Dear Chump Lady, Do they turn bad or were they always bad?

Dear Chump Lady,

It’s been almost 10 months since D-Day. Things are slowly but surely getting better for me after finding out that my tramp of an ex had been cheating on me for the past 10 years or so. It was a tremendous blow to my heart and ego, but I’m starting to realize that I’m glad I finally found out rather then having to live with my suspicions for the rest of my life. The only time I feel really angry about the situation is when I have to look at her during the court proceedings and having to fathom the thought of giving her things that she doesn’t deserve.

I did not know anything at all about her before we met and got married. But I saw her as a good person who worked hard, was a good mother, and was really a good wife. We had our issues like any young couple experiences during the first years of marriage, but nothing that damaged our relationship. But after our first daughter started school (10 years into our relationship) and my STBXW met other mothers (lowlifes who liked to party) through play dates; getting attention from other men (boob job) and forgetting her responsibilities as a mother and wife; I saw the person I loved turn into some one that destroyed our family. She turned into a “me and I” person and forgot about the family and its needs.

So what I’m basically asking you is: “Was she a bad person who put on a charade when she met me, but ultimately changed back into the person she really is? Or was she good person but slowly but surely turned bad?”

I can’t see how someone can do a 180 in their life and purposely hurt people, because I could never do that. Was there always a narcisist hidden inside of her or was she just so greatly influenced by the people around her that she decided to sleep with our daughters’ soccer coaches, ruin our finances, and make my daughters and I live a lie this whole time? I guess that is the only thing that I still question about her because I never thought that this person who I loved so much could turn in to a monster that broke up our family.

Sincerely,

Tremont10

Dear Tremont10,

This is a classic Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness question and I’m about to give you a really unsatisfying answer at 10 months out. (It will probably only make sense at about 10 years out, which is where I am in the chump trajectory).

It doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter if they were a good person with oodles of potential, who took a bad turn, happened upon the wrong set of friends, wandered into the carnival, and grew donkey ears. It doesn’t matter if they were born evil and presented a convincing mask for decades, which one horrifying day you saw behind. It doesn’t matter if they’re a confused muddle of midlife crisis and regret. What matters is her ACTIONS and what you will TOLERATE.

Everything else is untangling the skein. Why? Why is she this way? How could she do this?  Which is another way to say you’re in the bargaining stage of grief. Maybe if I understand it, I can prevent it. Maybe if I could change something about myself, this wouldn’t have happened. We’ll pick up those thoughts in a moment…

What you’re really asking me is — did I matter? Did I EVER matter? Do my daughters matter?

Probably. But not enough.

That’s the suckfest of being chumped. The feeling that this is all somehow personal, that you didn’t register, that you bonded to someone who wasn’t bonded back. And worse, you were not special, you were just of use. The connection was shallow. Your commitment to your ex-wife didn’t stop her from fucking around on you for 10 years. Your daughter’s love did not prevent their mother from fucking their soccer coaches. She did the cost-benefit analysis each time and decided that her kibbles were worth more than your well-being. And if her kids are mortified and lose their friends, and their home breaks up — hey, Coach Douche LIKED HER NEW BOOBS.

You’ve been married to an idiot gambler who traded the family homestead for a Mexican jumping bean. That doesn’t jump. But is purportedly MAGIC.

And you’re there, standing with what’s left of your shit, having lost your entire home thanks to this bad trade, and you’re wondering, “Have you always been an idiot, or was this something that came upon you suddenly?”

Dude, wrong question.

The right question is — How fast can I get away from this person and protect myself from their horrible judgement?

Tremont10, you’re doing the right things. You’re divorcing and building a new life. Put your energies there. Focus on what you can control — you. Figure out what your values are and what you will and will not tolerate in relationships. Learn how to enforce boundaries. That way, when people start acting shady, you’ll speak up and remove yourself from harm. You won’t get lost in their skein.

Be brutally self-appraising. I did not know anything at all about her before we met and got married. But I saw her as a good person who worked hard, was a good mother, and was really a good wife.

Yeah, you SAW her that way. Was she that way? I’m going to bet there were signs of her entitlement in the past, but you spackled over them. That’s the kind of shit you can fix going forward — projecting your values on to other people. Judge people by their actions over time, NOT on how you wish to perceive them.

I’m sure your wife wasn’t all bad. Few people are. Even the most loathsome people have their hooks. But that doesn’t mean you can sustain a relationship with them. It’s all about the price of admission you’re willing to pay. We’re about self worth here at Chump Nation.

I will tell you this, however — a decade of a double life isn’t normal. It might not be uncommon, judging by my sheer blog numbers, but it’s not sane. In my opinion, the only people who can sustain a lifestyle of constant deceit — cheating, stealing marital resources, lying — are Cluster B personality disorders. The people whose empathy synapses don’t fire. They’re wired wrong and they’ll step over your broken heart for a Hot Pocket. It’s a good life lesson to know that these people exist. Not everyone shares your values.

Your job going forward is to:

A). Trust your resiliency. Are there freaks? Yes — but with some better life skills you can shut their shit down. (See “boundaries” above.)

B.) Be the sane parent. Your daughters need you to model what loving attachment looks like. Mom’s having Girl’s Night Out with her 36Ds.

C.) Work on the new life. You escaped the idiot! Rebuild!

Don’t look back and try to pinpoint where it all went bad. Don’t waste time wondering what motivates someone to cheat. (She was a Sagittarius. And it was August. It was bound to happen.) Don’t look to idiots for validation. (Did she ever LOVE me?)

Full speed AHEAD. Leave her in the dust.

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ANC
ANC
6 years ago

My 2cents:

The disordered types are not created in a vacuum. Resist the urge to untangle their bullshit. I can assure you these assholes come from a nest of fuckupedness. CL is very correct in that the redflags were there and you spackled in your own way.

Stay the sane parent. Invest in yourself and your daughter. If needed, and I highly recommend, find an excellent therapist for you and your daughter. The best satisfaction for me was early on telling the MIL and the inlaw minions that this shit stopped with me- I was not (an am not) raising the next generation of shit heads.

You got this. BE the gray rock and role model of a man you want for your daughter.

ChumpaRican
ChumpaRican
5 years ago
Reply to  ANC

I know this is an old post but Tremont 10 I think we were married to the same woman. Is that possible?

doneandoverwith
doneandoverwith
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Yes! “The shit stops here”!

It’s absolutely terrifying that I believed my STBX shared the same vision for decades…until he upped and left for a schmoopie 3 months ago, no warning, blindsided, narc discard…The seemingly loving spouse and father that unleashed an a-bomb on his family and home and ran away without a care or even faking the “I’m sorry”.

God help me be an effective sane parent and spare my children from damaging the next generation. I have a hard time dealing with the fact that my kids are suffering more acutely because of my misguided belief that my husband could/would rise above his own demons.

This post is so provocative in contemplating how nearly a 25 year-long journey came to end this way.

Giddy Eagle
Giddy Eagle
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

I cannot wait until the divorce is final and I get to tell his father the truth about his son. The 53yo son who is still afraid to confront his father. The father who thinks he’s only had the one affair.

Mehphista
Mehphista
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

“This shit stops with me”

A motto for any parent.

Rickb89
Rickb89
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

Hell yeah, good post

TKO
TKO
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

ANC, I did the same as you and confronted them. It took me a few months though beforehand of bafflement at the FOO’s evasions, flippancy and gaslighting before I began to connect the dots and began to recognize their dysfunctional ecosystem and how it clearly produced their disordered daughters. I was so new to the world and even the existence of Cluster B. I confronted them as you did, but I did so stupidly thinking it could awaken or alter them. I say this to warn any who are new to this situation. It sounds silly to even say so but a disordered family will work exponentially harder than a disordered individual to smear, slander and destroy any healthy chump who confronts them. It absolutely does not matter if they have nothing on you and you have truth and facts. They have lifetimes of lying and zero shame. Those of you who may be brand new to this world of disorder need to de-naive yourselves very quickly when it comes to dealing on any level with a brood of disordered vipers. If you find you must, given your circumstances, confront them…be prepared for a never-ending shit campaign. I’m talking years long. Bring your recording device on day one. The roots of these disorders goes back generations as I have found (I am one who went whole hog into the skein). Anyway, I live with a few daily mantras now…one of which is like yours ANC: “this shit stops with me”. My children may never fully know. And almost certainly their children won’t. But we chumps can live with the knowledge of our true mightiness -that while the disordereds controlled (through deception) a limited period now past, we control the future.

QueenMother
QueenMother
6 years ago
Reply to  TKO

Wow TKO!! Wow!

What helpful stuff!!!

+ a disordered family will work exponentially harder than a disordered individual to smear, slander and destroy any healthy chump who confronts them

+ The roots of these disorders goes back generations

+ while the disordereds controlled (through deception) a limited period now past, we control the future

+ They have lifetimes of lying and zero shame. Those of you who may be brand new to this world of disorder need to de-naive yourselves very quickly when it comes to dealing on any level with a brood of disordered vipers

I copied from your letter because it helps me learn. Only this week, I wrote to my now former sister-in-law and asked her: “Don’t you care what has happened to us?” and “Why was I the only one to hold him accountable?”

StaryEye
StaryEye
6 years ago
Reply to  QueenMother

When I first met my stbx family, I tried to say his family doesn’t reflect on him. Just because all his sibilings had at least one divorce, if not many doesn’t mean he would follow that path. Just because his family and parents were obviously disfunctional, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t keep H from following that path. Really really want this crazy distinction to end with me and not my son. Sometimes I want to change both our last names to symbolize how we are not one of them.

lulutoo
lulutoo
6 years ago
Reply to  TKO

Thank you! I too have said (from a surprisingly young age, looking back at it) “This stops with ME.”
Thank you, Chumplady and all posters here.

Sunflower36
Sunflower36
6 years ago
Reply to  ANC

The sane parent…. God…. I feel like the insane parent ona rollercoaster ride in hell. I’ve got seriously pissed off kids who cannot and will not ever see their bio donor the way he is and I have to tip toe carefully to spare their hearts from something it can’t be spared from so tht I can come off as the sane parent.

And every time he talks in that agreeable tone of voice that makes him sound reasonable, I want to punch him in the face.

I literally hate his guts.

Mim
Mim
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower36

Ah yes the agreeable tone. Sends me misty angry too. It says ‘I’m giving myself a pass on my adultery. Your devastation is not to be acknowledge. BTW I don’t have a girlfriend, it’s all in your crazy head’. It says ‘Mim, nothing has changed, we are all good’. It says ‘I’m a reasonable, straightforward good man just going about with my life! It says ‘What crater of mass destruction?’ Standing in said crater of mass destruction. With a-fucking-greeableness!?

Its an inappropriate tone of an inappropriate man.

Misty angry.

Taking on the wisdom of Chump Nation, I’m grey rocking as much as possible and getting better at it. I was a bit wobbly starting out, what with the rage and pain. I’m fortunate that I can go no contact in a couple of months. Seriously coming to look at it as a nearing oasis.

Nyra
Nyra
6 years ago
Reply to  Mim

Condescending is what I call it!

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower36

Sunflower, It seems they ALL use an “agreeable tone of voice”. Impression manaagement and subterfue to make YOU look bad.

ChumpOnIt
ChumpOnIt
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower36

Hugs, Sunflower. My X also uses the bullshit “calm, collected, sane” tone of voice (until he gets defensively tantrumy) and it drives me nuts to the point of questioning my sanity as well. I respond with nothing at all or just play along and keep it business (which is the only contact I want anyway). It’s early here for me too (and my daughter is only a toddler). The kids will know who the sane parent is in time, based on actions and not on words alone. Trust, and stay sane. <3

kb
kb
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower36

Agreed, it’s early days.

Practice as much NC as you can. Use scheduling software to avoid interacting with him, and practice Gray Rock responses when your kids bring up stuff that they do at their father’s or that their father tells them. “Dad got us a Nintendo Switch!” Your response: “Cool!” “OW took us to the state fair!” Your response: “Wow!” “Mickey got sick after eating deep fried Snickers” Your response: “Bummer!”

If they’re minor children, it might be helpful to get everyone (yourself included) in therapy. The kids will need an independent outlet for their anger, and you’ll need someone you can vent with.

It’ll take a while, but that mask their father’s wearing will slip.

Sunflower36
Sunflower36
6 years ago
Reply to  kb

Yes, they’re minors, 7 and 9.

I’ve already raised kids (5) as a single parent. I’m pissed that I have to do it again. Been through the drill.

My 9 year old is one mad kid. I too think therapy is going to be a must…and I have no idea how to find a good therapist.

At least their dad has military insurance for them…I’ve got squat.

Lizards
Lizards
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower36

I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. You deserve all the support there is.

If you’re affiliated with military – and being a former spouse or unmarried partner counts as being affiliated – you can get free counseling through Give An Hour. Counselors volunteer their time for months or years.

You can go with your kids and/or alone; and they’ve got plenty of in person, phone and other options. Your mileage may vary – highly populous urban areas have more counselors (and more of everything) than rural areas, but that’s where the video or phone options could work.

I’ve used them and have really benefited.

I’m so sorry about this. It will get better as you know, but holy crap will it ever suck right now, as you also know, and my heart aches for what you’re up against.

and she was
and she was
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower36

Kb I agree with the cool wow bummer strategy. Also, sunflower, being the sane parent doesn’t mean you never get upset in front of your Kids. It helped me to just say out loud around my kids “yes I’m sad today guys” or “I had a hard conversation with dad and I’m upset about it, but I’ll be better later”
I think it helps them see that you’re being honest and it helps them know that it’s OK to express their feelings.
Also regarding getting a good therapist that can be hard. I would interview them by phone or in person and give yourself permission to give somebody a pass if they don’t seem like the right fit or if you try going to them a few times and it isn’t working trust your gut and stop and try someone new. took me a lot of trial and error to find good therapists. I extensively interviewed kids therapist about all kinds of questions I had regarding boundaries honesty disclosure and how she handles confidentiality between kids and parents and between their dad and me and the person that I chose is fantastic. I wish you the best in finding someone that’s helpful for your kids.

Drew
Drew
6 years ago
Reply to  Sunflower36

Early days, Sunflower. Just hang in there. Do extreme self care, go NC as much as you can, work hard on that new life, and know that time will take care of the rest. I was with Fucktard for twenty eight years and then-poof!-he ran off with his spectacular racquetball partner. At the same time and on the way out he annihilated our family’s finances: savings, college funds, the house, etc. I should say his actions were directly targeted at me and our kids. I was fucking ANGRY for three years. That is NORMAL. Let it propel you forward (some days it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed) and recognize, too, that you are grieving. Oh, and that “agreeable tone of voice” is an Edgar suit; no real person is there.

FeralBlue
FeralBlue
6 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Edgar suit. Love it! (Men in Black, right?)

T
T
6 years ago
Reply to  FeralBlue

Haha! That’s the best comment! Edgar suit!

LittleLove
LittleLove
6 years ago
Reply to  FeralBlue

Yup. Great way to describe it. Looks like Edgar but something really disgusting inside.

coolbreezeout
coolbreezeout
6 years ago

I think the question regarding, “did they turn bad” for me is about my ‘picker’. Because, if I was simply hoodwinked and bamboozled from the first time we ever met, I will never, ever date again. Because, if I was so wrong about someone that they were a lying, scheming, porn addicted sex addict from day one and I had no clue, that is a ‘picker’ that can’t be fixed.

Azkadelia
Azkadelia
6 years ago
Reply to  coolbreezeout

I agree with coolbreeze too, it’s about whether, going forward, I have the ability to recognize someone who will fuck me over without thinking twice about it. (Okay, actually someone who will fuck HER, but let’s not split hairs.)

In addition to a picker, I think I have a problem with a Tolerator. Tremont10 was treated badly during at least some part of his marriage. He can really recognize it now, but he tolerated it like the proverbial lobster in hot water for some period of time. I can relate to that, because while my WS may have been a basically nice guy when we met and maried, over the course of 30 years he grew more self-centered, as exhibited by selfish and nasty behavior, culimating, of course, in his cheating.

Clearly there came a point when I needed to jump out of the pot. Instead, I just tried to adapt to the increasingly uncomfortable water.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  coolbreezeout

CoolBreeze,
I wonder about this too. I did everything “right” in my relationship – we were friends before we dated, we dated for a long time before we married, etc. I thought I knew him as well as you could know another person until I discovered I didn’t know him at all. I tried online dating for a while but it made me so uncomfortable I had to stop – the constant worry about whether I could trust a stranger when I couldn’t trust my best friend/husband was causing me way too much stress; it just wasn’t worth it in the end. I think the only way it will happen for me is if fate literally drops a good man into my lap.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

It’s too early for me, but I’ve pondered the notion that I’ll be single (for the first time in my adult life). Massive anxiety attack with just the thought.

I know I’m working on fixing my perspective (my “picker” along with that), but I don’t care. Even the idea of sex repulses me now.

I just want to model a strong, resilient mom for my kids. Maybe have a couple of cute fur balls in my life. And books. Lots and lots of books! I think my new “happy” place is simply peace.

KH73
KH73
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Exactly this! If I could date someone for 8 years, be married to them for 14, and then find out what little moral worth they were comprised of….how the hell would I ever date again?

Rickb89
Rickb89
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Hi lovedajackoff

I totally agree with you that dating sites are creepy as hell.

I waited five years between bombdrop and dating. I thought dating sites would make sense, but they absolutely suck ass.

Geode
Geode
6 years ago
Reply to  Rickb89

Dr. Cluster B was on all sorts of dating and hook up sites before, during and after our marriage. In fact his ex gf saw him on match.com and ratted him out to me.

The more I learn about the disordered and myself the more I see all the red flags I missed. And I can work on never making those mistakes again.

BeenThereandWasAChump
BeenThereandWasAChump
6 years ago
Reply to  Rickb89

UGH!!! Online dating SUCKS!!! I try it because I live in a very rural area and don’t like to go places by myself, where I might meet someone, but every time I try online dating I get so disgusted at men (no offense to all men) that I just have to stop way before my subscription lasts. Then it takes me about 1.5 years before I am brave/desperate to try again and I have the same results so I just will not do it anymore. I have been divorced from Cheaterpants for over 21 years and last relationship was over 7 years ago, but like Beth said, I am just waiting on The Universe to bring the right person to me because I just can’t do the online thing again.

StaryEye
StaryEye
6 years ago

I was on a dating website for one weekend. It was creepy and then I saw a pic of someone I know is a pediphile getting out of prison soon. I was done that hour.

Sunflower36
Sunflower36
6 years ago
Reply to  StaryEye

I’ve done on-line dating (that’s how Mr. Twatwaffles and I met) and I actually like it (can’t blame the site for character flaws of the ex) I just see it as a tool and nothing more, but you do have to consider the pickings and be careful. At my age and in my rural area, the pickings are slim.

However, when I was on match.com when the ex and I met, there was a profile of a man who had 5 kids, couldn’t spell to save his life, and was a seriously creepy dude. Turned out months later, he was busted in one of the biggest child porn rings in my state’s history. He’ll die in prison.

BVC
BVC
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

EXACTLY! He was my friend for 3 years before we got in a relationship. I knew then that I wanted a man with my values. Somebody who did not think women were objects, somebody who respected everybody because that is right. I thought I knew him and he was a good man. And then in march I discovered I didn’t knew him at all. Right now he is around hunting vaginas (he is 38 and my neighbor told me he had a very young person, no more than 21, staying at his home, using my car). When I went to pick up my things from his home, i saw boxes of condoms, new clothes and a motorcycle helmet. He told me once he had low self esteem because he had sleep with two few women. He does not respect us at all: we are only holes to him.

I haven’t been able to find any signal of his asshattery that is not related to me. My IC tells me it’s not me, it’s my position as the partner/wife. So I’ll never see him abusing somebody else. But I’m so afraid because my picker wasn’t wrong. I was conned. By the time I could have realized something was wrong, the only signal was his indifference towards me, and I would have been hurt anyway. I’m terrified of the pain.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
6 years ago
Reply to  BVC

“He told me once he had low self esteem because he had sleep with two few women.” This was probably said to purposely mislead you into believing that he had very little experience. The reality is that he probably had lots of experience and it goes back years.

BVC
BVC
6 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

I believe he had little experience before we got married. After, who knows…

lyndaloo
lyndaloo
6 years ago
Reply to  BVC

Chump Lady is right we will never figure these asshole cheaters out! My AC was Mr Wonderful helped with the housework,the kids, made dinner occasionally, looked after finances, always worked, very responsible with money, didn’t drink too much a decent guy right? Unfortunately, he had this insatiable need for kibbles. He had to be part of the inner circle (any inner circle) got involved with all kinds of clubs, needed to be centre of attention, needed to be praised and always went over the top at anything he tried. Started running and before long was doing a marathon, started a model train layout and it grew to about 500 square feet and on and on, you get the picture. Enough was never enough! he started playing duplicate bridge about 10 years ago, bridge players pretty harmless right? Before long it was bridge lessons, bridge tournaments, president of the bridge club and well after dancing around for several weeks announced 4 months ago, he wanted a divorce ‘he was in love with his new bridge partner’ no discussion, no argument, just not a happy sausage! This asshole is 68 years old the OW is 65. Now after 40 fucking years of putting up with all this obsessive compulsive behaviour and accepting it as being a bit eccentric, but a decent good guy, do I feel stupid and used and chumped ? Well of course !! But was it that my picker that wasn’t working or was I just conned and used. I thought I married a decent honourable man and he appeared to be for almost 40 years. Truth is I married a fucking, self absorbed cheater. Who knew? Well, this chump isn’t spending any time trying to unravel his fucked up skein. Life is short I’m moving on. Stop trying to figure them out they are just stupid fucking morons who never grew up!

StaryEye
StaryEye
6 years ago
Reply to  lyndaloo

I always used the word eccentric to describe my stbx. We didn’t own a bed for about 4 years because he preferred the floor. (I had enough and got a bed after that). Always had lots different pets and hobbies. So offended if I called them hobbies, they are apart of who is is. To reject his snakes and lizards is to reject him too.

lyndaloo
lyndaloo
6 years ago
Reply to  StaryEye

Sorry should have been ” who has put etc.”

lyndaloo
lyndaloo
6 years ago
Reply to  StaryEye

I think it was Tempest the other day that said ‘continuing to care for someone was has put a hatchet in you back only keeps you roped into their drama’.Words to live by!!!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  BVC

I was friends for 30+ years with Jackass and probably could have stayed friends had I not had the up-close and personal experience of what happens when someone is intimately connected to him. I wasn’t the first discard and I won’t be the last.

BVC, your counselor is very smart to say it’s the position you have in his life that made you a target. But you DO know he is “hunting vaginas,” so I think there is probably a lot of evidence that he uses people. You just aren’t present for it.

Look, we can all be fooled. But fixing the picker means having confidence in our ability to observe someone, long term before making a choice to allow them in our lives. I let my 21-year old “love’ pick XH the substance abuser. I let 30 years of sporadic friendship make the decision about Jackass. Now I observe. I ask questions. I wait and see what people do over time. How do they treat others? What does their work record look like? How do they handle adversity? How smart about money but not in a shifty way? We think we know our “friends,” but many of those people hark back to childhood and we unconsciously give them a pass for bad behavior (we spackle) because we assume we “know” they are good. That’s projecting our own values onto our friends. The ticket is to really look at people and see what they DO not what they say, see the patterns of their actions and not their attempts to charm.

StaryEye
StaryEye
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

My stbx still acts like we are friends. He is always interesting to talk to and can easily move on like nothing bad has happened. I think he might also believe it too. Before I went nc, I asked him about the texts about star gazing with OW and downloading special software on OW computer hidden from her boyfriend. He said he couldn’t remember that. I sent him a copy of the text messages to refresh his memory and he got very upset that I kept a secret record of the text. Wish I could “forget” like he can or move on like nothing bad happened.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

The nice thing about being in my late 50s and having 3 grown sons is that there’s absolutely no hurry to rush into another relationship. None whatsoever! It’s not like I’m ever going to have anymore children. Plus, I’m financially sound and able to pay my own gas, lights, water, food, house payment, and all my necessities and extra necessities. At this stage, I have absolutely no desire to be someone’s nurse or purse. I have lots of time to observe, ask questions, and get to know somebody a long, long time before I get involved. AND…., I don’t “have” to get married. Yay me!

lyndaloo
lyndaloo
6 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

I had to laugh at the “nurse or purse” remark my sister who was widowed 25 years ago always said “at my age they’re either looking for a nurse or purse and I have no desire to be either! “. I can’t certainly relate at my age too, life is pretty darn nice with no one else’s agenda to have to consider. I too, was one if the lucky ones that left with enough money to live comfortably.

BVC
BVC
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

I’m sure he uses people. I just don’t know how to see it. I believe all his good behavior was just to get approval and to cultivate the image of a good guy, but this is one of those cases where the motivation is what counts, and I’ll never get him to say that everything was fake.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  coolbreezeout

Second this cool breeze out!!! Simply stated yet encompassing. This is a great follow up to yesterday. I think I am the one with the low self esteem. I blame myself for being the spackler and having a screwed up picker. I guess that is kind of the definition of a chump. I wonder if I can ever move past this.

My priest tells me regularly that we can’t control feelings, only how we react to them. He advises to keep doing the right thing and hope that the feelings will change. Good advice but hard as hell which he acknowledges.

It is also comforting to hear chump lady say “Few people are. Even the most loathsome people have their hooks.” I get these times, like last night where I feel confident cheater is disordered and I am on the right track and then amongst 100 plus self centered deceitful things cheater has done, I hear of a kind or admirable thing he has done and I immediately think oh gosh, it must be me, I have him all wrong and this is all my fault. I must be a horrible person. I need some kind of self talk coping strategy for when those feelings hit.

pregnant chump
pregnant chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

I feel the same way STBX would be concerned about the old ladies at church not having a seat in the morning and then he would be off screwing the OW later on that evening. How can he care about an old lady at church but not about his pregnant wife at home taken care of our son .

mally
mally
6 years ago
Reply to  pregnant chump

Because he is a cockwomble.

DrFormerChump
DrFormerChump
6 years ago
Reply to  mally

I love “cockwomble!” So descriptive!

DunChumpin
DunChumpin
6 years ago
Reply to  pregnant chump

Hitler loved dogs

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
6 years ago
Reply to  DunChumpin

Dogs love their owners no matter what or who they are. There are no consequences or judgement there. Never ending kibbles…

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  DunChumpin

Yup ! Doesn’t mean jack sh*t just an amazing capacity to compartmentalize and act “as if” when it suits their fragile ego !

Blown Away
Blown Away
6 years ago
Reply to  pregnant chump

Oh yes! All their goodness and their constant being there for everyone else…take a really good look at that my Chumps. I was with Scumbag from 18 years old. My therapist was working with me on what my “hook” was with a guy like this. I finally was able to find that piece of me and verbalize it. (I was a child 18 and married at 22 in the 60’s.). My hook…”If he was that GOOD to everyone else, imagine how he will treat me and our imaginary children!” He was a narcissist at 18…love bombed me to pieces and then big withdrawals. Triangulation was present throughout dating, engagement and the marriage. But his goodness which he gave to all was simply self serving…it provided him with a vast servings of kibbles!!!
I had 0 knowledge of personality disorders and his life and how he lived it was my normal. I am just now (3 plus years out)
starting to understand and forgive myself.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

FeelingIt – right there with you. Many times, my STBX did what seems like a really kind and unselfish thing for others. We both need to stop analyzing these things and putting them in two categories…bad and good. The reality is that even when they do something that appears admirable, we do not know their motives or their heart. And to continue to waste our time trying to figure out which category an action falls under is time we are not spending on ourselves and our kids.

I am not so good at practicing this all the time yet either, but I am working on it. And more often than not, I am trying to simply default to “trust he sucks” so I can move on quicker.

StaryEye
StaryEye
6 years ago
Reply to  GetMeFree

This really confuses me and my picker. I always thought his kindness to animals and disabled kids was a sign of his greatness. I do remember some red flags from our engagement. I don’t want to imply that I am perfect but my reflection of my part in our sucky marriage was that I didn’t complain more or leave him sooner when he becam intolerable. I keep hearing how important it is to take responsibility for your part in the marriage. Does being too nice count? My stbx seems surprised when I am not understand and nice about divorce when I have been for 15 years. Whenever I pick a fight over his lack of financial support or getting upset at his discard he acts like I am crazy and there isn’t anything to be upset about. Today he was giving me a list of potential jobs for me. All them them high paying crappy jobs. I have always been the main bread winner and make decent money with a rewarding job. Of course he works at a very low paying job he doesn’t want to leave. It would really make his life better if I made even more money so he would have to worry about it.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  StaryEye

“Taking responsibility for your part in the marriage”. I know Chumplady already covered that subject. You need to get a new therapist/friend, i.e., one that’s not putting the blame on you for the dick that you married. That comment messed with my head for a very long time. I thought I was selfish because I didn’t always ask his opinion when I made a decision. In fact he would get very angry and say, “You made a unilateral decision!” I doubted myself over and over. Only after divorce and with time have I been able to see things for what they were and I’ve said to myself, “Hey! That dick made a unilateral decision when he had a F*kn skank on the side for 11 years!” I also had time to reflect that the only times he complained about my unilateral decisions were when the outcomes weren’t perfect. Another comment when I took his $50K, 4-wheel drive, off-road package, F-15 King Ranch on a gravel road and hit a grapefruit-size rock which unfortunately tore a hole in the tire and bent the rim, was when he yelled at me, “You took an unnecessary risk!” Again, after divorce and time, I said to myself, “Hey! What about the unnecessary risk he took by potentially exposing me to venereal diseases by having a skank!” So my advice to you is go back and read what Chumplady said about ‘taking responsibility for your fault in the marriage’ and forgive yourself. You married a dick — pure and simple.

lyndaloo
lyndaloo
6 years ago
Reply to  Amazon Chump

Well said, I too felt like I should own up to my part in this failed marriage until I realized, thanksto you lot, that he was the one who had destroyed our marriage. I find it very telling when I have said to people that I take no responsibility for this failed marriage. They look at me like I must be joking until I quote some of the ‘truths about cheating and betrayal’ from Tracy’s book. No one is perfect but as it’s been quoted here several different ways ‘ there is an honest way to end a marriage, discussion, counseling etc.’ cheating is betrayal pure and simple’ and an easy excuse not to work at a relationship.

mil23
mil23
6 years ago
Reply to  lyndaloo

I agree with you 100%!!!!! I need to save what you wrote and keep reading it! There was an honest way to end things! This is all on him and he knows that too!!!!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

One thing I loved about my XH the substance abuser was how horrified he was to catch one of the cats stalking a mouse when he saw the mouse stand up to try to defend itself. I loved him for caring about that poor creature and for scooping it up and putting it out of the house. I loved how he would mow his elderly neighbor’s lawn and how he could grow great tomatoes and how smart he was. But I couldn’t live with the drinking from morning till night and the opioids were the last straw. These people don’t have to be monsters for us to leave them and gain a life. We have to find their sbuse (of drugs, of alcohol, of our marriage vows, of the law–whatever applies) totally unacceptable to us. We get to have standards. And we can love a person without being able to live with him or her.

Now I.C.
Now I.C.
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

This is a terrible dichotomy for my STBX, too, the soft spot he has for pets. He rescued 2 adorable cats from Saudi Arabia when he was expat there for work for 18 months. Little street kittens starving for handouts; he went to enormous trouble and expense to bring them home to the States. He was so lovey with all of the feral cats, both while in the country and at home. He especially loved the last one he brought home and would immediately go scoop her up and love her to pieces every night when he got home. I didn’t get even a sideways glance while he was snuggling in her belly. I admit I was jealous of a dumb cat, he showed them far more affection than me and was never sweet to me like that without me begging over our 31 years together. I think he enjoyed tormenting me by gushing all over them in front of me. He was charmingly lovey with these helpless little critters and rescued them, and yet treated me like a ball of crap. I know that he will do exactly the same to any OW though, he will avoid displays of affection with anything with less than 4 legs, the exception being toddler girls. He loves little girls and just melts when he sees them, but doesn’t like little boys at all nor girls over the age of about 4. My adult daughters have lived through his devaluing. Disordered fuck.

He never did the maintenance part for pets like food and litter– well, actually he did the litter scoop exactly one time and made sure to announce it like “I am soooo awesome, don’t you agree?” when it is something I did 3 times a week without notice or comment. And finally, when it was time to put an elderly cat to sleep (one he took in 7 years earlier from a friend who couldn’t keep him), my STBX wouldn’t deal with it. He didn’t have the balls to help the poor fellow exit his terrible pain and his wandering into walls, unable to eat or go to the bathroom. I had to be the one to follow through and take him to the rainbow bridge.

Of course, when EVER he was really needed the STBX never stepped up, all dirty work of our life was the job of the wife appliance/personal assistant. Pets are just his adoring fans, only good for their innocent adoration for him. When they become inconvenient he poofs on them, just like he did on me. Disordered fuck.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
6 years ago
Reply to  Now I.C.

The rescue pets were appliances, trust me. That’s why he wouldn’t do the right thing by them and I would bet when no one was around to see him he didn’t spend any time or thought on them. I had a disordered asshole like that with his wolf dog, he wouldn’t give him mercy until animal control was called, he was invested in being the owner of a wolf.

Devastated
Devastated
6 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Yes. My monster adored his evil cat. Bought her bday presents etc. I always wondered how he could be so loving with a cat, but not me or his son. It goes against the condition of narcissism/psychopathy etc. however I think it might be that the pets never ask for a true bond. They can’t speak up or out. They’re good narcissistic supply, always providing the narc with endless, reliable attention.
My monster was very cruel to my kitty when he was dying. In fact, I’m pretty damn sure he killed him. ????
He said he would be more hurt if his cat died than a human being. Well, I guess that says it all.

Sunflower36
Sunflower36
6 years ago
Reply to  Devastated

He was a biting dog…

Sunflower36
Sunflower36
6 years ago
Reply to  Devastated

Wow. I just realized my ex triangulated me with his dog very early in our relationship.

He had a blue heeler that he said was about to be destroyed. That damn dog was such a itung dig. Bit his boss, bit my 11 year old daughter, bit others and was basically a huge liability.

Then he bit our 1 year old daughter andI put my foot down. The dog goes, I told him. Don’t care how, but it goes.

He took him out and shot him and it became the first of many grudges and justifications he had for fucking Alpo behind my back.

Devastated
Devastated
6 years ago
Reply to  Devastated

Also, he relished in triangulating me with his cat! I’m sure he tried to make me jealous by lavishing allnhus attention on her instead of me. Sicko called her “sexy”.

StarStuffGoddess
StarStuffGoddess
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Yikes. My ex was like this too. Crying about the mouse in the glue trap. So upset about chickens in a truck headed to the processing plant. (For the record, I’m this way too, it’s just that I don’t put the people I purportedly “love” in a somewhat lower category.)

I made the mistake of thinking this tenderheartedness was due to his deeply kind nature.

Well, I sure learned differently! When it was HIS OWN BEHAVIOR that was called into question, you never saw a nastier man.
He seemed to have compassion for everyone and want to save them from other “bad” people00unless it was HIS fault.

Then everyone was to blame for making him feel bad.

Oh. And he did lots of really crappy things to people, just figuring no one would ever get wise.

But yeah. I fell for that whole “I’m a softy, couldn’t hurt a fly” thing.

ChumpOnIt
ChumpOnIt
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

So true. It’s sad to recall these parts of X that were lovable. But, I mean, they have to have had loveable parts to them, right? We loved them. Then, poof, immediate and horrific problem (such as cheating, substance abuse, etc.) pops up and we have to look at everything. It comes down to the underlying issues being too great to ignore.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

My XH fed the pigeons that infested our garden and pooped all over the furniture because “they are creatures of God too”. Impression management and to bother me.

Chickynot
Chickynot
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Thank you for the above, Loved. I really needed to hear that. I still have a bag of mixed feelings about my STBX, who has done both great good and great bad in his life. But when I think of how awful my life would have been had I ignored his recent slide into worse and worse behavior (of all kinds), I know leaving is the right decision. Let them untangle their skeins alone, should they ever see fit. Not our jobs!

UnchumpingMyself
UnchumpingMyself
6 years ago
Reply to  coolbreezeout

Coolbreezeout, I agree with the “it was about my picker” part. I disagree with the “that is a picker that can’t be fixed part”. Don’t be so hard on yourself. As many folks around here I was hoodwinked and bamboozled by my psycho cheating ex as well. For me, therapy is working. For now it has worked upon not falling for the same bullshit again, taking my time, learning how to listen and when to speak, finding out more about who I am and what I want, and understanding and enforcing my boundaries. I am not going to lie, it’s been hard work still is, I failed during the process and made mistakes, but I have faith that one day I will be able to walk back in the sun and know a good person when I see him instead of mistaking a douchebag for him. Have faith in yourself, Coolbreezeout! You are not the one who cheated and lied, you did nothing wrong, I trust that your picker is fixable :).

ChumpOnIt
ChumpOnIt
6 years ago

Same here. The question of “were they always bad?” definitely points back to what made us choose them in the first place (forget them — we know now that we can’t work on that!) and fixing our pickers. I don’t think pickers — or how we view others, really — can never be fixed. We just have to consciously look at ourselves and then apply it to accepting people into ours lives. What are our values? Where are our boundaries? Core aspects of self and make-or-break type stuff. This is examinable, malleable. We just need to step back and actively work at it.

sayonara sad sausage
sayonara sad sausage
6 years ago

I’ve been working with a therapist and she had some advice that has really helped me. By trying to untangle the skein we are still trying to control the situation what we have to do is accept it. Just accept that she did this the reason doesn’t matter. (Radical acceptance) My brain has stopped analyzing every detail and trying to predict the future and thus my anxiety has decreased. I would also suggest reading about abandonment and how to love yourself as this helped me as well. Good luck!

Keepin Calm
Keepin Calm
6 years ago

That is so hard – to stop analyzing the why’s of this. I think your therapist is right in that we are still trying to control the situation instead of accepting it. I am a deep thinker and obsessed with understanding things, but I don’t think I’ll *ever* understand why my ex-husband did this. It makes ZERO sense.

mil23
mil23
6 years ago
Reply to  Keepin Calm

Yup – this is great advice that I think we all know but it’s so hard to stop obsessing over why bc it doesn’t make sense and never will! I too am analytical and my mind just won’t stop! It’s torture!!!!

Amiisfree
Amiisfree
6 years ago

Spot on.

The hardest thing for me about ending the 11 year relationship with the cowardly liar was the devastating realization that he was completely different from what I believed. It felt like 11 years of my life boiled down to a sack of lies, like I had completely lost that time living a lie and I could never get it back. It felt like he had stolen ME from me.

Now, well over ten years later, I am able to look back without self-loathing and self-doubt see the ways I allowed myself to believe things that I had not actually confirmed were true, ways he only stated half the truth so I would believe what he wanted me to believe without him having to “actually lie” (I could wax poetic all day about the deliberate deception of omitting key facts…) because it gave him the life he wanted.

It took years of counseling and self-reflection for me to move from “how could I be so blind/stupid/ridiculous” to “he was an abusive master manipulator who targeted me because I was kind, understanding, and already abused enough to respond to love bombing and gaslighting, and his disordered nature was the problem all along. I was not a problem because I was innocent or because I was broken. He was a problem because he was mean, calculating, harmful, and dishonest.”

We try to untangle the skein partly to try to figure out how we can trust ourselves again, I think. As CL says, focus on untangling yourself and especially on untangling your beliefs that you had any responsibility for her cruelty and lies. There is nothing wrong with you because she did this to you. The problem is all her. Your life is still yours, all the good parts of it, and you are still a wonderful you, who has flaws like anyone else, but who would never be cruel like her. Be good to you.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Wise words, Amiisfree.

GetMeFree
GetMeFree
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

Amiisfree, thank you for this post. Exactly the experience I have had with STBX and the place I want to get to.

JamLady
JamLady
6 years ago
Reply to  Amiisfree

“he was an abusive master manipulator who targeted me because I was kind, understanding, and already abused enough to respond to love bombing and gaslighting, and his disordered nature was the problem all along. I was not a problem because I was innocent or because I was broken. He was a problem because he was mean, calculating, harmful, and dishonest.”

Bingo!

Looking back now, I see all the red flags clearly. We both came into the marriage with baggage, but I worked on mine in the early years of our 26 years together. He never did.

He’s still a bitter, angry, hateful person and I’m grateful to be free from that.

mavis
mavis
6 years ago

Tremont10,
I’m a few years out from last dday and I still need to keep reminding myself that he sucks. My mind continuously travels back to the same thoughts you’re having. Save Chump lady’s response and read it over every day.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
6 years ago
Reply to  mavis

Same here Mavis. I try not to expend too much energy on “what did I miss!”

Maybe a cartoon of “they’ll step over your broken heart for a hot pocket” would help as a visual reminder. Or maybe it’s a mural on my wall someday. Either way CL nailed it with that one!

Nejla
Nejla
6 years ago

I am exactly 13 months from finding out that my 10 years with the XH were completely false–(cheating and drug use and the constant lying that go along with hiding that abnormal and damaging behavior)–12 months from filing-almost 7 months divorced-about to close on a short sale (alone, as he filed bankruptcy), have paid off all the other debt from believing in that fraud of a person for 10 years–continue to be the sane parent to my Little Person by telling her the truth and answering all questions without commentary about his character, validate her feelings, demonstrate that her relationship with him is hers and she has a right to it all while being there for her when she feels disappointment from his continuing bad behavior-working on strengthening those relationships I have that are fulfilling…
Basically I am doing all the things I need to and am proud of myself for the accomplishments I have made, BUT those feelings that I have like you, Tremont 10, are keeping me stuck. I actually have to ask myself (when I start thinking about all the unbelievably nasty things he has done and continues to do all while pretending he is such a good guy and great dad) IS THIS THINKING HELPING YOU TO GET TO MEH?! No. It’s not. But I still do it. It sucks.
My dad died when I was a kid in a pretty awful way. I was held up at gunpoint as a young adult and robbed and manhandled. I had to change carreers midlife because I had to admit I was failing at my first choice.
All these things I got over. But getting taken by a conman and realizing that I was just “of use” is a whole other animal.
All I do is put one foot in front of the other, have gratitude for all the great things in my life (because I do know there are many) and try to continue to let go while building the life that I want. I wish that for all of us out there.

Peacekeeper
Peacekeeper
6 years ago
Reply to  Nejla

Nejla,
You are mighty.
All that you have been through and yet you come out a very strong, positive, loving person.
YOU are the sane, present, loving parent to your young daughter.
I wish, along with CN, for many, well deserved happy days ahead for you and for her!

Your strength amazes me!

Xxxxxx

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Nejla

Nejla, you sound like a remarkably sane and resilient person. You will conquer this situation, as well.

Nejla
Nejla
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Haha. I am sitting in my therapists office parking lot (early as always) and crying reading your comment. Thank you for that. It made my day.

ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
6 years ago
Reply to  Nejla

Hope the appointment went well sweetie. You are one of the good guys. XXX

unicornomore
unicornomore
6 years ago
Reply to  Nejla

“All these things I got over. But getting taken by a conman and realizing that I was just “of use” is a whole other animal.”

Yes, this. I met Cheater when we were very young and I thought that people who would grow up into being such monsters would be more obvious. I had no idea that a person who looked like a good guy could be so awful.

And he did keep me around because I was “of use”. I recently wrote an anonymous column about being a Catholic wife who endured abuse and I tried to get a point across and I think I failed. The point I got across was “some people suck” but what I hoped to convey was deeper…that if you enter a marriage with the Christian value that your life priorities should be “God, spouse, kids, others then self down there somewhere” then you had better make sure that the spouse is worthy of that kind of primacy. If they reciprocate, you can have an amazing, strong marriage…if they use it to manipulate you then you (if you dont change your priorities) are seriously fucked.

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Unicornnomore you have an important but often overlooked message…you have to give up that ideal of both partners living in love, being as unselfish as possible, always giving the benefit of the doubt with a smile on your face, etc. The ideals are good, but impossibly one-sided in these cases.

Doing any of this with a hiding cluster B is not going to work. He is a scorpion that will sting because he can, because he is made to deliver pain. You would never show your soft side to a dangerous beast, and a cheater is a dangerous beast!

I hope that churches will realize this and not just pressure spouses to just “keep sweet” and not make a fuss and just forgive already. Won’t work. Nejla I hope you know some other super-strong and wise women. You’re amazing.

Neil’s, you are very mighty to have made it to where you are, good for you! Unicornnomorr

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 years ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Cut and paste fail, see above,
What I meant to say was, you are ALL mighty 🙂

ChumpChops
ChumpChops
6 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

You are so absolutely right Unicornomore … spouse has to have the same order of priorities for it to work. If your spouse never really had it or changed that order unilaterally somewhere along the way, you are indeed seriously fucked to the point where there will be a stark choice – your soul or your spouse. There’s only one right answer to that one. No use trying to work out whys and wherefores, just get out, stay out and try not to look back. I was lucky because my kids were older by the time I got to that point.

unicornomore
unicornomore
6 years ago
Reply to  ChumpChops

I think I’m most situations like mine, the solution is to run like hell. I asked God what to do and if He had intended to give Cheater a lot of days, I think He would have told me to run. God knew Cheaters days were short and I never heard “run”. I would not use my “sample of one” experience to guide anyone, it was an aberration.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Appearances can be deceiving. I know that I just assumed because cheater’s parents went to church, and worked together in a family business, that cheater would have enduring religious and family values. I missed the factors of a narc mother who was all about appearances and catered to this son who in her eyes could do no wrong. Never realized I was spackling the whole time.

Only now am I hearing from one of stbx’s aunts that she saw it for years and put up with it because it was her brother’s wife. She told me she foresees no contact with her sil when her brother who has als passes.

Cancer Chump
Cancer Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Feelingit I did the same thing. My STBX went to catholic school and insisted on a catholic wedding, even though I did not want one. Because of this, I also assumed he would have enduring religious and family values. The thing is, even though he wanted that catholic wedding, he did none of the work for it. His family did not attend church regularly, which made it difficult to find a church willing to marry us. I did all the heavy lifting for something I didn’t even want. The same thing happened when our child was born. He wanted her baptized. I couldn’t have cared less. I swore I wouldn’t do all the work for something I didn’t want, but after 6 months…yup, you guessed it. I caved into his demands and arranged for it all.

Looking back on it, it was all for show. He doesn’t really hold any catholic or family values. The whole family was always about appearances and his mother always catered and enabled to both her sons. Even now he is managing apperances. He couldn’t possibly be seen as a person who leaves his wife during cancer, so he’s keeping at all on the DL. He and his mom recently went to a family reunion and I saw some of the pics that were posted on FB. One of the comments from someone who was at the reunion said to give his wife and child a hug. ??? I wonder what excuse he gave for us not being there?

unicornomore
unicornomore
6 years ago
Reply to  Cancer Chump

Yes, exactly. I was not Catholic when we married but I was Christian and the fact that he insisted on a Catholic wedding (and a Catholic baptism for our kids) gave me a false sense of security. I later became Catholic, a passionate convert and he barely knew what to do with me. I’ve been on Catholic TV and published in Catholic media.
And yet for him, he manufactured the lie that his degree of reluctance to marry invalidated our vows and he was ok to fuck around and lie about it. I think at the end of his life he hated the horrid dark corner of lies and sin he had painted himself into. I think he wishes himself dead. He refused to go to a doctor (had full medical benefits) and dropped dead at home

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

unicornomore – did you get an annulment? I don’t want to say that I wish the same for my ex (drop dead), but it may be easier — on me — if he did. It has been 2.6 years post divorce for me (I’m 57) and I still haven’t gone through with an annulment. In a way, your ex was right. His degree of reluctance invalidated your vows. Too bad he couldn’t have expressed that before the marriage. When I reminded my ex of the vows, “Till death do us part”, he said, “That was at a different time.” Geez! If I had known he was only committed while he was in the mood to commit, I (would hope that I) wouldn’t have married him. But alas, here I am divorced after 30 years. He stopped going to church with me, but I kept going. My faith and belief that God loves me was the only thing that helped me make it through such a devastating time. I’m still a tiny, little bit messed up. Especially as he seems OH SO WONDERFUL to EVERYONE else!! I’m angry that because EVERYONE sees him as WONDERFUL, that they all must think that there must have been something wrong with me! He screwed around behind my back with his skank for 11 years and now he’s with her now that we’re divorced. How is it that no one else thinks that’s bad? How is it that they can still hang out with him because HE’S A WONDERFUL GUY? I just don’t get it. Was I like that? Would I have hung out with A WONDERFUL PERSON even though I knew the ugliness of which he was capable? I hope not. I’ll never know what I ‘would’ have done, but I do know what I’ll never do. I will NOT associate with someone if I find out that that person is still living a lie, an UGLY lie. I think we ARE the company that we keep. I got angry at my brother when he told me that he’d still be friends to my ex. I told him that if he did that he’d be condoning his actions; he’d essentially be saying, “It’s okay Dave. You had every right to screw around on my sister for years, divorce her, and go off with your skank.” He said that he never thought about it in those terms. Yuck! I hate feeling this way!

Lost 220# Dead Weight
Lost 220# Dead Weight
6 years ago

In the beginning of my shitstorm I created a list: Early Warning Signs. Things like his unreasonable hatred for his mother and two exes before me- he still spewed venom about ex #2 15 years after their divorce, me not being able to wear heels because I’d be taller than him, his childlike tantrums when upset, him wanting me to tell him I “need” him…. crazy shit. I’ve added to this list over time. When I date now, if I see ANY of these same warning signs, I’m done. And I wear heels all the time now…..especially on court days when I see him. Inside I say “what’s up shorty?” Trust that he sucks and that you don’t.

StaryEye
StaryEye
6 years ago

We should have a group list compiled of all the red flags we ignored. I remember my stbx complaining about having a musical group for our wedding. My mom wanted her cousin to play something but my husband didn’t. I was in the middle. No one asked me. Trying to make my narc mom and my narc husband happy. In the end we agreed to a short song but he over did it for 30 mins. According to XH, our wedding was ruined. He didn’t like even seeing any pictures from our wedding. Whenever we got into a fight he would bring it up like I failed him. 10 years later he could still complain about it.

nodancing
nodancing
6 years ago

Weird love/hate mother relationships are among the top red flags for me. As is love/hate relationships with anyone in their life. If the talk badly about people but then go spend enormous amounts of time with them this is a sign that all is not well.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

Ouch. Yes. Looking back I do remember always thinking it was odd that I seemed to have a better relationship with his family that he did. I thought it was because they kindly shielded me from the BS he had to put up with.

Now I realize that his family was unaware of the tensions in their relationship with him. He complained about his family all of the time when it was just us, but they all thought he was great. His sister was jealous because he was the “golden boy” and she could never measure up. She still loved him anyway, however, because he was the “golden boy”. They are all shocked and heartbroken at what he has done. They still love him though because he is their Son/Nephew/Brother. I am fortunate that they still make an effort to have a relationship with me as well although it is now separate from him.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

I recall asking Jackass why he got into so many relationships with screwed up women. And he said because they weren’t me. Bingo. I was all in. Which shows how screwed up and needy I was. They can’t con us if we don’t need the bullshit they are selling.

kaycan
kaycan
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

“They can’t con us if we don’t need the bullshit they are selling.”

Wow! That is brilliant. Thank you!

I remember CheaterEx going on and on (and on) about how beautiful I was when we were first dating. I was young, inexperienced, and shy, and it felt nice to have a man tell me all those things. Still, I wondered, “Me… really?” I wanted to believe it, but it just felt… off. (There was a country song on the radio back then, “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful,” and he used to sing it to me all the time.)

As thirsty as I was for that validation and affection, I knew it was over the top… a con. Red flag. I mean, I’m awesome in many ways, but I’m no supermodel!

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  kaycan

That’s the rub, though … someone who authentically loves you will say stuff like this. My STBX used to tell me a lot of the “right” stuff as well. He told me he loved me daily; he told me how beautiful I was; he told me how lucky he was; he told me I was his best friend (and he would confide in me and ask for my advice), etc. I felt the same about him and told him as much.

It isn’t that what they are saying is true or false in the love-bombing. The problem is that they are only saying what they know they should say … they’ve seen it in movies … heard others doing it, etc. So, even if it’s true about YOU … like when my STBX said he loved how trustworthy I am (I really am) … it doesn’t matter. His feelings on the subject are not authentic.

So, kaycan: Supermodel or not … if a person genuinely loves you, he WILL find you to be beautiful. He will likely TELL you this. I wouldn’t want you to write off an authentic relationship because you think calling you beautiful is a red flag. It MIGHT be, but it might not.

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t need to FEEL loved. To feel loved, the other person should do and say things that make you feel this way. Love-bombing looks and feels a LOT like normal courtship. Disordered assholes are expert at doing that … because it’s useful to their endgame.

VulcanChump
VulcanChump
6 years ago

It really is the truth- when you look back there were always indications of some kind.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
6 years ago
Reply to  VulcanChump

Yes. This is the truth. We abdicated some portion of our character to be with them. There are some things that resonate with me by Dr. Laura and this is it. In the beginning, somewhere, we saw a character trait in the cheater we either chose to ignore or live with.

Fixing the picker is only a matter of going into a relationship with eyes wide open, no questions left unanswered, no character flaw smoothed over.

I will bet there was something about her, Tremont10, you saw ahead of marriage that may have indicated a serious character flaw. It is still there, always was, you just can’t live with it anymore.

UXworld
UXworld
6 years ago

Tremont, fair warning — you’ll be asking yourself these types of “why” questions for a long, long time. CL and everyone else who’ll post here today are correct — it doesn’t matter why. But that doesn’t mean the desire to untangle the skein will stop. It’s what we chumps do. I still get them a few times a day and don’t see it ending any time soon.

My advice — don’t fight it, let the questions and theories come, but keep them to yourself and quickly move on to some other positive, productive thought. You’ve making all the right moves and have a foundation of good character to build from — keep the forward momentum going as much as you can, and the “whys” will become less intense and pervasive in your daily life. Not gone totally, but less consuming.

VulcanChump
VulcanChump
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

Tremont, listen to this guy. He’s one of the best authorities here at Chump Nation on dude chumpdom; he, Mickey and nomar need to become your best friends.

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
6 years ago
Reply to  VulcanChump

I’m 3 years+ from my D-Day, and only yesterday I was asking myself the question “Is Yo Yo Knickers really that bad a person? Am I demonising her in my own mind? Am I blowing everything out of proportion?”

A couple of years ago I would have allowed me occupy my mind for days, these days it’s a few minutes. Your heart will catch up with your head over time (Or is it the other way round?). You’ll learn to not give a shit about her anymore or whatever disordered category she falls into and these thoughts occupy your mind less and less.

Totally agree with UX. I needed to understand who and what I was dealing with with Yo Yo Knickers, I read books, watched videos, posted in forums. I pretty convinced she’s a covert Narc and it took me a year to work that out, does she have full blown NPD i don’t know, but I’m at the point that I don’t care anymore.

She’s just a giant shit who thinks the world evolves around her.

Cactusflower
Cactusflower
6 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

And remembere! Narcopaths know the difference between right and wrong, they just CHOOSE to do wrong, and they don’t care. Don’t go down the rabbit hole of trying to impose normal, empathetic feelings and thoughts onto them (poor sausage had an unloving mommy, he was a latchkey kid, he never had a puppy) They have decided to game you (and everyone) because that’s how they have chosen to get thru life.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago

Tremont,

Your question is one I have asked myself one million times in the last 18 months. And I am 65 and was married for 40 years. We must be honest, especially in dark times like these: I look back and I see that I did spackle out of fear, laziness, and/or ignorance and lack of insights. Some of my values were wrong. Not that I am shallow, but I was naive and even good people need to understand the entirety of human nature. Fix the Picker as we say at Chump Nation.

I am not at Meh yet because I curse cheater every day, like when I look at my bank account or stumble on a problem cheater created. And I hate doing it, I truly long for Meh.

But from where I am now I do firmly believe that figuring out whom cheater really was DOES NOT MATTER. As Chump Lady says, do not give cheaters real estate in our souls. From now on everything only matters about ME living a good, fair and wise life for my children and my community and being treated with respect in order to accomplish this.

This blog is essential for healing and helping ourselves and other chumps.

Your report reminded me so much of my parent’s story, but you are luckier than my dad, Tremont. Take care.

free2bme
free2bme
6 years ago

Tremont10. CL gives us the wisdom of being out on the Chump Trajectory and just wise and insightful. I would like to add my 2 cents that I got from this awesome post. She ended with your ABC instructions. It’s simple if you just do those 3 things, all of which also happen to be:

A) In your control – anything not in your control is a brain and energy suck which you can’t afford, which includes feeling sick about what $ she gets and doesn’t deserve. Add it to the suckiness that is her and divorce and custody laws and look at it as the price you are paying to get free of a parasite.

B) Focus on living a sane life- for your and your daughters’ benefit- a known positive and

C) Resiliency has no requirement of feeling resilient today. Allow the anger and unanswered questions to come up, then name them, and work on moving past the time wasting thoughts and feelings (untangling her skein, the unfairness of it all, the challenges ahead, how could you not have known for a decade?). Going through this will make you stronger, and recognizing red flags in your future is on your learning curve too. Better days are ahead. That you can trust!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago

Here’s how I think about it. People make a million choices, small and large, that make them who they are in this moment. There’s no way to know the exact choice that leads a married woman to be willing not only to cheat but to fuck her kiddo’s soccer coaches. Or a daughter’s boyfriend. Or a neighbor. Or her boss. Or all of the above. But that chain of choices led to who she is D-Day #1.

Then Chumps get a chance to make their choice. And that choice makes our new future. It’s not who they are and why they do what they do. It’s who we are and what we do. Post-D-Day we can make our own choices in the light.

Mim
Mim
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

I like this LAJ!

Drew
Drew
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ, ????????, truth!

Owlbaby
Owlbaby
6 years ago

I can totally relate, Tremont10. Two and a half years out from DDay, and still not divorced, though it should be resolved soon in court. Married 20 years, together 22. I spent far too much time wondering the exact same question you posed, and I am done. CL is on the mark, as usual; it doesn’t matter. Our four kids need me, a WHOLE mom who isn’t gonna waste anymore of their precious years focused on a man who has the emotional IQ of a chickpea. I know it’s beyond hard, but you need to wrap that question up (along with all the others like it), and place it firmly and securely in your Not-my-monkeys-Not-my-circus box, and mentally misplace that fucker. These fuckwits are Oscar-worthy actors/actresses because they HAVE to be, so don’t beat yourself up anymore with regard to not seeing the signs. They were definitely there, but as a committed partner with the humility to know you are not perfect, you looked past those red flags; we all did. Show your daughters what healthy looks like in a man, and when they are grown and dating, they will have a better shot at weeding out any cowardly, emotionally-stunted or counterfeit fuckers fast. You got this, Tremont10. You are mighty!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Owlbaby

I love “the emotional IQ of a chickpea.”

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Hahaha … goodness, yes. 🙂

left him at the airport
left him at the airport
6 years ago

“Leave her in the dust”, YAY to this ????????

This is exactly what I did to the cheater who f**ked with my life/mind/family/trust/love (he f**ked with the wrong gal). It was like the mother of all mic drops when I left him at the airport. Twas the best thing I’ve ever done. I highly recommend it. Leave her in the dust ???? and go live an awesome life without her ✨

Gratefully Divorced Dad
Gratefully Divorced Dad
6 years ago

Wow! I feel as though CL wrote today’s entry for me! The only differences – no new breast implants (at least not yet) and it wasn’t the soccer coach (at least not yet), though give my ex time and she’ll likely work her way around to him when she’s finished with the other strange men.

Never in a million years would I have imagined she was capable of the shit she did, or stupid enough! But it happened. My family was destroyed and I feel like I’m starting over, but starting over is exactly where the good things begin. Staying and trying to unravel the skein would have ended up killing me, and never changing who she is.

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
6 years ago

“I’m starting over, but starting over is exactly where the good things begin.”
This!
????????????????????????????

mickeyblueeyes
mickeyblueeyes
6 years ago

Ditto Gratefully Divorced Dad…no breast implants yet here either (Or at least I don’t think so) I can’t even stand looking at her in the eye these days let alone her chest! (.)(.)

I wouldn’t be surprised if a boob job wasn’t on the horizon though, she’s started on the botox and lip fillers. She also said that if she lost any of her teeth she would have to have expensive dental implants…whatever the cost.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  mickeyblueeyes

A few years ago STBX decided to get lazar surgery on his face to get rid of the old acne scars that had always bothered him. It was a big expense for something that seemed rather vain to me (not that I would have dared say that to him). I had never really noticed the scars and thought he was very handsome in spite of them. Turns out it wasn’t me he wanted to impress. 🙁

P.S. It didn’t really work. Just money down the drain.

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago

THIS: “Staying and trying to unravel the skein would have ended up killing me, and never changing who she is.”

WOW – right? Even if you somehow managed to part the Red Sea AND untangle the skein of the X’s fuckedupedness… IT. WON’T. CHANGE. THEM.

Thank you GDD… I needed to hear that today.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago

Re: the disordered changing…

People committed to changing will get themselves into therapy by their own efforts. There are chumps who do wait around while this is happening. It’s strongly recommended by CL CN to get a solid post nup or separation IF you stayed tied to such a person.

I witnessed the disordered getting therapy, acquiring therapy-speak to appear as an empathetic bi ped, try on new facades until one stuck with continued gaslighting of kids and additional attempts to manipulate his plan B aka me.

It’s best to move forward without the toxic mess. Their presence will seriously impede your healing and health. The disordered’s commitment to change is exactly like yo-yo dieting. They are not emotionally healthy people and will never be emotionally mature adults. They do not change. They acquire new facades, hobbies and ancillary ‘friends’. Their bonds with people including their children are superficial and based on what they can get from those relationships.

Keepin Calm
Keepin Calm
6 years ago

Yes, exactly. I actually shudder to think where I would be right now if I’d stayed, even if he HADN’T cheated. Because I was spiraling downhill fast. 18 years of living with a selfish narcissist with horrible anger issues and a drinking problem was slowly killing me. My brother told me the other day, “I hate how it all happened, but at least now you know it’s OVER.” And he’s right. Cheating was my red line. There was ZERO chance of reconciliation. But since he’s gone, I’ve learned SO much about who I am and who HE was – and there is no need for me to spackle ever again.

Cancer Chump
Cancer Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Keepin Calm

Same Keepin Calm. I shudder to think where I would be right now if he hadn’t cheated. I had spiraled downhill for years. I even went to counseling by myself. It should have been obvious to me then that he was never going to change.

The stress with dealing with his selfishness and drinking was causing me so much stress–I am sure it contributed to my cancer (stress causes inflammation in the body and inflammation can lead to cancer). So he literally was killing me.

Keepin Calm
Keepin Calm
6 years ago
Reply to  Cancer Chump

Yes, same here! Though not cancer, I developed rheumatoid arthritis and it was getting REALLY bad the last few months of our marriage. If I’d stayed, I really do think I would have had to go on disability. I’m doing much better now. Still get bad flares, but they don’t seem to last as long.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago

Ditto to every word ICanSeeTheMehComing has written about
“Staying and trying to unravel the skein would have ended up killing me, and never changing who she is.”

NEVER changing is what we need to convince ourselves of.

Magneto
Magneto
6 years ago

I think everyone here can agree that cheaters are entitled narcissists. We all want to know if they have always been this way, just tricking us now or have fooled us the entire time? Smoking hopium we wonder if they will ever slide back into the person we thought they were before.

What we tend to forget is that narcissism is a spectrum, no one stays at any stage all the time, including cheaters and chumps. It does not matter what “number” they are today, were at yesterday or will be tomorrow. Do they have or need a diagnosis of a cluster b disorder to prove they are certified turds? No.

What matters is how their current behavior is affecting you and how you should react to it. You need to be proactive and protective of your most valuable asset, your sanity. Put your air mask on yourself before assisting others…

Keepin Calm
Keepin Calm
6 years ago
Reply to  Magneto

Magneto, thank you. I needed to hear this about the spectrum because that is what messed me up so bad: there were days he was wonderful – brought me flowers for no reason, would take care of me when I was sick, would listen to me vent, etc. – and then there were the horrible days – the drinking, the selfishness, the manipulation. It really was like living with Jekyl and Hyde.

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
6 years ago
Reply to  Keepin Calm

Yup! Ditto here!

Survivor
Survivor
6 years ago

Here as well. Never knowing what I’d find when I walked in the door, but becoming less optimistic year by year.

FindingBliss
FindingBliss
6 years ago
Reply to  Magneto

Thank you, Magneto, for this insight. It clarifies how he could be semi-normal for a few hours/days and then slide back down the spectrum to full-blown narcissist. The only thing that matters is that I am rid of him, and don’t have to try to diagnose him. I love the wisdom of CN.

Thanks for posting.

UXworld
UXworld
6 years ago
Reply to  Magneto

Holy shit! “Put your own mask on before assisting others.” How fucking gorgeous is that?

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  UXworld

I like that metaphor too., UX

free2bme
free2bme
6 years ago

Tremont1o, this makes me think back to a post I saved from CL and read many times. It’s all part of trust that they suck, but it helps answer the question of wait, how can I move on if my whole life has been a collosol lie. It is called Standing on Lies and refers to a great article by Dr. Anna Fels on betrayal. I suggest you check it out.

A nugget from that post:
Usually, chumps spend a lot of time untangling the skein of fuckupedness precisely so that they do NOT arrive at that conclusion — my life was a lie.

Tremont10, you and your life were not a lie. Being played by your ex does not change one truth about YOU and what you thought you were living. All of that is still true.

Take your truth and move on with that intact. Her shittiness is hers to carry and yours to lose!

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  free2bme

Thanks for the article! Maybe I need to go back and look at all those photos where my ex looked so lovingly at me and narrate the ‘real’ story. Maybe I can even put captions on the back of the photos. I’m feeling pretty good about myself these days, but if this is what it takes to move forward much quicker, then so be it.

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
6 years ago
Reply to  free2bme

Thank you for sharing this article! It’s tremendous!

free2bme
free2bme
6 years ago

MotherChumper99, Glad the article helped.

That article brought me the words and clarity I needed. I wasn’t so much asking how to understand the lying ex. I had gotten past that. But, I wanted to move forward and felt that I could not without a clear picture of what I was living for 30 years since my life had a parallel track which was not mine! It’s like I was on shaky ground and wondered how to step forward without a clear picture first.

Here’s what I think now. We don’t need their story or validation to construct meaning from our lives! I have my story (and my story is true) because I lived authentically, felt the real feelings, truly loved and those days really happened. I looked into The Deceptors eyes and renewed vows at our 25th and meant them. Screw him for making a mokery of vows. That’s on him, not me!

His lies and revisionist history throw the poo on HIS story.
In fact, he cannot take one millisecond of my truth, my feelings, or my story.
Yes, he stole my options and made me live in an inauthentic relationship. I lived the best I could without the benefit of hindsight or truth of his adultery and financial infidelity. As CL said, we know we brought our A game- not perfect, but in it and not cheating.

As for me and my fellow chumps, let’s not give them one ounce of our story. We are the rightful owners of that.

mil23
mil23
6 years ago
Reply to  free2bme

This is great! Thanks for sharing the article! I loved it!

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  free2bme

I’ve just starting seeing the horizon on this … oh, it’s been a long painful road to it. Yikes.

What helped me really see this was my oldest daughter (young adult). She commented that she felt like her life was a lie. I was stunned, honestly. Yes, her dad is a shit … yes, his “input” was a lie. But the rest? Not at all.

I told her: “I really loved you. Everything you got from me was authentic. And you were real. Your feelings and thoughts and experiences were real. Those pictures where we were laughing, playing, hugging … those are 100% real.”

And this was my lightbulb moment. Sometimes it takes seeing it from another’s perspective to really understand something ….

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  free2bme

This. Time a million.

Your life isn’t a lie. HIS or HER life is a lie. But once you know his life is a lie, you have to leave or then your life becomes a lie.

unicornomore
unicornomore
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

“Usually, chumps spend a lot of time untangling the skein of fuckupedness precisely so that they do NOT arrive at that conclusion — my life was a lie.”

Well yes, I did that. Patsy (here) and I were friends on another board where we spent YEARS untangling our then-husbands skeins. Years

I was TERRIFIED, but I wouldnt have admitted it.

Terrified that my husband didnt love me, terrified that our nuclear family would break up, terrified that if he left he would later become better for someone else, terrified that a break up would destroy my kids.

Well, he is gone and never coming back and I realized that he didnt love me and our family is forever changed and he never became wonderful for anyone else.

free2bme
free2bme
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LovedaJackass….Yes! You have to leave. It is the courage to counter their cowardice.

Kellia
Kellia
6 years ago

Based on my experience and from seeing other relationships explode, I can tell you that the person was likely messed up in the head from the start and the signs were always there. It’s in the rare occasion when someone does a 180 and even then, I find this hard to believe. But I can tell you that based on what I’ve seen, the person is usually a bad person FROM THE START. They are just good at hiding their true colors, enough to carry out their plan to marry you for self-serving purposes.

Devastated
Devastated
6 years ago
Reply to  Kellia

Dear Tremont
Yes. She was this horrible person from the jump. I too have spent countless hours asking why! Why did he do this? I can tell you he admitted living a double life ( actually more like quadruple lives!) for more than 14 years!!! Since he was 20! He was juggling multiple women usually at least 3 a week.
CL is right as usual. Having the ability to live double lives indicates a PD. Narcissists are always doing this. It’s their version of fun. In my case, my monster is a psychopath. These freaks love to have harems. They get off on duping us. They enjoy triangulating us. They often get worse as they age. Their whole existence is a charade. Their masks are always changing, depending on who they’re interacting with.
It’s shocking I know. Just imagine what it takes to pull this shit off?!?! It’s a lot of work deceiving a loyal spouse, juggling multiple partners, keeping up with the lies. Your wife has a missing chip in her brain where empathy and conscience should exist. She suffers from moral insanity. It’s sick, twisted and something someone with a normal brain and conscience can’t fathom.
When you’re feeling down or doubting yourself, remember that you can’t buy morals at the store. There was absolutely nothing you could have done to change this fucked up situation. Having the capacity to live honestly, ethically, morally, and conscientiously is something you learn as a child. Personality disordered freaks of nature (reptilian brains, literally) are abnormal, poor excuses for human beings. They’ve been this way since children, no doubt.
Once you research ad nauseum psychopaths, narcissists etc you will start to understand that their brains are different than yours. Then you should be able to start accepting the why’s and focus on yourself. It will take time. It will take time.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  Kellia

I don’t think they are all bad from the beginning but they have the seeds of it in them. Some do a slow 180 as those seeds grow. I don’t think STBX was always a asshole, but he had personality traits that made him vulnerable to it. Oops. Still psychoanalyzing.

Luziana
Luziana
6 years ago

It seems so devastating at the time, but it’s pretty simple. None of us are stupid. In most respects we’re competent and discerning on obejctive matters.

The simple answer is, they were good to us for as long as we were good for their ego and image. The more we chumps bust our asses to prove our worth or show our commitment to building a future, the more they extract only the bits they are going to use to propel them on to better things.

Keep the family’s credit rating good? Help a Po Baby Man/Girl finally get theirs decent? They’ll use that well to impress Schmoopie.

Have a lovely home? The extra cash for awesome vacations? That will be marketed as the Ho Workers’ future life.

Are you nice to dogs while the whore yells and kicks them? Dandy! The whore just met a guy who volunteers at the Humane Society!

Looking back, there were ALWAYS signs Cold Slab O’Meat wasn’t in it for the long haul. Even when I was on a pedestal for years.

*No Male Friends with any emotional connection, not even a drop of warmth for his own dad and brother. Estranged from his sister. Would go entire months without speaking to his family, and then only when he needed or wanted money. Beep! This means he only wanted worship, not love. And what good is a friend you can’t fuck?

*Overly fond of dating stories. Even planning our wedding he liked comparing himself to free agent days. A person in LOVE is GLAD to be out of that cesspool.

* I would send kickass baked goods to work with him, and ask how his coworkers liked them. He blinked and said, ‘I’m not sharing those. They can see them on my desk and be jealous. They’re for me.’

But I know how to spackle! Damn I do! We think cheaters are good because once upon a time they knew we served a use. Until we didn’t. They were already in Repair or Replace mode. Hint: since no cheater ever thinks they did anything wrong, Replace is always the answer.

We all need to learn to simply filter actions against our hope that partners share our values and our need to be with somebody, anybody before we fix our own shit.

Part of the reason I am alone right now is that when things like the list above happen, I speak up very early on. And if I’m dismissed or told my ears and eyes are lying, I walk. Right then. It weeds a lot of chaff.

By those standards only one man I ever loved would have met the test. If I had been a practitioner of my own value, my story would have been much different.

expatChump
expatChump
6 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

“Have a lovely home? The extra cash for awesome vacations? That will be marketed as the Ho Workers’ future life.” So true, Luizana. #askmehowiknow

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
6 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Luz, this concept is becoming the foundation of my new life: “If I had been a practitioner of my own value, my story would have been much different.”

It’s never too late to change my view of myself and what I deserve. And, to act with integrity towards myself.

ClearWaters
ClearWaters
6 years ago
Reply to  Luziana

Luziana, I have reached exactly the same conclusion: “The simple answer is, they were good to us for as long as we were good for their ego and image.” And that’s what fooled me and made me press my spackle button when cheater wasn’t so good to me.

chumpsrushin
chumpsrushin
6 years ago

This really hit home . I had 32 years in of living the big wonderful life: children, grandchildren , community involvement etc, . Then D day 2015: discovery of the double life with an alcoholic , crack whore half his age and they had a child . I actually did the wreckconciliation for a year. I thought “it takes two and he suffers from low self esteem”. Then tragedy , OW died and my husband announced at 67 that we were raising 6 year old. That’s when I left, by then I discovered financial devastation of what a double life costs. There were several young family members on both sides that wanted to raise child but husband refused. I beat myself up for 10 months, “this poor man, lost his marriage and family , he must be so sad, etc” I am now in my own place, trying to move on, but stuck at times feeling sorry for him for losing it all, he was broken and I couldn’t help him. I don’t understand why I still feel sorry for him and such deep sadness when I have opportunity of new life. I think it’s what you said , that chumps like me are unraveling the skein of why and if our cheaters had felt better about themselves they never would have looked for validation elsewhere. That’s messed up, thank goodness for CL that shines the light so I can stumble through this pain and get to a new and happier life . The”price of admission ” to the old life would have been for me to lose my life and dreams , just to prop him up. No thank you.

Amazon Chump
Amazon Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  chumpsrushin

I’m so sorry! I think your loser beats mine hands down! A child — and — “we are going to raise him.” And undoubtedly you feel like you’re abandoning an innocent child. Don’t feel that way. That child has a daddy. Let his daddy have fun handling his own responsibility. He’ll fail at that too.

unicornomore
unicornomore
6 years ago
Reply to  chumpsrushin

rushin, Hi, I read your story on the forum a few weeks ago…so you decided to leave? Good for you. Glad you didnt sacrifice yourself to prop him up.

geekmom
geekmom
6 years ago

I was musing over “things” a bit this morning. Although I’m nearly 2 years out from abandonment, a little over a year divorced, and well on the yellow brick road to Meh, a couple recent events have returned Shithead to the fore of my consciousness.

I was remembering our early days and how we met. Shithead was married, we we all quite young – me 19, him 23, his wife 22. He told me later he married her that young “to get her out of an abusive home situation.” Anyway, I knew OF Shithead, but had never met him – he worked for a specialty automotive part supplier my dad bought from and Dad was friends with the owner. There’s a HUGE annual auto show that happens annually in a major midwest city near where I grew up and Dad asked me if I’d be willing to help this supplier by volunteering to work on his show booth, “and look pretty.” Hey – it was the 70’s, people got away with those kinds of comments and I WAS young and cute.

And stupid.

I agreed to work the show and immediately met Shithead. Who was suddenly very friendly, but not in any overt way, but went out of his way to cross the city to pick me up at the train station, or meet me in the parking lot to escort me in, bringing me little gifts, or show me around all the displays on the show floor, taking many pictures of me which I innocently added to my photo album. We were all invited out to dinner after the the show was over, to thank us for our work. I brought my steady boyfriend and Shithead shiwed up with his wife, first time I’d ever seen her. She was an iceberg. Big time cold. He’d told me later she was just shy.

His wife, sadly, passed away a few months later of a blood-related autoimmune disease. Three or four months after her funeral, I got home from a date with my boyfriend at about 2:00 am to find Shithead sitting on my back porch waiting for me. Unannounced, univited. Boyfriend was NOT amused and that was the last time I saw him. And he had been talking marriage! Shithead and I went out for pie, at 3 am on a midwest mid-winter morning and . . . 9 months later we were married.

So, and I’m sure you all see already what I didn’t figure out until just the other morning – the asshole wasn’t “being nice” to me in the big-brother manner I’d assumed at the time. He was fucking HITTING on me! A married man with a chronically ill wife – HE WAS HITTING ON ME!!!

**face palm**

I think the motherboard in my picker was just repaired. Too bad it too four decades to finally get the upgrade.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  geekmom

Yes, he was hitting on you. And lining you up to be his next “host.” Young and pretty, with a Dad who had a good business. And for those fixing their pickers, the gifts are a dead giveaway.

geekmom
geekmom
6 years ago
Reply to  geekmom

I meant to add that I found out later Shithead had successfully cheated on his first wife, NOT with me, and I believe (with the magic of hindsight) he’d cheated on me on and off for at least 20 years of our 38 year marriage. I’ve been told recently that others witnessed him “behaving inappropriately” with other women on numerous occasions. He is a car salesman by trade, and a pretty good one, very earnest and “honest.” He can convince anyone he’s truthful; I sure believed him.

My point is – I believe they’re always bad, just looking for an excuse.

beenchumped
beenchumped
6 years ago
Reply to  geekmom

Mine was always bad… it’s taken two year and many therapy bills to finally accept that. The cheating started during dating, through engagement, really fired up during the 2 pregnancies (which he fucking admitted to with no remorse because he was worried about fatherhood, so those “didn’t count.”) He too was a sales person who traveled a lot. Then a medical condition slowed the traveling (and thus slowed the fucking strangers in hotels on his very generous expense account, and all the client and colleague whores who lived out of state) He made VP, became even more arrogant and had to turn to in-office colleagues, and subordinates which is how the whole thing finally was discovered. The character never changed; his lying and manipulating skills improved immensely over time, but the character was never changed. It’s interesting to read these and remember that he never did treat me well like some of you others…. I was so young (7 years younger than him meting at 18) and naively flattered (1st boyfriend) and somewhat broken from a bi-polar mother that I was just an easy con who never asked for anything. Yep, he was always bad and I was the perfect target. Now I’m 45 and still naive and even more broken… but I do have 2 beautiful children who I love dearly. Maybe someday I’ll be brave and trust my “picker” again but it is so hard to imagine now.

Feelingit
Feelingit
6 years ago
Reply to  geekmom

Always bad is right. And I think they can become worse with time. I have no doubt money was a big factor in stbx’s decline. The more money he earned, the more perceived power he had. He even made reference to the fact that he can afford to get divorced although now he complains about the cost as if it is my fault. It is ridiculous but he is the one who gave me no choice.

MotherChumper99
MotherChumper99
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

Omg! I’m convinced the real devalue and discard happened when X’s income approached the 1/2M$ annual income mark and increased as his income increased.

He makes me sick.

Cancer Chump
Cancer Chump
6 years ago
Reply to  Feelingit

YES to this!! As soon as my STBX became a VP, his entitlement behavior increased tenfold.

mil23
mil23
6 years ago

Tremont10 you are so much better than her and deserve so much better!!!! CL gave you great advice! At the end of the day it doesn’t matter why she did what she did or how what matters is that you are getting away and making a better life for you and your daughters!!!

I really needed this today. I am 9 weeks out from DDay 2 threw out my STBX and am filing for divorce. I have been wracking my brain reading everything under the sun, working in therapy and analyzing why he did what he did. The truth is that I will never know because he doesn’t even know why he did what he did. I need to keep telling myself this that I will never know why and that’s ok because it doesn’t matter! I need to focus on moving on for my son and I and forget about him!!!!

Thank you CL and CN for all your support and wise words which have been invaluable to this new chump. We are all better than the disordered assholes who did this to us and are better off w/o them!!!!

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
6 years ago

You asked if she was greatly influenced by the bad people around her. I’m sure she had good people in her life also, you and your daughter for instance. Why wasn’t she influenced by them? She chose to do what she did because it was all about her. No one else mattered.

kb
kb
6 years ago
Reply to  newdaydawning

I can’t untangle the Fuckedupness that is my CheaterX. I know that to a very real extent, the attempt to untangle it is another version of the Pick Me Dance. Cheaters cheat because they can.

My own CheaterX had some red flags that I spackled over. Initially, I saw his cheating as a product of his depression, his loss of his (cheating) father, and work stress. Schmoopie was there at work for 8 hours, ready to be sympathetic. I thought he was a good man who felt sorry for Schmoopie because she had to struggle in her life (single mom, twice divorced, always dated losers).

Enlightenment came when I was shopping for attorneys and told one of them that I’d learned CheaterX had cosigned an auto loan for Schmoopie. Her jaw dropped and said that Schmoopie must have seen him coming a mile off. I was about ready to launch into the old saw of how I thought he saw himself as the White Knight riding to the rescue of Schmoopie, who had always picked losers and finally found herself a man willing to be nice to her when I realized that no, Schmoopie’s radar was dead on. She picked losers, and CheaterX was a loser.

Budgie
Budgie
6 years ago
Reply to  kb

KB – you could be my twin!

My POS lost his mum and was going through a rough time at work. Cue the entrance of Schmoopie, an unattractive, dim 34 year old still living with her parents, in a rubbish job, who stumbled from one crappy man to another – and he felt “sorry” for her. Looks like she’s found another crappy man! ????

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  newdaydawning

Very true. I used to wonder if working around narcissists at the big bad bank for all of those years had affected him (I wasn’t a trophy wife like the wives of so many of his coworkers). If they did influence him, however, it is because he allowed himself to be influenced. He’s like the middle schooler who abandons his real friends to go join the popular crowd. Doh! I did it again. Still trying to analyze him. Stop that Chumpinrecovery.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago

Those are character issues, values issues.

Traveling the World
Traveling the World
6 years ago

Tremont10,
I have a similar story. I married a woman I thought was a really good person, then noticed she was having GNO with party girls at work, then getting a lot of attention from men there, then apparently it was more than just attention…and I wondered a lot at first whether I was completely fooled by all her charisma, or whether others’ had corrupted my good girl’s morals. I’m now 3 years from D-day, and I am 100% certain the Chump Lady is absolutely right, it doesn’t matter. You’ll never get an answer to that question, and trying to spend time with your soon-to-be-ex to find out will only make you crazy. However she got there, you know now she’s not a good person, and you need to focus on you and your daughters.

For what it’s worth, I’m now in the “always was bad, just masked it well” camp.

ChumpedDude
ChumpedDude
6 years ago

“It doesn’t matter”

I love this answer. Looking forward to my own Tuesday…

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago

I too struggle with untangling the skein. I can’t help it. I have an analytical mind. It’s what I do. It would probably drive STBX crazy if he knew how much I try to psychoanalyze him. Chump Lady is right, however. It really doesn’t matter. I need to stop analyzing STBX because it is interfering with analyzing the things I am supposed to be analyzing (like my job). Even if I came up with all of the answers, that doesn’t mean I would find a solution. The solution lies in getting over him and moving on. Time to redirect that analytical mind elsewhere.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago

It’s ok. I am very much the same. It takes a while. Recognizing it is important. As soon as a thought pops up, tell yourself STOP and visualize a ????. Replace that thought with your kickass self or sometask you will do today to kick ass.

Up-ended
Up-ended
6 years ago

I also keep trying to untangle the skein. Just earlier today, I concluded that I’m never going to understand why he chose to throw away everything for the occasional out-of-town orgasm. It will never compute for me.

Got-a-brain
Got-a-brain
6 years ago

Untangling the skein… what a turbulent and horrid moment in my life. Is it him? Is it me? What’s my 50% contribution? It must be something BAD I don’t see in myself! What is it?
I think that’s were most of us get it wrong, we are looking for something generalized as bad inside ourselves that would cause someone to do this to us. Here’s my 50%… I have empathy and gave and gave to someone who didn’t give back. Bad? Nope, just a dysfunctional response to a person I have no control over… I only control myself. I saw him through my moral lense. He lied about his moral lense, but it’s not my job to figure out why he lied, it’s my job to understand why I didn’t want to see it. People who spend a lot of time “convincing” you to trust them (instead of letting their behavior define your trust) are probably not people who should be trusted. I bought into words( I waited for people to tell me who they are, instead of observing who they are), along with the societal belief that people are mostly good, and there’s something wrong with “judging” another person; So I was the perfect target ????. we are taught things like intuition and gut feelings
are to be pushed down because they are silly, and of course we should give people the benifit of the doubt. No! doubt is there to warn you something is amiss, and figuring out why you have doubt doesn’t classify you as judgmental, bitter, crazy, conspiracy theorist, paranoid or any other negative label someone wants to throw on it. For me, and I’m guessing a lot of other chumps, I was so intent on being a good person to others that I forgot to be good to myself. My worth was wrapped up in what other people (particularly my spouse) thought of me, and I didn’t bother to look at my self-worth. Here’s the thing, who you are doesn’t determine who someone else is. Sure, if your pleasant and agreeable you are more likely to influence that response in someone else, but ultimately they are who they are; the thing that insulates you from being devastated by someone who might deceive you is knowing your self-worth, having “real” boundaries (my version of boundaries was nagging) and acting on them. Those are the things I control, how someone else responds or behaves is what they control. The reality is, You can’t stop someone from deceiving you (they control that), the thing you control is how you’ll respond to it. I had to ask myself not what it was about my spouse, but what it was about me (not accepting any blame, his serial cheating is on him). I was looking for traits in myself that would “cause” it, but what I found were traits that let it continue, spackle, hopium, and believing in unicorns!

NotAgain
NotAgain
6 years ago
Reply to  Got-a-brain

How I love this explanation Got-a-Brain because it sums up my relationship with cheater perfectly! I didn’t listen to my intuition because I didn’t want it to be true. The more I ignored, the stronger it got and then I collapsed when the truth was finally found. I was busying my time with being a good person to everyone else and neglecting me in all of the chaos. Little did I know this allowed the cheater to be sneaky and deceptive without question. Attention he says. Attention seeking fool is more likely. I continually vyed for his attention and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t get reciprocations. Now I realize it’s because he found another to dwell his sights upon without regard to his marriage or hers. He has the character and core value flaws, not I. He can preach all he wants and watch shows that display inherent goodness, yet in the end his actions are what matters. His actions are not truly what they seem. He thinks he is a good person because other people like him. He doesn’t realize he doesn’t like himself and neither do the people closest to him. I am trying with all my strength to crawl out of this abyss and take care of myself to continue living my life authentically with purpose. He is the defective one, not I.

Devastated
Devastated
6 years ago
Reply to  Got-a-brain

Brain-
Speak it sister! We need to trust our intuition at all times!!! Every time!!!
I once said to monster, “I know you’re cheating, I feel it. My intuition tells me so.”
Monster: “you’re crazy. I’m not doing anything wrong”.
See!! Nice wordplay/word salad there. He never denies cheating, but dances around the subject.

We should all trust ourselves first and foremost! If we really think back, we can remember numerous times where we didn’t listen to our inner voice, but silenced it instead.
Sometimes, I know for me, it was easier not to confront the pathological lying monster. They manage down our expectations so much, that we become desensitized to their pathology. We get accustomed to abuse so much so that it sadly becomes the norm. ☹️

cashmere
cashmere
6 years ago

Oh, I got mired in figuring it out and fixing it for years and years. Wasted time.

Truth: they suck, that has nothing to do with anyone but themselves, it can’t be changed or fixed, and getting out is essential because they do endless damage thoughtlessly and always will.

Nugget learned here that has proven sanity saving: cheating is a character problem, not a relationship problem.

JesssMom
JesssMom
6 years ago
Reply to  cashmere

>>”[C]heating is a character problem, not a relationship problem.”

This is perfectly stated.

Owlbaby
Owlbaby
6 years ago
Reply to  JesssMom

Ditto! Well said, Cashmere!

cashmere
cashmere
6 years ago
Reply to  Owlbaby

Don’t credit me! Chump nation taught me that, and it is true.

Meh is true karma
Meh is true karma
6 years ago

1. If Tracy’s answer does not save us months of therapy time and money then I don’t know nuttin’.
2. If we don’t know how much of a lifeline her answers are to those of us still threading the dark waters of post traumatic readjustment then we don’t deserve her time and efforts.
3. Brilliant answer.
4. Since she has been out of the dark waters herself and still is taking the time to help strangers like us to heal, we truly appreciate and love this blog.
5. Thank you for your humanity Tracy.

Pascale

ICanSeeTheMehComing!
ICanSeeTheMehComing!
6 years ago

Tremont10… here is what I have learned from Mr. Sparkles:

– YES. He was always a cheater, and always will be.
– YES. He was always a liar, and always will be.
– YES. He was a master manipulator, and always will be.
– NO. He will never change.

Skein untangled.

Stop looking at her (and her boobs)… look at the man in mirror – the guy who didn’t cheat, the guy who knows how to love honestly and monogamously, the guy who wins the job of being the sane parent. HE is a great guy. Get to know him… put your energy there.

beenchumped
beenchumped
6 years ago

“– YES. He was always a cheater, and always will be.
– YES. He was always a liar, and always will be.
– YES. He was a master manipulator, and always will be.
– NO. He will never change.

Skein untangled.”

THANK YOU!

Meh or Bust
Meh or Bust
6 years ago

This plus a bazillion. It really is that simple.

And I do believe in the “spectrum” talked about above.

nodancing
nodancing
6 years ago

I know that for me the signs were there right from the start. I was very young, idealistic, desperate to be loved, and massively projected on X and he was more than happy to play the part as long as I was of use to him. When we had kids is when I matured enough to start seeing him more clearly and I still couldn’t consider that he was constantly deceiving me. It took time to come to that realization, chump lady is right it doesn’t really matter but I think the answer is she was like that all along. They like to play house but then they get bored.

beenchumped
beenchumped
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

OMG- Brilliant and exactly my experience!!

champchump
champchump
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

“They like to play house but then they get bored.”

Nodancing, nicely done! You boiled down the behavior of the disordered into one succinct statement.

Chumpinrecovery
Chumpinrecovery
6 years ago
Reply to  champchump

They get bored because they don’t know what “playing house” means. Turns out its work. Kids aren’t the kibble dispensers they expected. Turns out kids need kibbles too so less supply for cheater.

Cancer Chump
Cancer Chump
6 years ago

YES! My STBX was in constant competition with our child for kibbles. And would purposely create drama with her. I had to break up countless disagreements between the two, where he would just annoy her until she broke. He was a bigger child than she was!

nodancing
nodancing
6 years ago
Reply to  nodancing

And Tremont, you are still projecting onto your ex. The glamour will fall away with time and mental discipline on your part.

JC
JC
6 years ago

It comes down your definition of “faithful.” I define being faithful as “being true to my spouse” and the commitments I’ve made.

My XW defined “faithful” as “being true to herself” while married. Her self wanted both a husband and an OM, so she had to “be true to herself” because that was more important than being true to me.

And, she added in some mindfuckery, asking, “JC, Don’t you want to to be with me as my true self, or would you rather be with me lying and pretending I don’t want [to be with my OM]?”

In other words, she was ALWAYS this person; a person who pursued her desires to be true to herself. If she wanted to make an an omelette, she was willing to break some eggs. She was telling me as much, straight to my face.

The only thing that had changed was the object(s) of her affection.

People don’t change.

ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

Feel for you, JC. As mid-life hit, the ex realised he had to do work on himself, but began to see his authentic self as someone who could abandon his three kids, and his wife of 23 years because she wasn’t as young, pretty and vibrant as the OW he THOUGHT he could have a relationship with, to go adventuring and living on the edge. If that’s really his authentic self, who wants that person in your life?

Whodoesthat
Whodoesthat
6 years ago

Ditto to every detail artist. … thats what his rationale boiked down to…younger chump suited his changing image of hip guy around town….even to the point of image managing me to everyone we knew to be seen as the bitch and bringer of his misery so when he left he could cry on their collective shoulders and also had a free drink on offer. I didnt find that betrayal out till well after d day… i was in such a hellish place the fact that people were avoiding me was not that obvious. ..luckily i suppose i would have not been able to cope. But the truth came out – its a small town – but as we all know others are not into analysis of our relationship as much as we are so you start protesting too much and you look like the crazy one. Its hood advice…write all those crazy bitch letters explaining the truth to yourself . People dont really care that much and just want things to be pleasant. My ex was a master at this type of social game. Problem was i didn’t think me and the 3 kids were part of the game . When we didnt play along with the narrative that he ‘needed to feel happiness ‘ and just move on like nothing happened (with no financial support even his own kids) then we were the bad guys. Its taken me nearly 2 years to admit to myself i was in an abusive marriage. Fuck him its over now.

Free Vix
Free Vix
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

I really loathe the idea that just because a person wants something that they are entitled to it. Taking something you want with no regard for consequences is not being true to anything but base desires. It’s what toddlers do.

ANC
ANC
6 years ago
Reply to  JC

And then you changed the garbage bag by throwing that trash out…

Tremont10
Tremont10
6 years ago

Thank you so much Chump Lady and fellow chumps for your advice. I do need to move on from trying to answer the questions that are still in my mind about the situation. The good thing is that I’m at a place where I never thought I would be considering how devastated I was right after D Day. But through the help of my family, friends, pastor, therapist and this website I’m headed in the right direction. Not saying that it doesn’t still hurt from time to time but I know I’ll get past this. I have custody of my daughters, moved to a new city, and have positive people around me. I wish I was an “Meh” right now but I know I will be there in time.

mil23
mil23
6 years ago
Reply to  Tremont10

So happy you have custody!!! You will heal and be ok. She’s a horrible person! You deserve so much better!!!!

newdaydawning
newdaydawning
6 years ago
Reply to  Tremont10

Tremont, it sounds like you are doing an amazing job of rebuilding you and your daughters lives. So glad you have custody!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Tremont10

Good for you. You have custody–that’s great!

Meh or Bust
Meh or Bust
6 years ago
Reply to  Tremont10

Tremont, we all understand your pain… we really do. You will get to Meh even though the road there is bumpy. You’re doing all the right things and, over time, the pain will diminish.

(hugs)

BowTie
BowTie
6 years ago

I was fortunate to get some clarity from Princess YogaPants herself on this. Some days after DDay she told me that because of me that she was a better person than she would have been otherwise and that she was uncomfortable with that. It turned out that while around me she didn’t feel comfortable drinking heavily, smoking pot and sleeping around because she felt that I would disapprove ….

Looking back over the decades and at the woman I first met, she was always the person that she “became” and a combination of menopause and Senor Moneybags coming into her life on rebound from the death of his wife freed her from her self-applied spackle I suppose.

One take-away that I did get from this that helped me was to know that even from HER point of view that I was a decent guy and the better person. I already knew this which is perhaps different from many other situations where the Cheater is very cutting to the Chump and talks them down. It does make me wonder on occasion if she is comparing Senor Moneybags to me – there’s no way that he would measure up.

BVC
BVC
6 years ago
Reply to  BowTie

Haha, that’s a good thought! Asshole told me I was admirable, that I was strong and resolute in ways he didn’t think he could be, always able to keep going even in the darkest moments. He told me I was the smartest woman he has ever known, and that I gave him the best fucking of his life while in hysterical bonding. I never thought I should grab all of this with both hands and KNOW that the chances he is going to find someone better than me with his life story are very, very low, which is the thing I was afraid. He likes dumb ones? He can have them all, hahaha!

Budgie
Budgie
6 years ago

Another very relevant post, that has just made something crystal clear to me – thank you CL!

I have been trying to work out if he “changed” and cheated for the first time, or if he was always a cheater, but there wasn’t any emotional attachment until this time.

But if this IS the first time he cheated, it is simply a new way of expressing his shitty character, because he has ALWAYS been incredibly arrogant, entitled, lazy and a proven liar. So no, he hasn’t changed and obviously won’t.

The advice that we use our energy to look at why we tolerated such crappy behaviour is spot on. And I don’t think we were “trusting fools”, just good people who mistakenly assumed everyone else was as trustworthy as us.

Tremont10 – thank goodness your daughters have you as an excellent role model in their lives. You’ve deomstrated to them what real love and commitment is, and shown them they shouldn’t tolerate cheating and disrespectful behaviour. You are a good father.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
6 years ago
Reply to  Budgie

Well, there you go: “He has ALWAYS been incredibly arrogant, entitled, lazy and a proven liar.” That alone would have been reason to divorce him.

Budgie
Budgie
6 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

I wonder now why I stayed so long, looks like I spackled a lot. I guess I figured that at least he didn’t cheat or hit me. But once he did one of those two, I had a “reason” to call it quits.