How Can We Challenge Blameshifting Therapists?

shrinkDear Chump Lady,

I find myself truly saddened, perplexed, outraged, confused? Am I going crazy? or is this really the philosophy around infidelity and how can we possibly challenge it when it’s so ingrained?

Recently I picked up a book (2015) by people I greatly admire Julie and John Gottman “10 Principles for Doing Effective Couples Therapy.” (Okay I didn’t read the whole book but went right to “cheating.”) Brand new book and chapter 9 is “Suspend Moral Judgment When Treating Affairs.”

Does exactly the drill addressing the PTSD, damage, pain etc. — then page 170:

“We witness the devastation affairs cause not only to partners but to their children as well. We know that affairs result from choices affair partners make. They don’t happen due to the randomness of fate. Yet we are admonished to not take sides. Crucial to our understanding is that affairs don’t usually begin in a vacuum.

When John and I examined the data of hundreds of couples with affairs, he discovered no less than 24 precursor steps that lead up to and predicted future betrayal. John’s careful analysis of affair-ridden couples revealed that they often start out happy and in love. But over time, poor conflict management skills take a toll. Either THEIR fights grow ugly or there is no fighting at all. Eventually both patterns lead THEM to shut down and avoid discussing disagreements altogether. After a while THEY shun any honest conversation and each other. Gradually THEY descend into canyons of loneliness. Just when THEY feel the worst after falling down into the canyon floor THEY discover a lovely flowing river a sweet young woman at the office. A sympathetic listener in the cubicle next door. The guy they keep running into at the gym. Before long there’s an Other, the one who listens, the one who laughs, the one who sympathizes, the one who brings fresh croissants every morning. Soon they are swept up by the waves of romance. They begin to compare their current mate with the Other. Blinded by the Other’s Brilliance and beauty the mate is left far behind in the dust. Rushing downstream they plunge headlong over the waterfall and into an affair.”

And then the Gottmans go on to use Caryl Rusbult and the honorable Shirley Glass and her famous marital “window” images. I highlighted Gottman’s use of THEY and how quickly it shifts from the one person (who willfully makes a decision to cheat) to suddenly it’s THEY and the unaware partner is held equally accountable?

I suspect every therapy book I now take in hand will gladly have the unknowing partner share the burden of deceit as being the root cause (by not paying attention to the cheating partners ‘loveliness” in just the “right way?”) I witness legions of betrayed spouses that — all never left the room! — or opened another “window,” outside of the relationship. Yet we still get handed the end bill, and blame for a cheaters unending narcissism and cowardice. Lovely.

Sorry, I feel so impotent and angry now that I see so clearly every where I look, the cultural gaslighting and Exuberant Defiance of Individuality and reckless domestic abuse by stealth so broadly supported. God forbid you blame the rapist for the rape and hold character disorders to account. We are morally puritanical in that case.

I want to write to the Gottman’s but don’t even know where to begin. I actually feel crazy sometimes.

Jane

Dear Jane,

You want to know where to begin? Leave an Amazon review. (I just linked to the book for you.) You bought the book, now review the book. Say exactly what you just wrote me — you admire their work, but when it comes to infidelity you think someone dropped them on their heads. They’re blameshifting and buying into the whole Chump Drove Me To It nonsense.

Yes, people can be in terrible marriages. And yes, sometimes chumps suck. And yes, people can make each other miserable — but it is what you choose to DO about it that matters. THAT is a measure of your character.

You might be a righteous asshole. You might insult my mother, kick me in the shins, and vote for Donald Trump. I can’t then steal your wallet and claim your asshole-ishness drove me to it. You made me very angry, Jane! I’m now going to charge $50,000 worth of pinecone elves to your account! You DESERVE it. I think you need to own what you did to make me so mad that I stole your wallet!

Are you a victim of crime? Or am I victim of you being a jerk?

If I don’t like you being a jerk, I have choices — like cutting you out of my life. Or attending therapy with you to discuss your asshole qualities. If I steal your wallet — I didn’t give you a choice. I just took something I thought I was entitled to.

Cheaters make UNILATERAL decisions about chumps’ health and welfare.

THEY discover a lovely flowing river a sweet young woman at the office.

No THEY do not. Only one person fucks the lovely flowing river — the cheater.

(And seriously, these PhDs should be ridiculed for that sentence alone.)

Hey, I don’t have a PhD, but let’s take this further — if the Gottmans truly believe that infidelity is so harmful as to give people PTSD, why are they making a false equivalency with poor “conflict management skills”? Being a lousy communicator is no excuse to risk my health with STDs, or my finances, or my children’s home life, or sexually humiliate me.

Also I call BULLSHIT on “Suspend Moral Judgment.” The Gottmans DID judge — they judged the chump as deserving of infidelity and equally at fault. By ascribing ownership of infidelity to chumps, they are blaming chumps. You want to blame someone? You just made a moral judgment, asshole.

Now then, to your question about changing the conversation around infidelity — you wrote to me. Okay, fine. I’m publishing your letter — to an audience of CHUMPS. We are preaching to the choir here. You want the blameshifting to end? Then SPEAK UP. There is an entire Chump Nation here — you people have voices and fingers to type on social media. Start questioning this shit. Take the conversation into the public sphere and get out of the CL ghetto. I cannot do this alone. You can buy my book — it would certainly help to get one published chump perspective out there, but it’s going to take more than that. It’s going to take chumps getting uppity.

Rise UP, Chump Nation!

Rerunning this column in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

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MiKo Chump
MiKo Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Why see a therapist? They are just as fucked up as anyone else.

My ex-fuckwit spent three years lying to me until he finally admitted he is a sex addict – not that he had affairs, because of course, he would never admit that. Then he said the last three years with me were the best of his life. Well goody for him, because the last three years of my life were nothing but a fucking illusion. I thought we had a great life – compatible, full of adventure, and awesome, frequent sex together. In my mind, I thought we were perfect and it was the best relationship I’d ever had. I take care of myself, am pretty and fit, have a great job, and own my own home. And he loves my two dogs.

And I am nothing but a gullible chump. I don’t need a therapist to tell me that, and I don’t need a therapist to tell me the fuckwit can change, or that I should be more accepting of the fuckwit’s “issues”, because that is what therapists do. He is 64 years old. He is not going to change. I am 59 and need to move on. Why pay someone my hard earned money to tell me what I already know????

Thanks for reading my venting. I didn’t sleep well last night – it’s only been 5 days since D-Day……

Goldy
Goldy
6 years ago
Reply to  MiKo Chump

Sounds like you already have a good head on your shoulders!!!

Rabbit007
Rabbit007
6 years ago
Reply to  MiKo Chump

Miko, love how you put it down. You are beyond mighty, you go girl!!!! I’m a chump myself , it’s been a rough year for me but making progress. You made my night for that I thank you.

GratefullyDivorcedDad
GratefullyDivorcedDad
6 years ago
Reply to  MiKo Chump

Miko,
Welcome, and I’m so sorry you’re here. Nobody ever wants to end up here. But “here” is one of your best sources for understanding and healing. It’s a slow process. Be kind to yourself. Be forgiving of yourself. Know that the roller coaster of emotions is at its beginning.

In the initial stages of trauma I found some relief from the sleepless nights with Ambien. I could always count on being knocked out for 3 to 5 hours, which my body needed to escape my racing mind and PTSD-like existence.

Try to move. Walk, run, exercise in some way every day. I know it’s difficult, but it helps immensely. Exercise will give you beautiful moments of reflection and perspective.

Treat yourself to a massage every so often if it’s affordable enough. You are worth it!

Mighty on!

BrokenOpen1
BrokenOpen1
6 years ago

Miko-
Your story could have been mine, to a “T”. And unfortunately, no therapists I sought out told me to run. No, I got detailed accounts from our couples therapist (who also had permission to speak to my cheater’s “sex addiction” therapist) all about poor cheater’s sad sausage childhood and how THAT developed into his poor coping mechanisms. Bottom line? I was always told that given all he had to bear (oh, please!) that he’s doing so well in therapy. “He is doing well at sticking with his therapy appointments” “Was that a tear? Look, he’s allowing himself to come out of his childhood numbing and FEEEEEEEL something”….etc.
What it all REALLY was, was that he loved therapy because he managed to make it all about him. And the therapists all had that ungodly combination of seeing his potential, with lots of recurring payments.

You already know how this ends, right?

So, yeah…..just go to therapy for YOU, not for the two of you. Get some help for your own trauma if you need it, or just to be heard and validated. And I agree with Gratefully Divorced Dad, Ambien is your friend…..
D-Day plus not being able to sleep = a disastrous emotional state.

I’m so glad you found CL because I didn’t find her till way after all this transpired. I was left being gaslighted by his sex addiction therapists when HE wasn’t busy gaslighting me.

((hugs))- it does get easier but it takes time so try and be patient with yourself

mila
mila
6 years ago
Reply to  MiKo Chump

@MiKo CHump – best way to heal is to shift the focus on yourself – on the therapists : not all of them are useless. Mine helped me to develop coping mechanisms during the first three months of hell. Now I am 16 months out, cheater free and focused on living my life.

Lemonade
Lemonade
6 years ago
Reply to  mila

I found my therapist to be helpful but you definitely have to be careful who you see. I screened several before choosing her in regards to some of their personal views. Even though ethically they are not to be allowing their personal ideology to influence therapy I unfortunately found that to not always be the case and I worked in the behavioral health field for a long time. There are some great therapists and awful ones. Mine took the time to help focus on me and what I wanted. What my options were and what I was capable of. She helped me find my strengths again and realize I had the skills and was way more independent that my cheater spouse to get through this. She also reminded me that working on me is always a good thing. We all have aspects of ourselves we can improve and may one day want to for a future relationship if we choose. I moved for graduate program and did see someone for free through the university but once again did not connect. She didn’t get it and I stopped going after a couple sessions. I was way ahead of her basically. I read a lot now and do hope to eventually to find someone for both my boys to talk with. I took my oldest for a couple months awhile back and ex (therapist himself) freaked out about it. He seemed to question why our kids might need to see a therapist. I just couldn’t even deal. I told him to contact the therapist directly and she’d help him out with that one. He continued to fight me all the time on it including the bills he was 1/2 responsible for. Guess it cuts into his fun with the wifetress.

GraceInMotion
GraceInMotion
6 years ago
Reply to  MiKo Chump

Miko, just wanted you to know how sorry I am you have to go through this. It will get better though it may not feel like it. Try Valerian Root to help you sleep. Non-addictive and never leaves me groggy in the morning.

hugs

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
6 years ago
Reply to  GraceInMotion

And Valerian steel to put a knife through that cheater’s cold heart.

OnedaySomeday
OnedaySomeday
6 years ago

*High-Five*

Creativerational
Creativerational
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

It’s a blog. You’re allowed to infuse some of your opinion in here…. 🙂

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Tracy….take a look at Dr. Omar Minwalla has to say about the effects of cheating on the betrayed spouse:
https://theinstituteforsexualhealth.com/thirteen-dimensions-of-sex-addiction-induced-trauma-sait-among-partners-and-spouses-impacted-by-sex-addiction/

He’s one of the few that has it right! I love this guy!

Vastra
Vastra
6 years ago

This is great – thanks for the link.
“In fact, the traditional sex addiction treatment model, which promotes co-sex addiction as the primary clinical diagnosis and clinical paradigm for treating partners, is a collusion with perpetration”

Hopeful Cynic
Hopeful Cynic
6 years ago

Thank you for that link! It superbly breaks down and explains just about everything I went through, in clinical terms.

Carol
Carol
6 years ago

This is what we are taught in Canadian law that you cannot judge morally, the HELL with that I have been fighting my cheating ex husband a year now and I’m never backing down! Cheating is filthy and immoral!????????

Traffic_Spiral
Traffic_Spiral
6 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Well, maybe his lawyer isn’t supposed to judge him morally, but you aren’t his lawyer, so what’s that to you?

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago

Minwalla actually studied and defined the trauma betrayed spouses go through! The “sex addiction model” created by a sex addict (Patrick Carnes)- does abuse, discard, and re-traumatize the already traumatized betrayed spouse.

Like lobotomy….Patrick Carnes and his half baked “Sex addiction” treatment model- needs to be thrown in the dumpster of bad ideas.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago

Actually I told the MC that a lobotomy was the only to move forward in a potential relationship with the asshole in my situation.

Can’t unsee what was seen. Can’t undo what was done. Adults make choices and decisions all the time, regardless of emotional maturity. It’s important for the abused to make choices only in their favor and for the positive welfare of their dependents.

OhHellNo
OhHellNo
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

LOL this is only one reason of many why I love you, CL. I appreciate the disclaimers that keep CN on topic.

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Schorn

Thanks for all this. 🙂

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

I’m exhausted with the “you’re too judgmental/puritanical” accusation. Seriously, all I am asking for is basic human decency. Don’t lie to me, degrade me, cheat on me, and keep your fucking promises. When you fail to do that PLUS destroy my family, my years of investment, and devastate our children … you have failed the basic human decency test by a million miles. If it’s puritanical to say this, then fuck it, I’m puritanical.

In our marital counseling, the asshole refused to admit to anything. He lied and gaslighted until he convinced the counselor that the scratch marks on his back were from a dog and that I was just an over-jealous, harpy wife. Regretfully, because the counselor fell for it and pushed that narrative, I believed it.

More shockingly, the female therapist he saw in the hospital (committed for attempted suicide – flagged as dangerous to me and our kids) called me to ask how I was going to get the serial cheating, abusive asshole home. I asked her if she read his notes, which bashed me from start to finish (he refused accountability for anything) — and they also included his admission that he had raped me, with the caveat that I deserved it.

She said, “Yes.”

Then I asked her if she knew I was advised to get a restraining order against him. She said, “Yes.” Given all of the stress I was under trying to get emergency housing for my kids and I before he was released … I flipped out on her. I may have told her to fuck off …. it’s hard to remember now.

Therapists who dump blame on the victim, in my view, do as much damage as the abuser/cheater/narc (it’s just a different kind of damage). They double-down on the damage they cause by alleviating the abuser/cheater/narc from proper accountability. By default, they help to perpetuate the behavior.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

In other words…..the quack therapists are “enabling” the cheater……as they revictimize the already victimized spouse. Disgraceful!

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

Yes, the therapists who play the “share the blame” card really are disgraceful. It blinds them to the character disordered behavior of the cheater. More importantly, I think it re-traumatizes the victim who’s already traumatized by gaslighting and the other abusive behaviors that almost innately go along with the cheating.

For me–in the midst of the depression caused by the degradation and gaslighting, the therapist’s spin put a professional “you’re husband is right about you” stamp on the asshole’s degradation of me. And for the asshole, it gave him a “free ticket” to continue the behaviors … because the professional agreed with him. So damaging ….

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
6 years ago

Therapists see this as the full employment act…whether they admit it or not, there is a significant monetary gain to be realized by not calling out the fuckwit and turning a blind eye to the research literature showing that this behavior is unchangeable. It is indeed the Reconciliation Industrial Complex. The good news is I have several therapist friends who I hike with. As we walk, I tell them about all I have learned and they intern have been making lists of CL etc and giving them to their Chump clients. They get it and it is not something that was taught in school. Now the King Narc in the White House, this is a topic that is getting serious airplay. It is going to take a while though and lots of effort to put all the leaves in the tree though.

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

JessMom,
Your story never ceases to amaze me. Your strength and resolution remains a shinning example to me.

Fellingit once said in a post to me that I tell only bits and pieces of my story. Correct, my dear friend, is right on!

The post topic today reminds me of the time, it was years ago, and some years after DDay even, that I did go to a therapist.
I had lost a tremendous amount of weight and was tall and slim to begin with, it was just my nature. My family Doctor saw me at my work place ( hospital) and demanded I make an appointment with him immediately. He referred me to a specialist, I was hospitalized, many tests were performed. No physical, medical cause of the severe weight loss was ever found. Due to muscle loss it took a long time to start to put some weight back on. ( I had no eating disorders). I saw a nutritionist and ate a high caloric diet. My Doctor said he did not want me to return to work and insisted I see a therapist. He believed that I was simply working too hard and had to slow down.
The therapist was indeed a lovely lady, very soft spoken, kind. She set a timer, I sat in a chair with a box of kleenex on a table beside me.
We talked (mostly she talked, I said very very little), until the timer went off, 45 minutes, later.
Not once did I bring up DDay, the fact that I was a Chump, ( hell, I didn’t even know of the word “Chump” at that time). I was just a young woman, busy, with being the present, sane, loving parent, ( even though my cheater stayed), working a busy career, taking care of the house, everything.
This therapist knew where I worked. She knew about confidentiality, and that what we said in that small room, with the clock ticking, well these words would get no further. So, she drilled me, asked me questions about this doctor, that doctor, this and that, this and that regarding hospital gossip. I felt it was wrong to tell her any specifics. Sadly I never really did get anything positive out of those sessions.
Thankfully I did get well again and carried on to the best of my ability putting my family and my career ahead of myself once again. Chumps tend to do that, it’s just the way we are built.
Cheaters, not so much.

I want to add that less than two years ago I found new therapists! They are true therapists, who listen. They are kind, smart as a whip, genuinely caring individuals.
Their names are Jeep Tess, Tempest, Tessie, Capricorn, Feelingit, twiceachump, Mother Chumper99, ChmpyKindofLove, LovedaJackass, Aeronault, XWorld, Sunfloer36, and oh sooooooo many others.
Chumps come to know each other by post name. No timers are set here, the door is always open.
We all dwell in a big big house and our founder, our leader’s name is CL.
No better therapists exit than CL, CN!
Just saying!

JessMom, stay strong and Mighty!

Love,
peacekeeper

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

Peacekeeper: (((Hugs))) and thank you. You said: “Thankfully I did get well again and carried on to the best of my ability putting my family and my career ahead of myself once again. Chumps tend to do that, it’s just the way we are built. Cheaters, not so much.”

So well stated. I’m just now trying to figure out when “putting my family and my career ahead of myself once again” dips into the unhealthy range — as it did during my marriage. I don’t want to let go of that trait … I still think it’s good, but it needs to be moderated. And this is where my current therapy is helpful. 🙂

I love your point about CL and CN therapy. I’ll keep announcing from my little part of the world that this site saved me and my kids. The information …. the stuff I’ve learned here (via CL wisdom and CN experience) has been more valuable to me and my life than even my college degree. Then add in the stunning amount of kindness blended with understanding and guidance (you are one of these people, Peacekeeper) … utterly priceless. Now that I think about it, this is the safest “place” I’ve ever known.

The people here hold a very special place in my heart. I come here nearly daily as CL/CN STILL helps me, but I am also at the point now where I think my experience may help others, so I try to do just that. Pay it forward, as it were.

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

((((((((Hugsbacktoyou))))))) JessMom!
You certainly do help others!

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

Please add yourself to this list of wonderful new therapists for Chump Nation.
(((Peacekeeper)))

Where do I stop with this list, so many wonderful chumps here helping each other out 24/7?
And endless gratitude to Tracy who gives us a place to find each other and trusts us to create this unique community, potty mouths and all.

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
6 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

Thank you for your very kind words kiwichump.
YOU are one of the most courageous Chumps I know.
It is really unimaginable all that you have been through and you turn it all around into helping other Chumps, showing them the way and the light.

I smiled when you referred to us being allowed to use “potty mouth.”
I love this also, thank you so much CL.
There is a time and a place, and this is most certainly it!

The names Chumps choose for their cheaters are (sadly) true, yet hilarious.
Thank you Chumps for the smiles!

Indomitable
Indomitable
6 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

Amen peacekeeper. I have received the benefit of so much good therapy from the members of Chump Nation. I check in almost daily for a tune-up and am so much the better for it. Many thanks to those who take time to contribute their comments on this blog and of course, especially to Tracy.

I went to two individual marriage counselors early on in my marriage when things “weren’t right”. The counselors refused to consider that Fuckwit was abusive and was lying to me and to them, even when he tripped over his lies. If I were the person back then that I am today, I would have said to myself, ” I don’t need to stay in a relationship that is making me unhappy and I don’t need to listen to ridiculous rhetoric from people who say that I have joint responsibility for my partner’s fuckupedness.”. Like so many others, the younger me believed that I needed to never stop trying to appease and please my partner, no matter how he treated me. I did not have the insight to understand what was happening, the vocabulary to articulate it or the courage to walk out on the sanctity of marriage. I do now and I love the do-over of my life.

BetterEveryDay
BetterEveryDay
6 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

Peacekeeper, you are so right! I saw a couple of very good therapists for a couple of years after my dday, but it was here at Chumplady.com that I found true healing. Reading CL’s wonderful, smart, snarky posts and all the wonderful contributions of all my fellow chumps have been instrumental in helping me find meh. I am now 4 years out from the end of a 27 year (what I thought was a very happy) marriage. I told my therapists about Chumplady in the hope that they would check it out themselves and perhaps tell others about it. We have to keep getting the word out. I still read here every day. I screenshot posts and read them when I need an extra boost. I can’t thank CL and CN enough!

ColdTurkey
ColdTurkey
6 years ago
Reply to  BetterEveryDay

Same here. I told my therapist about this wonderful community, and I sincerely hope she recommended it to other clients. Sometimes in our sessions I laughed so hard about the witty contributors here that I am positive my therapist checked it out, if only for the gritty humor that CN displays.

Merrychump
Merrychump
6 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

I also think the best therapists are here on this website. Thank you CL&CN.

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

That’s just awful.

Clearwaters
Clearwaters
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Jesssmom, this therapist is, at the very minimum, VERY LAZY. Who employed her?

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Clearwaters

It was a hospital unfamiliar to me (luckily, not in our direct vicinity). I was such a frazzled mess at the time — and totally stunned by the cal — so I didn’t do anything except tell her off. My eldest daughter (early 20s) heard it all, though, and called to report the woman to her superior.

A couple of days later I received an “apology” email that said she was sorry I was upset. Then she explained that she was just trying to do what was best for everyone involved …. it reminded me so much of the apologies I used to get from the jackass.

Clearwaters
Clearwaters
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

An “apology”. Wow. That sure takes care of a ton of shit… Insult to injury.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

*call (not “cal”)

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

That read strangely. For clarification, the two therapists I refer to were about two decades apart. The last one happened when everything finally imploded.

Clearwaters
Clearwaters
6 years ago

To think that I actually copied and pasted parts of the Gottman’s faulty scientific reasoning in my exchanges with Lord von Glitter-Balls during my pick-me dance.

To think that one day when I was trying to communicate with Glitter-Balls about our retirement he yelled into my left ear (loud enough to have it buzzing for minutes) that he was a failure and that it was MY fault… (AND he denies ever having said this…)

To think that my conversations about anything, ANYTHING, were met with burps, farts, joking. Maybe so he could keep daydreaming about schmoopie, whose existance I would have never dreamed of in a thousand years????

The Gottmans have lots of data, but make crappy hypotheses with it. It’s very hard to test that cheating was due to lack of communication and not lack of character.

And, as Tracy argues, what do communication skills have to do with cheating?

Happy Civil Rights Day. I am sure MLK stood on many shoulders, starting with Rosa Parks’.

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago
Reply to  Clearwaters

I would get the tv volume going up every time I would beg for talk. Or he’d say “what?” Every time I would ask him something…making me have to repeat. I think back about those days. They were so hard and lonely.

brit
brit
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

If I wanted to “communicate” with X regarding our relationship or question him, he would accuse me of never being happy, “bitching again,” or looking for something to argue about. X would say these things loud enough that our son would hear him so he could play the victim to my troublemaking.
I was still under the assumption X was the person I thought I married and he actually cared about our marriage and our family.
Looking back, it’s quite obvious he couldn’t have cared less and actually despised me.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  brit

My XH the substance abuser followed the same line. If I asked him to do a chore or asked him to clean up some mess he made, I was told I was “nagging” and “bitching” and “never satisfied.” It wasn’t until I told him I was leaving that he suggested therapy and I said, “Not unless you stop drinking first and get help with that.”

There was no point in me going into couples’ therapy with someone who was actively destroying both of us with alcohol. I say the same thing for cheaters. One way to end the blame shifting is for chumps to refuse marital counseling until the cheater gives up the AP and gets into serious therapy to see if he or she is even capable of change. That’s job 1. No point in going to counseling with an unrepentant liar.

AC
AC
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

@LovedAJackass

Been there, heard that, hated it until I turned numb and just didn’t give a shit about him anymore. My “AC” means Alcoholic Chump.

Alcoholics Anonymous and alcoholic rehab programs actually encourage this kind of blame-shifting and denial of responsibility. At least, all the ones he attended did: “Alcoholism is a disease. You’re not at fault. You can only control the symptoms… with help. You’re powerless against it. You can never be cured. It’s not your fault.”

Bullshit. Alcoholism is an addiction, and that makes it a choice, not a disease. If alcoholism is a disease, it’s the only disease you can bring under control with support group meetings.

Drinking and driving is a choice. Buying that bottle was a choice. Stealing your kids’ 50-states quarters collections to buy more rum is a choice. It sure wasn’t MY fault that he bought a 750ml bottle of rum and drained it by himself… every night… 7 nights a week. Maybe it was DS’s and DD’s faults for leaving their quarter collections on their bookshelves.

On the upside, when he drank that much there wasn’t much cheating with a Schmoopie, because a drunken dick doesn’t stand any straighter than the drunk attached to it.

lovedandlost
lovedandlost
6 years ago
Reply to  AC

Yes this! I tried for a long time to “communicate” with him and only getting a wall in response so I gave up. He increased his drinking and absences. Then later he said he did go to a the therapist who told him that the drinking was just a symptom of his unhappiness in his marriage. He was so relieved that he drank more. This was NOT mentioned in the Gottman theory. I don’t believe that alcoholism is an addiction for narcs-they are in complete control. It “cleared up” when AP replaced me.

liveandlearn
liveandlearn
6 years ago
Reply to  brit

^^This.^^

I was constantly accused of “wanting to start an arguement” when trying to communicate any emotions I had. I wasn’t allowed to have any. He bragged when we divorced that “we were never combative”. He doesn’t realize that that’s because I always aquiesed to live life on his terms when I really felt like I was banging my head against the wall in trying to communicate with him and have a dialogue.

I still try to forgive my chumpiness.

Chumptopia
Chumptopia
6 years ago
Reply to  liveandlearn

Mr. Cheater Pants communication style was the worst I’d ever seen concerning me. He would say something and I would agree. Then he would start arguing with me like I had disagreed with him. The conversation went around and around. He didn’t do that with anyone but me. It was so stinking maddening. If something came up at work and I wanted to talk about it with him he would just scream something like ‘well just tell your boss to go fuck himself.’ Oh yeah, that’s what I’ll do honey. He was the most absurd human being I’ve ever met. I wonder if he talks like that to Schmoopie now. Gawd, I hope so. Lol

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago
Reply to  brit

Exactly the same here. And would talk loud enough for the kids to hear despite me pleading with him not to do that.

ColdTurkey
ColdTurkey
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

Oh, god… I still go berserk whenever anyone says “what?”. We even got my exH’s hearing tested, and he actually does have minor hearing loss for the upper range (but I have a somewhat deep voice). However, he could certainly hear things when he wanted to, just not my voice. My brother too smirks whenever he says “what,” so I’m going to insist on an audiologist’s report if I ever go out on a date again.

Battle-tempered Lionheart
Battle-tempered Lionheart
6 years ago
Reply to  ColdTurkey

OMG I thought I was the only one! Almost every single time I say something to him, he says “what?”.
It was really getting under my skin and I didn’t know why. But now that I’ve read this, I suspect it is less like a hearing thing (his hearing is fine) and more like a control thing.
As in, whenever you talk I am going to start out with an annoyed “what?” just to remind you you have no place talking.

Sandra
Sandra
6 years ago

Ayup, same here. The “what” to be dismissive, and loud enough for the son to here, with that look of contempt.

And that becomes “she argued with everything I said “. Wait doesn’t there have to be an actual dialogue to constitute an argument?

Vastra
Vastra
6 years ago

Mine did this too in the last year – any question or conversation was met with an irritated “what?” along with a look of pure hatred

Lucky
Lucky
6 years ago

After a few sessions of listening to my X rant and rave about what a terrible person I am and how we had a bad marriage …a failed marriage, my therapist turned to me and asked me what was I going to do to bring X back to the marriage.

During this time I had not said one bad thing. The cheating was put on the back burner – my faults ( in his mind – the devaluation) where the main focus.

Excuse me – my need to buy groceries and pack healthy lunches on an extremely tight household budget while you wentbout to lunch everyday with Miss Piggy and friends drove you to pure loathing?!?!

My therapist did nothing but reinforce my X’s viewpoint that I deserved everything I got.

Funny enough – my Minister X also councils the couple’s that he prepares for marriage.

I told him that he should stick to funerals at the time of our separation and called him a hypocrite. By that time I was done kissing his ass and “trying to bring him back to the marriage” and didn’t give a fuck.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Clergy can be the worst of the worst with marriage counseling! When I first caught Dancing Dick with dial-a-whore telephone calls, voyeuring the teenager next door……and porn cassettes back in 1988- I turned to my pastor for help. He told me to “be a better wife!!!!!!!!!!” Unfuckingbelievable!

It’s as if he missed all the parts of the Bible that screamed “Don’t commit adultery.”

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago

The pastor who married us said, after I told him of the discard, “As Christians, we want to believe that God brings things TO us. But, we must also accept God’s love in removing things or taking things from us that are causing harm.” He died shortly after that conversation, but it is burned in my brain for eternity.

OptionNoMore
OptionNoMore
6 years ago

Oh my…love these words. Very sage advice. I think that I’ll post this one on my FB site.

Jojobee
Jojobee
6 years ago

I am so sorry that happened to you! I had such an opposite response from my priest. When I was trying to get Col. Cheaterpants to stay and worried about how I would forgive him, my priest said, ” You cannot forgive someone who has not confessed, expressed remorse, and promised to repent. You cannot repair his broken vows , nor could you have foreseen that he never meant them and you would be in an invalid marriage.” That priest saved my life.

Nyra
Nyra
6 years ago
Reply to  Jojobee

????????????????

Wondernomore
Wondernomore
6 years ago
Reply to  Jojobee

My Priest told me to separate myself from my Cheater also, when I went in the early stages after Cheater had moved out and I wanted him back somehow. He said the same thing, if he is was not repentant, showing remorse etc., I needed to stay away from him. It was not what I had expected, I don’t know what I expected, but it was so calming and comforting the way he approached it.

OptionNoMore
OptionNoMore
6 years ago
Reply to  Wondernomore

I visited my priest in February. My husband left the family after Christmas and ended up spending new year’s even with the OW (didn’t even call the kids in the early evening to wish a happy new year). After explaining his behaviour over the last year and a half, my priest told me that I must give my marriage up to God, protect my children and take care of myself. He assured me that there was nothing I could have done to keep my husband from derailing as badly as he has and that what he’s going through is something he has to do on his own. When I asked him if it was a sin to stop praying for my marriage (because I just couldn’t keep doing it), he told me that the marriage will be in God’s hands and what is a priority to pray for now comfort in my and my children’s suffering. It was all such a relief to me, very freeing.

Lucky
Lucky
6 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Were – not where – I am my own grammar police this morning …

Natalia.B
Natalia.B
6 years ago

I’d like to know where that theory fits in my case (and many like me).

Cheater and I were newly married, had exciting sex life, lots of sexy texts to brighten day, massages together, shared jokes, long talks about life, totally connected (he agreed with all this) very successful business and no money worries, fabulous travel. Also I was in best shape of my life and had most gorgeous collection of lingerie he loved.

He cheated throughout with whole band of poorly educated, unattractive, rough types 10 years older and 25lbs heavier than me. Clinical psychologist told me later my cheater saw this as fulfilling his need to feel superior and maintain control due to a malignant personality disorder.

So this theory that cheaters are lonely, neglected souls looking for attention just doesn’t hold water. At least not in cases like mine. A human being could not have had more love and attention than he did.

He now lives alone, bankrupt and works a low paid job.

Mommamarsh
Mommamarsh
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Ex began his serial cheating (unbeknownst to me) about a year into our marriage, while we were – at least by all outward indications – still in the “honeymoon” phase of the marriage….so the whole “you drove him to cheat” narrative doesn’t hold water in my case either. I spent almost 26 years of my life with him before Dday #1 occurred, and I discovered his affair with a ho-worker. Naturally, we immediately hit the marriage counseling circuit, where we examined and explored what I did (and didn’t do) which lead him to cheat . One year into MC, and Dday #2 – my discovery of his aforementioned multiple affairs, porn addiction, and God knows what else – occured. So, yeah….clearly the problems he had pre-existed any action or inaction on my part as his wife.

QueenMother
QueenMother
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

good!

Merrychump
Merrychump
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Same here NataliaB, “a lot of poorly educated, unattractive, rough types” plus some skinnier, some heavier, some younger, some older, worldwide nationalities and some cheaply paid in euros. All shelved and often recycled from the past or suggested to his friends. He loved to make fun of their physical imperfections after having sex with them.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

HA! My ex cheater/perv (Dancing Dick) took up with a “head janitor” woman in Indianapolis! His need for superiority shines like the sun!

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Natalia, did the whore leave him?

Natalia.B
Natalia.B
6 years ago
Reply to  nomoreskankboy

Nomoreskank….there were actually about 8 of them all texting, phoning, meeting up at different times. Its a miracle his phone didn’t explode yet he had it down to such a fine art he’d often ask me to carry his phone or would leave it around the house. The juggling everyone was the buzz for him and something he just did in his spare time like playing football (he actually said that!). So once it all came out it wasn’t fun anymore. Game over. He actually didn’t want any of them and was horrified at thought. He was like a little child and sobbed in complete shock when he realised his “silly games” really meant the end of his marriage.

Cheaterssuck when you say “there is NO reason for any cheater to cheat” I wonder if you mean there’s no “excuse” for any cheater to cheat? Surely, there are reasons we all do/don’t do things. It doesn’t mean those different reasons justify such behaviour. I’m fairly new to CL/CN but have read CL post called Spectrum of Cheaters

I think CL herself outlines different motivations and reasons people cheat. Of course whatever the reasons none act as justification, and I certainly wasn’t suggesting that. Apologies if I didn’t make that clear.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Makes you wish cell phones really caused brain tumours, Natalia. 😉

Natalia.B
Natalia.B
6 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

Yes so true. Especially when I saw on the phone bill that he’d once sent same body shot pic to all of us. I think making me fourth on a list of nine must have sent his duper’s buzz into orbit. I can just picture his sick grin. Psycho

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

No reason , no excuse is all the same for me. Yes we all have a reason we do things but their reason is that they give themselves permission to cheat. The. End.

What I was pointing out was your qualification “At least in my case that’s not true.” When anyone makes that qualification it makes it sound like “under different circumstances this would be okay”

I just think for the chump narrative you should leave that qualifier out, otherwise we are following the RIC narrative that under certain circumstances we can understand cheating.

It may be semantics but the whole RIC is based in those semantics.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

“So this theory that cheaters are lonely, neglected souls looking for attention just doesn’t hold water. At least for cases like mine.”

So I’m curious. Is it only cases like yours where this theory doesn’t hold water? I think that comment is a slippery slope. There is NO reason for a cheater to cheat. Once chumps start going down that rabbit hole then we’re right there with the RIC determining when would be a good time.

The moving goal posts is a thing with cheaters and applies to ALL chumps. The theory that cheaters are lonely, neglected soluls looking for attention doesn’t hold water for any case. Just my two cents.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
6 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

I think that many of the cheaters here have personality disorders, especially Narcissistic And Antisovial. I highly doubt that loneliness drove these cheaters to do what they did over and over again –in spite of the love and attention of their legitimate partners.Based on the research I have read, many (most) people with these disorders abuse/mistreat others out of unmerited contempt and a sense of superiority and entitlement).

Natalia.B
Natalia.B
6 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

That’s exactly right Rock Star Wife.
You’ve nailed the very words I’ve often struggled to find to go along with a sense of superiority and entitlement and its unmerited contempt. Yes. Absolutely.
Thank you

MiKo Chump
MiKo Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Same experience here. Thought everything was great in our relationship. He is really a liar and a cheater and a serial sex addict. He’d fuck a snake.

Whatringofhellisthis
Whatringofhellisthis
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

This is my story too. Nothing made sense and I was so beyond confused why I was so suddenly rejected. My confusion turned into a complete loss of reality like i didn’t know up from down.

So he has decided to “explain” things to me. This is not him being insightful. And he is not admitting fault. He’s just straight up telling me why I FAILED and why I deserved everything i got.
He doesn’t realize that his explanations are basically narc 101. He told me that he wanted me “to do what he told me to do”. He didn’t care what the reason was behind me not doing what he said. He wants what he wants and he will do anything to get it.
What caused him to feel justified in beginning to devalue, abuse, lie, and cheat?… I didn’t text him back fast enough when I was at work. He concluded that i was not doing what he told me to do so he would go get someone that would. Insane because I texted him all day juggling him and my job.
This was justified because “f@ck you for putting anything above me… And no one tells me no”.
He had a narc injury from not getting enough attention while we were at work so he blew up our marriage. He said he “gave up on me” and then for the next 3 years he “tried to destroy me so he wouldn’t have feelings for me anymore”. If it wasn’t texting it would have been something else. I never could have known where the land mines were.
He also thought he was noble… “i chose you… my wife… I wanted to talk to you!”

So you can do backflips on his D and be as sexy and smart and perfect as anyone partner can be… You marry a narc and the time bomb starts ticking at the first hello.
You think you’re in heaven and have no clue you bought a one way ticket to Hell.

Natalia.B
Natalia.B
6 years ago

Wow whatring….that is so screwed up on so many levels. I totally relate… you have no idea you’re buying a one way ticket to hell. Exactly right.

So relieved to be out of the lunacy but I bet you’ll agree the healing takes so much longer.

If I’m brutally honest there were some red flags but he hid real man so well and you start to question your own sanity

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Agree.

Whatringofhellisthis
Whatringofhellisthis
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

I totally relate. I’m relieved not to be controlled and hurt like I was when I was living with him. But at times I wonder if I’ll ever be happy again. It was a dizzying amount of bullshit. It’s a lot to sort through.
He almost gets me with his “explanations”. I just keep saying no over and over in my head. No, that makes no sense. No, that is not rational. No no no.
The red flags were there. I feel stupid now looking back. But it’s like being spun around in a circle. They are slithery. He should get plausible deniability tattooed on his ass. And if you hold your boundary they confuse the shit out of you until you forget that you had a boundary. Or something I noticed as well was the punishment for having boundaries was rejection and revenge. I knew it would be coming but I wasn’t sure how bad or when. Gave me horrible anxiety. Some of my first discussions with my therapist were fear over revenge. Fear to speak up. There was no advice given on what to do. They all told me to file for divorce I’m married to a dangerous narc that cares only about himself. That the man I married never existed and he’s not coming back.

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
6 years ago

Punishment for having boundaries is rejection and revenge.

Yes.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago

I am so sorry you were treated this way.
It really bugs me that chumps are put through so much psychological abuse by their cheaters, that every counsellor on the planet will lecture on the ratio of praise to criticism required (6 to 1, 20 to 1 ?), but they still pile on more abuse on the chumps.
Do these people ever listen to themselves?
I guess it’s just easier to jump on the victims than to stand up for them. There’s a surprise…

Canyoufeelthemehtonight
Canyoufeelthemehtonight
6 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

My fellow Kiwi,

I’ve seen three counsellors (one jointly in MC) since DDay and two of them basically sided with him against me. Blaming me for the A because my poor communication, telling me “nice guys” find it difficult to make a clean break etc etc.

I’m actually a health care worker myself and I would never kick somebody when they were down, not in the first stages. Maybe a bit later when a therapeutic relationship had been made I could make a few gentle suggestions, but it’s such a relief to find I’m not alone with this…

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Whatring and Natalia,
I can relate!

EganS
EganS
6 years ago
Reply to  Natalia.B

Water finds its own level!

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  EganS

Right on!????

UXworld
UXworld
6 years ago

I listened. I laughed. I sympathized. It wasn’t nearly enough to fill that bottomless pit of hers.

Because if the attention came from the person who’d already had a peek at what was behind the mask, it didn’t count as “attention.”

The only thing I would have gotten by bringing KK fresh croissants every morning would have been a red-face outburst that “I’m so fucking BOOOOORED with croissants.”

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

I would have got “You’re trying to poison me with croissants”.

Jojobee
Jojobee
6 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

Before D day he would have played it all as wonderful and proof that the marriage was great and he was awesomely worthy of croissants. After DDay when the jig was up, I would have gotten, “What’s your fucking game with the croissants? What do you want?” He truly thought everyone was playing games all the time and no one did ANYTHING without an ulterior motive. Probably because that is what he was like.

Untold
Untold
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

Priceless!!!

Marie
Marie
6 years ago

I really think that unless people have lived through this that they really have No Idea!

How else can you explain that the loving spouse and devoted dad and Christian guy you have been married to for over 30 years has lost his ever loving mind?

While you are home taking care of kids, all household things, being his biggest encourager and trying to help in every way you can because you can see he’s going through something but don’t even think it could be another woman because he’s a really good actor .

It takes being a really good actor to hide all of your savings from your spouse ( who never checked that until 10 frickin months later) because for over 30 frickin years their was such trust!

People just have no earthly idea!!

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  Marie

Yep. How the hell does someone hold your hands, look you in the eyes, say I love you and our boys and I want to grow old with you. While being ball, heart and soul deep with someone else is unfathomable.
One lesson of 2017, others don’t hold the same level of care, compassion and empathy as we do and some people’s is just plain fucked up.
This out of everything just eats me, the bare faced lying.

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

Hang on , second thought. Maybe that is what he wanted, to grow old with me but do what the hell he wanted on the side. Yes that may be closer to it.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

‘Caveats’ is what asshat called them. Entitlements for an abusive marriage with the disordered. Know your place, chump!

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

LadyB, yep, that is it exactly!

MiKo Chump
MiKo Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

Exactly!

violet
violet
6 years ago
Reply to  Marie

They truly do not. Unless you have lived it, you cannot possibly know the depths of deception to which cheaters will sink. I can laugh at it now, but after years of jumping to satisfy X’s every whim or desire, he supposedly told AP that we were strictly roommates, who stayed together solely because of work/family obligations. That was certainly news to me!

The so-called therapist we briefly saw together (after which I learned she was related to AP!) was a Gottman devotee, and she told us at the first session she did not want to talk about the affair, she wanted to talk about what led to the affair! Okay, easy-peasy, the affair occurred because X was an ego driven narcissist, who wanted to be told hourly how sexy, brilliant and virile he was in his late ’60’s! In other words, I just wasn’t giving him enough kibbles. Check please!

There is one thing I agree with in Gottman’s analysis. He describes the four horsemen of the apocalypse (of a marriage), one being contempt. When your partner begins to treat you with contempt routinely, and act as if you somehow are always the problem, your marriage is has hit the rocks. Gotttman does in fact talk about the eye-rolling, dismissive behavior, and lack of respect as strong indicators of a person who does not want to be married to their current spouse.

So while the Gottmans may correctly recognize some of the red flags of a doomed relationship, their analysis of cheaters and the origin of their misconduct is dead wrong. It all boils down to the fact that cheaters cheat because of their ego, their lack of empathy, their need for kibbles, and because they think the rules of marriage simply to do not apply to them. It has zero to do with any imaginary failure on the part of the chump to fulfill their vows to “love, honor and cherish” their spouse.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  violet

Perfectly put, Violet. It’s a shame the Gottmans miss the point that it starts with the entitled cheater whose contempt has been poisoning the marriage for a long time.

Patsy
Patsy
6 years ago
Reply to  violet

I also agree with the four horsemen of the acopalypse. However, I have to confess that “I” was the one doing it.

I eventually got there because nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing made any difference to the ‘you do not exist as a human being and could you just get back in your corner and carry on being the household appliance’ level I was put on.

No amount of asking, explaining, explaining some more, explaining in a different way (because I didn’t say it in the right way), arguing, analysing, giving made any goddam difference. It has been explained that that was all just kibbles to him. The self help books that littered my shelves, gosh how I tried. I got angrier and shriller as I tried to get some needs met. Chump Lady describes how that got received, beautifully:

“There were only HIS interests… and static. I was an annoying buzz, that sometimes rose in volume to a drone, which occasionally pierced his attention space and was really, fucking irritating.”

Nothing pierced the concrete bunker of self absorption and disregard. And then I just gave up and rolled my eyes or exhibited contempt. And that, the Gottmans are quite right, was the end of my marriage. He said to his OW (signalling availability) “I don’t love my wife any more. SHE doesn’t care about ME”

You cannot win. Nothing I did do, didn’t do, said, didn’t say, expressed my feelings, tried to stuff them until they exploded, made any difference at all. This is a man who did not see fit to give his wife any attention, not even a conversation about his day (“I’ve been there all day, I don’t want to talk about it now’) let alone a walk, a movie or even a Saturday morning coffee or breakfast. Dinner date? Come with me to a conference, all I have to pay for is your travel costs??? Perleeze. It hurt hearing other people say they were going somewhere nice for a conference because their husband wanted their company. I was just mother and housekeeper. He literally did not see me.

The other things that the Gottmans don’t seem to consider, is that the very characters required for cheating – selfishness, not caring about the impact on other people, not caring about their feelings, secrecy – might actually be the very characteristics that caused problems in the marriage in the first place. We are now divorced and NC, he lies and is secretive to the children he supposedly lives for… Me? Or not me?

I actually asked on the Gottman website ‘does this work with a narcissist?’ (IC diagnosed, not me) – but got no reply.

OptionNoMore
OptionNoMore
6 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

I completely understand where you are coming from. I also must confess that I became the complaining, critical, and, at times, contemptuous wife. Not always but at times. I was at my wits end as to what to do with a man who just preferred to stick his head in the sand and ignore issues. I tried so many ways to approach issues and presented so many solutions and ideas to very little result. He would agree to an idea and then not follow through. I begged for marriage counselling for a few years, and he would find any excuse why it wasn’t necessary. He would try for short bouts of time and then give up because it was too hard. I tried encouraging monthly dates (he wouldn’t follow through the following month), at home wine nights (in order to save money, he rarely reciprocated), ensuring that we always kiss or hug hello and goodbye (it would last a week or two), scheduling one night a week to discuss business and keep the other nights for fun conversation. I suggested talking to our priest, attending a church marriage course, a weekend away (we never did that after having kids because we had limited childcare options), special dinner nights, ensuring regular sex night no matter what. You name it – I read about it and suggested it. I found myself always kick-starting something and then his follow through would be limited.

I fell into the oh-so common trap of over-worked working mom. The one trying to be all things to all people and feeling unacknowledged for the triple duty being performed. Trying to show everyone that I could do it all. Didn’t know how to say no and found myself caring for a lot of people. My husband even once said that he’s never met someone with so many takers in their life (my first though was, “Yes and you’re one of them.”). I became resentful, snarky. And, then I started to shut down and de-prioritize him. When the pursuer of a relationship shuts down, it’s the kiss of death because the other person, the withdrawer, will rarely rise to the occasion.

These are all behaviours I have owned. I owned them in MC. Sought my own counselling independently to address root causes and learn more effective strategies. Apologized about them to my husband repeatedly and worked to demonstrate that in knowing better, I would do better.

I assumed that he would reciprocate. I was willing to swallow my pride, knowing that it has to start with one of us. I took the risk of exposing my greatest vulnerabilities for the cause of saving my marriage. It was a shock to me that my husband didn’t reciprocate at all. He was too far gone in an affair and lost all empathy for me. He took my admissions and used it as a weapon to rationalize his affair. He interpreted my vulnerability as me simply not wanting to fail at anything in my life rather than a sincere demonstration of loving trust.

But, I didn’t cheat. My needs were not being met, and I found an outlet – my kids and my work which made the money that supported my husband through a university degree that he completed almost two years ago. He cheated. He chose that. I did not drive him to do it.

He was emotionally disconnected.
He didn’t want things to be too hard.
He would often shut down when there was too much adulting required. I would end up doing it all or it wouldn’t get done.

And, in the end, I got accused of being too strong, too controlling, too critical. But, then I’m told that I am an amazing person who is the best mother he could ever want for his kids. So he now has a weaker woman who he thinks never judges him and allows him to be his real self for the first time in his entire life. He’s her knight in shining armour. And now he gets to life like he’s single and in his 20s again on the days that he doesn’t have the kids.

RIC doesn’t discuss the post-trauma that comes from putting yourself out there to be so royally crushed repeatedly. The toll that hopium eventually takes on you. The state of suspended disbelief you get stuck in because you would never have imagined that this person who you have been the most intimate with in your life would so callously disregard you. The impact of gaslighting and the spiritual exhaustion that comes from the Pick Me dance. Shame!

Chumpiness
Chumpiness
6 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Yes, Patsy, yes! I’m too exhausted by post divorce strong-arming over visitation to reply in depth. Just wanted to say I lived it too, and you nailed it. Sorry that was your experience. Mine did want to talk about HIS day and take me to conferences but only as an appliance or mirror to reflect back his experience. Sickening when I finally got it.

DWD
DWD
6 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

“the very characters required for cheating – selfishness, not caring about the impact on other people, not caring about their feelings, secrecy – might actually be the very characteristics that caused problems in the marriage in the first place.”

Brilliant, Patsy

Jodi Lynch
Jodi Lynch
6 years ago
Reply to  Marie

I totally agree with this.

Totally good fucking actors they are…and they can play any part they choose, and do.

Yep, unless you have been betrayed like this ~ keep your fucking mouth shut and your fucking advice to yourself.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  Jodi Lynch

Jodi….Amen to that!

The emotional hell a betrayed spouse/partner goes through upon discovery/devalue/discard stages…………is a nightmare. I agree: KEEP YOUR FUCKING MOUTH SHUT AND KEEP YOUR ADVICE TO YOURSELF …….if you haven’t gone through it.

strongwoman
strongwoman
6 years ago

I was seeing a Christian woman therapist the year before d-day. I told her exactly what I thought my stbx might be doing but I just could not prove it. I knew he was a jerk but I stayed because of Catholic guilt and I made my bed and had to lie in it. That’s what I was taught as a young woman. I had no family support and he knew it. He made me feel bad for even thinking he didn’t want me and he just kept manipulating and gaslighting me all the while cheating on me and exposing me to god knows what. I have since learned that I was groomed and was being emotionally abused by a covert sadist/narcissist. (At the time – I didn’t even know what a narcissist was) I was obviously very sheltered and that’s how he wanted me to stay. So d-day finally comes around. I go to my therapist looking for support and she tells me “you can’t leave him now” and I’m like why ? – I finally have the truth about him and all his lies. She actually said to me “if you leave him now that you have the answer that you asked god to provide – then that will be a slap in the face to god –so you must stay and work this out with him”. Great advice huh? I went home and wasted another year with him – but I also found Tracey’s book, lined up ducks and filed for divorce at the end of that year. Im still fighting him for a good settlement but at least I feel like I’ve accomplished alot just by getting emotionally stronger and staying nc. It’s the only thing that works after years of narcissist abuse. I have since moved on to a new therapist who gets it. Like Tracey’s therapist – she’s a little Jewish lady that encourages cussing and telling it like it is. I am gaining a life.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  strongwoman

Wow! That so called “Christian therapist” never read a Bible! If she did….she would know that adultery is the only reason God would agree with divorce! If you think about it……..thats because adultery involves:

Lying
Spread of disease
Deception
Loss of family stability
Theft of family funds for sex trade workers/OW/OW
Loss of parent for the children (cheaters put the kids on the bottom of their “to do lists”)
In some cases murder (crime annals are full of cases where adultery was the motive for murder).

God knew what He was talking about when he said “By all means….divorce a cheater.”

Bob
Bob
6 years ago
Reply to  strongwoman

Divorce Minister has a great article on this sort of thing:

https://www.divorceminister.com/god-hates-adultery-more-than-he-hates-divorce/

In short, adultery is always a sin. God hates adultery more than he hates divorce!

Jojobee
Jojobee
6 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Yep. Adultery is always a sin! There are no excuses given where it doesn’t count, is not that bad, or is considered justified. No false equivalencies that say if you aren’t perfect either–he’s allowed to cheat. It is straight up always 100% wrong.

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  strongwoman

We need to learn to walk the hell out the therapists office if we are made to feel less than or atfault and do it early so we don’t have to pay their lame asses! Fuck this and these therapists who have zero insight. Get better help here and on you tube in my experience!

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

This works, I think, after the Chump has seen the light (married to an abusive narc-type). The problem for me (and I suspect many Chumps) is that during the marriage, it’s just so friggin’ hard to SEE what’s going on.

After years of lies, gaslighting, covert — and some overt — abuse, I had no idea what was up or down. That’s why I wanted to see the therapist, to help me understand if my raging, screaming gut was right (that I was married to a jackass cheater), or if I was being a selfish, horrible wife. I was so messed up at that point, I honestly didn’t know.

I trusted the therapist for his objectivity — huge mistake. I not only owned the “you’re an over-jealous, harpy wife” narrative and did everything in my power to conquer it (making myself smaller and smaller), but I stayed with the jackass for two more decades. All because I believed the therapist who backed up the asshole’s narrative.

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

JessMom

It is hard to see what is going on.The chaos and lying and all over weirdness makes it impossible for any sane, logical person to understand. Plus dealing with everyday life. My demanding career, sick Mom, disabled veteran sibling, my kids. Gaslighting is easy to get away with if your Chump is living a real and involved life.

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
6 years ago
Reply to  strongwoman

strongwoman – you are strong!

That therapist is no Christian. We are not to stay in abusive situations. She should lose her license.

My stbx thought that since I was a Christian that meant that he could do whatever and I would forgive him. (Christian = doormat). Two years ago I told him to get out and promptly changed the locks. I told him the amount of support I wanted a month. He refused as that would make him homeless! He would have to live under a bridge – he whined and cried – how could I hurt him so – trying to ruin him like that?? But he will survive!! oh the drama
(he makes 6 figures and his gf from work makes big bucks, too). I started divorce. I called him out on his lies – just stated facts.

Oh and how he proclaims what a hypocrite I am! I am a bad Christian! I am a fake Christian! (No longer a doormat – makes them furious).

Yep. Standing up for myself and not accepting abuse makes me a fake bad Christian.

Oh, and the amount of support I wanted each month? Exactly what I ended up being awarded in court. I also was able to buy him out of the house. The house he fought me tooth and nail to sell to punish me for standing up to him. What’s hilarious is the appraisals we got for court made it so I could buy him out. The appraisal I got when I refinanced the house in my name – a lot higher. He would be livid if he knew how much.

That a person will be so cruel and abusive – and then when you stand up to them they switch to this pathetic victim role and then become so spiteful and vengeful to get back at you…. That’s truly mental illness right there.

Newlady15
Newlady15
6 years ago
Reply to  nomorecamping

That’s what I call karma. A similar situation happened to me with my house—he agreed to my buyout offer based on what realtors said it was worth. The market here went crazy right after we signed the financial settlement and I sold it for $250k more.. yup, karma. Maybe for him not working and stealing our retirement savings? I have so support and no retirement savings but I have a house( one I chose to buy) and he is a leach on his AP.

nomorecamping
nomorecamping
6 years ago
Reply to  Newlady15

Newlady15 – you are awesome. 🙂

Creativerational
Creativerational
6 years ago

Pretty much every chump on here talks with some humility about how life wasn’t perfect. They acknowledge they aren’t perfect. Marriage doesn’t ask for perfect. It asks for communication, compromise, honesty and integrity. Compassion and heartiness. Commitment and tenacity. Someone who goes trolling for strange with escorts and massage parlours long before their head is turned by the willing waterfall or wayward slough or leaky bucket or dirty dugout (what a strange correlation they tried to make us all envision, it so easily goes awry for me) at work… didn’t just happen into it.
They weren’t a thawing ice cube slowly melting into this skanky sinkhole. They chose to pursue super slutty slippery slopes. I certainly didn’t get a memo. Or a ‘here’s how you can be a better wife’ list. Although I thought I was doing the right things. I never said no to sex, asked for it, tried to initiate, was shut down frequently… ‘I’m so bagged, maybe tomorrow’ and I made food and lunches and I cooked and did laundry. There were times when he did more and it sometimes came up that he thought I wasn’t doing enough so I tried to do more… but I certainly know if he told
me it was so bad he didn’t want to be intimate because he found hookers more appealing than me because I failed so much, I would remember. I would know that he had tried to bring it up, and then maybe you could potentially say that ‘gee CR, he gave you fair warning that your wife settings needed improving or he was going elsewhere.’ But that wasn’t a thing. I didn’t get warning. Or choice. When he realized I knew, and we were sitting down to talk about the slutty buckets, or whatever you want to call the dalliance that is decade long infidelity… he said ‘well… things can’t stay the same’. (No shit)… I still don’t know what that meant. It obviously meant I wasn’t good enough. I obviously was failing. He has found this profile and knows that I have previously called myself a ‘catch’ on here and called me out on it. Again The communication is often accusatory and devaluing, vaguely. No detail just… you called yourself this. (Silence implies I am full of shit). Then at times when he is attempting to restore the relationship it’s all about what a fool he is. He is all ‘damn I’m dumb’. Like he actually lost the catch. (Am I a fish in the river? What is the chump in this weird ass water illustration? A well, not so fancy but damn serviceable?)

Ugh. Whatever. This is all garbage. Happy blue Monday.

Doubtless
Doubtless
6 years ago

I love your writing, CR. Your post had me laughing out loud. “Dirty dugout?!?” – yuck. You sound like a “catch” to this guy all the way over on the other side of the Atlantic.

I can’t remember if you have kids with that fool, but your no-contact/grey rock game seems to be letting him in your head a bit too much. But, hey; no judgment here. I failed incessantly at the no-contact thing; until I didn’t. Take care of yourself.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
6 years ago

Well said, CreativeRational!

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago

I conclude they have no loyalties, only to their own happiness and like novelty, it dings the little pin ball flappers in their brain.

Creativerational
Creativerational
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

Bahahahaha! Pinball flappers. That’s gold. The incessant need for validation, and stimulation. I believe cheater when he cried and said he was sad. It’s sad. this was all out of control. It was all about stimulation. Like a monkey getting treats from a machine. Pinball flappers. I’m neurotic and a bit obsessive and I definitely have a big lazy streak. It never once occurred to me that all these things should combine to resent my spouse, and then find someone to feed me treats and use and abuse him. The flappers in my brain just don’t flap that way.

Whatringofhellisthis
Whatringofhellisthis
6 years ago
Reply to  Lady B

Exactly☝️ Like an infant.

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago

Tenacity.that word brings tears to me eyes!

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

The always increasing and shifting goalposts. Cheater/Narc Playbook 101.

— Don’t make enough money, he says. Okay — work more, bring in more money. Then it’s “You work too much.”

— Don’t dress up enough, he says. Okay — dress up more often. Then it’s “Who are you trying to impress?” (YOU, asshole. And you never, ever deserved my constant sprint on the hamster-wheel .)

It’s the unwinnable game. Nobody can never love enough or do enough to appease these assholes.

Mommamarsh
Mommamarsh
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Yes!!!! The “unwinnable game.” I played, too…..

Jojobee
Jojobee
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

This “you never deserved my constant sprint on the hamster wheel.” In fact if they acknowledge that you really were trying hard to please them constantly they’d say, “Ick. She is so desperate to please me it’s a real turn-off.”

Merrychump
Merrychump
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

You’re so right about the unwinnable game.
If you keep the house clean, they cheat because you clean too much; if you don’t, they cheat because the house isn’t clean enough.
They’re always entitled to cheat.
If the neighbor’s fried artichokes taste better (but they don’t) he would have dinner and sex with her when his husband was at work. Then he would come back home and say to me unaware of the affair: “her parquet is installed better than yours (I should have been suspicious about him saying yours instead of ours) and her jacuzzi has a wonderful view on the beach”.
But he was the one who chose our jacuzzi and who installed our parquet!!!
It’s just about triangulation, do therapists want us to have communication skills or to manipulation skills to keep up a hypocritical lifestyle as cheaters do?

nodancing
nodancing
6 years ago
Reply to  Merrychump

Yes the game is rigged! I noticed that the only thing that pissed him off more than his complaints about me were my solutions! He didn’t like the couch in our den so I said let’s switch it with the couch you do like and he refused. He said I made dinner too late so I made it earlier and he went to the gym as the kids and I were sitting down to eat. He said I made breakfast too late in the morning so I made it earlier and he threw it in the garbage right in front of me. His made up complaints were easily disproven and some of them were things other people had done! It was only about justifying his planned abandonment, and he was visibly angry if I tried to solve his “complaints”.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

>>“I noticed that the only thing that pissed him off more than his complaints about me were my solutions!”

So well stated! I really thought it was good to try to improve things when my spouse was unhappy with something — to make sure I was doing my best for the family I had committed to.

The MAJOR problem with this thought process is that it would have required an equally committed — and rational — spouse. Regretfully, I believed this was the case in my marriage because he presented himself as these things.

Of course, he was nothing of the sort. The facade was a cover for his true, abusive, narcissistic self.

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

He hated my solutions. He didn’t want any and was mad if I worked to solve problems. He also did not like simple solutions. His few solutions were complex,detailed and non intuitive. So they would fail because no one could follow it. I also told him many times that some of the things that bothered him were just not a priority to me but I would support changes if he took responsibility for them. He never did. You can gain no equity with the disordered. They never remember the good stuff, the years of trying.

kiwichump
kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

“I noticed that the only thing that pissed him off more than his complaints about me were my solutions! ”
Nodancing, it sounds like you must have had a recorder in our home…

Arnold
Arnold
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

Disordered folks love to put you in no win situations.
On this sharing blame deal: I think in the initial aftermath of discovery, many chumps are susceptible to accepting blame. There are a few reasons for this: trauma affecting one’s ability to reason; desire to have some control i.e. if I caused it , I can fix it; and, in many cases, one has been beaten down for so long dealing with a disordered spouse this blame acceptance is the go to mode we have adopted ( it keeps some semblance of peace, and keeps the kids from hearing their abuse ( sometimes). There are , probably other reasons that I cannot think of right now.
This 50/50 deal. so often spouted as the apportionment for responsibility for pre-existing marital problems that , supposedly, made the cheater cheat, ignores some pretty important factors.
First, I read that there was some type of study done showing that cheaters, in general, were way less invested in the marriage and way more responsible for most of the marital problems pre-cheating. I do not know who or how this study was done, as the research I did was so long ago.
But, the conclusion made perfect sense to me as it applied to my marriages to cheaters ( and I realize that my objectivity is suspect).
Look at what qualities it takes to be a cheater: lack of integrity ( think they only lack it in this specific area, fidelity? think again. Look at the patterns in their lives.0; poor communication skills: poor problem solving skills; lack of empathy ( big one here); inability to foresee the effects on others ( this ties into lack of empathy).
It is so much easier , and takes so little analysis to just use a trite phrase like ” both parties are equally responsible for the problems in a marriage”. This sounds good, but , simply , is not true, especially when one is dealing with a cheater.
These folks are practiced liars who have lived a lifetime hurting others and lying to themselves and others. think this cheating is just a one time blip on the radar? Contact folks from their pasts and see what their history is. Look at the ease with which they cheat and yet sleep like babies and function normally, all the while lying to you, exposing you to disease, stealing family resources to fund their cheating.
These are not people unfamiliar with lying and abusing.
Often the are financially messed up, and have other big time issues in their pasts And they re comfortable in this realm of lying and cheating.

Patsy
Patsy
6 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold, you absolutely knocked that one out of the park.

Nothing more to add.

Jodi Lynch
Jodi Lynch
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Exactly, it is an unwinnable game.

What was it that movie said? The only way to win is not to play the game.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

*Nobody can EVER love enough
(I haven’t slept yet … it’s showing. Time for some zzzz’s!)

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Yep, the constant sprint on the hamster wheel. You said it so well.

Thanks for all your posts today. You’re spot on. That loser did NOT deserve you. You are worth so much more.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

Thank you, FindingBliss. Being so accustomed to tearing myself down–and just getting my sea legs with my self esteem, it’s really heartwarming (and helpful) to hear this from someone else every now and then. (((Hugs)))

Tbone
Tbone
6 years ago

I clicked on the amazon link to look at the book reviews and the first sponsored suggested book listed was “Having An Affair: Practical Advice for Cheaters and Spouses”. Just awesome. I think amazon needs to work on its algorithms. I would think #1 would be “delete your order history on your shared amazon account.”. I wonder what the advice for spouses is? “Document that shit?” I just can’t even.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Tbone

So sorry you had to see that … grrrr … such assholes, aren’t they? I had something similar, but it was the advertisements popping up on my computer.

I could not understand why the ads I kept seeing were adult-oriented (sex-lingerie-oriented). I am a mom who shops for her kids, researches stuff for kids and work, and works on her computer. The most exciting thing I do on a computer is come to this site … so the ads made no sense to me. Until I discovered his 20+ hour a week porn habit — using my computer, unbeknownst to me.

Reconfiguring how the various programs interpret my interests has been an annoying necessity.

TiredChump
TiredChump
6 years ago

Regardless of the state of the marriage – cheaters are liars who put themselves above all others
At some point – e.g. when they bought the burner phone -worried the AP was pregnant – hid credit card charges – Left family vacations with their children a few days early “for work” – any cheater had to realize they were in over their heads and ideally gotten help to figure themselves out
Instead – they just go deeper into the affair

Jane – read a book like Frank Pittman’s “ private Lies” – it puts blame for cheating squarely on cheater. And most importantly it emphasizes the true order of romantic affairs – specifically that cheaters don’t “fall out of love” and then cheat – cheaters cheat to escape their own lives and after engaging in sexual bonding/ intimacy with the AP – “ fall out of love” with their spouse.

OptionNoMore
OptionNoMore
6 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

I completely agree with Frank Pittman. There isn’t a single family member or good friend who doesn’t agree that that the only reason that my husband couldn’t make his way back to the marriage was because of the obsessiveness of the affair. He’s not fully immersed with the OW, whom he equated to heroin last summer in a conversation with me about the affair. He admitted that he knew that she’s not good for him, and that no good can come of it, but the euphoria he feels around her or when he thinks about her it like heroin. My response was that it’s not normal to feel that way and he needs to talk to a professional about it (his own mother told him that maybe he should see a doctor). His response was, “Sure, there’s a lot of thing that I probably need to talk to someone about.”

Well, he’s got his full-blown heroin now and practically lives in the heroin den on the days he doesn’t have the kids at is place.

How can there possibly be any bonding with a wife when the husband is so far gone that he loses all reason?

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago

I disagree. I didn’t get the message from Gottman’s excerpt that the blame is being shifted. They are describing ONE way a marriage breaks down and one of the spouses cheats. This scenario is pretty much mine. My husband found a sympathetic ear at the gym. Someone to elevate him and make everything ok while I was BEGGING for conversation, communication. Of course, all this behind my back.
I’m a pretty level-headed person and strive to make things work. Unfortunately the man I married didn’t like to find solutions to our problems; he preferred to reiterate the problem over and over again. Extremely frustrating thing to go through. A doomsday attitude. The woman he unloaded on is absolutely gorgeous. Never saw a better body in my life. What does this tell me? You?that he was probably checking her out a long time. So…yes, our marriage had problems. Problems that could have been EASILY corrected with a willing partner. But it was easier for my husband to turn elsewhere. That says a lot about his character. Cheaters maybe all have shitty characters. I would suspect the Gottman Institute knows this.

notaddictedchump
notaddictedchump
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

“So…yes, our marriage had problems. Problems that could have been EASILY corrected with a willing partner. But it was easier for my husband to turn elsewhere.”

THIS ^^^^^^^^

Thanks for this nugget today Mjo:)

Merrychump
Merrychump
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

Mine found multiple sympathetic ears!!!!!
He admitted just one, then it sounded strange to me that he admitted only what I had already found out, gaslighting and reducing many details. So I kept looking for evidence and within a day or two came avalanches of names numbers dates pictures. He actually targeted every woman he met of any age, size, nationality. Despite proof of his “pussy grabber syndrome”, he still admits only one and blames me of being bitter and jealous.

TheFooledTwiceDad
TheFooledTwiceDad
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

Mjo, my situation is similar to yours, including the sympathetic ear at the gym. Of course I wasn’t a perfect husband and leading up to DD#1, I was distant because she was so withdrawn from the marriage that I had no clue what to do. So after DD#1, I told my wife I wanted to try to work on things, I wanted us to go to couples therapy, I asked her to open up to me, I told her I was scared for our marriage, etc. She would say things like, “I need time, “I can’t be rushed,” “I want to go to individual therapy before couples” (but then it took her 3 or 4 months to go to a therapist), etc. By the end of the summer I just knew something else was going on….bring on DD#2! I’m not sure what else I could have done leading up to DD#2 to change my wife’s mind or patterns. And that’s probably true for DD#1 if I ever saw it coming (I was blindsided and never saw it coming).

I now realize us changing their minds isn’t possible, both in the past and moving forward. If they aren’t willing, we have nothing to work with.

Arnold
Arnold
6 years ago

Yes, it is the chicken and the egg deal, Fooled Twice. In my situation, things got so bad after my XWs had started cheating and it took me so long to figure it out, that my memories are that the relationship was always bad, therefore I felt maybe cheating was understandable, if not justified.
But now , looking back and having composed a timeline on my own ( as admissions and details were never given), I can see that before the cheating we were happy, with the usual problems folks have.
It was only after my wives began cheating that things got really unpleasant ant they began to b e super critical and mean.
I understand it now, the need to demonize to justify etc.
So, my memory was off. The relationship, to the extent it could be with a NPD, was not terrible, at least from y perspective and I had little clue of the dissatisfaction of my XWs ,as they never communicate it to me.

Mjo
Mjo
6 years ago

FooledDad, I agree. Their minds are somewhere else. I had no suspicion at all about what he was doing. His brother had recently left his wife for another woman four years before that and it created major heartache for the whole family. I never, ever thought he would do the same, knowing what we all went through.

What you said about being withdrawn because she wasn’t talking, was going on with me too. I just didn’t know what to do anymore. I was really depressed. So I sank into my world: take care of kids, hiking (mostly alone just to think about everything going wrong). And meanwhile, he was slowly building a new relationship. It’s hurtful, isn’t it? No one needs to go through that ever.

Winddrinker
Winddrinker
6 years ago
Reply to  Mjo

I am not surprised that his brother is a fuckwit as well. For years we all said why is my husband‘s brother such a fuck wit and never questioned how would it be possible that he could be normal, given the same upbringing. Turns out his brother is an overt and he’s a covert fuckwit.

GoWithYourGut
GoWithYourGut
6 years ago

I don’t have any stories about therapists trying to place blame on me for my STBXH’s cheating. But I do have an acknowledgment of two therapists who seemed way more interested in my stories about my husband than me.

As I sat in the chair, pouring my heart out over my happiness with my current situation (which, by the way, wasn’t about his cheating, because at that time, I didn’t even have a clue!! Not even sure he was seeing anyone during the times I was going to therapy…)

But as I described how unhappy I was with the way he treated me (controlling, demanding, etc), the therapists (two different ones, a few years apart) literally perked up, asking so many questions about him, his actions, and I just had the perception that they really wished he was sitting in the chair, instead of me. It was like they knew he was the problem. I’m not saying I didn’t have some of my own; it just really seemed they wanted a go at him.

And despite always saying how “people don’t need to know about our private things,” he did go once, to a marriage counselor with me (not one of the other two). But he literally walked out of the one session (he only went 2 or 3 times) halfway through, when the therapist started questioning his thought process on one of the topics we were trying to tackle, and tried pointing out how it was ok that I didn’t think the same way. He didn’t like hearing that he might be wrong. Big surprise, right?! And how he went…

Arnold
Arnold
6 years ago
Reply to  GoWithYourGut

My second XW was adamant that I was never to mention her in my therapy. Not only was she unwilling to go herself, but no one was to hear about her. Yeah, these NPD types hate the scrutiny. It is one reason they isolate their prey.

Janus
Janus
6 years ago

I’m grappling with how we reconcile the advice to be “dignified” with “get uppity”? I’ve placed some links to this site on FB and made comments about not enabling cheating. Absolutely no direct response. I hope it at least made people think, but no one said so. The only noticeable effect was that the married vestryman from church who’d been making overtures to me backed off. I posted a picture of myself in the snow and I got heaps of praise and dozens of likes. The cultural message to me was that I must “move on” and never mention chumpdom or I will be shunned because people don’t want to feel awkward.

My response to these therapists is that cheating is a choice. To open up to another person rather than one’s spouse is a decision that most do not make. I work at close quarters with a number of married men and only one of them – a 70 year old – drops by for personal chats. Making the connection with an “Other” is not kismet or inevitable. It is a selfish, immature decision to see if the grass is greener from the comfort of one’s marriage. And to take as many years as one needs to lay the groundwork for divorce – to line up the finances, graduations and history of regretful expressions of marital decay. All while using the chump for the benefits s/he provides. I would point out that this elaborate effort to “prepare to possibly leave” is never balanced by a similar effort to stay.

I HAVE noticed from reading the UK Daily Mail “Comments” that readers are skewering Ewan MacGregor for cheating on his wife of 22 years with his younger costar – and then thanking BOTH of them in a recent award acceptance speech. He apparently brought the costar to his house for dinner – presumably already in the affair, though of course he denies it – where she told his wife that she’d had a crush on her husband when she was a teenager. He really seemed to believe that the culture was fine with his behavior. But it is backfiring, which I find gratifying. A few obvious OW are spouting the usual rhetoric – you can’t help who you fall in love with, his wife needs to move on. But they are being told in no uncertain terms that they have bad character and/or low self-esteem.

nodancing
nodancing
6 years ago
Reply to  Janus

Janus this is so insightful and exactly what happened to me. He married me just to have a wife appliance but spent the next 13 years perusing his options from the comfort of having a devoted wife who did everything for him. It’s disgusting. I realized that I live for 13 years with this uncertainty of where we would live, he always was saying we would move. Turns out that uncertainty had more to do with him moving out of our marriage than us moving houses. He resisted putting down roots with me, even after two kids. He was setting me up the whole time, to jump ship when shit got too real. No I didn’t bring him fresh croissants, he would have complained about them. He hated everything I did, there was no way to meet his approval.

A therapist did try and pin blame on me for our marriage problems, we went for two sessions where X immediately recruited the therapist then demonized me. I was pretty shut down from abuse at this point and he used my (justified) reticence to get involved in the therapy process against me. He criticized my behavior but bailed on the therapy the minute I finally spoke up and said he was involved with two other women. Magically he left a week later. Magically a week after that he got a large bonus at work. So many coincidences.

Janus
Janus
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

No dancing, I also experienced the frenetic moving, along with a refusal to buy decent furniture. He only let me have a house and good furniture when he had a job elsewhere and the next relationship solidified. Although he was clueless in many ways. When I got the house and the mortgage deduction he said, “I never realized until now the importance of a mortgage deduction.” He’s refined his approach and now only has a long distance relationship that revolves around travel.

He never saw a relationship that lasted beyond 20 years. So I was a phase – the second wife who helps him advance in his career and helps put his kids through college. When the youngest was in his last semester, I found out that he’d been with OW for 2 years. His mother’s marriage to her third husband followed this very pattern. He got her youngest through school and then she took off with OM. They are always looking for options. I believe they think their connections with the “Other(s)” reflect how special they are. But it is more that they cannot be alone with themselves.

Lady B
Lady B
6 years ago
Reply to  Janus

Like that terrible song on the radio atm about being the other women and what days you have him and how great it is to share him, puke
Ewan’s a dick who fucked up a good thing like soo many of them, may he fade into obscurity.

Blindside
Blindside
6 years ago

You know how I know this is baloney? My ex’s married AP was married all of 6 months before he decided to jump “headlong into the waterfall of an affair” with my ex-wife. Let’s see the RIC blameshift that one onto his wife (who was so, so bad that he immediateley went running back to her after Dday).

And I second everything CL had to say. If our spouse’s are so “unhappy”, then just divorce us. Be honest, be up front…and divorce us. THEN, go jump into the “waterfall of romance.”

Alas, mine decided she first needed time to test out a new relationship for a few years on the side while stashing away money, and of course all the while making me think I was in a committed marriage. Then when she thought she (and her AP) was ready to go……suddenly I didn’t make her “happy” anymore……puh-leeze.

Jodi Lynch
Jodi Lynch
6 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

Yep, I would have liked the honesty, if he had just said, I’m not happy and we divorced.

The betrayal, gaslighting, and cheating behind my back wasn’t necessary. Well not for me, but I guess it was for him so he could ‘test’ other waters.

hollowbunny
hollowbunny
6 years ago

We saw an EFT therapist (among others) as a couple, and when Cheater said the words “Esther Perel book,” she shut him down very quickly as someone whose views she didn’t have a lot of respect for. Granted this was after 4 therapists he was able to lie to, one of whom admonished me for not believing that he hadn’t had sex with the mow. He clearly wasn’t lying and I was putting this false claim on him. Yeah, guess who was correct. I wrote her up. The mow was a social worker and he figured he knew how to charm the pants off the really dumb ones in that field, due to his success with one. I have only seen phds since, because female social workers are a terrible trigger for me. It was clear that cheater had NO respect for the therapists he bamboozled. If they fawned over him (yes they did, with me sitting there) he looked for another. So many fucked up people in that field, at least in my experience with, now, over 10 therapists. All I could ever do was cry non stop and test the staying power of my latest mascara. If any one is curious, I narrowed it down and found a great one.

My current shrink is a stereotypical Ivy League no bull shit, no softness, 65+ doctor who kicks my ass bi weekly for $25 co pay, free parking, 5 min from my home. She’s what I’ve always dreamed about in a shrink and I’m so lucky I have her. I limp out of there with a lot to think about, and grateful for the constant Radcliffe issued 2 x 4s.

Ahartmann
Ahartmann
6 years ago
Reply to  hollowbunny

Yes, I ran through a list of terrible, inept, enabling and self-serving therapists as well. I try to steer clear of many people I the so-called “helping” professions because I think that they don’t screen very well for who should be in them. A bad therapist can harm so much more.

hollowbunny
hollowbunny
6 years ago
Reply to  Ahartmann

There is a tendency for some disordered people to go into helping fields. If they’re helping others, it’s validation that they’re not just not fucked up, but actually superior to most in their healing abilities. I think it’s conflict avoidance in the form of license. They almost seem to revel in other people’s issues – “phew, at least I’m not that fucked up! I rock. Next client, please.” Is it a coincidence that the cartoon epitome of manipulative ass hole, Lucy Van Pelt, is also a psychiatrist? And how she loves ripping that football out from Charlie Brown after swearing she won’t. I suddenly feel sad for Charles Schultz, he must’ve gone thru some serious shit.

Chickynot
Chickynot
6 years ago
Reply to  hollowbunny

Yes, hollowbunny, you nailed it! It took me forever to figure out why NPD STBX’s identity is so tied up in his profession (yep, he’s a therapist!) when he’s so personally fucked up (lying, cheating, tax evasion, alcoholism out of control-just got a DUI this weekend). But all he talks about is how much good he does “helping people.” ( And I have actually witnessed uncharacteristically caring behavior towards people in crisis calling him). I think he actually gets off on the sense of superiority-like, OK, I did my job and helped someone. Therefore, the rest of the world owes me an exemption from having to abide by the law of the land, or even the normal rules of human decency. Effin’ narcopaths!

hollowbunny
hollowbunny
6 years ago
Reply to  Chickynot

Yes to all of this. I heard a lot about the mow “she’s a good person, she only helps people, she’s loyal to the business,” meanwhile the 2 of them were lying to family and business and putting it all at risk. She wrote a lot about how she’s “a good person. We are good people.” A lot.

If one states over and over again how one is good, or a genius, or stable or whatever – no.

If you have to say you is, you ain’t.

Merrychump
Merrychump
6 years ago

“THEY discover a lovely flowing river a sweet young woman at the office.” Seriously?!?!
I know what my narcissist Xh discovered: at least 30 rivers! Some simultaneous and some paid in euros using our family finances.
Do these therapists know what he used to say about the more than 30 OW he fucked? That “the ugly ones are the best” because he liked to make fun of their physical imperfections after fucking them. So sick.
How about this serial cheater’s communication skills?

Jojobee
Jojobee
6 years ago
Reply to  Merrychump

Yeah, I am sick of the flowery metaphors and euphemisms surrounding affairs. It’s always written that way. No book ever says “He was getting blow jobs in a Honda Civic in the wall mark parking lot by a low rent prostitute carrying herpes!” Although the second scenario is far more common than women who are “lovely flowing rivers.” There is a cultural gaslighting in these euphemisms that turn dirty, disgusting, dangerous, deceitful behavior into “lovely flowing rivers.” A euphemism is nothing but a piece of perfumed silk used to cover up the stinking corpse of some rotting moral truth.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Jojobee

>>” No book ever says “He was getting blow jobs in a Honda Civic in the wall mark parking lot by a low rent prostitute carrying herpes!”

(add-on) … next to your child’s car seat.

I agree, Jojobee. There is nothing flowery or sweet about the disgusting lack of character happening in affairs.

hollowbunny
hollowbunny
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Never any mention of the ugliness, it’s so romantic. All the saggy wrinkly jiggly shit slapping all over screams sweet youth and flowery connections.

Ahartmann
Ahartmann
6 years ago
Reply to  Merrychump

Yeah who are these guys, the Lewis and Clark of douchebaggery?

hollowbunny
hollowbunny
6 years ago
Reply to  Ahartmann

Ok, but what if the river is old and has sewage in it and has been around and around a lot and is smelly and nasty? And it’s flowing through the office? And everyone seems to hold their nose and avoid it because it’s so gross? What if that’s what he’s fucking?

Roberta
Roberta
6 years ago

I guess I got lucky when it came to therapists. Mine was a daughter of a cheater and had witnessed years of abuse and gaslighting in her family home. Her father eventually left and married the OW, but he soon realized that she was nothing more than a gold digger who was using the crap out of him. The therapist has lunch with her Dad occasionally and all he does is whine about his misfortune! Her Mother is her hero. A once SAHM who used the time she knew her husband was cheating to get a nursing degree before he left. Apparently her Mother is a VERY happy, well-adjusted woman now. Seems she spends very little time worrying about her Ex! My therapist encouraged me to just let him go and let him actually live out his fantasy. She was convinced that these cheaters soon realize that their fantasy is actually their worst nightmare come true and they deserve it! She made it clear that her “lunches” with her Dad were nothing more than his attempt at free therapy and they were few and far between. She had little sympathy for a man who had ruined her childhood and family, but gave him a few crumbs of her time occasionally when she could stomach it! Her advice to me…. living well is the best revenge. Just let the cheater go! She was a gem!

BrokenOpen1
BrokenOpen1
6 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Wow, Roberta- You were lucky that your therapist shared her story with you. So many therapists are actually wives of cheaters (especially in the infidelity or “sex addiction” field, but they’ll usually not tell you because ethically, they’re not supposed to “self-disclose”. Yet, from what I’ve seen, many of them are high on hopium themselves, and project onto us that all we need is more compassion, understand our partner’s trauma, blah blah blah….I believe many actually NEED to see our relationships work. Otherwise, the ugly truth that 99% of cheaters are not redeemable, would be way too painful a reminder about their own hellish marriages not being fixable.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

If any on-the-fence chumps are reading my reply, this is the way to invest your time while keeping an eye peeled for your unicorn: “A once SAHM who used the time she knew her husband was cheating to get a nursing degree before he left.”

Get your ducks in a row. Learn about money. Plan for the future. Get training or education. Be prepared.

Doingme
Doingme
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

This is the greatest advice LAJ! I did just that, taking classes to get my degrees with three children at home. My youngest was in kindergarten and it took me seven years.

And age does not matter! Invest in yourselves Chumps.!

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

It took me seven years to get my degree too! (Though, I only had two kids at the time.) I was often older than my professors … but, nobody minded, including me. 🙂

12YearsWasted
12YearsWasted
6 years ago

I just started this virtual therapy and had my first session with the counselor they paired me with. In our initial chats I made it very clear I am suffering from some depression that is related to my ex’s affair and prompt discard of me and not just the fact that I had to divorce. He kept going on about the effects of divorce in general. I didn’t feel like he was listening to me at all! I promptly requested someone else. This is not just a typical divorce scenario, and I’m tired of the rug-sweeping that people do about cheaters! It DOES matter how the relationship ended. It’s profoundly traumatic to the Chump and there need to be more medical professionals trained to deal with this sort of trauma. I hope my next assigned counselor gets this!!

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  12YearsWasted

Good job deciding to request a new counselor! Keep at it. As frustrating as it is, finding the right one can be extremely helpful (and worth the frustration to find him/her).

Betrayed and Confused
Betrayed and Confused
6 years ago

Right on! I wish I could share this but my attorney would say I’m going to leave the impression that I would talk badly about the kids mother and that could effect my custody. My wife says I need to own my part but does she own hers? No. Even say the word affair and she either shuts down or gets furious. I’ve told her when the kids are adults, I’m telling them.
I bet there are some people who cheat, regret, and never do it again, and have good relationships. People make mistakes. But I don’t have a cheater like that. Mine doesn’t want to be judged or take responsibility mine want to shift blame and claim false equivalency. I used to think it’s because she couldn’t accept what she did. Maybe she can’t. But mostly she doesn’t care enough about me. She just cares about herself. She wants to feel good doesn’t care if she hurt me, I don’t matter to her.

Traffic_Spiral
Traffic_Spiral
6 years ago

Yeah, always best to keep quiet while there’s a court case going on. Heck, I wouldn’t lie to your kids all throughout their childhood either. Once they’re old enough to understand the concept of cheating, they’re old enough to know that’s what she did.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

Lack of accountability is such a huge flag. It took me forever to realize the jackass’s criticisms of me were often a part of a blameshift. Looking back, it’s shocking to me how much I “owned” while he refused to do anything of the sort.

And, no, these types don’t give a shit about us … or anyone else. Your wife is devastating her children’s family (their stability) as well as you (by so thoroughly breaking her commitment to you and your family). All to avoid accountability, to avoid becoming a decent human being.

It’s shocking to know people like this exist at all. But it’s worse when you realize that you’ve been married to one.

Best wishes as you move forward with the divorce. Keep listening to your attorney!

douchefreelife
douchefreelife
6 years ago

I read this book after day 1 (the one I was aware of), I found it to be the ultimate in blameshifting. I learned on this site that cheating is a choice. This site was my only clarity after d day 2. I firmly believe in the chump lady cake eating theory.

Chumptastic
Chumptastic
6 years ago

The line that struck me was “Blinded by the other’s brilliance and beauty……” WOW!!! The cheater can’t help themselves the stupid, ugly spouse can not compete!! Is there no free will?

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Chumptastic

It’s like a fairy tale instead of an explanation of human behavior, where the cheater has been enchanted and has not choice.

Traveling the World
Traveling the World
6 years ago

There are therapists and marriage counselors out there who will treat cheating for the moral crime it is. However, I don’t think those people believe they will sell a lot of books. Here’s hoping CL sales make the industry rethink its approach.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago

It’s called “therapist abuse”- and it’s very harmful to the betrayed spouse. No one on earth can make you do anything that goes against your moral principles. No one can “make you”….”drive you” …or coerce you to rob a bank…………cheat on your spouse………or kick a puppy. NO ONE!

If unmet needs drove people to cheating- I should have been the one pouncing on every man I saw!

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
6 years ago

Dr. George Simon refers to it as therapy induced trauma

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago

Exactly.

HM
HM
6 years ago

Meh, I think this is accurate in some cases. Not all affairs, but some happen in shitty relationships and sometimes people refuse to attend counseling and if you are a chump (like me) who thinks you need to work on things, you stick around despite having a shitty relationship.

Honestly, at this point, his affair was the best thing that ever happened to me. It freed me from that shit relationship and showed me who he truly was. I know it’s hard to conceive of that in the beginning – I’m 4.5 years out now.

CanadianDad
CanadianDad
6 years ago

I wonder if this kind of nonsense started because therapists were trying to find a way to throw a bone to the cheater as a way of having them stay part of the conversation. It may have been rationalized as a good idea because at least the work together as a couple could then move forward if both sides had points for their side, and progress could be made together. It also keeps people in therapy for longer (cynically speaking, of course).

There is of course, a couple of fundamental problems with this. The issues that each partner might bring to a session are not equal. Being a bit stubborn or uncommunicative is not equal to fucking around on your spouse and children. Also, the cheater is likely to be much more self-entitled, manipulative, and can easily dominate therapy sessions, especially if they are still involved with their AP.

I would love it if a therapist would say, “Well, John(Jane), I’ve listened to both of you very carefully, and I have come to the professional conclusion that you are a monumental asshat. Furthermore, there is nothing I can do to help the two of you because you are still engaged in an affair, and are very likely to have another because you are a self-entitled prick. Thank you and have a nice day. I have given the number of an excellent divorce lawyer to your long-suffering wife (husband)”

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  CanadianDad

Marriage counseling is worthless with a cheater. Chumps should not waste their money on these quacks. The cheater will not stop lying, blame shifting, gas lighting or deceiving…..just because they go to a marriage counselor.

If anything…..the cheater tries to recruit the counselor/therapist into agreeing with him.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago

Yes, how can we do counseling or therapy with a serial liar and manipulator?

freeatlast
freeatlast
6 years ago

I am really confused…should I fight more or less? I need the Gottman’s to please tell me the correct way to communicate. I understand that my lack of communication was the reason my husband had sex with another woman for 2.5 years. If only I could have kept him from going into an abyss of loneliness!! The lies and deception he heaped on me were well deserved because I didn’t bring him croissants!!!

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago

No…it does NOT take two to tango with adultery! It takes ONE amoral, selfish piece of shit to ruin the marriage with infidelity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marriage counseling cannot and will not help with a cheater! Cheating is a moral deficiency on the part of a cheater- NOT a “marital problem.” No marriage counselor can help the cheater grow morals, decency and integrity!

Thrive
Thrive
6 years ago

Right on! The chumps voice must be heard outside of this forum. We are an army thanks to our leader. To the streets with our virtual protest.

Doingme
Doingme
6 years ago

“Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Thankfully, I found my therapist within weeks of once again being discarded by my abuser. When I described the discard he leaned forward and said, “He’s a narcissist, If you don’t leave him it will kill you the next time.You need to divorce him.” I was in the bargaining stage and those were the first words I had ever experienced that validated the abuse I’d suffered over decades.

He suggested I find a blog instead of revenge which led me to this great nation.

MLK was a great man who changed the narrative. There are few who have the power to change a nation.

And I was shaped by generations of women who suffered horrible abuse, my great grandmother left with three children during the depression. They went hungry and lived in poverty. My grandmother who had to quit school to work as a house keeper for a rich family as a child. And then my beautiful mother who suffered lifelong abuse from my verbally Abusive narcissistic father.

I was strong, beautiful, bright and independent. I was particular in choosing my partner. He was kind and didn’t rage. We were always together and he professed his love frequently.

The abuse began prior to marrying him however I didn’t recognize it as such. I worked harder, did more. The monster I married was a malignant covert narcissist who played me for decades. I could no longer see myself getting free from his toxicity even though I could support myself.

What Chumps need is to be validated and to know they are not alone. It’s irresponsible to place blame on victims of abuse, male or female. Yet many therapists, blogs, and authors hide behind those generations of judging and blaming under the guise of ownership.

Communication requires honesty and the willingness to change. As Chumps our part is to say, “Fuck the SILENCE.” Tell your story. We no longer have to suffer alone.

The injustices I’ve seen on these pages tells me there is hope. Personally, I know of two wonderful people who ended their lives because of infidelity and the fact they blamed themselves and had no where to turn.

Thank you Tracy for being the one who changed the narrative to one of hope so future generations break the patterns of suffering in silence and know their worth. I salute your neverending dedication to change and hope. You saved my life.

Canyoufeelthemehtonight
Canyoufeelthemehtonight
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Doingme,

Fucking brilliant. I love your words.

Sharylk
Sharylk
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Well said. Your story is very similar to mine. Thank you

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Doingme, thanks for putting the chump struggle in historical perspective. We are at a point in which people who have suffered abuse from spouses, employers, and others in their lives (doctors, therapists, coaches, etc.) are starting to speak out.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

The victim blaming mentality reminds me of the days when rape victims were blamed for being raped. Equally, convenience store clerks who are shot and killed for a few measly dollars in the cash register- had it coming. They coulda…..woulda… shoulda done this that or the other.

MiKo Chump
MiKo Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Amen to all of that!

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
6 years ago

I teach my students that NO ONE makes them…kick someone, call someone a name, bully someone, not do their homework, cheat on a test, be disrespectful, etc. We discuss the “you are in control of you” concept daily. We talk about choices, how choices can hurt others, and how there are consequences to choices.

How sad is the world that 11 year old children understand that concept better than adults.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago

Very sad. And an excellent point. I don’t know one adult who doesn’t teach their kids something along these lines (basic morality). Yet, so many people I know do not hold themselves to that same standard. It’s mind-boggling.

I once made the comment to jackass that he would never put up with our children lying, cheating, etc. He would be furious. But, holding everyone else to a normal, moral standard clearly showed me that he fully understood morality, how to be moral, and why it’s important. This was when I realized that he very much understood what he was doing to our family.

Kiwichump
Kiwichump
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

The Traitor had an answer to this. “Do as I say, don’t do as I do. ” Every time he said this to the kids and pretended it was a joke, he was giving us a glimpse behind the mask.

Leavingthecrapbehind
Leavingthecrapbehind
6 years ago

One asshole marriage counselor asked me what I did to contribute to my ex pervert/liar husband’s lewd behavior. I told her…..I trusted him.

I hate….hate …..hate the term “codependent.” NEVER allow a quack counselor to hang that label on you! You didn’t enable the cheater…….you didn’t contribute to the cheating……..and you certainly did nothing to cause the cheating!!! All you did was love and trust a liar/cheater.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago

Labels are often unhelpful. But there are people who stay attached to abusers because they think it is their job to “fix” that person, to help that person be and do better. Another way to think about that is many of us don’t value our own lives as we should. That doesn’t make us at fault for cheating, but it can keep us stuck trying to “save the marriage” or rescue the cheater instead of taking care of ourselves.

CanadianDad
CanadianDad
6 years ago

Yes to this! My STBXW would go to the gym to meet up with her AP. Was I supposed to follow her there and see who she was with? I trusted her completely. I was home with the kids while she was out. I would have gone to the gym with her otherwise. Love and trust go together. You can’t have one without the other, not with equals. We’re not talking about kids.