Dear Chump Lady, How could he turn into a completely different person?

serial_cheater_sharkDear Chump Lady,

My husband of 10 years suddenly left me 6 months ago, with ZERO warning, and is ever-so-cliché-ly dating his former office manager, 14 years his junior. I honestly had no idea he was so unhappy in our marriage that he would have an affair, let alone leave me, our 6 year old daughter, 3 dogs 4 chickens!

We were truly best friends, so I’ve actually lost TWO people. What I can’t understand is:

1)How he could turn into this completely different person, so lacking in morals and integrity,

2)How he could just act like we don’t have 11 years of memories and love between us, and

3)Why he has become so hateful and nasty towards ME ever since he left?!

Please help shed some light on this for me — so that, maybe, the cannonball-sized, sucking chest wound I carry around can begin to heal.

Thanks!

notsmartenough

Dear Smart (You’re plenty smart, just chumped),

Some people are shallow puddles. We just thought they were deep.

How could he turn into a “completely different person”? He didn’t. That’s him. That’s who he is — a guy who can walk away from a 10-year marriage and a six-year-old child. The office secretary didn’t wave her magic stapler and transform him into a man with no morals. He had to have that lack of integrity in the first place to be able to run off. The other woman could be anyone. Where sparkly kibble dispensers beckon, narcissists follow.

Some people connect and commit and other people are just biding their time waiting to “trade up.” Remember junior high where you thought Amanda was your best friend, but then Stephanie invited her to hang out at Pizza Hut? And having had a taste of pepperoni and the higher social strata, she dumped you? And started wearing Guess Jeans and spiking her hair and acting all snotty, and you thought “Who is this person? I played BARBIES with you! I know what a DORK you are! I LOVED THAT DORK. Come back!”

You married an Amanda. She’d chuck your true love for a chance with the Cool Kids.

How he could just act like we don’t have 11 years of memories and love between us?

Because you know where the Barbies are buried. You represent The Past. He wants a do-over. A chance to sparkle for a new sucker and extract value from her. (She’s 14-years-younger arm candy. Winning!) He doesn’t love and remember the way you do, because he’s not that deep. See shallow puddle comment above.

Why he has become so hateful and nasty towards ME ever since he left?!

When he looks at you, he sees abandonment. A wife and child he walked out on. Who abandons people without so much as a warning? Assholes. Vile people. People with shit for character. Cowards.

But he is the Great One! He can’t be Wrong. Cognitive dissonance. So he has to blame you. You’re the REAL asshole!

I’m sure you were less than thrilled with his actions. I’m sure you demanded accountability, an explanation. You stopped providing kibbles. Of course he’s hateful. You’ve gotten in the way of something he wants. You don’t matter. You don’t have needs. Do not remind him of your agency. You’re an extension of him, and when you get uppity like that, it unnerves him. You’re supposed to be in perfect sync. If he leaves you, you should be OKAY with that, because it’s what HE wants.

If you ate the shit sandwich and consciously uncoupled and stayed “friends”, why I’m sure he’d sweeten up a bit in time. (So long as you don’t go reminding him of his obligations. Don’t be a killjoy.)

Do you know the kind of person I’m describing, Smart? A narcissist. Read up on them. That’s what sort of person does what he did the way he did it — a disordered person without empathy. He wasn’t all there — he was a shark in a people suit like the cartoon above. He showed you the real him. Now, you just need to believe it. You’ll grieve the hologram you thought he was, but trust me, he’ll keep reminding you of who he really is.

And THAT guy? Good riddance.

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Elle
Elle
9 years ago

Smart, I also had the sudden abandonment (22 years). And CL is right. Our cheaters were actually shallow pieces of shit that were good salesmen. And a word of warning (cause it sort of happened to me.)
If things go wrong with titty-la-la, the new squeeze, he might actually try the ‘I don’t know what happened to me, it was completely out of character, but I’m back to the old me now, ta-dah!’
DO. NOT. LISTEN. That part of his character that allowed him to treat you and his family like muck on the bottom of his shoe is who he is, it has always been there and always will be.
You deserve better. Breathe a sigh of relief that you found out, and I wish you the very best of luck and love for the future. x

bogie
bogie
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Yeah, mine left me without warning for a co-worker 10 years my junior after 28 years of marriage, and 5 years of living together before that. Not a person had a clue he was unhappy (except the OW), although he said he had been unhappy for 10 years, and before that had just settled for me because he couldn’t do better.

Apparently that is who he was, I just didn’t know any better and he was a great actor because nothing ever changed until he told me he was unhappy and wanted a chance for happiness (2 weeks after that is when he broke the news about the OW).

Best of luck to you and I hope you find both what you need and what you are looking for!

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  bogie

I am so sorry Bogie-I am sure he was just fine until he saw Ms. Free _ussy and then had a sudden change of heart. To say they have not been happy for years is BS because they are far too selfish for that!! He will get his, I will bet she will dump his ass. Many well wishes.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  bogie

That is a hell of a sad story, Bogie.

It is incredibly wrong, and I agree, the thing that is hard to understand is how this person we thought we knew better than anyone our most trusted partner.

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Oh, Elle, thank you so much for your reply! It’s just so hard to imagine how someone could wear a mask—be worthy of an Oscar for Best Performance for 11 years!!! I just don’t get it. Incredible. 🙁

Barbara Moore
Barbara Moore
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

My ex left me aftr 31 years of marriage. The book Runaway Husbands by Vicki Stark really helped me understand how he could just walk away from our marriage and family (i had also just finished cancer treatments that he swore during how much he loved me and couldnt live without me)

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Moore

They are something else… mine left me and our seven year old son…six days after I was diagnosed with breast cancer but only after rubbing his affair in my nose for three entire months and acting like I was a lunatic for objecting and demanding that he either STOP or LEAVE. They are despicable!! (Had a double mastectomy one month later, I am one of the lucky ones, no radiation or chemo… just my final surgery and at this point I’m managing pretty well, all things considered).

Anne
Anne
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

My ex left me 18 months after breast cancer – double mastectomy and reconstruction, chemo, RT. He was more loving during cancer treatment than at any time in the previous 16 years. 18 years; two school age kids and he leaves me for the mother of a child in my son’s class who is a ‘Buddhist’ yoga teacher financial journalist. Blame, projection, distortion – I had it all. It took a brilliant male counsellor telling me about cognitive dissonance, which led to reading on narcissism, before I stopped blaming myself and finally understood the psychological framework. But the feeling of devastation and bewilderment is still pretty overwhelming two years on … Not helped by him still not letting me go fully, refusing to sign the papers … Chumplady has been a lifesaver …

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  Anne

My bi-lateral double mastectomy was performed exactly ONE month to the date that he left. Yeah, Mr. Wonderful offered to do “whatever you need” during my fight…. I knew it was just to make himself look like “the good guy” and told him “no thanks, you couldn’t possibly love me or care for me and be doing this with what I’m going through. ” It was WORSE having him here knowing what he was doing. Asshat.

Seeing Daylight
Seeing Daylight
9 years ago
Reply to  Barbara Moore

Just cruel. 34 years for me. I sure didn’t see it coming that many decades ago. What was in the water in the late 1970’s that convinced us our job was to be spackle queens for the rest of our lives? There’s a special subcategory for those of us who don’t have enough years left to fully recover financially or personally from this massive betrayal of our youth and innocence. Maybe I’ll feel differently once the decree is final but right now, the consequences of “settling” back then (without knowing it) feel so permanent.

donwit
donwit
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

20 yrs for me too – walked away, telling us to ‘get over it, I did’ and his parents firmly behind him, telling him they support him and all of his dalliances because you have to do what makes you happy of course. 20 yrs – lost what I thought was my best friend, my partner in life and the person who I had planned to spend my life with – the person I trusted the most.

They are snakes, they lie and cheat and don’t think twice about it – as long as they get what they want in the end – kibbles.

Soyouseeit2
Soyouseeit2
9 years ago
Reply to  donwit

I have the exact female version of that INCLUDING the parents !!! And even the “get over it ” OMG exactly the same ! Thats so strange her parents sitting there after 22 years of knowing me blaming me for everything I just walked away like they were freaking invaded by body snatchers! I just couldn’t comprehend anything they were telling me about what their wonderful daughter had told them as to what a monster I apparently was and why she needed their support to get away.
And everyone else who would listen.
These narcissist so goddamn convincing they can turn what you would think were otherwise normal people into complete freaks they just believe everything and anything they tell them and you’re like oh my God how the hell can you be so blind.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Soyouseeit2

I was willing to work at loving my in-laws, but I always got the feeling that I would never really be one of them no matter how hard I tried and then I was thrown away also.

I am coming to terms with this and I am also happy that I never have to deal with them because it was a chore.

Wow33
Wow33
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

I am right there with you. My Ex was an only child and mom and him where to close. Talking every day on the phone ( she only lives 15 min from our house)
My EX never ever stood up for me all these years I thought his mom was talking smack against me but I recorded him and found out it was my Ex badmouthing me:(
I don’t miss my ex In-laws at all. She was a sneaky narcisistic viper!!!

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  Wow33

Maybe I got off easy! My in laws were awful, especially my ex-FIL.l My in-laws had 3 properties, 2 were apartment building that my Ex worked at like a slave from about 12 years old on. Never allowed to go out, not allowed to participate in sports, go to friends houses, etc. He was busy painting apartments, mowing all the lawns,s pruning the trees, cleaning the carpets, refrigerators, ranges & floors after tenants moved out. Pressure cleaning roof & driveways, fixing appliance, etc., etc., etc. He married me when he was 31, (we had been together 8 years by then) and not only did they decide not to attend our wedding, but after a few months the father decided to call & one property at a time he had to go to the Dad’s attorney’s office and take his name off each property for marrying me. They said it was because I had a failed marriage and a child. Truth be told, I wasn’t the “yes” girl they were hoping for. (Italian family) My Ex had 2 brothers, one has been married 3 times, the other once, and the parents did not attend any of the marriages!! I thought all of them were nice, decent woman. They (parents) resented loosing control of them in any way. Where are my slaves?!!
Anyway, my Ex stayed away from them for awhile, but then went back and was expected to still do their chores for them .
After we divorced, he got “re-inherited” and that lasted until the father felt like screwing with him again. This is why I was very hurt by the cheating, I always thought that extreme loyalty he had to his parents also would extend to me. Not so.
His Dad is Mr. Narcissist. I did not know exactly what his problem was, but I knew he was VERY effed up. For the first 7 years or so I did not want to marry him because of his family. We broke up and I dated around but found no one I was interested in. He wouldn’t give up on me, and I guess he flattered me & at that time I loved how I was being treated. : (
Anyway, to wrap this up, I gave up on them after we married & never spoke to them again. I knew who I was, and that the real reason was I would call them on their shit occasionally & they did not like it. I was also a voice of reason for him. MIL liked to ignore me, so I ignored her! This is how I executed it with them-no contact! However, I did realize I gave up being involved with a normal family, another big loss for the home team. Sad.

Cindy
Cindy
9 years ago
Reply to  Wow33

My XMIL was the same. Her phone calls to XH were subversive, usually when he was on his commute home from work and I wouldn’t be there. God only knows what she talked about with him. My XSIL, married to XH’s brother, used to listen in on her H’s calls to XMIL. XMIL would blame my SIL for being a stay at home mother. Flew to their home after SIL had a baby via C-section and was demanding that SIL bring in the Costco groceries when she had trouble lifting her new born!

I also understand the part about not having an H to stand up to MIL. My XMIL told me to fuck off – once on Christmas, another time on a family vacation to Costa Rica. X said nothing! After the final time she did this, I told him he’d better decide damn quick if he wanted to stay married to me because up with that shit I will not put! He told MIL off. Things only went down hill after that I contribute MIL with driving a wedge between us.

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  donwit

36 years for me. My son said my ex should win an academy award for acting like he cared. Sure is disorienting but the pain gets better the further along the road you get to your new life. Turn the love you used to have for him towards yourself.

glitterymom
glitterymom
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Try 22. It’s just so impossible to believe and yet there it is 🙁

Webster
Webster
9 years ago
Reply to  glitterymom

Same here – 22+ years and no explanation, insight or contrition

My 3 sons
My 3 sons
9 years ago
Reply to  glitterymom

19 for me..3 kids 1 dog 3 turtles, 3200 sq foot house. Buh bye. My single never married secetary is my new life. Anger I have never seen someone so angry with me for getting what he wanted. Still shake my head 4 yrs later

Linda
Linda
9 years ago
Reply to  My 3 sons

Me too. Almost Verbatim. 3 boys. 3 dogs. 3200 sq foot house. Single, super young,
never married client. He is also still angry 5 years later. Intense anger at me and he has what he wanted. So bizarre.

Maree
Maree
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

notsmartenough, you never met my late MIL. The best actress this side of the black stump. My ex husband was taught well. 45 years all up for me!!

EchoNoMorr
EchoNoMorr
9 years ago
Reply to  Maree

Maree, yes! I realized my X MIL was NPD several years into our marriage. She was evil. My X wasband became more and more like his mommy over the last years of our marriage. The only thing I can say about that is apple/apple tree. Familial mental illness or training, who knows, but it blows your mind.

SmartyEnough
SmartyEnough
9 years ago
Reply to  EchoNoMorr

Yep! My MIL is nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake. (I’m from the South and we say things like that.). Long-time alcoholic (now recovering) and depressive. My FIL has remAined married to her, but leads his own life. My STBX told me on D-Day that he didn’t want to end up like them—stuck in a loveless marriage 10 more years from now!

Like a punch to the gut….

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  SmartyEnough

SmartEnough, I wish there were some magic words any of us could have to ease your experience, or way to somehow bypass the incredible indescribable pain that cheating leaves in it’s wake. I think most of us here have found that an experience with so much loss is hard to process by/for ANYONE! Personally, I have never been through so much pain, and no one who hasn’t been through it would understand this. There are those moments your moving forward, and then there is a backslide or triggers that bring it flooding back. Unfortunately, I believe this is normal.
I believe it unearths a “core” hurt within us that must date way back to deep fears and damage done (intended or not) years ago. That is what it felt like to me, like a stab right to the heart, and an intentional one at that.
I guess the one thing to be grateful for is that whatever time you spent with him, it wasn’t more. Your daughter can hopefully be a focal point for you to try to get your brain off the rumination, trying to figure out why, etc.
From what I have read, anger is further up the emotional scale than being depressed, which I would have to agree with. At least with anger you are feeling more powerful, and protective of yourself.
My heart & I am sure many others here at CN go out to you!

Lovingmyself
Lovingmyself
8 years ago
Reply to  SmartyEnough

OMG.. my H said the SAME thing to me!!!! And my inlaws were the same too! It’s like they are reading from the same book!! “Don’t want to end up like my parents, like your parents… blah blah. Want passion, want excitement. Major VOMIT.

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  Lovingmyself

Now you can have a “jerkless” life! What BS! It is amazing how they have NO feeling for it might be to hear these things from someone they care about/love. Truly heartless!

SmartEnough
SmartEnough
8 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Well, I’m having one of my moments–/you know the ones in which that cannonball comes out of nowhere and blasts right though the center of your chest?!? Dropped my daughter off at school, came homento my empty-ass house, and the waterworks start. This happens to me every single day. Just when I think I’m making a tiny bit of progress…backslide. More than anything else, I just still cannot believe what he’s done to me. That’s the poison arrow; the wound.

Chumped in Chicago
Chumped in Chicago
9 years ago

Dean Not Smart Enough,
You are me. I am You. I am you a year and a half out of a 12year marriage / relationship. The aftermath (to me) is like a thousand piece puzzle, the marriage and the relationship (you thought to had, actually you had, he didn’t) are the edges of the puzzle, the outside so to speak, and the inside is much much trickier…and every book you read, every blog you come across, every fb page on “what the hell happened”, every therapy session, puts a piece of that puzzle into place. Every piece that finally fits in your head you say “OMGee!! Ah ha!!”…and you know you have more to learn and figure out but you have knowledge you never had before.

Best to you Not Smart Enough, you are smart, you will be wiser day by day. Start by not saying “not smart enough” about yourself, you are, we just had NO CLUE these type of people exist…and in the end you will realize you are smart enough and it is he who is lacking in so many ways.

Best to you on your journey

Marked711
Marked711
9 years ago

Chumped in Chicago, Yea, another Chicagoan! Sorry you’re here.

Smart enough,
I was blind for 30 years. As soon as we sold our house, I haven’t heard from her since. As if 30 years of memories never happened. For her they ment nothing. Divorce was final two weeks ago, after 15 mo of waiting and BS from the lawyers. Chump nation opened my eyes and brought me out of the fog. It took a long time. Have patience, you will learn to trust your gut again and you will see the truth clearly. You did nothing wrong.
Don’t give up, keep moving forward. You’ll make it. Some day I may make it too.

DoneNow
DoneNow
9 years ago

“we just had NO CLUE these type of people exist…” This is a big part of it. How can you conceive of a lack of empathy when you have empathy yourself? There are a lot of these people out there, but they are so good at hiding, that normal, trusting, people just don’t know how to spot them. Until something like this happens to you, you can’t understand the depth of the deception that disordered people like this operate in. It can rock your world to find out about true narcissism. Even when we see the signs, we come up with the “spackle” to explain it away, because it just doesn’t make sense to us.

I tell myself everyday, like Tracy said, he really is that shallow. The rest was a very good performance. It helps to remember that.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  DoneNow

I had no clue either! I came from a kind family where I thought everyone was either ultimately kind or in prison. I was so wrong. There are a lot of those sharks pretending to be people out there.

Let go
Let go
9 years ago

Dear Not, marriages fail, people divorce, love goes. When it happens it is so very sad but…..people who have some integrity try to do the right thing. They NEVER abandon their families. They may leave but they don’t shit on the people who love them. My former SIL abandoned my brother and his kids and after many years is still the same person. Disordered people don’t change because they can’t change. Don’t spend your time mourning a ghost. Believe Tracy. The man was never real. He has moved on to the sparkly one and you and his child don’t count. You really never have. That is what my brother and his poor children had to face. They meant nothing to her and still don’t.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Let go

People with integrity only leave for very serious reasons- infidelity, addiction, abuse- not because you didn’t make their favorite meal enough or “grew apart.” So don’t listen to anything like that.

coco
coco
9 years ago

Smart
I am sure he was happy with you, these narcs don’t need to be unhappy to do what they do. They just need to see another opportunity, and then, hey, I love you and I am happy with you, but she might make me really happy.
She is new and sparkly, and young which is a massive ego boost coz I am such a shallow fuck.

My ex has a brother who left his 47 year old wife and 3 kids for a 36 year old.
My ex comment was why wouldn’t he?’

Should have got his case out then and there.

It’s as if it’s a competition,mine has buggered off with a 35 year old, yay he wins, mine is younger than yours!

Shallow actors, it is just so shocking that they could fake being human for so long.

This is the 3rd time my ex has walked out on a long term relationship for someone else.
He doesn’t get that the grass is never greener, it’s just younger grass.

Cinthia
Cinthia
9 years ago
Reply to  coco

More like younger ass…

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Cinthia

Maybe you Chumps have heard this but I like “The Grass is Greener where you water and take care of it.” Would you go fertilize mow & edge your next door neighbors lawn? Of course not. It is true the grass becomes greener where it is tended to!”
I told that to mine and said you don’t have to be an effing lawn service!

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  coco

coco, Wow! Right on. Love the “younger grass” comment. Perfectly put! Gonna use that one!

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago

I needed this today. I am just a few days out from mediation and my Father in law passed away. I get to the funeral and I am told by his family that he finally came to visit his Dad after ignoring him for nearly a year. My STBX chose to drive quite a distance each weekend to be with his paramour he met on Facebook each weekend. The family then informs me that he had brought Schmoopie with him to visit with his Dad, but his father was adamant that his HO would NEVER be welcomed, so I am sure his effort to shove her down his elderly fathers throat failed. So Schmoopie had to rent a car to drive herself home. Once I arrived my STBX suddenly nearly drops into my lap and starts asking “How are you”? Repeatedly! He knows I had surgery for lung cancer and a second surgery because I contracted MRSA! I told him I was fine, but please leave me alone. He then tells me,”I’m not doing so fine.” I told him that I was sure his GF would be glad to listen to him and to help him. Anyways, long story short, he followed me and his adult children around the entire funeral and at the gathering afterwards. Tells my son that Schmoopie is not there as she had to go home to get a hysterectomy!!! WTF!! Once we left to head home we understand he left immediately to head to his GF house! His attention to me and our kids was an act to make him
Look like a human being with genuine feelings. Trouble with that is NOONE bought it! Not even his own siblings! He was very much shunned! And I think he was trying to “soften” my feelings towards him so I won’t hammer him in mediation! I’m not sure, but that’s my take! Bottom line is he was tacky enough to use his Dads funeral to try to manipulate the circumstances he must face!! Anyone else have a take on this?

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

WOW Roberta, Another Chump wins by losing a LOSER! You guys are making my jerk seem like A NICE GUY. That death bed story is amazing!

Regan
Regan
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

You got it right Roberta, your own UBT has officially kicked in!

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  Regan

Bwahahahaha! And about time too! I have learned the lessons taught here at chumplady well!

GoodMazal
GoodMazal
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Hi Roberta,

My at the time FIL died the year of D-day. I attended the funeral. Shark-ex spoke. He talked about how great his father was at forgiveness. That all you had to do was apologize and he would be gracious: just glad that you apologized and glad to forgive. Then he spoke about his father’s “favorite” Bible story of David and Batshevah, that David was unaware of what he did so wrong until Natan the Prophet told him a story about someone else. Then he “got it.” I wanted to puke. “Yes, folks,” I wanted to say, the character of King David was a narc. Ex’s message was: People who don’t forgive are just not that good and the great kind David was human like me, like my father.

They will spin anything to serve themselves and “humanize” or sermonize on what they have done.

My take is that human beings do violence to others. Humans rape, steal, lie, treat others with contempt, slander…Unfortunately, it is human to damage and hurt others. So what? Some of us choose not to harm. We choose to work on ourselves. We choose to be honest about our feelings and actions so that others can make the best decisions with the best information for their own lives. We work hard to NOT fuck people over. Why? Because it feels shitty to harm, a world that people harm is a world of horror. It hurts me to hurt someone else. I can be true to myself without deceiving others and treating them as less than.

Your ex cornering you at his father’s funeral to show “how much he cares” is a sham, a “good guy” performance to turn on and off.

I have not delved into the character disordered much, have not read up on narcs. I don’t yet have the stomach for it and have very little interest. I am just listening to myself more, what I pick up, dissonance, who I migrate to and why and who I do not connect with and why. I am doing a study in me in dialogue with others so I do not fall for another charlatan.

Smart, I know just how you feel. When I first heard about the affair, I could hardly believe it. But then all the pieces came together. I was still shocked but the writing was on the wall for those who could read and decipher it.

Was your ex always honest and caring? Did you not feel any disconnect, any dissonance?

It could very well be that you did not. I wonder if it is possible for someone to hide so profoundly. Shark-ex could not, I spackled and assumed well, I did not read the signs and I did not want to see the one’s I did read. But that was me. Your letter says that his behavior is a huge shock.

pucksmuse
pucksmuse
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Please tell me your ailing father in law actually used the word “HO” when referring to Schmoopie. Because that would make my day.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  pucksmuse

Actually he referred to her as a whore!!

whatawaste
whatawaste
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Noice!

lisahaight1969
lisahaight1969
9 years ago
Reply to  whatawaste

How about performing sacrament and weddings at the time of D-Day ?!?!

Both he and his tru lurve are ordained.

But they are so special – if course they are forgiven !!?

But not by me 🙂

ScorpioRising
ScorpioRising
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

So few people call their shit out to their faces. Mine was bragging about how often he goes to church now (with the Schmoopie of course) and a family member looked at him and said “That’s not going to help you!” Wish I’d been there to see his face. I heard he got up and walked away.

tflan386
tflan386
9 years ago
Reply to  ScorpioRising

ScorpioRising: I agree, so few people call their shit out to their faces. Because its like a battle with an unarmed opponent? They’re witless fucks, who get up and walk away, whenever there’s the slightest whiff of criticism. Silent treatment follows – they don’t have the balls to mount a decent rebuttal, so best just to negate the existence of the offending person. When I attempted to call cheater ex on his shit, he would put his hands over his ears and repeat “I’m not hearing you, I’m not hearing you, I’m not hearing you”. Then I would be served a heaping dose of silent treatment for days on end. That’ll teach me.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Seriously tflan386? What is he? 12??11

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  ScorpioRising

My church threw him out but he still attends because they can’t stop him legally. They are so delusional.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

At least your church had the decency to throw him out.

Most of the time I hear that the church is pretty accepting of this shit which is probably something cheaters calculate before they act.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

I agree Tony. I’m blessed to have a church that will stand up for what us right.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  ScorpioRising

Yeah! During the funeral the priest was leading us in prayer and my STBXH & I were devout Catholic! I still attend, but my point is, I just turned and looked at him saying prayers and thinking Satan is probably pretty pissed at him right now! What a hypocrite!

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Roberta, when my ex was in the throes of his affair, he received Holy Communion, looking all devout. Just goes to show that “appearance” is so important to these cheaters.

chjrn
chjrn
9 years ago
Reply to  Uniquelyme

My ex brought the whore to church while STILL married to me! “She’s a good person looking for a church.” Ya right!

Now they go to another church together 30 miles away, thinking people don’t know about them…but God does!

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  Uniquelyme

OMG Uniquelyme! I cannot wrap my head around how screwed up these fools are! Good heavens!! To actually receive a sacrament while sitting in the middle of huge sin is just beyond me!! I had an advantage during this funeral though, time to consider the angle and I knew he was using his own fathers funeral to show everyone what a great guy he really is and he just can’t help having found Twu wuv on Facebook!! Barf! Only thing that would have made his day would have been if I had gone off on him!!No way was I going to do that because it would have then “validated” his rewrite of history that I’m a mean, crazy bitch! Luckily the sibs in his family have known me for over 40 years and know he’s full of crap!!

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Roberta, of course it was manipulation to get something that was beneficial to him. If you were divorced and everything was settled, I doubt if he would have put on such a “convincing” act. Narcs do not do anything for anyone unless there is something in it for them. Even if you were divorced, he could have still done the same thing to show people that he is not that bad, that see, his STBX and kids are even talking to him. All is well. “It’s for the best” BS. My ex pulled something similar on me, too. Hours after a close family member died, he called me, all upset and telling me the details. Then he asked me to do something for him immediately, and I told him I will do it when the time is right, and he was pissed because I wasn’t at his bidding. It was so strange, so surreal to watch the “it’s all about me” unfold. We were already divorced at that point.

Friend
Friend
9 years ago

Smart,
Reality will set in. It has taken me almost three years to realize who I married. I think in some grand perspective it was good that I had the wool over my eyes for the marriage.
I would’ve never had any kids if I knew I was just being used…
Also, everything bad he now ‘sees’ in you is just him projecting his own bad on another.
Xoxo

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Friend, I feel exactly the same way. We struggled for 3 years to conceive our daughter. I put my body through unmentionable hell with every fertility treatment you can imagine! I never would have done all of that if I hadn’t loved him with all my heart and truly believed that we would be together for the rest of our lives. But I look at her beautiful face and think—I got the very best of him!

Current Chump
Current Chump
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Smart-
I know how you feel. 17 years with my stbx. Multiple miscarriages and a tubal rupture that required surgery & I almost died. But stbx kept persisting & telling me not to give up-WTF?! I was 39 with only half my parts left and told we would probably never have children. We ended up doing fertility treatment and after a horrible scary pregnancy, our son was born a month early. Stbx was great in the hospital with our son because it was a show for other people to see. Once we were home, he was a ghost and I was a single parent. I went through it all for stbx because I loved him. I used to be upset that I bred with a fuckwit but I wouldn’t trade my amazing son for anything.

Think of your daughter as your inspiration. In order to want better for her, you will need to want better for yourself! It will help push you forward to do the things you will need to do for both of you.
You are a mighty mama bear!!

Divorce Minister
Divorce Minister
9 years ago

Smart,

I hear the shock in what you wrote to CL. And I can relate. It is very unnerving to discover such infidelity and then to have him leave you plus your child!

Whatever he might have been before, he has made choices. These are bad choices, and like CL writes, they likely reveal is real self. Someone with character does not walk out on his commitments and family. He could have chosen otherwise.

Don’t let his choices define you. They say a lot about his character. And they say nothing about you in the end. These horrible choices and actions are 100% on him.

Hugs,
DM

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago

Thanks, DM. Hugs back to you. This was a man who always strove to do “the right thing”. A man who would judge, disdainfully, adulterers and other couples who “took the easy way out; who didn’t do the work to save their marriage”. He even said time and time again, “Divorce is just not an option for me.” This is why what he has done has been so confounding! The man I married never would have made these foolish, reprehensible choices. SMH…

Gaby
Gaby
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Smart, Nicole…It’s surreal that they say the same things…

“God put us together and His plan is perfect”, “Divorce is not an option” “You are my queen and my home”, these kind of things I heard over and over for 20 years in what I thought was a super happy and blessed marriage.

Then out of the blue, grumpiness, constant criticism, then he said “I love you but I am not in love with you anymore…I want a divorce, in fact in my mind I already divorced you, I don’t need a paper for that”. WTF????? He blamed me for destroying the marriage because I can’t communicate efficiently and he can only deal with “one disagreement a year” (you can’t make this stuff up). A month later I found out about the affair, and later of the multiple hook ups he was in the habit of doing.

I am two years and a half since d-day, separated, super difficult divorce. And for me the hardest part too has been the dissonance. The incongruence of one person living two lives and having two sets of values. It is so hard as one of you said to bring it down, from mind to heart. I really loved him. It has been really hard. But it is getting better, really slow, but it is happening. Coming to really trust that he sucks. I keep repeating to myself CL’s words: if you can have a double life, you are a disorder piece of shit. Period.

CL mentioned this article a while ago “Great Betrayals”… this is a little part…

But for the people who have been lied to, something more pervasive and disturbing occurs. They castigate themselves about why they didn’t suspect what was going on. The emotions they feel, while seemingly more benign than those of the perpetrator, may in the long run be more corrosive: humiliation, embarrassment, a sense of having been naïve or blind, alienation from those who knew the truth all along and, worst of all, bitterness.

Insidiously, the new information disrupts their sense of their own past, undermining the veracity of their personal history. Like a computer file corrupted by a virus, their life narrative has been invaded. Memories are now suspect: what was really going on that day? Why did the spouse suddenly buy a second phone “for work” several years ago? Did a friend know the truth even as they vacationed together? Compulsively going over past events in light of their recently acquired (and unwelcome) knowledge, such patients struggle to integrate the new version of reality. For many people, this discrediting of their experience is hard to accept. It’s as if they are constantly reviewing their past lives on a dual screen: the life they experienced on one side and the new “true” version on the other. But putting a story together about this kind of disjunctive past can be arduous.

Understandably, some feel cynical if not downright paranoid. How can they know what is real going forward? How can they integrate these new “facts” about family, origin, religion, race or fidelity? Do they have to be suspicious if they form a new relationship? As my friend said in despair, “I’m just not a snoop; it’s not in my genes.”

You can read the complete article here…
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/great-betrayals.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Gaby

Gaby

I think the ultimate reason that they do not tell us how dissatisfied they are is because they are already out of the relationship, and they want to get as much out of it as possible, and they are able to do so on their terms if they do not tell you because they have created their own reality of which the betrayed spouse is not a part.

It is a hell of a thing to be treated ultimately like an unwanted business asset to be excised as soon as possible while making as much profit from the transaction as possible.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

It is called passive-aggressive! You are supposed to PAY and PAY BIG for all the things you didn’t do because you were not told they were missing anything! You are not psychic?? Well yes, that is another problem with you! You’re not psychic-shame on you!!.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Regina

Yes, the problem was that she did not ask me when I was wearing my blue turban and sitting in front of my crystal ball.

Since I am wearing my blue turban and sitting in front of my crystal ball right now, I see, yes, that’s it, I see great prosperity in your future.

And you want a nice sandwich right now.

I hope you are enjoying this cold weather. I know I am in Austin.

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

HaHa Tony; I DO have a magic 8 ball (remember those?) but it only has 8 answers and none of them were “you married an asshole.”
I am glad you see prosperity for me, also for you and the many struggling in Chump Nation!
Just say no to Ramen noodles! (I am eating them right now!)
I live in Florida, and just had to turn my air on, but believe me, the place has it’s drawbacks. I am from Michigan though, so I remember so many pains in the tail because of snow, ice, cold, winds, etc. I will never forget.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Smart- I have the exact same kind of husband. Remember actions speak louder than words. They can say all those things over and over but poor choices and bad behavior nullify those words. My husband’s parents got a divorce when he was 10 and he said he could NEVER do that to his children. Wrong, he can and is. I’m 7.5 months into this and in my mind I know he is not that good guy I thought he was but my heart still can’t accept it. I will get there and so will you. Divorce Minister told me once there are men in the bible that started well but didn’t finish well (like King Saul). They allow something to corrupt their hearts at some point. I know it is so hard to accept, give it time, and with acceptance comes healing. I’m not there yet either but it will happen. Hugs to you.

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

Nicole,

Thanks for reaching out. You’re so right—it is hard to accept. When you love someone truly and deeply you’re supposed to be able to put your trust in that person. Implicitly. When you spend years with a person, you should know them! That’s what confounds me. I know you, and so many others are right: it takes time. Every day feels like an eternity. Please keep in touch with me. Seems like we are at the same stage of the game. Sending love, hugs and peace to you!

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Thank you Smart! Absolutely, I will keep in touch. You sound like such a kind and caring person that could never ever do something like what your husband did to another human being. I couldn’t do it to an enemy, let alone to a loved one. That’s why it is SO hard for us to understand. That kind of evil is not in us so we understand love, goodness and light, not selfishness, cruelty and darkness. We can overcome this! Let’s support one another! XO

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

Nicole, I agree with you. I could NEVER have done to my ex what he did to me. I just couldn’t do that to another person. I read somewhere a good quote – “If I wouldn’t do it to you, I won’t take it from you.”

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

That’s probably what makes us chumps Lyn and I’m ok with that. 🙂

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

Nicole,

I agree, and my ex-wife was the same way – screeching about how wrong it was to cheat. This actually helped me when the truth came out because I knew it was not a mistake or an accident because she knew it was wrong and did it anyway.

I too am about seven months out but I know I am lucky because we were not even married a year, and I too know that I will come out of this, I just feel there was perhaps a better way to learn this hard lesson in life…

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

Oh Tony, I’m with you I so wished I didn’t have to learn this lesson this way. After 19 years of marriage for me or one year for you, it is still excruciatingly painful. Maybe for you children aren’t involved in this cruel lesson, but it is still so so difficult. So sorry you are dealing with this.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

Thanks, Nicole.

In reality, this thing could not be going smoother – no kids, property, assets. I never asked her to change her last name because I liked it and I was happy just to have her as my wife.

When the affair came out I told her, “maybe one day I could get over this, but I cannot bring life into the world with you, and because of this, and because I cannot give you my one and only future, we have to divorce.”

The funny thing is that I did not want to be married, I just thought that God gave me my soul mate earlier in life that I was prepared, but I went for it.

Dealing with my ex and my once undying love for her, then her family – who were my family and I loved them very much despite their flaws – throwing me away also, then the sorting of our friends – where friendship means much to me – to finally dealing with society collectively shrugging its shoulders at infidelity and affairs.

I found out 7/27/2014, and the divorce was final 10/01/2014. Not even married a year, but my friends and family have loved me and been there for me because they know that I love deeply and truly and I meant what I said when I said, “I do.”

Life is going on, and I am moving on, but it still a hell of a thing to learn about the depth of everyday human evil among us…

Niddrie
Niddrie
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

I’m part of the 7.5 month club too, July 5. I got the house, dog, cat, and I’m grateful for being in a secure financial situation, but it’s still very difficult to reconcile what I thought with reality. I found out by text and broke it off by text when she wouldn’t answer her phone, after 10 years together. I go back and forth, it’s such a dissonance, but the picture is starting to solidify. She was always incredibly controlling of her image, to the point she felt uncomfortable getting her photo taken. I was incredibly lucky to find CL within weeks of d-day. I feel like it’s kind of like exercise, even though you can’t see the results right away, if you go through the motions (eat healthy, exercise, no contact, see friends, get hobbies, stay busy, stay productive, focus on your interests) it really does work eventually, and you will get back to being your true and healthy self.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

It’s just so sad Tony. I’m so sorry. My in laws that loved me and called me their daughter dumped me like yesterday’s garbage after 20 years. I am the mother of their grandchildren and have been kind and loving to them. I just don’t get it. Yes, evil all around us.. I may go live with the Amish. 😉

Sara
Sara
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

My ex was the same–a Jesus cheater. He would get animated & ask how men could find time to cheat, if they knrw what they were doing to their families, how husband d unhappy they must be. He’d say with much concern & sadness, as he shook his head. I thought I was so lucky to have a husband who was so vocal about his beliefs! Ha:)

And the whole time he was cheating on me with a myriad of vulnerable, low-life women, every chance he could get. Saying things like that is part of their ruse. They enjoy the deceit, the fact that they are perceived as holy, yet they have this “other side” that no one knows about & would never suspect. It’s not even about sex–it’s about power.

The fact that you don’t suspect shows your mind doesn’t work that way. My mom said it best: People who are trustworthy, trust. We think others are like us, and that’s not always the case. We learned the hard way.

Every second you’re away from him, it will get better. One day, you’ll forget he exists!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  Sara

Your mom did say it best Sara! People who are trustworthy trust. I trusted the ex right up until my subconscious screamed at me to start checking his phone. When I did, I found out that I shouldn’t be trusting him anymore.

Him? If I had a nickel for every time he acted like the marriage police with regards to me, I would have had enough nickels to retire. He was ridiculous. One time (long ago) he left our 6 and 9 year old alone in at 11:30 at night because I was a half hour late coming home from work. It was the summer and I was hanging outside of the building I worked with 3 other women gossiping about people at work on a Friday night. We weren’t drinking or clubbing, we were just letting off steam and he came tearing into the parking lot like the building was on fire. He was swearing at me and screaming and acting like a lunatic. I was 30 at the time and I was mortified. I felt like I was getting in trouble for missing curfew. So humiliating.

He did stuff like that for the entirety of our marriage until I put my foot down about 7 years before he had his affair. I thought he was insecure but now I realize he wasn’t trust worthy so he just assumed no one was. Such a red flag that was being waved in my face since day one.

That is a red flag I will never miss again!

Supreme Chump
Supreme Chump
9 years ago

Smartenough, I bet if you looked back on your marriage you would see things in a new light. Things you didn’t notice before or minimized will have new meaning to you. This will clue you into what you were really dealing with.
He acts nasty to you because he has to justify his actions. Cheaters aren’t too original in their excuses, actions, and behaviors.

tflan386
tflan386
9 years ago

NotSmartEnough: I’m sure there were many red flags throughout your 10 year marriage to suggest that he wasn’t wholeheartedly into your marriage or family – you just weren’t looking for them. Closer to the end, before you knew about the affair, he had completely devalued you and your head was already spinning. Finally, once your relationship is over, he becomes downright nasty. His behaviour has been on a long downward continuum – it was always going that way.

Chumplady is right – the OW could be anyone – anyone who is flattering him with attention – that’s just how shallow narcissists are. The OW thinks she is so very special, that she is the chosen one – not for long though. He’ll repeat the same behaviours with her because that is how he is primed – his relationship repertoire is limited. Best of all though, if she is a fellow narcissist, he’ll get to choke on a taste of his own medicine.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
9 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

HaHa, so true! My idiotic X told me this last Fall, when he was trying to convince me of my big mistake in leaving him – She turned out to be not what she pretended to be. She doesn’t have my back, and she won’t be a couple with me after all!
OK, am I evil if this made me so very happy? I told him she was using him, and that breaking up a 32 year marriage was just a huge notch on her bedpost! He refused to listen, they were Soulmates. ( Actually, they are, two giant Narcs calling to each other).
He was in such pain, and he lives in her freaking basement room-for-rent! He threw me away for that, and is being told by Miss Narc that he’s not boyfriend material. So it’s all a power play for these AP’s, to see what they can get, and then, Oooops! they don’t want it after all!

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

You are not evil. You are just standing up for yourself mentally when someone gets their just desserts.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

Oh, I like that Tony! I’m going to use that when people accuse me of being bitter and enjoying his downward spiral a bit too much!!!

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Roberta,

I know from reading the posts here from people who keep track of what happens to their cheating ex that almost always nothing good happens from there on out. Sure, we know they are terrible people on the inside, but to me it is affirming knowing on that they go down in flames at some point in the future.

I can say personally that I know that my ex is very arrogant, and feels she is entitled to her actions, and so many people have been making excuses for her, that she will not learn from her mistakes and she will fuck up sometime in the future.

When she does fuck up, I want to hear about, and I am going to BBQ myself a nice steak.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

Amen Tony, but I can’t wait for that Karma bus to roll over this fool! I’m anxious to witness it in it’s catastrophic totality! Free woman, I told (warned) my STBX that Schmoopie isn’t some innocent babe in the woods, this is what GF does for a hobby and he is just one fool in a long line! He refuses to believe me. Only time will tell, but I believe he lost his best asset ever, ME!! He’s done!

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

OK, it’s not evil, and I prefer to see it as research- after all, we have to examine the consequences of asshole behavior, so that we don’t fall into any more of their traps!
I know, also, that every single Chump here gave many, many chances to these USERS. So when they throw our chances in our faces, and keep shitting on us, who can blame us for saying “See, I told you that AP wasn’t exactly a CATCH!’
Who was the catch of your lifetime? oh yeh, it was the Chump! My new boyfriend thinks so, anyway.

Regan
Regan
9 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

Freewoman!! Hardy-har-har!! As soon as she had a chance to devalue him, guess what? The fun is in the chase, just like with any Narc. Once you know you are “winning” (as ultimate Narc Charlie Sheen famously said) like minded Narcs lose interest. They like MOVING targets! Picture Lion & Zebra. You are so right that they consider it a victory to ruin what others have. It is like a sport to them.

Tessie
Tessie
9 years ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

Same for cheater ex…(I will NOT claim him with a “my”.) He met schmoopie at an AA meeting and of course she was his soul mate. Oh, they were so in luv, and she had such problems that only he could save her….(he actually wanted to tell ME her problems.) ……but he was in love with her but not me anymore. Well, he knew what that meant. I had told him when we were dating that if he ever decided to cheat we were done, period. There would be no question of a second chance. To make a long story short, she dumped him when she found out that he wasn’t making the kind of money she needed to support her in the style she would like. I almost felt sorry for him…..almost. Got a good laugh out of that one.

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Tessie

Wait. Doesn’t AA have clauses in their process where people can pretty forgive themselves of anything done when they were alcoholics?

Tessie
Tessie
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

Well he was 17 years sober when all this went down……not sure if they get a pass when they sober up. The 12 step program does tell them they are responsible for cleaning up their past, as far as I know. I think that includes the crap they did while drinking. The program did not seem to take with cheater ex and his schmoopie. Tisk, Tisk. She is probably still out there helping cheaters destroy their marriages. Too bad she dumped him, I think they were just right for each other.

conniered
conniered
9 years ago

This is so timely for me that I think God is answering a prayer and address a chumpy desire to help my STBXH. See he did the same thing. I thought we were awesomely happy. I had no clue he wanted out. And now 6 months later, all of a sudden he wants to talk to me. HE went NC (no contact) from DDay. Guess why he wants to talk? He had his appointment at the child support office last week. Yep. He’s asking for MY help in not having to pay so much. I feel chumpy because I considered it. And then I talked to my sister and she tells me that I am doing nothing wrong, that I am in charge of his life and finances anymore and he needs to figure it out. She’s right…but it makes me feel mean. I hate that!! Now I read this morning’s post and I am sitting here thinking, “Ok God, I hear you. Thank you.” I can let this go. This is not something I need to concern myself with.

NotSmartEnough, I thought the same thing. Felt the same thing. I had to stop trying to figure it out and wonder how I missed it. Its hard to watch someone make such a monumental mistake and then face the consequences of their horrible decisions. But I’m going to. I am going to remember how he didn’t show an ounce of respect for me when he cheated and then when he abandoned us. I’ve been treated better by people who don’t even like me very much. Just sayin’.

freevixen
freevixen
9 years ago
Reply to  conniered

It took me a while, but I finally convinced myself that the financial fall-out of his actions should not be my burden to bear. It is HIS burden, and I will not share it. If it bankrupts him in the end, then hey, I gave him SO many outs, and he took none of them. So too bad, so sad, pay up. He made his bed.

conniered
conniered
9 years ago
Reply to  freevixen

Right! I refuse to go down with the sinking ship financially because of HIS decision also. In the past 6 months he has done nothing to help cloth our son or make sure he has what he needs for school, hasn’t offered a DIME to our household expenses, or visits to the vet for our 2 older dogs. He was totally fine with leaving me with all of our debt. He thought he wouldn’t have to pay hardly anything in child support because I earn more so he always said, “I am ready and willing to pay child support”. Yeah right. It seems he thought it was ok to leave me with all our debt since I earn more even though half that debt HE accumulated. Amazing. Just amazing.

GoodMazal
GoodMazal
9 years ago
Reply to  freevixen

I too gave ex so so many outs. Was asking for him to be honest the entire relationship. Why he chose to deceive is beyond me and I like to leave it there. I take heed of any dissonance I feel with anyone at this time in my life. Not explaining anything away, anymore.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Dear conniered,

Yes, God did answer your prayer! Obvious to me.
You would not have found the answer, however, if you had not been receptive and had not been looking in the correct places. ChumpNation is always the place to go to get these types of answers! (Well, and DM, too!)

“This is not something I need to concern myself with.” Takes us SOOOOOOO long to really embrace this truth! Stand firm, my friend.

And for SMART ENOUGH! Yes, you ARE smartenough! You are HERE!

What conniered wrote and all the other’s advice is based on wisdom acquired through the same type of journey you are just now beginning. So, listen up so your journey can be shorter, quicker and less insane (hopefully) than some of the other chumps here. Lean from the BEST!

ForgeOn, all y’all……………..

Regina
Regina
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

The compassion Chumps have can be a blessing & an albatross.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

WHOOPS! I meant “LEARN” from the best!

Let go
Let go
9 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Look at it this way. If he opens his mouth the only thing coming out is bullshit. Once you get that then his tears, apologies, whining are nothing but noise. If I were you I would start humming a nice John Phillip Sousa March in my head to drown out the crap he is throwing at you.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  conniered

conniered, glad that you caught yourself nearly falling for his narcissist manipulation. If a narcissist X is talking to us, it’s because the narcissist wants or needs something from us.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

What LaJ said. Conniered, I’ve been following your story, and you’re a very strong person. Good on you for not falling for his BS! Besides, child support is just that–support for the child. Any time he starts moaning and groaning about how much he has to pay, you just look at your kids and remember there’s no dollar amount any court could mandate that would truly compensate for the abandonment they have had to suffer and will continue to suffer. It’s our kids who really wind up having to pay for these cheaters and their entitlement. Ask me how sorry I feel for your poor beleaguered ex! (NOT)

Lania
Lania
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

So, hes basically saying ‘Woe is me I shouldn’t have to pay for the children which are half me’
Fuck him and the horse he rode in on – that should not be even an option.
Despicable pig to abandon his kids monetarily, too.

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

RIGHT ON, FoolMeTwice!!!!

Chico2229
Chico2229
9 years ago

As painful as it is to recognize, after the shock dies down and chumps start looking at our relationships it seems the entitlement was always there, it just hadn’t yet manifested itself into physicals affairs. We don’t see it because we don’t understand that type of thought or personality. You have done nothing to earn his ire besides being a good example and thus making it hard to convincingly blame you to others. Good Luck and stay true to yourself

TheClip
TheClip
9 years ago

Dear Smart
its hard to say what is the bigger shock … The discovery of the affair or when you realize you realize the mask fell off. I can only liken it to an earthquake… Then after shocks. Only problem is the earthquake is happening to you and they walk around saying ‘ what?’What earthquake? Didnt feel a thing.
They are living a whole different movie… In a different theater… In a different town. And you will stand there on your crumbled life screaming …pointing to the rubble…. And they will say ‘ your crazy’
Mine ran off with a 19 year old illegal immigrant…. I am 47. She is merely 8 years older than our child.
She understands him. She makes him happy. She is everything and i am the root of all that is wrong in his world. You cant wrap your brain around it… So dont try… You cant fix it…. So dont try… You cant make it better… So dont try. Once the mask falls off you are dealing with a stranger… Treat him as such. He is a dangerous stranger who knows way too much about u.
Get your stuff together… Read… Educate yourself. Cry later.
U will survive this. You will.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

I STILL can’t wrap my head around it all… but reading everyone else’ stories and comments helps. I had a glimpse of this last year around the same time but after one month he just stopped, I still don’t know why. According to him I “became nice to him again” which is utter bullshit. This year when I caught him and confronted him for chatting up another selfish POS he had just met (she was/is married with 3 young boys, double damage) at first he cried… begged forgiveness… “I don’t know why I’m so f’d up?!!” … wanted to go to counseling… blah blah… He was SO sorry and remorseful that he came home the next night with a “lock” on his text messaging, phone log & HeyWire app… yeah… I opened up the task manager… shut off the lock app and looked at everything I wanted (they are SO dumb and always think they are smarter than you, why is that?). At this point I lost total control and unleashed my pain in the form of a verbal assault and I SWEAR I watched him TRANSFORM right before my very own eyes. The mask fell off… the man I loved disappeared and never returned. He stayed in our home, with myself and our 6 year old son and continued his affair and acted as thought I was a lunatic to object. He finally left our home 6 days after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Really?? They have NO shame!! Soulless vile people!!

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

That transformation is a scary thing. It is still hard to believe what I saw, and other people do not believe me to the point that I have stopped telling people about it.

Chumpguy
Chumpguy
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

So sorry you’re here Smart. Welcome to the club that no one wanted to be a member of. But on the other hand, you will find that those who are members are pretty great and tough people with an incredible amount of heart.

All I can add is my two cents. My 58 year old w of 32 years cheated on me with a 29 year old (9 years older than our beloved son). Then she matured and had a fling with a 42 year old ski instructor (while on a family ski vacation and afterwards). No remorse, zero, zip, nada. I asked the same questions you did plus, “How could she? and “Won’t she come to her senses, we had a great, long marriage?”

It’s not you, Smart, it’s them, truly. Hold on to that and keep visiting this site. All the best!

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

‘He is a dangerous stranger who knows way too much about u’
Truer words were never spoken. I am glad I am never, ever around X, I moved far away. I can see him trying to humiliate me publicly, or in front of our kids, because he’s a vindictive kook.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  TheClip

It’s funny–during he stage when the Jackass was devaluing me and baiting me into arguments, I thought I was the one who was screwed up. I believed I had to be doing something wrong, although I was the same person I had been all along (whom he professed to love forever). That self-blame lasted through the discard phase and even past DDay, until I had enough perspective and information about narcissism to understand that it wasn’t me. IT WASN”T ME. He had been wearing a mask and once the devalue stage began, the mask was coming off. I “knew” him over 30 years and he was a stranger. You put it so well.

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago

Smart, right now it seems that what he is doing is so out of character. Once you have time and distance between you and him, you will have a clearer mind and realize that this was all along the real him. You just didn’t see these traits or refused to see them. Spackling. Chumps are really good at spackling. A change in character, whether for good or bad, doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an internal process. He didn’t suddenly wake up and said, “I think I’ll have an affair today and abandon my family.” Something in him allows him to make it okay to do that. Sure, he may feel badly, but not badly enough to do differently. That’s where character comes in. His choices are the manifestation of his character, what is inside of him. It has nothing to do with you or your child. I am so sorry.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
9 years ago

“You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” – The Help.

I’m sorry your husband forgot that. He is not the man you thought you married. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking for one second that it was because of something you did or didn’t do during the marriage. He CHOSE to cheat. He is CHOOSING to be a dick. His actions are telling you loud and clear who he is; please listen to him and do all you can to protect yourself.

And come here often. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll learn. You’ll always be welcome because we’ve been there, too.

Hugs.

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago

Chutes, Thank you for this response. I truly love that quote from “The Help”! I have to figure out the trick to remembering that everything that happened was HIS CHOICE, and stop falling into playing the blame game. Thank you so much—again. So blessed to have found this site, Tracy and her book!

Kira
Kira
9 years ago

Hi Smart,

The similarities between your story and mine are uncanny, down to the 14 years younger AP. I’m several years out from all this, and reading that was like looking back in time at me. So…

Here’s the thing. Believe me I understand that it seems like he magically became another person overnight. He really didn’t. After a lot of time and therapy sessions, I came to realize what tflan said – there were red flags that suggested he wasn’t into the marriage/family thing, that he was a narcissist, only interested in HIM. As we say around here, I spackled over all of that, I think, because a. I DID love him, and b. I took marriage/commitment seriously and wanted to try to work on things. He never did either. Well, he might have loved him too, but me and the kids? No, he’s not capable of it.

As Elle mentioned, things with he and his little Schmoopie didn’t work out, and within a few months after the divorce, he was back saying almost exactly what she said! ‘I don’t know what happened to me, it was completely out of character, but I’m back to the old me now, ta-dah!’ I gave him the chance to prove that I could trust him, and he didn’t do a single thing and I wasted a lot more time than I’d care to admit. Because the people mask had slipped, and I could see the real him now – the shark.

I’m as NC as I can possibly be with young kids, and let me tell you, through trying to deal with him as their father the people mask has never worked again. He is not a responsible person, period, let alone a responsible parent. He doesn’t think about the kids’ needs, everything is all about HIM. Ditches the little visitation he wanted whenever he wants to go do something else or wants me to change to accommodate him last minute, doesn’t care about school, doesn’t care about age-appropriate movies/video games/TV – it’s whatever HE wants to do, they’re going to do with him! The oldest hates going with him, the youngest I think is starting to. Rarely pays the small amount of court-ordered child support, can’t hold down a job, lives on friends/relatives couches, etc.

I think given enough time, you’ll come to realize what CL is saying – he always was this person, he was just pretending to be who you thought he was. The mask has slipped. The emperor has no clothes.

Chris W.
Chris W.
9 years ago
Reply to  Kira

So glad you didn’t take him back after he came crawling back after your divorce was final! I saw a great quote the other day, “Taking an ex back is like trying to put poop back into your butt.” The analogy works on so many levels!

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Chris W.

Dear Chris W.!!

Soooooo glad you shared that quote! Had not heard that one, but Oh My!!! One of the best EVER to describe what we have gone thru!

ROTFLMRO!!!!

Yes, “The analogy works on so many levels!”

What a perfect ending to a poopy day!

ForgeOn, all!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

That is awesome!

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  Kira

I laughed out loud at: “Well, he might have loved him too, but me and the kids? No, he’s not capable of it..”

Lucky 35
Lucky 35
9 years ago

Hi Smart,

I had similar questions after my narc of 6 years essentially told me to pack up my things and leave ASAP so he could pursue a more sparkly kibble tosser (read: a naive, desperate woman). As others have written above here, I bet there was behavior that indicated his narcissism, and at the time, you were just doing your best to make life run smoothly and putting 150% effort into the marriage. Maybe once in awhile, he was even kind or seemingly loving.

I’ve learned to forgive myself for being blindsided by a narc-they are very, very good actors especially when offered something they want (social status! marriage! family!). When you begin to forgive yourself, you realize that all the effort you put into the relationship was in some ways self protection at an unconscious level. You did what you needed to do to keep the peace and take care of your daughter, and that is nothing but smart.

Take care of yourself Smart, I’m rooting for you all the way!

Wiser Finally
Wiser Finally
9 years ago

My theory about this is that these disordered people have a greater capacity than most for compartmentalization. Once they’ve made the decision to leave their spouses and blow up their families, they have to blow up all their feelings too. They have to dynamite them completely, leave no traces, make a clean break, stick them in a cave and then dynamite the entrance closed. It’s not that they don’t know what they’ve done – unless they are completely delusional and psychotic – but they are incredibly good at spinning the narrative in their heads to justify it. As CL says, HE can’t be wrong, so you must be. You’re the problem, you’re the reason I’m miserable, and now I hate you for making me feel guilty. And dammit I don’t want to be guilty, I want to be happy, in fact I deserve to be happy, blah blah… This is how a seemingly loving husband of 10 years can become a raging, hateful asshole overnight, because he’s dynamited himself over to the other side, the dark side; it’s kind of a new country where he can rewrite history, and he HAS to rewrite history in order to live with himself. He can’t be in two emotional places at once, so one of them has gotta go – guess which one. Continuing to treat his wife with respect and dignity would be a constant reminder that she IS a person who deserves respect and dignity and therefore he is an incredible asshole for what he’s doing. Facing one’s “assholeness” and taking responsibility for it requires maturity and introspection, which is painful. He wants no pain and no guilt, which means no memories and no feelings. Gotta wipe them out. Gotta wipe her out. It’s chilling that people can actually do this.

willowfrostWillowchumpx30
willowfrostWillowchumpx30
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

Wiser, YES! That is it in a nutshell! My experience as well. That is also how they sleep at night while us chumps are up half the night every night. My gut churns with the weight of all I know and have yet to discover. All the while he snoring and isn’t life grand? I want him to suffer but don’t see it happening cause he is the master at compartmentalizing. I want him to suffer like I did/am. I want him to suffer for causing our kids this extreme pain and fucking up this family.

SmartEnough
SmartEnough
9 years ago

Me, too! That’s what I want: vindication and justice! And to those devil’s advocates out there that caution us to not live with anger or seek revenge I say, “SUCK IT, Kumbaya!” I want him to be in pain and live with remorse. I want his confidence and happiness to drain away the way mine has. I want him to feel loneliness, hopelessness, and yes, worthlessness. I will likely never see it, but I hope I get to know it one day.

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  SmartEnough

Romans 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Yes please. I say this verse all the time and ask a God to repay my STBX sooner rather than later for the pain he has caused me and my precious boys. Brings me a lot of comfort. 🙂

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  SmartEnough

Thank you for the laugh SmartEnough!!! “I say, “SUCK IT, Kumbaya!” AGREED!!

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  SmartEnough

Amen! THIS! I’m with you Smart! And they truly deserve it! We DID NOT!

Donna
Donna
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

Wiser,
That was a great description of xhole. I realized my ex wanted me to suffer. He enjoyed the pain he inflicted while he cheated. He tried to provoke me in odd ways and when I ignored it he upped the anti until I called him on it. Then the rage built. He was like a snake shedding his skin (me). For example I came home one weekend and he said. This house costs too much. I’m downgrading to a studio, you can sleep there. This was a month before he actually downgraded with his ow. Bizzare behavior.

Chumpguy
Chumpguy
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

Incredibly insightful, Wiser. Saving this for future reference.

conniered
conniered
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

I think this goes a long way to explain how my STBXH could not only leave but leave everything behind. He has asked for NOTHING from our house. That included pictures of his child. He didn’t ask for anything of those beautiful pictures of our son when he was a baby. NOT ONE. How does a person do that???

It’s hard to fathom that a person could be “happy” in a marriage and then decide things look greener in another place and just….leave. And let me tell you, wrapping my head around the OW he chose is hard work. She’s only 2 years younger, has kids, 3 times divorced and doesn’t have any money he can mooch. It’s mind-boggling to me.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  conniered

Oh, yes, conniered…..pictures. I have to share…….

STBX packed up all the pictures, including those of our child & put them in storage with my stuff. Moved it all out of our marital home while I was out-of-state. Did not keep even one photo of our precious child, the child he begged me to have! (Yes, I was in agreement in wanting a child, but that is beside the point…..)

The only photos of people he has in his new place are a couple with him in it and a photo of the children of ANOTHER FAMILY! A family that is not even related to us!

Yes, they are a family that I happen to love very much, love those children, but he has just that photo but no photos of his own child! So disordered!

(Whoops! Not totally true now….Now he has a recent photo of him with our child and another friend,)

Anyway…..We gotta stop trying to “untangle”…..All of these accounts should just serve to remind us that these disordered ones truly suck and we have to stay as far away from their crazy as we possibly can!

ForgeOn, all you sane ones…..

kb
kb
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

This narrative-changing behavior can take many forms. I am a cook from a long line of cooks. STBX used to take pictures of what I made for dinner and post them to Facebook, saying that he was a very lucky man to have all this done for him. Now that I’ve filed for divorce, every time I cook something, he complains the house smells as if something’s burning. I do not think it’s possible to do any kind of cooking and NOT have him complain. I do not doubt that he truly believes this, but I also think he believes this because he has to see me as the Bad Person in the entire divorce. Why? Because he’s moral and good, of course. I mean, he even posts Christian-related pictures on Facebook to show he’s a good Christian (who doesn’t go to church because of germs and other people and yadda yadda yadda).

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  kb

Ha ha… my ex is also working the “good Christian” angle. Bought ALL three of the youngest children new bible’s (ours is the youngest at 6) and….. are you ready for this…. he and the AP do “Bible Study” together every night over the phone. Her husband left right before Christmas but they (she and my ex) live 4 hours apart so they don’t get much time together lol. The adulterer and the adulteress doing bible study together…. guess they figure they are getting a “free pass” from God. Delusional. He was previously married, and divorced before I met him. Yes he cheated on her but not with me and I didn’t find out until I was already 6 years in. She is a fabulous person and has been my rock and this is pretty much a repeat performance.

Karma Express
Karma Express
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

Wiser, I’ve pasted your comment in my journal, because as Scorpio said, it’s a succinct and wise summation. My ex just walked out on me after nine years with no warning. (Literally, one day he came to me with ideas for holiday plans and the next day he said he was ending our relationship.) He said he wanted a “fresh start,” which is the clean break you talk about. He used a tonne of dynamite because he just up and moved 6,000 km away, blowing up his whole life here. It’s really easy to compartmentalize things when you turn your back on your old life and move to the other side of the continent. Effing cowards, all of them.

ScorpioRising
ScorpioRising
9 years ago
Reply to  Karma Express

Yes, Karma, they are cowards. And bullies. They run away from life. At some point I think these people will be diagnosed with a brain disorder. Asshole-itis. Except there is no cure, no treatment expect maybe a lobotomy.

Karma Express
Karma Express
9 years ago
Reply to  ScorpioRising

Abandoning-Spouse Syndrome, or ASS for short.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
9 years ago
Reply to  Karma Express

That’s great! I’ll have to remember this one!

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  Karma Express

Karma, you need to copyright that acronym! “ASS”—priceless!

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Love it!

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

You guys are a hoot!

My 2 cents: I believe the proper treatment protocol for “Cowarditis” “A__Hole-itis” and “A.S.S.-itis” is all the same: “Genitalia-ectomy”!

( I know….I know…..a bit ‘over the top’, but it’s been one of those days……)

ForgeOn, all y’all sassy ones!

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  Karma Express

Love it!

ScorpioRising
ScorpioRising
9 years ago
Reply to  Wiser Finally

Wiser, so well said, I don’t think I have heard it put quite like this before. Everything you said fits my now XH. Especially the no memories part, and I agree, how chilling that someone can cut out 20 years (in my case), ‘just like that.’

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
9 years ago
Reply to  ScorpioRising

Very well said, Wiser. I also believe that you can run but you can’t hide. Eventually, the lies and deceit will catch up – could be in a physical illness, sleeplessness, etc. We may never find out and hopefully, it wouldn’t matter to us anyway.

Lina
Lina
9 years ago
Reply to  Uniquelyme

I agree. I wonder if he really can completely block out all those memories. Everywhere I look seems to bring back memories to me, once so special and now agonizingly painful. I think it all may eat at his insides, so deep that he might not even be aware until it manifests in some horrible way that will take its toll.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
9 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Dear Lina and Others,

This conversation about wiping out memories, compartmentalizing and so on…..whether they can truly wipe it all out & truly forget…….

Well, the body sends out all the signals to indicate what is going on subconsciously. If you can read those signals, you will learn that, No, no one can wipe out those memories, those emotions, the history. The body knows…..and suffers……

Biofeedback and neurofeedback are two ways of reading what the body truly feels & has experienced. Both STBX and I go to the same biofeedback clinic. I have seen the treatment summary sheet from his sessions (he leaves them all in plain sight—I still have access to his house to care for office work for our family-owned business) and it is astonishing at times to read the results from his sessions! His body is fully aware of the nasty choices he has made and is crying out from the damage those choices have caused. Unfortunately, he is not using the information from those sessions to improve his life in any way.

The body can never truly forget the nasty things its owner puts it through! We are all familiar with the concept of how stress damages our bodies, our health. It goes so very much deeper than most of us realize.

Lina stated: “I think it all may eat at his insides, so deep that he might not even be aware until it manifests in some horrible way that will take its toll.” This has been proven true by many areas of science.

So, if the body never forgets, then the Creator of the body won’t forget—whether for good or for bad—–and will act accordingly. We at ChumpNation be the good——Cheaters be the bad!

And as uniquelyme says: “…..it wouldn’t matter to us anyway.”

This has been a most excellent post and comments session today. I see that smartenough has received much love and sound direction!

ForgeOn……and love to all!

pucksmuse
pucksmuse
9 years ago

Also, he’s being a jerk because he needs to convince himself that you DESERVE this treatment. That’s his narrative, you see, the neglected, misunderstood husband, downtrodden by the demands of being a husband and father. He is BRAVELY pursuing what will make him happy in life, pushing past the unfair expectations of society. He sees himself as the Erin Brockevich of Misunderstood and Down-trodden Penises, facing off with the Evil Empire of Marriage.

In order for this narrative to work, there has to be a villain and that villain is you. YOU are the face of the Evil Empire, the embodiment of the Institution of Marriage. And so you “deserve” his scorn and derision. You have to. You have to be the bad guy, because if you’re NOT the bad guy, then HE’S the bad guy and that is UNACCEPTABLE. So he’s being hateful because it’s necessary to his emotional well being. That doesn’t make it OK. That’s not even a good reason to do it. That’s just another symptom of what a selfish, disordered jerk he is.

Yes, it hurts to be treated this way by someone who you love so much. And you need to mourn the life you had and the husband you thought you had. He’s gone now and he’s been replaced by the Erin Brockovich clone. You’re going to have to get – not mean – but tough. You’re going to have to see him for the ridiculous, hypocritical douche he is now, and find the strength to treat him with the cold, clinical civility he barely deserves. You don’t have to stoop to his level and be hateful and rude. But you have to detach to protect yourself and your interests, not to mention that of your daughter.

Good luck. Chump Nation is with you.

Doop
Doop
9 years ago
Reply to  pucksmuse

Ah, the memories….In some text messages I saw between the ex and the Professional Masturbator he cheated with & moved in with, I learned that their nickname for me was “the Evil Empire”. They made quite a pair.

tony
tony
8 years ago
Reply to  Doop

Great album by Rage Against the Machine

MovingOn
MovingOn
9 years ago

Just remember that you’re not the only person this has happened to– like CL says, it’s a pattern displayed by disordered people. I knew my now ex for 17 years when he suddenly morphed, and the only good thing was that he was plagued by guilt at first, so he didn’t turn into pure evil until a few months after I moved out, and he brought the AP onto the scene and into our kids’ lives. Then, when I didn’t want to be her best buddy and did a full NC on the ex, he started treating me as though I were the one who cheated and abandoned him and the kids. None of them like to be reminded of their mistakes, so they transfer their anger onto us, treating us as though we are somehow the culprits. That way, they don’t have to face what they’ve done.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago

Smart Enough, trying to understand why he did it is normal – you can’t really understand, none of us can because we don’t think or feel the same inside. Smart has nothing to do with it, a person with empathy and ethics simply cannot comprehend how cruel those without it can be. CL nailed it, worth repeating;

1)He wore the mask until he was finished with you, I’m sorry. I’m sure in time you will realize that mask slipped over the years but your love blinded you to the slow changes. This won’t happen until you can step back and feel some peace and clarity.

2)It’s possible he doesn’t remember your history that way anymore, if he ever did. It occurred to me after the split that my ex told the same few stories about his past history over and over. It is as though the only memories he really had were the ones where he came off a hero. And I found out later that some of those stories were fabrications. When a cheater rewrites history, I think they actually REMEMBER it that way. A constant rewrite of the movie that is their life – and they are always center stage.

3)It has to be your fault this happened, he’s a nice guy…controlling the narrative and projecting their own shit onto you is classic. My ex literally told people I was evil, why? Because I wouldn’t let him “keep” his “friend”, I was so evil…and suddenly his favorite reason for leaving was that I abused him for 17 years. Even after he pulled a gun on me, that was his narrative. Evil me, poor abused nice guy him…

Jedi Hugs!

Lyn
Lyn
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

I read somewhere that in an abusive relationship something strange happens…the person who’s being abused ends up apologizing to the abuser. I guess that’s their MO…making you feel like you’re the one who’s the problem. My ex said those exact words, “the problem is you.” It had nothing to do with the AP, or his disconnection from me that was the result of his affair. What kills me is I felt so low by that time that I apologized and apologized. I didn’t understand that was part of emotional abuse.

Eilonwy
Eilonwy
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Datdamwuf,
I love your reply, especially #2. It was only after we left that I could see how thin a history he had provided me, and when I began to question it, it unravelled. The fact that he has rewritten our history together and uses his time with our kids to pound it into them over and over still makes me nuts. ( I am mostly at “meh,” but still struggle where my kids are concerned.) And the fact that he seems to truly believe his own lies and 10% truths (half-truths would be far too generous), is probably a good part of what makes him persuasive to some.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Omg, Dat!!!! Your number 2 gave me chills and then kinda made me chuckle!!!!

STBX was the same way!!! I didn’t get much of his history before meeting me (helllooooooo huge red flag) but what tales I did get were either him as the triumphant victor or him as the pitiful victim. He typically told more of the victim stories…that’s his MO and the angle he plays best. And YES yes YES, I found out many of them were twisted or just blatant lies that he whole heartedly believes are true.

What nuts they are!

ScorpioRising
ScorpioRising
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Dat, mine had a similar narrative – he’d been unhappy for 20 years – our entire marriage. I’m still amazed at how these people say this crap and think you will believe it. Of course, I did for awhile, I am a Chump after all!

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago

Dear notsmartenough,
I’m so glad you’ve found this site, it will be a HUGE help in understanding, putting a name to and getting past your husbands *character flaws* (putting it lightly). CL is right on all accounts and sadly, just about every one of us here has been trapped inside that circus side show freak tent you’re currently stuck in, in some fashion and for varying lengths of time. We’ve all had the “who the f*ck ARE you” moments that make us feel like we are in the twilight zone.

From my personal timeline, you’re at a pivotal point. Around 6 months was where the gears really started turning for me and I’d finally uncovered the majority of heinous-ness that was my STBX’s mystery double life. At around 6 months was where I really began healing. You will too!

So now that you know the sordid details and see through the fog, you must trust that the man you loved is literally a dead man. He no longer exists. He merely existed for however long it took to fulfill his perfect image that you, your marriage and your picturesque family created for him. That’s all he was looking for, sadly, he was creating an image with you but he didn’t let you in on the game. He is disordered. But see…that wasn’t enough. For him, your all wasn’t enough…the other womans all won’t be enough either. But for right now, it sure seems like its all he’s been secretly dreaming of.

Cheaters don’t let you know that they weren’t happy in their marriage for a few reasons:
1. They’ve never been fully fulfilled, ever, so it doesn’t feel that foreign to them to not be fulfilled in their marriage.
2. After long enough of the nagging old feeling the entitlement sets in; he’s mad at you for not accurately filling the void that can’t be filled…he was counting on you to fix that and dammit, you failed! So he will go find extra stimulation…he needs kibbles…insert shiny new chick.
3. If he had informed you that he wasn’t happy that would be NORMAL, for one, but you can work on normal marital problems. He didn’t tell you because he didn’t want you to work on it & he wasn’t going to do the work. He skipped right over that to avoid having to explain to you that he’s a terrible person.

You’ll get through this!!!! I know you will!!! Hugs to you and your child. Karma to hubby & his new kibble dispenser.

NCStevie
NCStevie
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

This site is a GOLD MINE for Chumps 😀 I love it. The insight is priceless. Sucks that so many people are going through this, however it sure helps decipher the mind “fuckery” they inflict. You truly begin to believe they are right, you question your own sanity because the brutality and swiftness of their exit is baffling!!

Gypsy57
Gypsy57
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

“Cheaters don’t let you know that they weren’t happy in their marriage for a few reasons:”

Cheaters don’t let you know they were UN happy in their marriage because…wait for it…THEY WERE *NOT* UNHAPPY!

If you have a job that pays $100,000 a year with benefits, you might feel like you’re on top of the world. You’d be able to afford MOST of the things you want MOST of the time.

Here comes someone else who offers you $250,000 a year (with even MORE and/or “better” benefits). Although you were happy with $100,000, with a new, seemingly “better” offer on the table, you begin to look at that $100,000 as (excuse the pun) CHUMP CHANGE.

It’s not that $100,000 was so “bad”; it’s that $250,000 is BETTER. But the cheater needs to see $100,000 as “bad” in order to justify him/herself to make the change.

The cheater mantra is “I can do BETTER”.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

I’m with you Gypsy! Great description! 🙂

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

And “better” is measured in kibbles! It’s not that the Schmoopie is better; it’s that new kibbles are better than old, and nothing is better than new romance kibbles, especially if they’ve managed to fool respective spouses or partners.

Roberta
Roberta
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

I was always taught that the enemy of best is better! That’s when you start chasing something subjective and possibly unattainable!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

BetterJamie, You called it spot on, along with Wiser now with compartmentalization. They have never really been happy, no matter what happens, how joyful or fun, it is always tinged with ‘poor sausage’ me. They get used to it as well. Slowly slipping into the miasma of unhappiness is not foreign to them. They use you and your duck behavior (looking serene and happy on the surface and paddling like crazy under the water to make a happy life for you, him and your children) as a distraction from their misery…and at some point, the novelty of it all wears off, sort of like a drug, all of those miseries start to well up and you are not doing what needs to be done to keep them at bay. So off to find a new drug, new kibbles but they CANNOT ever countenance the idea that happiness is something you cook up for yourself every day, with your actions thoughts and deeds, and that they alone are responsible for their own happiness. If they did their heads would explode with the unbearable truth, that they have never been happy and don’t have the internal ganas (spanish for EARNEST DESIRE/ABILITY) to make themselves happy.

So they look for it in others and it never works, shockingly. But society has rules and is very clear on schmuckdom, they can’t bear that either, so they comparmentalized, forget your pain, forget that their actions permanently stain them as schmucks.They move on looking for some other sparkly thing…like a lost soul on the landscape until they bump into someone receptive (displays compassion or lack of ethics or desperation, someone who doesn’t look too hard) and the love bombing begins. I have been wondering if love bombing is as important for them to do for themselves to ‘bring the happiness back’ as it is important for conning us.

Smart, you have just slipped down rabbit hole and you probably need to change your name to Alice for a while. I am so sorry. It is like the reality you had, the bed you sleep in, the floor you stand on has just morphed and turned into goo. It is a terrible place, but actually the goo you are in now is more real than the solid footing you had before with your Sharky shapeshifter. Hold your head up… you loved him and the blessing in this is that you are capable of love and happiness. You will find that again because you have the ganas. Him…not so much…it might be hard to imagine at this moment, but think of him as a ghost, moving accross a bleak black and white landscape…forever looking for something that cannot exist for him.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago

Ring, I do believe lovebombing is as important to them because it feeds their ego. So long as they’re reaching a level of adoration for you that no one else could ever reach they’re getting their ego stroked; “you’re such an amazing guy/girl”, “you’re the best boyfriend/girlfriend I’ve ever had”, “I never thought people like you existed”, “you are perfect”…..blah blah blah….I know I told my STBX those things and I meant them. He was my soulmate, my companion, my best friend and I told him in some way how much I loved him almost daily. So technically I never stopped giving him kibbles, he just required more than I was able to give after the mortgage, bills, a baby….
But we also wise up to the game. We chumps usually start to see the cracks in the glass that is them and we start holding them accountable….and then we are screwed. All hell breaks loose because you now signify the end of an era….we had it so good, the Narc thinks; you adored me, you let me do whatever I wanted, you didn’t press too much, you didn’t demand much of me and now you’re messing that all up, making me grow up and I just can’t have that. Where can I find the most naive new fling to undo the damage you’ve done to my ego? Aaaaand insert OW or OM.

And the cycle restarts.

Thank God we are off the circular Narc track!!!

tony
tony
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

Jamie

I think Tracy said it best when she said they have the ultimate “You’re not the boss of me!!” as their life motto, and a marriage with its vows represents the ultimate contradiction of this because it in effect tells them that for the rest of their lives their actions are limited by the marriage.

Thus, as things start going south, and behavior gets worse, we chumps are faced with the quandary of how to compel a seeming adult to do something, such as be decent and participate equally in the relationship to which they agreed.

This to me is the concerning aspect of any serious relationship going forward – we really cannot compel people to do anything they do not want, and marriages seem to be in the minds of many just papers and a promise.

SeeTheLight
SeeTheLight
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

So true Tony. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that for cheater, the marriage ceremony was just a social gathering, not a vow solemnizing a comittment to one another before God, family, and friends. The only vow he has ever made must have been for his own happiness to the exclusion of all others. He might be the boss but it sounds like loneliness and isolation in the long-term.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

Agreed, tony. It truly seems so silly for them to ever even desire to have that “ball and chain”. But I know they have their own selfish reasons for marriages; don’t they always?

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  tony

I agree–marriage puts them in a place that limits their options and the “You’re not the boss of me” kicks in.

cheaterssuck
cheaterssuck
9 years ago

Smart,

You are plenty smart enough. Cheaters all read from same manual and there is absolutely nothing original about them at all. Everyone here was duped because we actually did love them.

The ex in my life cheated after 23 years of marriage and convinced himself that our marriage was over anyway so it was okay in his head. He told himself that enough times and after a while he truly believed it. Once they believe it, it isn’t a lie.

I stayed for three years and did the humiliating dance of pick me but it became very clear that unless I dispensed kibbles with wild abandon for the rest of my life, he would do it again. He was hedging his bets with the OW the entire time we were together and kept her dangling along in case we split. I ultimately asked him for a divorce and when I let him know that I couldn’t be his chump anymore (aka, I would no longer be used by him) he completely cut me off. I went no contact but I have heard absolutely nothing from him and I never will unless he is desperate and he needs something.

After about 6 months, I started seeing the forest through the trees (which is the only time you can look at your old life objectively) and I realized I too was dealing with a shark with a human suit; who’s favorite movie of all time is Jaws by the way. I started to see him for the person he really was and I also realized how many times he demonstrated to me who he really was. I just spackled enough not to believe him.

I know it sucks and it must suck especially hard that he walked out on your child too. If you can take anything positive away from this, be thankful that he only wasted 10 years of your life. Mine wasted a total of 27 years that I can never get back. Those last three that he wasted were in my 40s which is worse.

You are smart and you are so worthy of something better than what your stbx gave you. Please remember this when his young kibble dispenser drops his narcissistic ass!

Sending jedi hugs your way

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  cheaterssuck

Cheaterssuck, Thank you for your post. I am 44 years old. That’s part of what SUCKS even more for me. At a time in my life when I should be at ease and winding down, all of a sudden—and without any doing of my own—I find myself alone, eventually having to go back to work after 8 years of being at home, and the sheer horror of having to be “out there” in the single world again. I truly hope that he does get dropped on his narcissistic ass. Sooner rather than later, please.

Karma Express
Karma Express
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Smart, I’m 47 and my D-day was seven months ago. At first I, too, panicked in “horror” at the thought of dating again. My doctor told me to wait at least a year before starting to date. I was outraged. It’s not fair! How come my ex gets to keep Schmoopie but I have to wait a year to find someone? Well, my doctor was wise, because I’m spending that year healing and getting to know myself better. I come here every day and it’s a godsend. I’m doing the work to examine my life, which my ex is not. He’s taking shortcuts, like Portia says. Don’t panic about being single. Take the time to heal, to get your life back on track. Once you’re happy with your life, love will find you. Someone out there will appreciate the smart, loving, hard-working, and loyal person you are. It only seems scary now because you’re not ready to date yet. Hugs!

Chumpette
Chumpette
9 years ago

Dear Smart, like so many of us here, we asked the same question: how could our beloved and best friend change and then abandon us? Tracy provides a very true answer. I was you, add 17 years and 2 daughters (subtract chickens:). I am sorry for the huge whole in you now. i remember it so very well. It can be filled with hope, joy and love as you heal. You will see!

The other question I struggle with is: how did I miss his narcissism? Apart from the way he hid it so well, i think my part in it was that I assumed normalcy. Not perfection, but a core normalcy. Perhaps it is true that we see the world as we are, not as it is. Which also explains why they (narc cheaters) treat us the way they do…mean, blaming-shifting, lying as if we do not matter. Those behaviors show us who THEY are…not who WE are.

Chumps are loyal, loving, whole hearted people. We allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Recovering from this wound is the most important challenge in my life so far (mid fifties). And I will do it. We chumps will do it. Whole heatedly.

On that note, I have been wanting to share Brene Brown’s TED talk on whole hearted people and vulnerability. http://youtu.be/iCvmsMzlF7o (if link does not work, search for her talk on vulnerability on youtube or NPR).

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  Chumpette

Chumpette, yes, this too resonates with me. My ex’s reaction to many of our life’s challenges was to run away, distance himself (both physically and mentally), and then pretend his crap behavior made sense. He never questioned what he did, who he hurt. Most of us here work harder to be good people, to do things that make life better not only for ourselves but especially those we love. This however was not the case with my ex. He was after the limelight always, as he grew more entitled he surrounded himself with shallow people; even though our life had everything good going for it it was never enough. One thing he stated to me on his way out, “Every thing about MY LIFE is perfect, except for YOU.” This as he abandoned his family, his financial responsibilities, and me (his partner of 28 years). Telling, don’t you think?

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Chumpette & Drew,
Yes. My STBX in the words of our therapist: ” he just buries his head in the sand and waits for everyone else to fix the problem for him”.
It’s so true. Normal life problems were just too much for his weak little mind to handle.

Your quote, Drew, also brought up a memory of one of his last and most hurtful quotes: “You just keep thinking that I want someone else when in reality…I JUST DON’T WANT YOU!”

He said this in response to me accusing him of cheater behavior 101…it was so obvious but he refused to admit it, still hasn’t. But oh how it burned when he said that…I gave that man my all, made his life better in every way and had his then 1 year old daughter. I was so shocked that all my love felt like it was annoying, bothersome and reprehensible to my own husband.

Now I get it. Ha.

Drew
Drew
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

Yes, I totally get that we are better off. My relationship with my ex was so exhausting….

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Same here…keeping up with his needs, remaining fluid to accommodate his mood swings, always being anxious and waiting for my next unintentional misstep.

Good riddance. I’m a better mother, better lover, better friend, better daughter, better employee and generally better person without him causing so much turmoil.

Portia
Portia
9 years ago

One of the most difficult things I had to learn when I was coming to terms with this dysfunctional personality type was that they do not see other people as complete, real people. They can interchange everything, including body parts. ” I really like Mary’s hair and face, but I prefer Jane’s boobs, and Sally will twerk like a pro if I ask her to. My dream woman is Mary Jane Sally, because it’s all about pleasing me!”

Compromise and commitment is out of the question. Everything is supposed to go the way they want it to, and everyone should recognize how superior they are to everyone else. People are only useful for a limited amount of time, so they use them till they find someone more useful. They discard them and move on, and you better believe someone with even more sparkles will be just around the next corner.

Normal people do not think this way. Normal people do not try to shortcut life. The whole thing with the older established lover and the new sparkly lover, is about shortcuts. He does not want to face losing that young sparkly body, he imagines that he can somehow stay young by sleeping with a young person. She does not want all that pesky struggle with life and slowly earning your way into a more comfortable position stuff. He can give her all those comforts and prestige NOW. Their “twu luv” is WORTH HURTING OTHER PEOPLE FOR (Schmoopie).

When it comes to children, and their legal commitments, my ex actually told me I should seek out a doctor or a lawyer to marry — someone who could afford to raise OUR children, because that would take a lot of pressure off of him. That pesky child support interrupted his ability to take a vacation when he wanted to, or buy a new car. Poor sausage! I was an interchangeable part, and my husband should be to. Anything to make HIS life easier. Forget my needs, or my desire to love and be loved, I needed to marry a big wallet because that person could pay for everything. Really.

Abandon all hope of finding a valid and moral basis for your SBTX’s actions and words. He has no morals or scruples. If he had any, he would not have done what he has already done. Expect nothing different in the future, and you will not be disappointed.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  Portia

AND, I forgot to add, my STBX also told me that he “hoped I’d marry a rich man next time so that I could get the kind of money I want out of him when I divorced him.”
Lmao…ummmmm….what?

I don’t recall divorcing ANYONE, Narc, that was YOU. Filing for divorce was your retaliation after I uncovered your secrets, kicked you out of the house and filed for child support-how DARE I take care of myself and our child!

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

Wow just wow on the “I hope you marry someone rich” thing. I thought I’d heard it all but this takes the cake. It doesn’t surprise me because these losers are capable of anything but that’s new one for me. Did either of you have a reply to that? Maybe “I just hope I find someone with a soul” or “Oh no I don’t plan on even looking until I get every possible cent out of you.” Just curious.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  Nicole S

Nicole, it is a beauty of a quote…his self hatred & self victimization is always in motion. Poor guy, always getting the shit end of the stick.

But my reply was first a laugh and then I said “oh boy, you must be thinking of someone else. I’ve only married one man & it clearly wasn’t for money & I don’t recall divorcing him either.”
We argued back & forth a little because I was still giving him attention at that point, I didn’t realize what he really was yet. But he was pissed because the courts had just decided how much he would be paying in child support & mortgage deviation and I was the big bad wolf that made the state come after him and treat him unfairly (or like every other man in the state). He ended the conversation with “I am tired of trying to divorce you and nothing happening”. I was like “yeah…..that sucks, dude….”

Nicole S
Nicole S
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

Love. It. You are feisty!

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  Portia

Oh my goodness, Portia! So much familiarity in your words!!!
I’ve never heard that these Narcs don’t look at others as complete but in little compartmentalizations. Wow!!!!! That explains some things!

It is endlessly helpful to see all my suspicions and theories put right here in plain sight. Of course, when I brought these things to my STBX’s attention I was coined as crazy, dramatic, hyper-sensitive, immature, pathetic. And to outsiders/people that have never experienced a narc in action, these theories seem really outlandish. I felt like some people who asked me to explain wound up looking at me in disbelief. They truly had a difficult time believing that there are humans who operate the way narcs/sociopaths/disordered do. Being here on CN, hearinh so many stories that hit home & sharing my experience in the hopes that it helps someone (or at least makes them laugh) really helps more than anything I’ve done so far.

seacurlz
seacurlz
9 years ago

Oh boy…this brought back so much for me today. First you are SMART enough…he’s just a dud!

After 10 years of marriage my husband left me, our 3 year old daughter, and two dogs. No warning, no explanation, nothing! He would not tell me where he was but everything started to come out and he had moved in with the OW he was having an affair with. Younger, no children, good time sally. I asked myself these same questions over and over again and the one that still gets to me sometimes is

“How can he hate me so much?”

I’m not the one who abandoned my family. For a while I blamed the OW . I slowly came to terms with this was the man I married and trusted. He did not just wake up one day and become this awful man. He was always flawed. He has blamed me for all his actions and has gone as far as saying It was my fault because he never wanted a family, he hated that I was 20lbs overweight, blah blah blah. He crushed my soul and it took me sometime to get to MEH but everytime I have to interact with him I feel relief that this toxic man is out of my life. My divorce was final December 31st!!!! My New Year is cheater free and I feel like I have lost 180lbs of asshole! I have lost 50lbs so he can shove that 20lbs up his ass! lol I didn’t realize just home much I compromised until he was gone. I eat clean again, I’m kicking butt at work, and have gone back to school to complete my degree. Yes the financial security is gone but I make it work and I’m happy at the end of the day and I sleep well at night knowing I did nothing wrong.

I promise you it does get better. There will be good and bad days. Lean on your friends and family for support and love. Work on loving yourself! We all love you here in Chump Nation!

Kelly
Kelly
9 years ago
Reply to  seacurlz

Fucking awesome, seacurlz, yay you!

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  seacurlz

Great story of triumph, seacurlz! Good for you!
I’ve asked myself why my STBX hates me and how he can be so cruel, as well. I always come back to: he just reeeeeally sucks. Lol.

Happy to hear your story! Forge on!

seacurlz
seacurlz
9 years ago
Reply to  TheBetterJamie

They really do just suck! lol I feel like this whole horrible experience nearly destroyed me and that alone makes me want to forge on strong. My daughter is my true inspiration. She makes me do better everyday. All of you here at Chump Nation have also been a HUGE part of my recovery! Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
9 years ago
Reply to  seacurlz

Yeah, great job! Your financial security isn’t gone forever. I suspect you’re on your way to earning it on your own. You’re smart, and you’re working hard. What an inspiration!

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  seacurlz

Aw-right, seacurlz! You are awesome!!!

sam
sam
9 years ago

It is normal to think “how could I fall for the lies” for a while.

Then you get clarity, see the situation for what it is and it turns into “how could someone lie so well” and then you have closure.

In these situations, it isn’t the fault of the person who is open-hearted and trusting. It is the fault of the liar.

As CL and others have said, he didn’t change overnight. This is how he was and is. He’s just a very good actor.

Hang in there, don’t fall for it anymore. My main regret is that I spend 2 months on more of his lies during faux-reconciliation. He was just biding his time to see if I would go back to the way things were. When I told him things weren’t going back to the way they were he turned nasty. The game was up.

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
― Maya Angelou

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
― John Wooden

seacurlz
seacurlz
9 years ago
Reply to  sam

And what a wonderful feeling when clarity does finally come.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
9 years ago
Reply to  sam

You nailed it Sam, I wasn’t stupid and when I saw how easily he manipulated cops and friends and pretty much everyone. When I knew he was lying and yet he did it so well. I realized he was indeed a master at his craft and that craft was forging a mask to get along and use people. Once I *really* saw him I stopped beating myself up so much for being taken in. It helps to have validation that a liar can indeed fool the best (and the worst) of us.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
9 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Dat, your comment is bang-on and made me remember something that in retrospect is truly telling. The summer right before I left cheating POS ex, there was a huge city event we were attending and all the streets were blocked off. Somehow ex was able to roll down the car window, flag down a cop and charm him into providing us a f*ing POLICE ESCORT to the restaurant we were heading to. At the time, I remember being impressed with how he pulled it off, and how we were like visiting royalty bypassing the pedestrian plebes. Now, I’m absolutely chilled thinking how slick he was and still is, and how naive ‘play-by-the-rules’ me never had a chance.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

What Dat wrote really hit home for me: “[M]y ex told the same few stories about his past history over and over. It is as though the only memories he really had were the ones where he came off a hero.” Hero stories dominated Jackass’s memories, but he also had some dandy stories where he was the victim. Looking back now, I can see this “minimal memory” as a big red flag. I’d ask questions about how he got into such a bad situation with his business or why he put up with his cheating XW#2 when he was married to her and he had zero memory, zero explanation. He claimed he couldn’t remember why XW#1 moved back home with her parents or what went wrong in the marriage. But he had detailed stories about his daring exploits on the job or about building an addition singlehandedly on a home owned by an in-law.

Now I look back on years of conversations and see nothing but a disturbed guy hiding the truth about what he is from everyone, including himself. He’s both pitiful and dangerous. There are indications that his MOW is still struggling a year after he kicked her to the curb (not that I care about her, one way or the other). But the devastation he leaves behind him after every relationship–including the affairs–is no joke. I remember one story he told about a married woman he was “dating”–and whose name comes up a lot in his dealing with XW#2, which suggests he was having an affair with her during that marriage (not that he would “remember” that now). But he tells a story about having his work vehicle parked in a public area and this MOW “climbed into the truck” to talk to him. The only thing he “remembers” about that encounter was telling her to get out of the truck. How powerful he sounded telling that story, demonstrating he was done with that woman. He spoke of her as if he were nothing. I speckled that into “he is done with married women.” What I see now is that he enjoys the love-bombing stage and particularly with someone who is married or otherwise unavailable but that–whatever he feels during the discard–his memory of that discard is that she deserves it and he’s the hero.

So, Smart, that’s why CL cautions us against “untangling the skein of their fuckedupedness” and tells us to “trust that they suck.” There is no explaining this behavior outside of character disorders like narcissism. It doesn’t matter how they got that way. But it does matter that you trust that the guy who left you and your family is the real guy and the guy you thought you were married to was the mask he was wearing to be acceptable to you. The way they live is unsustainable. Soon enough the sparkly office manager will get the discard, too. Meanwhile, you’ve got your daughter, your dogs and those chickens! The sucking wound in your chest will start to heal when you learn about character disorders and come to terms with what you were married to. Mourn the hologram husband but understand that the physical being you were involved with is a person who will hurt you over and over if you let him.

Chumpette
Chumpette
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LAJ’s “He’s both pitiful and dangerous” basically sums up why I was so chumped. XH’s many wounds hooked me, but I did not know he was a wounded wild animal.

Once my disorientation cleared up, my attachment to him ended, and my grieving faded, I could see how dangerous he was. Still is.

The education here sped all this along, mightily.

notsmartenough
notsmartenough
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

LovedaJackass, Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I truly empathize with your situation. Looking back, I see some of the narc signs—loving to talk about himself, being overly defensive to any degree of criticism, being resistant to doing anything he didn’t WANT to do. I guess I accepted these things as parts of his personality of which I was less than fond. I remember wincing whenever I had to ask him to help me out, at times.

It’s just so stunning how his personality seemed to change 180 degrees from the MOMENT he told me (directly and matter-of-factly) that he was “done” with our relationship and wasn’t in love with me anymore. That’s how fast everything changed!

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago
Reply to  notsmartenough

Think about it this way: when an actor walks off the stage, he drops that character and becomes who he really is. The narc signs you saw where the real person when he slipped out of character a bit. Once he decided to leave, he dropped the act altogether. It’s hard to know it now, but you will at some point be very grateful that he left. And being here among these amazing, tough people will help you learn what you need to know not to pick another sparkly con artist. Because you are gaining a healthy life that can have a loving partner in it!

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Smart,
You surely will be grateful for him leaving, in time. You’ll get your life back in ways you never realized you had lost it.
Hugs to you!

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
9 years ago
Reply to  LovedaJackass

Oh the selective memory….I dealt with a lot of that, too. Funny how their stories only paint the picture that they intend. In my experience life doesn’t really work that way. I guess for a Narc, if you can rewrite history, then it does!

sam
sam
9 years ago

Personality disorders are managed, never cured. If there is a period of relative calm, trust that it will swing back to chaos eventually.

I would rather be alone than deal with that again.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
9 years ago
Reply to  sam

Hi Sam, Could you describe managed? I have never heard that they could even be managed. It would be a great life skill for me to know how to do that because often you bump into them in a variety of other situations. Thx.

sam
sam
9 years ago

Only the person with the personality disorder can manage their disorder. Therapy, sometimes medication, behavior modification. It is a lot of hard work and most PD people can’t or won’t do that work.

People who are involved with PD people need to set and keep strict boundaries. You can’t manage a personality disorder from the outside.

KarenE
KarenE
9 years ago

Ring, there is a pretty good book called Disarming the Narcissist that has helpful tips, although it makes staying in any kind of close relationship or frequent contact with a narc sound like a TON of work and a huge pain in the neck, exhausting and soul-deadening. Unless the person is only mildly narcissistic, or you only need to deal with them occasionally, the best option is always to GET AWAY, whatever the context. Find another job, move to another neighbourhood …

The other book I have found super helpful when communicating with the ex is one by Bill Eddy, who totally gets these character-disordered freaks. It is called Its All Your Fault.

LovedaJackass
LovedaJackass
9 years ago

*”as if he were nothing” should be “as if she were nothing.”

kb
kb
9 years ago

Hi Smart–

You are asking how your husband of 10 years could dump you and your child (an