My ex-husband said some of the most absurd things after I caught him cheating and I filed for divorce. You know, things that make you say, WTF?! My therapist said it was all a “mind f*ck”– just another way to keep me off-balance and confused.
It certainly worked because in the beginning I tried and tried to understand what he meant by the things he said. It felt like my brain was going to short circuit as it worked overtime trying to make sense of things that made no sense. I now know that it’s because none of what he said was rooted in reality. Just more BS to pile on to the already giant Gaslighting Mountain.
For background, my ex-husband is a successful leader with a narcissist’s overabundance of confidence. For 27 years I was a devoted and loving wife appliance who made my needs infinitesimal. He was always an upbeat person, probably because he got his way in pretty much all things. We rarely fought and I thought we were a great team, so I was completely blindsided by his betrayal.
In retrospect I see how unequal our relationship was. I was pretty much a doormat that he ignored and he was the superstar who ran the show. Once I found out about my ex-husband’s secret double life, I wised up and filed for divorce. That is when he opened the floodgates and really let the BS flow, providing me with many WTF moments:
“I think the divorce will be the best thing to happen to our marriage. The way to save our marriage is to break it up so that we can start it over again.” (WTF?!)
“I didn’t tell you about it because I couldn’t trust you.” (He kept his affair hidden from me because I was untrustworthy? WTF?!)
“I do believe there was abuse in our relationship….but you’re not ready to have that conversation.” (I had told him his cheating and lying was emotional abuse, so he responded by implying that I had abused him! I think my brain exploded when he said that. The biggest WTF?!! of all time.)
“It’s your fault that I took that money out of the account. If you had moved it to the savings account like I asked, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Since it was there, I had the right to use it as I saw fit.” (Without my knowledge, he had taken $18,000 out of my bank account to pay off his credit card, which had charges for luxury spa and hotel dates with his girlfriend. I only found out about it when I scrutinized our finances, which he had always managed. So he stole my money and I am to blame? WTF?!)
“You need to stop playing the victim. I’m really concerned about you because it’s clear you haven’t dealt with your anger yet.” (Said two weeks after DDay. Are you for real? WTF!)
Five years later I am happy to be on my own, away from the duplicity and disrespect. With enough distance, I can laugh at the nonsense, but it did take time and no contact to get here.
I would love to hear other chumps’ WTF head scratchers for the Friday Challenge. I am sure there will be a lot that are similar to mine since cheaters seem to share the same playbook.
Chump Lady, your book and blog have helped me see the BS for what it is. Thank you for helping all of us chumps!
Congrats on getting free of Mr. Mindfuck. We’ve all been there, and this blog is really nothing but a compendium of stupid shit cheaters say, so you can all compare notes. They’re not original. (And you aren’t freak of the week. Sadly, this crap is very common. There are only so many ways to manipulate a person.)
That said, they do come up with some doozies. I think one of my favorites is: “I didn’t cheat on you, I cheated on your idea that I wouldn’t cheat on you.” Ooh… meta brain twizzler…
You gotta hand it to your ex to think on his feet like that, to make this all your fault. Or perhaps he’d been saving up all his mindfuckery like one big bombing of Dresden. It m must come as a shock to cheaters to be found out, so it’s DARVO, DARVO, DARVO! to gain the upper hand again.
So, your Friday Challenge wish is granted. CN — what nuggets of crazy were you served after D-Day?