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‘What I Did to HIM?’ DARVO

mindfuckDear Chump Lady,

I recently divorced FW after learning that he’d had numerous affairs, slept with hundreds of women, and taken thousands of dollars to pay for his nonsense. I’m still semi in-contact with him because we have to do some general coordinating on him paying me half his bonus that’s coming up and paying off my car, etc. (much to his dismay). I intend to block him after that.

In the meantime? I get texts like this almost all day long:

“If you ever one day are sitting around in the future and you regret what you did to me, remember this, you need no forgiveness from me. Know that I never can or would hold anything against you.”

Really??? Really??? What I did to HIM??? It’s the most unnerving thing to know you shared your life with a total psycho who has no grip on reality.

That is all. I’m so glad I found your site (albeit a little on the late side).




Dear Kim,

Well Kim, it appears someone has been imposing consequences. He has to share money with you? And there are deadlines?

Don’t you know he needs that money for hookers? And antibiotics? You cruelly withdraw your wife appliance services and yet you want HIM to PAY for an absent appliance! Just go ahead and bill him for imaginary refrigerators, why don’t you.

Perhaps one day you will see the error of your ways.

If you ever one day are sitting around in the future and you regret what you did to me, remember this, you need no forgiveness from me.

Yes, some day when you’re old and gray, leafing through your AARP Bulletin, you’ll think back to your ex-husband’s wandering dick and rue the day you ever left him.

“If” (snort). How will you live without his constant centrality?

what you did to me

What was that? Find out? Divorce him? Force him to create dating profiles? What are these numerous crimes, and how do you live with yourself?

Yet, he is magnanimous!

you need no forgiveness from me

What does this even mean? He’s already forgiven you? Or he’s carrying the grudge to his grave? (More likely). My guess: It just sounded superior and he went with it.

Welcome to DARVO, Kim. Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim Offender. It’s what these freaks do. Don’t try to untangle his ugly little skein. Suffice it to say, he can be a total FW because he’s convinced himself it’s all your fault anyway. (See Hell of a Chump’s collection of academic articles on “neutralization” in the Resources section. It’s a feature of domestic abuse.)

He takes responsibility for nothing, and you need to be punished. And this is not a consequence, it’s just further evidence of your crimes. He will PAY you, not because a court is forcing him, but because he is a Better Person. And he forgives you. For being so terrible.

Know that I never can or would hold anything against you.

Except these consequences. I hope you reflect on what a monster you are!

Geez, I can’t even type this much projection before breakfast.

Suffice it to say, this is why we don’t stick our heads in the mindfuck blender. Have your lawyer remind him of monies owed. Move on to blockety-block-block no contact STAT.

May you and your “regrets” live in peace, Kim.


I know, I still owe you Valentine’s winners. It was a very busy weekend moving the private Facebook page. If you haven’t checked it out, please hop on board the new Chump Nation Facebook community. (And remember to answer the questions so the mods can approve you, thanks!)


Ask Chump Lady

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  • Aaaaaahhhhh, consequences and boundaries, those pesky little sanity savers! “Meh”-on Kim, Tuesday is just around the corner.

  • I mean … is there a legal document that specifies how much he owes and when? Can you let the court deal with that? Or a lawyer? That way, you can BLOCK this person and save your sanity. Really, DARVO can be a very slippery banana peel for a chump. I’d read and be mesmerized by how coo-coo for cocoa puffs a person can be, like rubber-necking an accident, but I noticed that I was paying a big emotional price for that fascination. Voila — just what FW wanted.

    If you’re getting texts all day long, that’s not semi-contact. That’s a lot of contact. I realize you may not be responding, but why allow someone to shovel shit onto your doorstep? Even if you never open the door, the smell comes in.

    • Thank you for these very wise words. They also apply to a family member who inundates me with unwanted, intrusive calls and texts.

  • My FW is a master of DARVO. He is the sad victim, all alone, alienated from his kids by his mean, cruel wife. Truth: he was so eager to be free to pursue other women that he drove me and the kids to another state and dumped us there with our stuff. He kept the house and went in a cruise instead of going to the custody hearing. But tell me more about how it was me that made the kids resent him.

    • Woooow. Carol39, were you actually married to ‘my’ FW?! Same shit here. Many believe his bs, but at least my kids don’t.

  • “It’s the most unnerving thing to know you shared your life with a total psycho who has no grip on reality”

    Yup. Also super unnerving sharing kids with one and knowing that they think this way.

    DARVO is precisely why I’m as No Contact as possible. Otherwise staying in communication would have driven me insane. It took me years, after he finally left, to get off the antidepressants but the PTSD of living with a cheater who looks right through you while blaming you for his cheating will remain. I similarly never engage (even off stage/No Contact) in badmouthing him to others if I can help it because his ability to DARVO is legendary and my heart can’t take anymore nastiness from a man I truly once loved. I’d just like him to keep my name out of his mouth.

    Godspeed and get to that No Contact as soon as possible.

    • Yes to this– keeping one’s name out of their mouths. That’s not really in our power but, because lies have to be repeated and spun eternally for the liar themselves to keep believing them, NC and grayrock have a built-in prank of starving FWs of fresh material to keep the lies going. If FWs continue to natter about us, people they know are going notice how FWs DARVO tales have either been told over and over or are based on long-ago events because nothing has happened since. Lest their contacts become fatally bored or start worrying about FWs’ mental stability, FWs either have to shut up, completely fabricate new events or become social nomads to find new audiences.

  • He pulled your pin and you fell for it. These assholes will go out of their way to blame shift gaslight and project. When that doesn’t work they try to take a moral high ground they have no business being on by making you agrivated . Piss on him

  • x is a DARVO king, making himself the victim of every situation, saying things like:

    “If it had been a two-week affair or a two-year affair, it wouldn’t have mattered. You never would have forgiven me.” My reaction is the problem, of course.

    And, “God will punish me for my infidelity, but what you and the kids are doing to me (by this he means “our not communicating with him”) is even worse.” He knows what God’s thinking.

    “I’m sad every day.” And it’s not his fault, apparently.

    “You are sitting pretty.” Alrighty then. #clueless

    A covert narc, he’s always been the biggest victim in the room. I sense he’s wallowing in self-pity every day. Must be fun for his AP-now-wife. No tag backs!

    • I heard it in this format,
      “I wanted to come back home, but I knew that you would never forgive me.”
      So it was my failure to forgive her in the future for an act she committed that ended our marriage.

      • I was told on Dday that “we would never get over this.” Total DARVO for his affair, so our marriage ends not because of his affair but my purported inability to forgive him for said affair.

        • I got a bunch of this from ExFW too. He actually told me that our marriage ended because it appeared that I could not trust him even though he said he was sorry. Just Wow. They all have so much in common.

        • Klootzak’s response to my attempts to forgive him and trust him again were to just keep on being a lying cheater. And what does he tell OW about me? That he can’t trust me. Let that shit sink in. He can’t trust me ever since I caught him being untrustworthy. Clearly it’s all my fault!

    • I could have written this. Word for word. I’m so sick of hearing “This has been the hardest time of my life”. Um…yeah, it’s been a total picnic for me and the kids to find out you’ve been lying to us for the past 30 years, but sure, tell me how hard it’s been for YOU.

      • FW even blames the OW. “She flirted with me.” Although he assumes some fault (because he’s not a complete social idiot so knows he’s supposed to be contrite), he immediately pivots to, “What was I supposed to do? I mean. I’m a guy.” He follows this up with, “I just fell in love.” So innocent!!! That I’ve reacted “badly” to news of his wonderful new love makes me a bitter, unforgiving bitch.

        He lost more than half his money, which has enraged him but has the side benefit (and cheaters know all about side benefits) of giving him sadness rights.

        RE your comment that it’s not “a total picnic” for you and the kids, I can relate. These types have no empathy. They recognize only their own feelings. When x explained to our kids that “This is between your mom and me,” one wrote back, “That’s really effed up.” Indeed. His pain is the only pain that counts. Looking back on my mirage (thanks ,VH), I realize it’s always been all about him. Always. And I put up with that shit for decades. 🤦🏻‍♀️

      • woah same. mine said “this has been the most devastating experience for me.” I asked how so? He couldn’t answer the question …this is the type of nonsense that you just can’t make up

  • Yep, typical cheater speak. There is nothing special here. Don’t respond to the message, he just wants a conversation that he can use to do some further blame shifting and any other type of damage he can. Ex FW did the same to me and I ignored him and blocked him (my only response was TALK TO YOUR ATTORNEY and after that I blocked him). Of course, he still has one court order payment to take care of, but it will get done (he does not want anyone to know about his consequences). Next, he had the flying monkey family try to contact me. They got no response and were then blocked in every channel (I had forgotten a couple of channels that they could still get me on).
    FW does not like going to ask his attorney because it costs him so immediately, I am supposed to be the source of info and doing the work. Nope, he fired me from that job. They absolutely love blaming the chump for everything that went wrong in their lives. Never give a response, direct the FW to his attorney and by all means block him when you can.
    He is only doing it because he needs some kibble, and he wants to be central with you. Ignore and move on with your day.

  • Spinach’s ex said: “God will punish me for my infidelity, but what you and the kids are doing to me (by this he means “our not communicating with him”) is even worse.” He knows what God’s thinking.

    So does my ex. I got him out of my house hours after he physically assaulted me and our middle-school grandchild and filed. I Later learned he stole tens of thousands for Schmoopie, and later yet, learned that many years earlier he stole about $200k of my money (mostly an injury settlement, so it should have been all mine).

    Worse, he had been physically and mentally abusing grandson, which he ramped up to mentally abusing and terrorizing him in secret phone calls.

    In one of those calls, FW told this child that God had come to him, forgiven him, and told FW that child must forgive FW too.

    BTW, he used to claim he was agnostic, but when it suited his purposes, he claimed he was an atheist.

    • I’ve come to associate presto-chango religiosity with very scary personality disorders. I’ve known normal people who found or lost faith through some understandable progression. That’s one thing. But the only people I’ve known who shifted repeatedly back and forth between atheism to religion were physically violent or dangerous in other ways.

      • My ex suddenly discovered Jesus while cheating with his religious nutso coworker. Prior to that he was atheist and went on frequently rants about how hypocritical his religious coworkers and boss were and how their religion was a bunch of BS to make them feel superior to everyone else even though they were horrible people. I found a weird diary of notes from online sermons from her church and none of it made sense, like he was just practicing this “glory be to god” language. Then found out he was lying to me about working on Sundays and going to church with the howorker and her super conservative family, pretending like I didn’t exist.

        It’s hard to describe to people how terrifying this all was because people seem to think “finding god” suddenly is inspirational or something. Not knocking all religion, but flip flopping on core beliefs is psychotic.

        • Yes, totally. Flip flopping on core beliefs is chillingly psychotic. Personality disordered people are like empty vessels shopping for a soul and tend to mirror whomever they’re targeting at the moment or– typically following some self-induced disaster where they were nearly exposed– will take on the belief systems of a group where they think they’ll find sympathy and alibis. FW in my case had always been an agnostic Euro socialist but suddenly started spouting Trump apologias during the affair with an office doorknob who’s from a fundamentalist MAGA family.

          FW’s neoliberal Trump apologias kept getting worse until one of FW’s close friends did me the favor of going into a rage and tearing FW apart over his hypocrisy and left FW blubbering and sobbing. Then he immediately went to the other extreme, ordered a bunch of books on Marxism and propped them visibly around the house.

          I noticed his signature also changed radically during that period. I suppose that went along with the sudden adoption of gigolo clothing and man-ho manscaping. From the guy who would never wear sunscreen for fear it was too metrosexual. What the hell.

        • Thing is, he wasn’t really flip-flopping on his core beliefs. Those “core beliefs” are that he was special, knows better than everybody else, and is superior to anyone who doesn’t agree with him. WHAT he believes is irrelevant. That’s why you see these disordered people going from one loud extreme to the other (in political belief, religion, etc.). They’re not really changing at all. Their outward “beliefs” are just the window dressing for the rotten core.

          • oh yes. Even before D-day, My lying, cheating, closeted bi, STBX was so extreme, swinging from obsessively listening to Rush Limbaugh to a complete turn around of watching Rachel Maddow non stop. It was so strange to me how he could change so dramatically and never look back. After D-day 2, the Bible came out and James Dobson, Focus on the Family…he actually read quotes to me!!! yeah, no thanks, we are done..good luck with all that!

  • Who knows? I’ve come to see – after years of occasional over-the-top or bizarre responses – that they often have their own internal dynamic going on. It may bear little relationship to reality, or it may be about something that has nothing to do with us (but, since we’re there, we are convenient targets of their bile).

    I try to tell myself “Oh, I guess XW had a bad day and that’s why she’s bringing that up again”. It’s hard when it seems so targeted, but remember: it’s never about you; it’s always about them. The affair was about them, and the post-divorce relationship is going to be about them as well.

    • IG, this makes so much sense (or, nonsense I can relate to). After DDay FW tried to tell me a story of how I treated him a certain way; I said, no, that’s not what happened, in fact I still have a journal entry from all those years ago because it was so confusing how you were acting. He said “well I don’t remember how things actually happen, I just remember how I felt.” Like literally nothing is real to them except their own little universe where everything revolves around their egos.

  • It’s very important to FWs that the world look the way they want it to. Mine had several affairs at the same time. Like, provably so. I read the messages, and they were not ambiguous. But she sends me texts saying “maybe your buddies will believe your narrative, but nobody else will.” And is villainizing me to my own child severely. She’s the gift that keeps on taking. They all are.

    • Don’t you love it when FWs adopt therapeutic buzz terms like “narrative”? It’s particularly rich when abusive people join recovery groups like AA and start spewing 12 step philosophies at their own victims.

      • Shortly after D-Day, when I was at my absolute lowest point (not coincidentally because I was still in the hell that is in-house separation), I told then-wife that I was going to take a day to go hiking and try to clear my head. When I returned, she asked me how it was. I told her the truth: it was terrible; I couldn’t concentrate and I cried almost non-stop. Then-wife responded “My therapist told me you would do this. This is emotional blackmail. You are trying to control me.”

        In summary:
        XW: “How are you feeling?”
        me: “Bad”
        XW: “Don’t tell me how you’re feeling! That’s emotional blackmail!”

        Even in my state of deep denial, her response made me realize that my plan A (“we can fix this marriage if we just communicate more: more honesty!”) wasn’t going to work.

        • “You are trying to control me…” “You’re just trying to make me feel bad…” My gosh, what is it with these FW’s and those lines? If I could control you, there’s a whole bunch of crap you wouldn’t have put me through. Heaven forbid that inconvenient thing called a conscience bother you! Insert eye roll.

        • They ask how you are doing because that’s the social thing that someone who cares about you is supposed to do, and they want to look like they care. But they don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t fit the story they are telling themselves, which is some variation of “chump wants me to be happy, chump isn’t really bothered by my cheating, etc”

        • You can hear stories like this a million times but it’s still incredibly disturbing. This made me realize that, when you see cheating depicted in movies, the fictional cheaters who behave this viciously usually end up scheming to murder their fictional partners. Otherwise the usual romcom, parlor drama or sitcom cheater might be babbling out comic denials, stricken with remorse, etc.– discernibly human. But if the cheater is this cold and hateful, you can bet they’ll be wielding an ax or hiring an assassin by the final act. I think that’s because it’s the only way audiences could reconcile that level of hatefulness.

          Anyway, I think that’s a measure of how extreme the behavior appears to normal people– that it only makes sense if the character is a violently psychotic villain. But in real life, that’s just your typical garden variety cheater. Murderous intent is optional but bone-chilling callousness is standard.

        • Once, during Covid lockdown, when FW and I were separated and living apart, he called me to “see how I was”. When I told him I wasn’t doing well, he SEEMED sympathetic, but when I told him it wasn’t quarantine that was upsetting me (it was feeling betrayed by basically everyone), he got angry. I think he wanted me to say that lockdown was hard so he could then tell me how much worse HE had it than I did (I was able to work from home, he had to go into the office, our son was staying with me, FW didn’t have his kid, etc. etc. etc.) so I would have no “right” to complain (very typical – I was never allowed to be tired, or frustrated, or overwhelmed, or anything because his life was clearly harder than mine in every way). It was a manipulative way to try and get sympathy from ME. Quarantine didn’t actually bother me, as I am an introvert and have no trouble staying home by myself. FW, a person who needed constant stimulus and couldn’t stand being alone, was really struggling, in spite of OW practically moving into my house with him. I told him that if he didn’t want to know how I was really feeling, HE SHOULDN’T ASK.

          Anyway, I finally learned to grey rock and those sorts of conversations didn’t happen anymore. I know it was never out of genuine concern that he would offer his sympathy.

  • Wow, just wow!!

    Aren’t they all just the same but to differing levels of fuckedupedness.

    My freedom (aka divorce) happened almost a year ago. Leading up to this and during it FW was.. well a FW 😂. I was a nasty piece of bitch forcing him to pay me settlement, give me the mortgage free house, half his pension and and AND a monthly allowance for a fucking YEAR. WHO THE HELL DID I THINK WAS!! Yeah he was very upset at those consequences. The channels of pity, sad sausage and rage flipped a lot.

    During this I remained no contact. All communication was made via my solicitor who was amazing. FW’s solicitor was a douche sending letters seemingly written by FW. They were messy, scrambled and sometimes very personal. In one I was asked how much inheritance I would get from my parents…. erm, they aren’t dead!!! Wtf!!! My solicitor laughed at this saying that it isn’t a question you ask and we don’t take into account money you will get in the future. My parents are very affluent so I’m guessing FW was clutching at straws trying to keep hold of ALL the monies (he lost).

    Anyway fast forward to now. I have one more monthly payment from FW to come and in the last two payments – which he pays into my bank account not via standing order or direct debit, oh no he likes to send them himself 3 minutes before midnight – he has started writing messages. Before he would write payment no. 1, then it became Payment 2, then PAYMENT 3…now he puts in nasty little comments. Most recently was “Erm, MY PHOTO’S”. He has had the photos so I’m like 🤷‍♀️. They hate losing control and as one of my daughters said in the beginning of the scheduled payments “once it nears the end, expect drama”.

    Such a loser.

    Hugs to you all ❤️

    • “They hate losing control and as one of my daughters said in the beginning of the scheduled payments “once it nears the end, expect drama”. Somehow when you finally realize what they are like, it makes it easier. This comment by your daughter is very astute. It helped me too, when I was able to anticipate FW’s reaction to things (like emails requesting money or anything from him). I could be more detached and say “there he goes, doing exactly what I expected and throwing a tantrum”, and just let it roll off me rather than becoming upset about it. FW liked to add personal insults about my character or my parenting, or comparison’s with OW, in any email reply, no matter how direct or business like my communication had been. It was indeed because he was losing/had lost control of me. I wasn’t communicating except about our kid, and selling our house, so those were his only opportunitites to throw barbs my way.

      “FW’s solicitor was a douche sending letters seemingly written by FW. They were messy, scrambled and sometimes very personal.” LOL. My FW did the same. The most rambling, nonsensical letters from his attorney would arrive, and I could tell FW had written them. They were in his style. He would try desperately to use legal-sounding language, but it was all wrong. My own lawyer was amazed that any attorney would put his name on some of the stuff that I received. FW thought he knew better than the lawyers an his lawyer just played along (my lawyer would tell me “don’t send that” and give me a better way to say things or just talk me out of it). I guess his lawyer couldn’t control him at all, and was happy to collect payment and just follow his client’s instructions, however bizarre. Jokes on him though, because FW died without paying his substantial legal bill.

  • Good lord, to me that message feels deeply infused with threat. It sounds like the sort of thing a movie mobster would say to someone while pointing a gun between their eyes.

    Can’t get out of that person’s vicinity fast or far enough, says me. Fingers crossed for extremely efficient and effective completion of that piece of business for our writer!!!

      • I wasn’t aware of that quote before, but you TOTALLY get me on this one, yes. Exactly. ⭐ Thanks for that piece of knowledge, HOAC!

        • I’m with you that that part of the FW message wasn’t creepy solely because of the gall of suggesting the victim needs to be forgiven. Villains, psychos or antiheroes quoting scripture is a pretty common device in violent films. I can’t remember all the examples but the film Nope begins with a bible quote and there’s Samuel Jackson’s Ezekiel quote, etc. I guess it’s meant to be particularly chilling when a character gives a menacing spin to pacifist scripture like concepts of forgiveness, turning the other cheek, etc. The thing is, these film quotes are constantly being repeated, traded and passed around by dudes and lads in particular so I don’t think it’s accidental when a reference to a pacifist concept seems threatening whether it’s a matter of someone emulating the badass quips they saw in movies or because the trope is based on the kinds of things psychos actually say.

  • They will never, ever forgive us for the things they did. Mine even blamed me for things he did before he met me.

    • I got blamed for ruining his life, even though I didn’t meet him til he was 27 and he’d done a pretty good job of fucking up his own shit already (things like – not finishing high school, going to college late, his parents, not having an established career, etc. – it was somehow all my fault and I wasn’t even there….).

  • The cheating is not the problem. It is a symptom of the problem. The problem is what’s between the ears of cheaters. This text is Exhibit A.

    My divorce from Traitor Ex was final in September of 2021. My mechanic found an active GPS tracking device on my car in November of 2022. When confronted by police, he said, “I just want her out of my life.”


    Can you say “fucking cuckoo?”

    It took me a LONG time to realize that he has serious problems, and that the cheating is just one manifestation of the fucked up.

    If the primary Schmoopie is still around, (you know, the dope who dove in with this information in the open right on the table) it will likely be awhile before she puts two and two together. Being a side piece is another manifestation of someone who has serious problems, and I wouldn’t dare interfere with their shit show. They are each other’s punishment, and very fitting.

    • “The cheating is not the problem. It is a symptom of the problem.”

      Amen, sister. Wiser words were never spoken.

      • Nope. The police need the records for the tracking device to show he was actively tracking me. They can’t get a search warrant for the records unless he’s being charged with a felony. The charges would be misdemeanor domestic violence. (Too bad domestic violence is not automatically a felony). It’s called a loophole, and it’s a super fucked-up loophole.

    • “If the primary Schmoopie is still around, (you know, the dope who dove in with this information in the open right on the table) it will likely be awhile before she puts two and two together. Being a side piece is another manifestation of someone who has serious problems, and I wouldn’t dare interfere with their shit show. They are each other’s punishment, and very fitting.”

      I was honestly amazed that it only took schmoopie four years to figure things out. She was an avid cheerleader for FW, and joined with him to abuse me. But once she started living in the same house with him, she figured out pretty quickly why I had had issues with him. She left in under a MONTH. I knew there was no longevity to that relationship (she was nuts, and flighty), but I had given it a year. It was so much faster, and I didn’t have to lift a finger. They blew it up all by themselves. I had and have no sympathy for either of them. FW called me crying about how he was all alone. Sorry, you chose that path. Sucks to get dumped, doesn’t it? I could have told him that woman was no good (actually I did), but he didn’t listen. And while OW sent me an “apology” of sorts, I think she’s just as clueless as ever and doesn’t see herself as having done anything wrong, really. She’s just a victim. FW is dead, and OW has to live with herself. I’m free of all the drama and it’s great.

  • I just know a comment like this is coming my way because FW will have to pay me money and no, he will never, ever understand why. After all, he did nothing wrong, right? Knowing about DARVO, lets me discount what he says before he even says it. Look at me! I’m magic!

  • Kim, my xFW told me that is was MY decision to divorce him, that he would always love me, blah, blah, blah. I’m such a terrible person not to be able to forgive and, most of all, forget. Oh, and ignore my gut. Nevermind the STD diagnosis.

    HE is a good person. HE is willing to overlook all my faults, like gaining weight (since lost) and not being able to do anal.

    His 7 year affair? Oh, he will always love her, too. Those hookers? They were useful for his “data collecting” (yes, that is what he called it). The dating websites certainly stroked his ego, and allowed him to practice his fiction writing, since nothing he wrote was true, except that he was married.

    But he is a GREAT guy, according to him. Anybody want an introduction?

    • My ex considered using escorts and then writing about each experience online a hobby. Sounds so benign. It was just a hobby. The Johns are just hobbyists. Like stamp collecting I guess.

    • “HE is a good person. HE is willing to overlook all my faults, like gaining weight (since lost) and not being able to do anal.”

      “Those hookers? They were useful for his “data collecting” (yes, that is what he called it).”

      Good hairy grief!

    • I got this very weird mindset too, “Despite allllll your faults, Stig, I loved you,” he said reprovingly, when my expressions of shock, anger and disbelief at his outrageous behaviour, pre- and post discovery were obviously deemed too judge-y and moralistic by him. False equivalency at it’s finest.

  • They really are all the same and there must be a cheater’s playbook.

    I can’t believe I lived 48 years and consider myself very well informed, but had never heard of DARVO or gaslighting until after Dday when XH was diagnosed as a narcissist with BPD and possibly a sociopath. 🤦‍♀️. Your links to Dr George Simon’s work, Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That, and Bill Eddy’s work on hostile people were very enlightening. DARVO is used by those with a lack of character to control and manipulate and abuse. Therapy, sex addiction rehab/treatment, anger management, anti-depressants, hormone therapy, nor begging/pick me dancing can change character. I put down the hopeium pipe when I fully internalized this painful truth. Cheaters/abusers use DARVO and cheat because they WANT to. It works for them. I choose to be with an intimate partner who has character. I therefore had no choice but to leave a cheater and now I’ve gained a life worth living. I’m eternally grateful, Tracy.

    Btw— the new FB page is a desperately needed place for the newly chumped. I spent a lot of time this weekend trying to support the newly chumped. The pain, horror and confusion that these folks are suffering is heartbreaking. If some of the other long-term survivors have time, please go on there and put in some words of encouragement. It was a painful reminder of how bad it was in those early months. I’m
    8 years out from Dday and 6 from divorce – 25 year marriage. I’ve never been more grateful to have gotten away. Life is really good now- peaceful.

  • Kim,
    As is often the case with fuckwits, inadvertently, your fuckwit actually did you tell the truth: you need no forgiveness from him. Why? Because you didn’t do anything wrong, and so there’s nothing to forgive you for.

  • But wait, there’s more…I agree, I need to block him. The way the decree was worded, he has to actually send me correspondence on certain things (I wish I’d thought of this when we were writing everything out), but it’s just one more month.

    He also sent this, a little bit after the one on this post (for 2001, he’s referring to the other time I left him, actually as a result of physical violence he gaslights me into thinking never happened, but did. That time, I caved and went back to him. For twenty more years. But the is time, I’m obviously really done and he’s lost it). Read on…

    “Never forget 2001. (Not just 2021). Different reason that time?  But, you needed me then. Didn’t now. I did what few other men would have. I made my choice, for the family. Most thought I was crazy. Didn’t matter – I loved six others more than myself. I even gave my hard labor to educate and build you and facilitate your dream. To my own detriment. I can live with what I did. For love and duty and honor. With no love in return. I persevered like no other. Manipulate in your mind, your writings, what you need for yourself. If you want it, I forgive you. I love you. Always have. True loyalty to the end.
    A huge gift. I expect no repayment, no interest, nothing. I give and gave my love to you freely. You are a lucky woman.”

    • “For love and duty and honor. With no love in return. I persevered like no other. Manipulate in your mind, your writings, what you need for yourself. If you want it, I forgive you. I love you. Always have. True loyalty to the end.
      A huge gift. I expect no repayment, no interest, nothing. I give and gave my love to you freely. You are a lucky woman.””

      😆 He belongs at Home Depot, where the rest of the tools are kept.

    • Yeah, “true loyalty.” Defined as many affairs, hundreds of woman, financial theft.

      Ok. You already know the best response is no response, but you’d be forgiven by writing down the following as if you were going to send it to him: “Wait. Do I have this wrong? Am I the one who cheated?”

      He’s a legend in his own mind, that’s for sure. It sounds exactly the bs my cheating father said to my mother and to us, his children. Nice to know we were such a burden and made him sacrifice his happiness.

    • Ah, so that’s what he’s telling everyone (without the inconvenient bit about DV, of course). He took you back at the time, because he was a good man, loyal and true, poured all his resources into you to make you the woman you are today, then oh-so ungrateful and entitled you took it all for granted, and he, wounded and martyred, did the only thing he could, looked for some warmth and love in his cold and harsh world. Was that too much to ask? (eyeroll).

    • Kim, you need only look at this, and literally think of nothing else he ever did or said, to prove and remind yourself of how screwed up he is.

      I saved a pre-D-Day phone message from Traitor Ex for those moments when I am tired and have been isolated and start to feel crazy. Listening to it is an instant reality check that snaps me back into sanity and keeps my perspective on the proper setting.

      I have found it very helpful to keep ONE THING mentally handy that works like anti-venom for cheater and side-piece mindfucking attempts.

      • Yes. I still have all the insane, entitled, fucked up texts fuckwit sent me after Dday, on my old phone. I keep them because in the now very rare (thank God) moments when I look back on the shit show, and sometimes have a teensy little bit of what ? Not sure really, it’s definitely not nostalgia or regret, perhaps just amazement at myself for being such a mark, I can read them and think, thank *God* I got myself out of that nightmare. It reminds me what an utter *arsehole* he is. It also helps when I read comments from other chumps, and I think, yes, I experienced exactly that.

        I think humans generally do tend to either forget, or haze over the shitty things people do, and it’s important to have factual evidence of what really happened.

        • “I think humans generally do tend to either forget, or haze over the shitty things people do, and it’s important to have factual evidence of what really happened.”


    • He is a real piece of work!!! I know what you’re going through. My STBX sent me a 10 page letter (10 pages!) listing all the ways (in bullet points no less) that he was a wonderful husband and father. How lucky am I? And what a villain I must be for letting him go. Never mind that he was cheating on me the entire marriage and financially and emotionally abusing me and the kids, he took them to the park! He “let me” have a job! He “let me” homeschool our boys. What a prince! And he really said “I went above and beyond as a husband and father”. Incredible.

    • He’s delusional. He literally lives in cloud cuckoo land. No response will piss him off worse than anything else you could possibly do, and as a bonus, it requires no effort on your part.

      Only one month to go before you can block him? How much do you have left to do before the deadline?

      • He has to give me half his bonus (which reallllly makes him mad) and pay off my car, which means I had to give him info for the wire transfer (done) and ensure he gives me the title. All before April.

        Luckily, he goes stretches of leaving me alone after a few days…then he starts up again.

        • Of course he does – he’s hoping that you’ll respond, and he doesn’t have the emotional fortitude to outwait you. NOTHING you could say in reply will upset him as much as your silence.

          • True story: I dated a deranged narcissist who tried hoovering years later. I never, ever responded, just blocked every new number or address he used to contact me.

            His messages got increasingly hysterical and angry, demanding a response under the guise of “being worried about me.” He even admitted to traveling across the country to see old classmates in an attempt to dig up dirt on me and smear me to a bunch of people I hadn’t seen since college in the hopes this would lure me out of hiding.

            I still never responded. I was a ghost. He was clearly outraged and devastated, and he harassed me for two years before finally giving up. It’s been years now, and I’ve never heard another peep from him.

            In hindsight, I find his reaction deeply funny. I tell people that for the first time ever, I finally put as much energy into our non-relationship as he had (i.e. none), and he couldn’t handle it.

            • Dear God. That is terrifyingly *deranged*. I’m glad you can laugh about it now !

              My experience was slightly similar, in that like you, I blocked the fuckwit everywhere, and once I found out who the flying monkey’s were, (clue: they were always trying to winkle out of me where I was living, and what I was doing) blocked them as well.

              Last February I got a phonecall from a man asking me if I was happy with my booking, and please contact him if I wasn’t, etc etc. I said I didn’t know what he was talking about, hadn’t booked anything, and how did he get my number ? Oh, he said, Mr. Fuckwit gave me this number!

              I blocked, and since then there hasn’t been a dicky bird. I think the penny’s finally dropped that I’m never going to bite.

  • Kim, this is how passive aggressive people whine. They thinly disguise it. If you must have contact with him, relegate his dreary missives to an email account created just for that purpose, and block him everywhere else. No need to explain. Just tell him that, for example, is your new email and you will only accept emails from now on, not texts. Further inform him that if it is about important financial or legal matters, he needs to title the email as such so you’ll know you need to attend to it immediately.
    That way you can avoid most of the bullshit. Telling him not to send whiny bullshit won’t work. He’ll only whine about the unfairness of not being allowed to whine.
    Best of luck dealing with this jerk.

    • this is the strategy I used. I sent an email saying he was blocked, that I wouldnt respond- and his messages would go to spam folder. But I kept them in a Bullsh**t folder which I would consult when I had the energy for it. His messages stopped very quickly.

      • Exactly so, CC. You can read them at your leisure when you feel strong enough. Texts are much harder to ignore. The added bonus comes in if you demand the FW give emails titles relevant to the subject matter so you know which ones not to open. If you say you won’t read them at all if the titles aren’t relevant, an attention-seeking FW will likely comply.

  • I received several DARVO messages from my ex wife FW after I went gray rock and she began to feel real consequences. She destroyed our family with numerous affairs, gaslighting, bullying and outright deceit, and still had the audacity to message, “you can try all you want to destroy me but just know that what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” Apparently her local SoulCycle had been playing a lot of Kelly Clarkson.

    • That reminds me of the claim that the original “That which doesn’t kill us” quote from Nietzsche was altered by his editor. According to some, Nietzsche’s original statement was considered too bleak and went something along the lines of, “That which doesn’t kill us leaves such wounds that we accept lesser oppression and believe ourselves stronger for it.” Whatever the original wording, I think the quote was roughly about being conditioned to eat shit and call it “stoicism” and how state terror and war work to pacify populations.

      None of that is really relevant to what your ex meant by throwing around morally loaded quotes but I think what she’s really saying is that she’s the Omnidroid from The Incredibles that learns how to defeat opponents by battling with them and studying their methods. Maybe that means she’s going to start telling people you cheated on her? That would be typical fwittery.

      • Reminds of the Hemingway quote that often appears as “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Sounds good, right? But keep reading and the message is bleak: “the world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

        • Adelante– Thanks for sharing that example. I wasn’t familiar with it but it’s perfect. I’m sure some aren’t particularly happy having their literary quotes put back in context whether it’s because they think the correction is just to show them up or because they don’t like the bleaker message when they’re trying to be pozzy about misfortune (usually in reference to other people’s misfortune).

          Clipping quotes due to rigid positivity overlooks a lot whether this is because an author meant a bleak message as a critical warning and call to action or because the author was sugarcoating evil. I’ve also noticed that people who post memes of the enlightened-sounding stuff from Plato often don’t like being made aware of Plato’s Nazi blueprint bits about throwing disabled children off cliffs to preserve racial purity and cynically using race theory and state terror to keep the ruling class in power.

        • Thank you for that. So many times partial quotes are stated, to bolster someone’s agenda, when the *full* quote actually negates what they were trying to push.

          • I was researching a particular Monsanto shill for an eco publication about ten years ago. The shill was speaking to some government panel about overcoming consumer suspicion of agrochemicals and was quoting Brecht and Einstein. For fuck’s sake.

      • @HellofaChump
        Interesting. And yeah, after uncovering my ex’s deep fuckwittery and the toxic person she really is, I didn’t give any of her messages any credence. I quickly learned that pretty much everything she said and did was an attempt at manipulation. And she practically went on a barnstorming tour to spread lies about me to her friends about what a bad husband I was. I’m reminded of the saying that a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts its boots on. As my username suggests, I’m just grateful to be divorced and free from the abuse.

        • “Barnstorming tour” is such a perfect way to put it. They go on rampages, sprees and crusades! You’d think anyone with half a brain would suspect the frauds protest too much but for reasons I’ll never understand, faux-victims tend to be treated much better and get more credence than actual victims. I guess the fakers know how to let one pretty tear slide cinematically down their cheeks as they bleat out their invented tales of woe while actual victims ugly-cry alone in bathroom stalls or sound numb and monotone when they try to talk about it.

          • I think the faux victims position their trauma in such a way the audience sees a solution, ideally one involving the listener.

            Real victims have trauma that is not easily solved. Bystanders don’t like that.

            • Aha. Brilliant. I could never figure it out. I thought it was just performance art and something it being easier to put on an “adorable” display when one is emotionally detached but I think you’re right.

  • In retrospect I wish I’d left earlier and had avoided even the confrontations where I “won.” But those confrontations were like conducting lab experiments and I learned a few things. After D-Day when I was still enmeshed, FW would freeze in mid-DARVO accusation like a rabbit in the headlights when I’d exclaim with wide-eyed credulity, “WOW, you’re a battered man! You should file a report and go find a shelter!”

    I think battered men exist and it’s not a joke. But I sensed FW was imagining an audience that was like his flying monkeys– dumb, drunk, ignorant, biased, bought with free drinks and sympathetic to him– as he spewed these things. So I changed the imaginary audience to cops, judges and shelter advocates and he was suddenly confronted with the absurdity of what he was saying.

    “Well, yer honor, she was crying and that’s a form of violent coercion!”
    “She told me to leave and the door really did hit me in the ass on my way out! That’s assault with a deadly screen!”
    “She tried to kill me with bagged salad!”

    Of course my reaction might not have worked to shut him up if he was in the legal arena and practiced in lying to police, judges, etc. But the fact that it shut him down made me conclude that one of the reasons abusers spew all these bizarre accusations is that they’re flexing and demonstrating to the victim what they’re going to say to other people. I assume the reason FWs don’t care that the victim knows the charges are false is because the abuser is effectively threatening character assassination and social isolation as if saying, “Behold how passionately invested I am in my bullshit! Imagine how convincing I’ll be to others when I paint you as a monster! Do what I want or you’ll lose your job, your kids, your friends and you’ll die alone in the gutter!”

    So I think the blame-shifting attacks aren’t just about maintaining centrality but are intended to play on everyone’s hardwired caveman fears of being driven out of the tribe and left to feed the wolves. As much as everyone tries to front that they don’t care what others think because this is culturally propped up as “healthy self esteem,” I suspect it’s pretty universal that the threat of social castigation makes the primitive parts of our brains go haywire and short out. When I figured that out, the blame-shifting stopped paralyzing me and keeping me engaged.

    • “She tried to kill me with bagged salad!”
      Where is the rolling on the floor crying emoji when I need it?

  • I will NEVER be a target of what comes out of FW’s mouth or keyboard ever again! He is blocked, I don’t answer unknown callers & I will run away screaming my head off if he ever approaches me in public! My ears & eyes don’t deserve him justifying his supreme shittiness ever again! Parenting apps were created for a reason lol

  • Tracy, you always word things so perfectly! “You cruelly withdraw your wife appliance services and yet you want HIM to PAY for an absent appliance! Just go ahead and bill him for imaginary refrigerators, why don’t you.” and “How will you live without his constant centrality?”

    During my divorce negotiations FW actually whined out loud to the attorneys that it wasn’t fair he would have to pay money to someone who wasn’t even going to be there for him anymore. Ever since, he tells anyone who will listen the sad, sad story of how he’s lost everything AND got cheated in the divorce. Anyone who refuses to rescue him from the consequences of his actions is “not nice.”

    This past weekend, my knitting project involved, of all things, untangling an actual skein. The funny thing is, it was therapeutic, and I recommend it to anyone who needs to kinesthetically manifest WHY trying to explain and understand our FWs is time wasted. I spent a couple hours picking, teasing, un-knotting, winding, tangling, and snagging, only to conclude that the yarn was cheap trash. Such a flawed raw material would be completely unsuitable for a project requiring so much time, skill, and effort. It would have been a better use of time to pitch it and drive to the yarn shop for something different.

    I reflected upon another of Chump Lady’s metaphors – my walls now sing. The music they play is those gentle flowing strains you hear in a spa. My space is quiet, and oh, so restful. It took me a long time to stop mourning for my old life, but now, I’m reveling in the peace that comes with freedom and autonomy.

    Kim, I congratulate you on your impending freedom. Yeet that FW out of your life, and step into beautiful peace!

    • The nerve. Just tell him it’s backpay for all the years you were the dutiful wife appliance. Every time I read that they are whining about having to give up half of what they built, my hand itches for a baseball bat. Ummm no, you are giving me back what I invested into the marriage. These people think that while they were “building”, we were just sitting around eating Bon bons all day and watching soap operas.

  • Never listen to a sociopath. The guy cheated with HUNDREDS of women. This is the type of person who is committed to the deception. Even his accusations are more deception. Anything to keep him off the hook, anything to get him more kibbles or a reprieve. He’s like a serial killer in police custody, saying whatever it takes to serve his selfish interests. Nothing he says is real. He’s a sociopath.

    Him texting you multiple times a day isn’t just the antithesis of No Contact, it’s full blown harassment. Can you have your lawyer or the court enforce the divorce decree, so you can block him immediately? Whatever the lawyer costs to act as your intermediary, it’s WORTH IT!

  • Yes, he says I’m in the wrong because I am not honoring our marriage vows (or abiding by Catholicism—we took VOWS!!!!). He does not get the irony at all.

    • Sheila Rauch Kennedy wrote a wonderful book called ‘Shattered Vows’. (She was married to one of the Kennedy brothers and he–a Catholic–got an annulment because…well, because he was a Kennedy.) When she cried to him about the vows they’d taken, he called that ‘just a bunch of gobbledygook’. She was shattered. It’s a really good book.

    • Just another guy whose main complaint is “You aren’t doing what I want you to do.”
      He doesn’t care about “vows” or he wouldn’t have cheated. Their ability to project is mind boggling. Embrace the hypcrisy–that’s their motto.

  • “My guess: It just sounded superior and he went with it.”… hahahahaha so much THIS. It doesnt matter if it makes sense- it just has to sound like it might

  • It is indeed disturbing when you see these people for who they are. I can’t believe I was with my ex for so long. It absolutely creeps me out now. Our teenager sees it too, with very little input from me, and is likewise creeped out by him. I try to block a lot of it out, but on occasion when I look to the memories made in the decades we were together, I have to preemptively remind myself that I did nothing wrong–it’s not wrong to love someone with all your heart who you thought loved you back in the same way. And some of them are good memories that I deserve to have. Those are my 20 years too! I kept my side of the street clean. But, it’s like a mantra that I have to say to not vomit a little thinking about him.

  • Text him a link to a dedicated email and then block him on phone and text. He owes the money. You don’t owe him an open pipeline to manipulate you.

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