Chaos — The Fourth Channel?

I’ve often said the Mindfuck Only Has Three Channelsrage, charm, and self-pity.

Recently, I was upbraided by a self-professed cheater.

I’ll tell you: You’re spot on with the three channels, (but) you missed one: Big Chaos.

Chaos is a premeditated distraction that’s designed to keep us together.

Whenever I’d slip and fear she’d be on my scent, I’d switch on the Big Chaos channel. I’d do it in a number of ways: with my side of the family (Dad has Sudden Cancer, but Doesn’t Want to Discuss His Medical Condition With Anyone But Me!), or a destabilizing project (it’s time to sell the house, RIGHT NOW), or some random concern (does our child have autism? We gotta go to a fuckton of specialists). Or some conflict (my boss now hates me, let’s get lawyers and build a case).

The net results: We spent money and time on random shit to keep us from accumulating assets. Was on purpose on my end, nearly conscious. Because I feared that if she had options, she’d leave. So we had to spend, spend, spend.

Chaos making is totally a thing. In fact, it’s one of the recognized signs of personality disorder, particularly Borderline. And oh yeah, it’s absolutely in the cheater playbook.

I’m not sure chaos is a channel though. I think it’s more meta. Chaos is expressed through the mindfuckery channels.

Here’s chaos and rage:

I CANNOT DEAL WITH THIS RIGHT NOW. IF YOU BRING UP MY AFFAIR, I WILL LOSE MY JOB! Do you WANT THAT? DO YOU?

Here’s chaos and self-pity:

No one appreciates my unique genius at work. This has all been so difficult for me, so I decided to quit my job. Taking a loan from my 401K, I’ve invested in a beer bong/kiteboarding/crocheted toilet cover business on Etsy/eLance/random hobo. Don’t I deserve to be happy? Isn’t it time I invested in ME? Why won’t you believe in me? You’re so negative and controlling. You trigger all my trust issues. Clearly, you don’t believe in my potential. 

Here’s chaos and charm:

LET’S RENEW OUR VOWS IN BERMUDA! Now! Won’t that be ROMANTIC? Babysitter Babyschmitter! What’s another 5K of credit card debt? Let’s be SPONTANEOUS. (Schmoopie is always Spontaneous and Unfettered. Unlike you. Perform the pick me dance!)

Chaos is such a powerful go-to move. It keeps the chump off-balance, and in constant triage mode. I cannot ask more about this affair, I must prevent him from quitting his job and impoverishing our children!

Running here and there, putting out fires, soothing egos, tamping out temper tantrums — it’s exhausting.

Which is rather the point. Now that I’ve worn you ragged, you’ll let that go. #winning

Chumps are so busy being chaos janitors* (Clean up! Aisle 6!), there’s no energy left for their own needs. And if you’re a little FOO fucked up and codependent, that feels normal. Horrible, but normal.

Is someone in your life manufacturing crazy like the Henry Ford of Dysfunction?

Close shop, chumps, and come on over to the stable side. It’s peaceful here and the sanity pays dividends. Chaos? Not so much.

* “I will not be your chaos janitor” is a line from SuperDuperChump I filed away as quite brilliant. 

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

257 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leslie
Leslie
5 years ago

Holy crap!! I recognize my cheating ex in this. Trips to Europe, jewelry, Doctorial program, motorcycle…. not that it makes a difference now, divorce was final 10 days ago, but I can add it to the “it was HIM, not ME” file and continue on with my now happy life.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
5 years ago
Reply to  Leslie

OMG me too!!!!!
More proof it was him and not me.

The calm is uneasy at first but so so so amazing!
Another reason No Contact is the path to the truth and the light

superchumpsince2014
superchumpsince2014
5 years ago
Reply to  Leslie

Omg! Me too! My ex’s big announcement after we adopted a baby and I’m working 3 jobs is, ‘it’s really finally time for me to start focusing on me and really give my hip hop career a chance by making it our main priority. It’s going to cost money up front, but once I’m established it will really take off’.

No it’s not.

oldcrone
oldcrone
5 years ago

Ah geez, his career in hip-hop. Doesn’t he realize that most artists in this genre are of the starving variety? Time to “focus on” him AFTER you adopted! Yes, a baby requires no attention or time, focus on the man-baby instead. You are well rid of this adolescent. So sorry that you had to endure this.

Attie
Attie
5 years ago

His “hip hop career”! Bloody hell!

Spoonriver
Spoonriver
5 years ago
Reply to  Leslie

So my past life with fuckwit. Chaos so that we never moved forward, never accumulated assets so he never had to make a real decision…just react, react ,react. But at the same time everything had to be the same ..even when it didn’t work or serve us well. Don’t have that anymore. Had a peaceful fuckwit free weekend.

SuperDuperChump
SuperDuperChump
5 years ago
Reply to  Spoonriver

I make 1/5 of the money I made pre-divorce, but….even though I am still strapped with marital debt….I am gradually progressing on a daily basis instead of going backward.

Greatest literary masterpiece ever written: “The Tortoise and The Hare”……slow and steady wins the race.

Attie
Attie
5 years ago

Super Duper – I think I’m your female equivalent!

Justine
Justine
5 years ago

5th channel – arseholery.

chutesandladders
chutesandladders
5 years ago
Reply to  Justine

I think that comes with the basic cable package!

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
5 years ago

Now 20 months post Dday I just cannot believe how massively Chaos got normalised. How sweet it is to be discarded by cheater. Home is SO calm!

Have to agree with CL that it’s more a meta strategy than expressive channel. But can I offer a possible Fourth – (strangely was just thinking about this today).

Charm, Rage, Self Pity … Mockery.

Any chump hurt, confusion or anger is ridiculed: it’s absurd, crazy, stupid, hormonal, over sensitive, an over reaction etc etc. I used to get, “What’s wrong with you? Settle down!” In front of the kids. A chump friend was often told, “It’s so teenage of you”.

SeeingRed
SeeingRed
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

Oh the Mockery! It’s part of everything the truly twisted FeXtheCat did. Dupers delight-mockery. Gaslighting-mockery. Me: “I am still concerned you are too friendly with that girl you are texting” Him: “You’re too paranoid, she’s just a work friend” – and in a haughty mocking tone: “but she does have a nice ass… [pause, pause, to get full kibbles] just kidding!”
Me: discovering a nugget from the past [ah ha I was Right! he did in fact lie!], Him: “Why can’t you just let the past go and move forward, I have. It’s not like You were perfect. I’ve changed. Do You have to keep rubbing The past in my face and ruin all our days together?! Why can’t You just be happy. I’m happy. You are just broken, a sad sack, Nobody is ever going to want you.” -and if I’d laugh at him he’d even mimic and mock my laugh. I am so glad he has his Sugar OW as his punching bag. NC NC NC

SeeingRed
SeeingRed
5 years ago
Reply to  SeeingRed

Not physical punching bag. While that sounded awful and Nobody deserves a Narc such as him, she worked hard to win her “prize” -always dangling cash and prizes for him because physically she is absolutely nothing compared to me (not that I think I am all that), and finally I kicked him out for good and with literally nowhere else to go, no job, no money, and his grand entitled ungrateful attitude, she won him. Now I am truly happy, doing self care and at peace.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

Ex didn’t use mockery on me so much but he did it to my daughter all the time to the point where it bothered me as much as it bothered her. If I tried to defend her, however, then I was making him look bad in front of the kids and I didn’t have his back.

brit
brit
5 years ago

Chumpinrecovery, mine did the same thing with our son, mocking him, using ridicule, cutting sarcasm. Many times I could see our sons face flush with embarrassment or see that he was hurt. His remarks weren’t funny, they were demeaning, cruel and obviously hurtful for a young boy especially from his father.
Thinking that Cheater was unaware of what he was doing, I’d talk to Cheater in private explaining that his “jokes” were hurtful to our son. He’d then laugh, and tell me he was joking,
He’d then mockingly ask our son in front of me, “did anything I say hurt your feelings?” My son, not wanting to upset his father would say no…, then he’s say I was trying to make him look bad in front of his son and play the victim, just dear old dad being fun loving.., evil Mom trying to cause trouble,”picking on dad, she’s never happy..”
I regret thinking this was “normal.”
They look for chaos, twisting the truth and diversion from whatever it is their hiding.

oldcrone
oldcrone
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

Oh god! Same here. Mr. Magoo made our oldest son into the scapegoat (like many narcissists do). He wonders why all three of our children want nothing to do with him. Maybe because you are a selfish, entitled, angry jerk? Nah, must be because oldcrone poisoned them against him. They are truly all the same.

Eric
Eric
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

A week and half after she came back and wanted to reconcile, she mocked me for wanting to see her phone at a restaurant. I went off on her loudly. Oh, she felt uncomfortable with that, Life is sooo hard when you’re the victim. I knew she wasn’t remorseful.

unicornomore
unicornomore
5 years ago
Reply to  Eric

When Cheater knew I was on to him…he tried to hide in plain view…one day he mocked me horribly…he waved his phone in the air and said “you think that this is the phone I use to call Susan!!” Guess what he did with that fucking thing? He called Susan.

T
T
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

HA! If I ever expressed concerns with his behavior when we were together..he would get cruel and then I would get upset. He would say, “you poor thing, you have it soooo bad!” when he saw tears. I would have to go to the bathroom when upset so I wouldn’t be mocked.

I thought that was normal! Peace is so wonderful!

brit
brit
5 years ago
Reply to  T

T, I heard the the same line, when ever I expressed a concern about his behavior, “your poor thing, you’ve got it sooo bad,” he’d ridicule me for crying, “now you’re going to cry..? “Why don’t you go to Mommy or Daddy and cry?”

I too, accepted this as normal.
To the public he’s charming and just the nicest guy which made me wonder if there was something wrong with me. He’d say, “no one else has a problem with me just you.” Feels so good to be free from the Mental manipulation.

Kibbled Again
Kibbled Again
5 years ago
Reply to  brit

@Brit – This! And the “no one else has a problem with me just you.” Gah!

You end up thinking you’re the one who has all the issues. Until you tear that all down and say, “wait a minute, I have absolutely none of these same said issues with anyone else in my life”.

Happy to be free too!

Shell-shocked-chump
Shell-shocked-chump
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

Mamameh,
Absolutely agree with you that Mockery could be listed as one of the channels. My experience is that all four are employed in part when gaslighting.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

Mockery: Sparkledick’s favorite passtime.

And “passive-mockery”: when his uncouth family would be incredibly rude to me and he would let it pass. Not that I wanted scenes to be made. But a word in private. Or something like “Well, I think Clearwaters’ bread is excellent” (bread this chump here had backed for his family)

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
5 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

baked

Off the crazy train
Off the crazy train
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

What do you and Chump Lady mean by ‘meta’ in this context? It’s a new word to me, and when I looked it up, it seems to mean self-referential. Like arguing about the argument you’re having right now. Or a writer who writes a book about a writer who writes a book.

Pls help me understand in this context.

MamaMeh
MamaMeh
5 years ago

Hey OTCT, yep the way I understand it, and understood CL, is that meta is more an overarching backdrop – the big picture. The simile of the network funding the stations is genius.

Thanks y’all for weighing in on Mockery as The Fourth Channel. Thoughts, CL??

superchumpsince2014
superchumpsince2014
5 years ago

For the past decade I’ve heard meta used in a literary and scientific context to mean ‘big picture’or ‘larger scale of abstraction’ like ‘meta narrative’ and ‘meta phenomena’. I think self referential is a current millennial use of the word, but doesn’t seem to work as well in this context?

DrFormerChump
DrFormerChump
5 years ago

Not necessarily a current millennial thing depending on the field. For instance, metacognition is basically thinking about
thinking and has been studied since the 1970s.

Adelante
Adelante
5 years ago
Reply to  DrFormerChump

Yes, and meta-fiction is fiction about fiction or fictiveness, a longstanding concept in literary criticism.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
5 years ago

What ‘meta’ means here is that, depending on the features of the chaos the cheater has cooked up for the chump, it can be part of one of the “Three Channels of Manipulation”: Rage, Self-pity or Charm.
c
Chaos is not a strategy in itself, but accompanies or follows one of the three strategies.

And sometimes they overlap. Like when glitterballs goes out and buys an expensive, imported car he needs like a hole in his head and in spite of being in debt: don’t I look good getting out of a tiny MiniCooper being 6’4” (charm); I deserve this (self-pity); I don’t give a damn, it’s MY money (rage) (when chump is helping to pay glitterballs’ crazy family’s expenses).

mamaduck says quack quack
mamaduck says quack quack
5 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

In my language meta means goal. Something you do to get a certain outcome, That is how I read it. Manufactured chaos with the goal of distracting and keeping the spouse busy and off balance.

Off the crazy train
Off the crazy train
5 years ago
Reply to  ClearWaters

Thanks ClearWaters. Considering it’s actually an ancient word in origin, it seems to have had a very recent re-emergence and it’s use seems to be applied inconsistently. If you’re interested, I found this: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/meta-meaning/

TaraBelle
TaraBelle
5 years ago

Chaos is meta. Chaos is the network funding the stations. Meta. The stations don’t exist without chaos and chaos doesn’t exist without stations. Chaos won’t be a channel cause it has FOO issues and functions as a counter part. Co dependent. Meta.

Shell-shocked-chump
Shell-shocked-chump
5 years ago
Reply to  MamaMeh

Parting gifts from a cheater…

Gaslighting is absolutely insidious.

The whole mocking in front of the family routine is designed to tear you apart, wear you down, keep the focus off them and their shitty behavior.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201704/7-stages-gaslighting-in-relationship

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago

“Chaos is a premeditated distraction that’s designed to keep us together.”

The cheater even minimized it as a distraction when we know it’s all about power and control.

Premeditated? Sounds like a psychopath. Bless his heart for weighing in.

Holden. Angstrom
Holden. Angstrom
5 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Probably was. And, I wasn’t trying to minimize anything. I called cheating pure evil; that tactic was a distraction, or a theatric performance. It is absolutely shitbird behavior.

But once you’re cheating, there’s no bridge that’s too far.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago

Oh, there’s more than one reason for it. It’s also a form of covert emotional abuse and we know cheaters get off on abusing their chumps. That’s a big part of why they cheat to begin with.

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

Yes, Chumoerella. it is covert. There’s a certain excitement the covert enjoys knowing you know while simultaneously abusing both the spouse and AP.

Then there’s this tidbit. “Was on purpose on my end, nearly conscious.”

Semi conscious?

#braggingrights;donotresuscitate

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

True, except when the AP is slso a covert narc abuser and has the upper hand over the cheater through manipulation, he will not be able to abuse her. In my cheater’s case he wouldn’t have dreamed of being anything less than a slave to his precious AP. She was perfect in his eyes, despite being pathologically immature, a drunk and outrageously promiscuous. She was actually covertly abusing him by denying him sex but doing other guys, all the while giving him ugly little hints as to what she was up to. One of many examples; at last’s year’s work Xmas party, she was all over another guy right in front of him, even had him take photos of her hugging the guy. I saw the pics and she had a sneaky, I’m-playing-you expression on her face that said everything. She then got the guy to give her a drive home. I told him she blew the guy in the car, guaranteed. He’d never even considered it. Sometimes guys who are playing you end up getting played by the OW. The difference is that they don’t get hurt because they didn’t feel anything real for either of you.

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago

Come to think if it, the Limited smother always write, “You deserve to be happy”, on his birthday card. Every.Singke.Year.

silverqueen
silverqueen
5 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

My mother-in-law used to ask idiot “are you happy, dear” right in front of me in her whinny condescending voice. Crazy old bitch. He’d just smile. Ugh!

NotMyFault
NotMyFault
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

My evil exMIL said to me “everytime I was with him, he told me he was unhappy”. Failed to mention that leading a double life may be the cause. Right now, she has two adult sons living with her (going through their own divorces), my ex will have to kiss Schmoopie’s behind, as there is “no more room at the inn”. They all deserve each other.

TaraBelle
TaraBelle
5 years ago
Reply to  silverqueen

#StillBreastFeeding #PutoMadre (motherfucker.) ????????????

King kuntard put his head on mommy’s shoulder. In court. Front row. #IncestIsBest

The mindfuck is real. The hustle is deep. Fucking Cracker.

LVchumped
LVchumped
5 years ago
Reply to  TaraBelle

@TaraBelle
#lol #hilarious #youmademelaughsnort #ftp #yotambien #viacondios #mividaloca #soylibre

Doingme
Doingme
5 years ago

*wrote*

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
5 years ago

I agree that chaos is a meta state.

Also blaming/responsibility avoiding – nothing is ever the Cheater’s fault.

The thing I like (?) about the charm-self pity-rage cycle is that’s so very reliable and predictable. These are qualities that most Cheaters don’t demonstrate anywhere else.

I had an encounter with my Sinister Minister’s discarded mistress the other day. Brought back a lot of unhappy memories about Fr Sparkles McCheater’s utter refusal to accept any blame for his very public failings.

Got a lot to pray about this Christmas – lady friend has a husband on a revolting child porn charge. He got a suspended sentence, and she’s standing by her man. For how long, I don’t know – when you’re used to pain, it gets awful comfortable.

Chumpsurvivor
Chumpsurvivor
5 years ago

An eyeopener! 10+ years post divorce and this is X exhausting me to the point of burn-out. And then hitching up with his twu-luf. Among other ‘i want to buy a boat an sail the world! Where did your adventure spirit go? ‘ uh… we have two school-going kids and this would ruin their education? Very happy when he and shmoopie decided to sail a boat on the other side of the world, because it really showed to me that it was his OWN derangedness.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumpsurvivor

So selfish!

Mmarg
Mmarg
5 years ago

We had a good income but were constantly broke for 10 years. He got vacations and stuff he never used. When it was time for my share, there was nothing left. I waved him off on his summer holidays five years in a row and got 0 myself all that time. The heartless jerk thought that was fine. There was definitely a double life to maintain.

Scared but Strong
Scared but Strong
5 years ago
Reply to  Mmarg

Oh Mmarg, I completely understand the good income-constantly broke-he gets everything he wants dynamic. And heaven forbid you might point out that you aren’t getting your fair share. He says that if he gets anything, I expect to get something for myself in an equal amount. Not so, as evidenced by his $600 suits and my jeans from Old Navy. But I would like something, at some point. From this I have learned that if someone is bitching about my concern that I’m not getting my due, it’s because they’re the one stealing it from me.

OutFromTheShadows
OutFromTheShadows
5 years ago
Reply to  Mmarg

Similar but in my case it was my gullibility for pandering to her every whim & desire

we moved house every 2 years ‘cos she’d get bored — the next location/country was always amazing and the current one the worst in the world — then very shortly after it’d change again
how many trips did we finance 100% for her parents to come over from South America and visit over 20 years! I’d rather not add up the cost. Easily a 6-figure sum. Yet her 2 sisters (also living in N. America or Europe) never had any money to do the same. Funnily enough, now that the affair has come to light and divorce is being planned (by me) the 2 penniless sisters suddenly do have the money to bring over their mum (or take their families to visit there themselves). Yeah, I got chumped by an entire family

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago

A family of grifters by the sound of it.

Tuesday is Coming
Tuesday is Coming
5 years ago

I found some frightening hereditary asshole-ness as well. His family has treated me like a queen before the divorce, then garbage, knowing he cheated on me and that he swindled me out of, what for it……….. at least a quarter of a million dollars. That’s only the $ I can figure. His brother has been married thrice or maybe four times now. Let his kids go on food stamps while he had an amazing salary. 3rd brother seems fine but totally clueless to the other 2’s lies. Funnily enough, he has a different dad, who doesn’t appear to be a narc.

Nature, nurture, both? Regardless, it’s a creepy batch of people I’m glad have cut me off. It sickens me that my daughter is still sucked in though. Have to let that play out I guess. It’s just so hard.

-Tuesday

OutFromTheShadows
OutFromTheShadows
5 years ago

*speechless* at not only that amount but your ex-in-laws’ attitude — ouch — but I reckon genetics does play a part as you mentioned

with mine her older sister is also a cheater with 2 affairs (well 2 that she admitted to) and now divorced; though I noticed MiL came around to older sister’s side and they all now peddle a lie that her ex was the one who had a secret affair (as he remarried an old gf a few years later) — I’ve noticed that MiL is now back to friendly terms with STBxW so no doubt I’ll also be the evil ex H in the very near future

as you wrote, creepy batch of people that we should be grateful to be rid of

Drew
Drew
5 years ago
Reply to  Mmarg

X was never happy with what we had. In our first house (purchased when we were in our early twenties), he deposited an inheritance into our down payment for a bigger home when we really didn’t need it. Later, he would refinance and pull more equity out. Which made me uncomfortable even though he was making good money. He did this with both homes, just kept pulling equity out. We had a good life, kids were in sports which cost a lot, but I was very frugal. X had this “let’s do this” kind of attitude…entitlement, I now believe. Whenever he wanted a big ticket item, he would float the idea, then in spite of my reservations go ahead and do whatever he wanted. Often those items were things he used. He would vacation by himself, competing in his sport, while I held down the fort and stayed home with our children. He had friends who regularly complained about their wives, kids, and marriages. Looking back, all red flags.

Whodoesthat
Whodoesthat
5 years ago
Reply to  Drew

This describes my life too
I was constantly looking for bargains how we could make do
Try to do house repairs myself (badly) and he would have the nerve to criticise not offer to help !! And yes the drawing down on the house was chronic until there was nothing left
Big holidays to impress the family self publishing a vanity book that made nothing
A whole host of stupid accessories for his dam bike and wining and dining business colleagues
What a bastard
Now 3 Christmas s later he pleads poverty or meanly denies basic support to his kids citing how hard he has to work
Boo hoo

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
5 years ago
Reply to  Drew

My ex would always buy big ticket items whenever the mood struck and most of the time, my feelings were not brought into the discussion. He always told me “he preferred to ask for forgiveness, rather than permission.”

mKay. right!

Hopium4years
Hopium4years
5 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Ooooh, cheaterssuck – that “ask for forgiveness rather than permission” line was one the Python used.

Should have been a red flag the first time I heard it!

And he bought many big ticket items without discussing first with me. Even AFTER he agreed we’d discuss any expense over $100. Agreements? Vows? Bah. Meant nothing to him.

DOCTOR's1stWife&Kids
DOCTOR's1stWife&Kids
5 years ago
Reply to  Hopium4years

I abhor the phrase “better to ask forgiveness than permission” for so many reasons. 1) It’s NOT better and 2) asking for my agreement – not “permission” would have felt like he cared about my opinion, which is a hell of a lot better than reality, 3) he NEVER asked for forgiveness anyway!

He just did whatever he wanted and if I got upset that he wouldn’t even apologize, he’d say he WOULD have apologized if I had given him the chance AND OR that he would have told me in advance about the latest shitty selfish deceitful act, BUT he knew I’d be upset…

See the logic there?? (Me neither).

Wow, it’s moments like this that I am very torn. I’m torn between authentic relief that Dr. Narkles is out of my life – and feelings of shame at what I tolerated in the name of saving the family/ marriage.

Ugh

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Drew

@Drew
I hear you! I’d always had a aversion to buying frivolous things but STBXH never said no to himself. However, he’d scoff in horror if the bag of Mandarin oranges I bought wasn’t on sale.

It was hilarious finding out how much money he was blowing on other women. As I picked lint off my 5-year old black dress I made a comment about wanting to go shopping after D-Day and he told me his behavior was no excuse to start being irresponsible! hahaha

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  ItAintMe

What an asshole! That sounds awfully familiar. My jerk insisted on saving money by limiting our cable package so I couldn’t get all the channels I wanted. Meanwhile, he wasted money on booze, the high tech gadgets he just had to have, trips with his friends, and taking his slut to concerts, restaurants and bars.
I spent most of my time alone because he was either out drinking, whoring, watching sports, or just texting her and ignoring me, and I didn’t even have the channels I liked on TV to help pass the lonely hours. He also refused to get a second dog after one of our dogs died because we “couldn’t afford it” and it was “too much trouble”. The scumbag makes over $100k a year but can’t afford a dog? We’d already had two and he had never once said he found it troublesome. I believe he wanted to deprive me of that companion, knowing how lonely and unhappy I was, just to be mean.
Cheaters are cruel, completely self-absorbed and don’t care about anything but their own pleasure.

JannaG
JannaG
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

I’d have been tempted to bring a cat into the home since he complained about the idea of a dog.

why
why
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

“Meanwhile, he wasted money on booze, the high tech gadgets he just had to have, trips with his friends, and taking his slut to concerts, restaurants and bars.”

Every single thing, the exact same here. I begged him to get a studio apt and stop coming “home” at 1am, especially given that he was 100% clear that he was moving into slut’s the second her husband moved out. He couldn’t afford that or even hotels the 3 nights a month he came home. But he could spend, god I don’t know, I’m guessing 7k a month on all the aforementioned. Not a dime to alleviate my pain, but his life savings to amp up his and sparkletwat’s pleasure.

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

Yes! Aside from the harem mine needed gadgets and booze too! Must be requirements to join the Skidmark Spouse Club.

It’s funny now, how I’ve learned that it’s okay to spend money on myself without feeling guilty. The games they play, huh?

I hope you have every damn channel you want, from the cable provider of your choice AND the dog.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  ItAintMe

Thank you. I have my channels now and will be looking for a rescue dog as soon as I am in my new house. Cheater jerk is paying for it but will not be on the deed. He’ll be in a dumpy studio apartment with no pets and nobody to come home to. Awww. ????
Yeah, they love to play their cruel little games. I think that once they start cheating, they hate us because just being around us reminds them that they have failed at marriage and parenthood and are worthless assholes. Feelings of entitlement mean they don’t hold themselves accountable, so they then blame us for the shame they feel about being abject failures.
Yours had a whole harem of skanks? Ye Gods. When and how did you find out, if you don’t mind my asking? Let me guess; he didn’t use condoms. Statistics show most of them don’t. My cheater gave me HPV, the cancer causing kind. My latest test showed I was able to fight off the HPV itself, but the pre-cancerous cervical lesions were already in place. I’ll always have to worry about cancer now. The scum don’t give any thought to what they could be exposing us to.

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

@Chumperella
Sorry for the late reply! ‘Harem’ actually makes it sound a lot more dignified than it really was. While I slept he would sneak out of the house and meet hookers he found online. I saw shady crap on his phone that he’d explain away. One day he was in the shower and I got curious so I checked his phone-same thing. I confronted him & he lied as he always did. The next day I rang him up at work and called him a liar. He said he only called, ‘just for the thrill of hearing their voices’. He probably thought I saw the call log and was gonna cop to the bare minimum…SIKE! In reality I had zero proof, only my gut and flashing neon signs.

I called his bluff and he folded like a dirty rag. He stopped for about 2 months when we first met-but he saw them through our entire courtship, dating, engagement and marriage. He even admitted to creeping off while we were on vacation after he met some married skank at the casino!

Mine swears up and down he wore condoms every time but I don’t believe that for half a second. I went for my follow-up blood work last week and my swabs were normal. This crap is insidious though, and I’m a paranoid type so I’ll be having a full exam next month just to cross all my T’s and dot those I’s.

Having to continue going back and forth to the doctor to check/treat STDS as a married person/person in a committed LTR is rough-especially given that we’ve done nothing wrong. I am so sorry that you have to deal with all this. My thoughts are with you and I have full faith that your body is going to kick the arse of anything janky that rears it’s ugly head.

oldcrone
oldcrone
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

Chumperella, you are so spot on about the cruelty. Mine was never what you could call kind, but his actions during his last long-term (10+ years) were abusive, bordering on torture.
And yep on the STDS. I had to have abdominal surgery, including removal of my cervix and uterus, due to the chronic PID which resulted from the many STDS he gave me over the years. My doctor and I determined that the beginning of my PID, based on my symptoms, was right after the birth of our middle child. Might be why it took six years to get pregnant with the last one. Okay, I get that he just didn’t give a shit about me, but to refuse to wear a condom with your whores while your wife is PREGNANT? Monster, as he has been called before.

Unexpectedchumpiness
Unexpectedchumpiness
5 years ago
Reply to  ItAintMe

Hahahahahaha. Bahahahahaha. My behavior is no excuse to start being irresponsible. Oh man. Great belly laugh.

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago

::tips hat:: At your service.

I’m fairly certain I did the same thing when I heard it. He was so serious when he said it – that made it even more funny
= )

Drew
Drew
5 years ago

FucktardX had a lot of drama in his life but it was never about me until he met his fuckbuddy. Then there were a few years where his behavior was off the charts and that whole devalue thing reared it’s ugly head (chapter in the Cheater Playbook for sure). The number one thing with X was that he had to be recognized. He volunteered in many of our children’s activities but one friend shared that “it was never about the kids….” This shortly before Dday. At work, in which he was fairly successful, it was never enough that he made a good wage and was able to dictate his own hours. His superiors “hated him,” he was “too sensitive,” the macho guys promoted then excluded him, he was always overlooked for a promotion, etc. In his sport, he complained that he never had enough time to practice to be competitive at a certain level (yes, the wife and babes were holding him back, for twenty eight years ????), all this while spending a great deal of time “working out.” After awhile, anything I said was met with criticism, like I didn’t know what I was talking about. Sometimes it was the smallest thing to argue about but he always had to be right (or better), even when he wasn’t. He was very competitive, with me and the kids. Whereas I simply didn’t see these as healthy, and would sometimes call him out on it. X was always “off” on special occasions, either physically or mentally absent, or very often not participating. When he did, he complained then would participate begrudgingly. Like he was doing us a favor. He could never fully appreciate what he had. His best friend, who lived many states away, used to call and because X was never home, he would let me know how good X had it. It was our running joke. I wasn’t a controlling wife because I trusted him. Turns out he wasn’t so trustworthy.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Damn, that’s a whole catalogue of classic narc behavior. The guy sounds like an overt, grandiose narcissist. They always have to be right. Even when you present them with absolute proof they are wrong, they will never admit it. Often it’s about stupid, meaningless things. Also, the non-participation in family activities or acting like we should be grateful for their grudging participation is familar to me. Mine (a covert narc) would do this on vacations. We would rent a vacation property in the summer and he’d spend most of the time indoors, watching TV or reading, pretty much ignoring the family. After he started the affair it got worse and he would mope and be petulant, which I was confused by. It turned out that was because there was no cell service to text his bitch, he couldn’t stand being cooped up with the family he’d devalued and he had no ability to go out drinking and whoring.

Whodoesthat
Whodoesthat
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

Totally!! The whole extended family rented a massive castle in Spain one year and what did fuckface do ? Rented a BIKE and took off every day god knows where
Still clueless until at the end I realised hewas too cowardly and ashamed to spend quality time with hthe family he was planning to dump soon after

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  Whodoesthat

A castle in Spain? Whoa! Next time you go, invite me instead of that chickenhearted prick. I’ll show the proper respect and appreciation. 😉

OutFromTheShadows
OutFromTheShadows
5 years ago

Oh totally have to agree with Chaos-as-a-distraction and the more I’m further down the road from D-Day to Meh the more I can look back and see the obvious red-flag signs I completely ignored.

So for me D-Day was Aug 2017. She got us into couples therapy so that was a distraction for a bit. Then we just had to move house so that took care of a lot of my time for several months. All while the long-distance affair kept going. When I finally had had enough and insisted on NC for the summer vacation months, I got the self-pity bit but held firm. She then started divorce-via-mediation in September, which now I realise was another distraction as, after starting the process, she’s now delaying it (I’m seeing 2 lawyers tomorrow to push this through myself in 2019).

Even before D-Day (affair started Jan 2017) she used chaos-as-a-distraction. As her dad had recently died, she wanted to bring over her mum to live with us, so that wasted lots of time (& money of course) investigating immigration, etc. We did actually bring her mum over (just before D-Day) but then she decided that it wouldn’t work out. So again, another distraction!

Thankful
Thankful
5 years ago

My ex would randomly get hurt somehow needing me to care for him and work while picking up the lion share at home. One time he even tried taking on a flat bed 10 tonne truck in a merg line while riding a push bike to work. It always happened on work time so he could claim some form of compensation. Over the years an injury to his ankle, elbow oh and the weirdest one being hit in the head with a skateboard while using a public toilet. ????

alenka Krajnc
alenka Krajnc
5 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

The second day now I’m trying to understand, how this could have happened, please please explain/elaborate and end this torture. Maybe you guessed, I have some obsessions, today it’s the infamous skateboard incident.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

???? Sounds like he offered to blow the wrong teenage boy.

CleotheFormerChump
CleotheFormerChump
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

Chumperella FOR THE WIN!

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

Or he walked into the ladies room by mistake (or not?)

JannaG
JannaG
5 years ago

But, but, he’s a transgender person that just happens to not be transitioning. “Don’t discriminate against me. I’ll have to turn on the self pity channel”

superchumpsince2014
superchumpsince2014
5 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

I’d like to hit him in the head with a skateboard!

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
5 years ago
Reply to  Thankful

Thankful,
“Hit in the head with a skateboard while using a public toilet”
THIS, will do it every time!

You have started the Monday Chuckle.
????????????

just another chump
just another chump
5 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

Just how ? how?

Meg
Meg
5 years ago

I’m howling over “getting hit in the head with a skateboard while using a public toilet!” It’s no problem to picture my XH as the poor victim. This would make a great CL cartoon!

katiedidnt
katiedidnt
5 years ago

Oh yes, indeed. Asshat is the King of the Chaos/Self-Pity Channel. He really ramped it up recently, quit 3 jobs in 4 years, 2 of them with no new job lined up, because he was so misunderstood-underappreciated-put upon, etc. Yet I was the one continuously accused of not working hard enough over the years.

ChumpFlakes
ChumpFlakes
5 years ago
Reply to  katiedidnt

Yes douchebitch is at 4 jobs in 7 years. Going to make her pay for destroying the family. Making sure the kids will be taken care of. Married 18 years with 4 kids. She makes over 100k with current job. Child support & maintenance for fucking up shit

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
5 years ago
Reply to  katiedidnt

My cheating ex also had so many jobs over the years, I can’t even remember them all now. He once failed the personality test required to work at a big bank, I assume because his diagnosed narcissism skewed so heavily. He also once refused to leave a company’s HR department until the hiring manager gave him an answer….. guess what the answer turned out to be. He would repeatedly hound and email anyone he interviewed with, lost a lot of opportunities that way.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
5 years ago
Reply to  katiedidnt

Yes, new jobs. It’s always someone else. 11 jobs in 15 years and *I* found him and got him all but 2, which didn’t end up being real jobs but schemes that illegally used “contractors” who are actually working as employees. My advice to not pursue those because of multiple red flags at every stage was being down on him, being controlling, treating him like an idiot, etc. He’d buy all kinds of shit (equipment, classes, licensing) he needed to start and then find it was all bullshit. He even spent 6 weeks taking an insurance-licensing course and exam (for which he needed herculean encouragement from me), THEN decided it wasn’t for him. Yuh- I know. Four rounds of unemployment that he finished out the terms of every.single.time and professed to be “scared” that he couldn’t provide and was worthless… but then DID nothing to alleviate that. Thus, why *I* had to write his resumes and cover letters, take personality tests (he ALWAYS failed because he “a bad test taker” HA!), find him jobs, build him up for interviews, and manufacture pride for the smallest thing he did at work. And when his sales were poor? I’d take on an outside sales role (my profession) and strategically market his product for him… just funneling sales to his cell phone and inbox. Calling huge businesses and setting up contracts of recurring sales FOR him while he was at work (he was scared of outside sales) and the kids were at school. He’d get awards for his sales and when we were in a fight, throw out that he’s not SO worthless: “Look at my numbers!” Um, are you delusional?! MY numbers, remember? You’re going to claim MY work for OUR family as a pillar of your value? HA! I may have been a SAHM but I worked VERY hard and employed myself well.

He took more effort than all three toddlers, put together.

PutAForkInMe
PutAForkInMe
5 years ago

God…I thought I was the only one chummy enough to get the resume together, apply for the positions, AND get impressive interview plans together (like a 30/60/90 day plan for onboarding and success) – what we won’t do to sparkle and hold it all together. Sigh!

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  PutAForkInMe

I had the opposite problem. After I told ex we couldn’t move to the state he wanted to live in until one of us had a job there I came home from work the next day to him waving a job description under my nose. I will admit it was a good fit for me so I said I would apply. He told me he had already filled out the application online and all I had to do was sign it. Then he wanted to rewrite my resume for me. Honestly, I was offended that he thought I was too incompetent to do all of that for myself. I told him I could update my own resume thanks although I might let him review it when I was done. When I went for the interview he tried to tell me what to wear and how to act. If he had his way he would have put a microphone in my ear to tell me what to say. Seriously, I have managed to get myself hired many times before without his help. When I did get the job, he probably thought it was all thanks to his hard work so why was I getting all of the congratulations? It couldn’t possibly be my experience and good references that got me the job. Looking back it was all just part of the devalue. “I really want you to get this job but I don’t trust you to do it right because you are so grossly incompetent so I need to control the whole thing”. I will give him credit for finding the posting in the first place, but that’s it.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
5 years ago
Reply to  PutAForkInMe

Right?

I found Cheater his IDEAL job. Gaming sales. I even looked through their employee directory and found that a childhood friend’s brother was a VP. It was one of THOSE jobs… the kind that pay 6-figures to start, have lunch catered every day, offer FULLY-PAID benefits, and unlimited PTO. I messaged him and he was excited. He put Cheater’s resume and cover letter to the top of the pile. He said it could take up to a month to get back since that’s just their process and they have a lot going on… to email nicely, asking for an update, no more than every two weeks, and to not expect an answer before a month out. I relayed this to Cheater…

Who called after 2 days of submission. Who then emailed every morning, requesting a response. Who, after 3 days of this (within the first week), emailed the HR person back and told her that the company was run unprofessionally and he wasn’t sure he could work for such a shoddily-run business. And I didn’t find out any of this until a month later, when he said he’d heard back and they didn’t want him. “So much for your connections.”

I called my friend’s brother to apologize and told him to shred it. He said they already had and forwarded me Cheater’s email thread. WTF?!!

To say we had a fight over this is putting it mildly. He sabotaged his own success – at something he really would have been happy doing – just to stick it to me.

Sunflower gaze
Sunflower gaze
5 years ago

Wow Insistonhonesty!!! Just WOW!!!!

They HATE you having something they don’t. In this case a solid connection to a DREAM job.
It was really only to bring you down.

What a fucking king douchebag!!!!!

Sisu
Sisu
5 years ago

They don’t want to work. That’s adulting, and adulting is for YOU to do while they play.

T
T
5 years ago

Employment! 6-7 jobs in the last 10 years…I can’t even count the number since we have been together! I knew when he was getting ready to quit because things at work were “not fair”.

cashmere
cashmere
5 years ago

X needed “help”–lots and lots of it–on the ethics test required for his current gig. Hah. I got tapped for that. The OW, turns out, took all the online tests required for keeping his professional certifications up to date.

EstellaO
EstellaO
5 years ago
Reply to  cashmere

Oh gosh, me, too!

3 jobs in the first five years of our marriage, when things were “good.” Then 5 jobs in the four subsequent years after the first D-day, three of which he was fired from within a few months. But did that send me packing? No, because I am a first class chump, from a family of tenderhearted chumps with good intentions, who ALL RALLIED TO HELP HIM START OVER IN A NEW CAREER, all while we paid his huge student loans from undergrad that had prepared him for the previous career.

I think the chaos thing is very real–I yearned for years for a few months of nothing “going wrong.” I am sure I enjoyed problem solving all this crap, because of course, problems are fun to solve (in the abstract!), but what an exhausting run.

I remember this time last year crying to my mother: “I just want to step outside the circle of crazy! It’s ok to step outside the circle of crazy!”

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
5 years ago
Reply to  cashmere

I “failed” one test, for him, ever. For the scheming-insurance gig. They weren’t looking for – and I QUOTE – “someone with such a rigid concept of honesty.”

I’m in SALES; I knew what they wanted before I took the test. I answered their questions like I was an evasive, used-car salesman, specifically to fit the mold. That I (::ahem:: HE) would not lie outright? “Rigid honesty.” These people… yuh, sorry I won’t lie to customers for you, but especially not without even the protection of employment/shared culpability. Not even HE would have done that. He’d have lied, all right… but not without taking shared blame.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
5 years ago

And yes, I ABSOLUTELY put that experience on my resume when I was looking for an outside sales job without any recent employment history. It got me interviews and explaining the whole thing (respectfully because no one likes a basher) really sold them on my ability to walk into any situation and work a sale out of it. I worked even when I didn’t have a direct employer, technically.

flowergirl
flowergirl
5 years ago
Reply to  katiedidnt

This. Kaa would pack in jobs roughly every two years. the people he worked with who had started off being the most fantastic ever ( Love bombing like obsessions) would apparently turn on him and he would have to move on. this happened 9 times in twenty one years before the divorce, twice when I was pregnant.
If I was a betting woman I would put money on him packing in his current job just as soon as he has got OW down the aisle.

katiedidnt
katiedidnt
5 years ago
Reply to  flowergirl

Oh, Flowergirl- I just love your name for your Ex! Kaa is certainly the epitome of evil, nice choice!

Sisu
Sisu
5 years ago
Reply to  flowergirl

Yup, mine fits the pattern too. Six jobs in nine years with many month-long stints of unemployment in between where he’d work on his “consulting” job (whatever that means).

YourLoss
YourLoss
5 years ago
Reply to  flowergirl

My STBX is the same way. Starts a new job and everyone is wonderful, the job is wonderful. Then over time everyone was an asshat but him and he was the victim. Taken advantage of, lied to etc. Unless it was a good looking female co-worker that liked him then they were ok. He would flirt with any female co-worker that would flirt back and form unnatural attachments to them thinking I didn’t know. But a male owner questioning him on work related issues? Hell no!!
Right now he’s playing the victim that he’s going to need hernia surgery, plans on quitting his job just before Christmas because he’s tired of the company BS, going through “stuff” and trying to fix himself. Spends so much money on psychologists, acupuncture, chiropractor, massage, tanning, etc to get better because he thinks this last DD has opened him up to everything that he’s done wrong in his life. He had an epiphany that his serial cheating all stems from his childhood and how he was taught to sweep everything under the carpet and not deal. Feel sorry for me, it was my lack of love from my parents that caused me to dip my wick in any skanky prostitute that would let me pay her to love me. If I have any emotion that is negative because God forbid I have a hard time dealing with this he gets his nose out of joint. Questions why I’m crying or why am I mad?? I’m not the one that’s broken. This is about him. He’s trying!!!!
He loves drama and playing the pity card. It’s ridiculous. He won’t move out and makes sure I know what HE’S going through.

PutAForkInMe
PutAForkInMe
5 years ago
Reply to  flowergirl

OMG – this is a “thing” with them! I just added it up! 9 jobs in 16 years of marriage – and he used to make me feel like a freak for being at my job for over a decade! It’s crazy what and how they normalize madness!! I remember being absolutely MISERABLE working for what I know now is a narc, and getting an offer from another company that was $5K less than what I was making working for the narc. I thought losing $5K was more than worth having peace of mind (this boss was BRUTAL!), but STBX lost his mind and raged out of control. Little did I know that he’d already quit his job, so I had to keep earning what I earned so “we” wouldn’t lose anymore income. Almost five years and not one, but TWO depleted 401Ks later, I’m in financial ruin, but so happy to be rid of his ass…sigh!

Just when I thought these cretins couldn’t be more similar…there really is a playbook, isn’t there?!?

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
5 years ago
Reply to  flowergirl

flowergirl,
Wanting to give you a big hug filled with understanding,
My cheater changed jobs eight times over many years.
Each time was so very difficult for our little children and myself.
I remember sitting with one on either side of me on the couch, hugging them, telling them, it would be ok, holding back tears myself.
( and cheater was usually away on a conference).
I had to get the kids settle into a new school and find a new job for me. In a hospital setting that was never difficult to do, but emotionally, it was draining.

((((((flowergirl)))))
“Nine times in 21 years”
I am so glad he is moving on, on his own life now.
YOU and your precious Children are Mighty

2old4drama
2old4drama
5 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

6 jobs in 10 years. I guess 7 if you count the job he has now that he moved to be with his ho-worker. It is indeed a thing.

Lucky
Lucky
5 years ago
Reply to  peacekeeper

7 times in 14 years – this is a “thing”.

OnMyWayToMeh
OnMyWayToMeh
5 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

My cheater Ex had 8 jobs in 20 years and also had stopped working (his unilateral decision) at one point to pursue a Masters in Education. But during student teaching shortly before he was to graduate, he decided teaching wasn’t for him as he’d have to deal with parents. (…duh!!…) He’d also been laid off and unemployed for 8 months a couple years ago. So when he got laid off again after our divorce mediation, I could only grin. Craigslist schmoopie, now his wife, gets to live this drama now!

Ozchumped
Ozchumped
5 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

18 jobs in 9 years . 6 of those in the last 18 months . I’ve gone NC but he lost his job again 6 weeks after leaving. I can only imagine there has been another job or 2 in the 6 months hes been gone

peacekeeper
peacekeeper
5 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Lucky,
It is like a whole new can of worms isn’t it?!?
Nothing was ever good enough, not enough this or not enough that!
The grass was always greener on the other side of the fence, until it wasn’t.
I often wondered why he had to be like that. I always loved where we lived, the job I had, especially the friends the children and I had. It broke my heart every single time we uprooted.
Only years later, thanks to CL, CN, I realize it has to be a narc thing, the nothing is ever good enough, blah blah blah attitude.
Always learning, we Chumps, always learning.
( so late, sigh, so late)

Persephone
Persephone
5 years ago
Reply to  Lucky

Two years is the time when others realise that a charming person is but a bluffer. I once had a bullying boss (narc) who changed workplaces – every two years. Another sign, they never stay in contact with any of their former colleagues.

Ka-chump
Ka-chump
5 years ago
Reply to  Persephone

Yes this! 2 year chaos cycles. lucky me, I got discarded after 4years married (6 total) with 2 kids under 2. Then much later I got in with another narc, and another 2 year love-bomb to abuse cycle. I finally woke up, left the madness, and never looked back.

So sad I’m watching two dear friends (living many states away) in the earler stages of the nightmare of being with a narc. they’re spackling so hard, trying to fix the unfixable. I pray for them and hope to get a chance to talk or support or point them to resources.

Whodoesthat
Whodoesthat
5 years ago
Reply to  Persephone

Exactly! The chaos machine went into operation every 2 years of our 25year relationship
It was like just when I was settled and relaxed… offf we go again. And I could never fully understand where it was all coming from since he would constantly proclaim ‘all I want is a quiet life’ who knew ?!?

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
5 years ago

x constantly used chaos as a distraction technique. Especially after dday. He stirred up so much shit between the kids, caused so much fake drama about random things, that by the time we got divorced his affair was practically forgotten. Very effective tool for him. It was specifically designed to try and distract me from seeing how he was hiding assets.

Gentle reader
Gentle reader
5 years ago

Watch out for this! I know someone whose husband did this! He did it with debt. He kept them in debt so she wouldn’t leave him. They need to buy all new furniture, then they needed to but this or do that. That is exactly what he did for years was keep them in debt. Guess what. Then he left her when he was ready. 17 years of marriage and she got nothing.

Sunflower gaze
Sunflower gaze
5 years ago
Reply to  Gentle reader

I’m convinced now mine uses this tactic.
He keeps me with car payments so he can bash me that I never have money, that I can’t contribute to our lifestyle and implies that he always has to fill in more that his share because I’m such a loser. ( I make 1/2 what he makes and he’s self-employed and barely pays taxes so more like 60/40.) We share household expenses down the middle though. He always throws in my face that I don’t contribute to repairs on our old house. (We agreed that since I didn’t have the money he had upfront I’d buy materials on credit. In his mind, that doesn’t count, though. He did ALL the repairs with NO help from me, which is an abject LIE.) I also bought ALL the furnishings in our house except for our mattress, the 2 TVs, some towels and maybe some pans. EVERYTHING and I literally mean EVERYTHING else I bought on my “pathetic” salary.

A couple of years ago, he got it his head that I needed a bigger car because his young adult daughter needed a car and mine was just the one he wanted to give to her. I had a paid for Nissan Versa that ran great. I wanted a bigger car but I didn’t need a bigger car and I told him so many times. He kept badgering me about buying my car from me so I could put a down payment on a bigger car and he could gift my Versa to his precious daughter (that lived 350 miles from us at the time.) I kept saying that he could buy any other small used car for his daughter and to stop badgering me about it but like most things, I ended up caving to keep the peace.
He put about $1,000. 00 upgrades into it after I “sold” it to him. Tinted windows, paint job, new tires and detailed inside. Nothing he ever did when the car was mine. He complained to me all the fucking time about me needing to get these things done on my car but I didn’t see the necessity when we had house repairs to do. See what I mean……..
His daughter totaled the car not 6 months later.
I was devastated……I’m still paying for the bigger used car with high interest because I didn’t have the money upfront to pay for it outright and couldn’t afford a new SUV car payment…..FUCKING ASSHOLE.

Gentle reader
Gentle reader
5 years ago

Men! Watch out for the same thing! This happened to a guy I know. He and wife had 3 little kids. She said let move (several states away and hundreds of miles) so we can get a good therapist and work on our problems. We all live in a major city. There are plenty here. He fell for it and agreed to move from all his family and support system. You guessed it. There was no marriage counseling! As soon as they got up there and got settled she filed for divorce. That was the plan to get him away from his family and support. They had 3 young kids so he had to stay so he could see them ,be involved in their lives. He had to live in a small apartment because his child support was almost 2 thousand a month. So men also be aware.

Involuntary Georgian
Involuntary Georgian
5 years ago
Reply to  Gentle reader

It’s certainly a tactic employed by both sexes. For whatever reason, there are more horrible ex-husbands profiled on this site than horrible ex-wives, but that doesn’t mean that women never pull this kind of crap. In my age, income, and educational bracket the divorce rates are in the low single digits – but in my actual life 100% of my wife was cheating on me. We moved 1000 miles from my family and friends and XW bailed on the marriage a few weeks after I arrived.

The moderators (and ChumpLady herself) are very good about not generalizing from “there are more hard-done-by women than men on this site” to “all men are pigs”. It really is about the character of the cheater, not the gender.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago

I have no problem seeing the kind of woman who cheats as being a chaos producer as well. Really the cheating is just one of many ways in which they sow chaos because they are too focused on themselves to know or care about the destruction that follows them wherever they go. It’s all just part of “I want to feel better now no matter the cost”.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago

Absolutely. After all, even the single women these men are cheating with have shown they lack a moral compass. If you’ll enable somebody else to cheat, you certainly won’t have a problem cheating yourself. My stbx’s mistress was married for a long time and had two kids. She was a serial cheater. I told her husband, being sure to alert him to evidence of other guys she’d being doing, including his best friend. I hear she’s not been looking so happy lately. ????

Lost 220# Deadweight
Lost 220# Deadweight
5 years ago

Douchebag McGee said he thought he had cancer a year after we split….. two years later in court documents he still said he might have cancer. Two years is long enough to find that out. Trust that they lie. Life is better on the other side of the mind fuck.

Cuzchump
Cuzchump
5 years ago

After I found out about my ex affair with Skankella. We agreed to try to make our marriage work. Every time I wanted to talk about the affair. He would say. It is the weekend I don’t want to talk about it. When I would bring it up during the week. His response was my job is stressful and discussing it makes me not focus on my job. I don’t want to lose my job. Even before I found out the affair. He blamed me for him losing his keys etc. After 1.5 years of gaslighting me post affair and finding out he was texting other women. I showed him the door.

CC
CC
5 years ago
Reply to  Cuzchump

I was the one who was always blaming Ex for losing my items. It stemmed from when he threw a whole pile of papers away before our wedding. In that pile was my birth certificate, which I needed to get our marriage license. Actually I needed the whole pile of papers. But it was my fault for leaving the pile on the table.

So, I learned to manage where I put things, which often meant that I hid them so well, I couldn’t even find them! But also, things always seemed to disappear in the house. Kitchen utensils were never in the right place (something my 8 year old has no problem doing). And pencils! I had a cup on the counter to keep pencils for homework that somehow never had pencils in it. I was always losing important papers and my keys and various other items. Stuff broke a lot in the house too. I was constantly popping the closet door off the track and the screen door off the track.

Guess what? After he left, I have no problem finding pencils for homework, even without a cup holder. The closet door and screen door haven’t popped off the track in over a year. I found items that I had been missing for years because he put them in a box and put them behind the shed outside, ruining most of the stuff. And I haven’t lost an important paper in over a year. He had me convinced that I was a rotten person for even the hint of insinuation that he moved any of my stuff. Turns out he WAS moving my stuff and so much more. No wonder I was so crabby. I was in constant chaos for YEARS.

Chris W.
Chris W.
5 years ago
Reply to  CC

Yes, this is part of the chaos tactic. Saddam would regularly sabotage large appliances, so that they’d fail while he was “on a business trip”. Almost like on CSI, where the criminal cuts the break lines on a car. But he’d do something to washer/dryer, the furnace, the dishwasher, etc, so it’d break while he was gone and I’d race around like a crazy person coordinating repairmen.

The other thing Saddam would do is throw my expensive flatware in the garbage. I’d gradually realize “why are there only 2 spoons left?”, so by the end of my marriage, I’d be constantly counting flatware and hunting through garbage bags. He blamed it on my kids. When he left, my kids were 6 and 2, and I NEVER had a missing piece of silverware. Even toddlers are more responsible than Cheaters!!!

inescapable
inescapable
5 years ago
Reply to  CC

This.

He is now gone for a month and it feels like the chaos has lifted. Things are in place. Nothing is missing anymore.
The best part… everything is a lot cleaner, too.
It is bliss.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
5 years ago
Reply to  CC

For years, I was gobsmacked over This One Thing. Cheater and I had gone to get our marriage license. Then, we grabbed subs from my favorite deli, went to a park to have them, take a walk, and headed home.

Shortly afterward, I got a call from a former boyfriend’s parents. ??!! They’d seen a packet of papers on a busy road, stopped to gather them, and saw my name. It was ALL of our important paperwork, which Cheater had put on top of the car like a cup of coffee, then gotten into the passenger side. Our IDs, birth certificates, my passport, our SS cards, and our marriage license. HE’D LEFT IT ALL IN THE MANILA FOLDER I’D GIVEN HIM, ON TOP OF THE %$^&ING CAR. They dropped it off, glad they could help. I gushed over them. Cheater said that someone was bound to find it but thank goodness, they knew who I was!

I saw it as a sign that we were meant to be, like a godd@mn idiot. He was a pASSenger. I gave it to him because he had nothing else to hold and I’d had to rummage for my keys. And he set it on the car, probably HOPING it would all be lost.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  Cuzchump

Hmm. now that you mention it perhaps that was what ex was doing on DDay when I confronted him and told him that Schmooie’s husband had told me about the affair. He seemed really concerned that he would lose his job over it because Schmoopie’s husband was one of his flight students. It sort of worked as a distraction as I was hoping to reconcile and wanted him to keep his job. Now it is just one more thing to add to the list of what makes him a flaming idiot. Fucking a client’s wife. Great idea. Not! It almost kind of bothers me now that he didn’t lose his job over it. He had his employer convinced that he was more important that the paying customers.

Dianne
Dianne
5 years ago

Chaos. I never thought about it like that, altho it, in hindsight, is clearly what it was.

XH always had some terrible problem that required total focus on him. Sicknesses that I finally saw as fake. He pretended to have dementia (in 70’s) for over a year during the last bad years of our marriage. Then, poof, after DDay, it was gone. Blood in urine. Etc etc. If ignored, he would call someone to take him to the hospital…chaos.

His “guilt” about his kids from his first marriage. He ignored them until he needed a distraction, then he would be overcome with “guilt”, huge waves of fake guilt. Many years of our marriage was controlled and tainted with his “guilt”. This borderline, sociopath, narc could not feel guilt if it bit him….chaos.

He would act like an ass at his Very Important job, then spend months being furious about the fallout.

If I was sick, scared, tired, upset, he scoffed and said I was over reacting. Eye rolls…

It was chaos and part and parcel of it all being about him, and keeping me focused away from what was really going on.

Thanks for this insight!!

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago

OH EMM GEE!

Shortly after D-Day I was in the living room discussing my plans to move out. He was in the dining room which faces both the living room and the kitchen. I couldn’t see into the kitchen from my position.

He got real quiet, held up his hand and told me he had just seen a mouse scurry across the kitchen (mind you, the biggest pests we had were those tiny spiders and the occasional water bug). I froze. He told me to wait for him to run to Home Depot and grab some traps. I sat there for about 20 minutes before I realized his scheme. The only rat in that damn house was him!

After calling him out he said he may have seen some ‘negative energy’ float by rather than a mouse! HAHAHAHA these people are rich.

Whether it’s “cancer”, a “dying relative” or Stuart Little these bungholes know exactly what they’re doing. The mouse only worked for so long, so a few days later he flew into ‘going to kill myself’ mode which resulted in my calling 911- the ultimate pity/chaos combo.

So little dignity. But I tell ya, it helped make leaving easier.

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
5 years ago

Proverbs 13:20
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

In other words, why I have to divorce….and good luck to him and his next victim. I can’t afford to be the companion of a fool. He is currently a 54 year old man, living in the loft area of one of the buildings of our business like Greg Brady in the attic pad, despite plenty of cash available to buy a house.

He was right…they ARE “sole mates”! Two fools belong together. Let the chaos begin…WITHOUT me in the Bermuda Triangle. In the meantime, I am falling asleep peacefully once again thanks to my Calm app.

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago

You had me laughing at the Greg Brady line! Love that!

I admittedly don’t know much scripture but it makes sense: you lie with dogs you get fleas. Fleas – not all that nonsense about a “stronger marriage”. How!?

I loved the hell out of that man and doted on him like he was the crown prince of England. But… No man. I don’t love anybody enough to dedicate the rest of my life to someone with that kind of character. It was hard to admit that, but loving someone doesn’t mean you throw your needs and safety out the window.

Mandie101
Mandie101
5 years ago
Reply to  ItAintMe

I told my cheater that God has forbidden me to speak to fools. Don’t care how it makes me sound but it put him off me long enough.

Stalked, name changed
Stalked, name changed
5 years ago

Chaos:

Soon after D Day our beloved family cat (adopted/feral) went missing. Normally, this would have been a code red emergency for me, but my life had been blown up so completely, I couldn’t give the missing cat the attention he would normally have received.

18 months later, kitty showed up at a shelter in the next town over (like a 40 minute drive). The same town where my abusive ex-husband was occasionally camping out with his mother in between fights with the OW. My ex husband’s home town.

Looking back on it, rather than talk about moving to with our divorce, the ex was trying everything possible to redirect me. I now completely believe he took the cat and dumped him in the next town to create a chaotic distraction from his affair.

Newlady15
Newlady15
5 years ago

Oh yes. The Wackjob took one of our cats( the one that was “his”), allowing our daughter and me to think he had been killed by coyotes.. asshole…

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago
Reply to  Newlady15

That sends a chill down my spine. I can’t even….

These ‘people’ aren’t human.

Whodoesthat
Whodoesthat
5 years ago
Reply to  ItAintMe

Its when you look back at events the mist clears
In the chaos of exloony tunes walking out on us ALL 5 of our pet rabbits mysteriously died exactly the same time ( had them for 7 years no problems) it was like Armageddon. I didn’t know what my name was at that point
But of course he was cool as a cucumber
If I hadn’t seen this chaos drama as a theme I would have brushed it off as a dreadful coincidence
Just happened that his moving out also included insisting we sold the house (huge over financed mortgage) so me and the kids would have to rent somewhere
Just as well we weren’t looking for somewhere that included accommodation for 5 free roaming rabbits ….. how sick
The 4 of us ended up in a tiny appartment
He was certainly getting his ducks in a row
Insane

ItAintMe
ItAintMe
5 years ago

That is sick. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

unicornomore
unicornomore
5 years ago

YES.

He did this in situations large and small…manufacture chaos to keep me off balance and always fixing and distracted. He used to go into rage fits on our way to work events likely to throw off my scent when we got there so that I woudnt notice coworkers who paid too much attention to him.

He endlessly complained that we didnt take enough trips as a family (I worked nights as a nurse – mostly on weekends – to pay for the stuff he couldnt live without so free weekends were rare) so once I planned a weekend which was really hard at that stage to extricate me and each kid from commitments. We had football tickets in Colorado Springs and a hotel. The kids were ready, bags packed and we were in the minivan ready to leave and he comes home from work DETERMINED to pick a fight and cancel the trip. I was so numb to it, I refused to fight and told him that we were going and didnt care what he did. He proceeded to have some bizarre meltdown fitting a 4 yr old.

I used to say that as soon as we had our finances arranged in really good stead, he pursued some idea to throw it all off-balance again. “Lets buy a vacation home”… what? we can barely maintain our living-in home.

The mockery…yes. He loved to mock me in front of the kids or his family in a way he knew I wouldnt fight over (or if I did, he could make me look foolish). After he told me of his intent to divorce me, he told his father (in front of me) that “we would move to ___ but Uni refuses to go”. there was SO MUCH fuckedupness in all this.

Looking back one of the smallest chaos-producing lies he told me reveals so much about his need to control with chaos. We were moving and I was (as any good military spouse would be) responsible for EVERYTHING and in arranging hundreds of details, one day he says “Oh they dont have mail delivery there” with no explanation for how people in that neighborhood got their mail. If I had called him on it, he would have manufactured an excuse or said he was kidding, but really, it was his manufactured chaos. He probably had some woman on a string and needed time to do whatever it was he did.

Susan Devlin
Susan Devlin
5 years ago

You can tell by what awful lies, what their character is really like my ex, chaos, pretended to commit suicide, his ow dad was in prison for child abuse, that was a lie, etc.
He could buy his “friends” or fuckwits, drugs and alcohol. But buy his, kids birthday or Xmas presents, or week trips with the school. Didn’t have money for that.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
5 years ago

“I’ll show that ChumpLady my brilliance and dazzle those chumps with what would be an amazing dissertation. (I should have been a professor or lawyer but eh, my family needed me.) My mind is an untapped resource and I have KNOWLEDGE to impart!”

Dude. You’ve just changed the name from The Mindfuck to Chaos… no wait, you couldn’t even figure out that they’re the same thing; you thought it was a previously unheard-of channel. (It’s hard to be objective when the idea of your under-appreciated intellect is so shiny! Poor guy.) Chumps NEVER notice when their cheaters are stirring up shit. Not even in hindsight.

So much mansplaining. So little time.

::sigh::

Next!

Chumptastic Voyage
Chumptastic Voyage
5 years ago

I’m with you, Insist. The whole “you missed a spot” is such a classic move. Instead of deconstructing the schematic, how about “know better-do better”? CL and CN have met our collective quota on mansplaining. The idea is that when we realize and learn something, then we APPLY it and change our life. Make amends. Grow as humans. Oh wait, that takes work, hard work in fact. Doing (not blabbing) is so—- Chumpy. But cool story, Bro!

Mandie101
Mandie101
5 years ago

This… Cause cheaters aren’t all bad… Sometimes they help chumpy chumps out. Whatever!
Still always good to hear what bounces around in their heads… As you were cheater!

SuperDuperChump
SuperDuperChump
5 years ago

Well, THANK YOU, Mrs. Chump Lady!

Yes, indeed…..there comes a day of exhaustion that you realize:

“I am sick and tired of cleaning up your stupid shit! Life throws enough curve balls….why are you constantly creating more shit for me to clean up??!!! I refuse to be your chaos janitor anymore!!!”

SuperDuperChump
SuperDuperChump
5 years ago

I once had to clean up a hot check that was written to the IRS.

She had withdrawn the money out of that account because her unemployed, 35 yr. old brother “had” to go see the Texas Rangers play in a World Series game.

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago

????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️
To be the “hero”? What an ass!!!

Lastinline
Lastinline
5 years ago

I swear to God, they’re all carbon copies of each other. I know I’ve said it many times, but I see my ex in these posts all the time. They’re all the same. Sure, some of the details might be different, but they’re still the same immature pathological, pathetic little middle-aged high schoolers. And that’s when they’re not acting like middle-aged infants/toddlers.

Mandie101
Mandie101
5 years ago
Reply to  Lastinline

Arrested development?

Newlady15
Newlady15
5 years ago

Omg the Wackjob was a master of chaos—cars, trips, houses , expensive toys of every description, constantly spending so far above our income we got into a million dollars of debt by the time he left.. luckily I managed to keep enough to buy a house but I’ll work until I’m ready to sell—retirement is not an option unless I sell. I do not miss that!!

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
5 years ago

CL… Thank you. After all these years, when I read your beautiful words, I still get massive new insights about my life history that spur new growth in me, game-changing insights that take weeks to fully grok and which make me a stronger and smarter person. I gain even more precious life in the light of your brave sharing of all the wisdom your life teaches you.

Your heart is a beautiful gift. I am blessed.

Now I am going to spend a week processing this until it is integrated into my cells, this understanding of something I’ve known but which you have put together so eloquently that years of my life (far beyond my ex marriage) are morphing into a new crystal clarity.

Damn. Exactly. THAT is how they all distract me. THAT is how they all set the hook in my heart even when I already know the BS is running high. THIS is how they use my early learning to win with me. It’s so simple, yet so hard to see from within the tornado, that the tornado itself is the actual problem, as opposed to the things crashing together in the chaos of it.

Thank you, Friend, for this new light.

Dianne
Dianne
5 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Bravo!!!!

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
5 years ago

This is the TRUTH!

I used to think our front door was a revolving door because we always had someone from “his side” of the family coming to live with us during the 10 years we lived together. His brother (2x); his stepdaughter from his first marriage (2x); my stepson; my stepdaughter – these with no financial support from their mother. I often told him that I was drowning… he simply shrugged.

We’d do stupid things like look at motorhome parks at the beach; explore putting in a pool; buying cars for his brother and the kids (only to resell them when they missed payments)… and my death knoll, of which I am certain, is that I refused to sign a $25K student loan for my stepson. I truly believe that is when Mr. Sparkles decided that I was no longer of use to him.

The irony is that now that it is just me and my son, I HAVE MONEY. I have time back to read and travel and spend with friends. I have a 401K and a 529. I sleep the night through. OH – and the best part… I literally bought a new front door – with double locks.

It was scary to file first and risk the unknown… but four years out, I can safely say that his discard was the best thing that he ever did for our marriage.

Chumptopia
Chumptopia
5 years ago

My cheater XH was always lusting after something we couldn’t afford. He wanted a Harley so he bought himself some leather vests and doo-rags. I refused to go into debt for one and it wasn’t long after that he met schmoopie and she bought him one. That was the first time I really put my foot down and told him ‘no.’ At that point I was no longer of use to him.

EstellaO
EstellaO
5 years ago

Weirdly, I am finding I have more money, too. I can’t figure out if its because I changed my spending habits, or if he was hiding money, or if he just “cost” more to feed and house than he brought in.

Thing was, he was always claiming to never spend any money at all, and I spent everything. Well, yes, when “spending everything” means paying the bills and mortgage on time!

UGH.

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago
Reply to  EstellaO

Strange here too. My money is mine now and I actually can pay all bills and have money left over!!!

NOMORECOUCHSLUG
NOMORECOUCHSLUG
5 years ago

Oh the Chaos! My ex would go from job to job every few years. It would be long enough between that it didn’t rouse suspicion, but the pattern was always the same…..he would suddenly start taking vacation time or working from home. He would actively start looking for his next gig, and promote it to me as “an opportunity that just fell in his lap”. The entire scenario played out with him bitching and moaning about how someone wronged him at work. After seeing this play out a few times, and learning some things about the ex, most likely what happened was his current employer found out he was full of it- he did not go to college (he lied about having a BS), he exaggerated his skills, and he would often get into fights with people that called him on his shit. I think he may have left some jobs just before/ as they found out that he was not who he claimed to be. I saw this same thing happening this spring right before he got fired from his last job….unfortunately he is so far gone from the drinking I don’t think he had an exit plan this time.

The other chaos I remember was right after our daughter was born. She was in NICU for a day. He went nuts saying that “there is no way we will be able to pay the hospital bills for that”. His mother even got on board with it. The crazy part was that I carry the health insurance and I knew exactly what we were on the hook for- $100! That was it…I have excellent coverage. I paid the hospital bill myself. He used this excuse to take out several unsecured loans from multiple sources. I have no idea what he did with that money. His mother even tried to shame me for giving birth to “an unhealthy baby”. Apparently, the women in her family only labor for less than 4 hours and the baby is born ready to go home the same day with no health issues. Of course this excludes her and my ex…..he was born 6 weeks premature because of restricted growth in uterine!

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago

What the hell is wrong with his mother???

KB22
KB22
5 years ago

These “mother” types unfortunately produce men like “couchslug”. One of them comes out with outrageous, crazy comments and the other swears to it. All so dysfunctional.

Vicky
Vicky
5 years ago

We moved house 18 times in 23 years and I am sure it was so I was never anywhere long enough to make local friends because I might then feel I had some local support and not feel so reliant on him

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago
Reply to  Vicky

8 moves in 13 years. Yep. Always something. He was always quick to say that when HE picked the next place, we stayed there the longest, even though it was always up to me to pay all the household bills.

Chumpy McChumpFace
Chumpy McChumpFace
5 years ago
Reply to  Vicky

^^^THIS^^^ I’m right there with you, @Vicky. Moved 14 times in 25 years, twice internationally. The moves were *all* at his insistence — we need a bigger place, didn’t like the location, etc. At first, Figment stayed with the same investment bank for 20 years but once we moved back to the US and into the house where our kids would finish out their school years, the job-hopping started. He up and quit unexpectedly and decided he wanted to own a farm (a FARM – the man didn’t own a lawnmower or do any of the gardening whatsoever and now he suddenly wants to grow crops? “Okay, so, we’ll raise cows!” I WISH I WAS KIDDING). Thankfully, I talked him down from that particular ledge. In the past 10 years, he has worked at five companies. Since we split six years ago, he has moved seven times. If the job was anchored, the chaos manifested in frequent moves. If the home was anchored, the chaos showed up in job changes. Now he (and schmoopy) have both at the same time. He’s in overdrive.

In between the moves and the job changes, he was sick with some “life-threatening” illness to where we were either dealing with the symptoms of it, the ever-increasing specialist visits, and then the eventual surgery the “illness” would require. Over the course of our time together (25 years), he had eight major surgeries and at least a dozen hospital stays.

It was always something.

Sunflower gaze
Sunflower gaze
5 years ago

I’ve said this too with mine. It really is always something with him. You are ALWAYS waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Beth
Beth
5 years ago

I really don’t remember any manufactured chaos but I sure remember a lot of times that real life chaos was a factor in his cheating by making it easier on him because my focus was elsewhere. My dad is diagnosed with early onset dementia and my mom needs my help? Convenient Chaos for my cheating ex. Our daughter is diagnosed with a serious, chronic disease at age 16? Convenient Chaos. I have need surgery? FANTASTIC Convenient Chaos! He can literally text and email the OW while sitting in the surgical waiting room with my mom. Any time my attention was focused on another member of my family or on myself due to a crisis it was an opportunity for him to ramp up the cheating AND gave him a self righteous excuse for his behavior as in “Well, if Beth had been paying attention to my needs the way she should, I wouldn’t be banging strippers in the family minivan. IT’S ALL HER FAULT FOR IGNORING ME, ME, ME!!!” This also meant that he was pretty much useless to me during whatever crisis was happening because his focus wasn’t on helping his family through the situation, his focus was on how he could use the chaos to his advantage. That created extra drag which made coping with any situation more difficult even if I wasn’t consciously aware of why it was so hard. Obviously, life still gets chaotic at times but it is so much easier to deal with any sort of crisis without him. I was always on my own anyway, now it’s just apparent and I don’t have the burden of thinking I should have a partner to rely on when I don’t.

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
5 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Sad truths right here. I spent a year off and on caring for my dad while he was fighting cancer. My ex likes to hold that up as a time he “truly supported” me by doing more around the house and with our daughter (he wants that bitch cookie for being a decent human being and what not)–but in actuality, it gave him lots and lots of time to stray.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  Beth

I hear ya. The day my dad died (right in front of me), my cheater went to a pub with his mistress instead of coming home to comfort me, claiming he had to work and couldn’t get away. He started the affair when our daughter was seriously ill and in and out of hospital.
Tragedies and illnesses expose their empathy deficit, so they feel the need to run away so as not to have to face the reality that they don’t feel anything for their supposed loved ones.

Sunflower gaze
Sunflower gaze
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

This is very true.
I always knew there was something off about him. In spite of the fact that I loved him/revered him to the point of almost sainthood in my eyes and the fact that he projected himself as some kind of knight in shining armor or Superman to me, his family and friends I always felt something not quite there. Of course, I spackled. Then, 5 years ago this January, a week before our 10th anniversary I had out-patient surgery to try to get pregnant and he takes off to get drunk with his buddy and leaves me in bed unconscious from the anesthesia.
All spackle died that day. I knew there was no coming back from that. I wouldn’t have treated an injured backyard squirrel the way he treated me that day. Like I was trash, like I meant utterly NOTHING to him. My vail and his mask fell off that day.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower gaze

I’m so sorry you had to be hurt like that. Sorry we all had to be. ????

Beth
Beth
5 years ago
Reply to  Chumperella

“Tragedies and illnesses expose their empathy deficit, so they feel the need to run away so as not to have to face the reality that they don’t feel anything for their supposed loved ones.”
That is EXACTLY it. They have an empathy deficit. Wow. You nailed that one, Chumperella!!

JannaG
JannaG
5 years ago
Reply to  Beth

I remember when a relative of my ex’s died. I cried because he cried. Seeing my husband sad made me sad. But, when he started being a serial cheater, I found my sympathy for him growing cold. I wonder sometimes if we need to emotionally distance ourselves to endure wreckonciliation.

MissBailey
MissBailey
5 years ago
Reply to  Beth

While I don’t have any definitive proof of cheating throughout our marriage, I do recall times that, when he was stressed, he acted distant. He used to say when he was stress, he did not want sex. Actually, I think it was precisely those times when he was cheating.

As for me, I just kept my shit to myself. Toward the end of the marriage, I knew he didn’t have my back and would be useless to me as well. I got more support of my dog and cats.I think that’s one of the parts that still hurts me the most and a part that I’m trying to get past. For all that I did for him and was there for parents’ deaths, my stepson’s bipolar, his ew-wife, custody battle, his numerous jobs. I only ever really needed him when my mother was critically ill and passed away. Of course, that happened during the divorce, and he offered no help or sympathy toward me or my mom. None, the time I needed him the most in 18 years and he was gone.

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago
Reply to  MissBailey

Sam here. I was always there for him, always. I could never count in him, ever. It was always about him

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago

My problem is that I always just went along with the all of the chaos. You want to cash in your term life insurance policy to buy an airplane? Sure, maybe that will make you happy. You want to quit your high paying job to be a SAHD and work towards your dream of becoming a flight instructor? Well, ok, I don’t want you to be miserable in your job on my account. Are you sure we can afford to do that and still keep the airplane that costs $10,000 per year minimum to hanger and maintain even if you don’t fly it and on my salary which is a third of what you used to make? You ran the numbers and it all works out? Well, ok, I guess you know what you are doing. I did at least tell him “we can’t move cross country to the state you want to live in unless one of us gets a job there first”, so he found me a job in that state. Ok, I will admit it is a great job, I am happy there and it does make it easier to live independently now that he is gone. I guess he slipped up there. Oops. The move still cost us a lot of savings, but that was my fault for not insisting on having the company that hired me pay for moving costs (but why would they when they knew we wanted to move there and they did have other candidates who already lived there). Anyway, when all of that chaos failed to get me to leave he had to go the cheating route. Even then I still tried to hang on for a bit. It took moving out and continuing to see Schmoopie for several months for me to finally initiate a divorce when I got tired of waiting around for him to either get his head out of his ass and come home or file for divorce himself. The kicker is that he did eventually meet his goal of becoming a flight instructor (after much encouragement and accommodation from me because I did believe in him and I wanted him to be happy) right around the time he took up with Schmoopie 2.0. I was puzzled at the time as to why he was still so unhappy and being a jerk to me and the kids, even after I praised him far and wide for having achieved his goal. Now he is a copilot for a commercial airline. I got to deal with all of the chaos. Through it all I encouraged and supported him, but now, other than a few years of child support, some stupid slut who was in the right place at the right time, willing to fuck somebody else’s husband and tear families apart for personal gain, is the one reaping all of the benefits. The good news is that there may not be as many benefits as she thinks because he is a big spender and that airplane (which is his fourth child) still costs a ton to maintain and he will never get rid of it. I also wonder what will happen when he is off flying all of the time and Schmoopie gets bored while he is away.

MissBailey
MissBailey
5 years ago

His spending and trying to find ways to gratify himself will not stop. He’s trying to fill a black hole with will always be empty.

Seriously, I wouldn’t want to be her. She knows he’s a cheater, and he now flies with (I’m assuming) overnights in different cities. No thank you!! She’s on the marriage police whether she wants to be or not.

Cactusflower
Cactusflower
5 years ago

Chaos and mockery…. hmmm if you live in the USA this is the news everyday because of some severely bordelined politicians. As much as I feel like my super hero power is to spot the disordered at a glance (years f educating myself after being chumped) and once you know how the game is played, it’s pretty easy to predict (narcissistic sociopaths usually all have the same script) but MAN the news is triggering. And exhausting. The lying and insane behavior and the flying monkeys that support it?? Any other chumps out there feeling the same way?

AnneT
AnneT
5 years ago
Reply to  Cactusflower

Yes, I am still shocked that so many seemingly smart people thought his behavior was amusing and that he would suddenly become “presidential” after the inauguration. Even pundits from the opposing side spouted this crap. Although my ex is a very covert narc, I am hoping that those in my family who still think he is great will see the parallels in his behavior to that of the overt narc in chief.

Chumptopia
Chumptopia
5 years ago
Reply to  AnneT

I never thought his behavior was one bit amusing and I never believed that he would somehow become ‘presidential’ after the inauguration. He has turned out to be exactly how I knew he would be. You can snow the snowman, but you can’t bullshit the bullshitter~

Mandie101
Mandie101
5 years ago

Chaos… Bad decisions. Further proof of their insanity. Who in their right mind does that kind of shit to keep someone they don’t want? Its all just selfishness and madness as it has no rhyme or reason.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  Mandie101

It is crazy when done deliberately to hang onto the unwanted spouse. In my case I think ex was trying to get me to divorce him so he wouldn’t have to be the bad guy and I kept trying to accommodate him instead so he just kept having to behave worse and worse while still trying to maintain his great guy image everywhere else so that he could get pity points when I divorced him. Alas, I didn’t follow the script so he had to cheat and people found out so now his great guy image is tarnished.

unicornomore
unicornomore
5 years ago

At the time, I just spackled more and more….looking back now, I can see that he WAS REALLY trying to force my hand to leave him so that he would look like a victim. I get aggravated with myself when I look at all the things he did to drive me away and I DIDNT SEE IT.

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Don’t. I look back on those last few years with TEO, I think he did the exact same thing.
He knew the absolute deal breaker was cheating, even though he cheated the whole time we were together.

Sisu
Sisu
5 years ago

Mine also had to cheat to get rid of me. However, his image remains in tact as he’s been smearing me for at least six months…three of which were prior to me finding out about his affair and promptly kicking him to the curb.

chumpfor12
chumpfor12
5 years ago

Wow, the chaos factor. I really didn’t notice the three channels as much as I did the chaos factor. Chaotic would be the most accurate description of my 12 yr marriage to the x. It was always something, we were moving again, x was having a major health crisis again, x is unhappy in his job, x goes for his MBA now he needs some other notch to add to his resume. Sweet Jesus it was never ending. I didn’t realize the exhaustion until I was free. The emotional drain those twelve years took on me has permanently affected my ability to panic or even work up a good over concern. I don’t miss any of that, none.

Liz
Liz
5 years ago

This has been my life. My stbx was diagnosed with BPD last month after I demanded he get a mental health evaluation. He almost destroyed me over the years. Always blaming. Always denying reality. Always manipulating. Always lying. Always distracting and projecting.

meandmytruck
meandmytruck
5 years ago

Chaos / Drama, same damn things. If we didnt have chaos he would create chaos, drama drama drama! and holy cow it was so exhausting. I see now the tactic he had mastered to keep me chained down for 2 years.

Interesting point though about not accumulating assets. He was all about the budget till he got me moved away 100 miles to new town and a mortgage then spent every penny on alcohol and junk food. Makes more sense now!

Me

Trudy
Trudy
5 years ago

I know why aliens don’t make contact with earth. We are so screwy and evil and more trouble than we are worth.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  Trudy

“The surest sign of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is the fact that none of it has ever tried to contact us” (or something like that) – Calvin

TooSmartforthisShit
TooSmartforthisShit
5 years ago

Chump Nation –

You’re my only hope!

A death star of chaos sowing approaches my nice post divorce cheater and drama free Christmas! “Someone” (oh gosh I just wonder who it could be?) has convinced my special needs son he just HAS TO buy Christmas presents for my ex’s new schmoopie and her two kids. She seems like a nice woman. Honestly I feel sorry for her but she will have to learn on her own like I did. I just hope for her sake she’s quicker on the uptake. Anyway she’s nice to my boy. He likes her. He gets along with her kids. So I don’t have a problem shelling out for a couple of small token type gifts. What I have a problem with is how this will be used by the fuckwit to try and weasel his way into my life. He already thinks we should like – I don’t know all have family dinners together. Which you know – if it were just her family and mine minus him would probably be GRAND. But since he undoubtedly plans on being the center of attention at any such fantasy – uh, never in this life or any other. So, tell me please, what’s a mama to do?

TooSmartforthisShit
TooSmartforthisShit
5 years ago

Thanks guys – why does it never occur to me to just toss that steaming pile of crap back over the fence? instead I only think of the various unattractive options I have for taking care of it. You set me straight. I sent him a message just as suggested. And the “lets all get together” thing is happening never. I always say exactly the same thing to that one. “She can always contact me if she has a specific question or concern about my son that you, his father, are unable to manage. Shuts that right down.

JannaG
JannaG
5 years ago

“She can always contact me if she has a specific question or concern about my son that you, his father, are unable to manage. Shuts that right down.

Perfect.

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
5 years ago

Stop wife-ing. You aren’t his wife any more.

And get out of the triangle, fast. You’re being used as a hypotenuse.

Chumperella
Chumperella
5 years ago

No family dinners! Make it clear to him that when he cheated, he ceased to be part of your family by his own choice. As others have said, insist that he takes your son shopping. It’s not your job to help make his girlfriend happy. It’s not yoir job to help him with anything.

insistonhonesty
insistonhonesty
5 years ago

“Omgoodness – Sweetie! That’s SUCH a wonderful idea! The next time you’re with Dad, you should ask him to take you shopping – just him and you – so you can buy gifts for Fake-Mommy and her children *together!*”

And then email the Cheater:

*****
Cheater-

Son told me all about wanting to buy gifts for Fake-Mommy and her children. He’s super excited for you to take him shopping to buy their gifts during [Cheater’s next visitation period]. Thanks so much for making this transition a little easier by discussing HOW to include these new people in his life! I hope you all have a great Christmas!

-YourFirstName
*****

This needs to be done in writing, so you can print it up when he says you’re being difficult about his new relationship.

twiceachump
twiceachump
5 years ago

Uhm, his Dad needs to help him buy gifts for his schmoops and her kids. Why is this being relayed to you? Hell to the no. That’s on the cheater to do this!!

I think you punt this back to where this should belong along the lines of ‘oh that sounds so nice of you to want to get gifts for schmoops and kids. Have you asked your dad to take you shopping so you can be sure you’re getting something they would like?’

What a fucker he is!!

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
5 years ago
Reply to  twiceachump

Absolutely the right approach. Beyond that ignore it. Not your problem.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
5 years ago

My ex loved drama and excitement. I don’t think in his case, however, it was to distract me… at least, not most of the time. It was because his high level of narcissism demanded constant attention, so he was ALWAYS on the lookout for an opportunity to step into the spotlight, no matter how inappropriate or embarrassing. Also, because his blazing ADD — which he refused to acknowledge or treat — left him with a complete inability to consider consequences, plan long term, or resist his impulses, he tended to create a lot of chaotic situations and messes. None of that ever bothered him in the slightest, however. He simply moved onto the next scenario; like many disordered, he always managed to land on his feet. And his narcissism meant that he never felt guilt, remorse, anxiety, or self-doubt.

IME, people who are always “the life of the party” or creating chaotic situations are personality disordered. They will suck you in, drain you dry, and spit you out once you have nothing left to offer them.

Redolive
Redolive
5 years ago

I haven’t been reading CL for long, but it has been without a doubt the most empowering, eye-opening reading I have done since the cheater made his slow descent into cheating madness almost two years ago. This post is the most eye-opening so far. There was so much chaos throughout our marriage I never considered HIS chaos, just bad luck that seemed to follow us. He was fired from a job 6 months after we bought a new house, fired from another job when our son was a baby, a drug-addict friend of his needed a place to stay (with us, of course!), and more. It only got worse once he got emotionally involved with his co-worker…he suddenly developed a sexual dysfunction (ironic!), he revealed that he had been abused as a child, and another mentally ill, alcoholic friend needed to stay with us for a few weeks. I ran myself ragged trying to deal with all of it and help him. Intentional distraction or just more of his usual chaos? I don’t know. I spent 20 years as his chump janitor, fixing problems, picking up the pieces of his chaos, trying to keep him healthy and happy. No more. So gloriously thankful to be nearly free of it!!!!

Cam
Cam
5 years ago
Reply to  Redolive

I haven’t been reading CL for long, but it has been without a doubt the most empowering, eye-opening reading I have done since the cheater made his slow descent into cheating madness almost two years ago.

Amazing how once you recognize crazymaking behavior for what it is, you can’t unsee it, right?

I used to think the cheaters were good people who just snapped one day. Looking back now, I realize they were always chaotic, that the unstable behavior was there from Day One. I’d just refused to acknowledge it.

Chumpy McChumpFace
Chumpy McChumpFace
5 years ago
Reply to  Cam

Nailed it!

“I used to think the cheaters were good people who just snapped one day. Looking back now, I realize they were always chaotic, that the unstable behavior was there from Day One. I’d just refused to acknowledge it.”

Leonidis
Leonidis
5 years ago

Hmmm. I find this interesting. In my case there really wasn’t much drama at all. we didn’t spend and cause financial chaos. Struggled some but nothing out of hand. Until exposed secret credit card debt during divorce that she had hid for a couple of years. Unfortunately we still work very close to each other. about 700 yards apart. We never see each other AT ALL. Fortunately. We live 3 to 4 miles apart as the crows fly. We would car pool together quite often and have lunch together routinely. I look back and realize how much she would complain about work and coworkers. On the way to work. At lunch. On the way home. And then again to whom ever would listen. She never really had any friends.

Cam
Cam
5 years ago

“We spent money and time on random shit to keep us from accumulating assets. Was on purpose on my end, nearly conscious. Because I feared that if she had options, she’d leave.”

There’s a lot of shitbirds out there who think like this. It’s scary.

Years ago, I was supposedly friends with a guy who told me he liked girls with low self-esteem because they would never leave him. I was in college at the time and didn’t recognize what a red flag that was. Who recognizes red flags when you’re 20? He asked me out shortly thereafter but I’d never been interested in him, so I said no. I thought he respected that and we would stay friends.

Took me years to realize that every one of his girlfriends hated me, that he triangulated each one against me to try to make me jealous. He married the final one. The day he got engaged, he sent me a note with a picture of the ring: “Sorry, Cam, I’m off the market.” WTF? He thought he would make me jealous! I never wanted that asshole to begin with, and what about his poor fiancee? Who DOES that? Instead of making me jealous (barf), it just reiterated that the years of friendship meant nothing, they were all an act to get into my pants. He never respected my “no”. He never respected any of the women in his life at all.

But now I look back and think, it’s worse than that. He actually told me he liked women he could easily control. I didn’t understand that at age 20. Now I read this post and think what a bullet I dodged. Still got chumped later by a different guy, but that’s another story.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
5 years ago
Reply to  Cam

You know the Maya Angelous saying, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Unfortunately, far too many of us didn’t recognize it when the cheater first revealed their true character.

Cam
Cam
5 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Amen. Chump Lady once wrote how until the age of 42, she was “always shoveling shit” in her relationships. I was the same. I dodged that first creepy guy, but it took years until I learned what a red flag was and how to tell someone’s character. It just never occurred to me that heartless sociopaths existed. I thought everybody had a basic moral compass.

MissBailey
MissBailey
5 years ago

I don’t remember overt chaos as much as subtle chaos or emotional chaos. I just remember feeling off-kilter and not knowing why. Or the Dickhead would either be ignoring me or be all over me. I remember his mood shifts or how our lives were defined by what mood he was in. Everything seemed to revolve around making the Dickhead happy and keeping him happy.

Just remembering all this hurts. It also makes me very, very angry as he was never really worth it. Me, my stepkids – we idolize him. For what? For the chance that he would be our hero. At one time, I thought he was but that was a very long time ago.

inescapable
inescapable
5 years ago
Reply to  MissBailey

I remember that too. The constant managing of his emotions. I felt off for many years. For several of these, I thought I had a serious mental health issue, because he constantly would point out how my reactions were always wrong, my priorities not right, and I had too many emotional outbursts. I thought I had a severe flaw in how I interacted with others and how socially incapable I was.

Sunflower gaze
Sunflower gaze
5 years ago
Reply to  inescapable

Always tip toeing around his mood. What a pile of ship we were given!!!

I could be having a heart attack and he’d step over me and tell me I was overreacting but if he had a hang nail I had to drop whatever I was doing and tend to him because WHATEVER he was doing/feeling/needing was more important than anything I could ever muster.

MOTHERFUCKER!!!

monimoni
monimoni
5 years ago

Moved house 10 times in 24 years, he had so many different jobs, I cant even count. Stayed in one place for 10 years but got so much in debt by 2011 that he convinced me that we HAD to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and that we couldn’t afford a lawyer to help us so *I* had to do all the research, work and file it for us. It took 6 months and many trips to the courthouse to re-file something because I didn’t really know what I was doing. All the while he did not want a “day job ” anymore, he was a special, talented musician, he was too good for a “day job” and a lot of that debt that was racked up was for music gear, $5000 for online school to become a graphic designer that we paid for and then he dropped out and never finished. (what a waste). I was working 12 hour days, six days a week with a hour to 90 minute one-way commute just to make enough money to pay the mortgage, bills, the Chapter 13 payment and feed us. By 2013 it got to the point that I told him he had to find work, I couldn’t do it on my own anymore, he applied for all kinds of odd jobs (not anything in his background so it was starting at entry level) nothing took until he found someone willing to teach him to lay tile and within the first couple weeks he injured himself by shooting himself in the finger with a nail gun and that was the end of that job. Then he convinced me that there was no work to be found where we lived, (one of the of 4 biggest cities in the US) and we had to sell the house and go back to where we lived back in 2000-2002 which was about 1300 miles away from my family so he could work for his brother (in his actual background field) so he took off to start working and get a place set up for us while I had to do all the work of getting the house ready to sell, do showings every weekend for about 6 months and pack it up. I hated giving up our house and making DD lose everything she had known and her friends but I felt I had to do it to keep our family together. It took me less than 2 weeks to find my job that I still have now when we made the move. It was never enough for him, where we live now is a rural area and there weren’t enough “real musicians” for him to “work” with and he started talking about moving to a bigger city, see where this was going? I started to say no to the BS and now we are divorced. I was just thinking about this yesterday, I’m doing okay on one income, but where did all the money go when we had two incomes the last 4 years? What was it all for? Such a goddamn waste of time and energy and money.

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago

This is the channel I stayed with exh2/The Evil One.
I cannot tell you how many times he put me in a stress-induced panic over finances, exh1/issues with visitation, his lack of employment…
I can distinctly remember him bringing up things I experienced with exh1 that I had told him about. He would say, “Didn’t you tell me he once did (x,y,z)?” only to get me all riled up and upset about it all over again…
He was never content to just be. Just be peaceful and happy with himself or our family life.
He always had some kind of storm brewing. All a deflection. All a screen or mask to hide the cheating and lies and thievery I endured

Onwards
Onwards
5 years ago

Wishing you much peace and happiness now without him.

UnsinkableMollyX
UnsinkableMollyX
5 years ago
Reply to  Onwards

Yes, Onwards.
Three and a half years now I’ve been exh2-free… Once in a blue moon he tries to bring back into his drama/chaos. I stay grey rock and say toodaloo!!!

Chumptopia
Chumptopia
5 years ago

As soon as we got married cheater XH started jumping up and down demanding we sell my lovely home and move. ( I think I had my home up for sale four times during our marriage) Nothing was ever good enough. Then we would go house hunting for something he liked and the real insanity would start. He wanted to put an offer on EVERYTHING we looked at from bombed out meth sheds to crumbling shacks on the side of mountains. We wouldn’t have one thing paid off before he was lusting after the next harebrained thing he had to have. Are these people all clones or what?

onwards