6 Reasons You Should Quit Waiting for a Cheater’s Apology

waiting for cheater apology

Are you waiting for a cheater to give you an apology?

It’s so galling. They broke this relationship, this family, and they’re not one bit sorry! Well, they SHOULD be! I demand an apology! And I refuse to heal until I get one! I’ll just turn blue while I wait for closure.

Yeah. Totally self defeating. Let’s examine the whole apology thing.

1) Don’t you have better things to do?

Waiting for an apology from your cheater, not feeling like you’re going to put this nightmare to rest until you get one, is giving your cheater an awful lot of power over you. And it’s exactly what they want — centrality. To know that they influence your mental state so much, that they can make you dance if only you get that sorry-not-sorry bogus regret. Desperately needing an apology is currency to a fuckwit. Hmm. I wonder what you’ll do if I give you this apology. How badly do you need it? Can I come home? Will you lend me some money?

2) What is an apology from a liar?

It’s words. It’s bad stock. You need some tangible assets. Cash on the barrelhead, son. We don’t take credit.

Sorry is as sorry does. Only look at their actions. Demand remuneration (a postnup, an uncontested divorce settlement). They balk at that? They aren’t sorry.

3) It’s unjust.

You’re angry that you got chumped. I get it. Part of getting to meh is accepting the injustice. It wasn’t fair. It was wrong. Your trust was sorely abused. You don’t need the apology to know it was unjust. You can accept the injustice and trust your senses without them acknowledging it. Sucks, of course. But the reality doesn’t change.

4) It’s broken.

You can’t unring that bell or unfuck that Schmoopie. An apology isn’t going to glue together what’s broken. It’s acknowledging responsibility for breakage, that’s it. Figure out what you want. Are you guilty of magical thinking? Do you want things that cannot be put right put right again? (The Schmoopie to be unfucked) or do you want a reality check from your cheater acknowledging that they did this? Okay, they admitted it. They feel bad. Not half as bad as you feel. Now what?

5) Stop looking to your cheater to validate you.

That’s what the need for an apology is — validation that you mattered. You’re asking the person who hurt you to make this better. This is the  LAST person likely to make it better. If they were invested in making things better, they would not have cheated on you, lied about it, gaslighting you, blameshifted, and taken all the power tools and crystal decanters when they left.

Find your comfort elsewhere. Of course you matter. Surround yourself with the people who don’t need a remedial course on that.

6) What are you going to do with a sincere apology?

No — REALLY. Assuming you ever get one, what are you going to do with it? Reconcile with them? Second guess yourself? Do a happy dance? Revel in the validation that they Get It? Oh hurrah, the FW has seen the light!

Newsflash — it was obvious to everyone that running off and abandoning a spouse and three children for some nitwit they connected with on FaceBook was a ruinous, painful decision. It’s only clear to them NOW? What are you supposed to do with that? Are they going to refund you the last 15 years of your life?

Do you want the satisfaction of closing the door in their face? Oh HA! See how it FEELS, sucker! You want to be the powerful person for once?

Then you’re still enmeshed with them. You care what they feel. You still want to “win.”

The name of the game is meh. Don’t care. They are yesterday’s news.

A heartfelt apology is a beautiful thing.

But notice how the really gruesome things in life don’t get apologized for until ages after the harm was done. The Catholic Church just said sorry to Galileo 350 years after the fact. I’m sure Galileo’s moldering corpse really appreciates it.

Betraying your partner, inflicting that kind of harm on someone, requires more than an apology. Or buckets of them. It’s a long, slow, humbling grind toward self improvement. Waiting for that character transplant requires a huge investment from the chump — a risk with terrifically bad odds, that I would implore you not to make.

On the off chance that they grow that much character, and spend the required years in therapy — by the time you get an apology, you will be so moved on that it won’t matter. It will be a big shrug. Oh. It’s you. What do you want?

Because they want something. At best, apologizing will be for them, to salve their conscience. At worst, it’s another onslaught of manipulation. This theater you humans call “remorse” has worked in the past. Do a little play-acting and the gates open to the kingdom of cake!

Keep the gates shut. Let them keep their apology. Or accept it in the spirit you received that ugly sweater from Aunt Mildred when you were 13. “Oh, um, thank you.” A well-intended, useless item from someone who doesn’t really get you at all. Stuff it in the back of your closet.

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Mandie101
Mandie101
7 years ago

Agree. Their apologies are going to be self serving anyways. I personally hate apologies. They come after the person has deliberately screwed you over for their own gain.

2xchump
2xchump
1 month ago
Reply to  Mandie101

Yes, do what you can about that picker..but people lie and cover up who they are. They become professionals while I stay open hearted. The key IS that Kenny Roger’s song, The Gambler…know when to fold your cards and leave. Most important gift of Chump lady and CN.

2xchump
2xchump
1 month ago
Reply to  Mandie101

Yes Velvet Hammer it was you. I’m so thankful for that included video link. I watched it and got chills seeing both my abusers tactics in his ( Scott’s stories) videos. Unbelievable!! Velvet Hammer, your story and contribution have helped me so much. Yes often there are individuals that take over this site and go off track 👣 or are rude and abusive..but Tracy’s work and devotion keep me here. My two visions cheaters keep me here. I believe cheating and abuse are progressive and the victims are slowly conditioned, like Roasting a Thanksgiving Turkey SLOWLY over a low fire. You may not even know you are being smoked. I was that turkey. Severely intimately abused I thought it was normal. ABUSE NORMAL? YES. Coercion, normal? Intimately abused normal? I need Tracy and I need you. I stop reading as soon as folks go off the road, but I never ever want to forget how i was saved by a therapist who did not waste time and told me to GET OUT NOW. I was still Roasting on that Roasting rod cooking to my death. Tracy and all of you have kept me no contact, no apoligy needed, no email, no social media…i don’t need my 2 cheaters to be part of my loving life now..I’m recovering and still could get weak and fall back into the fire. This cannot happen. I’m so grateful to those who speak the truth. I adore Tracy for her Unbelievable gift to the Chump I am.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
1 month ago
Reply to  2xchump

I’ve always employed the same strategy, but this particular incident featured a significant principal here who was like beloved pen pal. It hurt because we are acquainted off the site….😪

❤️

Last edited 1 month ago by Velvet Hammer
2xchump
2xchump
1 month ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Of course…there are those situations….opened hearts get hurt.

MT
MT
7 years ago
Reply to  Mandie101

“The Catholic Church just said sorry to Galileo 500 years after the fact. I’m sure Galileo’s moldering corpse really appreciates it.” Just made me laugh so hard.

You’re so right, CL!!! No need for apologies. Sever. Cut. Purge. Co-parent. Moooooove on. Nothing to see here, folks. nothing to see.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Mandie101

I apologize to myself for putting up with so much abuse from X.

Meeting his psycho family was a huge red flag, I wish the first meeting had been the last.
Brit, when you’re ready lets work on our picker and listen to your gut. Thanks**

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
1 month ago
Reply to  brit

Love the apologizing to oneself! We should apologize to ourselves for putting up with their BS for so long, for trying to believe them and their lies because we loved them, yet were cruelly taken advantage of, and especially for it not being our fault!

100% on the cheater!

saw
saw
7 years ago
Reply to  Mandie101

The apology would be a sh*t sandwich. And h*ll no I do not want the b*sturd back, ever, ever. Ever!

GorillaPoop
GorillaPoop
7 years ago
Reply to  Mandie101

STBX demanded that I reinstate the kids’ swim lessons (that I pay for), and complained that I had no right to make such “unilateral” decisions. LOL. So I told him I would have considered consulting him on such matters if he had ever apologized for how poorly he treated me when he left me. His answer: “Apologize for what? Apologies are not in the contract!” (The “contract” he refers to is the post nup that I made him sign after the Dday #2.) Fair enough, I have traded my pathetic need for a “sincere” apology for my fat 401k that he can’t touch. Excellent trade!

Then he threatened to “invoke the contract” and sue me for canceling the kids’ swim lessons (did I mention I pay for them?). This is the third time he has threatened to “invoke the contract” for stipulations that he imagines are in there that protect him. Ha ha. He’s a lawyer and clearly never read what he signed. Move along, loser.

BastilleDDay
BastilleDDay
1 month ago
Reply to  GorillaPoop

Invoke the contract! Can I substitute “Release the Kraken!” Last week a knuckle-dragging client threatened to “audit” our busy/understaffed emergency hospital because he works at Costco & knows how customer service should be performed. Haven’t been to Costco in a while — do they use triage in their customer assessments?! Moron🙄

Ugh no...
Ugh no...
7 years ago
Reply to  GorillaPoop

“Invoke the contract!” I’m dying. All I can hear is George Costanza’s father yelling it after “Serenity NOW!”

blondebarrister
blondebarrister
7 years ago
Reply to  GorillaPoop

OMG! Mine is a lawyer as well and apparently didn’t read the Agreed Order. I keep having to point him to the governing language and he acts like he is SHOCKED that I’m right. I don’t get it. I guess he was too focused on his twu luv ho-worker to worry about little things like his visitation with his child. I shouldn’t be surprised, he did voluntarily give me sole custody.

GorillaPoop
GorillaPoop
7 years ago

[Sigh] You know what they say. Any attorney who has himself for a client is a fool. My lawyer ex was having an affair with a divorce attorney, who was simultaneously in the middle of divorcing from her husband, another divorce attorney. You’d think he would have picked up some good legal advice from her. Instead, he offered to “kick her to the curb” (his words) when I found out, but then he grieved so hard for schmoopie, I regretted taking him back. Months after STBX stopped contacting her, she sent him a text message: “You have ruined me for all other men.” Poor sucker. Would she still want him now that he is whoring it up with strangers, engaging in S&M at kink munches and dungeons, flirting with bisexuality (for the attention), and offering up that shit sandwich he likes to call an “open marriage”? Perhaps.

Thanks to CL, STXB has not ruined me for other men, just other narcs. Someday when I’m ready, I’ll date again, but in the meantime, when my friends offer to take me out clubbing so I can get laid, I just say “No thanks, if I wanted to have sex with strangers, I’d still be married.”

rickb89
rickb89
7 years ago
Reply to  GorillaPoop

That was awesome…..

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
7 years ago
Reply to  GorillaPoop

GorillaPoop,
The situation you describe is all kinds of messed up! I am laughing in horror and sympathy at your description (of interaction with your manipulative, aggressive STBX), which shows a humorous, resilient outlook on an awful situation.

Shortly before D-Day #1, while organizing my home files, I opened up a file that showed paperwork on three companies my husband was simultaneously planning to sue–and he’s not a lawyer. I doubt that the people at these companies did anything other than tell my now STBX that they would not tolerate him abusing them. My STBX always wants to ‘invoke the contract, too’–when it’s in his favor.

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago

I did get an apology on D-Day along with “You didn’t deserve this to happen to you” the next day she was meeting up with arse face.

An apology from crazy woman would be…

You keep the house, your pension, savings and have the kids whenever you like…I’ll have the kids that suits your schedule, you don’t need to pay maintenance you’ve done more than enough for us over the last 25 years. You’re a good man and I took that for granted, I’m selfish and will get all i deserve..go and have a wonderful, joy filled life.

The last bit about having a wonderful, joy filled life I will try my best to do, this is the only thing that I have full control over…keep your apology and shove it up your ARSE!

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

Absolutely Mickey, an apology from the traitor would be to walk away with exactly what he brought into the relationship: $12,000 of debt, 4 kids, 2 exes, a fridge, a 25 year old Golf VW, an old desk and a filing cabinet.
Then for compensation for the 9 years of lies, helping look after his kids, stealing my last few years of fertility, 6 miscarriages with a fuckwit? The whore’s head on a spike.

hopiumrecovery
hopiumrecovery
7 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

I hate these asses that take away a woman’s ability to have a child, by lying and manipulating through their remaining years. Talk about sucking someone dry. True evil. I hate your ex. Durt did the same thing to me and then knocked up the slut puppet. SMH.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  hopiumrecovery

One of his SILs thinks the traitor might do that too…
Sickening. They should have to compensate us for this. Men can have children until they are doddering old men, with any prostitot as Maree calls her!

whodoesthat
whodoesthat
7 years ago
Reply to  hopiumrecovery

This is also a common sick twist. I wished for another child for so long and instead of manning up and telling me how he really felt he did his own thing let me take care of everything kids,house,meals and waited till he was not required to pay any /barely child support and fucked off telling me he had no feelings since the kids were born…20 years Too late for me ? Probably but also hard to trust on top of all the betrayal . its like they bring together every aspect of you life that you dread/fear/regret/betrayal and roll it into one massive mask slipping evil horror movie Hollywood ending …then they get off on your devastated response . I did not even know these people existed let alone slept next to you for 25 years . seeing evil changes your world view.

Blindside
Blindside
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

I got the “you didn’t deserve this” too. One of the few honest things she’s ever said to me.

I agree that it would also be nice if that apology came in the form of waiving spousal support so she can start paying for her own car payments, boob job, and gym memberships, but alas…..that apology only goes so far.

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

I got the same “you didn’t deserve any of this” bullshit, while he also continued cheating. Clearly he DID think I deserved it, otherwise he wouldn’t have done it in the first place. Also, the constant blame-shift (“you need to take responsibility for your role in all of this”) clearly indicates that he thought I brought it on myself, and therefore deserved being cheated on and discarded.

They’re all the same. If they apologize at all, it’s the minimum amount needed to get you to shut up already. I didn’t shut up about it because I could see right through his apologies (“I’m sorry you got hurt” is not an apology), and he accused me of being unreasonable, unforgiving, and impossible to please.

I admit that I still hold out for a REAL apology someday, though for the reasons CL gives I need to let it go. All it does is prove that I still have false hope that he’s capable of being a better person than he has thus far demonstrated himself to be. I do NOT want reconciliation. I do want validation that I mattered, and that I didn’t imagine everything that we shared for 10 years. But of course I know that I didn’t matter (to him), and I did imagine a greater level of significance to our life and short marriage than was actually present. I’m working on the validation thing.

May they all swallow a spider in their sleep.

frozen
frozen
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

@freevixen I think we may have married the same person down to the same sorry apologies and blameshifting. I’ve never actually put it this succinctly but I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said. We were together for 11 years and know each other as good friends for 15 years … it is a difficult thing to swallow knowing that all that time was some sort of a sick game and that the love you thought was there wasn’t. The red flags are a lot easier to see now if not still hard to accept. I thought I had moved past the need for revenge for him but tonight realizing he has been yet again still lying about things I’m enraged anew. In fact I think whatever cursory care I may have had for him has now permanently vanished. It really is scary to see how masterfully and apathetically they can manipulate everyone around them. Poison!

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Nah, not a spider; this:

scorpion

Kurleegirl
Kurleegirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

I got the I’m sorry you got hurt bull too. What, he didn’t realize that fucking another woman in our marital bed with the kids present wasn’t going to hurt me? I saw through that like the garbage it was. Sorry shows, you fool. Continuing your affair and trying to take half of everything while sticking me with your whoring debt does not say sorry.

And what they forget is that you reap what you sow….all his conniving ways are starting to catch up with him, namely, the IRS, and Child services to name a few….

UXworld
UXworld
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Free Vixen — you have captured my feelings EXACTLY. KK is the female equivalent of your fuckwit. Each of the quotes you attribute to him I heard as well, and I to have false hope that she’s capable of being a better person that she has thus far demonstrated herself to be.

Nothing beats CN validation. Thanks for giving me mine today.

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

CN validation is powerful. If not for it, I would still be convincing myself that I was unreasonable and overly sensitive. This is where I learned to establish boundaries and hold to them, and how entirely reasonable and normal those boundaries are.

You Deplete Me
You Deplete Me
7 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Geeze FV. Look into my soul why don’t you. In solitary moments of weakness when my carefully constructed guard is down I quite literally find myself raggedly gasping for breath and agonizing over “Why?” That one word haunts me. I know I am better off on my own. I know I am a good and caring person. I know my love is reciprocated by everyone I value. And yet, somehow I am still suffering because I feel “less than” to a repugnant troll who sees me as human detritus to be scraped off his shoe. Naturally he protests that he “never meant to hurt me or the kids,” can’t summon the insight to figure out why we he put us through all this despair repeatedly, and has spent zero time or effort on soul-searching. Yet he texted me yesterday that he could use some “family time at Christmas!” (Winky smiley face, Santa emoji) The resounding pop you hear is not champagne corks, but me yanking his head out of his ass so I can shove the tree up his pa-rump-pum-pum-pum.

Special snowflake ha!
Special snowflake ha!
7 years ago
Reply to  You Deplete Me

As if. Glad you told him fuck no. Mine wanted to do all sorts of family time,too. Get together for the holidays, blah,blah, blah. Accommodated him for Thanksgiving and Christmas last year, for the kids. Not this year….wahaha….have fun with your skank whore….do family time with her and her kids. Mine will be with me. All those years of him sitting on his ass while I did all the work, all the bah humbugging he did that always ruined the holidays for the kids and I….share it with her! (Evil grin inserted here!)

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  You Deplete Me

Why is useless.
I know it is natural to want to know, but what answer would satisfy you?
What matters is what happened.
I desperately searched for why… brain tumor, depression, mid-life crisis? In the end, why is a waste of time.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  You Deplete Me

Why?
This is the biggest trap. I understand completely. Why do murderers slash with glee? Why do thieves take what we worked for? Why do muggers knock people in the back of the head and run?

Because they can. Because they are not like us. Because if we knew their alien thoughts, we would recoil with horror.

One thing that might help you, is if you look back, you will probably find where you asserted a boundary with your ex husband. Or you did not mirror back that he was the best thing since sliced bread. When we are not worshipping at the alter of their fabulousness, they are pissed off. They go and find someone who will: kibble, cake, the validation they need because they have no inner meat or morals to not act on every base impulse that slithers across their brain.

They have to get it from someone else. And for the more shallow ones, they watch TV, and surf the web, and they believe they “deserver” something new and sparkly. Even if they resemble Jabba the Hut.

Why? will mess you up. Because they are evil. Because they felt an urge or an itch, and said, By God! I am going to scratch it because and insert any entitlement excuse or reason here.

Look at it this way. I recently went to a craft fair. I was looking at a leather passport holder and one of the sellers was a drop dead, gorgeous man. My type. Hottie Hot Hot. We held eye contact and I was floating. Massive sparks flying.

I then looked to his left and saw an older woman, sitting there, with a look of hatred and worry, toward me. I said, Who is this? (I am not shy) and he said, sort of in a fake whiter, That is my wife. I walked away from the booth.

At another vendor table, who should sidle up but Mr. Hottie. He gave me his card. Call me….he said. And smiled. While his wife hawked their wares. He greased his way across the convention floor, back to his booth, back to his booth.

I threw the card away when I got home. I am so lonely I corner my elderly neighbor. I am so h*rny I longingly think of my high school boyfriend, who is actually a moron as smart as a bag of hair. I am so angry that I grit my teeth at night. The solace of a hot man would do me good.

But I threw the card away. Why? Because I would never, under pain of torture, be the cause of the soul crushing agony that I know would happen. Never would I mess in another’s marriage, where I would be a criminal, in my opinion.

These people who put us here…they don’t care about anyone’e needs but their own. To a level we have not fully understand this, as we are still asking WHY?

They do not stop and consider the massive damage their actions cause. And even if they knew, simply, Ms. Scarlett, they do not give a damn.
As Ms. C. Lady coined:

TRUST THAT THEY SUCK.
That’s why.
And it is not different from any other criminal act.
If you can think of cheating that way, it might help you stop focusing on why?

NotThisGirl
NotThisGirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Nailed it Kendal K!

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Would have handed the card to the wife with the CL WEBSITE WRITTEN ON IT

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Yeah. This.

THC
THC
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Nailed it, Kendal K.

Aletheia
Aletheia
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

This.

JC
JC
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

I love the “you didn’t deserve this” tripe.

Who exactly, aside from cheaters themselves, “deseverves” to be cheated on?

Just around the bend
Just around the bend
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

“There is a lot of contempt in cheating. To say you don’t “deserve” it is to deny their actual feelings, their justifications they used, the playing you for a fool, the condescension — yes, you deserve it. ”

And don’t forget the “you didn’t try hard enough (to do whatever)” excuse that gets dredged up.

You can’t afford to be too nice in this world.

Deceived
Deceived
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

CL. You nailed it! After 34 years of being married to the narc..& me getting irritable bowel syndrome from the stress being the marriage police.. He just walked out & never looked back. I’m sure he apologized to his whore for things he couldn’t do for her. I don’t need his apology being it would all be a lie anyway. When I called her a “whore” he said .. she’s not a whore. Yea…we all know that woman that sleep with married men are self respecting and good people. Needing an apology from the evil sociopath is not what I need or care to ever receive

JC
JC
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Makes sense. My ex contorted herself into knots trying to come up with ways that I was a bad husband worthy of her cheating. I’m not perfect, as none of us are, but she sure did have a hard time making her case. She learned to keep it vague — no specifics about what was actually wrong, other than she was “crawling out of her skin.” How tragic!

But as you say, CL, it’s because I had stopped worshiping the amazingness that was her. I’m a chump, so I still adored her, but I’d accepted that she was far from perfect or amazing…because none of us are. I thought this more honest, more mature view of one another was mutual. How wrong I was! Ergo: I “deserved” to be cheated on.

lovedandlost
lovedandlost
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

In the words of my narc ex himself, ” it’s a lot easier to ask forgiveness than for permission”, and later after failed wreckoncilliation ” counsellors don’t work for me because I only say whatever makes me look good”.
And I questioned if he was a narc or just borderline ?? Yikes!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
7 years ago
Reply to  lovedandlost

Funny, the exhole I was married to used to tell me that all the time: “I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission.” I should have probably run the first time I heard that. Live and learn I guess. It does seem to be a favorite quote among cheaters so I’m guessing it’s in their handbook!

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Ouch. I never thought of the cheating this way. Entitled and sad sausage, yes, but a direct reflection of contempt for me?

My STBX has told me numerous times that he is sorry, didn’t mean to hurt me, and he doesn’t deserve me. I just agree that he doesn’t. Plus, if he was really sorry, he wouldn’t be trying to deplete assets and hide income to get out of paying additional support. His words mean nothing.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

Think back on all the lies your cheater told, ways he devalued during the cheating. They do have contempt for us. It took NC for months, plus finding out all the horrifc things my X had done behind my back to fully understand the level of contempt mine had for me. And he absolutely thinks he deserved to be able to cheat on woefully-deficient wife Tempest.

whodoesthat
whodoesthat
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I had mine actually articulate the words “maybe familiarity does breed contempt” ….oh cheers for that . pity we couldn’t have an adult conversation about your perverse feelings before you planned your scorched earth exit. But hey when you feel so entitled you’re the sort of person to think its OK to take the mattress off the bed and beer out of the fridge as you leave … Yeah I don’t lie awake at night dreaming of an apology . there would be nothing he could say or do to make that shit storm OK.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

This article is right on time. And I realized cheating was a spit in the face. It is an act of aggression. Contempt.

So, help me. How do you get past the need for revenge? Because that is my biggest hurdle. I want this mofo to suffer. I want him to cry when his eyes pop open in the morning. I want him to know what it is like to have to consciously hope you do not lose your mind.

I hate it when people say, Oh, he is miserable. No, he’s not. He does not believe he has done anything wrong. He does not believe the rules of fair play apply to him…he is so special, don’t you know?

NotThisGirl
NotThisGirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Right there with you Kendal K. I think our need for revenge goes away the more we rebuild our life and truly realize it is better than it would have been with our X. Plus most of our cheating exes, are extremely disordered dumbasses. People who are that fucked up don’t tend to all of a sudden make good decisions. I believe one day they will make a choice that ends very painfully for them. We might not be around to see it, but trust me they are their own worst enemy. They can’t escape themselves, so the chaos they create around them will one day overtake them.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

I’m 2 years out and not past an abstract desire for revenge. I’ve simply decided he’s not worth my effort in any realm. But I’m still plenty angry. Do I hope he gets internal parasites? Yup. Do I hope his 20-year younger GF/AP realizes she should run? Yup. Would I taser him, given half a chance? Yup. When does that desire fade? Someone farther out than me will have to answer. What definitely fades by year 2 is the willingness to lift a finger in the cheater’s direction for either good or bad.

CeliA
CeliA
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Me too. Apparently I am still not at Meh where I don’t care if he suffers too or not. Only thing I can relish right now is he was willing to let go of me, a real person who gives her fucking mighty best 110% in the relationship. I play for keeps, homies. And he has let go of all of that for the sake of some strange courtesy of ho-worker groupies.

Sorry, I don’t accept exchanges or refunds.

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

I actually GOT an apology after 2 years. I found it a bit … Annoying really because I was trying to talk to him about something else. He topped it of by extending his hand and that’s when I nearly vomited.

Nope, didn’t make any difference at all.

ken_doll
ken_doll
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

“So, help me. How do you get past the need for revenge? Because that is my biggest hurdle. I want this mofo to suffer. I want him to cry when his eyes pop open in the morning.”

But this is the same thing as wanting him or her to apologise.

Best thing you can do is make a good life for yourself and (if you’ve got any) your kids. It’s a long game, but eventually they’ll see the evidence that they just don’t matter to you anymore. This will hurt them more than anything done out of anger today – it’s taken four years but I am watching this play out in my life now.

newme
newme
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

I am right there too! If I hear one more time that he is miserable I will throw up. No he is not, he has everything he wants, his “tru luv” living with her not paying any bills but his new truck payment, no responsibilities, her doing everything I did for him. It’s perfect for him. Why would he be miserable. he is free. I want him and her to suffer like I did. I am better off without all that bullshit, but they broke up two 27 year marriages and now act like it’s no big deal. Just asking for a little karma here! 🙂

DemHoez
DemHoez
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

I think you have to accept at a certain level that you will never get justice. That’s what the revenge fantasy is. I share those feelings, but I find that when I immerse myself in my career search, computer programming work, or hobbies, I tend to forget that need. We all heal at different rates. I’d try to redirect that energy into something that’s going to benefit you like art, or education.

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

“How do you get past the need for revenge?” You don’t. At least not for a long while. Instead you separate the kind of person you’re willing to be in action from the thing that feels really good to think about. I considered all kinds of revenge tactics, including publicly humiliating ex and the OW, and having the OW fired. I was willing to entertain the gratification of those thoughts, but I was not willing to entertain the burden on my conscience from enacting them. I find that there is just as much power (or more) in actively choosing NOT to do something as there is in doing it.

NewLife2015
NewLife2015
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

I soooooo am this! ^^^^

I don’t ever want him back in my life, but I do want him to suffer. I’m learning through CN that might never happen because he doesn’t have real emotions–at all.

Arnold
Arnold
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I agree, Tempest. I have never seen a case where the cheater is not trying to pay back the betrayed for some reason. They know they are hurting you and the kids. Underlying all cheating is some resentment and anger toward the faithful spouse.
Cheaters are evil people. Black and white, right? Unevolved, simplistic, right? We are exaggerating their degree of evil, right?
Funny, one , virtually, never hears these types of accusations or characterizations from the betrayed. Only cheaters or those who have never been through it do this type of characterization.
As for apologies, do not hold your breath. As has been mentioned, the type of person capable of cheating is not the type of person who has empathy or much in he way of self reflection.
I know, for an absolute fact, that I will never get an apology from my XWs, despite the fact that they call me to talk about the kids all the time and act as if we are great friends.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

That is a hard pill to swallow. Even though you know in your head that you didn’t deserve it or cause it, it doesn’t keep the sting of rejection from wounding your heart. They suck.

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

It has nothing to do with rejection, really. It’s all about rationalization. I was a very good partner and wife. He didn’t reject ME, he devalued me to give himself permission to hurt me. Only schmucks cheat on good spouses, and he doesnt think of himself that way, ergo if he was cheating then the only logical conclusion in his mind is that I’m awful. It’s revisionist history to suit their agenda and maintain their high opinions of themselves. You weren’t rejected, you were the scapegoat to his self regard.

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
7 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Exactly.

JC
JC
7 years ago

6 months into our divorce process, my wife wrote that she was “sorry for (her) behavior last year.”

She then provided another excuse for her cheating.

I didn’t respond.

During the same period of time, she was fucking another woman’s fiancé. I found that out later.

Their apologies are lies, just like their character.

WhoamInow
WhoamInow
7 years ago

CL you’re spot on with #5 for me. I would like to think I mattered but you’re right when you say that waiting around for that kind of validation is pointless. It is so hard to believe 30 years didn’t count for shit I’ll never understand that and if he came back tomorrow, it would only be because he wants something that benefits him. Trust they suck is true and so hard to internalize at times. CL, thanks for helping us get the message.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago

“At best, apologizing will be for them, to salve their conscience.”

Yes, my dad who left his wife and four children (this was now about 48 years ago) was about to go under the knife for his serious heart condition. This was about five years ago. There was a true chance he’d die on the table. He called my mom to apologize for what he did to her. My mom was nice and accepted his apology, but when I talked with her, she was like “whatever.” The apology meant nothing to her. It didn’t change anything.

I could care less if my ex apologizes or not. I know he never will, because with his disordered logic, he’s done nothing wrong because it’s “part of his DNA” to have a million “healthy female friends” that he needs to date, flirt with, text and email while married.

All his apologies in the past were “I’m sorry I got caught” apologies. I say that because his behavior and actions never changed after he got caught. He just took his behavior farther underground.

After I found out he went to Canada over ten times to have 100% totally naked lap dances from strippers (and probably more) when I was pregnant with our second child (this 16 years ago), he said he’d “spend the rest of his life making it up to me.” He did NOTHING to make it up to me. And he did NOTHING to reassure me that he was no longer a perverted cheater.

I do not need an apology from him. I know what he did was wrong. I know I didn’t do anything to deserve the treatment I received from him for 25 years. I know God has seen it all and I’m waiting on Him to hand out judgement (or the karma bus 🙂 ). But what I did wrong was to put-up with this treatment from the very beginning. Ignoring the red flags. Ignoring my gut. Putting up with abuse. That’s all on me, but like my sister said, “What have you learned from this?” I’ve learned a lot! Thanks, CL and CN!

ANC
ANC
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

Better yet, don’t wait for the Karna bus. We all know what you put out into the universe comes back at you thousand-fold. Take the energy waiting for karma to kick these assholes and funnel it into your empowerment. 🙂

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Yes! A thousand times yes!!!

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

I agree, ANC. I’m not waiting around for karma or an apology. I’m baby stepping positive things into my life in order to “get a life.”

I’m not sure if I totally agree on what you put out there will come back to you. I put a ton of good into my marriage, my kids, his family and friends. Very little good came back to me. Putting all this energy into other people — they just expected more instead of thinking, “Wow. Martha did all these nice thing for me. I’m going to do something nice for Martha.” I now realize if I put good and positive things into my own life, then I’ll reap good because it makes me feel better about myself.

ANC
ANC
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

The difference is YOU invest in people. It became habit for me to neglect my needs and place everything /everyone above me. Part of my personal work is addressing my needs and having them met. I still invest in people, however I have learned spot the soul suckers and invest in people who also invest in me. Sounds like you are doing the same.

Cheaters don’t invest anything in people or relationships. They suck up resources and discard, circling back only when they need a prop or more of the chump’s resources.

GorillaPoop
GorillaPoop
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

I imagine them as a cup with a hole in it. No matter how much you fill them up, they are still empty, and in the meantime, you have drained yourself completely.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  GorillaPoop

Yes, this is very good and true, and it stings like a bitch. All those gut, warning signs I ignored or hoped meant nothing. I would break up with him and then take him back. Because, you know, I thought I was in a relationship with a human, not a cyborg.

As my old MeMaw would say:

You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken shit. I think so many of us had the walnuts, the dill pickles, the celery, the sweet relish, the apples, the mayo and by God! we were going to make that chicken shit in a salad that we could eat.

The bucket with the hole, as cleverly stated…rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

So, now….what do we know? The first time a mother fucker charges his cell phone in the garage, or guards his iPad like the Crown jewels, or becomes strangely unavailable at times, or we catch the first whiff of…this does not add up…

DONE, Mother fucker!!!

“Never Again.”

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Yes, I totally agree with what you said and what you are doing, ANC. I too invested tons of energy and time into people who just take and give very little in return. And one thing I’ve learned about myself is that it was easier for me to invest time and energy into other people instead of putting the focus on myself, improving myself and working toward my own goals for my life (career, self care, etc.) It was easier for me to be the helper and supporter. This way I was still busy and productive with my life, but didn’t have the fear of failing at goals that I wanted. Now I’m forced to stand on my own two feet, all by myself and work on my life and my goals. I have my kids to still take care of and support, but I no longer have the dead weight of a spouse and his family that sucked up a lot of my time. I now have all the time in the world to get a life of my own choosing and I have no excuse not to pursue my dreams and goals. And if I fail, I will learn from my mistakes and I will try again.

And yes, I agree about giving to the wrong people and the right people. Lesson learned is to stop giving to the wrong people! And I would never have a balance sheet. As of the last two years, I’ve been off balance with my friendships and family. They’ve been giving to me way more than I’ve been giving to them. But they know I’m not a taker by nature. I’ve just been more in need due to the trauma and divorce.

whodoesthat
whodoesthat
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

That is so weird you got the ‘death stare’ for no apparent reason too. I would be walking through the room – usually cleaning or doing stuff beneath him on his weekends- and his eyes would bore into me until at one point I said “you look at me like you hate me !? What’s that about ?” One time I remember stating “why do you look like that – I don’t want to wake up one morning and you are half way out the door leaving saying ‘you should have known I felt like this’ . he replied “I don’t know what you’re talking about this is all in your head” ….18 months later he did exactly that down to ‘you should have known ‘ fucking psycho. All the rest of the time together he was as nice as pie planning our future and holidays with kids etc. Beyond disordered. Its like they collect all the info on how they can fuck you over to maximise the devastation. It goes without saying that the financial gutting was absolute to …. $200 in the bank left after 25 years .

ANC
ANC
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Adding to this…. I do hear you re: putting positive actions out there and getting zip. We put it all out there and gave ourselves to the wrong people sometimes. We also gave to the right people. Those ‘right’ people investments matter. Don’t get hung up on the life balance sheet. We are all in the process of moving forward to create a better, positive life with a better, more selective picker.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Sure Chumped A Lot,

What you said makes total sense to me and I wholeheartedly agree! I had no idea that I was in a relationship/marriage with someone who was incapable of being reciprocal. I thought if I just “tried harder” that I would eventually get my needs met. No matter what I did, it was never enough. And when I would ask for a need to be met, it was met with contempt and “how dare you” have needs!

I was just telling this story to my counselor the other day. A few years ago, I told my now ex that I really wanted to spend more time with him and I told him at times I was “jealous” of his job. Mind you, this was a man who told me before we got married that his “busy season” was from the end of the year until April. What his busy season turned into was the whole year round, our entire marriage. Even at one point he was working Saturday and Sunday. A narc needs lots of ho-worker attention, so when he was at work, he was walking around flirting and chatting it up with all the women. No wonder he needed to work each night and the weekends. Anyway…..so after I told my now ex that I wanted to spend more time with him, the next day he came into our bedroom. I was laying in bed, reading a book. He sat at the bottom of the bed, resting on the footboard. He sat there with a look anger on his face with his arms across his chest. He didn’t say a word. Just sat there. I felt like I was being punished for asking to spend time with him. He managed to put me in my place and I never again asked for him to spend time with me.

Yes, I’m working on fixing my picker by working on me. I’ll never attract a good person unless I know my worth. I put up with shit from him even before we got married. Including him once pushing me into a cement block wall and yelling in my face. I should have walked away, but……I didn’t. I’ll never put up with anything abusive again for the sake of “tru wuv.”

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

I love your comment regarding a balance sheet. Life is not about keeping score. Be kind and loving because that is just who you are … not because you want something back. And if giving generously to someone unworthy brings you disrespect, lies, manipulation … the answer is to just give generously to someone different, not to stop giving altogether.

SureChumpedAlot
SureChumpedAlot
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Martha.

I am a firm believer that what “you put out into the universe comes back at you thousand-fold” as ANC mentioned. I live by this!

At the same time, I completely understand what you said about…. “I put a ton of good into my marriage, my kids, his family and friends. Very little good came back to me.”

What you and I and all chumps “put into the universe” was an investment in a disordered soul. Not knowingly of course, and it did come back to us a thousand fold. The disordered finally showed us who they were. It doesn’t matter how loving or not loving we were. Nothing genuine can come from an investment like that. Nothing.

I most certainly am NOT saying that we deserved to be cheated on. Nobody deserves this. But you were doomed from the moment you said, “I do”. So was I and all other chumps.

In the end, it’s all about the “beginning”. We must only invest in someone that is worthy of our love and that love will come back to us a thousand-fold.

Fix the picker, this is the “beginning” of what you and I and all others should put out in the universe.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

“Don’t get hung up on the life balance sheet.”

Perfect, ANC.

ANC
ANC
7 years ago
Reply to  ANC

*KARMA*

oaktree
oaktree
7 years ago

Yeah, I actually demanded an apology before she left, thinking it would help me heal, deal with co-parenting, etc. Her apology started with “I woke up every day for the last 4 or 5 years dreading having sex with you.” So… yeah. Apologies…. Hmmm.

So you’re ABSOLUTELY right, CL! Thanks for the clear-as-a-bell articulation of the futility of that endeavor. When we can get over that need to “be right” and have them “get it,” we can move forward. I’ve understood that intellectually for a long time, but there’s a big gap between understanding that and accepting it, really accepting it. I’m getting there.

PS – (and I’m picking nits) – Remuneration, not renumeration?

Portia
Portia
7 years ago
Reply to  oaktree

This is slightly off-topic, but your remark about her “apology” made me think of the tremendous lack of true communication between the sexes when it comes to having sex. When I was doing the Pick-Me Dance, for instance, I was actually dancing for my dream of reality to be true instead of the nightmare it had become. I really did not want to have sex with a moron who had never been that good at it in the first place, and who had betrayed me in the second place. The fact that the OW was willing to lie to him about him being “sexy” and “awesome” was another S-Sandwich for me to eat. You know, it is hard to dance on a full stomach, when all you really want to do is stick a finger down your throat to get rid of the S you have just eaten! I was dancing for my way of life. for my children to not have their home broken up, for none of us to have to deal with a man who followed his pecker wherever it lead, instead of his brain. I was dancing because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I was dancing because I didn’t want his stupidity to cost us everything we had built up — invested time and money thrown away for sexual dalliance. Our sex life was never going to improve if I had to compete with porno-women who are always ready to engage, never complain, and can fake an orgasm for anyone on any day. I was dancing because he had never listened to what I needed or wanted — even at the beginning of the relationship when I tried to help him make me happier by suggesting he do this instead of that, or touch me here, instead of there. I listened to his suggestions, and tried to make him happier, often following ideas that didn’t hold any special appeal for me, if it made him happy. But somehow that could not be reciprocated, because my needs were evidently not important to him.
If I had only known then what I know now (wishful thinking, I understand) I would have seen that we were actually doomed from the beginning. He did not care, I did. It was always all about him, and at that time, I didn’t understand that I was just as important as he was. I was an educated, employed, articulate woman, and I could not communicate with my husband about sex. Not because I didn’t try, but because he was not interested in listening.
He could never apologize, because he has no idea what an empty vessel he is. He understands how to manipulate people with words, but it is always a war tactic he uses to “win” whatever it is he perceives as winning. He can’t be sincere, he has no substance. In the long run the best thing he did for me was be stupid and get caught. That freed me. When I finally grasped that he would never change, it was not a random idiot mistake, but an enduring part of how he was going to think and live his life — I was able to fly, to flee.

flutterby
flutterby
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Great comment, Portia. x told everyone and sundry, that I was frigid and withholding, and that was the reason that he had to cheat. He doesn’t tell them he was using me like a blow up doll. It makes me so angry that he would do that to me, that I was pick me dancing like crazy after D-Day 1 and he was just being his usual a**hole self and “shopping” for my replacement and being cold and distant right before D-Day 2. Who the hell wants to have sex under those conditions, but I did it anyway. If I had known he was going to use that damn excuse, I would have not had sex with him at all and saved my dignity.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  flutterby

Flutterby–who the hell cares what he thinks or says? Anyone who thinks his excuses are a justification for his cheating can go to hell; you’re well-rid of them. Cheaters will find ANYTHING to justify their behavior. They’ll even make shit up (gasp!). Mine knew that if he stopped having sex with me I’d suspect his untrustworthy ass of cheating, so he continued to screw me 4 times a week during his affair with gradwhore. But I’m sure he told her I was not enthusiastic, and I wasn’t—because he was treating me like crap during his affair (even though I didn’t find out why for 8 years). I remember once having sex with him during that time thinking, “Why am I doing this? I don’t even like him anymore.”

They cultivate the toxic soup that becomes the marriage, then criticize us for responding (normally) to the toxicity by withdrawing from them (even if we keep servicing them). There’s very little to recommend cheaters, once you find out who they are.

flutterby
flutterby
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, “They cultivate the toxic soup that becomes the marriage, then criticize us for responding (normally) to the toxicity by withdrawing from them (even if we keep servicing them). There’s very little to recommend cheaters, once you find out who they are.”
Thanks for putting that thought into words, especially responding to the toxicity and withdrawing from them. It is so true, what is there to recommend the cheaters, not one damn thing.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Wow…

“They cultivate the toxic soup that becomes the marriage, then criticize us for responding (normally) to the toxicity by withdrawing from them (even if we keep servicing them). There’s very little to recommend cheaters, once you find out who they are.”

That could have saved me thousands of dollars in therapy.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

And your beautiful writing and thoughts display a true catch, a prize, someone to be cherished.

He can go fuck off and I hope he gets anal warts and has to live in a dumpster.

Your unpacking of what you were dancing for made me tear up. I know. My ex is not even that cute, and I was chasing him like he was. Why? I was hysterical and in shock that he had betrayed us so BIG. Not a one night stand…but thousands of dollars and hundreds of lies.

This crime, this peculiar human rights violation, makes us insane, for a bit or a while. I believe being attacked or robbed would be easier to process. We would have straight forward sympathy. Not the old canned “You are better off!!!” or “There are plenty of fish in the sea!!!” Hardee Har Har

Yeah, those are real knee slappers. Now, I shall go and take Ativan until I lose consciousness, asshole.

Portia, beautiful writing and exquisitely stated. He does not deserve to shine your shoes.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Sex with my X could be great, but it was always like auditioning for a porn movie, not any real emotional connection. Any lack of enthusiasm (of which I was guilty for years because I did not feel safe with him after chronic and acute emotional abuse), was harshly graded by him (implicitly) and used as grounds to cheat. After all, his Ashley Madison byline was “in pursuit of passion and excitement.” fucker.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

He is a monster, Tempest. I wish you could have “graded” his testicles with a real cheese grader.

You know, when I tried online dating, and men would demand, “Send me a full body shot!”- that felt like a porn audition to me, too. Or being graded as livestock at an auction.

Pass.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Thanks,Kendall–he is a monster, and now I have ample evidence of it. We have a daughter who was probably 16 when he sexually harassed a 22-year old graduate student, and then started downgrading her work when she refused to sleep with him. That was the last cornerpiece I needed to know that I was married to a charming, high-functioning, slippery sociopath. Women are objects, and accessories to him. I refused to be either, and I had to be taken down.

Grating his testicles with a cheese grater? Hmm…you just gave me my new revenge fantasy. Thanks!

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

***grater
My rage and disgust gets the best of my typing.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Sex is just that — sex. It’s not about “making love.” It’s all an act, just like they are actors in real life.

My ex actually said to me once, “It’s sometimes easier to masturbate than to have sex with you.” Well of course it is when your wife has “needs”. No lie that his idea of great sex is to grab at my breasts, grab my private parts, put my hand on his private part and then for me to come on top of him and do all the work. And I guess all the while he can think of the ho-workers he talked to that day.

Another nice sex comment he made to me — “Now that you dropped a couple of pounds, I’ll have sex with you.” Yes, I went from the *obese* weight of 130 and went down to 120. Then my body was acceptable to him.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Astounding.
I tried to explain this to my family.
I think only other chumps “get it.”

You Deplete Me
You Deplete Me
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Amen Portia. These idiots can’t seem to reconcile the moaning, ooooh baby, breast-implanted, botoxed porn stars with reality. He thought women should act that way in real life with him, but never connected the dots that to get that reaction HE would have to become a spectacular lover instead of a three-thrust disappointment.

Chump Change
Chump Change
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Wow Portia, Right on about not being able to communicate about sex with the disordered. In hindsight I realize there was never a true intimate partnership. I was very young when I met him and I just thought he was “being a guy”. I would pour my heart out to him. Do wonderful things for him. Plan imaginative and memorable birthday parties that people talked about for years for him. I put up with bland boring vanilla sex forever, until I was then starved of the very same. He somehow convinced me he wasn’t a very sexual person, by not having sex when there were money problems or when he was too stressed out yada yada yada. All the while he was on porn sites or probably cheating. I would try to gently show him to touch me this way instead of that too, but he didn’t even try. I was a gorgeous beautiful sexy woman, but sadly never had an orgasm in 38 years with the man. I enjoyed the sex because of the closeness with him. I think he punished me for that. Yet I am an easily orgasmic woman. I think our bodies tell the truth. Subconsciously I knew I was not safe with him. I recently recalled that I used to have a recurring dream for the first few years in our marriage, that Gaslighter was waving his hand at me out of the sunroof of a limo filled with hookers as it drove off. I would wake up extremely angry, and Gaslighter would just laugh. Our last couple of weeks together I remember finding a picture on his phone of a beautiful girl on his arm. I asked him who it was and he said “oh she’s a stripper I met in a bar and I was counseling her.” Right. Can’t make this shit up. I vaguely remember it I’d heard something like that decades before. WTF? What kinds of guys hang around strippers. And take trophy photographs of themselves with their arm around the stripper? Guys that are fucking strippers!!! All the while he was fucking Shmoopie as well. Ew. Believe it or not I’m still having trouble excepting all of this. I am still so angry. I just want to get past it.

Muddywaters
Muddywaters
7 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Portia. A wonderful response. I agree totally with everything you have written. You nailed it.

Paintwidow
Paintwidow
7 years ago

Thank you for this today.
I did not get an “uncontested” settlement. I got cheated on for most of my 20 yr relationship, and then left for the latest schmoopie. My divorce settled because he knew he couldn’t win and that’s the only reason. Being fair and accepting certain defeat are not the same thing.
My adult kids are no contact with him. They want nothing to do with him or her (she has young kids) and now…..almost 2 years later that the kids have not miraculously come around he has begun telling me he’s sorry. He says he’s not sorry that it ended ( we “grew apart”) he’s sorry he “did things the way he did and that it hurt us.” and now he’s made a life with her, would like to be okay with me and restore his relationship with our kids.
It’s all bullshit. I’ll stay not talking to you….thanks anyway. He says time can heal us…..ummmmm, no.
I responded to these emails by saying that I didn’t need time, I needed his absence. That our kids are grown and it’s not my job to be his PR rep. That’s his mess to clean up. I’m not okay with him, nor do I want to be.
It’s like being okay with the person that intentionally burned down your house.
I have a great life now….peaceful. Great kids, great new Labrador puppy, awesome boyfriend, amazing family…and there’s over a billion people on this planet, if I need a friend I’ll find one of them.
No thanks Satan….we ain’t okay.
On a side note….I waited so long for him to be sorry. When I read it in his email all I could think is “what a fucking liar”.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

Yes, Paintwidow. I got an uncontested settlement lickety split. It had absolutely nothing to do with him feeling a moment of remorse. He just wanted to freely move on to his boyfriend and he was terrified of what I might broadcast to the world if he didn’t do what I “suggested” he do.

Khris
Khris
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

You are lucky. Under terms of divorce, the jointly owned residence (where ex lives) is to be sold and divided 50/50. Ex and her lawyer offered me 50% of my equity as a buyout (because i should think of the kids and this is the house they grew up in (and where ex “entertained”)! When i said NO, i want my half my own lawyer told me I should be willing to negotiate. I told lawyer I simply want what I am entitled to, and not being a Chump again. So now everyone thinks I am being unreasonable. Too bad, just sell the house.

Soyouseeit2
Soyouseeit2
7 years ago
Reply to  Khris

Yeah when your ass is already gaping from the reaming you got from these lowlife then your lawyer wants you to bend over more and keep givingbin to these POS ‘s
Been there still there I want them to please get hit from that frigging slow karma bus already !!!

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Khris

Stick to your guns; no one else has to agree with you (not even your lawyer).

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  Khris

Good for you. You are owed more than half, in my opinion, given the fraud perpetrated. But certainly insist on your half. She is worried about her own convenience, not the kids.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

And watch for lawyers being lazy and wanting you to “settle” for what makes them have to work less.

It is your choice! Not theirs.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

“It’s not my job to be his PR rep” with the kids. Exactly!

Today is my son’s 15th birthday. All week I struggled to not text STBX and suggest that he pick son up from school (early dismissal day) to take him to lunch. I will not invite him for dinner when we have our family celebration, so this would’ve given him a time to celebrate with son. I did not do it though. STBX sent me a text just yesterday asking when he could stop at the house to drop off son’s present. His actions just proves that spending time with his son on his birthday is not a priority. My stepping in and arranging something would only continue to sugarcoat the reality to my kids of who their father really is. I would rather have them deal with it head on then live under an illusion.

KarenE
KarenE
7 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

On our don’t first birthday post-separation, my ex texted me the day before to ask what he should get for him; maybe a sweater? Yeah, ’cause 13 year old boys dream of sweaters. And of course your ex will help you figure this one out, as usual! (I didn’t.). Then very late the next day (he was out of town for work – where Schmoopie was!), he texted ‘happy birthday’ to him. TEXTED.

Of course now, in ‘let me fix what I destroyed’ mode, he claims the day our son was born was the happiest of his life. (You can imagine how our daughter felt about that! At last she was able to laugh!)

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
7 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Last year on son’s birthday (just 2 weeks after he packed up and left), he simply left his present in the house for him while we were at school/work. So, I guess stopping by for 20 minutes is an improvement.

KarenE
KarenE
7 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Damn spellchecker! Our son’s birthday, and at least our daughter was able to laugh!

VulcanChump
VulcanChump
7 years ago

Validation is a hell of a drug, CL. You are right on the money as usual.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  VulcanChump

And that is the crux of it–after such a horrible trauma, we want VALIDATION of our pain. That’s why Switzerland friends hurt so much. Why therapists who ask, “What did you contribute to cause him/her to cheat?” hurt. It’s why friends who tell us to “get over it” hurt so much. Why society’s implicit acceptance of infidelity as a minor transgression, hurts so much.

But you will NEVER get validation of your pain from a cheater. First step toward real healing is realizing that, and moving on without an apology.

I have been on this site for over 2 years; I could tell you basic details of about 100 chumps’ divorces/breakuups (yeah, I know–working on that “get a life” thing). Want to know how many have received an honest-to-goodness apology and acceptance from the cheater that it was their fault? ONE.

NewLife2015
NewLife2015
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

“Why society’s implicit acceptance of infidelity as a minor transgression, hurts so much.”

Amen to that. Seriously. I thought about that part so damn much. It’s like it’s almost expected after a certain number of years.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  NewLife2015

And by men (women?) of a certain age and in certain professions.
Like a “mid-life crisis” with a bonus.

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

“It’s why friends who tell us to “get over it” hurt so much. Why society’s implicit acceptance of infidelity as a minor transgression, hurts so much”.
Tempest I am really starting to despair of where society is heading with the acceptance of infidelity as if it is just like making your breakfast, having a shower etc because it is being accepted as a normal path to take. At the moment here in Australia we have a very prominent 41 year old television presenter/newsreader who has just left his wife of 21 years and their 3 children for a 28 year old side piece. I can tell you it has become open season on his soon to be ex wife. The comments of how ugly she is and he was wise to dump her for the younger side piece. It is gut wrenching for this decent woman to not only lose what she thought was her life and husband but to be ridiculed for her appearance in the press which by the way is lovely is totally beyond me. Key board warriors are some of the cruelest people around. I am finding that people today and I don’t mean any specific age group do not seem to understand the effort that goes into creating a long and enduring relationship. I also find that once a woman’s body starts to show any sign of wear or aging, it is out with the old and in with the new. It saddens me so much that society in general is so, so shallow and going to hell in a hand basket.

moominmamma
moominmamma
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

And I liked Karl! I appreciated the thing where he wore the same suit on air for a year to highlight how unfairly his female colleagues were treated. But apparently he is a ” feminist” only up to the point where he has a perky food blogger as a “best friend”.His wife has been castigated for choosing to pause her career in journalism to be a SAHM- but if she had been working she would have been villified for being selfish and neglecting her family. We have some gutter press here in Aus

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  moominmamma

His feminism sounds either like (a) impression management without any deeply-held beliefs, and/or (b) a seduction line.

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  moominmamma

moominmamma, I also liked Karl but I always thought something was amiss. Put it like this, I thought he was not genuine and I was correct. Karl is an actor after all. Sad situation for all concerned except Karl who brought this on himself.

Arnold
Arnold
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Yeah, that shit happened to Patraeus’ wife here, too . And look at fucking Patreus, Fucking guy looks like shit, no muscle tone and a fucked up face and dental work.
Wtf, was his 60 plus wife supposed to look like a somatic NPD 30 year old?

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
7 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

I thought that, too! Patraeus looks like the weasel that he is inside. Holly, his wife, was mocked for her looks, which are pretty normal for her age, and at least she looks happy. Probably because she’s lead a life she can be proud of!
Why is society becoming so shallow? The media machine, I suppose. I am proud to say I’ve never seen the show about the “K’s’, and that type of stuff. I didn’t want to listen to a bunch of shallow crap, my time is too precious to me!

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

“Patraeus looks like the weasel that he is inside.

FreeWoman, once they show who they really are, we the good and decent people can actually look at these people and see the poison within oozing out. I recently saw a photo of the ex and I could not believe how old and tired and nasty he looked. He was almost sneering at the camera. I showed my sister the photo because once she did actually really like my ex and she could not believe how tired and old he looked. I think that living in all the heat in SE Asia that he has to endure now, together with having sex with a very young woman and put up with 2 screaming kids who belong to others and the filth must be weighing him down somewhat. He is living the dream now and it is showing in his appearance. Good luck with that I say.

Now-I-Know-What-Hell-Looks-Like
Now-I-Know-What-Hell-Looks-Like
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

You make a good point Newme! JFK was so beloved by the Nation, yet we all know he had numerous affairs while everyone looked the other way. Has there been a President in the last century who wasn’t an adulterer? And yet we entrust these men with the welfare of our Country. Very sad.

newme
newme
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Well let’s not forget our President-elect cheated numerous times God Bless American, just does not matter what or who you hurt in the process. Sad, so very sad.

GorillaPoop
GorillaPoop
7 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Don’t get me started. Petraeus was recently considered for Secretary of State! And his AP started complaining on TV that she has had to face consequences for her actions. Waaaah! So many injustices and ironies rolled into one.

Gonegirl
Gonegirl
7 years ago

Apology? Ha! That would mean that my ex actually admitted he did something wrong! He is so full blown narcissist he would lie to a preacher on his deathbed.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Gonegirl

Yeah, my narc sat in MC with our pastor for about two months and lied to our pastor over and over again. Didn’t bat an eye. Completely calm and cool (as usual) while telling lies. I’m convinced he’s so pathological that he could pass a lie detector test while lying. In my entire life, I’ve never met anyone who has acted calm and cool when most people in the world would be freaking out. Like when our thre year old daughter went missing on a beach in NJ, surrounded by tons of people and the big ocean. I was hysterical and crying. He was like “whatever” and “no big deal”. Completely emotionless. Just another instance I can look back as evidence that there’s something wrong with him.

Lyn
Lyn
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

Martha, your comment about your ex’s lack of empathy resonates with me. I watched my ex sit stone cold on many occasions when most people would have been emotional. I was always very emotional and when we were young, I appreciated that he didn’t fall apart in an emergency. He was a rock to me, I used to tell people he kept me grounded. But he seemed to get colder and colder as time went on. I remember once a bird hit our window and broke it’s neck, but it was still alive. I brought it inside and put it in a shoebox with a rag to keep it warm and stroke it as it was dying. He was yelling at me, “it’s just a damn bird!” What kind of person does that? He yelled at my 4 year old for crying when he broke his arm. He hated displays of emotion and the longer I was married to him, the more I smothered my emotions until I felt dead inside. Occasionally I would explode from stuffing so much, and he would tell people I was crazy.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Much of their empathy is feigned (mine has several articles that are sympathetic to animals’ pain, but cares very little about either my or our children’s pain from his actions).

Out of my loneliness and pain from years of emotional abuse, I started rescuing betta fish. I would pass them in the pet store, gasping for breath because of ammonia poisoning or bacterial infections and I developed an obsession about saving them. One that I successfully rehabilitated then swam into the mesh to reduce the water flow of the filter. I was highly distressed that I had saved this fish, only to have it swim into its own death. When I cried, X coldly returned my hug and said, “I guess you’re just this side of eccentric.” One of my only indications that I was in an unwitting pick-me-dance.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I think this cyborg was jealous of you. Eccentric? No, that’s a damn fine thing to do. Those poor fish are trapped in those tiny teeny bowls.

You are a nurturer, who cares about even the smallest life. He did not care about BIG life, you and the marriage.

There was no chance of connecting with someone who has no soul.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

Oh, Lyn. That’s such a sad story about the bird. I would have done the same thing. That’s something a normal, caring person would do — try to comfort the bird.

I totally understand what you said about your ex being your rock and keeping you grounded. When I was young, I was always told, “You are too sensitive.” Or you are “too emotional.” As if being sensitive or emotional is a bad thing! But when my parent told me this, I took it as if it was something bad about me. Something I needed to change. And people who can remain calm and cool under pressure I guess is perfect behavior? Not necessarily.

I have seen my ex act “off” so many times over the years. And the grand finales were when he was robotic with our son when our son, daughter and myself were bawling — he was cold as ice. Robotic/monotone voice with the repetitive, “I understand, son.” “I understand, son.” This is what he said to every thing my son sad. And then a few months later, I once again am sobbing and shaking uncontrollably and he’s calm and cold. And his lying mom is sitting there acting the same way. To me, they are monsters. They are wolves in sheep clothing. I now realize that all their charm and niceness is all fake. The truth of who they truly are is the lying, manipulation and deception. They are all “I love you”, hugs, and kisses as long as I was towing the line and falling into place — just be a chump and do all the work. Once you start to in-chump yourself, the mask falls and you see who they were all along.

Soyouseeit2
Soyouseeit2
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

Yep same thing here
she sat 3 kids (7,12,13) on the couch one sunday night and told them she was leaving
living in her own apertment with her new ikea stuff she bought but it was too small for you kids only mommy and you stay here with dad …buh bye
Left for 4 months and then wanted half custody for money
But absolutely unmoving stone cold callous when she tells them and actually smiled when she talked about her new Ikea furniture while the kids were shell shocked
I will never have that moment erased when she obliterated their world for a POS her best friends psycho hubby who the best friend was desprately trying to divorce and confided every personal thing to my ex including strategy of getting away from his insanity
He was arrested and charged threatening death and she still thought he was worth destroying her family for
They are completely dead inside they are robotic

Chump Change
Chump Change
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

THIS! Gaslighter was always so cool under extremely stressful situations. I never saw him show fear when it would have been appropriate. I had actually felt respect for him for being able to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ when most men would cave and be a puddle on the floor. Now I understand his cold coolness and lack of emotion is a sign of deep pathology. They have no feelings, they have No Conscience. They easily lie cheat and steal to get what they want in the moment. I’m finally beginning to understand with therapy that this is their MO, it will not change. They don’t worry about the consequences of their actions, they truly don’t care. They will just bob and weave and figure something else out. I feel like I’m living in the twilight zone after being married to this man for nearly 4 decades. Still reeling, still dealing with the legal repercussions of his actions (not even regarding the divorce which has been in limbo) How many fucking lawyers can he pay? He’s robbing Peter to pay Paul stalling paying defense arts. I need to muster up the courage to push this divorce forward and legally get away from this dangerous man.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Chump Change

Chump change

I thought my STBX was great as he never worried like I did, never seemed to get anxious, was always sure things would work out. I felt like a neurotic mess next to him with my lists and my organisation and my control. With the lovely gift of hindsight I can see that he floated around in our lives but never actually did anything. He went to work but never did any of the hands on parenting stuff or organising family stuff, remembering and organising birthday parties, getting xmas done, getting eye and teeth appointments etc.
Now I look back and see how little space I took up and how much I WORKED.
All those things were as you say a sign of deep pathology. A lack of investment, a lack of caring, a lack of being there.
Thanks for your post. It helped me see that every fault I castigated myself for was really me just trying to make the centre hold. It’s not my character that is flawed. It’s his.

OutWest
OutWest
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Cap,

The space thing is interesting. When I packed my ex’s shit up, 15 black garbage bags came out of the master closet…I remember packing his coats out of the front hall, actually I threw them in a heap on the foyer floor. Four of us in the house, but only his coats were allowed in the front hall, the rest of us used the closet in the back. We also were not allowed in the study which had ten years of magazines in stacks all over the floor. His narcissistic ways took way too much real estate. It is so nice to walk into every room of the house and see me and the kids living in space and our personalities….

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Yes, Chump Change and Capricorn,

What you wrote was me, too. Capricorn, I could have written word for word what you wrote. That was my life, too, and like you ex, my ex went to work. He did very little else. Didn’t really offer to do anything else. I took care of EVERYTHING like you wrote out. In my mind, I thought that if I took care of everything, he’d find time for me. Well, that just freed up more time for ho-workers and working more at night and on the weekends. If he cared, he would have been more involved and helped out.

I can’t tell you how many times the kids and I (and this was just a few years ago, so they were already tweens and teens) would be sitting on our bed. I would be in bed, reading a book. And the kids would come in and they would be all talkative and cute. This wouldn’t happen every night, so when it did happen, I dropped everything to enjoy their company and to talk with them. So their dad would come in and see that we were talking and having fun or being silly; just random stuff. He’d grab his book and go down the hall into the loft and read his book by himself. He wouldn’t engage with us or join in the family time. I never once mentioned it to him, because of course he’d turn it back on me and say he “couldn’t do anything right!!” To me, it was strange that he didn’t want to be with us. Our kids a great and they can be so funny and fun to talk with. His loss. I lost out on so much with he “working”, but I don’t think he cares. As long as his needs were being met, that’s all that matters.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

And what a super chump I was. He went off to work in Asia after the financial crash as he worked in financial stuff (that used to make me smile as he was so appalling with our money). He was abroad for six years visiting home every now and then. Missing birthdays Christmas Easter illnesses summer holidays school plays all of it. And I just thought he was so sacrificing for the financial benefit of being able to pay for the boys education. We were a team. And all the snide comments and looks from people who would look as me as if to say ‘ are you mad letting your husband out of sight for so long in Asia too. Wow’. I felt secure and trusting. We talked about the dangers to us as a couple. We kept in touch multiple times daily.
Ah well. They were right. He wasn’t interested in us at all. Kills me that the boys see this too. With my history it’s almost too much. My choice of partner led to their experience of a non interested or vested parent.
He still makes me feel that the only reason they are not close is that I held them too close to me! Well if you choose to fuck off to Asia for six years then pardon me for being their ONLY parent.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn,

That’s so awful he was gone all that time and missed out on so much. It’s sad that we don’t see the truth until we are out of the relationship. I had lots of signs or things that didn’t feel right to me, but I trusted his words. I failed to observe his actions and daily behaviors.

And don’t take on his blaming you for not having a close relationship with your kids. That’s ALL on him! My ex didn’t miss out on as much as yours, but he CHOSE to miss out on a lot. And he didn’t even mind that he was missing out on a lot. I hope his job and those ho-workers are around when he’s in a diaper some day and he needs someone to help him out. Kids know who was the involved parent most of the time. You can’t fool kids!

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

And you know what else I just realised. I apologise to my kids and feel totally guilty for marrying the guy in the first place!!! My eldest had to tell me to stop freaking apologising for not seeing clearly what he was. I felt totally guilty for my bad choice of spouse. Genuinely awful and still do. I try to be so much for them as I feel I should have seen him sooner. I still wrestle with it. Try to stop and try to stop apologising for not seeing it coming and protecting them. But I apologised often and with meaning and tried to make it up to them.
Aaarrggghhh. So frustrating

frozen
frozen
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

@capricorn I’m still in the divorce process and my kids are still very young but this is exactly how I feel. I want to apologize to them everyday for making such a poor choice in a husband and father for them. My boys are such wonderful kids and their father and his family so unbelievably dynsfuctional. I’m so sorry for not having seen or paying attention to the red flags for making the relationship last this long.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Oh, Capricorn. You shouldn’t apologize. You didn’t know! I didn’t know either. I’m trying so hard to forgive myself for ignoring the red flags and what my gut was telling me. But when you are with a charming guy that love bombed you in the beginning, they are like a drug. Our brain gets addicted to them. I swear I never knew people and relationships like this existed until I came to CL and started readings lots of books and blogs. So, now we know and we can use that knowledge to better ourselves and to fix our picker. (((HUGS))) to you, Capricorn.

Chump Change
Chump Change
7 years ago
Reply to  Chump Change

Defense Attorneys

MissDeltaGirl
MissDeltaGirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

OMG Martha did you find your daughter?

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  MissDeltaGirl

MissDeltaGirl,

Oh, yes we found her! A lady who was sitting by our beach blanket saw that I was panicking and going over to the lifeguard. She came over and said, “Your daughter is by your blanket.” My daughter was close by all the time, playing with a new friend she met which we knew about. But when we looked where she was last playing (not very far away), she was gone! That was one of the scariest days of my life.

And like I said, absolutely NO REACTION from my now ex-husband. I was screaming and yelling her name and he was totally silent. Cool as a cucumber. That is not normal behavior for when a child is missing.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

Martha, this is an odd question, but did your ex husband have a low to almost non existence of body odor? Like no smell?
They have found that most sociopaths do not have body odor. Isn’t that bizarre?

One evolutionary biologist opined that they are such super predators, they have no smell so they can sneak up and attack. As mammals, we would not “catch” their smell. We would be vulnerable and not hear them coming.

Now, ain’t that some scary stuff?????

Chumptacular
Chumptacular
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Re: the article and “the tells”

During the last year of marriage when XH was hving an affair with OW behind my back, one day he and I were driving into town. He suddenly decided to take an alley to our destination instead of the main road, as a shortcut. He exclaimed loudly, “I’m going to cheat!”

I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I thought cheating means you are having sex with someone other than your spouse so why didn’t he just say he was going to take a shortcut?

I now realize it was “the tells” and he really was cheating. 7

Chumptacular
Chumptacular
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

I was married for nearly 30 years to a man with no body odor who only took 2 sink baths a week.

He never confessed to cheating despite physical evidence. When pressed hard for an apology the best I got was, “I’m sorry I made you mad.”

Lack of an apology speaks volumes. It says:

1. I am not sorry.
2. I am not interested in genuine reconciliation.
3. I am unrepentant and the fear of God is not in me.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Thanks for sharing, Kendal K 🙂

whodoesthat
whodoesthat
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

That is so weird you got the ‘death stare’ for no apparent reason too. I would be walking through the room – usually cleaning or doing stuff beneath him on his weekends- and his eyes would bore into me until at one point I said “you look at me like you hate me !? What’s that about ?” One time I remember stating “why do you look like that – I don’t want to wake up one morning and you are half way out the door leaving saying ‘you should have known I felt like this’ . he replied “I don’t know what you’re talking about this is all in your head” ….18 months later he did exactly that down to ‘you should have known ‘ fucking psycho. All the rest of the time together he was as nice as pie planning our future and holidays with kids etc. Beyond disordered. Its like they collect all the info on how they can fuck you over to maximise the devastation. It goes without saying that the financial gutting was absolute to …. $200 in the bank left after 25 years .

peaceatlast
peaceatlast
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Weird! Mine definitely did not stink (in the physical sense at least) and was almost OCD about deodorant. Hmmmm.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  peaceatlast

Here is the article and I believe it has some cites. It also specifically talks about the lack of startle response many of you mentioned.

https://psychopathsandlove.com/identifying-a-psychopath-19-subtle-signs/

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  peaceatlast

I think there is something to it. Mine did not have body smells either. Even if he was sweating like a hog, there was no B.O. smell.

I have a terrible problem, and have to put on deodorant at night, or I have a smell in the morning, even after my evening shower. It is just second nature now (Clinque works best!) to put it on. He never smelled….days and days of not showering (what a Prince) and no body odor.

But he never did. It would be fascinating for others who had partners who were sociopathic to see if they also had low to no odor. An unscientific poll.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Kendal K

Kendal K,

Wow, never thought about it, but I’d say my ex didn’t really have his own scent. All I can remember smelling is his deodorant. He never smelled stinky ever. The only time he smelled bad to me is when he’d cut the grass and it was hot out. Or if he came back from a short camping trip and smelled out-doorsy or like a campfire.

That’s some crazy, scary stuff if it’s true! My ex is definitely a predator of women. I have no doubt about it in my mind. He kept track of only FEMALE former ho-workers and wished them a Happy Birthday each year — putting the feelers out to see if they were available. He once accidentally forgot to log-off his gmail and I saw one Happy Birthday email to a former ho-worker and he said to her, “I miss you so much!!” And then the last time was an HB email to a ho-worker. Lots of flirting and flattery. He then met her out for their secret before work coffee date and he then found out that she was getting a divorce. He then kept track of when her divorce would be final and he went in for the kill by asking her out on a late night drinks date, all the while telling me tons of lies in order to go on this date. But yeah, she was just a “friend.” If that isn’t predatory behavior, I don’t know what is!!

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
7 years ago

Perhaps the most va
Unable education I received from Chump Lady concerns understanding personality disorders. It was something I never thought of and once I educated myself on that I knew there was never going to be an apology better than the one I got. It was the “I’m sorry you got hurt.” You know, not sorry for what he did, just how I reacted to it. That stymied me for a long time. For him it was a heartfelt apology. For me it was word salad….until I read enough here to understand that he is incapable of feeling remorse for his actions. His inability to feel remorse does not excuse his actions. He knew exactly what he was doing. But now that I understand that he is disordered I can accept that there will never be a real apology. For me that was a big leap in my healing.

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Like, we are IMMERSED in cheater speak and culture. We’re pretty good at this now. We practically have degrees in cheaterology–and chumpology, too. We use these to help others.

I am amazed at the things I know now that I never knew or even thought of before. I’m actually pretty grateful for the experience. I think it’s useful in so many ways.

flutterby
flutterby
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

“We practically have degrees in cheaterology–and chumpology”.
Sometimes having the “degree” isn’t all that. I have a couple of coworkers that are giving me a master’s degree, that I didn’t ask for. One threw her serial cheater out after 35 years, he “had” a new shmoopie, “he left schmoopie after she found out (not)”, a 27 year old “one night stand” child and possibly other children thrown in-between the marriage. She will not call him names, basically telling me that I should not call him names, the only names that I have said to her are cheater and a terrible person, no f*ckwit, f*cktard, asswipe, m*therf*er, none of the good ones anyway. She is in some kind of magical place where her cheater is not like the others, he goes to Mass regularly now, after all.

The other is a crash course in how a work place “romance” starts. The longing looks, the batting of the eyelashes, the obvious “favorite”, the secretary, the secretary of all things, but she is “bright”.

The first coworker had a rude awakening lately, I don’t know if she is a narc also or if she picked up narc fleas. The bosses wife likes to bake, lately all she bakes is jam packed full of an ingredient that the first coworker cannot eat without getting really sick. It’s kind of obvious because the bosses wife is nothing if not proper, but she continues to send baked goods that coworker one cannot eat. Coworker one says that that is rude, because bosses wife is excluding her. Coworker one says that she has “an in with the boss” and she is not above using it, but coworker one thinks she is totally moral and upright. I think bosses wife has seen that she is a problem and wife is hoping to poison her.

Coworker one has “no Problem” with coworker two’s bullsh*t, because “it is not our business”. It’s like working in a nightmare. I finally just decided that whatever these people are doing, they are going to do, and no amount of reality is going to matter.

St. E
St. E
7 years ago
Reply to  flutterby

I was laughing hard at “he goes to the Mass”.

I think the boss’s wife IS trying to poison Ms. HoWorker 1.

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago
Reply to  flutterby

Ugh. What a stressful work place! So much drama!

Anchorlady
Anchorlady
7 years ago

Here’s a thought. What if you got the apology and you still feel like shit?!? You can’t rely on the person that broke you to fix you. That’s your job, and it can happen if you work really hard to mend yourself.

flutterby
flutterby
7 years ago
Reply to  Anchorlady

Good point Anchorlady, you can’t count on the one that broke you to fix you, they don’t have it in them to fix anything outside of themselves. They don’t even “see” you as a real person, you were an appliance, like the fridge or toaster. You served a perverted purpose and when your purpose is done you are broken and you should be thrown away and replaced. What you feel, what you felt, the place (spouse or significant other) you took for granted has been vacated and the x is “shopping” for a replacement part. These things are pods, they go about replacement without regard to anyone or anythings feelings, wants or needs, they are the only ones that matter and if you get in the way, you will be replaced.

brit
brit
7 years ago

It took me a very long time to come to terms with accepting that X was an imposter and untrustworthy.
He’s a liar and a fraud, not even close to who I thought he was.
They’re incapable of a sincere apology. In their minds they’re perfect and do nothing wrong.
Cheating and lying is wrong, they know it’s wrong, in their minds it’s justified by our shortcomings and to living up to their standards. Some perceived injustice they’ve suffered from us drove them to cheat.
Another thing that I struggled with was looking for X’s approval. It wasn’t until I found CN that I learned I was looking for approval from a pathological liar.
Approval from a pathological liar has no value.

NoMoreEvil
NoMoreEvil
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

+1!

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago

I am ‘lucky’. So far the divorce process is smooth and generous. I will trust that when it is final in Feb/March next year but so far so good.

I have had many, many apologies. Many.
Problem is when I ask him what for. Then he gets into difficulties. I think he wants to be sorry, he can see it has been a shitstorm of pain for me and the boys but he just can’t ‘feel’ it if you get what I mean.

He doesn’t want to divorce. He misses the boys. He can see in practical terms how his life has changed but when it comes to connecting the emotional dots there is no functioning wiring.

So I do have apologies but they feel hollow even though his actions suggest true remorse.

It’s all painful and sad and for what??

SureChumpedAlot
SureChumpedAlot
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

They will never “feel” what we have felt for the simple reason that they aren’t the ones that were *genuinely* invested in the marriage and the family like we were. They did motions at best.

It is impossible for them to feel the deep pain of betrayal and the intact family exploding because they were not *genuinely* emotionally invested and committed like we were. They were *genuinely* emotionally invested in the OW/OM. That is why we will never get a *genuine* apology. They don’t have the capacity to understand this. What they do understand is what they did was warranted or justified. This is as deep as they can go which is pretty shallow.

This is all so painful and sad because for them, living in the moment/s of deceit trumped all else. This is all mired from entitlement, selfishness, lack of impulse control and the ability to suppress empathy.

flutterby
flutterby
7 years ago

So true Sure. x contacts me only when I post pics on fb of our young adult children, I usually comment about how they are a blessing to me. His purpose is to try to make me get “the kids” to speak to him. I don’t respond. I spackled for all of my kids lives, so that they could have a relationship with him. He fired me from the job, now it’s all up to him and them to figure it out. My D keeps in touch with him, but gives him hell, and my S speaks to him rarely, if at all, for most of the year. x just “cannot imagine why they won’t speak to him, why they won’t just be ok with the way things are now”. x has no concept of the pain that he caused. x had choices, he chose to not man the f*ck up and leave in a dignified way, he chose to cheat, he chose to lie and now he is reaping the rewards of his choices. And I am not going to help him in any way whatsoever, he chose this and now he is the one that has to “fix” it for himself, too much work for him but that is not my problem anymore. The kids are grown and they have “choices” now and if x can’t handle that then that’s his problem to fix, he caused it all anyway.

NoMoreEvil
NoMoreEvil
7 years ago

Exactly, SureChumpedAlot!!!

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  NoMoreEvil

That’s it, raw and wriggling.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago

^^^^^ This is so true! Well said, ChumpedAlot

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

The only reason he is upset about the pain he caused is because HE has to see it, because it affects HIM. Trust me on this. During wreckconciliation, STBX would say “when are you going to get over this? It hurts me to see you sad.”

NotYourPlanB
NotYourPlanB
7 years ago

If I had a penny for every time he’s said “you make me feel guilty” I’d be able to pay my lawyer in cash. It seems my very presence in his life makes him feel guilty, and so does pointing out the truth. It is so obvious to me but clear as mud for him. Capricorn, you’re dead on – he just has no functional wiring to connect the emotional dots. Hollow apologies indeed.

KarenE
KarenE
7 years ago
Reply to  NotYourPlanB

We make them feel guilty (a bit, for a few minutes, until they can get mad at us instead), because they ARE GUILTY. And our very existence, our refusal to reconcile and tell them again how great they, are reminds them of that.

NotYourPlanB
NotYourPlanB
7 years ago

Ug, Louisvilleflower, that rings a bell here too. We had a circus of a wreckonciliation week, during which, after about three apparently-heartfelt “I’m sorry’s” he said “I can’t keep apologizing for this, it makes me feel guilty”. Which seemed like a bizarre response to me. And when I’d express how incredibly hurtful this last year has been, he’d reply “well don’t you think it’s been hard on me too??” I think that’s why wreckonciliation didn’t work…it was so obvious to me that his only empathy was for his own pain.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago

This is timely for me personally, and probably all of Chump Nation. Holidays seem to bring out the insincerity in my STBX (and probably all the other narc fucks out there) like nobody’s business. I got an unsolicited apology yesterday via text. “I am sorry.” I briefly wondered which of the millions of shitty shitty things he did that he was apologizing for, or, if it was something new. I quickly realized that thinking about it at all was a waste of time, so I deleted it and went back to thinking about the hot firefighters I had just dropped off “Toys for Tots” with – a much better use of brain power.
Beware of Xmas/New Year’s apologies. Holidays can be a hard time for chumps, especially the newly chomped. You may think you want one, so re-read this colum ad nauseum.

Paintwidow
Paintwidow
7 years ago

My narc cheater was a firefighter. Please trust me….you don’t want that.
I can think of very few firefighter wives that haven’t been cheated on…..js.
I know, it’s a delicious daydream.
My current boyfriend is a welder, makes barn doors and stalls for all the rich horses. He’s super hot and a non cheater/ chump as well.
You know what hot is to me? Somebody that won’t fuck me over.

Now-I-Know-What-Hell-Looks-Like
Now-I-Know-What-Hell-Looks-Like
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

Same here! Firefighters can’t seem to keep their hoses to themselves! And what is the deal with so many OWomen who are nurses?

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Paintwidow

I have learned from CN to avoid firefighters, police officers, professors, executives, and from my own experience, doctors.
I like to look though. After living with a narc for 20+ years, I am discovering that HE is what was wrong with my libido!

brit
brit
7 years ago

add Pilots to that list.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Whoops, airline pilots, on the list of professions one should avoid.
For obvious reasons, visits different cities all over the world, “layovers”

Not all airline pilots but a many are. I remember when he first got hired by a major airline and we received the monthly pilot newsletter.
One newsletter arrived with profiles of middle aged pilots who were running for positions in their union. Included was a family photo of each one, each one had college aged children or older with a fresh faced new young wife young enough to bee their daughter holding their newborn with a toddler standing beside them.
I should have listened to my intuition, friends and people I worked with not to marry him.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

I can completely see that. Probably ship captains too.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago

I ditto the executives. Stay away from them! Especially as they climb higher on the ladder of “success.”

So, what are the “good” careers to go after? lol 😉

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

A man who cares about making a living rather than making a name for himself.
I think careers where there is an imbalance of power dynamic at play attract cheaters. My STBX is a doctor- OW were mostly nurses and dietitians. Executives-support staff. Professors- students or younger colleagues.
And also, careers where people seek adrenaline rushes- police officers, firefighters, emts. Cheating is at least partially about risk.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago

Very interesting analysis. Makes sense. Ex-MIL’s doctor that she works for, OWife was the receptionist at his practice. And she’s the attractive, flirty type. She went to a big name concert with my ex-MIL and she was all flirty with Big Name and even kissed him which I thought was really inappropriate considering he is a married man. Ex-MIL didn’t think her flirtatious behavior was wrong at all and even went so far to say that the receptionist was “fun!” No big surprise when I heard that she was the OW who broke-up a marriage with a bucket load of kids.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Martha

When my STBX started his own practice, I was concerned that he would be working so closely with women in his office and talked to him about it. He reassured me that the relationship was professional, and I think it was. Of course, he already had had affairs and was engaged in one with a hospital nurse at the time. He distracted me by taking me to dinner with his office staff and their husbands, “to reassure” me that things were on the up and up. Bait and switch.

I grew up as the kid of a doctor in a small town. My dad was one of very few doctors who didn’t cheat on his wife. It was completely normalized.

newme
newme
7 years ago

yep, my XH is a police officer who cheated with a police officer and now living with the hoe!

ElleB
ElleB
7 years ago

Exactly! I used to wonder why I didn’t really enjoy sex. Now I realize it was him and I actually like it…a lot.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
7 years ago
Reply to  ElleB

OMG @ElleB I thought it might just have been me. I can’t believe how good post cheater sex is. Actually connecting with someone who is responsive and communicates and reciprocates.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Yes, yes, yes! (That’s what she said!)
To be with someone who is a generous lover, who pays attention to your responses and remembers what you like… mind blowing.
It has also made me realize that when STBX told me “I am not sexually attracted to you anymore,” and he said that a lot after DDay 1, what I internalized was “I am not sexually attractive to anyone.” Getting my groove back has been awesome.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago

They all have the same script. I wrote this one down:

“If you had taken care of your man, this would not have happened!!!”
Screamed this at me.

Now, less than three months before, he said to me, (and this is shitty as well)

“Hell, I get two blow jobs a day whether I want them or not.”

There is no line of sanity to grab onto with these jokers. That is why the WHY? question is like decoding a toddlers Pokemon game. It is all uttering of garble gook.

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Mmm…yes! So good to be with a man who inspires me emotionally and mentally, a man I respect and admire, who isn’t an entitled, avoidant, passive-aggressive child. Lord knows I tried with the Coward, and I felt guilty for not feeling more into him than I did. But Boyfriend? MEE-YOW. A Domestic God with a happy disposition who is good at a lot of things, and who has a really strong (not arrogant, just self-confident) ego.

YUMMEH!

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

I was constantly thanking The Coward for working hard for his family. It made him mad. He said I saw him as nothing but a paycheck. (That’s also from the Handbook, btw.) Funny thing is, and this is just occurring to me as I type, NOT ONCE did he thank me for doing the same. NOT. ONCE. And he kept his money to himself for the most part, and spent thousands of dollars a month on what HE wanted, even though I did not want that. Truth is he never took good care of me, and he knows it. He actually did say to me, as I’ve written on this thread, that he was “not a good husband” but it was because he never loved me. So there you go.

Whatever.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

That’s interesting, Stephanie. I never knew that was in the Cheaters Handbook (I’d sure like to get a copy of that! haha) and that they all say that.

My sister said, “Martha, he said that to you, because he knew saying that would hurt you.” I believe that, too.

But then like you said, he also could be projecting his guilt onto me. He did that to me a few times in the past with other things. And the rest that you said makes sense to.

It’s just crazy, because never in a million years would I saw to my ex that he “never took good care of us.” He did take good care of us financially. He worked hard at work and I thanked him for this continually throughout our marriage. I would be nuts to say he didn’t take good care of us. That’s it. He’s nuts. lol. 🙂

Stephanie
Stephanie
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

Martha–that’s page 3 of the Cheater Handbook. They all say that.

The RIC site I frequented said that a lot of these guys project their guilt onto us. That might be one explanation. Or, they really just are SO self-absorbed that they have NO idea how much effort we put into taking care of them. None whatsoever. Because THEY did not take care of US. So they don’t appreciate the effort. The only thing they know is that they have an itch and it needs scratching so therefore you’re lacking. It blows your mind until you realize they are ludicrous in so many different ways and that you’re just better off not trying to make sense of the bullshit. Because there is no sense to it. They’re entitled little brats–like children who piss and moan that you never do anything for them, meanwhile you’re working 40 and commuting 10 hours a week, paying for the roof over their heads, cleaning their home, buying them clothes, etc. I don’t blame teens, it’s part of being a child. But an allegedly grown-up cheater? Ugh. Gross.

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Stephanie

If I ever date again, I want a Domestic God who also knows how to cook dinner once in awhile. Man, I slaved over my ex and what did that get me after 20 years of doing just about everything? “You never took good care of me.” To this day I can’t believe he had the nerve to say that to me. But the disordered mind likes to rewrite history.

ElleB
ElleB
7 years ago
Reply to  ElleB

Probably because he always asked me if I wanted to screw. The mentality of a sea slug.

Dixie Chump
Dixie Chump
7 years ago
Reply to  ElleB

Aw, the romance.

Kendal K
Kendal K
7 years ago
Reply to  Dixie Chump

And addicts and alcoholics. You cannot fix them.
Run, run, run as if the hounds of hell were chasing you.

Lawyers are also largely big time cheaters. Courtrooms are like bars. Everyone is flirting. It is disgusting.

***The faithful welder is sounding big time hot!

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  ElleB

The sex appeal of a sea slug!

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

Louisvilleflower: of course the best response is no response, but….the alternative is, “Yes, you are sorry–a sorry excuse for a human being.”

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

BOOM!

Arnold
Arnold
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I would use ” Go Fuck Yourself.”

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

I thought that too!

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I thought it!!
?

Nikki Lynn
Nikki Lynn
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Bingo!

oaktree
oaktree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I like that one, too, Tempest!

Out West
Out West
7 years ago

There will never be an apology from my x. Like so many have said, he’s disordered, incapable of apologizing. This is my third Christmas on my own and it’s getting better. I see meh. I’m at the point where whatever apology is needed is from me to myself….the ability to forgive myself for living and being complicit in the mess, for not holding boundaries, for devaluing myself to prop up his sparkly ass. I’ve said my goodbyes to my past life and my past self. I move forward with intention and authenticity. So at this point, no apology needed. I can validate myself.

peaceatlast
peaceatlast
7 years ago
Reply to  Out West

Amen Out West! I have to work on forgiving myself too. Forgiveness for the first mistake of marrying a psychopath and breeding with him (I’ve apologized profusely to my kids about what a shitty dad they have) and for the second mistake of marrying the narc musician who nearly bankrupted me. Working on fixing my picker and absorbing the wisdom of people like you here at CN.

OutWest
OutWest
7 years ago
Reply to  peaceatlast

Peace,

My picker is a bit off. I had a crazy date in the spring and realized I am not ready for “romance” I’d love a good solid friendship with a member of the opposite sex. Keep fighting the good fight. we are going to make it.