruction, and the discomfort and sense of loss it often causes is not fatal, but a sign of growth.”

        https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/speeches-african-american-history/1981-audre-lorde-uses-anger-women-responding-racism/

        • Hmm, so Audre Lorde thinks it’s acceptable to be pissed at women who cross other women (say, racist women or overly conciliatory women of the same embattled race or women who police others to remain victims or, we might even imagine, mate poachers) because anger between women can be constructive. That’s quite different from what the Barbie Basics of the internet typically claim. Lorde seems to argue that we’re less likely to use brute force so we shouldn’t fear corrective anger between peers.

          Interesting.

    • yes yes f*ck yes! same here. didn’t realize how many maladaptive coping mechanisms i carried into my marriage, and of course FW did, too. big virtual hugs to all of you. starting my day with you all puts a big smile on my face! who could possibly understand this until they have been through it? yikes. 😉

    • VH…after a dozen years since dday, hearing let it go or move on instantly brings on tears. Still working on that in therapy. Being “dismissed” as a wife sets you up for feeling “dismissed” by those who can not process what betrayal does to a person.

    • YES. And what is with therapists joining in this pretense that anger is always terrible? I had one tell me that anger is really just sadness. She was shocked when I told her firmly that anger is ANGER.

    • VH – Your sentence with six versions of ‘fuck’ is my fucking fave. You know how people sometimes start the new year with certain words in mind (courage, gratitude, etc)? Mine has been ‘fuck’ for the last three years.

      • Swearing has been shown to have pain-relieving qualities. I believe it.

        Check out The History of Swearing on Netflix….the episode featuring “fuck” is fucking hilarious!

  • “Why can’t you just enjoy me treating you like shit?” That’s what they’re really saying when they say this shit.

    I got this. Mine even said “All the nasty things I’ve done to you over the years have turned you into someone I hate!” I think he actually expected me to feel bad about that but it gave me some much needed perspective into just how fucked up he was.

    • More than a bit of unintended truth in your ex’s wail. Once someone loads us up with all their resentments and takes them out on us, if we don’t push back they think we deserved it. This is a step beyond being “taken for granted,” but it’s related. And both, I now realize, are part of an imbalance of reciprocity.

    • He hates being reminded of what a fucker he is. Gets in the way of that false narrative he tells himself and others.

  • Be nice and have no independent thoughts, boundaries , do what I want, say nothing and ask nothing for yourself and take care of me!!!! Me! Me! Me! I was raised in narc family( mother) and have a narc ex-fiance . Same script, make yourself bend to me and what I want from you. BARF

  • Talk about adding insult to injury. If being cheated on didn’t cut you to the core, let me salt the wound with some observations about how your reaction “made me do it.” (Of course, the reaction, by definition, comes after the cheating, but FWs use it as a way to defend the cheating ex post facto.)

    And, oh boy, the chump reaction really, really, really hurts the poor FWs. All their wounds won’t lick themselves. While they must “move on” post D-day, they will spend the remainder of their lives feeling sorry for themselves (or at least that’s how x is approaching this new reality THAT HE CAUSED).

    By the way, x wrote this to me shortly after D-day: “If it had been a two-week affair or a two-year affair, it wouldn’t have mattered. You never would have forgiven me.”

    I made him do it.

    • He knew you would not forgive his affairs, Spinach, so that pre-justified his affairs.
      That’s really how they think. Mind-boggling, isn’t it.
      Never mind the fact that they certainly wouldn’t have forgiven you if you’d done it. That’s different, you see, because speshulness.
      I hate these people.

    • “Their wounds won’t like themselves”! Great characterization of the self-regarding sad sausage!

    • Yes, the problem was you were nice, so he could lie and cheat, expecting forgiveness. So, when he decided to cheat, it was because you were too nice. He thought you liked being used! Shocker. When you could never look at him with trusting eyes again, he was so disappointed you were no longer nice. It was all your fault, obviously. “Of course, the reaction comes after . . . “. The mere science of cause and effect is miraculous, isn’t it?

  • Oh, hell NO!
    I am a very nice person.
    I WAS especially nice to my husband.
    Once I found out that he brought someone else into my marriage and forgot to mention it to me for years, nice went out the window and stayed out.

    You want nice? Get it from your fuck buddy. Don’t even think about asking me for it – you lost that right when you CHOSE to have an affair.

    I save nice for those that show me respect and love.
    And I don’t lose any sleep over what he thinks.

    • Boom! “ I save nice for those that show me respect and love.
      And I don’t lose any sleep over what he thinks.” Yeah!

    • It took me most of my life to figure out what I didn’t have to be nice to everyone. Now I have pushed certain people to the outskirts and am only nice to people that I chose. Trust is granted, not earned.

  • “I liked the Lori that didn’t know I was a lying cheating asshole. She was great. She was clueless and did whatever I wanted like a proper appliance. But this Lori has seen me with my mask off is not fun anymore. She’s not nice. Forget about the matrix, Lori. Go back to shit eating and smiling about it.”

    • “Go back to shit eating and smiling about it.””

      Yep, that is really a cheaters perfect world. Oh that it could last forever. For some it does, as their appliances never find out about it.

    • My ex verbally abused me just about every day, yelling at me, calling me names, belittling and insulting me, my interests, my hobbies, how I looked, my weight, my insecurities, my family. And then, because I no longer looked at him with stars in my eyes and called him amazing and brilliant and wonderful, “what else could he do” but cheat? Rather than, maybe, changing his behavior and trying to win back the trust of the wife he’d tormented for a decade+, it was easier for him to “start over with a clean slate” with a stupid girl who barely knew him (about 2 months before the affair started) who thought the sun rose and set with him. She was naïve with very little life experience, not that bright (though she thought she was deep and insightful) so everything he said to her was “mindblowing” and “amazeballs” (yes, a millenial 10 years younger than him, who used words like “totes” and “amazeballs”, the very sort of person he LOVED to make fun of), and of course, ignorant of what he was. She was in a marriage where she felt unappreciated and he was her white knight come to rescue her. How could I, who had seen my husband without his charming mask, compete with that? He said he “didn’t like who he was when he was with me”. I told him point blank that “starting over” didn’t erase the things he’d done, and that wherever he went, he’d take himself with him. He had no interest in changing. He had also systematically over time made me feel so bad about my hobbies, interests, friends, etc. by constantly insulting me for them, calling them stupid, a waste of time, etc. and insisting I spend all my time, energy, and money on him and his “dreams”, that by the time things really fell apart, I had NOTHING. And what did he do? He called me BORING. He said I had no life. When he was the one who made sure I had nothing of my own. I didn’t even know who I was when he left me. I said, “now I have nothing” and he said “that’s your own fault”.

      He ended up abusing OW too, and she left him. I could see the more subtle abuse from the start, see him doing to her what he’d done to me – slowly manipulating her into being what he wanted, into her making him her sole focus. It was part of what allowed me to emotionally detach from him, watching what was essentially a play-by-play repeat of our relationship. But she had no idea. Then apparently they had a vicious, physical fight, about a month after they moved in together and she fled the state, quit her job, changed her phone number, etc. My ex could be very scary. He almost killed me once. Ex STILL didn’t get it. He blamed OW, saying she was making shit up and spreading lies, blamed me for “driving her away” with all the stress of the divorce. Anything but himself. He was more worried about his reputation. He said “it looks bad when TWO women are falsely accusing me of abuse”. It really never, ever occurred to him that maybe, just maybe, HE was abusive.

  • Yet many cheaters say their chump was nice, even too nice; they wanted someone more exciting.
    “She was nice enough, but…”

  • I learned this weekend that even though I have clearly established my protective shields against past ex’s and future Wanna-Be’s with bad intentions, that I still need to work on my shields with the Malignant-at-Large who exist in my family and the world in general. I know my vulnerability with romance, what I learned is this tendency to be nice and considerate of others, and forgiving them their transgressions, gives others with malignant user tendencies the desire to use you as well.

    I do not want to change my nice tendencies. I think the world could use more nice people, and fewer users. But I do believe we have to take defensive measures to keep from being used. I realized this weekend that people in my FOO still expect to be able to fool me and use me, because they used to do it.

    I am in the midst of settling some complex family business regarding the deaths of my dad and brother, and the care of my mother. Business matters have to be communicated, by law. I am estranged from a younger sister who is bi-polar and has depended on me for care and support all of her life. Recently she was extremely disrespectful of me, and I have gone low-contact with her. I only text family business, because I know she owes me an apology and she needs to take responsibility for her actions and words, regardless of her problems.

    She texted to see if she could call me and clarify some information. I said yes. We got through the business, awkwardly, and then she started testing my boundaries. She refuses to admit she did anything wrong. It wasn’t what she said, it was my reaction to it, when I told her she was acting like our father. That is the ultimate insult in our family. According to her, anything she said or did before I said that was nothing after I told her she was acting just like Dad. She was acting that way. That is why I decided low contact, nothing personal. I gave her time to consider actions and words PRIOR to my awful observation. But now, in her mind, they are justified. She screamed “You always have to be right.” She hung up.

    So back to living as if she barely exists. I do not believe I am always right, but I do believe I have a high percentage of being right. I have accomplished more to bring the legal aspect of settling family business in 4 months than my deceased brother had in a year. I have done this while caring for my mother (with dementia). My life has been in turmoil for most of this year, and instead of being supportive, or helpful, she is upset because I asked her for help, and she found that inconvenient. As long as she is not inconvenienced, anything I do which results in good outcomes for her is fine. I am supposed to be “nice” and serve the interests of others.

    I was raised to believe that being nice and serving others was what I was supposed to do, especially since I was merely a girl. Part of the great transformation in my adult life was to realize that I matter, my feelings matter, and other people should not expect me to serve them. That is a tough boundary to maintain. I feel I have done more than enough as an older sister, and now caregiver for my mother. I look forward to the conclusion of this family legal stuff, so that I will have the funds needed to take care of my mother, but not have to care for her in my home.

    I found a new and better life after my divorces. I want my own life back, and I’m going to do some maintenance work on those defense shields.

    • Portia, I hear you. My FOO is very similar. I find life most peaceful when I maintain extremely low to no contact with the ones who are most inconsiderate/selfish. Yesterday I had a baby shower for my son and his GF. I invited only those who are supportive and kind. I didn’t invite the ones who blame and judge and cause negative drama. It was a great party.

    • “I was raised to believe that being nice and serving others was what I was supposed to do, especially since I was merely a girl. Part of the great transformation in my adult life was to realize that I matter, my feelings matter, and other people should not expect me to serve them. That is a tough boundary to maintain.”

      Same. I was raised super religious, where service to others and self-sacrifice is the highest calling, and women are to serve and obey their husbands, care for their families, etc. Boundaries and consent are not taught. Love your enemies. Turn the other cheek. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Etc., etc. Even though I had left the church by the time I got married, those sorts of ideals and lessons are hard to excise from your mind when it’s been your whole upbringing. It’s been a long, slow process to realize that I have to “put on my own oxygen mask first”. That I don’t have to set myself on fire to keep someone else warm. That it’s okay to have needs, to express them. It’s okay say no. It’s okay to not allow certain people into my life.

      My life is so much better now. I am not the same person I was five years ago, and I wouldn’t want to be her again, for all the pain and heartache it cost to get her. I can’t imagine ever allowing anyone to mistreat me the way my husband did again. I went from being unable to imagine my life without him, to not being able to imagine ever being WITH him again. And that was my turning point. He hated that I learned to value myself and stand on my own two feet. To speak up for myself and call him out in court proceedings. To ask for what I was entitled to in the divorce. To tell him no when he tried to guilt, pressure, or scare me into doing what he wanted. It was very empowering.

      • I love “Don’t set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm!” I am definitely going to use that line!!!! Thank you! I would love a pillow with that cross-stitched on it!

      • Yes! This. As much as Judeo-Christian values are a great guideline when the people involved are working in a partnership of mutual goodwill toward the best practical, emotional and spiritual interests of all parties involved, any time that there is someone who is working in their own interests to the detriment of other parties, those values just get used to trample the well-meaning party’s boundaries and rights with impunity. I worked on the assumption that we were all on the same page and one good turn deserved another, but no, narcs will just use your goodwill to crap on you and everything you love, for their own advantage.

        • Yes! This times 1,000! Forgiveness, turning the other cheek, 7×70 all assume a healthy, reciprocal relationship.

          I wish someone would have mentioned that 30 years ago…

    • Portia – Same. Was also raised in the church, taught to serve others before self, etc. Your comments about your sis stood out to me in particular, as my only sib recently reacted poorly to the news of dissolving my marriage. He was so ugly on the phone (yelling, making demands, accusing me of hiding things – he wanted to come visit us and advise us on how we might save our marriage) that I hung up on him, very much going against my “servant” upbringing. I have no expectations he will reach out and apologize. So I started trying to make peace with the fact that we may not be seeing each other as much, that my kids may not be spending as much time with their cousins, that my brother is the one driving a wedge between our families, that I need to go very low-contact to protect myself and my children. A few weeks later he texted that my 40-something SIL has cancer. They have half a dozen children at home. The news has rocked our family. I want to be a support to my SIL – and their kids – but feel I have to keep my brother and his toxicity at arm’s length while I try to navigate my own family through a divorce. Nothing profound to share. Just some commiseration.

    • Hugs (((Portia))). I’m also in the exact same situation as you so eloquently describe, after losing a parent during the lockdown. You are way way mighty ❤️

  • LTC Fuckface said to me, “It is only a problem if you make it a problem .” He truly believed his serial cheater wasn’t problematic unless I made it a problem. I wish I had throat punched him right them and there. I did better. Being the better woman I took him for everything my little meek and mild appearing pitbull of a lawyer could squeeze out of him. I hope LTC Fuckface thinks fondly of his lost appliance on every first and fifteenth of the month. I made it a problem.

    • I love it! I love that you made it a problem, because it was worth making him see that what he did was problematic, for you and all his dependents. These cheaters who throw shit in your face to see if you’ll tolerate it before escalating the next round of abuse, but then get pissy when you actually don’t stand for it like they expected, and throw all kinds of accusations of unreasonableness at you. They seriously underestimate us, don’t they?

  • The only reason our family can’t still take trips together and happily share our beach house like we enjoyed so much is because I have blocked him and shut him completely out of my life. It has zero to do with decades of serial cheating and treating me like crap and all kinds of abuses on me to justify his life style, no, nothing at all to do with that.
    It’s because I can choose to move on and be friends with him, but I haven’t.
    He sees blocking him as a totally unnecessary move, actually shocking to him that I even did it.
    I’m the most stubborn person he’s ever known I’ve heard, we could be such good friends ( triangulate much anyone?) and our extended families can still maintain what was a really close relationship for over 40 years.
    “ People get divorced Chumpasaurus”, as if to say it’s not as big a deal as I am trying to make it out to be. It’s just a part of life.
    My POS exSIL sent me a text early on in the divorce process that read “you can be happy too!!” all dripping with rainbows and butterflies of joy. ( the same one that told me not to come to her son’s wedding because my presence would be too upsetting to her brother, who just deserted our family for his 15 year younger mistress! Let’s not cause him any upset, he’s going through a tough time!)
    Yeah, blocked her and her little dog too!
    I refuse to ‘Kumbaya’ around some Christmas tree with these low lifes on nature. They never will receive the soul they requested from Santa, they will remain empty voids of humanity.
    They project an image of goodness and warmth to the world, and the world buys it, but then stab ppl shamelessly in the back. I never could imagine that existed until I ran right into it myself. (the death of innocence)
    Poor FW, he just fell out of love is all, why can’t I just accept that and move on, life is so short you know.
    The fact that he whipped his dick out time and time again is not even a factor. It’s just who he is, he told me, he needs more than most ppl, he gets bored easily, saying this with a shocking and complete lack of responsibility for any of it being his fault.
    Why oh why can’t I just play nice and buy his narrative like everyone else in his circle has?!
    It would make his life soooo much more pleasant for him and Schmoopie. Why don’t I want them to find happiness? I would want that for him if I ever really loved him. (🖕)
    He’s just a sad sack of potatoes and it is all my fault to react so inappropriately mean and bitter. Don’t bring truth into any of this the truth will hurt too many, let’s avoid that
    The only thing I know for sure in life is that he and his flying monkey family, will be blocked from my life forever.
    Forgiveness, I feel, is greatly overrated.
    He’s long ago used up all his forgiveness tokens from me, I have none at all left and they can’t be refilled.

    • Amen to this. It mirrors my own situation. The only forgiveness I now dish out is to myself for putting up with the FW.

      • I think I need to research the concept of unconditional love because I don’t get what people mean by it. To my mind, the only people who should get unconditional love are children or people with serious cognitive impairment. If I knowingly stabbed my friends and relatives in the back, I wouldn’t expect them to keep loving me.

    • It’s so confusing why bystanders don’t accuse us of being bitter or hung up for, say, not trying to get underpaid jobs back after quitting or not going back on carnival rides where the gears and joints were stuffed with cardboard. Have you noticed that it’s only when sex is somehow involved that bitterness and pathological rumination are ascribed for not repeating the experience? If you get sexually harassed by a manager, you’re bitter for quitting. If the carnie grabbed your crotch as you got on the gondola, you’re hung up for not getting back on the tilt-a-whirl.

  • Fuck being nice! Can I just tell y’all…. I have to deal with a manager that I oversee as an extension of our boss and he told our boss that I’m too “intense” bc his ass refuses to delegate (or do) the work that needs to be done. He straight up went off on both the boss and I, then retracted and told my boss I’m the one who is too “intense”. (Talk about throw me under the bus bc he can’t handle his own shit) So, now I’m disengaging and letting him put his money where his mouth is.😈

  • “Why is _____ so mad all the time” is exactly what he told me his daughter asked. SUPPOSEDLY, he replied that it’s not her fault I did a bad thing she has good reason. IF that’s how the conversation went it’s probably one of the only times he’s stuck up for my “issue” with being nice. I was so nice I got stepped in.
    I feel like this post is a piece of my life and I can’t help but LAUGH! I choose laughing over crying because how many times have I heard: how mad I am. How angry, mean, even got called a bully for expecting he administer consequences as his daughter was lying and stealing in the house. I’m such a bully expecting him to step up and parent. I even heard that I never did (administer consequences) so I guess why should he. That’s a lie by the way. I’m sorry my daughter wasn’t lying and stealing or else there would’ve been some stuff penalties to nip it! I’m sorry we never dealt with those type of problems repeatedly in the home to warrant consequences. And I’m sorry you remember that one time ten years ago when I allowed her to go to a concert while grounded because we’d already paid. Strike me down forgive me, you shouldn’t have to worry about yours stealing. It wasn’t his stuff to worry about. Just ours. No biggie “she’s only “this age”. She’s growing up.” Excuse me, sir for expecting YOU to be the one who helps her get there.
    I’ve been accused of being negative. I’m so negative over telling the truth and what’s really happened here and where we’ve landed because of “it”. The average person doesn’t find me mean, negative, or angry all the time. Hmmm.

  • I was constantly criticized after DDay about my reaction to her cheating but not by what she did. How any comment made by me was used against me. How I was bitter and how I should “pick myself up off the ground”. This is a normal reaction by a cheater. A non apology and then it’s your fault I left you.

    • No one knows how to slay a FW more than another FW so I took a page from FW after he went NC with his horrible mother just before the affair. He mused about how his mother’s flying monkeys would get sick of hearing the same old complaints and fabrications when there were no fresh interactions she could spin and misreport. It was a useful guide but I didn’t repeat FW’s Freudian thing where he secretly missed toxic mommy so much that he literally became her as well as finding her dead-ringer replacement in a genuinely nasty, two-faced, personality disordered schmoopie. Schmoopie even had the same big jaw, short neck and religious hypocrisy. I skipped the last bits and didn’t become FW or hunt for his twin.

  • Remember, it’s a whole lot easier for a Cheater to retain home-base as a platform to launch their operatives. Cake, financial stability, the emotional high of deception fueling the endorphins, and a Plan B are all fall-backs while they perfect the exit plan.

    There is no love or respect for the Chump at this stage. At this stage we’re just a means to an end.

  • I got the same b.s.. I told him “what, you miss the “nice” doormat that you could laugh at, with the OW? The nice doormat who was waiting for you when you were busy bonking the OW? That you had contempt for? That you were too good for, to help? And also, no idea where you read this, but I’ve never heard that cheating turns betrayed spouses into “nice” people. Or that having an affair would mean we would stay married.”

    Ya know, the “prize ” who’se bad wife made him have an affair and who was now kind enough to not want to divorve her. I was so lucky to have him! Lol.

    I

  • I hope Lori is continuing to maintain her boundaries. I’ve been drawing on my CL Lessons a lot this week as I field a string of emails from my EX about fiscal matters involving one of our kids. Each email is spattered with insults and attacks levied against me, false claims about himself, and legal threats.

    But I am being very NICE in my return emails:

    N = Neutral
    I = Implacable
    C = Calm
    E = Expert

    And brief. Very brief. Which is not only practical, but I know it infuriates him that I am not taking the bait.

  • I try to be kind, not nice. I choose to be kind to myself by asserting boundaries with abusers. I no longer rage, I disengage. So much better!

    • Nothing bothers and abuser more than someone who refuses to engage. My ex would rage when I ignored his (irrelevant) emails and texts. I answered the things that needed answering. I refused to take the bait when he tried to goad me to react (threats, name dropping the OW, insulting me). It took practice, and was really scary at first, to not rush to answer emails/texts. To ignore those attempts to upset me. I learned to let it roll off like water off a duck’s back.

      Me: What time should I pick up [son]?
      Him: You’re a horrible mother. I don’t understand why you’re so vicious and antagonistic.
      Me: So 3pm?

      Oh, it made him so furious. But I learned to expect the negative reaction and not be moved by it. “Oh, the toddler is throwing a temper tantrum again. Imagine that.” and continue to ignore. I carefully saved all the abusive things he sent me and forwarded them to my attorney.

      • Wow! Well done.

        Ignoring takes practice. I struggled with that, too. When I blocked x from messaging and told him we would communicate only by email, he truly flipped out, sending a bunch of emails within ten minutes. [These unhinged threats and rants I shared with my attorney.]

        Then, in true passive-aggressive fashion, he said, that he might not check email AT ALL. Na na na na na.

        This was followed by his telling me that he would only check email between 7-8am (or whatever the hell time frame he chose). SO THERE!!

        In the end, he confessed that he would miss “even our angry exchanges.”

        Bottom line: I dropped my end of the rope and walked away, causing him to freak out.

  • Yes, this one is an oldie but a goodie, and it can’t be run too often. I think that Lori may have followed the lame advice of all of those RIC shysters who tell chumps that to win their spouse back, they need to change their responses to their cheater’s behavior. Don’t be angry and needy. Project an image of strength and independence. Show indifference to the cheater’s absences and all the other clues about their infidelity, but keep pouring on the love and kindness. The cheater will be soooooo floored by the chump’s behavior that they’ll stop cheating, recommit to their marriage, and they’ll all live happily ever after.

    This horrifically misguided direction is probably based on the idea that you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, so if you want a different result, you have to behave differently. The REAL result is that cheaters like Mr. Blameshifter in today’s post feel entitled to endless niceness and that their cheating is justified. Of course that RIC Kool-Aid is tasty to cheaters, but it looks like Lori stopped drinking it and dumped it out. Good for her. I hope she went on to better things.

    • “This horrifically misguided direction is probably based on the idea that you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, so if you want a different result, you have to behave differently.”

      Yep, and totally ignoring the fact that most of us chumps have been doing just that for years if not decades and of course nothing changes. If RIC really wanted you to do something different it would be to kick their sorry asses to the curb and not accept them back until they have completed therapy, set up a plan of restitution to the betrayed, and signed a post nup agreement. Assuming of course that is what the betrayed wanted.

    • My stbx HATED when I got strong and independent. “It looks like you can stand on your own two feet. You don’t NEED me anymore” he whined. Yeah, you got that right.

      • I got the exact statement after I finally bought new tires. I had to relearn my decision making skills after leaving but honestly he was the only one who appeared to doubt me. I was standing when I met him, crawled out and standing again. He picked the perfect chump because I brought way more into the relationship than he ever did or could have with his disorders.

  • “There’s nothing in my mailbox but cobwebs and loneliness.”

    My face hurts from laughing. What existed in the world before Chump Lady and UBT came along? Cobwebs, loneliness and heaps and heaps of unchallenged cheater bullshit.

    Michelangelo claimed he merely released the sculpture that was trapped in the stone. CL released the jeering that was always there but must have been trapped in a sea cave or extracellular matrix or something.

  • Similar situation here. EX actually had the nerve to complain that I had become “cold” after finding out about his exit affair. He felt the affair was okay because he “deserved” to be happy and believed that I should, by extension, be happy for him.

    He also blamed me for the affair and well just about everything else. After one ridiculous blameshifting argument, I snapped and asked him to consider that if I had truly any power or control over him, wouldn’t I have used it to make him honest, loving and faithful? Of course he had no answer to that.

    • Yes, why do we chumps always waste our superpowers by levitating cheaters out of their pants and on top of schmoopies? I could never figure that out. I can think of better uses for my prodigious magical powers like stopping drone attacks on wedding parties, predicting the stock market, containing mercury and plastic pollution in groundwater and oceans, non-surgical butt-lifts.

  • I got this for 28 years and when he decided I wasn’t going to be nice enough he left me for someone else. They didn’t work out. Shocking I know.

    So he’s got someone new that he just introduced the kids to. He said “she’s nice”. This has turned out to be a lie. She worships the ground he walks on because he’s an ATM machine but she is not “nice”.

  • Lundy Bancroft in Why Does He Do That says “your partner doesn’t have a problem with his anger, he has a problem with your anger. One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry”.
    My ex trotted out the why are you so angry line as well, despite there being no evidence of that. I had to outsource by anger to my lawyer because the very reason I was the chosen one was because my anger was squished down so far I didnt have access to it anymore.

    • OMG! This ! I read this book 6months ago! How the scales started to fall! My stbx trotted out ” I do not know if I can live with your anger.” At the time I looked him dead in the eye and said ” Well then don’t do shit that you know will piss me off.” I also pointed out that the door swings both ways. He could feel free to walk through it at any time. He didn’t take me up on the offer. Kinda wish he had. Would have been easer in the end. He is out now and my anger gets slippery. Some days are harder than others.

  • This wasn’t what I thought it would be; I was projecting my own story, of course. So bear with me while I comment on my ex’s behavior.

    Mine was a covert narcissist, working hard to look like the good guy. He fawned all over me in public and was contemptuous in private. He had learned to manipulate me with his nice guy, rational approach.

    When we were in the midst of our divorce he told me was “merely a business transaction.” And when I questioned his “failure to remember” that I paid the down on the house from my separate property, he said “it was a negotiating tactic.” This is the same man who said “of course I lied; you were there” when I confronted him about marriage counseling.

    When he discovered he couldn’t manipulate me anymore he changed tactics and now tries to bully me. That doesn’t work either.

    He just took a second run at me to argue that he gets to claim our daughter for taxes. The first time I won the residency test. Now he thinks he gets it because she’s in college and he pays more than me. Nope. Even though she’s in college, it’s considered a temporary absence and gets credited to me. Income only comes into play when there’s an exact 50/50 split. My house is home, his place is her dad’s house.

  • One hard lesson I learned about these turds is that they truly think they are always the victim in any situation. They lie and cheat and steal and are covered in bubbling STDs but but but why aren’t you being nice and sweet 24/7. Exactly TWO days after a nuclear d-day, kids and I were still unable to eat and sleep from the enormity of the revelations, the dbag called his sister, licking his wounds. The reason he was sad was he sent a text to my two daughters, and one of them put a heart emoji, the other put a thumbs up. He was sad because of the thumbs up. OMFG. I’m sitting in a lab, crying to the phlebotomist, getting an STD panel because he was having two simultaneous affairs but SOMEHOW he is the victim because he didn’t get two heart emojis.

  • Lol, at one point my ex asked me, “What happened to the sweet girl I married?” I replied, “You! You happened!”

    • A perfect example of misogyny: controlling and punishing women who challenge male dominance. Misogyny rewards women who reinforce the status quo and punishes those who don’t.

  • The blame will always be with the chump. How dare you allow them to cheat? You are flawed, you deserved it and my god your reaction was just ridiculous. My soon to be ex told me to “be respectful” to his girlfriend- we aren’t even divorced yet now – after maybe a month and a half if that he decided it would be a good idea to post this little hoe on his social media with him and his entire family, that was special let me tell you. The papers were barely filed. Obviously this was a person in his life that he felt strongly enough about to destroy our marriage over and what’s wrong with me for not being respectful? What planet do people live on to think this way? Just wow.

  • My divorce was final years ago so maybe this doesn’t apply but recently I’ve become friends with an older woman who accuses me of negativity a lot.

    Honestly right now there’s a lot of really bad stuff going on in my life and I thought you could talk about that with a friend. Not this friend.

    I’m starting to realize that the ex-husband was not the only negative relationship in my life and that I really need to evaluate.

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