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UBT: I Don’t Remember Meeting Sex Workers

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Dear Chump Lady,

Background: I left my husband of 15 years this week after D-Day #3 (one emotional affair, then finding out he had met up with a sex worker, then finding out he had met up with several sex workers over at least all of 2022). He has struggled in the past with depression and addiction. I spackled HARD throughout some pretty horrible situations because I thought they were due to his mental health. We seem to be replaying this theme song and I could use a hand with the translation so I don’t keep making the same mistake.

Here’s what he sent me:

I’m sorry that my actions have made you feel like you’re not my everything. Why aren’t you able to forgive me? You know I’m sorry, you’ve told me you understand that. I’m getting the help I need to improve, and nothing has happened in 2023 [ed: in the 4 months since DDay 1]. Nothing has changed in my feelings for you. I just wish I understood why you want to leave. We had so many good years and so many good times. I love you and I miss you and I wish there was something I could do to make you love me again. We’re made for one another. We’ve been friends since childhood. Every year since we’ve gotten married my New Year’s resolution is to be the best partner to you I can be.

I have had a lot of hurtful moments over the last two months where I’ve been ignored and rejected by you. Especially when we’d promised each other we’d be there for each other for the rest of our lives. I haven’t gotten upset at you, because I still think about my future as a future that has you in it. I would do anything to have you back. I am getting sober. I am getting therapy. I promised to spend the rest of my life with you and that is very important to me. I made a promise to stand by you and I have. I have fucked up but I have learned. I stood by your side when you fractured your spine 2 years ago and I wish that when my soul was taken away from me and I was sick as well you could find it your heart to stand by me.

I appreciate that you don’t understand my mental health. I have more clarity now, and my actions were byproducts of my depression. I was not lying to you when I told you there was nothing else [ed: after DDay 1] because I do not remember messaging and meeting up with sex workers. But if my health is the last straw I understand. I wish I could make it better. I miss you. I love you.

Too Many Chances


Dear Too Many Chances,

He can’t remember the sex workers? That wins Best in Show for gaslighting. Wow.

If you want to stop the loop of taking him back because of “mental health issues,” cut straight to: He’s Not Available for a Relationship.

But, but… must fix! 

He’s Not Available for a Relationship.

I must stand by him! And endure all manner of abuse because he can’t help it!

He’s Not Available for a Relationship. As in, you’re not in a relationship. With reciprocity and mutual regard and caregiving. You deserve an actual relationship, not this hostage situation.

Maybe he’s going to mean it this time and get better!

He’s Not Available for a Relationship. Best case, he’s very, very busy with his mental health issues and addiction recovery. Worst case, he’s a user and needs a chaos janitor.

Also, people with mental health issues (that’s one in three people!) have an obligation to treat their mental health issues. “Getting sober” isn’t sober. You don’t have to wait around for this guy’s potential. YOU have potential and you’re wasting it. Cheating on you is a CHOICE. The depression didn’t make him do it, or the substances — he has agency. And whatever his afflictions, his choices still reflect his character.

All to say, good for you for leaving. Make it stick. Please stay no contact!

Now to kick the Universal Bullshit Translator into action.

I’m sorry that my actions have made you feel like you’re not my everything.

I can’t imagine why you feel like you’re not my everything after three consecutive D-Days. But if rejecting you for sex workers makes you feel like I’m not fully committed, well, I’m sorry you have irrational feelings.

Why aren’t you able to forgive me?

Like all the other times you’ve forgiven me. Absolution of my sins is required. Me not being a transgressive shitheel… not so much.

Besides, I went to the effort of this lame-ass email. You should be over it already.

You know I’m sorry, you’ve told me you understand that.

I thought my mindfuckery was working and you agreed.

I’m getting the help I need to improve, and nothing has happened in 2023 [ed: in the 4 months since DDay 1].

Three D-Days in four months with help. It’d be 40 if it weren’t for science!

Nothing has changed in my feelings for you.

My disregard is as solid as ever.

I just wish I understood why you want to leave.

Is it my diseased dick? My piss-poor adulting? The way I dribble on my trousers? Give Daddy a kiss. #eww

We had so many good years and so many good times.

You’ve been such a reliable wife appliance.

I love you and I miss you and I wish there was something I could do to make you love me again.

Not fucking hookers is off the table.

We’re made for one another.

I manufacture bullshit like Henry Ford makes automobiles. Oh, here’s another insipid cliche coming down the assembly line…

We’ve been friends since childhood. Every year since we’ve gotten married my New Year’s resolution is to be the best partner to you I can be.

I had entire thoughts about being better.

I have had a lot of hurtful moments over the last two months where I’ve been ignored and rejected by you.

It’s not what I did, it’s your reaction to it. I hurt too! Worse really.

Especially when we’d promised each other we’d be there for each other for the rest of our lives.

You broke your promise and I believe in commitment kamikazes who circle paper airplanes of helium gardenias. Where is the rest of our porcupine, Sally?

(I’m sorry, the UBT has choked. The bullshit is just too great. Must clear the funnels… hang on…)

I haven’t gotten upset at you, because I still think about my future as a future that has you in it.

Rage is next if this charm channel fails to deliver.

I would do anything to have you back.

Except, like, actually do anything.

I am getting sober. I am getting therapy.

Under duress. For entire weeks. So, I demand a cessation of consequences! That’s the 17th step, right?

I promised to spend the rest of my life with you and that is very important to me. I made a promise to stand by you and I have.

My promises are very important to me. And that is horseradish you can count on. I made a bandstand by you. Watusi! Dick Clark.

(The UBT has broken down again. Hang on… I hope it can finish.)

I have fucked up but I have learned.

That I have an infinite amount of fuck up in me. Each time I learn how to better manipulate you.

I stood by your side when you fractured your spine 2 years ago

Like using your infirmity — which you couldn’t help — as a guilt cudgel to bludgeon you with.

and I wish that when my soul was taken away from me and I was sick as well you could find it your heart to stand by me.

When my liver fails and I crap my adult diapers, I hope you are there.

I appreciate that you don’t understand my mental health. I have more clarity now, and my actions were byproducts of my depression.

You’re not sophisticated enough to understand mental health and how it compels people to answer Back Page ads.

I was not lying to you when I told you there was nothing else [ed: after DDay 1] because I do not remember messaging and meeting up with sex workers.

I have absolutely no recollection of four straight months of whoring about. I must’ve been concussed by some dominitrix’s stiletto boot. Which then caused me to abuse my credit card — follow me here, I know you don’t understand mental health issues — and buy multiple rounds of sex. Which I do not remember. Which is probably why I had so many encounters, in order to remember them. So really, it’s like therapy.

But if my health is the last straw I understand. I wish I could make it better. I miss you. I love you.

I wish I could remember those sex workers. Bambi? Cindy? It’s me, Spanky69! I’ve missed you. I love you. Mastercard.


Please Chances, no more chances for this creep. Stay strong.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • As someone who struggles with their mental health every day, this cheater’s letter astounds me. This wasn’t written by someone struggling to make a better life for themselves and for someone they love. He isn’t even struggling with his own mental health. He blaming everyone and everything with zero introspection. Ugh.
    His note was written by someone (pretending to be?) completely clueless. Who stoops so low as to even try to compare a spinal fracture with fucking sex workers?
    CL has written a lot about “nothing to work with”. There is nothing to work with here! And why would someone even want to? There was nothing in this letter that even begins to even pretend to acknowledge how the letter writer feels. It is beyond pathetic.
    Too Many Chances, this is not a husband or a person struggling with their mental health. This is a selfish, cruel and pathetic individual who takes zero responsibility for his actions and has zero empathy. Life with a stuffed animal would be better than this guy. I’m so sorry but he is a pathetic excuse for a husband and human being. Stay strong and stay away.

    • Totally agree! Selfish manipulative deadbeat with selective memory loss!

    • “As someone who struggles with their mental health every day, this cheater’s letter astounds me.” These were my thoughts as well! I struggle with mental health constantly yet that is no excuse to abuse and blameshift your partner. He’s just a POS.

    • I liked this comment before I even finished reading it. That’s how insightful it is.

    • My first thought reading this letter was, “This guy isn’t struggling with anything, he’s reveling in it.”

  • I’m only halfway through the letter but I had to stop at the part where he’s guilt tripping her about her spinal injury (?! OP my God, I hope you’re healed and doing ok) and implying some insane false equivalency with fucking sex workers.

    OP, you will never understand this because it is not how a normal person who loves his partner talks. Just set aside some money, copy all the financial documents you can get your hands on, and find a lawyer. There’s no way with his attitude that this gets better.

    • “I manufacture bullshit like Henry Ford makes automobiles. Oh, here’s another insipid cliche coming down the assembly line…”

      CL, you are a national treasure!

      I thought this guy was pretty extreme when I read Too Many Chances’ story and the spinal injury part, but his justifications and mindfucks are all versions the same exact things I, and I’m sure many of CN, dealt with. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the UBT!

    • Thank you for checking! I am fine (mostly healed, no more extreme sports for me and lots of ongoing physio, but pretty minor in terms of how bad it could have turned out).

      And I think the weird false equivalency was being injured is the same as being depressed, and impacts of both should be dealt with together. Or something.

      • That is so selfish and dumb. I’m quite certain you didn’t wake up one day and decide “I’m going to willingly break my spine and make my husband deal with me.”

        Nobody does that.

        He DID willingly choose to cheat and pay for sex. Using your injury to justify his cruelty is inhuman.

      • He wants some bitch cookies for sticking by you when you were injured…you know, for doing what is the bare minimum of a basic reciprocal adult relationship. These guys are all the same–they want overtime pay for simply doing the damn job. Sorry buddy, it don’t work that way.

      • He may be depressed. That’s actually a side effect of drinking. And drinking itself is often a way for depressed people to self-medicate. What he is doing is like a dog chasing his tail.

      • Yes, perhaps getting injured and having depression are equivalent. But cheating is NOT an impact of depression. So you can’t sub depression with cheating and then say injury = depression, depression = cheating, therefore injury = cheating, which is what your FW is trying to say.

    • The false equivalencies are ridiculous. FW said:
      him screwing hookers=me doing puzzles in my down time. Wtf!
      Him getting piss drunk every night=me taking antidepressants. Him spending thousands on hookers=me not using all the leftovers.
      Him cheating=ok, since I apparently would not discuss divorce.
      This could almost be a competition to see who has the FW with the most asinine equivalencies. Geesh!

      • Oooh, oooh, pick me! I have one too!
        Him cheating = me being unavailable for sex at the drop of a hat because I was working 2 jobs to support both of us while he was in school for 3 hours a day (and spending the money his parents gave him on his AP classmate)

        • Mine. Said he spent money on blow jobs because I didn’t load the dishwasher properly. Hahahahhahhaha

      • “Him spending thousands on hookers=me not using all the leftovers.” Wut???

  • This might be one of the worst letters I’ve read in many years of reading this blog.

    Comparing his willful deceit with her spine fracture is just beyond. The broken vow isn’t “in sickness and in health”- it is “forsaking all others.” He broke the contract, he broke the trust. Everyone has to live with the consequences.

    I truly hope you get yourself free of this chaos whirlwind. There is peace and safety outside of the storm.

  • Gosh, that entire letter sounds like someone who is annoyed that the wife appliance is malfunctioning.

    Too Many Chances, 15 years is more than enough. Don’t give that creep another moment of your precious life. Like Tracy said, there is NOTHING to work with here. Going through divorce is really sucky, but life can be beautiful on the other side. Come join us. We have peace, and occasionally cookies.

  • Part of my “we’re getting divorced now” speech included “I’m not entirely closing my mind to the future…” [Note, I was closing my mind to that — this is just what I said] “…but for now, I need for us to be divorced. You have a lot to work through, and the choices you make while you’re working through it can have very bad impacts on me. I support you in your work. Nothing says we can’t remarry later, but for right now, while you do that work, I need to be unmarried with you so any missteps you make while you’re figuring things out don’t harm me.”

    It was effective at the time, but I’m not writing this to suggest this is literally the same as our writer’s situation or my past may work exactly the same for others. I’m just saying it was a technique, crafted with a smart counselor, to leverage some very similar arguments about how he was “working on it” in my own favor. I needed to complete the divorce, and this worked in my situation to get us there.

    And even more importantly, it gave him added permission to refocus on sticking his penis in the whole world without also trying to cling to me, which he was happy to do. It sounded to him like I’d be waiting when he was ready. I was, in effect, giving him exactly what he wanted, and he gobbled it up.

    I was not. Waiting. I was grieving, healing, and moving on, with a lot less BS from him in my day to day life. I was backing out quietly while he was distracted and busy. I was letting him fill the empty me-shaped space in his life with a smorgasbord of sweet sweet strange while I tried fresh knots in the ends of the rest of my life strings. It made all the difference for me.

    YMMV, this is just some food for thought about how to facilitate the redirection of the thoughts of a person who claims to be “doing their work” or “healing” pertaining to the ways they have abused you. Permission/tolerance — as long as it isn’t too enthusiastic and therefore appearing suspicious — often slides under the radar, and that can buy you time to build better walls.

    • This is an excellent plan and script. So long as you don’t trip into hopium (maybe we can be together!) Ease on out and and make your way to safety.

      • Excellent point, CL. The emphasis, at least in my head, was on the “can’t predict the future, but for RIGHT NOW this is what I need”, and the unspoken subtext had to be “and I can actually predict my part of the future”.

        There’s that line from The Holiday that I will probably get wrong — something like “I have a life to start living, and YOU’RE not going to be in it!” So relatable. 😊

      • In cases where the Chump wants to see if the cheater can, in fact, change, this strategy can also work, with support from a therapist willing to snatch the hopium pipe if it appears.

    • Ami, I did a similar speech to my xFW. I was actually terrified that, if he knew I was planning to go full divorce, he would kill me. So I allowed him to think there was a chance. When I left to do a “gig”, I moved to a large city, got a PO Box in a suburb, and an unlisted phone number (over 30 years ago). He had no idea I would not be coming back. I went back ONCE to load a moving van with MY furnishings and family heirlooms, and with a security guard. He looked at the guard and said, “is this really necessary?”. I replied, “It is for me.”

    • You gave him space, and he showed you what (or who) he’d rather be doing. You get to see his true colours, and reaffirm your reasons for getting divorced.

    • I did some version of this with an asset during the divorce that my ex was planning to hold hostage. I needed to be divorced, he wanted this asset. I had no intention of giving him the asset but I agreed to consider all angles of his plea, and said we can shelve this one item for later. I needed to be divorced and start the healing process so I could make a wise choice about the asset. In the end, he was forced to split the asset as it was rightfully half mine. It did have the unfortunate effect of continuing divorce discussions on this one asset for another year, but it also gave me time to replete my reserves to rally for this last fight. I think it’s a good strategy if you’re in just a really vulnerable place and afraid you’ll capitulate.

      • “but it also gave me time to replete my reserves to rally for this last fight”

        Did you mean “replete”?

        Or did you mean “but it also gave me time to REPLENISH my reserves to rally for this last fight”?

        P.S. I think you are mighty. Lotsa hugs and muchas smooches.

    • I did something very similar with the help of my amazing counselor. His life was circling the toilet because it turned out that the great love story he and schmoopie thought they had through their online affair wasn’t that great in real life. Reality really slapped him in the face once he realized he had thrown his family, friends, career, and life away to move 600 miles from home and shack up with a stranger who had no job, no money, no car, and no place to live. He eventually came back with his proverbial tail between his legs begging me to stop proceeding with the divorce that he had initially demanded but refused to file for. He stalled on signing the divorce papers and as a last ditch effort, I gave him the whole “we don’t know what the future holds for either of us, but I need to proceed with the divorce for now since you’ve got a lot of work to do on yourself. But there’s nothing that says we can’t get married again once you’re in a better place” speech. While he was desperately grasping for something or someone to glom onto to save him, I was quietly starting to build my new life. I continued to get desperate calls and texts from him begging me to change my mind over the 3 months that our signed divorce papers had to be on file with the court, but almost like magic once the divorce was finalized by the court, I stopped hearing from him. Found out a few weeks later that he was living with a new girlfriend. Good riddance!

  • This letter, like any other letter from a cheater, is a big giant glass of Kool Aid flavored anesthesia. It is actually antifreeze, which tastes very sweet and kills you.

    You can expect anything that worked before to be served over the net to you to escalate, doubled. Walk off the tennis court and drive away.

    I don’t talk to liars. I talk to lawyers.

    And as for the getting sober thing, I’ve been sober since 8/15/86. I can’t say I am any kind of relationship Jedi, but I have never cheated in my life, before or after getting into recovery. I would steer very very clear of anyone who has an active problem with alcohol and lying and cheating. He will not be capable of a healthy relationship for a very long time. Years. If ever.

    I’ve had a therapist and been in Al Anon since 1986 too. All this did not make me cheater-proof, but along with this site it has been lifesaving in terms of recovering from infidelity.

  • The UBT was on target and hilarious as usual, but seems to have skipped over this gem: “I wish that when my soul was taken away from me and I was sick as well”

    His soul was taken away? What kind of BS is that for claiming complete lack of agency or responsibility? What, some soul catcher swooped in and stole it?

    Fraudster also claimed that he didn’t know or remember what happened and it was like another person did it. He tried that when I caught him, while he was in the midst of it. Then continued it. Then tried to convince me later that his online romance scam was just a fantasy he played out.

    He sent real cash, not play money, when he sent his “fantasy” tens of thousands of marital funds. It wasn’t another person’s all-too-solid hands that he used to hit me when I discovered his attempts to cover up the extent of his theft. And whether or not HE remembered, out child vividly recalls his abuse, threats and psychological manipulation.

    As for, “I have had a lot of hurtful moments over the last two months where I’ve been ignored and rejected by you. Especially when we’d promised each other we’d be there for each other for the rest of our lives.” So what about the two years of hurt he cause by cheating? Where was HIS promise then?

    Too Many Chances, thanks for sharing this example of utter selfishness. Don’t beat yourself up one bit for giving him “Too Many Chances.” Although he didn’t deserve them, you were a kind and loving chump. Give yourself time and the chance to heal, far , far away from this cheater. You left him because of his decisions and actions to cheat and lie, not because of his “health.”

    • re: soul. it must’ve been a dementor, a dark and wraithful creature that sucked the soul out of him. very harry potter.

      as if he had a soul. these folks don’t have them. they’re missing an integral part and over focused on body part. “i have needs. you don’t understand. you will never understand. i have a SECRET LIFE and this makes me interesting to myself and to others. look at my tattoos.”

      dementor tattoos.

  • Oh my god. The false equivalency of a spinal injury and cheating. Or of depression/loneliness/boredom and cheating. The X-asshat told me that MY seven miscarriages made him sad and want to cheat with whomever would say yes. So he gave me chlamydia which scarred a fallopian tube and I had an ectopic which almost killed me. That made him sad too. I made him sad. Sad was the excuse he had to fuck around. I’m sure whatever he’s with now makes him sad, too. It’s not his fault; the world makes him sad.

    Do yourself a huge favor: put yourself first and leave this addicted, cheating, forgetful, idiotic, blaming piece of shite

  • Oh boy. He feels SO sorry for himself. “My mental health made me do it! You wouldn’t impose consequences on someone who has mental health issues. Would you? I nursed you back from your spinal surgery! As for those sex workers, I don’t remember, so it never happened. Or it if happened, it doesn’t matter because…mental health issues.”

    My ex used his mental health issues as his own get-out-of-jail-free card, too.😡

    He argued that I wasn’t always supportive of his mental health issues (I WAS!) and that I therefore violated our marital vows (the “in sickness and in health” part). Because I violated our vows, he rationalized that he could violate them, too. Hence, the affair.

    • I’m really sorry that happened to you. That sounds… very familiar. I did struggle with being supportive of the MH issues, but I know I tried my best. But you’re reassuring me that isn’t equivalent.

    • The problem with mental health is that it is subjective. Anyone can claim depression, trauma, etc. to excuse being a total asshole.

  • Spinal fracture? Pfui! He had to find someplace to get his dick wet while she was out of service!

    The entitlement is strong with this one. What is it with these guys who think an all-access pass to a warm, wet hole is their birthright?

    TMC, I hope you’re OK and thriving. It will be even better once you get this FW out of your life for good.

  • Short version:
    You are the one who is ruining my life. You promised you would support me no matter what. You are breaking your promise.

    I can’t help you because what you want is enabling not recovery.
    I support you in your recovery.
    However, I am not going to sacrifice my life for a person who does not take responsibility for their own actions.

    Divorcing you means I will protect myself from harm. My health is the last straw.

    • It really is gross that some people seem to think “stand by me no matter what” means “I do literally whatever I want and you can’t leave.”

      Sorry bro, but adult love is conditional and nobody has to put up with continued deception and abuse.

  • Speaking of Mastercard – does anyone else remember seeing this sometime in the early 2000’s? I think there may have been others!

    • So, what was it? If you can provide a title, I’ll go check it out on YouTube myself.

      BTW: YouTube can be a P-I-T-A. (This very same thing happened to me yesterday.) (;-<)

      • “FWIW: I am not the kind of person who gives up that easily. (and I sure hope that this one works out.)”

        I admire your tenacity, Little Wing, as well as your willingness to help a chump in need. Recently I failed at my attempt to provide a link to a photo of the Pollyanna statue in Littleton, NH, and a lovely fellow chump promptly located it and posted it. Memory impairment has caused me to forget who it was, but she holds a very warm spot in my heart.

        Isn’t it great that we former chumps can now use our deep wells of empathy to help out the normal, deserving members of CN, instead of wasting all that altruism on fuckwits?

        • “Isn’t it great that we former chumps can now use our deep wells of empathy to help out the normal, deserving members of CN, instead of wasting all that altruism on fuckwits?”

          It sure as heck is!

          Thank you, Eirene.

          And a big “thank you” to you, N-S-C for your response below.

          My life is fuller now, because of the two of you. And the citizens of CN.

      • Blowjob – Priceless Mastercard parody.

        “Another apparent subviral currently invading inboxes is a rude parody of Mastercard’s “priceless” campaign, which sources claim was produced in cahoots with Mastercard’s US agency. The clip features a boy walking his girlfriend to her door after a drunken night out and asking her for a blowjob. The voiceover interrupts his plea with Mastercard-parodying quips like, “Getting the nerve to ask such a question: $12 bottle of wine,” several times before the girl’s sister appears with a message from dad. “Go ahead and give him a blowjob – but for God’s sake tell him to take his hand off the intercom.” If Mastercard was behind it (several sources say it is) then it’s the highest-profile subviral yet.”

        I wonder if the link got caught in the filter. Wouldn’t surprise me. It is a VERY funny spoof.

  • This one should be certified as criminal and sent straight to jail to protect the public. If I hadn’t lived with a psychopath for 26 years and experience this type of emotional abuse, I wouldn’t believe it. Ran, wasted years. Block on all channels. Get a protection order. Move thousands of miles away from him. He’s the definition of dangerous. Nothing to work with – never was, never will be. Put down the shovel and climb out of the pit he created. There’s a whole big beautiful world up here!

    • MC99, run is exactly what I did after only 4 years from my bi-polar FW. I was, and am still, scared of him.

      The letter above is all about poor, poor him, and nothing about the impact of his actions on his victim (TMC).

      RUN, TMC. This guy is a world-class douche.

  • Depression is real, and it’s devastating. And it does sometimes result in bad behaviors, at least while a person is unclear about how it is impacting them.

    The thing about gaslighting is that it’s most effective when it takes a concept that’s believably true then flips it 45 degrees – just enough to make the not true thing seem at least semi-believable.

    When bad behaviors stem from legit depression, we aren’t absolved of our accountability. The depression at the root doesn’t unharm anyone. It doesn’t oblige anyone to continue engaging with us, to choose harm over safety in order to support us. This is where this guy’s argument starts breaking down, as the UBT so beautifully illustrated.

    Maybe he is clinically depressed, and if so he does need treatment, and he needs to make changes. And maybe his choices do have certain roots in that depression. That doesn’t make his twisted conclusions accurate.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to argue that a person should stay with someone whose mental illness includes, say, threatening to kill the person, or beating the person up, just because they drove the person to the hospital when the person needed an appendectomy and maybe made some soup afterward for a day or two.

    And I don’t think it’s reasonable to argue that a person who doesn’t want to share a house and finances with you is entirely unsupportive of you because depression exists. In fact, letting you get on with your work instead of remaining present in stressful chaos and constant disagreements and sadness actually IS supportive of the work, in countless ways. (Especially if you share children and have to navigate all of that chaos anyway.)

    When something seems off, like with this guy, it often helps me to try to grab their argument like an object and try to view it from different angles. Altered context often reveals the less obvious deceptions in the statements, and that bright light can often help us shed the fear that we’re being unfair, when we absolutely are not.

    • Fortunately, my ex didn’t have mental health issues that he could blame his behavior on. But I had a talented but erratic person I supervised at work. He already had one strike against him after an incident that left the Uber boss of my organization ready to fire him. I said I would work with him, but he continued to be problematic, and when it became clear to him that his job might again be in jeopardy, he confessed to me that he had a rapid cycling form of bipolar disorder. I brought in our HR person (she and I were on the same page that we believed in second chances) and after verifying that he did indeed have the condition and was receiving treatment for it, we worked out a “reasonable accommodation” with very specific rules. It was complicated, because he worked in another city where my organization had an outpost, so one of the main rules was that he was to call in when he arrived at the office and call me again when he left for the day. Pretty simple, right, when doing so meant you got to keep your well-paid and highly coveted job?

      He then proceeded to violate those rules over the following months. The day after I told my partner that I was done and was documenting his behavior in preparation to firing him, this guy resigned (sensing what was going to happen). I was stressing over the situation, but my ex said “Sometimes a person with a mental illness is also a jerk.” That was a moment of clarity for me. I’m sympathetic to people struggling with mental health conditions, but that does not give them the right to harm other people.

      Given the BS in the letter that Too Many Chances shared, I think it’s pretty clear Chump Nation would diagnose her husband as a jerkwad with depression. Depression is treatable. Jerkwadism? Not so much.

      • There’s no Assaholics Anonymous and, even if there were, most would probably skip right to the 13th Step– bonking their fellow assholes.

      • I meant to say my partner (not my ex) was the person who said “sometimes a person with a mental illness is also a jerk,” referring to my bipolar AND jerkwad ex-supervisee.

  • This is the sentence that hit me with utter manipulation behind it: “But if my health is the last straw I understand.”

    If he gave a whack about anyone’s health, he wouldn’t have been with sex workers. Period.

    He’s comparing your back surgery to his fucking around on the “health spectrum”… good lord, what’s next?

    You’ve got nothing to work with here. He isn’t sorry. The therapy hasn’t even scratched the surface for him, so it’s gonna be a long road ahead. Chances of him seeing it through – data on similar others is zero. It’ll be easier for him to find someone new to help “fix him” if it isn’t gonna be you (and it shouldn’t be you!).

    Let him go with “love and no contact” so he can focus on his “health”… and don’t let the door hit him on the ass on the way out.

  • I…oh my GOD what an absolute pile of naval-gazing trash. From the gaslighting of “not remembering” a hooker habit, to the condescending “you don’t understand mental health” to the insulting “I dont know why you won’t forgive me.”

    From beginning to end this letter is flaming garbage. The UBT almost doesn’t need to do anything because there is so much blatant bullshit in this letter there’s nothing to translate. It absolutely astounds me sometimes that there are people who actually pull this in seriousness.

    I need a shower after that…

  • Look at this sentence near the end of the FW’s letter. “But if my health is the last straw I understand. ”
    The OP’s FW has framed this as her abandoning him while he’s sick. Not a bit of remorse for the awful cheating.

    • What about her health? You know, the health he risked by screwing sex workers?

  • What is it with narcs and the “you are my everything” line? Apart from the sex workers bit, my XH could have written this. I suppose I was his everything. Breadwinner, housekeeper, maintenance worker, accountant, ego-stroker, mommy substitute, chaos janitor…

    Most people, if they are so dependent on someone else, would treat that person with love, respect, and gratitude. That means no side fucks. If they don’t, it’s time to bail.

  • When I read the second sentence and it was “Why aren’t you able to forgive me?” I got up from my chair and said, aloud, “Because you bought prostitutes, you asshole.” (“Sex workers” sanitizes his actions, which contributed to trafficking and a culture of misogyny that insists that objectification of women isn’t harmful if a woman “chooses” to objectify herself for money.)

    When I sat back down and finished the letter, I couldn’t believe the entitlement: just because he (claims he) doesn’t remember doing so means she’s supposed to act as if it didn’t happen?

    This guy is the blame-shiftingest, saddest sausage of all the sad sausages there are, and let me tell you, I had one hell of a sad sausage myself, so I know from sausages!

    Too Many Chances,
    You have been been played, and as a result you have stayed–for far, far too long. Good for you for finally having reached the point at which you put down the spackle brush and left. Now your stbx is floundering around, not knowing how to get you back where he wants you but offering up the old blame-shifting sad sausage line of “I’m depressed, you have to support me” script that previously worked to get you back in line. Only now he’s added the false equivalency of “I helped you when you had a spine injury,” as if choosing to hire prostitutes were like a physical injury.

    That letter is a masterwork of "poor me, poor me, poor me, you owe me, you owe me, poor me, bad you." Nowhere in that letter does he ever once consider your feelings, your needs, your health (he fucked hookers!) Nowhere does he show any awareness that his avowals of love and faithfulness ring utterly hollow in light of his actions. Nowhere does he apologize.

    CL is right: his mental illness (if not his off the charts narcissistic entitlement) means he is unavailable for a relationship. Or at least a real one, a healthy one, one that isn’t you serving his needs and him serving you up one helping of hurt after another.

  • My xFW was thrilled when he got diagnosed as Bi-polar, since he then could continue to engage in lying/adultery/fraud/abuse and have something to blame it all on.

    Any time he did ANYTHING questionable there was an easy alibi: “I can’t help it! I’m bi-polar!!” Meaning I was a heartless bitch for not just accepting his abuse of me, our finances, his children (from a previous marriage). Medication was only spotty since he would miss the highs of the mania part of the mental illness.

    Not taking his meds was a deliberate choice on his part. He CHOSE to be abusive. I chose not to be married to him any more.

  • Ah yes, the classic “I’m sorry that my actions have made you feel…” I didn’t do anything wrong, it’s how you feel about it that’s wrong. UGH! I got that one so many times.

    Stay strong, Chances! You did the right thing by leaving and the more time you spend on the FW-free side of life, the more you will recognize the blatant manipulation attempts and be able to smash them over the wall like a grand slam home run! Go no contact and enjoy your calm, safe, FW-free new adventure!

    • Yes, and notice how the actions are never named. They never say, “I’m sorry that my betrayal / cheating / lying / deception made you feel some certain way.”

  • Chances, there is nothing but entitlement in his letter. “Why aren’t you able to forgive me?” Wth! The nerve of this shmuck demanding your forgiveness! The nerve of him trying to guilt trip you with “well if my HEALTH is the last straw” as though it weren’t his wandering dick. The nerve of him complaining about how YOU hurt HIM?? (How dare you ignore and reject his cruelty?) Chances, you owe this monster NOTHING! You owe YOURSELF EVERYTHING! Please don’t fall for this bs manipulation. Be mighty! This letter should be making you furious…

  • My husband and I both went through a really traumatic event which gave us both PTSD, grief, anxiety etc. He chose to cheat, I didn’t. Using mental health as a reason for cheating is bullshit.

    • This is an important point for anyone getting the guilt trip and false equivalency treatment from their cheater. The marriage with my ex was absolutely struggling. In response, once of us cheated and the other spent countless hours making appointments with marriage counselors and trying to book meaningful time together. Guess who did what? lol

  • I.I.I.Me.Me.Me. False equivalence, blame-shifting, gaslighting. What a child.

  • Dear Fuckwit,

    Being a john is not a symptom of depression or any other mental health disorder. It’s a symptom of being a predatory, misogynistic creeper who considers women commodities. That is not a health issue, it’s a character issue. HTH, whorefucker.

    This guy! 🤬

  • The first rule of domestic violence I learned in training as an advocate is that batterers don’t batter because they drink or drug, they drink or drug so they can batter. The drive to abuse predates and underlies everything else. They use substances as a disinhibitor (cup of courage to carry out the thing they wanted to do anyway and snuff any remaining shred of conscience) and handy alibi (“Demon whisky made me do it, yer honor!”).

    The above brings up the debate over whether cheating actually is a form of domestic abuse and if general observations, statistics, predictions and warnings related to one can be extrapolated to the other. Below is my usual spiel on it. Sorry if this sounds cold and wonky. It’s a bit difficult to condense the highlights from DV research because there’s so much of it and a lot of it is counter-intuitive at first glance but then eventually makes mind-blowing sense. I’m trying to share the “mind blowing” part of it because I’ve found that it can be like a jet pack propelling people to freedom and meh a bit quicker.

    For what it’s worth, something else I learned as an advocate is that the psychology and MOs of batterers are virtually identical to cheaters’ psychology and MOs in very specific, clinical ways. One flaming example is something called “masked dependency.” Theoretically, masked dependency is when– due to whatever childhood horror an adult abuser internalized– parts of their psyches never develop beyond that of a traumatized infant and they tend to form pathological, infantile dependency on primary partners. But since the dependency is hypothetically coupled with catastrophic shame over those very feelings of dependency, abusers with this particular quirk will go to great lengths to “mask” the appearance of dependency both from others and themselves.

    If this sounds very sad sausage and pathetic, bear in mind that, statistically speaking, the most lethal abusers often “suffer” from this “quirk.” Even if an abuser isn’t overtly violent, those who mask their own dependency (by rarely or never expressing jealousy, rarely appearing overtly controlling, not engaging in the gender bias and other antics associated with cartoon batterers and possibly even going overboard to appear to be the reverse of all these things) may be far more psychologically dangerous because their primary motives are concealed and disguised. It’s gaslighting on steroids. Part of the process of “masking” or denying the dependency is blaming the victim for deliberately “causing” those vulnerable feelings– rather than owning the feelings as self-generated– and also “rebelling” against the imagined campaign of victims to foster that dependency. That makes it easy to see where cheating might be useful to that demented agenda. Not only is the abuser able to feign lack of dependence through betrayal (“Hah, who needs ya, bitch”), they’re hedging their bets against their own fears of abandonment by lining up potential replacements and also  attempting to “dilute” their own infantile dependency by spreading it out among more than one “object” (partner). If the demented mental defense worked most of the time, most abusers wouldn’t constantly circle back around trying to control and rope in their victims over and over. But it’s important for victims to understand that, every time the abuser comes groveling back, the abuser’s demented resentment towards and need to punish the victim will increase along with the abuser’s shame over losing the staring context and exhibiting this pathological dependence. Given time, they’ll get even for it and then some.  

    Aside from masked dependency, there are a lot of other overlaps between cheaters and batterers in terms of psychology and motives. The tactics of overt abusers and covert abusers may differ (at first. If it’s true that cheating is on the same continuum as domestic violence, tactics might “graduate” over time) but the devastating impact on victims is virtually identical, give or take contusions and broken bones. There’s even something especially terrifying about cheating in that victims, as virtual hostages, may have had only one slim assurance that their abusers might “keep them around and breathing”– the fact that the abuser had “sexual use” for them. What cheating signals to an abuse hostage is that the last tiny window of mercy is disappearing as the abuser seeks to “replace” the victim with another sexual appliance.

    Whether the worst fears manifest or not, the ambiguity and anticipation of living with probabilities like this are soul-killing. The survivor– who may already have the fear of God put into them about what the abuser is capable of when the abuser still has “use” for the victim– finds themselves in a one-sided game of Russian roulette and having to guess what the abuser might be capable of now that the abuser  may no longer have a “use” for the victim.  I think this may be why cheating is often the last straw compelling DV victims to make a break for it– because cheating signals that the risk of staying is starting to exceed the very considerable risk of leaving. Since the statistical risk of being killed by an abuser increases 70-fold in the two weeks after a victim attempts to escape, it’s a measure of how ultimately menacing the act of cheating appears to victims that it could drive some to court the staggering danger of escape.

    The inherent threat posed by cheating seems clearer when direct violence is involved and is harder to identify when abuse is “sub-violent.” But now that the field of DV research has evolved its understanding that the “coercive control” aspects of DV– the sub-violent, intense psychological torment, conditioning, control and coercion that batterers typically subject victims to– are not only associated with increased risk of eventual lethal violence, those sub-violent abuses are generally reported by survivors to be more devastating and paralyzing than even physical assault,  this has led a worldwide campaign to add coercive control statutes to existing criminal and civil DV policies and laws ( It’s also slowly led to an increased understanding that infidelity may be a key component of coercive control.

    It’s about time. I can remember when DA’s would refuse to prosecute well-documented cases of domestic violence merely because victims described perpetrators’ cheating behavior along with evidence of assaults and threats. As a result, victims were coached to omit details like this because of the risk that bystanders and courts would assume victims’ “jealousy” drove them to fabricate the rest.  I think the bias and resulting omissions have effected clinical research and public and professional understanding of domestic abuse for years since there was rarely any discussion of infidelity other than a common stereotype of the overtly and paranoically jealous batterer (only one category among several). Abusers’ cheating behaviors were typically left out of general profiles along with victims’ reports of same. Bringing perpetrator cheating into the equation made arguing that abusers are primarily motivated by control more difficult because, er, uh, doesn’t abuser infidelity make it look like abusers are trying to escape their victims, not the reverse? And doesn’t this cast victims who are bothered by infidelity as “controlling”?

    I think that conundrum was tabled for years. No one would go near it. Meanwhile, on the front lines, I never encountered a DV survivor who wasn’t also cheated on in some way. It’s made me wonder if, at root, domestic battering is nothing more than the violent enforcement of sexual double standards, the point of which is to achieve total sexual agency and freedom for the perp and total monogamy for the victim. In other words, battering is a sex crime– a type of protracted rape to coerce victims to continue to be monogamous to perpetrators under conditions (the abuser’s infidelity) that victims generally wouldn’t agree to if they had a choice. It’s also as if, by cheating, abusers create a diabolical thumb trap that prevents victims from speaking out or getting justice because, merely by mentioning cheating within a litany of other abuses, victims are instantly cast as prevaricators or worse:  if, in fact, the primary motive to abuse is sexual control, cheating artificially transfers this motive to victims. Voila, it’s the victim who’s cast as jealous and sexually controlling– the ultimate blameshift.

    The thing about domestic abusers is that they’re always diabolical and tireless in their efforts to transfer blame to victims. In that sense, cheating is the perfect tactic. But is it conscious? Abusers, like many serial criminals, tend to violently avoid reflection but, a bit like how single-celled creatures will always mysteriously navigate towards sources of nourishment, abusers inexorably and instinctively navigate towards their own self interests above all else. I think this means “intent” should simply be identified by “effect.” Did abuser’s action X result in response Y in victim and, did response Y benefit the abuser in some way (by collapsing the victim’s sense of self, giving the abuser more control, etc.)?  If so, the abuser meant it. (continued in next comment)

    • (as if this wasn’t long enough, continued)
      Of course no abuser would ever admit to conscious intent because that would make them look bad or maybe even feel bad and abusers, if nothing else, are basically bundles of mental strategies for making themselves feel better about the heinous things they do. Research has found that abusers channel far more psychic energy into image management than average people. In defense of this self image, abusers have been found to typically engage in something called “neutralization” or “reduction of self punishment,” a learned mental process whereby various serial offenders simultaneously reduce guilt for past misdeeds and pave the way for future ones by “neutralizing” the “stigma” of their crimes because a sense of guilt, aside from being uncomfortable, might make them appear furtive and shifty and get them caught, lose them social support or warn off future victims. Part of the process involved in “neutralization” is denying the offense or denying the offense actually harmed anyone by casting victims as either liars or having “deserved” the offense, etc (click “download” for a free read of a paper on neutralization: You could argue that neutralization is the means by which abusers make themselves feel innocent, a prerequisite for appearing innocent. In other words, they hack their own vibes.

      Over time it seems the mental process of neutralization becomes so practiced that it no longer requires conscious effort to evoke. I think this is the reason that abusers are constantly saying “I didn’t mean/try/intend any harm!”  as if lack of conscious intent is the same as innocence. But what about “subconscious” intent? It’s another diabolical and ironic mindfuck because, in reality, the act of elaborately snuffing any sense of responsibility for their offenses is the chief way offenders facilitate their crimes and maintain the freedom to continue doing them. Like cops say, it’s not the crime but the coverup that determines level of guilt. Neutralization is the ultimate mental cover up. It would be like someone arguing they killed another person accidentally despite the fact they showed up at the victim’s house carting tarps, bone saws, bottles of bleach, mops and industrial garbage bags. In the same way, no one-time, accidental offender comes with polished guilt-reduction mental tricks like victim-blaming already in place. Only practiced serial offenders who fully intend (if, oops, “subconsciously”) to strike again do that.

      Another typical defense in abusers’ arsenal is selective amnesia. Abusers apparently tend to have extremely poor recall of their offenses. From “Severe Wife Assault and Deindividuated Violence” by Donald Dutton:
      “Ganley (1980) has confirmed the tendency of women victims to have comprehensive recall of the battering incident (since their lives depended on being able to defend themselves) and of the male batterers to blank it out
      When I started to collect questionnaire data on abusive men, I found the same issue with fuzzy memories. (p. 91, Dutton, The Domestic Assault of Women: psychological and criminal justice perspectives 2001) …”

      Basically if someone isn’t simply lying through their teeth about not remembering their offenses, they’re admitting to something worse and far more dangerous. Either way, the best response is to get away as fast as possible.

      These are the things I learned as an advocate that made the most sense to me. Nothing I’ve seen or experienced since then has changed my mind much. To date I don’t think there’s ever been a study associating cheating with capacity to commit domestic violence though I’m pretty sure the outcome would come down on the side of a very strong association. At the same time, to the degree that cheating is rarely ever “just cheating” and typically comes in tow with many of the other behaviors associated with coercive control, victims shouldn’t have to wait for cheating to be officially identified as a red flag for future violence when a) the anticipation of living under that sword of Damocles is unbearable and soul-killing enough; and b)  specialists are now identifying the damage from coercive control to be severe enough to warrant up to 15 years in prison (Scotland), restraining orders (Connecticut) and loss of child custody (California, Hawaii) for offenders.

      • A big fat red flag for masked dependency (that I missed – doh) is the covert abuser who may or may not escalate to physical abuse introducing the theme of control into the relationship early on without proper basis – it is not that they are overtly controlling, but they behave as if you are controlling them (the commencement of the delightful mindfuck known as projective identification before you eventually transform into a fishwife) .I think this explains in part why many of us married to a covert narc endured the mysterious disappearing act often preceded by some non event that the FW probably interpreted as controlling or an act of aggression. But they can’t come back later and tell you that as it is illogical so no explanation is offered. My ASD son has pathological demand avoidance (not recognised in Australia but it is in the UK) and I can see how without intervention this could turn into abuse.

        • Weedfree–

          I imagine you’ve considered that your ex did a lot to “inspire” the oppositional behavior in your child. If these psychos can manage to trigger full flaming fishwife mode in an otherwise calm adult, imagine what they can do to vulnerable kids, especially boys. I worried about the same.

          “the commencement of the delightful mindfuck known as projective identification before you eventually transform into a fishwife.”

          I know that baiting game well but didn’t know it had a name (thanks for that). I think that particular trick depends on gender and maybe even class bias against bitchy, mouthy women and also depends on the target’s shame over being exposed as the dreaded “fishwife.” What probably saved my sanity is that, rather than thinking that facet is bad, I think it’s a superpower and a saving grace if used for protection and to defend the innocent. I personally admire women who have “fishwife mode” as a backup reserve. As a native NYer, I recognize it as a celebrated NYC archetype of the “nice NYC borough girl pushed too far” which is beloved by borough-born film directors like Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee. Here’s a classic scene: (if you don’t know the film, the scene is exactly what you mentioned. Rampant cheater husband goads and even drugs his chump wife into a “poly pickme dance” then calls her a whore for complying).

          I’ve been in quite a few situations where, without the ability to tap into my inner gorgon, I might not have survived or wouldn’t have been able to protect my kids. In my experience, decent men with spines want a partner who can protect herself and their children and only freaks and abusers don’t find it a desirable facet to have on hand in emergencies.

          • PDA is different from ODD, but back in the day may have been mistaken for the same thing – actually I think I have traits of PDA like discomfort with vertical power structures, discomfort with praise (beyond discomfort), having a dark sense of humour that at times assists exit uncomfortable social situations (e.g. spent first 20 years of life saying what I thought was hilarious comments, but managed to clear the room). I dont use violence, but then again humour is a substitute for violence.
            It is really interesting to read up on.

            But yeah, living with a gaslighting fwit wouldnt help a child. My 20y.o has really been brainwashed (the Andrew Tate one)

  • I believe that for my Cheater, it is likely that depression likely contributed to his serial cheating.

    Now, looking back on his life (which is over) and knowing the parts I know, I believe his depression was real and he grew up in worlds where there was not only little help, there were social forces discouraging him from getting help

    and his (many) decision(s) to use adulterous relationships to gain dopamine hits to his brain was still a decision and he is responsible for what he did. I have said this before, but depression was likely his Cross to Bear. He picked up his cross and beat the shit out of me with it on a regular basis.

    This Cheaters attempts to manipulate the Chump with talk of life-long commitment is cruel. Run, far and fast.

  • Today’s letter is ick-inducing! I’m very aware of being a reader outside of the actual situation.

    It’s also a glaring example of how hard it is to have perspective when we’re in the thick of things, still reacting physically to their tones of voice, to their gaze, to posture and little pats and touches. This letter is gross manipulation and bs, so easy for us to spot.

    Yet I also have a letter sitting in my inbox with the “you know I’d never hurt you” and “too bad you can’t forgive” and when I see its author around, he has the capacity to behave with submissive affect, hunching, eyes down, as if he’s sorry, and that body language combined with all my own body memories of moving toward connecting with him and of focusing on his acts of kindness is so much stronger than words, that his “don’t be mean, mommy!” energy makes it VERY DIFFICULT to hear the manipulation in his letter’s words. My whole body just says, “oh, he doesn’t really mean it that way; he just isn’t expressing himself clearly.” Like, I can read the exact same words that if I saw them here on CL, would just make me think, ha! there! see! it’s so obvious he’s a manipulator!

    TMC, I’m so glad you wrote in. If your mind/body is doing similar things that make it hard to accept that he’s a glaring manipulator and selfish git, trust that a whole community here can see clearly that he does not have any of your interests at heart.

  • I did the exact same thing. I blamed bipolar disease and high testosterone levels that drove my STBXH to cheat for over two years. His mental illness allowed him to jump on a coworker with some consent but not enough consent to keep her from reporting him to HR. I SPACKLED for 10 days until I was told my husband had AGENCY which meant he actually decided to hurt me and he did not care if he hurt me. My fault he said. He did not care if he got me sick, he did not care to lose his kids or grand children or anything else. He TURNED UGLY when I filed and he became supremely entitled and arrogant. My fault.I made him mad for filing and so he went on line and found a girlfriend to move into my house after i moved out. My fault. He told me if I would go for counseling (because I had the nerve to say NO to anymore sex with him,) which was due to my stressful job he would take me back. He told me that after 4 counseling session he was CURED and a naturalpathic doctor was working on his high testosterone. My answer to him was NO CONTACT and FILE. There is nothing to work with. Tracy had me laughing so hard today. Hysterical..she’s my therapy and has kept me strong. No contact. Im Sorry these men are creepy. I was married 32 years to a double life. Sad

  • This cheater’s letter reads like an addict manifesto.

    Someone who is still drinking, taking drugs, cheating with HS Schmoops or paying for hookers is, as CL says, is NOT AVAILABLE FOR A RELATIONSHIP.

    Someone in recovery would be counting days, weeks or months of sobriety, not writing about “getting sober.”

    Saying who feels remorse would not compare his cheating with spinal surgery. Or say he’s the one who’s been hurt when he was the one who cheated.

    Here’s a wild guess: he doesn’t want to lose Too Many Chances’s income. He doesn’t want to move out of the house. He likes someone who does good wife appliance work.

    I’d block him on text and put any letter he sends through a shredder, unread. He’s busy trying to get his enabler back.

  • “I made a promise to stand by you and I have.”

    I have also stood by Bambi, Roxanne, and Carlita. Sometimes all at once. But really I wasn’t standing then, if you know what I mean.

  • During my crazy times I kept reminding my ex of every single thing she did to me, her children and her family by listing it all out. I also told her to make a list of what she did and then read it aloud to herself to see how she feels about what she did. She’d call me crying and ask me to stop emailing and texting her. I probably should have but it really pissed me off that she kept pulling the sad sausage gas-lighting shit with me as if she didn’t do anything wrong. Point is, when you get BS you just state factually what the cheater did back to them. She hated being reminded. She once actually said “you make me sound like a monster.” Her actions didn’t make her feel like a monster, me reminding her with words of what she did made her feel like a monster. Go figure…

    • SW I wrote about this I think on a previous post but they often use the old “you make me sound like a monster” line. It is to induce guilt so you spend a year or two stewing about whether you are a judgey mean person who makes innocent people feel bad about themselves. Meantime the sad sacks are off getting their jollies off not a care in the world. The thing about bastards is they say things to you that you wouldn’t ever say to someone in a million years. I mean most people do not want sympathy from other people – I personally feel uncomfortable with it.

    • It’s the same as if you showed them a video tape of themselves in full chaotic mode and they said “That makes me feel like a monster!” Um, well, I have different names for it like “criminally disordered,” “abusive” or “dangerous” but if they think the word “monster” is more accurate, who am I to argue?

  • This letter reminds me so much of my alcoholic cheating ex. He wrote me a similar letter stating that he had so much clarity and has changed after 1, yes 1, AA meeting. Guess what he didn’t change. I washed my hands clean. Picked up the peice and moved on. Fast forward 7 years, I am now married to a wonderful kind hearted man who does not gaslight me. We got married on 1/15/23. Ex is in jail for 8th dwi. He got 17 years…..

    Good riddance!

  • This variety of FW reminds me of a seagull hopping around on a fake broken leg trying to scam a hot chip. My FW wrote a letter to my lawyer explaining he left our 9yo son unattended for hours at night on a remote farm as he had to go to his umpiring training an hour away (he’s nearly fifty umpiring in the middle of woop woop but thinks he is Tom Brady) and then he hurt his hamstring at training and then he had to have his hamstring iced to reduce the swelling and woe is me the whole thing took a lot longer than he expected. I mean what the actual fuck. He expected sympathy from my lawyer, a fellow man, cos he pulled a hammy. He kept the seagull act going when he hopped along to collect our son the next day having signed an undertaking from my lawyer not to ever do that again.

    oh the shame of having ever fallen for their daft tricks.

  • Part of the reconciliation industry is the “forgiveness complex”. Somehow if the chump “forgives” the cheater, it makes the chump a bigger and better person and enables the cheater to make one more step closer to the well of nirvana and absolute love. Forgiving is the drug of choice in the reconciliation industry and it is more powerful then fentanyl. Forgiveness fixes even the worst of cheaters.

    However, forgiveness is not absolution, you can forgive someone and there are still consequences. You can still forgive FW and file for divorce. I can forgive you for being a cheater, but I am not going to remain married to a cheater. That’s the consequence for cheating.

    In the above situation, the FW demands forgiveness and feels entitled to be forgiven. That’s not how it works. Forgiveness is a choice given freely by the victim not the perpetrator.

    The faster you divorce this guy, the faster you can get to healing yourself and regaining a meaningful and purposeful life.

  • You know, it must have been a mistake when they left sex workers out of the section on mood disorders in the DSM. And I love it when the UBT breaks down.

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