New chump here. I’m about two months out from D-day and a ball of confusion.
My ex-boyfriend and I had almost reached the three-year mark when I discovered texts telling a friend he had “ended it with OW”. Turns out he had been cheating with a coworker for four months and “ended it” three times.
The confusing part is that he showed “true remorse” as you describe it in your book. He was truthful and immediately admitted to all of it (without sparing my feelings), took total blame for his actions, and urged me to tell family and friends so I would have support. He agreed to go to couples counseling and then several days later HE decided he didnt want to work on the relationship because I “deserved better” and he didn’t want to waste my time in therapy when “the damage he did was too great”.
He called what he did “self-sabotage” and said he “ruined the best thing in his life and he doesn’t even know why”. He even paid for my movers and storage to move back across the country. Obviously I agree that I deserve better, but somehow I’m still pissed??
Some backstory — we were long distance the past year as I was finishing up grad school, and I had just moved across the country so we could live together. He insisted we sign a two-year lease and told me after I discovered his affair that he looked at engagement rings this spring (my bestie corroborated this). He was adamant that he was very happy in our relationship — but that there was something wrong with him that made him do this.
On top of all this, he is a public defender and I thought he was the most empathetic and selfless guy in the world. (The AP is a public defender too and seems like a good person — oof).
I know this is so messed up, but I’m somehow upset he didn’t even want to try and fix it. I know logically it is a blessing because he sucks, but for some reason its a huge ego blow that he didn’t even want to try and fight for our relationship, and just chose to take the easy way out and fuck the OW for a while.
Can you help me trust that they both suck?? Its hard to hate him when he seemed like a good person and he wasn’t even a jerk when this all went down. They are both “public servants” and it just seems like two good people got together and now I’m the chump that has to rebuild.
When someone sends you mixed signals, it’s really just one signal — get out. Either that person is manipulative, or has a spine of silly putty, or both. And you can’t work with dishonesty. Well, not if you want to stay sane.
I know it’s disappointing. You miss the boyfriend you thought you had, the one who wanted a commitment, a two-year lease and a ring. And you got a cake-eating coward instead.
Sometimes the hardest mindfuck of all isn’t cruelty, but faux kindness. I’m not arguing for cruelty, but it’s direct. You know where you stand. Faux kindness is a fog of impression management.
He agreed to go to couples counseling and then several days later HE decided he didnt want to work on the relationship because I “deserved better” and he didn’t want to waste my time in therapy when “the damage he did was too great”.
He should’ve been direct with you: “I don’t want to work on the relationship.” PERIOD. Full stop.
You do deserve better (OF COURSE YOU DO!) But you got whipsawed by his agreeing to go counseling (i.e., the damage is NOT too great) and then reneging. He’s set it up as he’s Only Thinking of You — he doesn’t want to waste your time, he’s damaged you too much — how noble.
You know what doesn’t waste your time? Breaking up with you honestly. “I’m sorry, I want to see other people. Please don’t move here. Please don’t invest further.”
He called what he did “self-sabotage”
How about calling it agency? He was two-timing you because he wanted to. Sabotage makes it sound like he’s got a split personality, some guerrilla warrior persona who just lobs bombs at his life. Pity him. He can’t keep a good woman.
This is your cue to do the pick me dance and bolster him.
“ruined the best thing in his life and he doesn’t even know why”.
If you were, in fact, the best thing in his life, he’d act like it. First off, he wouldn’t cheat on you. Second, if you believe in unicorns (I don’t), he’d be making those counseling appointments himself and going. He didn’t.
He doesn’t know why?
Again, it’s that Cupid-Is-A-Sniper sabotage excuse. Gosh, he has no idea how he fucked his co-worker while letting you move cross-country.
he showed “true remorse” … [he] took total blame for his actions…
No he did not. He says he has “no idea” why he did it.
but I’m somehow upset he didn’t even want to try and fix it.
I’m glad he at least paid your moving costs. Least he could do.
he is a public defender and I thought he was the most empathetic and selfless guy in the world. (The AP is a public defender too and seems like a good person — oof).
People’s careers have very little to do with their character. Ministers, firemen, cops, teachers, lawyers, nurses… name the profession and CN has a cheating ex who had that job. Public defender isn’t a data point. (Unless you want to argue that narcissists are drawn to helping professions, impression management and all. Then the temptation is to write off all ministers, firemen, cops, etc. You can find disordered people in the grocery aisle. No one has the market cornered on them.)
it just seems like two good people got together and now I’m the chump that has to rebuild.
He could be sending the OW mixed signals as well (cake), after all you weren’t even living in the same town while that was going down. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. He’s a mindfuck. It’s not a waste if you learn from it.
You’re young, you’ve got a brilliant future ahead and a graduate degree. He’s a fuckboy you used to know.