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UBT: I Always Felt Trapped

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Hi Chump Lady,

It’s been since Oct 2021 that he left me for the OW. Finally, today I got an email from him trying to explain what went wrong. It’s a half arse “sorry not sorry” email. I’d love for you to decode this for me.

Hi
There was never going to be the right moment to tell you how I felt. Communicating what I was going through seemed impossible.
It wasn’t intentional to go out and find someone else, it just developed over time. I first met Angela around August through the dogs playing together. We would run into each other occasionally for about a month after that, along with some other people. After the camp we exchanged numbers so I could show her some of the walking tracks in forest. No different to what I did with the lady from West End. It was just companionship at the beginning but over time feelings progressed from there. Yes, I allowed it to happen and chose not to walk away. After having not experienced any emotional connection for some time, it filled a void. There was definitely nothing physical going on. Companionship is also the reason. I can truthfully say it was not limerence and as much as I’m doubtful, I hope you can believe me.

You ask, how I can go from one relationship to another? I’m not against relationships. I just don’t think we’re compatible. I feel we’ve evolved over the years and differences have come between us.

If I didn’t meet Angela, then yes, we‘d probably still be continuing as usual, me masking my emotions and feelings, resenting you and biding time till the kids left school.

I was depressed from always trying to figure out the cause. It’s draining just having to constantly think about it. You being on your phone a lot, did bother me, but I didn’t want to mention it because I figured it was your downtime. The thing is, it felt like you were never present and I think it’s important that you don’t carry that mistake into future relationships.

I apologise for any betrayal.

The repercussions of walking away from a marriage is so overwhelming and the damages that come with it, make it an unbearable decision. You know that you’re going to hurt everyone. The pros out weigh the cons. Having to surrender the home, income, assets, financial security, extra expenses etc. it’s a lot to undo, so I say nothing. If I do, I risk losing everything.

Regarding your comment about me not telling ‘everyone’ about having an emotional affair. My friends are not concerned with the what, how and when or if I had an emotional or even a physical affair, they are MY friends who support me regardless of what you think of me, so stop trying to vilify me.

Say whatever you want to your friends and family, but leave mine out of it. And as for disrespecting me in front of the kids, stop it! Save it for someone else. I don’t expect us to be friends but we need to remain friendly. My family and friends support me! And I imagine your friends are all doing the same for you.

I’m tired of always thinking what’s wrong with me. I need change to happen otherwise I’ll never get out of this constant negative loop of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction. I want to feel better and be a better father and improve my relationship with the kids. I’m not sure what the future holds or what I need to do but it’s important that I act on making changes, unfortunately that includes our relationship. Work is another area which I may have to look at changing. I’ve always felt trapped in my job because of my responsibilities to provide for the family and if I were to take a step back then it would impact us all.

I understand you’re hurting and it was all a shock. I never openly discussed anything because there was no way I could avoid hurting you and I just wanted to keep the peace. I also didn’t really have an explanation because I’m still in the process of figuring it out. As much as you’d like me to give you all the answers right now, I’m afraid you’ll have to give me time.

The kids are doing well and they’re always happy when I see them. I’m sure they are sad about what has happened but they are certainly not traumatised like you suggest. As parents we are still the same people, the kids just have to get used to a different way of life.

At times I can be insensitive without even realising it , but I do feel remorseful and even embarrassed when it is brought to my attention. Sometimes when I’m thinking about something, my head’s in a box, and I fail to see what’s around me.

And about me throwing stuff ‘in your face’. When have I ever been malicious? Even to those that I despise. Never. If I wanted to do any such thing I’d just go and plaster stuff on Facebook like everyone else.

Regards

FW

Amachump

****

Dear Amachump,

Wow. That’s a metric ton of bullshit. I hope there aren’t any supply chain issues with the amount of Lebkuchen it’s going to take to reward the Universal Bullshit Translator for this one. (Sigh) It is a demanding machine.

Hi
There was never going to be the right moment to tell you how I felt.

So here’s a self-serving load of wank a year later. This is the moment. Happy abandonment anniversary!

Communicating what I was going through seemed impossible.

Arts funding has dried up for Fuckwit Puppet Theatre.

It wasn’t intentional to go out and find someone else, it just developed over time. I first met Angela around August through the dogs playing together. We would run into each other occasionally for about a month after that, along with some other people. After the camp we exchanged numbers so I could show her some of the walking tracks in forest. No different to what I did with the lady from West End.

This isn’t the first person I’ve unintentionally found.

It was just companionship at the beginning but over time feelings progressed from there. Yes, I allowed it to happen and chose not to walk away. After having not experienced any emotional connection for some time, it filled a void. There was definitely nothing physical going on. Companionship is also the reason. I can truthfully say it was not limerence and as much as I’m doubtful, I hope you can believe me.

I am a sad, unloved orifice. She filled my void.

Not in the physical sense. You can assume a man who abandons his family for another woman is utterly chaste. In the You Suck sense, however, I can truthfully say this is all your fault. I hope you can believe me.

You ask, how I can go from one relationship to another? I’m not against relationships. I just don’t think we’re compatible. I feel we’ve evolved over the years and differences have come between us.

I’m not against relationships. I’m against ethical relationships. We’re not compatible.

If I didn’t meet Angela, then yes, we‘d probably still be continuing as usual, me masking my emotions and feelings, resenting you and biding time till the kids left school.

Now Angela gets all my masked emotions and resentments. #winning

I was depressed from always trying to figure out the cause. It’s draining just having to constantly think about it. You being on your phone a lot, did bother me, but I didn’t want to mention it because I figured it was your downtime. The thing is, it felt like you were never present and I think it’s important that you don’t carry that mistake into future relationships.

Here’s some relationship advice from a guy who abandoned his family and needs a lay down after a hard nanosecond of introspection.

The UBT thinks someone should stuff you in a drain. During their downtime.

I apologise for any betrayal.

If I spilled betrayal anywhere, if spatters of it got on your clothing, I apologize for any betrayal. Maybe the dog tracked it in. I have no idea where betrayal comes from. Or what pronouns are for.

The repercussions of walking away from a marriage is so overwhelming and the damages that come with it, make it an unbearable decision. You know that you’re going to hurt everyone. The pros out weigh the cons. Having to surrender the home, income, assets, financial security, extra expenses etc. it’s a lot to undo, so I say nothing. If I do, I risk losing everything.

I weighed the consequences of abandoning you and the kids and the pros outweighed the cons.

Honest conversations, divorce lawyers, and generous settlements are so unbearable.

Regarding your comment about me not telling ‘everyone’ about having an emotional affair. My friends are not concerned with the what, how and when or if I had an emotional or even a physical affair, they are MY friends who support me regardless of what you think of me, so stop trying to vilify me.

My friends are NOT concerned, which is why I am so concerned that you not vilify me. Do not penetrate their deep forcefields of my presumed awesomeness with the truth. IT WILL NOT STAND.

Say whatever you want to your friends and family, but leave mine out of it. And as for disrespecting me in front of the kids, stop it! Save it for someone else. I don’t expect us to be friends but we need to remain friendly. My family and friends support me! And I imagine your friends are all doing the same for you.

Don’t disrespect me in front of the kids. My abandonment says volumes without you.

We need to remain friendly so you’ll bolster my image. Not as friends, but as someone who fucked you over and demands you never speak of it. Do me a solid.

I’m tired of always thinking what’s wrong with me. I need change to happen otherwise I’ll never get out of this constant negative loop of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction.

sadz

I want to feel better and be a better father and improve my relationship with the kids. I’m not sure what the future holds or what I need to do but it’s important that I act on making changes, unfortunately that includes our relationship.

I have no idea how to improve my relationship with the kids I walked out on. Unfortunately, that includes my relationship you there caring, clothing, and feeding them. Help me feel better about myself!

Work is another area which I may have to look at changing. I’ve always felt trapped in my job because of my responsibilities to provide for the family and if I were to take a step back then it would impact us all.

Veiled threats to voluntarily impoverish us all boost my self-esteem.

Providing for my family is a trap. I’ve liberated myself from the family, next I’ll do the job.

I understand you’re hurting and it was all a shock. I never openly discussed anything because there was no way I could avoid hurting you and I just wanted to keep the peace. I also didn’t really have an explanation because I’m still in the process of figuring it out. As much as you’d like me to give you all the answers right now, I’m afraid you’ll have to give me time.

Yeah, no rush on those consequences, K? I’d hate for you to call a lawyer while I’m lost in contemplation.

The kids are doing well and they’re always happy when I see them. I’m sure they are sad about what has happened but they are certainly not traumatised like you suggest. As parents we are still the same people, the kids just have to get used to a different way of life.

It’s ridiculous that kids would be traumatized by abandonment. I see them sometimes! After I’ve gnawed the bonds of my captivity, we have a hamburger. They look happy enough.

At times I can be insensitive without even realising it , but I do feel remorseful and even embarrassed when it is brought to my attention. Sometimes when I’m thinking about something, my head’s in a box, and I fail to see what’s around me.

Ergo, you can put a lot of stock in this apology and my waffly thoughts about changing. I’m oblivious.

The UBT would like to suggest a zinc box and permanent darkness.

And about me throwing stuff ‘in your face’. When have I ever been malicious? Even to those that I despise. Never. If I wanted to do any such thing I’d just go and plaster stuff on Facebook like everyone else.

When have I ever been malicious? That whole walking out on my family last year? Never!

Real maliciousness is shit-posting on Facebook. Which I don’t do. Ergo.. blameless.

Regards!

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.
  • “I apologise for any betrayal”.

    Motherlode of non-apology apology.

    On the surface this FW comes across nicer than many of the other betrayers here but me wonders if that was part of his schtick. If my ax-murderer were polite before he hacked me up, would that be better?

    • My FWs entire outer persona is the sweet, loveable, gentle and kind nurturer. If they only knew the real him. He also didn’t want anyone to know why we divorced, because it would definitely harm his brand. F him.

      • Mine told his family/friends/Switzerland friends ALL about what he was up to, well before he bothered to clue me in, though I asked him multiple times. Then had the audacity to ask whom I had been talking to so that he could tell “his side” of the story. Because “there are always two sides”.

        So it was OK for HIM to discuss his seedy behavior, but not ME, with mutual friends.

        BTW, I cut off the Switzerland friends, though am polite when I run into them. They, apparently, have cut him off.

    • Unicornnomore, it’s part of his schtick. My FW gets more and more tortuously polite the more upset he is by something, or the more he has to hide/cover. His schtick is the upstanding citizen, the Good Person with Integrity. He also “resented” me and, like this fine fellow, never specified what exactly drew his ire. Maybe I was cock blocking him by still being alive? Leave it open ended, as long as it somehow becomes me who failed him.

      They are like spoiled children playing Good Father and Man of the House, pissed off when you see through it and stop playing pretend with them. They just pretend harder and are confused why it’s not working when it worked for so many years.

      These guys are analogous to the Nice Guy in dating, aka someone who puts on a nice guy act and feels entitled to xyz because he said the nice words and paid for dinner. They are not nice at all, it’s all a schtick to get you to respond the way they want, and so they can blame you when you don’t.

      • I will believe you even though I have zero experience to inform me – my betrayer was mean… so much so that now that I’m out of it, I look back and can’t believe what passed for “normal” in our house.

        • Mine was mean behind closed doors. To outsiders he was the nice guy, funny, personable, charming. With me he was rude, critical, arrogant and mean. Behind closed doors he was a tyrant. No one would believe the difference in personality. As a matter of fact they didn’t. When he moved out most of our friends believed his lies and sided with him.

      • “They just pretend harder and are confused why it’s not working when it worked for so many years.” Yes. I feel this is what happened at my house. Over the years I matured into an adult, and X did not, so he found another someone who hadn’t emotionally matured either and never questioned his bullshit (bc their relationship was boinking in the back of cars and saying “I love you” in DMs). That whole real-life v not-real-life conundrum.

        • Even in his 40s, my ex was perpetually 19, and hated the responsibility that came with being an adult (having to hold a steady job, for instance). He left me for someone who described herself as “like a 15 year old” (even though she was in her 30s), so clearly they were perfect for one another.

        • Before we married, he sort-of marginally grew up but from the very day we married, he began to blame me for everything that went wrong, absolutely everything. He even said “the best thing about marriage is having someone to blame everything on”. I thought he was kidding but oddly, he gave me little warnings about how his mind worked.

          He stopped maturing and gaining internal strength from that moment on. When something went wrong, he turned on me in a verbally violent way and went into a rage about why it was my fault. We once had a car that was like 20 years old that he had bought new and was a great car…a door handle broke and he blasted into the house screaming that it was all my fault.

          His tolerance for tedium or difficulty was zero…he had this delicate equilibrium and could be thrown off into crisis by the smallest issue. And like someone else mentioned, he was a tyrant behind closed doors.

    • Here’s some drivel that I believe will absolve me of any perception of malice for having blown up our family with abject selfishness. I believe this, because I am a disordered pile of human refuse.

    • I disagree. I thought the whole letter was vile especially the way, in every paragraph he blames amachump. I would rather receive nothing than this mother lode of toxicity.

  • His story reeks of bullshit. What in the hell was he doing wandering around in the woods with a dog “helping” women find trails? Riiiiigggghhhhtttt! He now is living with a woman who does not care that the two of them broke up a family. Does he work? He must have spent all his time in the woods. I hope he checked for ticks.

  • My own FW could have written this. His voice. The relationship advice. The poor-me BS. The sorry-not-sorry. The idea that it just happened, innocently. The passive voice. The “I couldn’t tell you bc of how you’d react.” The veiled threats. All of it.

    I know we talk about playbooks often, but wow. Just wow.

    • On dday I got the line about not being able to tell me about his multipi-year unhappiness because of how I’d react. WTF. Reading this letter made me sad as I feel this is how ex would craft a letter to me regarding his justification for abandoning our marriage. BUT our super hero, Chump Lady & her trusty sidekick, blew right through the BS. I feel better now. Once again the “skein” proves how the disordered walk amongst us.

      • The tone is exactly like the ex’s tone, down to the ‘Regards’. At the time when the ex was sending me his ‘official’ emails, the sign off ‘Regards’ which he used at work broke my heart every time I read it. In my case, there was an element of him running all his emails past life coach exgfOW first. But the BS was all his; the run past was to reassure her that he was being appropriately distant. I suppose in her skewed brain, if he could get back with her (went out twice for a couple of years when at school and in his early twenties and never lived together), he could theoretically get back with his 26 years wife. Theoretical because if she knew anything about me she would know that I would not touch him again with the longest of barge poles. But I quite like the idea that she might worry about it or that it might be thrown at her in the inevitable rows that they will by now be having, if they are still together. The script is pretty much the same even where the content differs. They are despicable and not to be taken seriously, no matter how hard that is.

        • Love this reply ☝🏼

          My Ex-FW is a MFT and he would sign his emails with his name and title. It made me furious beyond belief that he could blow our family apart and the sign his emails with as a Marriage Family Therapist. Sick bastard!

        • My ex FW signed off his emails with “Cheers”. It hurt like hell. Later I got the “Regards” instead 🙄

    • Yup. My FW could have written this, and he still believes it all years later. These are the clueless, attachment disordered, covert narcs of the cheating world. “You suck, I had no choice but to save myself” (from what? Adulting? Parenting? Being a partner?) yawn. Good riddance.

      I’m “home” to my now basically adult kids and they see the heart incapable of bonding through the image of “nice guy” he projects to everyone else.

    • Ditto!
      My stbx actually said, “We both know you would have reacted poorly,” when I asked him why he had lied a couple years ago about not cheating and not being unhappy in the relationship. (he had just revealed he had been cheating for 5 years)

    • Mine’s the same. He seems genuinely perturbed that there should be any ill will toward him at all. I mean, he didn’t ask for this! I didn’t ask for this! That just makes us equals in this turn of the mercurial fates! You can’t be UPSET with me about it!

  • Amachump,

    Your Ex really was quite the prize, wasn’t he? If the BS that he poured into that communication with you is representative of him and his style, I would suggest you going as far “No Contact” as your co-parenting responsibilities allow.

    LFTT

    PS – I did find the advice that he gave not spending so much time on your phone in your next relationship rather ironic; I would imagine that with all of the time that he was devoting to “dog walking.” he wasn’t exactly present much.

    • “PS – I did find the advice that he gave not spending so much time on your phone in your next relationship rather ironic; I would imagine that with all of the time that he was devoting to “dog walking.” he wasn’t exactly present much.”

      Cheaters specialize in double standards. It’s infuriating that they don’t see it.

      Head in a box, indeed!

      • I would submit that Amachump’s FW does not have his head in a box; he has it firmly up his ar*e.

        LFTT

    • She was on her phone sounds like bagged salad to me.

      Me? I’m on my phone constantly, too. I’m also the only one adulting in my house, organizing outings for my child, communicating with his school, buying clothes and things needed, making meal and grocery lists. “You’re not social enough,” he says as we have people over and I’m the only one cleaning the house and cooking. I’d be off my phone if FW pulled his weight. But oh, it’s 6:30 and off he goes to the neighborhood league meeting. (As if I believe that.) He can’t be bothered with these plebeian concerns.

  • Gosh, this is ick!

    I keyed on the argument that the kids must be OK because they are acting OK. Gosh, that assumes that he knows what is inside. Play-acting gets them through, but it’s good for them long-term.

    Having watched my college kids work through our mess, I think it was actually better that they went through that transition without him around. He had taken off to live several states away, so they didn’t have to play-act around him. They weren’t happy with me either during that period, but at least I was there for the family events and graduations. He was not. In the end, they put it all together and went no contact and have remained so.

    A mess, a mess…

    • Our therapist told me that often during this sort of upheaval, the children will be absolute angels for the parent they fear will abandon them if they don’t act right, and will only act out and misbehave like normal or express their frustration at things with the “safe” parent because they know that parent won’t abandon them. It really helped me to understand what was going on with my son, as he was only 3 when FW did his garbage. My ex thinks “Oh, our son is perfectly happy when he’s with me, everything is fine” when he’d throw an absolute wobbly when he would come home to me because he felt he couldn’t express himself with my ex. Wild.

      • My new wife’s ten year old son would invariably dissolve into tears when he came home from the household of his father and AP. He was not allowed to express any honest emotions there. He was expected to look happy about his life being turned upside down. Otherwise he was told to “take your feelings to your room.” He learned that he had to earn his father’s love and attention by playing a role.

        • My now husband and I realized that our son needed about half a day to unwind alone in his room when he came home from his dad’s. Also, to expect about a day of absolute crabbiness. After that, he was normal. Now that he’s a teenager, it isn’t so bad, but it might just be all wrapped up in his normal teenager behavior these days. 🙂

          • Same. I’d just let my son watch TV the first day he was home from his dad’s. He needed to unwind. I learned not to take his bad mood personally. It meant he felt safe to express himself with me. I did mourn the loss of a large part of the time I had with him that was spent undoing the damage of the other household rather than enjoying our time togeter, but that’s my job as a parent – to care for my son and support him.

            I have my son 100% of the time now (FW died), and things are much better. My son is happy and relaxed.

        • “Otherwise he was told to “take your feelings to your room”

          Dear God. That is just so unfathomably heartless and cruel. And so typical of fuckwits in general – they can’t handle the truth about themselves, even from a child. Poor little boy. Thank God he has two sane people to vent to.

        • Children of narcissists learn at a young age that they have to “earn” the narc parent’s love and attention or suffer discard. I hope for your stepson’s sake he starts to revolt.

        • That’s interesting. My 16 year old is the same. She’s totally out of sorts after visiting her dad. I’ve noticed that she’s now trying very hard to please him, in spite of him paying me no support and giving her no money either. He does nothing for her and yet, she is forever concerned that they have a good relationship. I feel sad for her because he’s not actually there for her and she can’t see it yet.

      • Parenting my teens after my ex abandoned up with a text when they were in middle school has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ex has never lost a moment of sleep through it all.

        Literally thousands of hours of listening, loving, disciplining, waiting for them to come home and therapies later, I think both kids are now on the right path, with self harming behaviors replaced with functional tools. They are both following their passions and my 20 year already identifies as a “recovered addict.” I’ve kept their dad apprised along the way and also charged him 50% of all their therapies/programs.

        Their “dad” who moved two states away when the divorce finalized and never took them overnight except for “his” holidays, will still slip up and mention “how well they’ve done.” I swear he still sees the unwounded innocents as they were before he abandoned them. Once again he has NO CLUE how his actions have hurt others, and believes their polite indifference to him, just as he believes his Schmoopie’s gold digging “love.”

        He’s actually surprised and dismayed that my son is dropping out of his current college and moving back home with me to take community college classes. If he knew my son, he’d be celebrating and he’d understand the strength it has taken for a 20 year old to know what he needs. (Distance from the alcohol-fueled parties, a career that ignites his passion). Guess dropping out of college doesn’t corroborate FW’s story of how the kids were fine after the abandonment.

        Despite the fact that both of my kids’ college has been 100% paid by my work tuition program and a college fund from my dad, he wants me to know he won’t be contributing to “the extra years of college” this major change will cause.

        Keep your non-money *%#hole,” we got this.

        • Such similar stories… Mine were commuter college students, but it was still both the scariest and hardest period of parenting ever. At least with a toddler, they eventually wear themselves out, and you pretty much know where they are and who they are with all of the time. After my ex left, our college kids both went from straight-and-narrow kids to kids who “experimented” a bit. The change was almost overnight. Dad was completely out of the picture, so I was it.

          Thankfully, by working through my own issues and being there, they came to respect me. They worked through their issues and graduated with honors and got top-notch jobs. Last summer he sent them a card, inviting them for the holidays. They didn’t respond to him. My older one noted that he hadn’t seen his dad since his dad packed up four years before, and the chapter was closed in his mind. I just nodded.

          Prior to the split, I had been paying for college out of a small inheritance which I foolishly split with my ex when he left. After that, the three of us scrambled with multiple jobs, and both kids got a good part of their tuition covered via various programs. Helping with tuition came up during the divorce negotiations, but the way their father wanted it was full of red flags. My attorney recommended taking that out and telling my ex how to pay whatever amount he wanted directly to the college. Never happened.

          Yes, we got this.

      • Thank you for this. I had a feeling this is what has been happening to me, but these days I can use all the validation I can get. My daughter is a big mess with me and it’s all good times at Daddy’s. I have noticed that when she says hurtful things to me, she has a quizzical look on her face like she’s testing my reaction. I tell her that she hurt my feelings, but that I understand she’s upset and will always be here to listen – or to just sit with her or give her space if she doesn’t feel like talking.

        • “she has a quizzical look on her face like she’s testing my reaction” – likely she’s testing your boundaries to see if she’s safe with you. My son did much the same. His dad overreacted to his bad behavior, imposing harsh punishments even for accidents (like making him write a 26 point apology for accidentally breaking the video game console). You’re doing exactly the right thing. Big hugs. It’s so hard to be the outlet for our kids’ frustrations, but they need that so badly in these situations.

      • Yes!!!!!!! I get the angry, depressed, hurting, screaming, fighting, hitting, etc little girl who accuses me for taking her happyiness away for the last 6 years (he left when she was four). He says, “she seems to being adapting well” and has refused to meet with me in a joint therapy session with both of our therapist’s, he has never contacted our child’s therapist, and has not asked me once how she is doing emotionally or psychologically. There is zero co-parenting going on here.

    • My 8 year old son was so depressed, he was talking about self harm and suicide. When we went to the mental health ward, FW kept saying “I haven’t heard anything like that from him”. Yeah, no shit. You’re too busy with your whore to notice your kid is suffering. That and my son learned to hide his feelings from his dad. I WATCHED my son, sobbing uncontrollably on the doorstep at drop off suddenly plaster a smile on his face as soon as his dad opened the door. I don’t think unhappiness was tolerated by FW, especially my son wanting to be with mommy. I knew that, because when my son would come home, he’d dump all his negative emotions on me, and I had to deal with sullenness and temper tantrums and anger. It hurt, but on the other hand, I knew my son felt safe to express those negative emotions to me, when I don’t think he felt that way with his narcissistic and angry father.

      FW died last year, and the difference in my son is dramatic. No more anxiety, no more depression. Even with a tragedy, he’s so much better off.

      • They don’t see anything wrong with the kids because they’ve got their heads in boxes. Or in holes. Or up their asses.

        • I’m not one to rejoice at anyone’s death, but I admit my overwhelming emotion on finding out (after the shock, and honestly anger at him putting us through that, since he took his own life) was RELIEF. He can’t abuse either me or our son anymore. We are much better off now.

        • Chumpolicious – I’ve been wanting to post a comment like yours for so long to any chump whose ex-FW has passed away, but I wasn’t sure how it would make me look to everyone so I never commented. I don’t really wish my ex-FW dead, I don’t think so anyway, but when someone mentions that their ex-FW is dead, I get this little twinge of envy and I just think how much happier I’d probably be if ex-FW weren’t here. It think it would just make it easier to emotionally let go of everything that happened. I’m totally NC but I still feel that it would help me emotionally to know he wasn’t still out there on the same planet with me. I think I must sound like a horrible person, but I can’t help it. Sorry, everyone. I hope what I’m saying makes sense and that I didn’t offend anyone.

          • I agree completely. Many probably feel this way but do not dare to express the secret hope. Personally, I try to stay healthy so I can outlive him. An Italian female friend sent me a video of a woman who sings a song about being an “Aspettante Vedova” and I’d translate that as a “Widow-in-Waiting”. She wasn’t chumped and had her husband there nearby. She referred to him as an aspettante cadavero…..

    • Abandonment is a very serious issue for children, whether caused by divorce or death. I believe it is critical to get kids into therapy ASAP. It can have life-long consequences.

      Please bear in mind I am a firm believer in modeling sane parent behavior, and that includes not tolerating abuse, which infidelity IS. I know people whose lives have been saved from years of abuse. Divorce that entitled a$$hole, and show your kids what MIGHTY is. Just keep in mind that the emotional upheaval you are experiencing is also being experienced by your kids, and they will need help from a third party capable of helping them process what has happened.

      One xFW lost his dad to death when he was three. FW was seriously narcissistic AND bi-polar.

      Second xFW lost his dad to divorce when he was three, then permanently at age 8 when his dad moved far away. Dad’s last words to his sons before moving was “You kids are getting too dependent on me, so I’m moving. It is for your own good.” FW, again, was seriously narcissistic.

      Both FWs seemed to be unable to fully commit to any relationship, and were always chasing the next best thing (pussy), but, as the CL says, this is not my skein to unravel. MY skein has to do with why I am attracted to such people.

    • Right? Mine are 4 and 6. They’re great when he’s here (he visits most nights to do bedtime routine until we get a permanent parenting order worked out). He doesn’t get to see or hear the meltdowns over “I miss daddy” or “I want daddy to move back home”. They take all that shit out on ME because they’re afraid he’s going to leave if they upset him. The IDEA that the kids are better for the split because he deems himself more engaged for the hour a day that he sees them is just so self-serving and toxic I can’t even begin to work out how to engage with it.

  • Yesss….I really needed this today. Sounds just like my ex. Where do they get this script? I received a similar way too little, way to late, sorry-not-sorry email from ex a few months ago. A didn’t respond. He also said “we were never really compatible anyway.” Weird how that never came up earlier in the course of our 20-year relationship!

    • A few more choice quotes from my ex:
      (Re OW) “I hardly know her, she means nothing to me. But I really want to see where this is going to go”
      and
      “I’m 62 now, I don’t have much time left” Ie time left to fuck around with as many women as possible?

      • Exactly the lines I got from my “really nice guy” as he was described.
        “She means nothing to me” ( I guess that covered all of the others too) and “my bio clock is ticking” at 59 years old .
        My scars include suspicion of all “really nice guys”

        • Lauren, this is so true! I had to see an insurance agent in person & I felt so sick & my skin was tingling because he was such a nice guy & very good looking too, somewhat like the XH used to look like. I had the Heebee jeebees for days.

          • Yup. My FW is so nice and sweet and concerned about everyone else. But looked dispassionately at me as I was crumpled on the floor crying and distraught. That is when the flip switched in me. I realized he had ZERO empathy. That he did not care about me. I real wake up call to me. Made everything easier for me.

    • I also got “we were never compatible” but phrased a little differently. It was the thing that stung the most. We were never right for one another and yet we got married and reproduced because…momentum? Not entirely sure.

      • Limbo chumpion reply:
        “momentum” propelled you forward, no doubt, hahaha! 🤣
        What I got from my FW was that he could communicate with absolutely every other person on this earth, except me! He knew that hurt me to hear it, so of course, I heard it a lot. He loved that gaslighting trick.
        No one wanted to understand him better than me or would take that level of time to do so. Others were caught up in the tornado of him, the amazing man, so gifted and bright, such a great great man, is there anything he can’t do?!?!? Wow wow wow!!!Just totally in awe of his ‘amazing ness’ on a ridiculous amount of levels.
        I wanted to know the guy under all that swirling talent and that guy would let know no one at all see behind the gorilla glued mask he always wore.
        All the woman he’s dallied with over all the decades wanted something from him too.
        He is whirling so rapidly through the air that as long as they can hold on for dear life, they will get the ride of their lives.
        But if the music stops and they want to delve deeper into him, game over, he vanishes into thin air and starts spinning out of control with the next “ dalliance”. None of them “communicate” with the great and powerful Oz, they endure him and think they are in and feel secure.
        When the spinning ceases, they won’t know what happened and even more frightening, they won’t know who they are anymore.
        No, he had to get rid of me, I brought too much realness to his life, he prefers the cheap plastic shell he lives in.
        FWs don’t do intimacy. Illusion is their game.

      • They are all the same, I was told a venomous ‘we’re a flawed and slightly toxic couple’ – out of nowhere, and slightly confused of course about the bit where he’s not that long ago saying he stayed for love and thought he could push down his feelings of loneliness (add the other 50 things that was wrong here) etc but he couldn’t any longer. blah blah, guess when he realised he couldn’t take it any more and then banged on about being ‘free’ in front of me while we were splitting and he was still waiting to move out. When I said well why the eff then did you make such a play and then go into a relationship where we committed/had children etc. His answer, ‘Because I knew what we could have’. Word salad to the max. They truly are all the same.

          • Omg, I read your user name really fast and I thought it said “Le tits now” and it reminded me of those old SNL skits with Will Ferrell and Darrell Hammond playing Sean Connery 😂😂😂. Oh those are some of my faves.

  • Ugh. I got the “I never intended this, it just happened”. Yeah, because of a thousand choices you made. I do think this was his first affair, but probably because OW was the first one that took the bait.

    • They all use the same bullshit lines. “I never intended to cheat while I was actively lying, sneaking around behind your back, and cheating on you. I have no idea how it progressed into a full blown affair.”

  • “The thing is, it felt like you were never present and I think it’s important that you don’t carry that mistake into future relationships.”

    Awwww. How thoughtful of this FW to take some time to give a bit of advice!

    Seriously, I think I’m triggered bc my own FW assumed a fatherly voice at times, explaining to me that I would meet someone else and that I would even thank him–a verbal tap on the head, as if to say, “Tut. Tut. You’ll be fine. Hey, you’ll even thank me. Go be a good little girl and run along now. Oh, and don’t give me any push-back during the divorce. We wouldn’t want this to get ugly, would we?”

    • Mine worked with young children and used that voice with me too. OMG it was excruciating. Over time he often tries to give me parenting advice (despite not having any more experience than me) and I roll my eyes and laugh. I just always remember, when he does that, that one time he asked me if I was hoarding our son’s underwear. I explained to him that I send him in a pair, and he sends him back in a pair, so there should be a net zero change in underwear at our residences. Never heard more about that. But yeah. I always consider the source when I get unsolicited advice from my FW.

    • Our FW’s must be cousins, uncanny. He said, in a very condenscening way, that it would be a real shame if I didn’t find love again and got the whole be happier with someone else but we’re still going to be great parents. The minute I unearthed the affair, like within that minute first he started crying and then I was the worst person on earth. When you don’t play ball they truly don’t like it do they?

  • “You being on your phone a lot, did bother me, but I didn’t want to mention it because I figured it was your downtime. The thing is, it felt like you were never present and I think it’s important that you don’t carry that mistake into future relationships.” Look at me, being so helpful, giving you relationship advice while blaming you for my wandering ways.

    “I apologise for any betrayal.” You know, just in case there was one somewhere.

    “You know that you’re going to hurt everyone. The pros out weigh the cons. ” I added it up, and despite claiming I want to be a better father, I decided to screw over the whole family. But look, they don’t seem upset.
    ——————————————
    What is wrong with these people?

    The other thing that got me was telling her to stop telling his friends what he did, because they don’t care. If so, why does he want her to stop telling them? Unfortunately, I think he’s right here. They probably don’t care what he did to his family. Even is she tells them, they’ll still side with the cheater.

    • “They probably don’t care what he did to his family. Even is she tells them, they’ll still side with the cheater.”

      That was my experience. No one cared.

      • I’ve had to cut ties with a couple of Switzerland friends. They believe “there’s two sides to every story” yet don’t believe that his side is “my wife was 50 and schmoopie was 25. Have you seen Schmoopie? She got a Greencard and I got a hot 25 year old.”

        • No one even asked my side of the story. It was like there was only his version of events (most of which was lies). I completely cleaned house and have been the better for it.

  • “Here’s some relationship advice from a guy who abandoned his family and needs a lay down after a hard nanosecond of introspection.”

    LOL!!!!! Totally, CL!

    “I’m too immature, irresponsible, and unaccountable to communicate about even the most basic things that are critical to healthy relationships, but I somehow also find it reasonable to advise others on how it’s best to behave in relationships — which is, of course, to constantly and perfectly read my mind, and behave and think and feel exactly as I want you to at all times, without having any expectations of me whatsoever. Behold my centrality! I am the best everything! Worship me!”

    Three year olds have more empathy and relationship skills than this guy, and they’re bossy AF.

  • The “I couldn’t tell you because of how you’d react” line is lifted straight from the “It’s not what I did, it’s how you react to it that is a problem!” playbook.

    Such self-serving chicken sh*t.

    As is the “Don’t tell my friends! They love me, no matter what! So don’t tell, okay?” style of image management.

    • I always got “I‘m too afraid to talk to you,” which is another page in that playbook. You see, I’m too scary, emotional, and reactive to be told the truth. When told the truth I turn “mean.” He has read about narcissism and knows how much I feel is it an evil trait so he would use that against me and say my eyes change and go dark.

      Of course in reality I’m a kind, level headed, and patient person. A bit too much of a doormat. But yeah, if you lie to me or do me wrong I’m probably going to be hurt and will likely cry. If my eyes changed, that was my heart breaking, and my respect and trust dying.

      He could never understand his actions had consequences. Why he felt entitled to infinite forgiveness, while I was beholden to perfection, is what I’ll never understand.

    • I got this when I challenged him about his ‘headspace week’ away ‘alone’ (ie with his exgf) and the fact that he dumped me summarily on his late return without mentioning his affair but telling me what was wrong with me: ‘I didn’t want to worry you’. A week of holiday with barely a text and a delayed return, including my Dad’s first birthday after his death only a few weeks earlier, and he ‘didn’t want to worry me’. It’s BS. They will say anything to soothe the few uncomfortable feelings they might have and to satisfy the OW’s bloodlust. Winning a FW is not enough; the spouse has to suffer for as long as possible afterwards. That’s why no contact/grey rock are so effective. They cut off the kibble supply and leave the FW and the OW with no distractions so that they can explore each other’s hidden depths. Which doesn’t take too long!

  • Exact same crap my ex gave me over a decade ago. Now he floats from job to job, girlfriend/fiance to girlfriend. I wouldn’t even know if we didn’t have a kid together. He was all about his “freedom” and what he needed. Turns out “all his problems” were not, in fact, me. Because no matter where he goes, there he is. So nothing changes for him. A lot changed for me and I’m really happy now. Our son is now a teenager so my necessary communications with FW are at a minimum, and I’ve found someone who actually wants to be with me, not feels like he’s trapped with me. These people who hum “I’ve gotta be me” under their breath while they write these tomes to their unsuspecting betrayed spouses are literally junk. Mine kept getting worse and worse with every new partner. Hmmm. Wonder what that might mean?

    These FWs have no ability for introspection and they don’t want to “hurt” you by actually telling you there are issues. They usually aren’t interested in counseling either because obviously it isn’t THEIR fault. Duh. Cutting loose was the best choice I made in that entire marriage. It’s not easy, but I no longer feel I’m wasting time trying to get where I want to be. I’m where I want to be now. 🙂

    • We did couples counseling three times.
      She ended it prematurely three times.
      FW’s want to control the narrative. I really appreciated being heard and validated. That is kryptonite to a cheating narcissist.

      • “I don’t see how bringing a third person into this marriage is going to help us”. Says the man who already brought 3 or 4 or however many (I didn’t want to know any more after the first few revelations) into it.

    • “Turns out ‘all his problems’ were not, in fact, me. Because no matter where he goes, there he is. So nothing changes for him. A lot changed for me and I’m really happy now.”

      There it is. TRUTH.

  • It’s all playbook horseshit! I got almost the same, but verbally because why bother writing it down. Almost the SAME. Excuses. Deflecting blame. Worry about image (that’s the real reason for the note—it’s a STFU note). I’m doing great except I don’t like job responsibility either.

    • I think you’re right. “It’s a STFU note.” Maybe he’s getting questions or comments from his flying monkeys when she contacts them. He certainly wants her to stop contact with his friends. And he’s staking out a boundary that these are HIS friends, not hers, or theirs, and she should STFU. If he’s so blameless, why should he care what she says?

    • It’s “STFU to my friends or maybe I’ll quit my job and not support the kids.” He’s a real winner. Good luck to dog park bitch with that sparkly turd.

  • Amachump-wow! I am sorry you are going through this! I hope you are going after his sorry ass with a good lawyer and no contact except for kids and divorce stuff. That is the only response needed to this sack of garbage entitled whining BS-what a limp dick! Any response would be kibbles to him even though it does make us all want to take him out! Hugs!

    • Yes, exactly. The self-centeredness.

      I also read this part in a different way: “The pros out weigh the cons. Having to surrender the home, income, assets, financial security, extra expenses etc. it’s a lot to undo, so I say nothing. If I do, I risk losing everything.”
      I read that as an explanation of why he didn’t leave the marriage sooner (until he found Schmoops). The pros of staying outweighed the cons of going. If he goes, he loses — MONEY. I mean, look at that list: home, income, assets, financial security, expenses, etc. MONEY. He’s just stating flat-out what the only factor was for him in staying. HIS MONEY. Not the well-being of his kids, not love for his wife, not self-respect. Money.

      Guess Angie baby will cost him.

      • FYI — Helen Reddy had a minor hit with a song called “Angie Baby.” If I’d thought of that earlier (and had a spare moment today) a parody would have been in the offing. 🙁

  • AmaChump: I hope you respond to this bull crap either: 1. by not responding (no response is usually the best response because he’ll be looking to see how you respond & if you don’t it’ll pop his ego) OR 2. if you really can’t stop yourself from responding! at least only send send 🤣😂🤣 as a response because this is some laughable fucked up bullshit that him & Schmoopie probably talked about & devised together. Either way, he’ll get the message that you didn’t fall for his bullshit & that he didn’t get to you. Stay strong, Sister!

    • I stopped my FW from sending his email tomes to me (in the guise of wanting to talk about our son) by simply replying “KK”, or if I didn’t agree, “busy talk later” if I absolutely had to reply. Of course I was always too busy to reply to anything not strictly necessary for our kid. Heh.

  • On the no sex with whore thing. I just found out recently when my daughter in law and I were talking about the possibility that whores youngest kid was fw’s, that he was adamant that the kid wasn’t his, and in fact he was trying to convince folks that he and whore didn’t fuck around before he left me.

    Unadulterated bullshit. Everyone in the city knew it happened. Hell he was demoted, and she was moved to another job within the city out from under his power. I also had several years of credit card charges for women’s wear and clothing for a child. There is no married man alive who would do that under wraps for a woman he was not involved with sexually.

    I say all this to point out that is how warped this asshole was. He thought he could pull that shit off. (he didn’t).

    Unfortunately this was before easily accusable DNA testing was available. I wish my son could have found out for sure, because I know he wanted to know.

  • So similar in tone to what I was told to my face (without me knowing about the affair at the time I was being ‘told’ or the affair ever being admitted). It’s amazing that it takes them so long (26 years) to work out that ‘we are not compatible’. And additionally amazing that they can be so sure of their compatibility with the affair partner after saying and doing ‘nothing’ for a few weeks. One can only feel contempt for them.

  • What a load of bullsh* t. What sense of entitlement is this? What self aggrandizement ! Oh look at me , I’m not a horrible human being stop saying I am, oh the children are strong they’ll get over it but wait as I hoover around for you to be friendly. Can you move on so that I feel good about what I did? I will be ‘ nice’ but……dare you….. narcissistic behaviour this!!! You dodged a bullet. Paradise will crumble with a resounding this! Make sure the echoes of the resultant shattering find you at meh. Because this is sure as he’ll happening with this one.

  • This is exactly why you shouldn’t waste time, trying to figure out the why. Why they lied, hurt the kids, waste the retirement. They can rationalize and believe, total BS, to eat cake.

  • Wow. He couldn’t even manage to get through a nonpology without turning it into a boring monologue about himself and his life plans. I don’t even know this man and I can already tell he’s that guy who tries to make every conversation about himself.

    I admit that I laughed out loud when I got to the part about giving him time for answers. In his head, you truly care about the deep inner workings of his soul and are waiting anxiously for him to explain them to you, like his feelings were the next season of your favorite TV show.

  • “Arts funding has dried up for Fuckwit Puppet Theatre.” 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    Amachump: I’m sorry you’re in this situation. It totally sucks to find out what they hid & how they rationalized it. I could pick out 1 phrase of truth from your STBX: “ I never openly discussed anything because there was no way I could avoid hurting you and I just wanted to keep the peace.” In other words, he’s a coward too. This is not good relationship material.
    Get tested for STD. Who knows how many “ I’m not against relationships” he has had and didn’t tell you about, you know, to keep the peace.

  • Mine always says you need to let the boys heal, and I should not say anything to them. I love that, let them heal even though you decided your happiness was paramount to the mental and emotional wellbeing our 8 and 11 year old boys. They’re just plain selfish and not good people.

  • Identical in tone and construction to any number of emails that I received from my cheating ex-wife. These people genuinely see themselves as the victim in all of this. They are are prepared to sacrifice anybody, to hurt anyone, in order to achieve their distorted view of ‘happiness’.

    In common with my wife, this person is an unevolved child with a Cluster B personality disorder. The depths of his self-delusion is astonishing.

    Run. Run. Run. Evict this person from your life and protect those innocent children.

    I feel your pain.

    • I’ll go one more – they are prepared to sacrifice anybody and hurt anyone to maintain their view of themselves as blameless and not responsible for actions they’ve taken. Because the second you take responsibility, things become hard. True introspection cannot be tolerated.

  • Cowards, all. Baby men and women, stalled emotionally. I wouldn’t trust him with the care and feeding of a hamster let alone another human being.

  • My 17 year old told me a funny story about custody time with FW – he started to try to give relationship advice to my kid, who is more thoughtful and mature in relationships that my FW will ever be. My son told me he looked right at his dad and told him, “You are the last person I would EVER take relationship advice from. Don’t ever try to give me relationship advice again.” Warmed my heart.

    • Hey BichonWheels,

      Isn’t this the best!!! Good for your son.

      Similarly, when x castigated our adult kids via email for something or other, they wrote back that he’s in NO position to tell them how to behave.

      The audacity of these cheaters who think they still sit on a moral high horse and should be able to dole out advice! #consequences

    • My ex FW told our beautiful sensitive caring college aged son, “you are so good looking, you should be getting more ass than a toilet bowl seat.”
      My son was really hurt by that coming from his father, who he had respected and admired, that he shared his disappointment with me.
      It did help my son get a glimpse into who his father actually was and how badly he treated people.
      That’s my oldest son and that was just before D-day. He now might talk to his dad a couple times a year on the phone, does not share any personal info with him, has not met his new wife and refuses to, much to his dad’s outrage over that. It’s a very sparse relationship, barely holding on.
      He knows his dad is not a good person. It hurts to see my childrens’ pain over that but their dad just can’t understand why he isn’t accepted and loved and everyone just hasn’t moved on and got over it.
      He’s not the father they knew him to be, that’s a great deal for anyone to digest.

  • Another example of how important, and fleeting, the early days of a cheater’s guilt. Chumps should keep their own plans secret, share the true story of the cheater’s behavior and go “No Contact” as soon as possible. The very rare unicorn – the truly sorry and repentant cheater – can craft a letter a year later, too. Use the intervening time paying attention to their actions.

  • Wow.
    My FW said the EXACT same things, almost verbatim. Just shows you the Disordered/mental illness people have the same thought processes and use basically a script. The entitlement, lack of empathy, need to control through manipulation are all from mental illness. Just like Schizophrenics hallucinate, and think that the government is sending rays to control their thoughts so they wear tin foil hats. The DSM criteria for NPD:
    Inflated self-esteem or a grandiose sense of self-importance or superiority
    Craving admiration
    Exploitative relationships (i.e., manipulation)
    Little to no empathy
    Identity is easily disturbed (i.e., can’t handle criticism)
    Lack of attachment and intimacy
    Feelings of depression or emptiness when not validated
    A sense of entitlement
    Can feel like others are envious of them, or may envy others
    The problem with them is that you cant look at someone like that and tell they are crazy. Maybe when you talk with them the crazy shows. Maybe when you start to date the red flags show, but unless you are familiar you may not recognize it. Superficially, they seem great and normal. Its when you get into intimate relationship, holes show. Most of them dont know what they are. They are not self aware. And there are only so many ways to manipulate others and achieve their prime aims. The problem with nice normal people is we are forgiving, flexible, kind. So we chalk up bad behavior up to someone having a bad day, but we think they are inherently good. So thats why looking for patterns in behavior helps. Once thats ok 10 times not ok. Honestly, its not our fault we were duped. But once we get familiar with theses PD types and mental illness its easier to spot them. If you have any childhood trauma or any social skills deficits we are at a huge disadvantage. Because the crazy behavior seems so normal to us. It takes alot of living and experience and learning to spot them! If you are neurotypical and no trauma and catch on quick you see them fast. Unfortunately alot of us are slow learners!

  • I get so amused at these people – they just walk down the street, and suddenly, bam! An affair happens! Funny old thing, that. It’s nobody’s fault, really! Who among us hasn’t just suddenly awakened to discover they’re having extramarital sex?

    • Reminds me of the line in LAC;GAL: “In the real world, people don’t just accidentally land on each other’s genitals.”

      God, I love CL!!!

    • It’s such a self-flattering depiction of how affairs happen. Oh, the instant magnetism. No cheater will list all the times they batted out or all the cruising targets who gave them the squirmy “ick” face in response to “friendly” overtures or the targets they fixated on from afar but couldn’t get near in a million years. They don’t brag about all the failures leading up to eventual “success” or the fact that the person they eventually hooked up with wasn’t their first (or second or thirty-eighth) pick. They don’t talk about how every failure made them more determined to “win” or that they displaced onto the marriage the despair they felt each time they struck out on the meat market.

  • Ok. I’m wound up about this.

    Like so many cheaters, this one thinks that his happiness is paramount. He has ZERO concern for his wife’s happiness. What’s especially frustrating is that, even if you tried to point out his incredible selfishness and lack of empathy, he wouldn’t get it.

    And clearly he is 100% out of touch with his kids’ feelings: “The kids are doing well and they’re always happy when I see them. I’m sure they are sad about what has happened but they are certainly not traumatised like you suggest. As parents we are still the same people, the kids just have to get used to a different way of life.” What the ever-living-fuck minimization and justification is this???

    He makes mole hills out of mountains.

    Also, kids are sad when you run out of ice cream. Kids are sad when the wi-fi goes out. Kids are sad when they accidentally let go of the balloon. But when dad cheats and breaks up the family, they aren’t sad; they are devastated, and, yes, traumatized.

    But to move on in life, cheaters need to tell themselves that all is well, that they accidentally fell in love (a little oopsie), and that the spouse is partly at fault.😡

    • YES! This cheater is infuriating …….so much like the selfish, self-involved and delusional cheaters we had to deal with.
      They can’t seem to see below the very surface of whatever fake point of view is their baby blanket.
      And their ‘happiness’ oh my……..

  • “I’ve always felt trapped in my job because of my responsibilities to provide for the family and if I were to take a step back then it would impact us all.”

    Okay, well now you can feel trapped in your job because of your responsibility to pay alimony.

  • Same old song and dance routine. It just isn’t that complex.

    Trapped in a marriage he can’t deal with, trapped in a job that doesn’t make make him happy, trapped in his own selfishness having to provide for a wife and children, and trapped by his own inability to use his voice to communicate his own needs and aspirations. This is an immature manchild with no desire to grow up.

    So, he does the easy cowardly exit from responsibility and obligations. His conscience is niggling him, which is the reason you got the letter and blame game. Don’t bite. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him.
    As for the lame excuse that it wasn’t intentional to “go out and find someone else” and that “it just developed” – he is dead wrong. Long before he did the deed, he desired it. He wishes for nothing more than sensual enjoyments without responsibility and obligation. Long before his conquest entered the picture, he spent alot of time desiring a new life by formulating those desires, cultivating how to achieve them, building the means to act on these desires, and finally acting on those desires. Things don’t just “happen”. It takes thought to precede desire and deeds to act on it.

    Cut him off completely. Let him grow up on someone else’s time and dime. Best wishes!

    • Yep! And I predict that he’ll quit his job and live off the OW while he “finds himself” or whatevs. Haha! The OW will do that because she wants to be the only one who truly understands him, unlike the mean wife who made him work for the family. I hope OW has a really good job and enjoys him sitting around the house all day waiting for her to come home and cook and walk the dogs. #seenitbefore

    • And I think whether or not he was looking for it is irrelevant.
      Who cares! The action happened and you made it happen.

  • “I’ll never get out of this constant negative loop of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction.”

    The one truthful statement in the whole letter. Yes, being a doshonest, selfish wanker who cares about nothing but satisfying the whim of the moment does tend to have that effect on your life.

    I almost died laughing at the puppet theater. One of CL’s best take-downs ever!

    “the kids just have to get used to a different way of life.”
    🤬
    This guy is a pile of rat dung. I want to punch him quite desperately.

  • All I heard in that letter was abuse. Ordering her to do as he says and shut up.

    Amachump, I’d be seriously tempted to say:

    “You cheated on me and left me. I didn’t control you. Why do you think that you get to make demands and control me? Go fuck yourself.

    Regards,
    Amachump”

    (but don’t)

  • Reading this made my blood pressure raise and thoughts of
    what a narcissistic ass hole this
    worthless person is!! Get rid of him asap 😱 You deserve so much better.

  • Amachump,

    I have lived this, same as you and many others.

    Best advice I can give you is to:

    1. Go no contact asap (best for your sanity & clear thinking)
    2. Get a kick-ass lawyer and get it done before FW has time to think / drag it out
    3. If he’s all about schmoopie atm then get as much custody (100% if possible) while he’s distracted

    In the end, don’t talk about FW in front of the kids but give them all the love & support they need. If they want to talk about FW let them but answer with “cool / wow or bummer” – nothing more.

    You CAN do this & move on to the life you and your kids deserve.

  • As CL would say, wow! Another case of genitalia unintentionally smashing into one another!
    BTW, methinks Mr Shakespeare misused the term “limerence”. His entire “apology” smacks of limerence, as I understand the meaning of the word. Would love to hear Chump Lady’s take on this.

  • Ya know, these letters from FWs are remarkable in their ability to take no actual accountability and then to ensure it’s obvious that it’s the chump’s fault, and this one even included a little handy tip for the future. Why, thanks for the advice asshole! I got all this same vibe but in an even more word salady way. My fave of all time was my ex FW blaming me by writing this: “Perhaps I should have done it in a better way, but perhaps you just weren’t aware of what was going on so when you were confronted with things you were hurt by them unnecessarily.” WTF? They really are all the same, just more or less poetic in their blame shifting, responsibility dodging, projection BS.

    • I also particularly liked his handy relationship tip for her in her next relationship 😂
      I got a great tip too. I checked in a lot when he started getting distant, withdrawing, being passive aggressive….I tried to communicate – I was told in my next relationship not to “worry so much” because relationships just happen
      – the he dumped me for the OW that ‘just happened’

  • Wow. Didn’t work very hard to veil that threat to quit his job and stop providing for the kids. I hope she forwarded this straight to her attorney. What a douchebag. He walked out in his family and is threatening to quit his job and impoverish them but um gee don’t tell his friends. Why should his friends know the truth about him? 🙄

    I want to throw this dude to a den of lions. I hope she has a no holds barred attorney who rips him to shreds.

  • Lengthy missives from FWs always turn out to be key commands or attacks concealed in blather, sort of like a razor in an apple. There’s always a main razor and I suspect it’s often marked by particularly bad punctuation or grammar. Aside from the message that Amachump should just stop talking to people (and the kids, just stop!), I think the main razor is this: “You being on your phone a lot, did bother me, but I didn’t want to mention it because I figured it was your downtime.”

    Another translation: “I was depressed because I didn’t manage to utterly socially isolate you during the marriage. I can only enjoy my glorious freedom if I can imagine that, without me, you’ll be alone and friendless, lying in a fetal position crying my name forever. The very thought of you moving on in my wake trapped me for years as I tried to saw away at your ties to the world and social resources which could enable you to find love and fulfillment without me. But you wouldn’t heed the penetrating glares I directed at the back of your head as you happily chatted away. Fie! All your time on the phone meant I never had total centrality and your life might go on! Your phone has become a distressing symbol of your agency, the red thread of Ariadne that can lead you out of the labyrinth where I chucked you and back to light and air and promising future coffee dates with men who have full heads of hair and cohesive life histories. Phones haunt my dreams as a reminder that my negation of you was never complete! The specter gnaws and gnaws, spoiling my glorious freedom and wilting my willy. After a year of feverish mulling, I’m now circling back around to finish the job by traumatically associating your phone behavior with my punishment of you, with loss of love itself! See how the Skinner box works?? I’ll turn your potential path to forging a future into the flashbacky symbol of wreckage! Hah! This way, whenever the phone rings, you’re overtaken with a fit of trembling so violent that you’re unable to answer and I can be assured that apres moi, le deluge!”

      • FW hated when I read books that weren’t of his choosing. He called them stupid and a waste of time (and god forbid I read the same book twice). He destroyed a couple of my books in his rages.

        FW also got very angry that I would scroll Facebook on my phone in bed. I wasn’t paying attention to HIM, you see. And when we were divorcing and I reached out to people on social media for support (like divorce groups, etc.) he would look through my phone, or have OW lie her way into the groups to stalk me, so I didn’t have anyone to talk to. I think HoaC is right – it’s an isolation tactic. FW also badmouthed my friends (the ones who weren’t HIS friends) and my family in an attempt to get me to drop them. A further attempt to leave me with no support and no voices of sanity who could see through his BS. He particularly disliked my best friend as she was never charmed by him. She and I are still best friends to this day.

    • So true, and so unthinkable. It wasn’t until decades after I left that I realized that my ex-FW had deliberately destroyed my friends networks. For too long, I thought it was just me. But once I heard that isolation is their game, suddenly a million senseless things made sense. Not to mention how much worse he got once I’d left and my life came together. I naively thought he’d see that he misjudged me, but no, he just went into other deceptive destroy games.

      Also, “traumatically associating your phone behavior with my punishment of you” sounds like something HG Tudor or Sam Vaknin said.

  • I think a lot of his material was taken directly from “The Cheaters Handbook Volume 1 and 2”. This just proves that at the core, they are all very similar (provided they even have a core). The whole intent is to blame the Chump. It is too bad that the UBT cannot seek out and shred these cheaters.
    Here are some of the classics that I got from FW:
    1. I just stayed because it was convienient and familiar.
    2. It was magic, I met her and we just clicked (nope, sorry, you were trolling the internet looking for hookups)
    3. You cared more about our son than you did me (Really???? I am sorry but kids don’t raise themselves and when you got busted our son was an adult in the active Navy). Of course he harbored this for years but did not say anything.
    4. You were always working (Um, nope but someone ad to do those mundane taks like bill paying grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and having a full time job).
    5. You would not retire early. We should have retired at the same time. (Nope buddy, I was not going to take a hit income wise to retire with you when I am nine years younger). Glad I did not do this because that would have made me financially dependent on him.
    6. We have nothing in common (Seriously???)
    7. I never really wanted to get married (Well why did you press me to set a date back then).
    8. You never compliment me (Ok, I did not tell him how great he was all the time).
    9. You hardly ever made my favorite pie (yep, pie making was not in the job description, however, you could have said something too).
    10. I have been unhappy for at least a decade, maybe longer (and you never said anything???????)
    11. It was a long distance emotional affair (why did my son find pictures and video of you bonking Schmoopie on his photo account?????) Yes, he deliberately recorded their fuckfests and then uploaded it to my son’s photo account instead of his account (Thanks for being stupid FW)
    There is more but these are just some snippets from FWs use of “The Cheaters Handbook”.

    • Same old same old lines cheaters say as if they are earth shattering in importance.
      We had an instant connection (who cares)
      We are growing apart (only because you’ve been having an affair)
      I’ve been unhappy (what other abusive acts would being ‘unhappy’ justify? NONE) and who cares, everyone is unhappy sometimes, that’s life
      You never……..(Cheater never asked, ever hear of a conversation?)
      We have nothing in common (🤣🤣🤣) one of the few things we DON’T have in common is our values apparently
      It was always about the kids ( I can only say a big BS to that in my case)

    • Wow. Other than number 11 (because OW was his coworker and was constantly around), these are all things FW said to me. They really do all use the same playbook.

      • Okay, and 5, since we were far from retirement. But he certainly issues had with absolutely any job I worked.

  • Thank you everyone for your insightful words. I’m getting stronger each day. Have been no contact since I received that letter from him.

  • Cheaters just never see themselves do they!
    It’s like he thinks betraying his wife and children and blowing up his family is something light such as buying something without checking with his wife first.
    The magnitude of what he’s done it’s not obvious to him.

    ‘My Friends think I’m great, the kids are fine…. ‘
    Blah Blah
    ‘and let me just blame this all on you betrayed wife-
    I never said anything about you being on your phone,
    I’m not a grown-up and couldn’t have an honest conversation, or make a simple request… but that’s the reason why I’m a cheater and family destroyer.

  • I can’t stop laughing at the Marcel Marceauesque bit, fellating a baguette 🤣 Or is it a shit sandwich /tartine de 💩 ? 🤣🤣🤣

  • Same as mine except he wanted the house and have me live on the street like his first wife he screwed over. Now he lives on his oldest sons property for a measly 260 a month taking over his sons camper for shelter while he garnishes 72 grand a year payroll. pretty sweet deal. His oldest son is just glad he has his dad back. He sits back and enjoys beers with his abandonment dad and his dad can pretend he’s as old as his son instead of the senior citizen he is. And lives in the sons camper with one of his whores who is 30 years younger than himself. Meanwhile she must not mind he sees other women or maybe she just doesnt know. Meanwhile telling his other kid he can’t be their father anymore.

    Part of healing for me is realizing I didn’t get what I deserve and now too damaged to give it a chance. Accepting that.

  • Threats to cut off financial support at the beginning of a hard winter with inflation and crippling fuel prices in the UK.

    What an insufferable shit.

    • And having to endure Matt ‘I’m A Celebrity’ Hancock and his OW, and Charles ‘I’m the King’ Windsor and his Consort all over even the supposedly sensible news media. It’s tough being a UK chump!

  • I often wonder if any of these ass wipes go to counseling if they are ever asked right up front. “Mr. Cheaterpants, if you had just found out today that your wife had done to you exactly what you have done to her, how would you feel?”

    Or vice versa.

  • As others have said, this is oh so familiar I had to look twice to make sure it wasn’t something the X had written to me. Yes, there is a script. Predictable, utterly predictable and indeed, it isn’t personal – that’s how original they are!
    5+ years out and NC works wonders.

  • That malicious comment reminds me when I finally left FW, years and years after all the DDays, we were sitting talking about how the separation was going to work and I was unemotional and cool. And FW said to me, “How can you be so brutally mean?” I scoffed and replied, “Brutally mean is lying and cheating on your wife for a decade!” He had no reply to that.

  • My ex FW would write something like this. They just can’t ever see themselves as the bad guy when that’s exactly what they are. Instead, they’re just a poor victim who was so unhappy and couldn’t speak up so they had to cheat.

    It’s all your fault! They were scared to tell you they were unhappy! They were scared of your reaction! Not scared enough not to cheat, but really scared. Stupid fuckwits.

    • ‘I didn’t have the tools’ 🎻🎻🎻
      Oh but you had the tools to sneak around with another man’s wife… an underling no less at your work… But you didn’t have the tools to express that anything was ever wrong even when you were explicitly and repeatedly asked
      Poor baby…..

  • Gosh, I have a pile of exactly the same letters from the immediate post-D day period. I was still in a fog and I actually felt sorry for him. My therapist constantly reminded me that he is only saying what he thinks he should be saying, but he can’t sustain it. She said give it 2 months then the fangs would come out. I honestly thought I had a unicorn and that she would be proven wrong.

    Surprise surprise, she was right, to the day. Just two months of blubbering psychobabble then he went full scorched-earth on me. He went from “I am a despicable monster and I will be sorry forever and ever” to “I will burn you and everything you love to the ground” almost overnight. It has been 2 years now from D-day and a year since divorce, but he is still trying to destroy me. He has already dragged me back to court 3x. Last week, he sent each of our 3 teenagers Excel files listing all the money he has spent on them for the past 2 years and he is asking for reimbursement. Omfg.

    Amachump, I hope you run far away from this man. That resentment he talks about—that’s the poison that flows in his system. He will continue to draw from it to take you down.

  • He should have signed it from him and OW because you know her grubby prints would be all over this. Panting over FW shoulder as he types it, pointing out “better” ways to phrase things, having him read it out to her as a draft… ugh. This is such a piece of self serving dribble to make two assholes feel better about themselves come the holidays.

    I can only hope OP cuts and pastes this to her FB and leaves it on public view 🤞

  • Late to the commenting party but this sounds straight up like FW took on what his chump had said, came up with defences about why she was wrong and then spun that into an image management letter. “What? Me? Culpable? No it was your phone habits.” I felt nauseous reading it.

  • Thank you for decoding thins.It’s good to know I’m not the only one that felt like this and that I’m not going crazy.

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