Cheater Says: ‘I Never Stopped Loving You’

i never stopped loving you

What does it mean when a cheater says “I never stopped loving you”? Can they cheat on you the same time they’re loving you? Huh?

****

Dear Chump Lady,

My wife cheated on me for several years. She’s full of remorse now and says she sorry, and we’re trying to reconcile. It’s like she was another person when she was cheating on me, and she’s back now. But who was she then? She says she never stopped loving me when she was cheating. She insists she has “always” loved me.

I don’t get it. Can people still love you while they’re cheating on you?

Totally Confused

****

Dear Totally Confused,

No. They cannot.
 
Let’s substitute cheating for “pushing you down a flight of stairs” and see if sounds less ridiculous.
 
“I know I pushed you down a flight of stairs, honey, but all the time I was watching you flail about, hitting the landing, and breaking your collarbone – I was loving you. Really.”
 
Are you buying it now? As you know, the pain of betrayal is far worse than the physical pain of bouncing head first down a flight of stairs. Could someone who risked your safety and well-being for a thrill be described as “loving” you right then? No.
 
But it’s a common trope that cheaters never “stopped loving you.” And we go through all sorts of mental contortions to make these two incongruous things – loving and cheating – fit together.
 
“Okay, I loved you. But in this kind of familiar way, like you love a brother or a really annoying roommate, sort of thing. But I was always in love with you.”
 
This ability to “love” you while cheating on you is often attributed to “compartmentalization.” Yes, I loved you. But then I was able to shelf it just long enough to fuck that other guy and put my wedding ring in my pocket. When I came home, shazzam! I loved you again.
 
It’s like “love” is this background noise they claim they feel the whole time.

But it apparently isn’t a strong enough force to not make them cheat in the first place.
 
“I never stopped loving you” is something that cheaters like to tell themselves, to make themselves out to be Not So Bad. Betrayal is unloving. While she was cheating, she was telling herself things that gave her reasons to act unloving toward you. Excuses. And what she wanted – side dish fucks, ego kibbles – was more important to her than you were. If she had to push you down a flight of stairs to get those ego kibbles, she would do it. She was indifferent to the consequences (which I’m sure she thought would not happen) and indifferent to your pain.
 
Love is about connection. You have to be emotionally and spiritually disconnected from someone to be able to cheat on him or her.
 
You are trying to reconcile with someone who betrayed you for YEARS. For her to tell you that yes, she did not love you, and she callously betrayed you, would be the truth. And that is a LOT harder to overcome than copping to the lesser offense that she behaved badly, but “always loved you.”
 
To move forward you must accept that she did not love you when she was cheating on you. Can she love you now? Maybe. I suppose it is possible.
 
But she’s the sort of person who is capable of “pushing you down a flight of stairs” to get what she wants. Can you live with that?
 

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Dani
Dani
11 years ago

Don’t take her back. You WILL regret it.

KayEeElle
KayEeElle
11 years ago

My divorce will be final this week. The conduct of my scum bag soon to be ex was so egregiously hurtful and damaging to me that at one point, I did not want to see my next birthday. He had so little respect and so much contempt for me that he barely hid what he was doing. I will never forget the look of arrogance and disgust on his face as I confronted him. He was like an unrepentant stranger to me.

He cheated down with not only tramp sending explicit messages to his phone (an unmarried whore with 4 children living in a public housing complex) and several others. Since DDay, I have had a multitude of revenge fantasies and if I could have cut his throat and gotten away with it, I would have. I recognized we were through but this line of thinking and the fact that I blacked his eye and split his head when I caught him in another lie after he conceded “As God is my witness, I am telling the truth now” was all the proof I needed to leave or spend the rest of my life in an orange jump suit.

What is crazy is that he is constantly telling me he “loves” me and begging me to take him back. Hmm? Was he loving me when he had strange tits in his mouth, his mouth below their waists and having sex with them while not using a condom? HE IS ABSOLUTELY BSC and an egotistical narcissist! IT IS SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE TO BE IN LOVE WITH YOUR WIFE / HUSBAND WHILE COMMITTING ADULTERY. What manner of love is this? CRAZY! I just cannot wait for this to be over.

Had an epiphany or dream while I was awake. “Dreamed” he was dead. I was not remorseful at all. A voice I didn’t recognize was heard saying, “He would still be alive if he stayed married.” You see, in the dream he had sex with someones wife. Loser.

anudi
anudi
11 years ago

Hi TotallyConfused,
I hit upon your rather old post on Chump Lady. I am rather new to this forum, but like it a lot! It is exactly those words I need at times. I find her exactly to the point. I like her analogies; they are just the right antidotes to mindfuck the cheaters have managed to put us through!
I just wish that you took the sane advice. What did you do in the end? If you have taken her in, despite the advice herein, have you taken enough precautions? What if after 2-3 years, this behavior recurs? For sure, it would be much more painful. But, what is sure to happen the next time is: She shall be more prepared with her resources. While you may be happily rebuilding the castle, thinking that your partner’s affair might have been a good thing to happen as it ignited passions again, blah blah blah…she must be preparing for what she would do, when caught next time. Please beware! A second chance is only good in a limited number of cases and should not be given to people with some basic character flaw. I tell it from experience.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
3 months ago

(Genuinely surprised that this only has 3 responses.)

Dear Totally Confused,

I know it’s been 11 years. I hope that you realized that this person was toxic and bad for you and whatever love there was, if it ever really existed, was gone and never to return. And that you cut them out of your life-you deserve so much better than that. I hope that you found the self respect needed to honor and respect your own limits and do better for yourself. I hope either you have found somebody that does truly love and respect you or else found peace and joy in the single life.

In fact, I hope this email finds you surprised that you even ever posted about this and that you had put all of that behind you-save for the occasional night terror or thought of “oh THAT bitch!” before moving on with your day.

If some or all of that isn’t true…well, I hope you remember that you are not alone and that you have friends here.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

100%, Jeff. I have these hopes for this guy too, that he cut and run from that toxic waste site. I think some people cling to the idea of love because of their own insecurity or lack of love in their lives. If you haven’t had much love or affection, or a healthy experience with love that makes you feel secure and strong and capable of great things….then maybe just hearing the empty words seems to fill up that hole. Anyone who feels like that needs to work on how to fill up that empty space for real because words just echo, they don’t take up space.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

In the cycle of abuse, that’s how they get you back. Its not LOVE BOMBING it’s ABUSE increasing!!! We just want to believe with all our heart that we are loved. I did and I absolutely was not. The divorce process showed the true blackness of his heart. It flipped to.ALL about him. Family and years together meant nothing. It is a shock.

Viktoria
Viktoria
3 months ago
Reply to  JeffWashington

This consolation is helpful for myself and I’m sure for many others who shall read it.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
3 months ago
Reply to  Viktoria

I wrote this just as much to myself in 11 years as I did to one of our own from 11 years ago.

Bruno
Bruno
3 months ago

I see two kinds of cheaters who “always love you” while they throw you down the stairs. One has no sense of love or moral ethics, so they just do what they want and disregard how that affects anyone else. But they mouth the words because it smoothes the discard or helps maintain the victim as Plan B. The second type has generally operated within a moral system, but cheated because they saw some advantage in the moment or long term. Unlike the first type, they need to feel some moral justification after operating in an ethical system in the past. So they either make you a bad person or they minimize what they have done and try to take the moral high ground.
Either way you will still be at the bottom of the stairs with broken bones wondering what just happened?

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

It doesn’t matter the flavor, it’s still abuse and devaluing

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
3 months ago

TC,

A Cheater will say anything – and I mean anything – to avoid consequences when they get busted or things don’t work out with their AP. I’d put “I never stopped loving you” firmly in the consequence avoidance category and – hard as it may be – prepare yourself to move on.

LFTT

2nd Gen Chump
2nd Gen Chump
3 months ago

“You never stopped loving me, but still chose to act in a selfish way that would destroy my trust, friendship, and love for you. I hope you live with the regret for a long time.”

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  2nd Gen Chump

They do NOT feel regret.

Orlando
Orlando
3 months ago

It really did take a comparison to physical abuse to connect me that cheating was also abusive…so thank you for that analogy! It certainly felt abusive to me, but then I got the gaslighting from so many others that connected his cheating to “romanticizing” his actions instead. “The heart wants what it wants”, amirite?! It’s incredulous how society has disregarded this abuse factor for so long. But then the entitlement to cheat & disregard care of your spouse to do so has been the excuse of many generations. I hope this dude saw that he was being gaslit & abused by his wife and has left her long in the dust!

Bluewren
Bluewren
3 months ago
Reply to  Orlando

‘The heart wants what it wants ‘ is right up there with ‘it is what it is’
Dreamed up by dullards with no self awareness or the balls to call out the truth as it is.
It’s all good until it happens to them.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
3 months ago
Reply to  Bluewren

Blue,

It’s “funny”. Chumps all have such similar experiences, and yet they can still be vastly different. In some ways, I would have preferred the simplicity of “the heart wants what it wants”. The FW fell in love with someone else. And after decades of us being together, that fact obviously was devastating. But it’s not like he just fell in love and left. Again, that would have been very painful in and of itself. (I def do not want to belittle any Chump who had that experience) But he didn’t just fall in love and leave. He carried on an affair for years that I was unaware of, basically lying to my face every day, then he told me about her and he still didn’t leave. And what ensued during his discard and my pick me dance was absolutely abusive torture. And that is true of so many FWs. They don’t just “follow their hearts”. They steal marital assets, they mess up their kids, they give their spouse diseases, they drag out settlements for years. And you have to BE a chump to get it sometimes. Hence the previous article where outsiders warn the chump not to be bitter. In so many ways, the problem with being cheated on is not REALLY about your spouse falling for someone else and sleeping with them. It is about everything else. And no one gets it, but other Chumps.

I think non-Chumps frequently see affairs as this thing where 2 people were together a longtime and the honeymoon phase was done and then the FW goes into a coffee shop one day, sees the OW for the first time and is struck by cupid. Just this magical and instant, mutual love that they didn’t in any way encourage or expect. But they can’t get over it, and it’s that “the heart wants what it wants”.

I suppose that could happen. But that is not what the vast majority of us see. My FW met the Schmoops online. I don’t know much about the circumstances, but I am sure it wasn’t some magical thing that “just happened”. My assumption is that he was online talking to women. Flirting. He was OPEN and receptive to that kind of attention, or even outright seeking it. I doubt Schmoops was the first one that he was inappropriate with. Maybe the rest were more just fun and he didn’t expect it to go anywhere. There was probably a lot of stuff that he as a married man shouldn’t have been doing, that he did, before it became a marriage ending situation. Even with her, if they were friendly, and it started to cross a line, he COULD have stopped it before he was in a full on relationship outside of his marriage.

That is not some blameless, romantic “the heart wants what it wants” scenario. These FWs are actively seeking this and allowing it. Same with workplace affairs, a cute co-worker doesn’t just jump on them one day. Things progress step by step and the FW has to be willing to let it progress or it wouldn’t.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago

Whenever I see this, I always ask people what LOVE means to them and to the other person. Because you can love your spouse, you can love your brother, you can love your cousin, a friend, your dog and peppermint ice cream – love covers a LOT of ground and obviously means very different things to different people. So I would have to ask this fellow what does love mean to him and what does he think it should mean to his wife (as opposed to what it does mean). Love can mean “I love what you DO for me”. I love you, on the whole, is a pretty meaningless statement….as in politics love should be illustrated by what people DO, not what they SAY. Does this woman make you FEEL loved by what she does? Talk is not only cheap – it’s free.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago

Even if they do “love” you, so what? If they treat you like shit and make you feel worthless, used, abused….so what if they DO love you in their own bizarre way? Find someone who loves you in a healthy way that you can enjoy and understand. If you have to write to a columnist and ask if your spouse loves you the answer is….what does it matter?

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

“Even if they do “love” you, so what? If they treat you like shit and make you feel worthless, used, abused….so what if they DO love you in their own bizarre way?”

Perfect Mehitable. Perfect! My FW insists he still loves me. I think that just like you said, he might in his own bizarre way. But SO WHAT? That’s none of my concern. He can go love me from afar in secret. Because regardless of what he thinks he feels about me, the way he TREATED and continues to treat me are not acceptable to me. Period.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago

This makes me think of the end of “Gone With the Wind” when Rhett Butler packs a bag and walks out on Scarlett. She clings to him telling him that now she FINALLY realizes, after mistreating him for YEARS and loving mealy mouthed Ashley, that she really DOES love Rhett after all. “I love you, Rhett – despite 20 years of solid abuse!” His answer says it all….”That my dear, is your misfortune.” It’s a good answer and you know despite the pain he’s been through….Rhett’s gonna be just fine.

OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Um…he raped her, which is far worse than anything she did to him. Fuck his “pain.”

Last edited 3 months ago by OHFFS
Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

It was “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” which was pretty controversial when the movie was made in 1939. Your line would have been far more “appropriate” to the times. My grandmother just about had a cow about Rhett saying “damn” and she wouldn’t let my mother (born in 1931) watch the movie until Mother was old enough to get to the theatre on her own. Either line would be a fabulous attitude toward an abusive or cheating spouse who claims he loves you just to avoid consequences. (And most of us here have some idea what that is like.).

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago

I think Rhett did say “that is your misfortune” when she said all I know is I love you” at one point,but, when he left her he turned around and said “frankly my dear…..”

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Yes, that is how it happened – after he tells her that “loving him” (after 20 years of Ashley Ashley Ashley) is her misfortune and he’s leaving, she says….”Where will I go…what will I do?” And that’s when he says…”Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. ” I think it nicely sums up the attitude of someone who is OVER IT.

Now as OHFFS says above, yeah, Rhett did bad things and Scarlett did bad things – these people are real fuckers to each other and to just about everyone else – but I love the way this ends. These are perfect lines to a cheater.

Shadow
Shadow
3 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

I think he said that when she said “But where will I go? What will I do?” or something along those lines! It’s a long time since I last saw that film but it’s a classic, one I could happily watch again, no bother!

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Shadow

Yep, that is the scene I remember and the one where the maid freaks out.

Mostly because Carol Burnett did a parody of the maid/baby scene, and she walked down the stair case with a dress made of the drapes. The gown is at about point 54.

https://www.google.com/search?q=carol+burnett+gone+with+the+wind+scene&rlz=1C1RXQR_enUS953US953&oq=carol+burnett+gone+with+the+wind+scen&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUqBwgAEAAYgAQyBwgAEAAYgAQyBggBEEUYOagCALACAA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:eb8e43d9,vid:MFZavCkl9mY,st:0

2nd Gen Chump
2nd Gen Chump
3 months ago

There is an exercise in couples counseling where you quickly list 10 things you love about your partner. Looking at the list as a whole, you can see if they love you for your acts of service, for your body, for your money, for you as a person – or if they can’t come up with anything at all.

There are lots of people who have told me that they love me but their actions didn’t match their words. It felt performative, like this is what they had to say to keep kibbles coming. I’ve started telling those people that their kind of love doesn’t feel good to me, or safe, and I hoped they’d find someone else who appreciated it better.

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
3 months ago
Reply to  2nd Gen Chump

You GO! That’s an awesome comeback for someone who insists that they love you when their actions don’t match their words. I could have used that comeback fifty years ago when I moved out of the home of my fucked up family of origin!

Ruby Gained A Life
Ruby Gained A Life
3 months ago

And I just realized that I never learned what love looked like in my fucked up family of origin, and I never heard “I love you” said to me until I was 21. And then I married the guy who said it because he loved me. He was the guy who slept with his coworkers, my coworkers, my boss, his boss’s wife, the church choir director, a few sopranos and an alto or two, the woman he rear-ended at a stop sign, my sister and the nun who lead our pre-Cana classes . . . and that’s just the ones who immediately come to mind. My father tried to discourage me from marrying Greg — he thought I should get back together with my ex-boyfriend who I had broken up with because he shoved me overboard during a sailboat race we were losing and left me to swim a mile to shore. Dad told me I would never find anyone better than that guy. No wonder I had no idea what love was about! The wonder is that I ever actually figured it out.

Shadow
Shadow
3 months ago

Blimey! Yeah, if your own father wanted you to go back to a man who nearly bloody killed you, when he should have wanted to kill HIM, then no wonder you went off with a fella who uttered the magic words!
The word “love” has so many different meanings, and we all know it takes different forms- the love we have for our kids, for our friends, for our parents and for our spouses/partners are all different. Then there are the ACTIONS of love for strangers and acquaintances , which spring from detached compassion and the ability to put ourselves in others’ shoes, and for which I prefer the old-fashioned Christian term, Charity.
We could do with different words to express these different emotions, like the Eskimos have different words for the different types of snow!

OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago

Whoa! He sure was a busy little bastard, wasn’t he. Good for you for dumping that freak and overcoming all that awful FOO messaging.

Bluewren
Bluewren
3 months ago

Love is a very subjective word to many people.
Most think it’s like a Disney movie or a gag worthy True Romance novel.
Some treat the phrase ‘I love you’ rather like ‘Open Sesame’ – treating it like a magical charm to utter whenever they want something.
Or like a seasoned fisherman, trying to keep someone on their line with the bait of mere words.
Anyone can say carefully rehearsed words but not many can understand love in the true sense.
Respect, honesty, integrity, regard, truth.
Without any of those, there is no love.
Love is an action, not a sugary word to absolve one of wrongdoing.

Elsie_
Elsie_
3 months ago

I got the “I still love you and always will” when he called to say that he wanted a divorce. We had been separated for over a year long-distance, and I had dug up enough misdeeds to know that my marriage was over the day we separated. Love doesn’t behave like my ex did, and disordered thinking and disordered character means that they will never behave the way you hope. Once certain attitudes and beliefs get ingrained, you can’t trust them.

My decision to go on without him was 100% correct. The marriage was in a death spiral, and I am glad I stepped away. What little I know, he never did see things as they were and has continued to make very poor choices, which is sad, but that’s why the divorce had to be.

OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago
Reply to  Elsie_

“I love you. I want a divorce.” 🤡

Elsie_
Elsie_
3 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Exactly. Oh, and I love you SOOO much that next I will give you a messy, expensive divorce where I go after things that aren’t even mine by rights! Because that’s love, you know. I will drive my STBX and both attorneys crazy in the process, too. Because that’s love.

He was also very worried about how our college kids would react. “Gosh, Mom, that’s rough, but it’s time.” They hugged me and went back to their homework.

He sent them a flowery email about how tough it was and how he’d be there for them. But he hadn’t talked to them in over two years, and he hadn’t seen them face-to-face since he left. I guess he forgot.

Reportedly, he cried for a week before calling me and for days afterward.

His wife and kids went on with life.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago

Sadly, I’ve heard that I loved you all along. Sadly it was about avoiding consequences and legal fees and how did you ever find out? !!! Even when they confess it’s about avoiding consequences and getting you into forgiving them, which is Forgiveness conditioning…so they can go.underground again in weeks, months or years. Did this times schmoops not work out? Time for more shopping until they find the one and only again. It is not love, it is buying time. That old saying..just because you sit in a garage does not make you a car is the same for a cheater. Words are cheap. Now go play marriage police, or stick your head back in the sand pit, or be irritable and angry to punish..All these choices are awful FOR YOU. They are gravy for the cheater. Mire time to find the next one.

One last time
One last time
3 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

2x, you are so right about the buying time part. My FW asked for a divorce several times before D Day, when she blew the whole thing up. She would come back and thank me for not giving up on us, and standing by her. I chumpily believed her, because I projected my feelings for her, to be the same as her feelings towards me. Obviously I was very mistaken. She just hadn’t found the right exit strategy yet.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  One last time

One last time- I’m working on not beating myself up for all the times my #2 cheater took his ring off or slammed it down during rages. For all the times he devalued our marriage and said it was over. I was scared spitless and wanted our marriage and family to stay together AT ALL COST TO ME. It took what it took to give my whole life, as it was, up forever. It takes so much courage to care for myself again and to believe that I matter. You did the same. We matter

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

When you have to keep shopping around and around for something you should already have at home…..you don’t want what you have at home and you sure don’t love it. You’re looking for a replacement and I don’t understand how anyone can avoid that conclusion.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Mine had not found my replacement yet at Dday. He was in trouble with HR So a forced confession and told me he loved me forever. The truth was his latest schmoopie turned him in so HE WASN’T READY YET to dump me. Told me OW was inferior and a different culture and she was a liar. REALLY…??? LIKE HE WAS??? SO the ones who beg and plead and Apologize have just not shopped enough YET. But its coming as long as we stay and stay and forgive. That’s my story. The mutual Respect is long gone and shopping continues.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago

I’ve been working on a response to the question of whether domestic abusers really “love” their victims. For the moment, I think the conclusion is that they probably do, but only within their weirdly, repulsively limited, “giant drooling mutant baby” capacity to do so.

Since CL made the brilliant analogy for FWs pushing chumps down the stairs, there is one way to “reconcile” someone doing something abusive, vicious, hateful, injurious and endangering to a partner while still believing that “love” was a factor. But it’s not only a hopium-free explanation, it should make survivors run for their lives and never look back.

According to prison studies of incarcerated batterers and spouse-killers, the closest thing to love that a batterer or coercive controller can experience is something like an attachment disordered baby’s dependence on its primary caretaker. The idealization/infatuation stage is similar to infantile “melding” with a caregiver. But because this deindividuated baby/caregiver bond can’t possibly be maintained in an adult relationship, eventually the partner will disappoint the abuser by showing independence or failing to intuitively divine and meet the abuser’s every need and want. Consequently, idealization is quickly followed by the abuser’s painful, humiliating sense of dependency and paranoid distrust that leads to growing rage and the need to punish.

The result is arguably like an oversized, really dangerous toddler pushing and pulling against its caregiver. It’s sort of the equivalent of how toddlers might defiantly wander farther and farther from their caregivers to establish “independence” in order to grow beyond the melded bond with the caregiver. It might include angrily fighting against caregiver’s attempts to reign the baby in but then, conversely, the baby (or overgrown adult baby) might go into hysterics and an angry feeling of abandonment when losing sight of the caregiver.

Watching the antics of a petrified adult baby is like seeing normal childhood developmental stages though a twisted circus mirror. My mother used to say that there would be no human being more dangerous than a two hundred pound two year old. But, in an actual two year old, these behaviors are normal and relatively benign even if they drive parents to distraction. Probably one of the evolutionary reasons that all babies are cute was to lessen the risk that their pre-Oprah, not-very-PC caveman parents didn’t simply throw them against the cave wall. Cute chubby baby cheeks and hardwired parent bonding with squalling, difficult infants has likely perpetuated the species.

Any parent that’s experienced this kind of push/pull from a particularly spirited toddler could attest that it’s like dealing with a contradictory mini schizo. While in “push” mode, the baby seems to either disregard the parent or passionately repel and fight against their parent if their parent tries to pull them back to safety; but, while in “pull” mode, the baby may appear extremely angry at the parent for abandoning them even though the threat of separation was caused by the baby running away from their parent. To add even more contradiction, in the wakes of these attempted elopement crises, the toddler may later cling and freak out if their parent leaves the room for half a second.

Another familiar frustration for parents of toddlers is how, when in the throes of these dueling impulses to gain independence but still cling to the security of caregiver’s protection, babies tend not to care or notice if the parent is stressed, injured, sick or severely sleep deprived. But healthy parents understand that empathy in a relationship with a small child is mostly a one-way deal and that demanding or trying to extract mature reciprocation before it’s developmentally possible– i.e., “parentization”– can cause a kind of engulfment crisis in children that stalls emotional development, extending the operatic push/pull stage. Child psychologists describe that, while in a push or pull rage, babies may become so angry that they may imagine the destruction of the caregiver but, since loss of the caregiver would threaten the survival of the child, children tend to suppress these thoughts from their own consciousness.

This brings up another twisted circus mirror “petrified baby” trait in abusive adult personalities, which is that, due to how domestic abuser’s theoretically tend to channel an abnormal amount of psychic energy towards image management and maintaining positive self image, much of this push/pull rage and destructive feelings towards partners may be happening covertly or even “subconsciously.” On somye level, disordered adults know they’re giant drooling babies and it’s embarrassing. They’re aware that this is not very attractive and that they risk social rejection if it were perceived by others. So they tend to elaborately mask it and develop a system of rationalization whereb they blame others– mostly their own victims– for their own disordered thoughts and reactions.

So, according to the above “masked dependency” or overgrown angry baby theory, “narcissism”– or the external projection and internal maintenance of a falsely idealized self– might be a natural “cover up” of a deeply disordered, frightening or even repulsively violent internal life. This is why I sensed the recent clinical discovery that sadism is often part and parcel with narcissism might have missed the cue that, in actuality, sadism or the need to punish could be one of the drivers of narcissism secondary to infantile dependency. What that suggests is that narcissism may simply be “abuseritis” that has been mistaken for some separate category because, like the adage about blind scientists trying to identify an elephant by its different parts, observers weren’t looking at or sharing notes on the whole.

Part of “the whole” is that, unlike mature, adult love and commitment, those suffering from “abuseritis” have a child’s view of intimate relationships. They believe each partner is like an adult caretaker who’s supposed to offer one-sided empathy in order to prepare them for future, more completely fulfilling relationships. Like parent-child relationships, abusers expect intimate relationships to have an end-date that evolve into the “abuser/child” moving on.

Anyway, from the above vantage point, cheating may simply be a standard part of petrified adult baby/abuser push/pull– maybe including simultaneous “defiant toddler wandering from” and rageful punishment towards the partner. It might explain cheaters’ typical surprise and explosive, vengeful rage when their partners eventually split and file for divorce. It might even explain what I suspect is a relatively high incidence of cheaters (similarly to batterers) threatening or even successfully committing suicide once their former victims escape.

chump changed
chump changed
3 months ago

My ex would literally stomp his feet when he was upset or frustrated, exactly like a toddler does. I never knew if I should laugh or be afraid, and generally felt a strange mixture of both. I mean really… what adult does that?

He’d also whine, sulk, sigh, shoot me glances of pure hatred, and give me the silent treatment when he wanted sex and couldn’t get it (or wasn’t getting it “enough” or exactly when he wanted it). At these times I felt like I existed as some kind of giant pacifier… like I was offering up my boob (etc) to a screaming baby to placate it.

I also had an unusual number of dreams about a toddler or baby version of Hades / Pan that represented my ex, but that’s a story for another day.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago
Reply to  chump changed

Ah, it sounds like your mind came up with a brilliant, poetic analysis in that dream. It’s like you were being held hostage to play mother to death/evil, a bit like Rosemary from Rosemary’s Baby.

Bluewren
Bluewren
3 months ago
Reply to  chump changed

I was always getting grabbed and pulled on like a toddler trying to get attention from their mother rather than a man gently affectionately touching his wife – I hated it.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
3 months ago
Reply to  Bluewren

These big, hairy, smelly babies are never as cute as the real deals.

Elsie_
Elsie_
3 months ago

I agree with this. So did our mutual therapist and my attorney who called my STBX “the boy” because of the lack of maturity he was exhibiting.

My ex was retired when we split, but he truly was acting like a toddler. Thankfully, the attorneys got it done. His own attorney called him “my delusional client” in the emails that mine forwarded to me.

OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago

Mine said; “I think I loved you all along.” When I scoffed at that he said; “But I must have loved you!”
He was trying hard to convince himself it was true, but just from the look on his face I could see he wasn’t sure.
It’s a lie they tell themselves. Sometimes it’s just a lie to you, because they know full well it isn’t true.

Then of course, they explain it with ILYBINILWY. They’d have us believe that not being “in love” not only allows, but compels them to cheat. We, otoh, get the boring, no butterflies in the tummy kind of love. Yeah, no sale on that nonsense. There aren’t two varieties of romantic love called “in love” and “love.” A cheater who believes that is emotionally immature and mistaking infatuation, novelty and the thrill of duper’s delight for being “in love.”

Shadow
Shadow
3 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

I’ve come to the conclusion that they don’t ever really love us for who we are, so any warm fuzzies they might feel for us are shallow and are because of what we do for them, what we give them and how we make them feel about themselves, which is why I call it “cupboard love”! It’s very immature and not based on the reality of the “beloved”, so , when they get a bit older, feel life is passing them by and the daily grind isn’t getting any easier, and especially if there are some painful life events, their connection to us isn’t strong enough to enable them to withstand temptation to excitement, in our cases, the excitement of cheating! They can cheat on us because they never really loved us for who we are because they never really, truly knew who we are!
If your FW has ever underestimated you, as mine has a couple of times, that’s proof of this IMO! I realised why I used to get the feeling of craving something more myself from time to time, but I’d tell myself it was female friendship and the deep emotional connections I have had with some friends that I was missing. I now realise it was emotional intimacy. We could have a laugh together, and in fairness laughed a lot, and we seemed to work as a team together for most of the relationship but as he never really knew me on a deep level, what I was missing was emotional intimacy-Into Me See. He NEVER really saw mw so how could he ever really KNOW me? And thus, how could he ever truly love me for who I am?
He’s off chasing the excitement and thrills of actual criminal activity now! I’m well off out of it!!!

chump changed
chump changed
3 months ago

I got every variation of this.

Said about me:

“I love you.”
“I love a part of you.”
“I fell out of love with a part of you when you got sick, but then fell in deeper love with another part of you: your soul.”
“I’m dedicated to caring for your soul and always will be.”
“I’m convinced I’ll never love anyone as much as you again.”
“I will always love you.”

Said about the affair partner:

“I love her.”
“I love a part of her.”
“I feel only a tiny fraction for her what I feel for you.”
“I don’t want to love anyone else again, it hurts too much. I just want to have primarily sexual relationships.”
“I don’t love her; she knows this and is OK with it.”
“I think I could maybe learn to love her.”
“I never said I didn’t love her.”

Shadow
Shadow
3 months ago
Reply to  chump changed

This is a prime example of what thundering head-wreckers they are! Respect for remembering it so clearly! My SBTX scrambled my brain so much when he made his first hoover, I can only sort of remember what he said, it was so contradictory and he fired it all at me so rapidly! I couldn’t get a word in!

OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago
Reply to  chump changed

What revolting 💩.

FYI_
FYI_
3 months ago
Reply to  chump changed

“I love a part of you.”

Huh? I guess you’re supposed to ask, “which part?” — but who cares? The whole thing is just ridiculous.

chump changed
chump changed
3 months ago
Reply to  FYI_

I didn’t ask. For the AP I speculated that the part he loved was one of her orifices… he did not appreciate this joke.

2xchump
2xchump
3 months ago
Reply to  FYI_

Word salad here too

GrandmaChump
GrandmaChump
3 months ago

Another possibility: She never stopped loving you because she never started. She’s good at mimicking your opening love moves, because that’s the exciting, get-away-with-it stage of a relationship. Later, as it “gets old,” the mask slips. She found you boring. Then you started moving away. That’s exciting-ish. She’ll see if she can dust you off and give you another spin, because THIS time when it ends, you’ll go down even harder! You may self-destruct! At the very least, next time you’ll be so broken, you’ll never be able to trust anyone enough to love again (somebody else.) Yay, girl power! Leopards can’t change their spots; tigers can’t change their stripes, and cheaters can’t swap out their cheatin’ hearts. imo.

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago

Love doesn’t exist for cheaters, aside from the intense “love” they have for themselves.

My fw less than a week before he walked out the door was leaving the house about 10 at night, I knew he was cheating by then, though he hadn’t disclosed it. He looked at me laying comatose on the bed, staring at the wall and said “I know you don’t think I love you, but I do” then left to spend the night with the whore.

When he left a few day later it was “I never loved you”.

Mehitable
Mehitable
3 months ago
Reply to  susie lee

Amazing, what would it even mean to say some insulting piece of bullshit like that – like it’s supposed to make you feel better somehow? Or make HIM feel better? Just can the prune juice, cheater and move on!

susie lee
susie lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Yep, don’t know why these cheaters need to say this anything like this. The only thing I can think of it, they just say whatever shit gets them out the door in that moment the easiest.

Marco
Marco
3 months ago

She’s a serial cheater. They never stop cheating. You need to understand the difference between remorse and regrets of being caught.
Shes reeling you back in because she’s a cake eater.
You need to stop being a doormat unless you like being cheated on.
You have a horrible hopium addiction. All that’s going to get you is more so what you’ve gotten.

Marco
Marco
3 months ago

As my other man was on top of me banging away all I thought about was how much I loved you. It was always you, babe! Even with all the other men I cheated with.
FINGERS CROSSED BEHIND BACK.

Last edited 3 months ago by Marco
OHFFS
OHFFS
3 months ago
Reply to  Marco

I guess she thought fingers were an option, because God forbid she should ever have to cross her legs. What fun would that be.
They make me sick.

FuckWitFree
FuckWitFree
3 months ago

I got I never stopped loving you but I felt love for her too. Basically, he loved whoever he fucked. Feeling sensory pleasure was love. He was one of those 220 pound toddlers. Deep as a sheet of paper. He now “loves” a magenta haired gender confused 30 something year old who is 30 years his junior with kids from other guys. Apparently she’s the punk rock version of the new toaster, but with a short.

Blue Bayou
Blue Bayou
3 months ago

There is no louder way of screaming “I don’t love you!” than by cheating. Full stop.

Mighty Warrior
Mighty Warrior
3 months ago

During my unceremonious dumping, before I knew about the long-standing affair with exgfOW, I asked the ex whether there was anything he liked about me. He thought for several seconds and said ‘I can’t think of anything’. Soul-destroying until recently, but I can laugh about it now. These were probably the only words of truth he had spoken during our 26 years of relationship. The man is a pathological liar. More fool him for spending 26 years with a woman who he didn’t even like! How stupid do you have to be, Mr Not So Hot Shot Lawyer Man, to waste your own life in that way. When he was regularly declaring his love for me, he was apparently lying to himself as well as to me. Again, stupid! And here’s the relevant point: cheaters are lying liars who lie and it’s wise not to believe anything they say about anything.

Mighty Warrior
Mighty Warrior
3 months ago
Reply to  Mighty Warrior

And what does still annoy me about this is that I was doing him a favour in being with him. I enhanced him and he dragged me down. That annoyance is with myself more than him. I valued myself so little that a lying liar who lies could bring me to the point of thinking that my life wasn’t worth living. That’s where my work begins and ends, not speculating over the rubbish that these people come up with. I’ve got baggage of my own: I don’t need to start tidying up theirs!

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
3 months ago

Dear Confused, what I think your cheater wife really means is that she never stopped loving …what you do for her…

One last time
One last time
3 months ago

My ex has given me the standard “I still love you”, “I was in love with 2 people”, and “I still care about you” responses.
Bullshit
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
You cannot make the all of the decisions they did, one after the other, to someone you love. There are too many outs. To many chances to put a stop to it.
I completely agree with CL. I would MUCH rather have been pushed down stairs, hit by a car, many many other forms of abuse that this. It is EASILY the hardest thing, and worst pain I’ve experienced.

PeaceAtLast
PeaceAtLast
3 months ago
Reply to  One last time

Yes. Very painful. More painful than experiencing the death of a parent. Times ten. Emotionally traumatic.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
3 months ago

When cheaters say, “I never stopped loving you,” they are imagining love as an emotion that happens inside them–and pretty much never makes its way into the outside world.

The kind of love chumps should look for is love that is action–love that shows itself in how someone treats you–how that person speaks to you, comforts you, helps you in life’s ordinary moments and supports you in the tough times, works with you, listens to you, holds your hand, picks up your burdens when they are too much.

PeaceAtLast
PeaceAtLast
3 months ago

Married 35 years. Divorce under way. My cheater cheated on me for 5-10 YEARS (he’s delighted that I don’t know for how long) with prostitutes. He cops to hand jobs at Asian Massage Parlors, but I found condoms and photos that say PIV sex. I asked him how he could celebrate so many Valentine’s Days and Anniversaries while he was doing « this » behind my back. He said, « It’s simple. I love you v ery much”. I remember thinking that Love is not the issue. Betrayal is. He snuck around behind my back and strung me along for YEARS because he knew I would have left if I had known what he was doing. He did not think I would ever catch him. It is scary to think that I probably would not have if he hadn’t had a burner phone. Glad I found out. Glad I found CL, who kept me from faultering over several shell-shocked months on the way out. He turned on the charm. He also said all the other things CL said he would say, but those are topics for another day.