Dear Chump Lady, When dating, how do I know if someone is a cheater?

baddateDear Chump Lady,

Is there a fool-proof way to test people for this cheating fuck-wittedness disorder, before we get hooked by them? (Like with vampires, where you can hold a mirror up to them and see they have no reflection). Do these people represent a third of the population? Are they difficult to detect? Will I ever be sure the next one isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Gorilla Poop

Dear GP,

Yeah, wouldn’t that be nice if we had a field guide to monsters, complete with antidotes? Like you just have to drive a stake of holly through their hearts, problem solved! Alas, it’s not that simple. Cheaters don’t come with forehead tattoos. You have to use your powers of discernment. Or as we say around here — “fix your picker.”

Will you ever be 100 percent certain that someone isn’t a wolf in sheep’s clothing? No. But that’s a chumpy way to frame the problem — certainty about someone else. Instead, fixing your picker is about YOU. Know how to enforce your boundaries when you encounter a red flag and then watch very carefully how this person reacts. Picker fixing is putting down the spackle (what you want to believe about this person) and paying attention to actions. Judge people by their actions. Does he take responsibility for his mistakes? Is she kind to the waitstaff? Does he live beyond his means? Does she apologize? Does he work hard at his job? Is she sober?

Actions reveal character.

In the process of picker refinement, remember that no one is perfect. Any two people are going to experience some conflict at some point. So when those issues arise, watch what happens next. If you enforce a boundary — how does this person react? Do you get the three channels of mindfuckery? Rage, charm, or self-pity? Or is this person capable of self-reflection? Most important, do they care if they hurt you? Do they want to please you? Does the relationship feel reciprocal?

Generally, when someone asks this question, what they want is a list of red flags for cheating. (We can give you those in a moment…) But the fact is, some people are good at concealing double lives. What they are NOT good at concealing is superficiality and lack of character. So know your worth. Know what you will tolerate. Know how to enforce your boundaries. You control that, and if you don’t put up with shit, fact is character disordered people probably won’t want you. They’ll move on to easier prey and better kibble supply. They don’t want to work that hard.

Now then — for the shady signs someone is cheating. CN — please add your own in the comments!

  1. They’re bad at time management. If they cancel dates or can’t commit to next weekend? Red flag. Juggling a double life requires lots of flexibility.
  2. They’re secretive about their technology. The phone is glued to them. It’s always on silent. They take it to the bathroom.
  3. They have a lot of exes who are “friends.” They keep a large circle of auxiliary kibble supply. Yes, I believe people can think fondly of their exes, but I don’t believe that healthy people in healthy relationships spend significant amounts of time and centrality on exes.
  4. They have a lot of exes who are “batshit crazy.” If this person’s marriage ended because “bitch be crazy” or some other nebulous slur? I’d want specifics. If every person who got ever close to them was hideously flawed and horrible, and their bosses don’t understand them, and you’re the only super, special person they can let their guard down with to love again? RUN.
  5. They’re okay with lack of reciprocity. If you’re working hard to please this person, if you’re picking up the check, if you’re lending them money, if your gifts are more thoughtful and extravagant than their gifts? If this person is A Okay with you doing the lion’s share of ANYTHING? RUN.

Cheating is about entitlement. You see entitled behavior? That should be all the red flag you need — NEXT.

And remember, there is always a next. Never feel like you need a relationship to complete you. That notion makes you prone to spackle. There’s nothing so lonely as being invested in a cheater. Know your worth, GP! And good luck!

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Nicole
Nicole
7 years ago

Geesh. Looking back all the red flags were there. ALL of them.

Sound advice!

Morse
Morse
7 years ago
Reply to  Nicole

Yes – exactly this!

FSTL
FSTL
7 years ago

I can’t commend this article enough… and not just because of my X. After the X (and in an emotionally weak state), I dated another girl who was many of these things. She eventually settled down and some of them abated, but I kept a close watch and – sure enough – when I was off travelling, she strayed. Turned out she has mild BPD and has all the traits that go with it. I made excuses for her at first (we all spackle), and then sorted myself out before letting her slowly slip away with as little drama as possible. You can feel sorry for people with issues (and some of them may be a factor in why they cheat), but you shouldn’t feel responsible for them or allow yourself to be sucked into thinking your happiness depends upon them (which can be a very powerful feeling at the time).

lostntx
lostntx
7 years ago
Reply to  FSTL

You are doing what I think all we chumps are bad at. Letting someone without our values go. I’ve always had a hard time ending any relationship even if it was bad. Felt that I should forgive and help that person grow. It took getting royally screwed over to help me change my thoughts. Well, Chump Lady and CN helped me realize that i’m not responsible for them and it’s ok to let damaged people go. It would be a miracle for you to get someone to change anyway.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  lostntx

I can relate. My mother used to say I was a sucker for lost causes. This whole experience has certainly cured me of that (mostly). My X honed his “pity” channel skills to a masterful level, which is how he kept hooked every time I would ask to end the relationship (on at least an annual basis).

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, my mother told me from the time I could understand that I was a bad seed. I somehow think that, that alone is what moulded me into who I am but I am not sure. In order to be compliant and likeable, I bowed down to almost everyone and everything that came my way including the ex and our 2 children. I didn’t want to appear to be the monster that my mother said I was, which of course I am not and never have been. Hindsight is a wonderful thing ! 🙂

Susan
Susan
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

OMG! How can a mom say such things to their child? I’m sooooo sorry you all experience such.

Something my mom told me,
” it’s not so important the family you come from, as it is the family you make…”

Martha
Martha
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

I was told I was “found at the garbage dump.” We actually had a small garbage dump in our community and we had to drive past it a lot on our way home to the Projects. I was also constantly told I was adopted. My siblings have since apologized for all that they said to me, BUT my mom never stopped them. And she added more abuse by telling me and of course my female siblings, but not the male that she “couldn’t wait until we moved out!” We did my school shopping at the Goodwill, but my mom had money to go out dancing and drinking. I had one dress that I wore each day to school in second grade. It was ripped at the bottom, but I had no idea how to fix it and to ask to have it fixed would get me in trouble for asking for too much. I took a freezing cold bath one time, because I was afraid to tell my sister who ran my bath that it was too cold. My brother beat the shit out of me a lot of times, but now he says he “doesn’t remember” but one time. Hello? Can you see why I accepted gaslighting by my ex? I was spanked by my mom and siblings with red marks on my body to prove it. I purposely try not to spank my kids even though the church encourages it. My son, he got a few swats on the butt and hand, but I felt bad about it. My daughter, one swat on her behind and she cried and I felt bad and never did that again. My kids were brought up in a home with encouragement. No abuse to each other or from me. If they screwed up, I always tried to be understanding and encouraged trying better next time. Neither one of my kids ever hit each other. For the most part, they are loving and encouraging of each other. My families motto is “that is what siblings do to each other.” No, that is not the truth. My siblings fed off my parents treatment of each other and treated me the same. Years of being devalued set me up for many relationships with narc friends, boyfriends and my lying cheating ex-husband. My siblings only did what they learned. My parents learned this shitty way of treating each other from their parents and on and on it goes. I’m hoping I broke the cycle, but my kids are not “perfect and special” like my cheating and lying ex. So, I’m guessing the picked up from our relationship that women are not valued and moms do everything for the family unselfishly without complaining.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

That is horrible, Maree & Brit. Parents demeaning children is unforgivable, and bound to affect us our whole lives. I was certainly never perfect enough for my father, who was abundant with his criticism, but it’s worse when it’s the same-sex parent saying it–the parent who is supposed to be our role model.

unicornomore
unicornomore
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

When I was a little girl, if someone told me I was “pretty”, my mother corrected them “She is pretty damn ugly and pretty apt to stay that way”.

And now she wants my money and to live with me vs a Nursing Home.

Can we all see the single word sentence that I respond with?

“No.”

EyesOpenNow
EyesOpenNow
7 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Unicornomore, it’s horrible hearing that a mother could say that about her child. What kind of person thinks it’s ok to demean and criticize their child? I am so sorry that your mother spoke to you and about you that way when you were a vulnerable child. But I’m so glad that you now have a wonderful man in your life who treats you the way you deserve to be treated, you’re standing up to your abusive mother, and that you’re forging a mighty new life for yourself!

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

I can’t believe how many similarities we have Maree, I grew up being told I was a bad seed.
I believe our upbringing has something to do with how our lives turned.
It’s more than a coincidence.
Once I married then had my son, my life revolved around them. I was willing to sacrifice myself to prove I was a nice, devoted wife and mother. Keeping peace in the home by spackling.
The end result of not having any boundaries or expectations is a lack of respect.
Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing. =)

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

brit, yes we do have a lot of similarities but I genuinely believe that we are very decent people. We have jumped through hoops all our lives to prove our worth. We don’t need to do that anymore because we know our worth. ((HUGS to you Brit))

Aletheia
Aletheia
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

My mom said that and I was a creep magnet. I think I need to find another bleeding heart to save the world with instead of rescuing. Ha ha! That is a down the road worry, freedom first.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  lostntx

Lostntx
Me too. It took daily visits to this site and reading CL book for me to know it’s ok to get myself off the hook of helping and saving him.
I didn’t even know I was different until he just got back from two months away (dday July 10, divorce underway).
He came back, I felt triggered, found out he had lied again and that’s it- something inside me shifted and I knew all hope had died. He is who he is and I don’t want him. I want to be on my own. Now I don’t really feel angry or punitive. I will just wait until the divorce is final and will move on.
I got chumped but thanks to all here I am beginning to see my value.
Thank heavens for the UBT.

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn,

It sounds like you are not really trying gray rock. I hope you are okay. Are you able to get away from him again – like send him to a hotel, or say with friends? You mention you caught him in another lie. Until you get some space from him the healing can’t really start. Take care.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Ian Dubito

Hey Ian. I am ashamed to admit he is now thinking he can come back weekends while working in Europe and have Christmas with us before returning to the Far East in january for the long term. Trouble is the boys are happy to see him. Usually he is only home for a few weeks a year.
I am so not grey rock more technicolor marshmallow. But that’s on me so I need to man up. Sigh.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn, it’s tough having to be in close proximity with the cheater ex for whatever reason, like to facilitate him spending time with the kids if he is on a short visit to the US. No wonder you are subdued, having to be on your guard while he stays in your home. You must be drained,in addition to having feelings and memories stirred up. I guess part of this experience for you may be to manage to keep that distance and your heart safely within its fortress WITHOUT anger as a crutch. Real tough but you will manage. Remember you are the good one and the sane one. Good luck.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

Where is the forum ?

My estranged hubby still comes around. It’s not fun at all. I try to be kind & polite, but that’s about all.

He tries to act as if all is normal, I am complete financially depended on him, (( I’ve never worked in my life)) & as neither want to D as we have been married a very ling time. We live apart.

If someone met my hubby I doubt held cheat again, & I doubt held cheat on me again, he ended up loosing too much, as well as he saw first hand how it destroyed me and put me thu Dante inferno.
He has to look in the mirror everyday as he says, and he doesn’t like what he knows looks back.

He also realized that it talks a life time to build a reputation and one mistake to ruin it .
But none of this can change what he did in our marriag…

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Try not to beat yourself up, Capricorn. Did. you have sex with him when he got back? You sound different.

I keep coming back here because I have some experience strength and hope to share. I always joke around, but I keep an eye out for the newcomer. It’s important for me to give back a little of what I’ve learned here. And what I’ve learned is this stuff can be deadly.

You are obviously clever. I am going to guess you have enough resource to get away. There are at least two other chumps just today who seem to be “linining up ducks” in their mind. But when I read it it seems they are stalling. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Sleeping with a known cheater risks a deadly STI. And after all, it’s only money. There is no perfect moment. It’s agonizing to see y’all flailing.

I hope every chump reading this knows I want the best for y’all. Leave a
cheater.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Ian Dubito

Hey Ian. I am subdued I guess but no I haven’t slept with him. I am physically cautious around him careful even not to be to close or actually let any part of me touch any part of him. He will not be here past this week as I asked him not to be. It was hard as he is such a sad sausage. I also might be different here as sometimes I think he may read here. He knows from others I like this site. I guess I do feel a bit trapped.

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn,

So sorry to hear you’re struggling. I was a shambles a year ago this week. Life is still an uphill slog, and I and still not divorced. I reached out to you yesterday because your pain is palpable. I don’t have kids, so I don’t know how to best navigate that split. I do know that there are many women and men here who have.

If you are worried he might be reading that’s understandably worrying. You can change your user name on a daily basis maybe. You can go to the forums for more real-time support. Also in the forum, you might find a meetup in your area. If you go to the forums and post and anonymous email address (I recommend protonmail.com, but any anonymous address will do) Tempest can swap emails with other women so you can chat more freely. There are a number of things to do to help you feel so not alone. Also, did someone you know tell him about this place? If so, they can’t be trusted. Divorce is war, Capricorn. You have to be a mama bear and a soldier. You can say no more – Indesrve better. Get on your boots and start kicking ass!

Twitching
Twitching
7 years ago
Reply to  Ian Dubito

I feel like Ian is like the homeland security force of chumpville. When I read whatever Ian writes, it feels like a protective big brother.

Thanks, Ian.

getting real
getting real
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Where in EU?

Tflan386
Tflan386
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Just be cautious Capricorn. He may be eating, sleeping and laughing like nothing has happened for now. Your divorce is still underway and its ugly consequences have not yet been felt by him. These types don’t understand the brutality of consequences until they have been fired from a job, physically kicked out by a spouse or ignored by their children. THEN, they get it. Their tiny minds simply cannot comprehend that there will be payback for their shitty behavior. Once the hammer falls, they have so few emotional resources to fall back on, that they go into a deep funk, dare I say, a clinical depression. I have had this scenario played out by a covert narc in my life. It’s not pretty.

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  Tflan386

Tflan – ‘These types don’t understand the brutality of consequences until they have been fired from a job, physically kicked out by a spouse or ignored by their children. THEN, they get it.’

Thank you for this. The only thing I seem to be curious about is whether the X is happy about his decision or does he regret everything. Of course, I have no way of finding out. But, during his 3 year ‘fling’, he became just ecstatic when he arrived home from a weekend with her (unbekownst to me), was all excited, putting music on like ‘Johnny be Good’ and danced to it. It was very odd behavior since he just got home from a ‘business’ function. Inappropriate behavior that left me scratching my head.

Once the divorce started, he went downhill really quickly. He was nervous all the time and his mellow voice turned into a raised holler every time I talked to him on the phone. He shaved his head, gained weight and looked sallow. I think he finally ‘got’ the consequences and he was not happy. ha! I really don’t think he thought I’d go so bad-ass on him so quickly and kick him out immediately and his family told me he wasn’t doing well emotionally and it showed up in his physique and more odd behaviors.

Now that he’s all alone without any of our former friends, any of my family and many of his family who rejected him, I wonder how happy he is and if he thinks of what he threw away for the instant (entitled) consequences. I think he thought he could beat the divorce outcome monetarily, and that sure never worked. I had all the goods on him, thanks to lining up my ducks.

So, I get pleasure when I read stuff like this in a morbid pleasurable way, that he’s all on his own – got his freedom, just like he wanted. My sister said, quit it – he’s moved on. Well, I don’t think so.

Vastra
Vastra
7 years ago
Reply to  Tflan386

Capricorn, I briefly tried having ex over for tuesday night dinner to help the boys adjust after he moved out for OW. It was so wrong, so confusing for my boys and so painful for me I stopped it after 2 weeks. Please consider telling him to get a hotel room or stay with a friend and see your boys by himself. They will cope, but you’re just prolonging the pain by having him stay with you.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

And I thought he was broken or would implode if I stopped helping him but now I see he’s actually just fine! Sleeping, eating, laughing – AS IF NOTHING HAPPENED.
He didn’t need rescuing. I did.

getting real
getting real
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Holy shit. Spot on.

AlohaFreedom
AlohaFreedom
7 years ago

Thanks for this Chumplady! … It will probably be a looong time before I date again but this is a great guide to prevent rechumping… And it sounds like you are describing my stbxh. Too bad I can’t stamp “cheater” across his forehead. Maybe I can request that in the divorce settlement?

BitchbecrazyOH
BitchbecrazyOH
7 years ago

“Bitch be crazy”. Bahaaaaaaaaaa. SO.ON.POINT!

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago

I never met ONE girlfriend from X’s past. And he never talked about an old girlfriend from middle, high or college with any fondness. It was a huge clue that once he found someone else to worship him, was done with me, I would also cease to exist.

Dang those pesky children we had together that demands he acknowledge me as his mother.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
7 years ago

their mother.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago

(I was his mother too. Ugh. The other day I was thinking “WHEN is he going to run out of clothes that I bought him?” It cannot happen soon enough.)

violet
violet
7 years ago

From the time we were married, I purchased every single piece of clothing worn by X, down to his underwear! When he needed new suits, I preselected based on his color choice and had them waiting, so he wouldn’t waste any of his precious time on unimportant things like what to wear. I was raised by my narc mom to be a chump, so I didn’t even realize how bad it was. As much as I still hate OW, I also realize the favor she did for me by showing me his true self. Why wasn’t I able to see this on my own, though? This question still bothers me.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Violet, I bet you took care of all of the laundry, dry cleaning and mending too. I did. These were some of the 5 million ways I tried to get him to appreciate me.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

I did all of these things to, plus yard work, wood, raising children, so when he came home all he had to do was relax, as he had been working all week.
But I did all of these things out of love, I did these things ‘cuz I wanted to.
I did these things for 28 yrs, thinking all was good. I then found out things weren’t so good, he had been having an affair for 1.5 yrs.
Now I look back and wonder if my whole marriage was real ?

Sad Shelby
Sad Shelby
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Same! After d-day we had a VERY deep and long and difficult conversation about the state of the marriage and came to many conclusions. In my case apparently it was a not understanding on either side of why things were being done by each of us. And I did many homemakery type things to make him happy and feel loved but he just never saw it that way. I’m not sure about anyone else’s ex but my h just didn’t get it. Recently he even told me “You did all those things out of love and I’m a fucktard and just didn’t see it.” I don’t have a lot of hope for a sudden I see the light moment but maybe. I think that it’s easy to take for granted the things people do for you and not realize it isn’t just because they have to but because they want to. Now I know. And will never take any of that for granted ever again. Whether my h turns out to be an actual unicorn or just a standard a-hole it’s something I’ve learned that I will always take with me.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Violet
Did you answer your own question?
Why wasn’t I able to see this on my own……’raised by a narc mom’.
I’m getting the idea that those of us raised by one or more narc parents were ripe fodder for the disordered.
We couldn’t see. Never had anything other to judge it against. Until now.

getting real
getting real
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Amen.

sadlady15
sadlady15
7 years ago

Mine solved that problem he had his AP take him to the US and buy him a new (designer label) wardrobe and left all of his old clothes here. Shake my head….

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago

Time management always blows me away. How do serial cheaters manage a double life?

Predators are always looking. They are opportunists. It’s always about power and control.

The devaluing is subtle. Over time what was once unacceptable becomes natural.
This is why boundaries are so important to practice.

Louisvilleflower
Louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

My STBX was diabolical about this: as soon as we moved to a new city and he started a new job, he built cheating time into his schedule. He blamed his long hours on work and his commute. I was struggling with setting up house, 3 kids, school, and establishing our family. He was meeting strangers for sex. When he moved to long term affairs, the time was built into his schedule.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago

The cheating time was always built into his schedule. When I spoke to his latest whore I told her about the CODE words.

At the GYM. This offered three hours of down time a day. He also met women there.

The area I’m in has no cell SERVICE.

I was pricing a JOB.

His service business offered him the flexibility to lead a double life.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

With Dr. C it was usually “another case got added.”

Vastra
Vastra
7 years ago
Reply to  Geode

Oh Geode this brings back painful memories! My ex not only had “extra cases” that often got “bumped by an emergency Caesarean” but had “paperwork” that needed to be done at the office late at night or weekends. I clearly remember thinking “if I didn’t know my husband was a good man, I’d think he was cheating”.
Trouble was, the only reason I thought he was a good man was that he kept telling me so. That’s another red flag – if you need to tell people how honest and ethical you are, you probably aren’t.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Vastra

Yes, I heard that he was a man of integrity every chance he got to tell me. Whenever I had a doubt in my mind about him fooling around I’d shrug my shoulders and think, no, not my husband, he’s a man of integrity, sound character and high moral standards, after all, doesn’t he mention it or rather lecture me on his virtues at least once a week.. honest people don’t need to advertise.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Oh the bullshit lectures about integrity, a moral compass, loyalty he gave me and his kids. Funny how I have been able to live my entire life as a decent person without spending time even thinking about integrity and loyalty, let alone talking about that ceaselessly with my partner. It was always part of me, no need to talk about it. But he grilled me about all of this and fidelity when we were dating. Wanted to know if I had ever cheated. No one else had ever asked me this. I interpreted it to mean he had been cheated and suffered. But that was just me putting a good spin on it. He was grooming me to see how naive I was..

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Excellent point Brit. Honest people don’t need to advertise. I got “I was cheated on in my last marriage and it broke my heart; I’d never do that to you.” Well, he was the cheater in that marriage, my marriage and every other relationship he’s ever had. The right words (lie) at the right time.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  Vastra

Oh Vastra… He told me so and so did his patients. But not his friends or family. When we announced our engagement, one of his sons told his father very seriously “don’t screw this one up.” I missed that red flag too.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Geode

1) Gym, increasing my time on the bike, “added more tim/reps to my routine”.

2) Visiting Mom-bad sorry we’re not able to talk or get through. phone connection.

3) I’ll be getting in late, going to stay the night at the hotel near the airport
as not to wake you when I come in. I can get some sleep then go to the
gym on my way home.

4) Spent the day at the book store/library. “I like to read and have a coffee”

5) I’m going hiking, (all day) on my own. All 25 miles, sorry, I know you don’t
hike that far. Hike became a weekly routine without any regard for me.
My suggestion to go hiking as a family was turned down. He only likes to hike
long difficult hikes…

6) Began spending more and more time grooming himself in front of the mirror.
Suddenly his work out clothes became more important to him. He went from
old no-name, un matching worn t-shirts and shorts to expensive work out clothes,
fluorescent colors and matching ensembles, getting his hair cut once a week.

Digbert
Digbert
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Mine too- and he went mental when I queried his fitted(???) shirts after 16 years of baggy t-shirts cos of his ‘ moobs ‘and then he started wearing a man bag ? like he was going to college with the hip kids ……

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Digbert

At one time his gym clothes were hideous, mis matched, stained, thin, they looked like cleaning rags. I would buy him gym clothes and he would insist I take them back, telling me that he went to the gym to work out not to pick up on anyone.., that he liked his old gym clothes, “he likes old things.”
He’s say that in reference to me since I’m four years older than him.
Evidently he changed his thinking and prefers new young things. While wearing florescent matching gym ensembles.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

I never figured out the code. Not that I would warn anyone anyway.
Now I assume that everything is a lie unless proven otherwise.

unicornomore
unicornomore
7 years ago

Yes, as a wife, I always looked for a sudden change that might signal cheating….what I didn’t know is that he had worked it in from the very beginning, so there was no “change”.

Moving and settling houses with little kids – monumental task…one memory I now wince at was when we moved on our 5th wedding anniversary…the day of the move, I did everything, with 2 little kids underfoot. I delegated him the task of getting rid of the propane tank. He was gone 3-4 hours and returned WITH the tank and an excuse that no one would take it. At the time I dismissed it as simple “cluelessness” but now I see classic cheater behavior.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
7 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

So true, Unicornnomore! They do build it into their schedules. I too, thought he might be “clueless” about simple tasks. Car washing often took 3-4 hours due to “the long lines,” or a simple haircut took a good 2 hours, again because of the long wait. I was so, so trusting. It really never occurred to me that he was a bold-faced liar. I just couldn’t imagine that. Now that I wash my own car (including vacuuming the interior), I realize how utterly unrealistic those time spans are.

CAGal
CAGal
7 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

One of the things that made me realize that I needed to get divorced was realizing that I would spend the rest of my life in the roll of Marriage Police trying to make a judgement call on every trip to the post office, haircut, Target run etc. about whether it was completed in a reasonable amount of time or if it took just a little too long and I should be suspicious about where he was. It was exhausting for the short amount of time I did do it and I am so relieved to not need to worry about it any more.

One of my Ex’s favorites was hanging out with the guys after the game on Sunday. He would go to watch a game at like 10 AM on the west coast, and would claim he got too drunk and needed to sober up before he got home. He would essentially disappear for hours and it was torture for me milling around the house wondering where he really was and when he was coming home. This fall I have had so many “I’m so glad I’m divorced” moments, because I don’t spend a chunk of my Sunday wondering what the hell he is up to and trying to deal with the anger and anxiety. It’s so calm and peaceful.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Oh yes. Dr. Crazy plays that clueless “absentminded professor” so well. And couple that with the utter sparkliness of his ability to give people a new life, having been given up for adoption to a “poor” couple, and plenty of money for love bombing and future faking and you have everyone, including all his chump wives, kids and friends spackling like crazy. While he enjoys the well-controlled “messiness” of his perverted lie-filled personal, professional and financial life. Enabled Clusterf— B indeed.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Geode

Absent minded professor, funny how they come up with the same routines.
I remember his absent minded professor act he used a few times when things weren’t adding up. I was brainwashed into believing him no matter how obvious and stupid he acted or what lame excuse he came up with.
Airline pilots, goes without saying, opportunity all over the world. X would come home with stories of other crew members and their indiscretions or full blown affairs, married men with GF’s in other countries. X had so much empathy for their wives. Sometimes he thought theses me and what they were doing was funny..
I did notice when we would travel, X was quick to point out the prostitutes in the hotel lobby or outside the hotel. He could spot them from our hotel window and tell me in detail how they operate. Always thought it interesting that he knew so much about them.
Too much for just a casual observer. Wouldn’t surprise me..

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago
Reply to  Geode

A job in academia provides the perfect flexible schedule for cheaters, ample contact time spent with young, adoring students, and the ego-trip necessary to pull off infidelity with savoir faire.

crushed
crushed
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I am at a major academic conference now and after a session I tried to ask the old fart who gave his talk a question. He was ‘busy’ and standing next to him with a adoring look in her protective eyes was a young beautiful grad student. I thought of you, Tempest.

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
7 years ago

Another red flag:

Can they be alone with themselves? Or have they ALWAYS been dating someone (s)?

ChefBella
ChefBella
7 years ago

This for me is the biggest of all red flags. The relational history without any significant time being single (at least a year by your 30s).

The codependency and lack of individuation that comes from this life history is psychological fact.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  ChefBella

Yep, can’t be alone. The traitor claims it’s because he is a very sexual person, and the fact that I could be single for long periods is due to being asexual. Didn’t matter how many times I told him I love sex and I missed it, that I probably got into some bad relationships for that very reason, that I can also take care of myself in that area as well as any man can take care of me or better, that I have done so since I was a child, with no hang ups or shame. Nope I am asexual, I can be single… Eye roll.

David2016
David2016
7 years ago

This is something I have posted about before: their inability to be alone.

I married my XW when she was 32. Since the age of 16, she had never been alone. I do not exaggerate. She would have a boyfriend, meet another guy, leave the first one (in hindsight it’s not unlikely she cheated). On and on until she met me. And then after eight years and two children, she grabbed onto the new relationship vine before releasing the old one. Moved in with the AP and boom–instant new family. I, however, have needed four years of grieving before I am feeling ready to even try a new relationship. And maybe I’m not ready even now.

They are abnormal, pure and simple.

Dragonlady
Dragonlady
7 years ago
Reply to  David2016

They don’t know the meaning of Loyal, faithful, sacrifice, integrity or empathy. It’s why they can do what they do. They have great big voids inside of them.

Nyra
Nyra
7 years ago
Reply to  Dragonlady

^^^^yep!

AlohaFreedom
AlohaFreedom
7 years ago

This!!!!! Stbxh blames our separation (you know… After he cheated and was abusive) as a reason for finding yet another affair partner.

Blindside
Blindside
7 years ago

There’s an old saying on this — “they’re like monkeys, they don’t let go of one branch until they have a firm grip on the next one.”

ChefBella
ChefBella
7 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

Well put. So apt.

MyRedSandals
MyRedSandals
7 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

Blindside: Well said… sort of like the old adage, “Never quit a job until you have a new one”.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  Blindside

Perfectly put Blindside!

Bamboozled
Bamboozled
7 years ago

Same here! My XH could not be alone, EVER! Always had to have the attention or someone pining after him (triangulation in my marriage with him, me, my brother’s XW Hobag). Narcissists cannot be alone, it is too much quiet time for them, and then they have to be with themselves. And of course if they are with themselves who is going to tell them how wonderful they are and to be admired….

After my divorce, I found out that XH started grooming the woman he is with now while still dating his other mistress (she was eventually phased out), and was STILL married to me!!!

These people are insane.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  Bamboozled

OMG yes! Dr. C knew he had to lie to me and the wife before me about the number of times he’d been married because no healthy woman would give him the time of day if they knew the true number. Three months after I kicked him out he moved #6 (#7 if you count his failed engagement) in. His first marriage was in college. Almost 40 years of this behavior which the RIC proclaimed could be fixed with therapy and 12 step meetings.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago

^^This^^

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
7 years ago

THIS ^^^ 1,000,000,000… Mr. Sparkles left me for the OW. They broke up in August. He’s been with the new girl since September (probably before then)! He cannot be alone, which is kinda ironic considering how much he jerks off to porn.

My 19yo stepdaughter, who has to live with her Dad on college breaks, is disgusted beyond measure and lives in fear of meeting a man like her father some day. I’ll print this list out for her.

CrazyDogLady
CrazyDogLady
7 years ago

Yes! This! My ex kept his his last girlfriend on “stand by” for many years in to our marriage. He also either lived at his brother’s house, or with his mother. Then, finally, during his last job, he got hired by a shiny, new bimbo, who was dumb enough to fall for his shit. And 3 years later, the two of them have blown apart two marriages, the lives of 3 kids, just so they can have their “twu wuv” together. And I’m sure he’s pissed as hell because I refuse to be on stand-by for him, now that he’s moving on to newer, fresher kibble. How dare I reject hand me down kibble?!?!

I briefly saw a guy, whose ex was “crazy”, and yet she was constantly texting him. He even admitted that he’d had an emotional affair with another woman. And the only reason the whole thing blew up and ended in divorce, was because SHE caught him. Yes, I was dumb to keep it going. I should have run right there. But the sex was good. And I needed that right there and then. 😉

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  CrazyDogLady

As long as you figured out what it was before becoming invested, more power to you.

heissobroken
heissobroken
7 years ago

This is so on point. Screams co-dependency issues. The ex always needed someone around and always did have someone around. Any warm body would suffice as long as she stroked his ego and didn’t talk back. The guy can’t even spend alone time with his son because cheater found another co-dependent cheater and heaven forbid he have any special bonding time with his only child.

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago

Spot on with this one Divorce Minister. My STBXW was never alone from the age of 15 in terms of being with someone. 20+ years later I left her so she could be happy with her dick head AP, I’ve mentioned it a few times on CN that he died 6 months after I left her, 4 days after he died she said she signed up for on-line dating!!! Her reason was “I can’t be alone”

A good friend of mine whose been through it all as well has said they can’t be alone because they have a chance to reflect on who they are, and that is a very dark and lonely place.

Marked711
Marked711
7 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

This^^^^^ Can’t be alone. Always had to have the next one lined up before blowing up the current one.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

Can’t be alone, don’t have pets ; money issues, job instability; no long term friends or have a court but no real friends, often late, change plans on you all the time. Offer to help and put themselves at the centre of what needs to happen then pull out at the last minute so YOU have to organise things around THEM. Constipated with turds that smell like plaster and are almost impossible to flush. Touchy, can’t tolerate accountability, call it criticism or negativity. RUN!!!

Moose
Moose
7 years ago

This! I reflected not too long ago about my ex and realized in the time I knew him before dating (acquaintances first), he was NEVER alone. He always had one on the arm and one waiting. And they were always trashy, with really bad situations. I was the first woman he dated with a normal, drama free life. That should have been a sign to run like hell! Makes me believe he was and is a total mysognist.

Also, in relation to poor time management, ex had no problem being late…EVER. He just showed up when he wanted. Wedding, funeral, party, recital…no difference to him. He’ll get there when he gets there. Entitlement, anyone?

And he was always trying to “reinvent” himself, which I now see as him trying to figure out who he was and where he could fit in. I thought he was to be admired..trying new things, but deep down, his core was still the same. Empty. It didn’t matter if this week he was going to be a writer, next week he was going to be a model, the next week a rodeo clown. He was always trying to mold himself to be what he thought others would like. Except of course, a good father and a transparent partner. Sad really.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Moose

X would usually be late to any event that didn’t directly involve him. If we were to go on a family outing for the the day he would appear to be ready to go but as we would be walking out the door or sitting in the car he’d run back in the house (he forgot his comb). He would go back inside of the house and leave us waiting outside for what seemed like ten minutes. During the summer when it would be 100 outside we would be suffering waiting for him.
I think in some ways it was a control issue for him.
X would look in the rear view mirror and comb his hair each time he entered his truck and before he exited. I can picture his miserable face now combing his hair and checking himself out in the mirror… (eye roll)

Car rides especially after a long day make me sleepy and occasionally I would fall asleep on the way home. I would try to keep my eyes open, there were a few times I couldn’t help but drift off. As we pulled into the driveway I’d wake up knowing X would be furious that I fell asleep.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Moose

Moose

He was always complaining about his work and I made suggestions. He went to classes at least 6 times to be a realtor and never completed the courses.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

I would tell mine to stay a few more days when he was away if the wx was bad as I was worried about his safety ! He used those times for xtra time w her !

Chumperchipcookie
Chumperchipcookie
7 years ago

Unfortunately, we can find ourselves being attracted to these types of people, and even seek them out without realizing it. I was raised by a narcissistic mother, and a self absorbed alcoholic father, so I felt comfortable with entitled people. I chose badly twice because I thought that if somebody was really THAT interested in me, there was something wrong with them! If you are dating, stay away from the sparkly love bomber and give the quiet, awkward person a chance. There are some real gems out there, if you are willing to open yourself up to something different. Also, look for someone who shows up and follows through. This is so important. I realize now that my ex would never solidly commit to plans, in case something better came up. He always gave himself an out and it took me a while to realize I was not a priority.

sadlady15
sadlady15
7 years ago

You are soooo right!! I was attracted to a tall good looking drink of water that joined my variety show group. Red flags all over the place, very shallow guy, waaay too much fun. Then there was this other guy, kept trying to sit near me,quiet, unassuming, not sexy at all just a steady guy; I just ignored him. Well, 13 months later and I’m much much wiser, quiet guy and I are friends looking like we are working our way( very slowly and carefully) to more than that( my feeling is that he is waiting for me to announce final divorce or that it is imminent). Its nice because I feel absolutely safe with him, no red flags at all. I don’t know if I can feel the same way I felt about my ex, I feel rather damaged, but I’m taking it really slow…

unicornomore
unicornomore
7 years ago

Cookie, if you and I ever had coffee, we might close down the shop at 3am…my mom is an alcoholic/BPD and my dad is a narc…I was born and bred to cater to entitled people. Compared to them (oh the stories!!!) nowdeadhusband seemed the picture of selfless mental health, plus he was a brooding bad-boy who happened to be in a great university who likely had a great future.

I thought I had a good picker but I was never good at spotting trends…my mind had been long previous burned out to seeing patterns in behaviors (probably so I didnt kill myself as a teen – refusing to see patterns of behavior kept me forever hopeful and looking for the best in people and abuse right in front of me).

Sunshine
Sunshine
7 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

I bought in to his “potential” and not actual achievements.

unicornomore
unicornomore
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

I fully bought into his potential to be a devoted, loving husband. He was a brooding, avoidant boyfriend but I was just SURE that once we were married he would be a loving spouse.

He did OK (not stellar) in his career but was a 25 yr military officer and kept a roof over our heads.

I was just sure if I kept trying, someday he would “understand” and then he would be kind to me. I really believed he had what it took to be a good husband, but he could never get it together…turns out he simply didnt care to.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

Potential is such a dirty word to me. It’s what my ex said she saw in me, which I now realize meant the potential to be molded into whatever she wanted.

I think loving someone’s potential means you don’t really love the person. You love the idea that they can be whatever you want them to be.

Tempest
Tempest
7 years ago

Yup, who wants to play Eliza Doolittle in a relationship? Mine certainly fancied himself Professor Higgins–put on this world to improve me, one criticism at a time.

yellow11
yellow11
7 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Mine certainly fancied himself Professor Higgins–put on this world to improve me, one criticism at a time.

Tempest, that really resonates with me right now. I thank you for putting into words the jumble of crap that was me putting my finger on what was happening (if that makes any sense).

Marked711
Marked711
7 years ago

^^^^^^^ SO VERY THIS ^^^^^^^
Exact words to my daughters right in front of me! “I married your dad for his potential”. It’s a slap in the face and admitting they never loved you. They just wanted to use you.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
7 years ago
Reply to  Marked711

That sucks, man. I’m sorry she said that to your daughter and that you had to hear it.

The hell of it is, at the time I thought it was understandable and I still beat punish myself for not measuring up. I didn’t comprehend that of course I didn’t feel good enough – she was telling me I wasn’t!

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

So much this.

Let go
Let go
7 years ago

I agree with Tracy. Look at the small details. I had a friend who let a very expensive bottle of wine make it to her car without paying for it. She laughed about it and said she didn’t mean to but said since she had it she would keep it. The next year she took a husband away from his wife. The second woman who cheated on her husband several times told me that she forged her supervisor’s signature on a very “unimportant” paper and could not understand the outcry. Needless to say I don’t know those two women anymore

Noelle
Noelle
7 years ago

Ah, dating…shopping for people. What fun! Anyway. What I’ve learned is, stop looking at every person you have coffee with as a potential partner. Sounds like a screwy way to think of it, but keeping your expectations realistic makes you see the other person with more clarity. Your meet for coffee or a drink is an interview. Just like at a company hiring a prospective employee, you’re looking for certain qualities, you’re looking for someone to compliment your life. My biggest words of advice is LET THEM TALK. I’m not telling you to be a statue, but disordered, entitled people love to talk about themselves. Really listen to what they’re saying, listen in between the lines. When you do ask questions, how do they answer? Evasive, vague, do they over-tell? Watch for body language. Do they over-touch? Touching is a psychological move, meant to throw you off balance. Leaning in too closely and whispering might seem flirty, but it’s a move meant to imply intimacy. Does something just feel ‘off’…trust your gut, always.

KB22
KB22
7 years ago
Reply to  Noelle

Totally agree with taking your sweet time in getting to know someone before even considering them partner material. By letting them talk you can also see if their stories ever change, narcs have crappy memories. Also, unless there is an authentic emergency followed up immediately with a rescheduled date, dump the person that cancels out on plans. Even once. They’re just using you as back up in case nothing better comes up. Other red flags already mentioned but still worth noting are when they say they will never love anyone as they did their ex. They are really saying that you are a fill in for the time being and they fully intend to dump your behind once someone “better” comes along. Hey, they WARNED you. Sometimes they are trying to make you feel insecure so you work harder to make them love you just as much as their ex. Always a plus for defects to have someone cater, spoil & jump thru hoops for them. When out on a date or with a group and they ignore you or flirt with others. Say nothing, just dump. Seeing them on week days, not weekends. Unless they work weekends, huge red flag. Crashing at your house to eat and watch TV is not a date and should never be allowed unless it is a Sunday football game and you were already out Saturday evening on a proper date.

CeliA
CeliA
7 years ago
Reply to  KB22

Lots of nice tips right there! Not yet free to date again, but I’m taking notes for future reference.

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  KB22

I love all of this, KB22!

It just tells me I sure don’t want to date anymore, but great guidelines if I ever did.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  KB22

“Narcs have crappy memories” YES

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  Geode

+1000! Terrible memories. I thought it was just a memory issue, but it is the perfect cover for lies. Vagueness and bad memory. RUN!!

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
7 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

I’ve mentioned it before, but my ex liked to tell me (unprompted!) that I knew she’d never lie to me because her memory was too bad to keep a story straight. Uh huh.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago

ha, ha! And always bragged he couldn’t tell a lie. Lied all along, lied from day one, he was not even divorced from his first wife, 7 years after leaving her, and after a -6 year relationship with someone else and one more child. How was I supposed to suspect he wasn’t even divorced?
“I can’t tell a lie, I hate lies” just a bad memory, forgot to get divorced.

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  kiwichump

Kiwi – that is f.r.e.a.k.y!

I guess I’d never have thought to check if a guy you’d been with that long was not divorced yet.
Gad – the heights of a liar astound me.

PF
PF
7 years ago

Listen carefully to the amount of times they mention “I…I…Me…Me…. Also take a good look at their “friends”…most narcissistic people have lots of “friends” but usually no long term friends.

Be wary of “new age spiritual people”….it’s code for flaky.

Be wary of people who are invested in forgiving themselves and those who see their life as journey, it’s code for dead end.

Most of all be wary of love bombers, these freaks are in love with being in love. Be sceptical of those who “fall in love” within a short time frame and stay away from anyone who believes in “soul mates”… It’s code for stealing your soul.

Namaste ya’ll

dialashark
dialashark
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

Although I would say it is true sparkly narckies have a lot of ‘friends’ (I prefer the term groupies), it is also true some do have ‘long term’ friends. But check them out, they are either fairly unintelligent people (sorry no good way to say that) or completely blinded by the sparkly narcky adulterers charm (usually facilitated by living in another State so they don’t have an in depth view into the inconsistencies of the fraudster) OR they are long term friends with fellow liars, cheats, swindlers, thieves, abusers, players and so on. These fellow narc’s help each other out, lie for each other, cover each others stories, and keep each others secrets. Truly sick.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

Again, agree totally.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

Today’s posts are capturing my experience perfectly! I was totally creeped when I found out that Dr. C was designing my engagement ring just THREE MONTHS after we started dating.

violet
violet
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

If there is only one red flag I would recommend to take extremely seriously, it is the need for constant self-promotion, Yes, these folks are the life of the party, but the stories are always about them-their adventures, their accomplishments, the way they made it to the top because of their amazing determination and abilities. They also love to brag about where they went to school, where they live and what kind of car they drive. They re always the best at everything, despite evidence to the contrary.

Conversely, I always look for the folks who can casually explain away their role in creating a mess. They aren’t perfect, “just forgiven.” Nothing is ever their fault and they are completely unable to apologize, no matter how damaging their conduct is to others. There is never a simple, “I am sorry.” Instead, it is, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Big, big difference there!

Finally, any accomplishment with which they are connected is their accomplishment. Whether it be a discussion of children or work, it is their involvement that made all the difference. It isn’t just that they always talk about themselves, which they do, it’s that no one else in their circle has near the talent or acumen. They are always the hero and everyone else has nothing more than a supporting role.

MovingOn
MovingOn
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Ick. This is my toxic co-worker to a T. I don’t know if she’s actively cheating now, but she has had at least a few emotional affairs in the past, one just last year with a co-worker. Anything you can do, she can do better, and so can her children. Any disaster you’ve dealt with, hers has been worse. I can’t stand to be around her for more than a minute, and I pretty much ignore her now because I’m not interesting in being drawn into another one of her fake friend “me me me” conversations.

I saw this in online dating as well. The first couple of guys I interacted with were nice, but our phone conversations were all about them. They hardly asked me anything about my life; they just seemed to enjoy having me around to talk to. So, I nexted them both. “Nice” isn’t enough. If you’re not going to take any interest in me, go rub rock salt, as my aunt liked to say. If you need someone to talk to about yourself, get a therapist!

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Yes!!! Self promotion! I forgot about that in my above post about the writer–he had links in his profile, promoting himself. Ugh.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Too nice to be nice, conversations on not only how honest they are but so much more than everyone else. Ridicule of others, insinuating they’re better than everyone else.
The poor me stories, the sad stories of which they’re just the great, humble guy who forged ahead despite the obstacles. Bragging about how much money, education, better job, than everyone else.
Has to always know more about a subject than anyone else.
Quick to point out other peoples faults or short comings, highly critical.
Complains about other drivers constantly while driving, road rage or anger when driving.
Unforgiving and needs to “get back” at other drivers or spite people who he feels deserve to be punished. Feels he is better than everyone else and entitled. Loves to be the center of attention.
Overly dramatic and unrealistic when it comes to his “feelings” which is usually feeling sorry for himself. Exaggerated interest in other peoples children or elderly, unnatural, too nice.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

The traitor wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper 10 years ago about a $2.40 expenses reimbursement he refused to take as a community board member as an example of his ethical commitment to serving the people and of the other councilors ‘corruption’ of the system because they accepted it. He was campaigning to be elected to the city council then. What a hero of the people! Use to sign off his emails with quotes from Jefferson. Arrogant prick!

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Great list, Brit. I had completely forgotten about the road rage, and the need to “get back” at other drivers. I finally told him I would never be riding with him again if he continued this, and he was able to put this particular “issue” under wraps for most of our marriage. But wow, this should have shown me how he would want to get back at me for every perceived slight as well.

And don’t forget mirroring. Whatever you hope to do in the future, why they want that too! You want 3 kids, they do too! You’ve always wanted to travel in Europe, oh my goodness, they can’t believe it, that’s EXACTLY what they’ve always wanted to do with someone! They will in the early stages mimic or mirror you so that you’ll like them. Once you’re hooked, they don’t give a damn what you want or like. When asked, they will have “forgotten they said that, don’t remember, or this gem, “IF I said that, I’ve changed my mind.” They avoid self-reflection and don’t have self-knowledge, because who can face that monster inside of them?

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
7 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

Also “I meant it at the time”.

There is a laundry list of things I thought my ex and I had in common in terms of emotional damage and recovery. Turns out she was just repeating my words back to me and I was so thrilled to have met someone with all of the similarities that I didn’t notice it. But then at the end of our relationship I actually thanked her for spending part of her life with me and she said it back to me. Suddenly it all clicked. She was a (emotionally -dead, not pining for the fjords) parrot.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

That’s right FindingBliss, the mirroring, I’d almost forgotten about those days, you like going to the beach? Wow, so do I. You like to cook?? what a coincidence.., so do I!!!
You’re kidding you like dogs?? Me too!! I love dogs!! (although he’d never had one).
Once you’re hooked anything you suggest doing or would like to do is the last thing they’re going to do. You’re right they down’t give a damn if it’s important to you.
Before we were married he’d plan Bed and Breakfast weekends away for my birthday.
X never planned anything for us to do after we were married.
My birthday would almost be overlooked. He’d tell me to go order my own birthday cake which I would and pick it up. I’d invite family over to celebrate and make it look like the cake was his idea. One birthday I went to order my birthday cake and told the lady behind the counter what I wanted written on the cake, Happy Birthday Brit, she paused then looked at me and said, isn’t that your name??

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

I feel bad for laughing, but this is SO funny! Yes, over time, the poor Chump helps to cover up what a LAME ASS partner the Narc is.
Then people are like ‘Ooh, you’re so lucky to be married to him! It must be so fun’!!

Sausalito
Sausalito
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

Violet, this is a perfect description of my ex. I just wish I had known this what huge red flags these characteristics are.

lostntx
lostntx
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

“just forgiven” rings bells for me. Mine just added God or Jesus to the statement. Never heard “i’m sorry” for anything that actually warranted it either.

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  lostntx

Lostntx – I was proud of myself when we were trying to avoid going to a judge and, after a year, settled for mediation.

I wasn’t going to settle on anything (I really, honestly, didn’t care about any of the money or house or anything – gotta watch those emotions!), I just wanted a sincere apology, that was all. We all KNOW what those sound like! I am sorry for….

So, after I got 20 mins of MY talk out during the first session in front of 5 lawyers, and told him what I thought of him without a foul word.
He got to say his 20 mins worth. (sorry for you folks who’ve heard this before, but it’s my victory speech)
And, he took 3 seconds to say…..wait for it….’I’m sorry you feel that way”…..and that’s all he had.

Well, I said, ‘that’s not an apology’ and I laughed really heartedly (I have no idea where my strength came from) and walked out of the conference room to my lawyers office. Like in Fargo, we both sat in front of her window and watched the STBX run out of the building with his lawyer close behind. I thought I was losing him to traffic – lol. It really was a stress-remover while the tension went on in this office to laugh at this scenario right beside us.

I guess the lawyer finally caught him – geez, we’re all wanting to settle, and they came back in the building and asked for another conference. So, back the 6 of us file (one was typing), and we stared at each other across the table, not blinking or taking our eyes off each other, he said….

‘I am so sorry I hurt you by having an affair and going against our vows. I was totally wrong and will regret my decision to decieve you for the rest of my life.”

I said, thank you, I think we can settle now, folks. And, in 5 mins flat, we were officially divorced.

It was a good apology for me, anyway.

Sad Shelby
Sad Shelby
7 years ago
Reply to  SheChump

That is AWESOME! I’ve gotten the real apology multiple times since d-day and it feels so good. He may not be as sorry as you actually wish he was but him acknowledging it as a real human being should is a very gratifying feeling!

ShesJustaFriend
ShesJustaFriend
7 years ago
Reply to  SheChump

At least you got an apology. Good for you!

tflan386
tflan386
7 years ago
Reply to  violet

“I am sorry you feel that way” – if I ever hear that sentence again, it will be too soon. A faux apology, always said with pursed lips, in that sad yet sanctimonius way, while slowly shaking their heads. Tsk, tsk. BARF.

Sunshine
Sunshine
7 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Like “I’m sorry but you…” and “I’m sorry if…”

Sad Shelby
Sad Shelby
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

OMG! “I’m sorry but…” We got into a HUGE argument once about that! How about just “I’m sorry!” It’s okay to fuck up bits life. I’m sorry. That’s all I needed. You see it was a fuck up we are both adults. You move on. That’s it. Over. Done! If you’d like to discuss the but part afterwards or at a different time, let’s get that sucker out there and we can discuss it. But don’t make me a fake apology! Just say I’m sorry and then it’s done!

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  Sunshine

Violet – ‘They also love to brag about where they went to school, where they live and what kind of car they drive. They re always the best at everything, despite evidence to the contrary.”

Yes, mine was very subtle about all of it and so smooth that, everything turned around to his success. Since he was a very good salesman, he needed a human family story to tell customers. We had show dogs (no kids) and those were our family – As I’ve mentioned, when I was out traveling and putting purple/gold ribbons on the dogs for Best of Breed, bringing home trophy’s – I heard him constantly tell his customers what a great job HIS dogs were doing in the AKC ring!
Meanwhile, while I was showing them on very long truck tours across the country on my own, he had moved his g/f into MY FUCKING HOUSE. Oops, I have a bit of turrets..

So, now that he’s without dogs or me or whatever, to brag about his lifestyle to his customers and his Mother, what stories or adventures to tell without me now? huh?

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  SheChump

In fact, he’d have me send him all the photos of the winning dogs so he could send them to his customers.
He hated dog shows.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

My STBX says this to my kids, who don’t pick up on the subtlety. It drives me insane.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
7 years ago

Yup. I used to get it from my mother all the time. She’d make some draconian decision and then tell me she was sorry that it upset me. I was always distressed at her comments,but couldn’t put my finger on why until years later.

MidlifeBlast
MidlifeBlast
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

Lol to new age spiritual., what is it with those guys?

sadlady15
sadlady15
7 years ago
Reply to  MidlifeBlast

Oh yes, I met one on a dating site. He was an angel healer. Tried to convince me to go to his house after the first date then ghosted me. then tried to pick up a friend of mine on the same dating site. when she said he has disappointed a friend in the same town he said was it “X” or “X” or “sadlady”? She said if you can’t figure it out you’re seeing too many women!! Predator much? You would not believe it he was geeky small and quiet… you have to really watch out for the red flags. Ughh!

Syringa
Syringa
7 years ago
Reply to  sadlady15

Beware people, LOTS of predators on dating sites. The weird thing is that they don’t even KNOW they are predators. They are so comfortable being a predator they feel like the way they act is NORMAL. Beware of the person who falls in love quickly and wants to marry or move in with you within the first six months. And the ‘soulmate’ thing is a for sure a red flag. Listen carefully to what they DON’T say. Lying by omission is still a lie. Check out their grown kids. Are they still supporting them in some way for their poor life choices?? If so, Run!!! Do they look contemptuous when they speak about past spouses or lovers? Do they have any long term friends? Are they financially secure …make sure you find this out almost immediately. A lot of these people don’t have a dime and are looking for someone to save them. Do they own their own home or buying it? Go look inside of it. Lots of things to check on, for sure.

Geode
Geode
7 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

Wow that’s so on target Syringa it’s almost eerie. I met Dr. Crazy online and the rest was EXACTLY like you say in your post.

kiwichump
kiwichump
7 years ago
Reply to  Syringa

I look a lot worse than contemptuous when talking about the traitor. That would make me undatable!

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
7 years ago
Reply to  MidlifeBlast

I’m on 2 online dating sites and believe me, the pickins are slim. I haven’t gone on one date in an entire year. Last suitor ended up being a rat’s ass–checking out women online even though we had agreed we were ‘exclusive’ while we were seeing if a relationship would bloom. Luckily I only wasted 7 weeks (and a delicious labor intensive Thanksgiving meal) on him.

I ‘dismiss’ guys on their first contact for what I am sure are frequently invalid reasons…just because something minor that I read in their profile strikes me as being ‘annoying’/not acceptable/something I would never consider tolerating. Or how they approach me in their first message……example: “blab blab blab…..Did I mention I’m a great kisser?…..”
This morning I got a very witty first message from a man–I’m not sure if he really didn’t know what my reference to HWP meant. (Height Weight Proportionate). His guesses what it might mean were comical and showed intelligence. Then I read his profile…..
He’s a ‘writer’ and his profile was blab blab blab “ME-ME-ME” and actually implied ‘don’t expect too much from me’. Way too ‘new age’ for my tolerance level. I have a strong sense he’s a narc and expects deep admiration for his ‘profession’.

Click. I’ll wait for the next one and see just how ‘annoying’ he is. 🙂

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  Hesatthecurb

Oh, He’sAtTheCurb – I wanna PLAY!
You know, on weekends when C/N is off the air.
I’ve thought about hitting that Match.com button once my g/f urged me to, but didn’t.
I would not want to hurt anybody with my intentions, that I’m just looking at profiles and I never intend to date again, or respond to anything.
Not even sure I can read them w/o pasting a profile – which would be blank from me – the last thing I want to do is attract a man.
So, is that okay to do morally on there? I’m just curious who emails you back.

Kar marie
Kar marie
7 years ago
Reply to  SheChump

Ex asswipe is on most all the dating sites wish i could flag him as a cheater. Oh well but i will never be on dating sites. Thats all i need his face flying by! Hahaha!

SheChump
SheChump
7 years ago
Reply to  Kar marie

ROFL Kar Marie – that’s all I had to hear, thank you.
I just know the first guy I’d hear from, by chance and it would be the X.

I don’t even want to play actually. Just thinking of looking at it.

unicornomore
unicornomore
7 years ago
Reply to  PF

Yea, that “Soul Mate” thing…from what I know, no major world religion has any tradition, teaching or scripture on that topic. If, in fact, the G-d (however you see Them) designed such a concept into the great Creation, dont you think They might have bothered to mention it somewhere?

I am of the Roman Catholic Tradition and it is simply NOT a teaching. It DOES warn sternly about adultery and there is a mention of not treating ones “wife of your youth” with treachery.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
7 years ago

First off, GP, I think your background has a lot to do with it. Grown with entitled parents? Then it doesn’t seem like such bizarre behavior so you might not notice red flags other people see right away.

Second thing is to look out for someone who moves too fast. I dated a bit and the love bombing felt right because I didn’t know anything different. Roses to my office, limos to concerts, dinners in fancy places, the most expensive hotels followed by admissions of crushing debt. Then I heard “I love you” a couple months into the relationship, followed by “I know you love me too even if you can’t say it yet.” Thank goodness Chump Nation helped me sort that out. I look back now and it was just me lining up for more of the same shit I just went through. After that I went to therapy for me, not my relationship with Narkles the Clown, for me, to fix me, to figure out why I accepted shitty behavior for so long. Only then did I stumble upon someone worthy my time and effort. He’s comfortable being alone. He shows no entitlement. He asks what I want to do, what I think about things and how I feel. He is comfortable communicating about everything and one thing we communicate about is our relationship and the glacial pace at which it moves. We talk about having an intentionally healthy relationship and what that means. We talk about boundaries, and we respect boundaries.

Third, don’t be afraid to walk away from someone who doesn’t treat you right, after one date or one year or one decade.

lostntx
lostntx
7 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

The love bombing seems to be universal. Mine gave me the “i love you” a couple of months after the first date. I didn’t even go out with her for a month after the 1st blind date. I just wasn’t that interested but she love bombed like crazy. It worked because I grew up in a family that didn’t show love like that and I wanted it. She admitted pretty early on the 1st time she saw me “God” told her I was the one to marry. Wonder if he told her to cheat on me the numerous times she did? I have a lot of work to do before I ever consider dating again. Mostly, just learning to love myself and be alone!

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
7 years ago
Reply to  lostntx

The only “god” who talks to them in their minds is a reflection of their deluded, self-centered wreck of disordered-piece-of-shit excuse for a human. Funny how this outside “authority” condones and grants all of their wishes! Can’t run fast enough!

dialashark
dialashark
7 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

“Funny how this outside “authority” condones and grants all of their wishes!” ha ha, wow, so true!!

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  FindingBliss

^^^^Exactly* they follow themselves without regard for anyone else unless of course they need something from them or could use them for PR purposes or to create a following especially once they slander you with their sob stories and blatant lies.
Once these people have served their purpose they disappear.
They’re cunning manipulators. I was so wrapped up in believing his endless lectures on his integrity I couldn’t believe he had an AP when all the obvious signs were right in front of me.
Even my pool guy told me that men don’t leave unless they have someone else.
It took reading CN to finally open my eyes to the truth. I was the Queen of Chumps.
Looking back at all the obvious clues I’m embarrassed.
I was still dancing and attempting to work things out believing he just needs space.

Unbelievably evil

Kimhopes
Kimhopes
7 years ago

I have been working hard on setting my boundaries and only last week had a friend end our friendship by text. Text doesn’t bother me, but the message was mean and nasty. When I look back I am very aware of how much I spackled for her. I had a discussion about a particular action of hers that let me down this year with other close friends and stated that I had placed her outside of my inner circle. I believe she ‘dumped’ me because she realised I was not as easily manipulated. So if you want to know if you are fixing your picker, notice if non-romantic relationships are getting better. If the users are dropping off, you are doing well.

dialashark
dialashark
7 years ago
Reply to  Kimhopes

..and the controllers

Finally Free
Finally Free
7 years ago
Reply to  Kimhopes

Wow. That has been my most recent learning. After being cheated on and disrespected by my ex, I had experiences with two girlfriends who were beyond disrespectful. In fact, they were cruel in how they spoke to me and I realized over time that it was a pattern with them too. I had never enforced boundaries. I am now also no contact with them and my friends who remain plus some new ones are very respectful as I am towards them. It really is a new life now. I have learned so much and will never let anyone treat me badly again.

deedee
deedee
7 years ago

My ex was soooo good at keeping his secret life underground and showed remarkable cunning and deviousness in being able to juggle a harem of fuck buddies who worked together and knew each other.He was a master manipulator who managed to conceal a secret life for more than thirty years.The flexibility of his job enabled him in his concealment and provided him with rich hunting grounds.
On the surface he was Mr. Nice Guy,charming,generous,funny.A veritable wolf in sheep’s clothing.It has made me too scared to entrust my heart and soul to anyone since and it took me years to recover.Dangerous,dangerous man masquerading as wonderful family guy.
The good news is I no longer care what he does or who he’s with.Meh was a long time coming.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  deedee

Deedee and brit.

Mine so much the same but seemingly nice to me too if you discount all the dating websites and fuck buddies.
Another sort of red flag is notice how our own body reacts to them. Not just gut feeling more than that. I am no longer a hypochondriac as all of my nervous twitches, eye twitches, digestive troubles ALL GONE. It’s as if he triggered my unconscious mind that tried to get my attention with all this stuff but then he cheated and I could see the person he was – all the spackle fell off – I decide to divorce and I relax and boom everything in my system settles down.
Weird

Left&free
Left&free
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

YES! This was my experience – my body was just screaming at me to wake up. I had a small burning spot under my breast that drove me crazy at night when we were sleeping together, twitching, clinching my teeth…I nearly drove myself crazy with a hyper-vigilant obsession about my body. When I broke free of my massive denial and kicked him out – even though the pain of the broken pair bonding was severe and I experienced deep emotional trauma, ALL of my physical complaints vanished. Our bodies are so powerful and linked inextricably with our mind. The outcome of this discovery for me led me to fall passionately in love with yoga because it is such a healing practice that strengthens the connection of body, mind, spirit. Now I’m teaching yoga and I ask my students to listen to their bodies and the messages they send.

I am so grateful for the community of understanding on this site and the voices that reassure that if we love ourselves and don’t lose sight of that self love, we can not only move past this but we can choose to both thrive and not let our lives be negatively defined by abuse.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

I remember the nervousness and the eye twitches whenever X was home. I’d have friends call and tell me they could tell when X was on a business trip by the relaxed tone of my voice when he was home.
I would have trouble falling asleep then staying asleep when X was home. Once I fell asleep I would inevitably wake up one or two hours afterwards then wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep.
My muscles would be tense, I would felt tension throughout my entire body, arms and legs.
I didn’t realize how much stress he created in the home until he left. I regret not leaving him long before he moved out. I feel guilty for not choosing a better father for my son.

dialashark
dialashark
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Ugh. This is what I am going through now. I literally cannot sleep in the same bed as him anymore. Since he snores a lot, he sleeps in the other room most nights, but the real reason I have been requesting it more and more is that I have chronic insomnia when I share our bed with him. Since he has been in the other room, I sleep through the night no problems.

Also a few months ago I left for a month. I slept like a baby every night I was gone, after 18 months of chronic all night insomnia.

Now my body aches most days, my shoulders are tense, I clench my teeth, my sides hurt, my tummy does flips and I am bone dead exhausted everyday.

So glad I found this blog. If only it was around a pre 2009, maybe I wouldn’t have taken him back and found myself in this situation a second time 🙁

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Brit
I don’t mean to sound ‘wrong’ but really just let that guilt go. One thing chumps seem to be experts at is taking the blame. We have often had appalling parents and then appalling spouses. We have usually been expert doers and trusted and spackled and loved wholeheartedly.
We cannot do anything about the people who have been in our lives. We can somewhat control who we let into our lives from now on but we Absolutely can control if we choose to continue to bludgeon ourselves with guilt as well.
It was not your fault. At all. You did the best you could at the time. That is good enough. Be gentle with yourself otherwise these fuckers win. They treated us horribly. Let’s not do the same to ourselves.
No guilt. No shame. No blame.
Just straightforward, honest, conscientious, loving real and mighty chumps.

louisvilleflower
louisvilleflower
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

❤️

getting real
getting real
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Jesus you just explained what I’m going through!

Whenever he’s home I cannot sleep. And when he’s home I smoke a lot.

As soon as I walk out of the house the urge to smoke disappears.

PutAForkInMe
PutAForkInMe
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

OMG…my eye hasn’t twitched since I kicked his ass out! I use to twitch EVERYWHERE – couldn’t sleep for the twitching…wow…just wow…

That was quite a moment of clarity! Thank you!

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  PutAForkInMe

Fork and Finding Bliss

The twitching thing is very odd but now my STBX is back and forth it’s just bizarre how it gets going as soon as he is here and goes when he is gone. Hopefully this is now my own narc radar!!! If I ever date again I hope it is!!

Bliss I get it with the gullible. I used to actually boast about how great he was talking to women. He was such a great listener and seemed to just be there for them. It makes me cringe now. Actually looking back after all hell broke lose is hard – as red flag after red flag pops up. It’s like Poppy Day my history. ?

Twitching
Twitching
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

My eyelids twitched, my thumbs both twitched, my shoulder ached from bursitis, and I had sharp shooting pain in my lower back. My body was screaming at me to see the truth.

All of that is gone now. No more twitches.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn, I had forgotten about the eyelid twitching! That stopped as soon as I filed–who woulda thunk?

Also, if upon meeting any co-worker, they say jokingly to you that they are his “work wife, or just like we’re married.” More true than you know. Gosh it’s painful to write that out and put it out there–can you say gullible? At a funeral of one of my uncles, a woman got up to announce how much she loved working and traveling with him, she was “just like his work wife”–funny how we all figured that was true and that he was cheating with her. However, the spackle and hopium gave me complete stupid blindness when a female coworker said the same thing to me. Ex went out of his way to mention how unattractive he found her, and how she would never be his type. If I didn’t know the power of hopium and spackle, I’d make myself nauseated just remembering this crap.

Yes, work on ourselves, our pickers, our boundaries.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  deedee

X is an expert at masquerading as the nice family guy, behind closed doors highly critical and sarcastic, wicked. The truth is he’s a master manipulator, devious and cruel.
To outsiders, funny, charming, life of the party, great guy. I had been told more than once how lucky I was to be married to such a wonder man.
The sad thing is I trusted this monster with my life and he tried to destroy me.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago

I think one red flag I missed is secretiveness about exes. My ex never mentioned anyone he had dated, and a couple of times I found out he had dated women he acted like he barely knew. They do this so they can circle back to an ex (which is the easiest thing to do, bar none, except co workers,)without raising any suspicion. They are just Friends or someone you went to school with, or lived in the same apartments with.

I also think exes very seldom expose cheaters who contact them, whereas other potential affair partners might. So they are easy, and low risk.

NoMoreEvil
NoMoreEvil
7 years ago
Reply to  Anita

Yes, Anita!!! XH would never say ex, it was always a “old neighbor” when telling me about people from his past. Wow, that just reminded me of another huge red flag. He would reveal over time all the different states he had lived in, but with no real details for all the moving around. I realized he would probably somewhere for a relationship and once he screwed that up and burned all his bridges there, he would find a new one somewhere else. Rinse and repeat…so, this is also a big red flag.

Blindside
Blindside
7 years ago

I’m not in the dating pool yet. But I do see plenty of single people on facebook, and I’ll look at their pages. If it’s a bunch of pictures of themselves posing this way and that, and/or a bunch of selfies, then I’m not interested. My wife’s page is a perfect advertisement of exactly what to avoid.

And the phone, oh god the phone. If they can’t put their phone down, if they can’t have it out of their sight, if it’s on silent, facedown all the time. Then run, my friends, run!

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago

The covert narcissists are meek, will open the door for you and appear to be empathetic. The entitlement is well hidden.

The red flags for him might be complaining, blaming,and empathy seeking. By all appearances he is a knight in shining armor. His story will be about the contrast between all of his goodness and how little affection he received.

This covert malignant narcissist will mirror your every emotion. He was so deprived you will want to give him gifts and shower him with affection. But he’s lazy. He’s dating multiple women and the first one to sleep with him wins the prize.

He presents like a wounded bird or the runt of the litter. He wants PITY.

Crumpetchump
Crumpetchump
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Woah! The covert narcissist! Yes! Exactly! Chump Lady… Please do a post on this one!
The ex’s councillor actuallt told him he is the NICEST person ever. (Dozens of women serial cheater). He fools every person (friends, family, me) with his nice-ness. So scary.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Crumpetchump

YES YES X100000 to all of these posts. That’s him!! So nice so kind. Yes boyish
When I tell people what has happened they look at me like I can not be serious.
‘What!!’ ‘He did what????’ I can’t believe it. You can’t be serious. He’s so nice!?!? No no.
And the kicker for me is they always ask
‘Are you sure?’ Honestly I feel like making a laminated sign.

Please note X had three extramarital affairs with #1, #2, #3 over four years. He lied. He cheated. No I’m not kidding. I am serious. Yes X. Yes I am sure. Very sure. Nod when you have digested and understood.
Yes really I am serious.

Mama duck says quack quack
Mama duck says quack quack
7 years ago
Reply to  Crumpetchump

“Woah! The covert narcissist! Yes! Exactly! Chump Lady… Please do a post on this one!”Yes. please.
“The ex’s councillor actuallt told him he is the NICEST person ever. (Dozens of women serial cheater). He fools every person (friends, family, me) with his nice-ness. So scary.” Scary indeed!

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

I just reread your post Doingme and sounds identical, claim to be sensitive, all his goodness emphasized, you would think I married John Boy from the Waltons. Poor empathetic guy just doing the right thing always up against the unjust rejection and evil of the world. Pointing out the faults in others, such as a person not returning their shopping basket from the parking lot, someone had two samples from the sample cart in Costco when it specifically says only one sample per customer, a car who changed lanes without using their blinker, he would never think of doing such a thing. On and on..

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Oh just the perfect guy Britt. They hide it so well. There is a boyish quality, an innocence you want to believe.

They appear to listen and nod in agreement only to complain later as if they never heard you. And they are constantly scanning the information for later use.

All that innocence and calm was his mask. They love to rack up our losses in the most deviant way.

I had NO idea I was living with a sociopath.

Capricorn
Capricorn
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Doingme
Do you know that feeling of reading a post and your heart sinking. Yours gave me that.
I had a narc emotionally abusive mother and a cheater father that just left when I was 10.
I had never seen it that I would not see red flags the same as anyone else.
My STBXH is a covert something. Met and married in six months. He mirrors, only I saw it as listening. He was needy of emotional support always. He changed jobs every two years as he wasn’t feeling comfortable where he was, always blaming ‘too aggressive work colleagues’. I felt I always had to protect him from their ‘negative’ views of his personality. He couldn’t stick at anything. Started a business but never followed through. Wanted to do further degrees but never got started. Always seemed disappointed with life so I worked hard to keep everyone happy. Got bigger but never exercised or ate healthy – so I was always worried. I followed everywhere raising the boys. He worked all hours. He was a good dad when home.
He is rubbish with money and we always have debt. Our electricity or phone would be cut off before he paid. Racked up loads of speeding fines but didn’t pay until threatened with court.
I mistook who he was. He always did stuff I asked him too but I was always excessively grateful for ordinary help.
No male friends. Lots of women friends.
Then all the affairs while working abroad. Now just wants things back the way they were.
I was worried as he is back home right now – lots of help in the forum yesterday but now as I look at him I realise I want out more than the fear of leaving. He is being kind and generous and understanding but I know now he will not implode on his own he will be just fine. Nothing touches him. He will just carry on as is.
I still love him but I don’t want him. I want my life back.

KB22
KB22
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

The changing jobs is always disturbing as are the delinquent bill payments. You can’t count on child support from your stbx so start lining up your ducks and try to get as much as possible now. These defects see child support as some sort of extortion and will dig their heels in and find every way not to pay their fair share and most times not pay at all.

Crumpetchump
Crumpetchump
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Capricorn! You just described the ex!!! Like… Exactly.
His life is always in chaos
Changed jobs every two years
Always everybody else’s fault
Unhappy in himself
Terrible with money
Never time for mundane things like mowing the lawn
Can’t be alone
No male friends, prefer women
Does not respect any woman in authority
Serial cheater
Triangulator par excellence.

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Capricorn

Yes, he’s a wounded bird Capricorn. Coverts tap into our fixer mixer that comes from our FOO.

And he was always agreeable, a yes man. And always changing jobs, never satisfied. Never ever apologized.

They are so cunning Capricorn. Once they know you see them they become angry as hell.

ANC
ANC
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Crap. I married a weasel like that. Experts in Darvo too, they are (apologies for yoda-speak).

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

So true, Doingme. My ex was a covert narcissist too. The entitlement was well hidden and there was plenty of complaining, blaming and empathy seeking. From a lazy standpoint, he did just enough to say that he helped. If I asked for more help, he replied that nothing he did was ever good enough for me. They look so normal to people who don’t live with them but they’re not – not at all.

Mama duck says quack quack
Mama duck says quack quack
7 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

Doingme , ByeByeCheater, Brit, Nomoreskankboy thank you so so so much for your comments. I know exactly what you are talking about. The nice ones are so hard for others outside of the marriage to see them for who they are. From inside it still took me more than 20 years to see him. Every single day since his favorite prostitute knocked on my door, I’m still in disbelief:, no, not this guy, he is soooooooooo nice, meek, gentle, loving, a kind soul, God fearing, gooooooood Chrstian. Ah! But the the smirks, the satisfaction on his face. If anyone came to me talking about his smirks regarding the adultery and double life, I would not believe that person,I would dismiss said person just as someone trying to extinguish fire with alcohol. But I am the one who saw them on his face. He was so sure I would not divorce him because of the kids and because I’m a stay at home mom, that he did not even pretend to be sorry or remorseful . He was so wrong on that one. The day I told him that it is over, was the day the smirks stopped, not that he started caring for me and the children or the damaged caused by his deceitfulness , but because of his image, sure people will ask why I’m divorcing him and it will not look good on him, it will tarnish his polished image. It was all so funny until consequences. I’m so thankful for the smirks, each one for them hurt as hell and pierced me through, but they were a blessing in disguise for they were the window for me to see his soul/heart. As long as I live I’ll thank God for them smirks. They were the nail on his coffin. . That arrogance was very well hidden in a very deep place inside of him and only the smirks exposed it, brought it to the surface. He could smile because he felt superior, he had a secret, he felt mighty .What he thought was his superiority was his demise.
Also want to thank everyone here for the comments you all do not even dream how much you have helped me and how much I rely on you guys for support and thanks Chump Lady for this space, you are one of the few voices portraying the ugliness of adultery and deception as it is. This special space is so important ,it is good for our sanity. No, we are not crazy. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for what you are doing.
Sorry for the bad English, still learning the language.

ByeByeCheater
ByeByeCheater
7 years ago

Mdsqq, I know that smirk too – unfortunately, I didn’t understand what is was until it was too late.

Anita
Anita
7 years ago
Reply to  ByeByeCheater

Bye Bye Cheater, you are exactly right about you usually don’t pick up on this stuff till you live with them. That’s why it is such a hoot when a delusional ow starts spouting off how much better they ” know ” your spouse than you do. I saw plenty of them on Ric sites trying to torment chumps with that little gem. News flash, ow, you see what they want to show you. Even more so than in a regular relationship. That’s why adulterous relationships fail. When cheaters marry, the ow gets to see what we saw. I mean, they already know they are lying, cheating scum but they finally get to see the whole package. Not pretty.

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  Doingme

Doingme, do you know my ex husband? You have just described him perfectly.

Can I tell you I was actually asked out last week and my skin crawled. The chap presented as nice and not sleazy at all but I just couldn’t bring myself to go out. He gave me his name and mobile number and I told him I wouldn’t be giving him my mobile number although I did give him my first name only. I did tell him that if he received a call from me he could consider himself lucky. I was just being a bit playful but his number is now in the trash. This man was so completely opposite to my ex husband and he may have been very genuine but I am not prepared at nearly 65 years of age to take a chance now. I might have missed a nice chance who knows!

Doingme
Doingme
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

I know Maree. It’s an awful warning label to be suspect to the good guys who may not be predators.

However, why not go out? I refuse to live in fear of narcissists. Have some fun.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Sounds like my X too Marlee, the poor me how he’s been badly treated but managed to pull through despite adversity and the struggle which only exits in his mind.

Almost trips over himself to open doors for elderly or handicapped people. It’s nice to do if you’re right there but to run across a room when there are others close who are capable and willing to hold the door open it’s unnecessary and appears to me X did this for attention and to show what a great guy he is. All of it fake, he wouldn’t help them if there weren’t an audience.

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

brit and nomoreskankboy it never ceases to amaze me how similar our cheaters all are. There must be a special mould somewhere that these idiots are poured into and then churned out like robots who look like humans !!

nomoreskankboy
nomoreskankboy
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

brit, skankboy did that stuff, too. Would do small and large favors for others to look like the “great guy.” After the love bombing, he did squat for me. Idiot was the runt of the litter, poor me, etc.etc.
Rarely spoke of the exes…..”they all broke up with me.” One thing he did say was “if you knew me before you would not have liked me” when we first dated. Why didn’t I see that as a HUGE red flag??? Thank goodness my picker is getting a complete overhaul.

WhichWayDidSheGo
WhichWayDidSheGo
7 years ago
Reply to  nomoreskankboy

I used to say that my ex wouldn’t have liked me if she had meet me in my early 20s. I wouldn’t have liked me either; it was before I had my depression diagnosed and somewhat under control and I verbally took out my inner turmoil on other people. I guess just a reminder that a red flag is a notice that something may need monitored, not a foolproof sign that someone is planning on fucking you over.

brit
brit
7 years ago
Reply to  nomoreskankboy

X said the same thing to me nomoreskankboy, that “if I had known him before I wouldn’t have liked him” I wonder why I didn’t take that statement more seriously.
A glaring red flag, how could I have missed that one??
He would rarely speak of any ex’s they all broke it off with him, claims to have never had a real girlfriend. I felt sorry for him and thought he’d appreciate me for paying attention to him.
My picker is in need of a huge overhaul.
X also did extra favors for others to look like the “good guy,” appeared to me he would bring attention to himself for doing whatever he did.

I am the Chump.
I am the Chump.
7 years ago
Reply to  brit

Oh my gosh. I got that too. I was told, “If you knew what I was like when you met me, you would have run in the other direction”. I never knew what to male of that statement. By the time it was said to me, it was way too late.

Beth
Beth
7 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Maree, that “skin crawl” is a sign that your subconscious picked up on something your conscious mind didn’t. You were very smart to pay attention to that! I highly recommend the book “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker. It’s all about listening to your intuition.

Maree
Maree
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth, it is interesting but I have always had a good ‘picker’ I just ignored it because I thought people I met were honest and genuine like myself and never wanted anything from me because I was projecting “me” onto them. Not any more. CL & CN has taught me so, so much and opened my eyes to my foolishness. My sister knows that I am on this site without knowing the name of it but I make her laugh a lot when I come out with some of the priceless quotes that I have learned here. You see my sister has been married for 44 years to a great guy, not perfect but a good solid marriage so she doesn’t have the need for this site but she sure has noticed my spine is straighter and I don’t take any crap any more. Thank you for the book reference I will make to sure that I read it.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
7 years ago

Since the red flag list is for if someone is cheating, don’t forget; they suddenly start taking care of their appearance in ways they never did before. Buying new clothes, haircut, dentist, working out, etc.

For dating/making friends I really like http://dearcoquette.com/on-red-flags/

“Speaking from personal experience, a red flag isn’t that big of a deal. It’s merely a warning, something to notice as a potential problem. Everyone I’ve ever dated has had multiple red flags, and I personally am a walking collection of red flags. Most of us are.

In fact, it’s impossible to not have at least one red flag, because If I meet someone who doesn’t have any red flags, that’s a red flag.

See what I’m getting at? Red flags aren’t a penalty or a punishment. They’re just indicators. By themselves, they aren’t cause for dismissal, and they don’t disqualify you from anything.”

I think from our experiences we may have deal breakers while dating that we didn’t have before. My biggest two are:

The person has never lived alone/been single for any significant period (at least a year).

The person agrees with me on pretty much every topic. This one is tricky, you need to ask their opinions rather than simply give your own. Notice if they give very little response and instead turn it to you to speak first. Make sure they speak their words first.

My newest deal breaker cannot be uttered here cos; politics.

Aletheia
Aletheia
7 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I am late. Often. Because I always try to do one more thing. I know better, but it is true. And then an animal will barf, a toilet overflow, kid can’t find coat, shoes, most important item IN THE WORLD! and boom, late again.

I also dated a lot when I was single because if a guy asked and I had nothing going on, I’d go. I didn’t spend a ton of time single more of serial monogamy, followed by various dates. I used to have a bunch of guys friends but not when married, I didn’t maintain contact and neither did they. I might have misunderstood the friendship, like “when Harry met sally”.

Aletheia
Aletheia
7 years ago
Reply to  Aletheia

I always paid my own way.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

🙂

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
7 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

It’s actually useful if the person is honest all I have to do now is ask one simple question before accepting a date 😉

Ian Dubito
Ian Dubito
7 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

violet
violet
7 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Right there with you; the best example of what to avoid!

Uneffingbelieveable
Uneffingbelieveable
7 years ago

LIES. Little white ones. The ones by omission. Listen when they talk to OTHER people. Do they embellish stories? Do they shave strokes off of their golf game? My X used to do this all the time. Just little things, seemingly innocuous, but it was a pattern.

When he was asked where he grew up, he’d lie about that, too! When asked to get something at the store and he’d return without it, instead of saying “I forgot” like a normal human being, he’d look me dead in the eye and say that the store was out of the item – which I knew was impossible. It was frustrating for me, but I blew it off as not a big deal.

On DDay, when I had indisputable proof of his cheating, again he looked me dead in the eye and said it wasn’t true. He then only admitted to what I had tangible proof of.

People who are allergic to the truth cannot be trusted. And people who lie when the telling the truth would be just as acceptable are waving a huge red flag in your face.

unicornomore
unicornomore
7 years ago

Now when I look WAY WAY back to when we first dated, I see small lies that I dismissed…he told me he didnt know which name was his first name vs which name was his middle name (he had swapped them when he and I initially met and rather than fess up to the first lie, he told another) I just dismissed it as silliness.

Later, when called out telling lies, he said “Men make up yarns, its part of our culture” to dismiss widespread, constant lying. Much much later in our lives, when I caught him in a lie, he would accuse me of being daft and having no sense of humor since I should have been able to tell that he was kidding.

When we had been married like 16 years, he came home from an extended time away with a story of foiling a robbery at a gas station and it was full of detail…I later asked him about it and he said it was a “yarn” and again made fun of me for not understanding.

Now, I feel stupid for how much I believed him. I am a really gullible (but loving and trusting) person, but in the end, God will hold him accountable for his lies.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
7 years ago

OMG, yes that one is dead on. The small lies for no apparent reason. Exasshole did that too, I didn’t notice until we’d been together for a couple of years. My BFF’s spouse did the same thing. We put it down to them growing up with a controlling mother where a little lie would have helped avoid unpleasant consequences. We were wrong about that (forehead hits keyboard). Turned out he was cheating all along and her spouse was blowing through money and other bad behavior. Sheesh.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
7 years ago

Here’s a sign: the person tells you something shocking…and you explain it away. For example, Jackass told me that when he graduated, he spent time chopping stolen cars. I was shocked. Seriously shocked. And then I told myself, “he learned his lesson”–instead of asking “what kind of person can do this?”

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
7 years ago

This is a really good subject.

I started the online dating way to soon, I admit that one, not sure when the right time is, but I stuck with it. I also had no intention of starting a relationship, nor just wanting casual sex. Without wanting to sound like something a Narc might say, i went with the attitude that life’s too short, if i make some new friends out of the experience then that’s a positive.

Anyway i digress..heres my experience on dating:-

1) Your are at an advantage already that you kind of know what you don’t want in a person based on your last experience. If you are aware of Cluster B fuck-wits then you are at an even bigger advantage.

2) It may seem like and old romantic story, but I was looking for a fellow chump. I was in no hurry to meet someone and have a full blown relationship.

3) When i connected with someone on the dating site, there was an immediate connection in terms of our sense of humour, not taking ourselves too seriously..She was a chump…I knew i could get along with this person.

4) I was very honest about my experience, told her I’m only xx months out of a marriage, I’m not mental I just want to meet new people and enjoy life. The 5 minutes she took to reply felt more like an hour…when she replied and said she too was a chump we began texting each other pretty much every day and I knew even more so this was a person I would like to spend time with.

5) When we met for our first date, There wasn’t an immediate spark or attraction there, she was lovely, funny, we got on well, it was a perfect date, but I still wasn’t sure. I just told myself not to over think it, enjoy the experience, If she doesn’t want to see me again then I’ll accept that.

6) As the relationship progressed I kept finding myself thinking “This wasn’t what it was like when I fell in love with my Ex” That was fast, amazing, butterflies, exciting…Surely that what falling in love with was supposed to be about. Again, i stuck with it.

7) I went into the relationship knowing I can survive on my own, I enjoy my own space, my own time, If she didn’t accept that then I would be disappointed but would go my own way…she felt the same.

8) Most of all trust your gut, it probably served you well before…if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t

18 months later and me and my fellow chump are very much in love, she reciprocates, listens, values my opinion, isn’t needy or demanding, intelligent and lovely. It’s not perfect, it gets hard when we both have kids, but aren’t rushing anything. All I need to do now if get my STBXW out of my life.