I Just Want My Cheating Girlfriend to Be Truthful

cheating girlfriend

He caught his girlfriend cheating with her co-worker. Now she wants to get back together. Can he trust her to be truthful?

***

Dear Chump Lady,

I recently broke up with my girlfriend of two years. I had suspicion that she was seeing someone else after she came home drunk one day at 8 in the morning and I kicked her out of my apartment.

Her iPhone was connected to her iPad, and she had left it here, so I decided to snoop around.

I found text messages between her and her coworker who I had told her a couple months ago that I didn’t want her talking to. Messages went a little like, I miss your touch, I love you, the way you touch me makes me feel like you love me.

I confronted her about these messages.

and she said she was drunk and didn’t mean any of them. It’s been two weeks now since she took all her stuff out of my apartment. We still talk here and there, and she tells me eventually she wants to get back together, but she wants to take a break.

I feel like I’m getting chumped at this point and I just don’t know if I should believe her or not, and want her to just be truthful so we can just end this once and for all!

Alan

***

Dear Alan,

“We” don’t end this.

YOU end this.

Classic chump mistake thinking that you’re going to arrive at consensus about your cheating girlfriend’s atrocious behavior and she’ll Do The Right Thing. But don’t feel bad. An entire Reconciliation Industrial Complex is built upon such faulty assumptions.

Oh hey, why don’t you just tell me the truth about what you and Nigel are up to? Lead with unvarnished honesty and transform into an ethical person I can trust! Who respects me! Because I asked nicely.

Pigs will fly.

There’s only YOU, Alan, and what you will tolerate. Let’s walk through your letter and play the “Is this acceptable?” game.

I had suspicion that she was seeing someone else after she came home drunk one day at 8 in the morning and I kicked her out of my apartment.

Apparently cheating and being shit-faced drunk at 8 a.m. are NOT qualities you want in a girlfriend and you acted accordingly.

Now you’re second guessing yourself, why?

so I decided to snoop around

Does this relationship make you feel safe? Or flinchy and off-balance? Which do you prefer?

her coworker who I had told her a couple months ago that I didn’t want her talking to

You don’t control her. You only control you. If it seems that she’s investing her energies in another relationship, the answer to that dilemma is to remove yourself from her life and free her up for more Nigel time. Don’t pick-me dance. And don’t try to control the uncontrollable — her lack of investment. Decide what is and is not acceptable to you in a relationship.

Messages went a little like, I miss your touch, I love you, the way you touch me makes me feel like you love me.

Okay, Alan, you found evidence — she is, in fact, cheating with a coworker. Now you must BELIEVE the evidence and not spackle.

Do you tell your coworkers that you miss their touch? Does anyone who isn’t the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit or a workplace affair do that?

Her excuse is she was drunk.

That’s not a winning testimonial for a continued relationship. Either she’s fucking her coworker (game over) OR she gets drunk and propositions coworkers (game over).

Are either of these two things okay with you?

[She] didn’t mean any of them

So she just blows your life up for amusement? Now you can live on tenterhooks lest she get bored.

We still talk here and there

NO. No contact! She’s not your friend. If she left her favorite sweatshirt, line a hamster cage with it. Move on. Nothing to discuss.

and she tells me eventually she wants to get back together, but she wants to take a break.

She’s offering you Plan B. Hey, if things don’t work out with Nigel, she might give it a go. Alan, you’re worth more than that! Of course she won’t admit to Nigel, but she “loves” someone who isn’t you and moved out. Judge her actions. Your cheating ex-girlfriend is a lying liar who lies.

And also Alan, pro tip:

Mixed messages are just one message — run away.

Either this person doesn’t know their mind, or they know their mind and they don’t want to tell you. Neither of those things are solid foundations for a relationship. You don’t want to have to convince them of your worth (that’s the pick me dance) and you don’t want a partner with a hidden agenda.

So fuck mixed messages. Don’t toke the hopium pipe. Take your power back.

I just don’t know if I should believe her or not

Hmmmm… delirium haze or heart break?

Choose heart break. Short-term pain, long-term gain. You’re free of a fuckwit. Stay in the haze, you waste years of your precious life. Why? To anesthetize the pain of being constantly devalued? To have a pretend girlfriend when REAL women walk this earth? Alan, sweetheart, put down the pipe.

want her to just be truthful

Well, I want world peace and pants that fit. I want everyone vaccinated. I want a job cuddling golden retriever puppies.

Wishing for impossible things feels noble, Alan, and yet the world abounds with fuckwits. You have to deal with the reality you’re dealt.

Things didn’t work out with this shady girlfriend. Accept it. Move on. Block her and focus on your healing.

Ethical people exist, go invest in them. But expecting a deceitful person to become an honest broker?

Excuse me, I have a puppy to cuddle. My shift just started.

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ChumpyNoLove
ChumpyNoLove
2 years ago

You’ve only had two years invested in her. You’re not married, no kids, don’t live together. It may hurt but you’ve really got a chance to dodge a huge bullet without wasting anymore time with her. You’ll never get the truth anyway.

Sandyfeet
Sandyfeet
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyNoLove

????????

SandyFeet
SandyFeet
2 months ago
Reply to  Sandyfeet

I must’ve meant !!!!!!

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
2 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyNoLove

ChumpyNoLove said it straight and concisely. Let FW go and move on. Assume everything she says is a lie… no reason to listen anymore. How lucky you are that you didn’t marry her!

Brit
Brit
2 years ago

..and that she’s moved out. =)

Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
Velvet Hammer ????????❤️
2 years ago

Cheating is a red flag.

Lying is a red flag.

An untreated alcoholic (speaking as an alcoholic with 35 years in recovery and people who lie and cheat and are out all night, come home at 8am, and offer being drunk as an excuse for their lying and cheating are suspect) is a red flag.

A cheating, lying, potentially untreated alcoholic is the biggest red flag made by the Red Flag Factory.

Stop, drop the flag, and run. And if you want a fixer-upper, buy a house.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
2 years ago

Velvet, you make an important point here: the coming home drunk at 8 am is a sign of someone who is abusing alcohol (to put it in the most optimistic way).

Alan, ere are signs that your hopefully ex-girlfriend is not really available for a relationship.

1. She has, at the very least, a problem with alcohol. This problem may be linked to her cheating, as alcohol abusers prefer other drinkers as social companions (and sometimes non-alcohol abusers are their preferred enablers (paying rent and utilities, keeping the house clean, putting up with Plan B). Her drunken exploits show you that like all alcohol abusers, her primary relationship is not with you or this other guy, but with alcohol. It’s self-destructive to be involved with nyone who has drinking problems (defined as “creates problems when they drink”).
2. She’s a user in other ways. She was living in your apartment and treating you like sh*t.
3. She’s lying and hiding things from you. That’s a huge character problem.
4a. If you feel you have to tell someone to stay away another man (or woman), then you are with the wrong person. Someone invested in your relationship will protect the relationship and the boundaries you’ve agreed on. The flip side of this is TELLING a grown woman who to talk to (etc.) erodes YOUR OWN character. The need to control another person will chip away at your ability to see that person as equal to you, having autonomy. It will lead you to behaviors that are problematic in any true healthy, reciprocal relationship.
4b. You don’t have to “tell” someone not to talk to a third party if your partner is trustworthy. A faithful person would not cause you worry in this regard.

Sometimes it’s hard to break up without having proof of terrible wrongdoing. Most chumps need to learn the “acceptability test” as CL presents it. It’s not necessary for people to be literally caught
with their pants down to say that behavior like you describe (drinking, lying, sexting, staying out all night, coming home drunk) is just not what you want to live with.

You can do better. You did the right thing by kicking this girl/woman out of your apartment. Now sit down and figure out what kind of woman you DO want. When you pine for her to tell the truth or speculate on whether SHE wants to come back, you aren’t looking at her with clear eyes. There’s nothing to work with if a man or woman stays out all night drinking with a cheating partner.The world is full of lovely women you won’t have to watch stumbling in at 8 am, drunk, smelling like some other man.

Lee Chump
Lee Chump
2 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

LAJA: Spot on especially #s 4a and 4b. Thanks for sharing.

Hopium4years
Hopium4years
2 years ago

“A cheating, lying, potentially untreated alcoholic is the biggest red flag made by the Red Flag Factory.”

I laughed out loud, but even though it’s funny it’s SO TRUE!!

bread&roses
bread&roses
2 years ago
Reply to  Hopium4years

Unfortunately, I purchased stock in that factory…

bread&roses
bread&roses
2 years ago
Reply to  bread&roses

My entire life’s savings, in fact!

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago

Amen to this! ????????????????????????

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago

????

And a fixer upper house will most likely grow in value the more you invest in it. A cheating liar, never will.

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago
Reply to  Susie Lee

Good point!

LookingForwardsToTuesday
LookingForwardsToTuesday
2 years ago

Alan,

Someone who wants to a break right now, but offers up the prospect of getting back together at some point in the future is playing you. You win by stepping back, saying “No” (or even “No thanks” if you want to be polite) and then going no contact.

And don’t be surprised if at some point she plays the the old “I want an open relationship after the fact” gambit. Hint: you are already in an open relationship; just one that is one-sided, you didn’t agree to and you didn’t know about.

LFTT

PrincipledLife
PrincipledLife
2 years ago

How to Train a FW to Tell the Truth

1. First, buy a goat.
2. Have heartfelt conversations with your goat, explaining your values and sharing deeply.
3. Don’t be perturbed when he eats the dishtowels.
4. Repeat #2.
5. Explain that your value system includes that he not nibble the neighbors bushes or poop on the floor.
6. Pay the neighbor for the ruined bushes. Clean up the poop on the floor.
7. Repeat #2. Louder.
8. Take your goat for a walk, explaining he is not to run off, no bush-nibbling, no public pooping.
9. Catch goat, pay for more ruined bushes, clean up poop.
10. Repeart #2. Louder, and for a longer period of time.
11. Continue to pay neighbors for ruined bushes, clean the poop from your floors.
12. Explain before taking your goat to the grocery store the expectations for good behavior. Repeat #2.
13. Catch goat, pay for ruined produce, apologize to all for unacceptable goaty behavior.
14. Ponder what is wrong with self that goat behaves the way he does.
15. Repeat #2. Hire a trainer from the Goat Industrial Complex to help said goat.

This fun game can go on for years. Once you’ve successfully trained your goat you can advance to the next step, getting your fuckwit to tell the truth. Although much harder than goat training, your experience, unending patience, complete self-abegnation and a gallon of truth serum has been found successful in 0.2% of cases.

FormerlyKnownAs
FormerlyKnownAs
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

My money is on the goat changing before narcissistic cheaters do.

ChumpyChica
ChumpyChica
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Love this! Thanks for sharing!

Pamz
Pamz
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

This is perfectly silly and perfectly accurate! Thank you for the post Principled Life.

bread&roses
bread&roses
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

I’m with the peanut gallery. Gold! I might add doing whatever you can to make your goat the happiest, freest and most well-fed goat in the land, including letting your goat eat your gardens and destroy your property, and buying him the finest, most expensive food available.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

This is so good!

thingsthatmakemegrumpy
thingsthatmakemegrumpy
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Too funny!

ChumpMeGentlyWithAChainsaw
ChumpMeGentlyWithAChainsaw
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Screenshot. Saved.

This was absolutely PERFECT.

learning
learning
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

perfect ! hahahahahahah

Chumpednomore
Chumpednomore
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Awesome way of explaining this. Love it!

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

This is gold! My X even looks kind of like a goat ????????

kokichi
kokichi
2 months ago
Reply to  FreeWoman

Lucky you. Mine looks like a gargoyle.

MichelleShocked
MichelleShocked
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

PrincipledLife — this is the best! Borrowing this to explain to others 🙂

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Well done PrincipledLife! Made my day!

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Omg!!!! Such a great post!

Meanwell
Meanwell
2 years ago
Reply to  PrincipledLife

Thank you for good laugh this morning
I needed it

Thrive
Thrive
2 years ago
Reply to  Meanwell

???????? love #14. So true-ponder what is wrong with me that makes goat act the way it does. Hugs to newbies

Spinach@35
Spinach@35
2 years ago

Alan,

You’re falling into a common chump trap: thinking that the cheater will behave reasonably and with your (or your joint) best interest at heart. No. A thousand times no. They only think in terms of doing what’s best for them (or what feels good for them in the moment). [I was offered a plan B. Something along the lines of, “Can we get back together in, say, 3 years. Selfish noblesse oblige on his part. That he thought this was a reasonable request/offer speaks volumes.]

Step away from the crazy. Don’t sink any more time on this relationship (as I did in mine–35 yrs).

There are good people out there, as CL points out. You deserve better.

Good luck.
Spinach

Fourleaf
Fourleaf
2 years ago

No Contact is your best friend right now. Believe me, I know.

Lorie
Lorie
2 years ago
Reply to  Fourleaf

Fourleaf,
I totally agree. No contact is the only way you can ever move on. I was totally stuck in a crappy situation I created because I didn’t go no contact. I wasted 1-1/2 years AFTER my divorce smoking on the hopium pipe. I pick-me-danced way to long! Nothing in the world can help your recovery like No Contact. I preach it every chance I get to people who find themselves in our situation

Lorie
Lorie
2 years ago

Alan
Be thankful that you have only spent 2 years with this awful woman. In my opinion wanting to believe them is such a powerful thing. After dday I wanted to believe every crazy story my now XH through at me. She doesn’t want to take a break to strengthen anything with you, she wants to see if she can make it work with a coworker. I went through the take-a-break thing with my husband of 21 years. He packed a bag one night to go stay in a motel so he could “get his act together.” What he was actually doing was spending 2 weeks in a hotel room putting his “act” in our neighbor. She’s never going to tell you the extent of her deceit. I agree with CL, go NO CONTACT now. Block her on your phone, and all social media. Take some time to mend your broken heart and to decide what your boundaries in a good relationship really are. Good luck Alan!!

Lankle
Lankle
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorie

Being cheated on and lied to hurts no matter how many years you are with a person. It’s still a crushing discovery. Betrayal is betrayal.

Alan – Your ex-girlfriend (because that is what she will be) sucks. Trust that she sucks. She is a liar. She betrayed you and she is only thinking about herself and not you. She is mentally abusing you. I hope you can see this. What most of us know on this forum is that a cheater will rarely confess and give you the truth. Its why it is a mindfuck. Your ex-girlfriend is a POS. Change the locks. And in the interim, know it is okay to feel sad, confused, betrayed, angry. Coming to this forum will help you. I’m sorry you found us, but I hope you take Tracy’s wisdom to heart. She is 100% spot on every time. Hugs.

bread&roses
bread&roses
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorie

I unwittingly gave cheater three free-for-all cheat breaks over seven years. I graciously and selflessly gave him needed “time and space” to heal and work on himself. These were major disruptions to my own life, and I was worried about him, too.

What do you need, Alan? Try thinking about that instead.

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorie

Alan,
Cheaters and liars are lazy. She is trying to find the path of least resistance and let you do all the emotional heavy lifting, while trying to start a new relationship elsewhere (see monkey branching). If it works great (for her that is)! If not, no skin off her back…

She has the emotional depth of a barnacle. Don’t think about her another minute.

Good luck and Godspeed Alan!

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorie

23 years and ditto ????????????????????????????????… only difference is it was a girl he met on an elevator, not a neighbor, that I know of . . . . ????????????

Lorie
Lorie
2 years ago

Motherchumper99,
On an elevator????? What a super schmuck!
Either way it sucks! Hope your life is going better now!!

Xioba Xioba
Xioba Xioba
2 years ago

Hi Alan and welcome to CN,
It’s “nice” to see a story that involves a chump with that pesky Y Chromosome as almost all stories here revolve around the we “Y” folk being the FWs and not the chumps.

As it is, no contact and know that she sucks.

I feel for you because I can relate, but you’re so fortunate that you got out now without the house and kids— get an STD check for sure because drunken sex is more likely than not “jiffy” free.

Just tell yourself over and over— she’s trash. She devalued me. When that sinks in you can then work on you and listen to CL and CN they care about you and as much as the truth hurts, they want you well and see you as a person with high value.

The drunkard trash that is your ex does not care about you, she does not want you well and she does not value you. DO NOT waste your time with trash.
Take it out and Godspeed to Tuesday— it’s a long and horrific journey but CL and CN got your back.

Hurt1
Hurt1
2 years ago
Reply to  Xioba Xioba

Speaking of trash…dday with my post-divorce boyfriend of several years was the day he moved into a new apartment. I took home 3 bags of his trash a few days before the move to put out on my curb as he missed the pickup at the old apartment. Two days after dday I dumped the bags up against his apartment door & taped a sign on each with black marker saying, “Trash for trash” “A real man doesn’t treat women like trash” “Your trash isn’t worth the $2/bag pick up fee.” I also put a sign on his door that read, “A cheater lives here.”

At one point a neighbor opened her door & looked at me, the door signage & the trash bags. I looked right back & said, “Yup, your new neighbor is a cheater!”

Not my finest moment but I was emboldened by years of reading CL after my 24 yr marriage ended due to cheating. True my CL training, I went NC so have no idea of his reaction. I still laugh at the balls I had that day.

Goodfriend
Goodfriend
2 years ago

Alan, you didn’t say how long you lived together, but twice you said it’s your apartment, not ours, so I’m guessing she moved in with you. Normal couples worry if a partner fails to come home, yet when she woke up someplace else, she didn’t call to tell you she was OK, she just came back on her own time. If all she did was get drunk and fall asleep, wouldn’t she be angry and upset that you threw her out? Instead, she took her stuff out of your apartment and told you eventually she wants to move back after she’s had enought time on her break.
Alan, that’s what some kids tell their parents, or their college, or a hotel. They want time to do what they please, secure in the knowledge that they can return when they need someone to do the adulting. She wants to be single and unaccountable while wanting YOU to remain committed and willing to take her back whenever she needs a place to land. She’s not going to be honest and tell you that, because she wants to keep you as an emergency option. She’s told you she wants a break from being with you. Although that hurts, that’s all the honesty you’re likely to get, and all you need to know. You don’t have to reserve space in your apartment or your head for someone who wants to be elsewhere.

40 years freed
40 years freed
2 years ago
Reply to  Goodfriend

And this is EXACTLY what I went through. Like right from the textbook of cheat. Alan , please don’t waste another minute on this Gomer. It took me a few months to really get to meh , but I did get there eventually and then found someone with principals , ethics , character , and morals. They are out there . You are a prize. Things like this can really put your self worth in question. Nah , not for a minute. You deserve better.

Thrive
Thrive
2 years ago

Sorry Buddy -you picked a loser. Run!! Get into therapy to figure out why you picked such a loser to begin with. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated. With love respect and self worth. You deserve better! Hugs!

Zip
Zip
2 years ago

This whole « take a break » thing. Does it ever work? Even without cheating, it sounds like «  I’m leaving, I expect you to be here if I return, if you’re not- oh well. »
The small ´victory’ here is you get to leave. You get to dump. You get to stand up for yourself and say to the world ‘I’m not going to put up with this shit, she doesn’t deserve me.´
You’re situation is awful, but it’s worse when you are suddenly discarded by the ‘love of your life’ for their cheating partner.
Don’t give someone of such low value the chance to further devastate you.

Zip
Zip
2 years ago
Reply to  Zip

Your **

Okupin
Okupin
2 years ago

Hi Alan—
If you haven’t already read yesterday’s post, please do, because the issues are related. A big part of the reason your girlfriend can’t be truthful with you is she’s not being truthful with herself. She’s constructed an alternate reality to live in. The reasons why she did that ultimately don’t matter because she’s an adult and, as such, could/should choose to live in the real world with all its messiness and disappointments, and try to find joy there with the rest of us. That’s basically the definition of an adult—choosing to live in the real world when it would be easier to keep living in a world where there are only good guys and bad guys and you never have to do anything that doesn’t feel good…. If she admits what she’s done and the pain she’s caused you, that whole fantasy world comes crumbling down. And she can’t and won’t face that. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that she’ll change, either. The fantasy world thing is an integral part of her personality; it’s not like changing your socks or even quitting smoking. It doesn’t come off. Move on and find a woman living in the same world as you, the real world, to have a real relationship with.
Hugs,
Okupin

MehMehMeh
MehMehMeh
2 years ago

She is literally stringing you along. If Option A doesn’t work out, you are Option B.

You’re too good for that nonsense. Be done with her and move on to someone who isn’t interested in playing like this.

I don’t understand why people pull this crapola but it’s definitely disrespectful as all get out. You are not married, there’s no commitment, so just tell her you’re removing yourself from her list of options. The emotional turmoil she wants to put you through isn’t worth your time.

Zip
Zip
2 years ago

‘The fantasy world thing is an integral part of her personality;’
So interesting. FW made it sound like he was raised in a fantasy land with the worlds most spectacular parents. He glorified them. He would talk a lot about writing their obituaries while they were alive and healthy – because they are sure to be the worlds greatest obituaries. I realize now his mom is a covert Narc. I was a fantasy of twu wuv to him – until I wasn’t and was replaced with the next twu wuv
His young adult daughter was a perfect magical daughter to him – his sister was amazing.
The exW he dumped before meeting me – not so great- me during the discard, not so great. Himself – so wonderful.
He’s living his most recent fantasy now with coworkercheater and her kids.

Elsie
Elsie
2 years ago

I’m happily single (gray divorce), but I now have a zero-tolerance policy on certain things after going through a long separation and a high conflict divorce/closeout. Irrational talk is a big red flag. Her excuses are crazy, and she’s being awful to you by saying maybe-maybe not. People who truly love each other don’t do that.

You don’t have to let anyone like that into your inner circle. EVER! Of course, sometimes you have to tolerate relatives and coworkers to keep things going, but we choose our friends and lovers.

Motherchumper99
Motherchumper99
2 years ago

Alan, you dodged a massive bullet. Thank God You didn’t breed with this lying POS. There’s nothing more excruciating than watching your precious children discarded, devalued, gaslit, and blamed by a narc cheater-parent.

Take a good hard look at why you consider wreconciliation. Change those thoughts— otherwise they’ll be your downfall and you’ll repeat this fresh hell or worse. Ask me how I know ????????????

Alphatron Shinyskullus
Alphatron Shinyskullus
2 years ago

And if the children are not discarded, she will attempt to turn them against you with lies.

Whitecoatburnout
Whitecoatburnout
2 years ago

This advice is solid gold.

FuckThatShit
FuckThatShit
2 years ago

Plus Alan, you may be hurting right now, but don’t underestimate how good it will feel to tell her “No” put all her shit in a trash bad outside you appartement and never ever talk to her again. She’ll be surprised for sure, and you’ll feel great for drawing that line in the sand and say out loud that no one gets to treat you that way and get a pass.

Trudy
Trudy
2 years ago

She’s letting her co worker put their hands down her pants, Alan. Sloppy seconds is what you get. You’re dodging a bullet, Alan.Take that gift and run, bud. Don’t look back.

Almost Monday
Almost Monday
2 years ago

Alan – To help you keep your resolve, listen to The Love Chat youtube/podcasts. You’ll find the strategies and reasons to go no contact, even though there’s also some discussion about the slim chance to re-visit the relationship in the future.

No contact, no “let’s be friends”. Work on yourself and the healthy relationship you’ll find with someone else.

New York nutbag
New York nutbag
2 years ago

Alan, I fully understand where you are. I had all the evidence solid proof but 30 years ago me wanted an admission. Never got it . Unfortunately something drastically changed in me as a result of the fuck show. I became an insufferable asshole when it can to relationships. I met and dated many lovely and high quality moral women, sadly I didn’t trust anyone of them . As a result my mindset shifted from benefit of the doubt to slash and burn. It was a defense mechanism I suppose. I can’t tell you how regrettable that all was. So much so that when my daughter became dating age , i feared juxtaposed karma leveled at her, I reached out to all those ladies I believed I had hurt and sent each one a card apologising for my boorish behavior and for any pain I may have caused. All responded and were gracious . My daughter did deal with a cheating lowlife that I dragged by the leg down the stairs of their apartment to physically throw him out, she is now married to a hard working stand up guy that adores her and their beautiful baby boy. ( add to the mix my 2 gorilla sons have put him on notice !) The point is simply cut and run save yourself and know that not every one is a cheat trash can, give yourself a break recharge and reload you are worth every thing you can imagine for yourself

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
2 years ago

This is another place where Chumps drive into the ditch.

We shouldn’t go from “giving the people the benefit of the doubt” to “slash and burn”. Those are both extreme and dangerous positions. On one hand, you are assuming everyone is benign, safe and acceptable–to the point when the first time they offend, you extend “the benefit of the doubt,” instead of noticing the person is likely not for you. On the other hand, we assume everyone is a lying sack of dog poo instead of taking the time to learn who and what they are.

I never give people the “benefit of the doubt.” It’s unhealthy. The option I choose is not to make a judgment until I really know someone. I keep my mind open and don’t allow people into the inner circle of my life until I would no longer be giving a “benefit of the doubt” about their character.

To be clear, if someone you know offends you and later says they’re sorry, you can extend “the benefit of the doubt” until you get more evidence. But the second offense? Or like Alan faced, a whole boatload of offenses? We blow right past any “benefit of the doubt.”

It’s dangerous to be in the benefit of the doubt business if that’s your default about deciding who is safe and who is not in your life. Better to just observe and withhold both judgment and increased involvement until you have evidence, data, and experience that allow you to decide if this person is of high character and has EARNED your trust. I work with college-age kids. I might look like I give “the benefit of the doubt,” but in the end, there is always a reckoning at grading time. I might give a kid a chance to turn his semester around, but if he doesn’t do the work, he fails the course. That’s not “the benefit of the doubt.” That’s allowing people to show you who they are, or how they are in this limited situation and moment.

“Slash and burn” is projecting your anger and pain onto other people. Why would you even date in that position?

Meet someone. Observe and listen. Pay attention how they operate in the world, how they talk, who their friends are, how truthful and consistent they are, how much they value reciprocity. There is no need to be in a hurry when giving people access to you and your life.

In the end, the only person you need to trust is yourself. You can trust yourself to make good decisions about who you spend time with–if you fix your picker. You can trust yourself to set high standards for character when you allow someone deeper into your life. You can trust yourself to insist on reciprocity and kindness and respect. And you can trust yourself to know when someone breaks your trust and needs to go. Finally, you can trust yourself to know that you will survive if you need to end a relationship.

Longtime Chump
Longtime Chump
2 years ago

Run now, and don’t turn back. She won’t change. If you stay she’ll likely end up pregnant, you’ll wonder if its your baby. Then she’ll stay out late coming home drunk and you’ll be the one taking care of the baby. You can see where this is going, and it is pure hell.

As far as the evidence you found, she 100% is screwing this guy. Don’t question yourself, and what you’ve found. Truly disordered individuals can paint a really pretty false reality to trap their pray. I know this because I fell for it for almost 20 years. Their words are meaningless, its the actions that we have to pay attention to.

thingsthatmakemegrumpy
thingsthatmakemegrumpy
2 years ago
Reply to  Longtime Chump

“Then she’ll stay out late coming home drunk and you’ll be the one taking care of the baby. You can see where this is going, and it is pure hell.”
This is exactly what happened to me. Alan doesn’t want this.

Lorie
Lorie
2 years ago
Reply to  Longtime Chump

Longtime Chump
I agree with this. I would like to add that since it is a coworker she is messing with, Alan will forever be playing the marriage/boyfriend police. It will be a nonstop weight on his shoulder every time she is at work. He will drive himself crazy wondering what is going on in her workplace

ChumpNoMore
ChumpNoMore
2 years ago

“Choose heart break. Short-term pain, long-term gain. You’re free of a fuckwit.”

2 years is a short investment. Be thankful you didn’t purchase assets or breed with her.

Don’t let her back into your life.

Read past posts and comments and you’ll see what kind of bullet just grazed you.

thingsthatmakemegrumpy
thingsthatmakemegrumpy
2 years ago

“I feel like I’m getting chumped at this point and I just don’t know if I should believe her or not, and want her to just be truthful so we can just end this once and for all!”
Alan,
She’s not going to be truthful. When people cheat, they also lie. They lie to hide the affair. They lie to minimize it. They lie to shift blame to the innocent partner. And so you ex is going to lie to you for these reasons. She will omit information. She will misrepresent information. She will flat out falsify things. You have sufficient information that she sucks. You don’t need to gather more information to know that, and you will actually be unable to gather that information. When you see a mushroom cloud, you know that you need to take shelter. There’s no need to determine whether it was a plutonium or uranium bomb, what the yield is in megatons of TNT, whether it was delivered by gravity bomb, cruise missile, or ICBM, whether it was North Korea or an Al Qaida terrorist attack. Seeing the mushroom cloud is sufficient information and all the other details do not affect what your course of action should be. You take cover. You have seen the mushroom cloud over your relationship. That’s sufficient. Don’t beat yourself up over all of the details on that bomb. Don’t waste another minute on it. Time is too valuable. Peace of mind is too valuable.

Pamz
Pamz
2 years ago

So very true…and it makes me grumpy too. Cheaters are incredible liars, to say the least!

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 years ago

Great analogy! I refer to fuckwits on a continuum. At one end is salmonella poisoning, and at the other end is Chernobyl.
They are all various degrees of toxic. Even at the mildest degree (like a ONS, one time cheater who confesses), you don’t go back to the restaurant that gave you salmonella. They might have cleaned up their act, but you’ll never be sure.

Gray Rock Novice
Gray Rock Novice
2 years ago

Thank you, thingsthatmakemegrumpy, for this absolutely exquisite metaphor!

Marco
Marco
2 years ago

Please learn one thing. All cheaters lie a lot.

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
2 years ago

“pro tip: Mixed messages are just one message — run away.” THIS all day long.

Get away Alan. Be done and choose better next time. Do a post-relationship inventory and list all the red flags you missed, then work on never missing them again. Good, honest people exist. And totally agreed with CL–you can’t (and shouldn’t) control other people. If you find yourself saying to your partner “I don’t want you talking to so-and-so”…you need to check your relationship and yourself.

bread&roses
bread&roses
2 years ago
Reply to  NotANiceChump

“If you find yourself saying to your partner ‘I don’t want you talking to so-and-so…you need to check your relationship and yourself.”

Agreed, NotANiceChump. That’s a good way to frame it, too. Even before reading CL’s response, that sentence in the letter caught my attention.

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
2 years ago
Reply to  NotANiceChump

Mixed messages says “I’m a fucking mess !”Run, run fast and don’t look back.

Mitz
Mitz
2 years ago

The trust is gone. And it is never going to come back.

Every late night with ‘the girls’, every business meeting, every trip for her to visit relatives, will make you sweat.

And if she can’t stay faithful now, try adding in the pressure of job losses, children, aging, and it will only get worse.

The.truth.is.out.there
The.truth.is.out.there
2 years ago

Dump the bitch.

Strike first, strike hard, no mercy sensei.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 years ago

Cheaterspeak to English translations:

Take a break = Be with somebody else. Maybe I’ll come back if I get bored and maybe not. You must wait on tenderhooks for as long as it amuses me.

I didn’t mean it= I lie. I’m telling you flat out that I’m a great big lying liar.

I was drunk= I have, or will soon have, a drinking problem, because I don’t want to live in the real world. Getting sloshed helps me escape.

Back up the dump truck on this stupid bitch, Alan, and go find a sweet, genuine girl who will love you to pieces.

bread&roses
bread&roses
2 years ago

Thanks for the pro-tip. I will use and share this. With emotional abuse and manipulation, it’s the only way to cut through the fog quickly and without untangling the skein.

threetimesachump
threetimesachump
2 years ago

Uh, Alan, you may need to do some work on yourself. You sound controlling. You don’t get to “tell” your girlfriend not to talk to someone. You do get to let your girlfriend know how *you* feel when she talks to someone.

GratefullyDivorcedDad
GratefullyDivorcedDad
2 years ago

Though daunting to many of us chumps, dumping the abusive cheater is the easy task. The more difficult task is looking inward and figuring out why we’re attracted to such lowly people. Yes, they’re usually well-disguised sociopaths. But avoiding these special FWs in the future requires a lot of self-study and changing what we look for in a partner.

NotANiceChump
NotANiceChump
2 years ago

Yep. In friendships and professional associations as well. When you’ve found yourself at the receiving end of shitty behavior, in any forum, run the personal assessment and fix your picker. It’s remarkable how held back chumps can be from all facets of life by continuing to associate with these fuckwits.

Alan
Alan
2 years ago

I want to thank all of you! Thanks everyone for the advice. I am 26 and she’s 20 we had to dogs together which I don’t have anymore. We also lived together for a year and 8 months so things did move on pretty quickly. Should’ve noticed all the red flags from the beginning. Once again thank you all

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan

She is too young, among other things. You’re really an adult. She’s just out of the teen years and just out of HS when you met her. 6 years won’t mean a thing when she’s 26 and you’re 32, but 20 and 26 is a big gap. The same thing happens at the other end of life, if people are 10 years apart. 70 and 80 are like different worlds.

Consider adopting a rescue dog if she took the pups. A pet is good company in these situations/

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I agree, I really wanted to adopt a dog when my ex and I D’d. But, I was seriously considering trying to get placed overseas in my job. Then my grandson came along and that killed that idea. Could not leave the country and that little bundle of pure joy.

Susie Lee
Susie Lee
2 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

I agree with you except for the other end.

My husband and I are 71 and 81, and really there is not a huge difference. We grew up in the same era, have the same belief system. Yes the older ones can have health issues. Or the younger one can, as I have. Not huge, but in fact he is in better health than I am. But, also, folks of the same age can have health issues. That health thing can be a crap shoot, even for folks like us who exercise and take care of ourselves.

I think part of my reason is that even at age 18 I was way more mature than other folks my age.

I do think if you get into twenty years difference it will make more of a difference.

When I started being interest in dating again, at age 40, I just was not interested in 40 year old men. I remember jokingly telling myself that I did not want to put another man through MLC.

No I don’t think it was MLC, but guys of the same age as me, just didn’t do it for me.

Also, while I do think MLC can be a thing, it is not excuse for using and abusing another human being.

Sucker Punched by a Saffa
Sucker Punched by a Saffa
2 years ago

I knew a “Mr. Taking a Break” for a couple of years, long ago. I even dated him for six months ????‍♀️. He reeled me in with his pity play-his father died when he was a baby, two disabled older brothers, and finances were tight for his mother. Plus he had been in therapy for ten years so also a “Mr. Sensitive”. Unbeknownst to me, he had been jerking around a woman for eight (!) years with dating and then breaking up, always on the lookout for a bigger, better deal. He used her as a security blankie and gave her emotional whiplash;they met in group therapy. She finally got away from him after I did. He and I dated then stayed friends. He ended our friendship over the phone, then called back after he reconsidered it. I told him to never call me again. What kind of therapy had he been in ? Not the “How to Be a Better Human” kind.

Ps He had been married for a couple of years, she dumped, married another man yet he felt the need to call her once a year to “check in”. Leave her the fuck alone ! Maybe she felt sorry for him because of his fucked up f.o.o.

Chumpasaurus45
Chumpasaurus45
2 years ago

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” From a most wise gal, our Maya Angelou, it’s rock solid advice.
For some reason people who are chumped believe every person deserves that second chance, and then the third, and the forth, then years and decades down the line of forgiveness and chances.
Her moral integrity is on full display to you, it’s a big fat zero. Believe what you see and feel. She will have you questioning and doubting every possible good honest belief you hold as she uses and confuses you for as long as you let her get away with it.
These ppl are tornadoes of massive destruction and she will take you down if you stay in her vortex. Evacuate quickly and don’t ever look back.
She is a emotional predator and she is cheating on you. That’s all the knowledge you need to hold onto. Sorry you ran into one, it’s pretty miserable.
Good luck to you Alan, you are dodging a nuclear bomb. Took me over 40 years to believe what my gut tried to tell me. Trust that she sucks and go live your best life.

Lola Granola
Lola Granola
2 years ago

“Mixed messages are just one message — run away.”

Such good, good, good advice.

Magnolia
Magnolia
2 years ago

https://youtu.be/o-XVTs-zCW0
This vid on trying to get a narcissist to admit what they did wrong.

This one is a woman who talks about cheating a lot and not really being sorry.
https://www.tiktok.com/@mentalhealness/video/6990355630183746822

The series is made by a person who identifies as having NPD and is in therapy. I spent some time on the channel and found it compelling to hear about behaviours like gaslighting and lying about cheating from someone who claims they’ve done it. Interested in others’ opinions.

LondonChump
LondonChump
2 years ago

Hi Alan,

I got chumped after a 1-2 year relationship and it really messed with my head and self-esteem. Sorry you’re going through this.

I totally agree with CL that you have to ultimately ask yourself ‘do I find this acceptable?’ and a corollary ‘would I do this to someone else?’ (both answers ‘no’), but for me personally, none of the ‘you deserve better’ kind advice really hit home until I asked a follow-up question (with a good, non-cheater-apologist therapist helping me – recommend finding one if you can afford to do so), which was the slightly more uncomfortable ‘why did I find my cheater attractive in the first place’ (before the cheating discoveries). I discovered that there were earlier red flags aside from the cheating that I either ignored or actively found attractive. For me it was his loud personality, emotional neediness, eccentricities and ‘exciting’ lifestyle in a superficial way (I later realised I was using exciting as a euphemism for chaotic). Those kinds of things. Then I figured out that I found this attractive because my parents display some of these things (not to the same extent at all, but still there). Before this, I was finding it really hard to ‘fix my picker’ as CL says (even though I’d dumped the ex, I still was in agony that I’d never find someone ‘like him’… what a joke!). Once I realised WHY I had ended up with such a psychopath, I was actually able to recalibrate in a more clearheaded way what I found attractive in a partner and why. Suddenly people I hadn’t noticed before – probably because they were similar to me, quiet, and non-‘shiny’ – became much more attractive to me romantically. And ‘shiny’ loud people became much less attractive.

Not sure if this is at all helpful at all, but just to share that sometimes, even though you absolutely are not to blame for her behaviour, it can feel empowering to think about what attracted you to her in the first place and whether that’s something you could actively control (I had always believed the Hollywood angle that you can’t decide who you love and why… which is BS!). Obviously hindsight is 20/20 so we can’t blame ourselves for picking bad people, and we are not responsible in any circumstance for their shitty choices, but I’ve found it helpful for trying to pick a nicer person going forward. Good luck,
LondonChump x

Bluewren
Bluewren
2 months ago

Yeaaah…
There is no way in hell I’ll ever get the truth.
No way in hell there’ll ever be any remorse.
No way in hell he’ll ever think about what he’s done to me, our friends and my family.

You cannot trust people who are ok with lying to you or hiding the truth- not even once.
They’ll do anything to keep the image up for their audience or to make themselves look hard done by- any truth telling would ruin that.

These people don’t understand honour and loyalty – these are foreign concepts to the weak, cowardly deceivers.
Kick them out of the doorway so others of worth may enter.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago
Reply to  Bluewren

Exactly. I’ll never know the extent of it either. Expecting the truth out of a cheater is expecting a desert to be wet. Sure, it happens some of the time (desert rains and all), but I wouldn’t move there if I were looking for a humid climate.

MotherChumperNinetyNine
MotherChumperNinetyNine
2 months ago
Reply to  Bluewren

So true about all disordered types. I’m dealing with the original narc cheater, my mom, who is in her 80s. An aging narc is horrifying— they do not change. Ever. Selfish AF, cruel, lies with impunity….

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago

I hung on for years Parenting a husband who was bipolar, had compulsions like being at the “store” after work almost every night, flirted with anything and had rounds of devaluing me and then bombing me with treats, almost like a pet and not a wife.Well a pet would have it much better!So my life was used up on mothering a delinquent who was mentally ill and then started abuse and compulsive sex. All in the name of bi-polar disorder. None of it was acceptable. A horrible tipping point after smoking the pipe for year. There is hope for you.RUN!!

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
2 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

OMG, this sounds familiar. My FW’s excuse for his betrayal was his BP1 diagnosis. He ignored his NPD, APD and HPD part of the diagnosis however, as that didn’t feel as good as an excuse, I guess. The BP was “I was in a BP mania meltdown and I couldn’t control myself”, was the best excuse handed to him on a silver platter by a diagnostician! He was all going to therapy, ready all these self help books, etc., in the beginning, until the got that diagnosis, then the brakes went screeching on. Now it’s ME that has the problem, that me and our adult kids are at fault because we just can’t understand that he was going through something and that wasn’t the REAL him. *Sigh* They are like little children. Arrested development! And you have to stay with them and accept the abuse and the parenting role forever, OR save yourself and get out!

One last time
One last time
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumped in KC

My FW was BP2. So I was walking on eggshells during all of her down times. She has pushed away our older daughter, most of our old friends, her mom comes and goes depending on her usefulness… and of course me. But its not her, everyone else is the problem.

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumped in KC

My mother was severely mentally ill (and dad was an insane drunk) so I saw a lot of mental illness, hospitalizations, etc, growing up. I always advise people to put their on mask on first (like on the plane). You can’t help or take care of other people when you are damaged, as you become in these relationships, and many people you just can’t help, period, and it’s best to bail on the relationship. Always save yourself, you’re the only YOU you have. Seriously mentally ill people are an endless, thankless pit of need and I try to avoid it when I see it. We really overestimate how much we can help people, much less save them.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

I’m afraid I can’t agree with this. There are lots of mentally ill people who manage their condition well and aren’t a bottomless pit of need.

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
2 months ago
Reply to  Mehitable

Totally agree. I grew up in a very abusive household, abuse of every kind, and unfortunately, that lends to some people learning how to survive that childhood in unhealthy ways, like trying to be invisible and not rock the boat. So we learn to “accept” abuse as our “norm”. So when you grow up and experience abuse at the hands of another mentally ill person (spouses in my case) the abuse feels “normal”. Takes a lot of therapy and relearning to get past these types of relationships. Some people never get that chance , but luckily, my FW’s mask came off and woke me up to what else is out there and is possible, like peace, putting yourself fist and loving yourself.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumped in KC

So mine had an affair at work and then blamed his coworker. Told me she had jumped him and he couldn’t do anything but unzip.I filed 10 days later. HR blamed them both. It was a nightmare. Tracy taught me, in her dirct way, that these sick people have agency and make decisions however horrible. Mine also claimed his high testosterone which he was seeing a naturalpath for, made him do it. ENOUGH LIES..I’m free after 32 years of torture..Thank you Jesus. They know what they are doing,

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
2 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

OMG, so sorry to hear your terrible story, 2xchump. And btw, I was also chumped 2x! We good and empathic people tend to learn the hard way, even if it takes more than once. But sadly, our stories sound familiar to everyone here on CN. Mine lost his job and blamed it on me, and was full of RAGE. He told me he cheated on me to get revenge, as I was the one that caused him to lose his job! Unbelievable! I had 30 years of torture, so I know how you feel. It sucks, for sure. I didn’t let mine get away with that excuse (well, I did for awhile when I did the pick me dance) but finally I just started saying “it was a choice. What you did was a choice, bipolar or not.” But here’s the great part…divorce is magic! It frees you from the abuse and bondage to such sick, demented people! The best money ever spent!

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumped in KC

Chumped in KC…we may live in the same state?? Chiefs kingdom? That would be remarkable but I guess we should not disclose on a public forum. I’m not on Fb, (well my info is there but I don’t go in it at all.) We share one heart.💞 The boiled frog🐸🫕 comes to mind and my adorable step children and step grands…per second marriage to a serial cheater I had no idea of his mirroring ways. He seemed perfect for years and then the mask would slip..we know the story. I tried to stay until he almost put me on the 6th floor for a mental breakdown. It is not worth my life, body and soul. He got passes all the time for bad behavior. It was long overdo. Zero contact ZERO now and my health is going uphill📈. In regards to dating…I saw a great quote that dating after 40 and looking for men, is like going to a thrift store and looking for something that doesn’t smell too bad. That is sadly true…tho I could be wrong. The guys I met want a nurse and a purse. AND SOMEONE TO LISTEN TO THEM!
We are different ages but I’m not going anywhere with anyone after 2 cheaters. My fixer is snapped in half and has no more power cord. I’m so done. I’d join a convent if they had yoga, parties and good friends. Seriously. But I get it. I’m just so grateful 🙏 and I am never lonely. I am free from those chains forever. If I died right now, I’d still be so happy I filed, changed the locks and got a lawyer. Nothing like peace.

2xchump
2xchump
2 months ago
Reply to  2xchump

Oh…. and cheating and then blaming it on alcohol, your angry voice, too many babies, not feeling the love( mine said this over and over), you’re job, bipolar disease, mental illness of any kind….FOO sad sausage stories, I NEVER Loved you, not enough sex, not enough jelly with the peanut butter, you work too much, you work too little, your mother, your sister…ITS ALL THE SAME BS ..just wanted to add that little disclaimer 😁. Tracy finally got this through my head. I had a sign that said…KEEP USING ME, IT FEELS LIKE LOVE 💓TO ME! My issues I am working on….oh also…and YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH. LOTS of therapy on that one

Viktoria
Viktoria
2 months ago

Such good advice! Yeah, I wish my eX was truthful too. When I also read his adultery-proving text messages on his iPad, first he told me he was hacked. Then he said they are fake and not real. Then he said I probably created these conversations and planted them on his device to have an excuse to leave the marriage. So yeah wishing for “truthful”? I get it.

He gaslit me very hard so I had to fight hard to get myself out of the insanity and confusion of “delirium haze” and choose the sanity and temporary pain of “heartbreak”.

Chumped in KC
Chumped in KC
2 months ago

I have to say, as someone who stayed with a FW Cheater for 30 years, only to be betrayed suddenly (or maybe not, he may have cheated before, I just didn’t catch him) that saying “get out and go no contact” isn’t as easy as it sounds, albeit necessary for safety and sanity. I think it is somewhat better the younger you are (not easier, just better). I’m mid 50’s and I think it is harder for people my age or a little older, because most of the men out there in my age group who are divorced are so for a reason. (women can be cheaters too, but most are men, or so studies say). I wonder what that reason might be? I sometimes wish he had done this way earlier so I could still have had time to find a good, honest man, and not have given the prime of my life to someone that would just turn around and betray me. I know there may still be a chance, but the dating pool gets smaller as we age. That’s just a fact of life.

So if you are younger and do find that you are with a cheater/narcissist, get out as soon as you possibly can! You will thank yourself when you are older, that you saved yourself from years of abuse and misery, only to be betrayed and discarded, the best years of your life used up by an evil person.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago
Reply to  Chumped in KC

It’s definitely harder to find somebody for older chumps. For me, once I internalized that finding romantic love as a means to happiness is an erroneous notion, I’m no longer interested in it. You can certainly be happy single. I like the freedom of it.

BastilleDDay
BastilleDDay
2 months ago
Reply to  OHFFS

Me too. I’m pretty happy making my own decisions & I certainly sleep better.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago

I hope Alan has managed to move on and build a great life in the past two years.

I would recommend one thing in the future: don’t ever trust a woman who doesn’t raise a feminist ruckus about being “told” to do or not to do something– as in commanded or given a directive. Alan didn’t qualify the fact that he gave an “order” as a momentary loss of composure given the understandable circumstances, like “Normally I’m not this bossy and don’t give direct orders but I was so upset I ordered her to stay away from the coworker…”. Maybe he didn’t command and instead gave an ultimatum (“If you don’t stop hanging out with Nigel, I can’t continue in a relationship with you”) but the way he worded it sounded as if he might view this as normal, even properly masculine, for men to do in many other, blander circumstances. Then again, maybe the relationship was mutually dysfunctional in that sense with both of them giving orders to each other over routine boundaries.

It goes without saying that, if the thing that one felt compelled to commandingly prohibit is cuddling up to a coworker while drunk, it’s already over so there’s no point in giving directives much less asking politely or leveling a civil ultimatum. I’m talking about any directive over any run-of-the-mill, inadvertent breech of boundaries like squeezing the toothpaste from the middle, etc. A normal woman with normal boundaries will immediately object to being given blatant orders.

If she doesn’t, there’s one of two things happening. Either the guy is such a terrifying ogre that the woman is afraid to “talk back” but, barring that, she’s a mirroring FW who, rather than setting timely boundaries herself, takes anything wrong or unfair that a partner does (like giving orders) or any inadvertent mistakes, saves them up in her little “blame bag,” then, while feigning compliance, eventually “cashes in” those blame chips on some form of sneaky betrayal.

It works the same in any gender arrangement: watch out for people who never tell you when you’re stepping on their toes– however accidentally– in real time. No human being is genuinely that floppy. It suggests they’ve got an angle and see collecting your faults as a means of secretly bargaining. Bargaining for unspoken things is always going to involve something you’d never consent to if you knew what was being traded.

Mutual negotiation and civil boundary-setting is normal in a relationship to a degree. Men might– if they’re typical Joes who keep forgetting the last civil request their partners made– hear a bit more of those requests in the balance of things but still within reason. You can’t know someone and their likes and preferences without it and it can take years and years to iron those things out and reach the point of those little old, lifelong couples who seem to communicate with silent nods or through telepathy. Unless a woman has a distinct problem with being hyper-controlling (in which case she might be another kind of FW), women more often expect this back and forth negotiation from men in the first years (and years) of relationships and may be more likely to see excessive yes-yessing as a bit spooky and artificial. But men might– if they grew up with a trad model of marriage– be a bit more prone to harbor antiquated and exaggerated expectations of women’s compliance and obedience and a bit more prone to see normal boundary negotiations as “nagging” which can be an entry point for men to be pranked by a simpering, bargaining, faux-compliant FW.

Any extreme is questionable but I’ve noticed that men seem more likely to see excessive compliance as somehow charming and something that naturally comes with the X chromosome. Nope, it doesn’t. She’s either terrified or it’s a total con job.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago

I don’t know, I remember telling ex/FW to do things, like set boundaries or go no-contact with ex/OW, like a lot of chumps who are desperate to save the relationship do. This could be one of those cases, with OP. A lot of chumps get weird during their chumpy relationships. I know I did.

But in general, I completely agree with this. I’m honestly really glad you brought this up. As a recovering doormat and codependent, I have explained to every friend I have that it’s not ~hashtag relationship goals~. It’s an illness. I work hard to make sure I have boundaries and outline my needs. And yet, I know some that keep finding these partners and think it’s so wonderful to have such a sweet and agreeable partner who is so easy to please! It’s perfect!

I can only bang my head against the wall. They aren’t sweet and agreeable. They’re insecure at best, or manipulative at worst. And they can be very, very draining. I’m not saying to be in a conflict heavy relationship – that’s not healthy either – but being in a discussion-heavy relationship is good. Where someone tells you what they want and what they’d like and doesn’t allow themselves to be bulldozed all the time.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago

I was really trying to make exceptions for “weird chump thinking.” But one of the markers of classic (even lovable) chumpness is being excessively and even absurdly conscientious of one’s own possible contribution to conflict or gaffs which the OP kind of wasn’t when he described how he “told” the ex she “couldn’t” do such and such.

Again, not that this alone gave his ex a rationale to abuse and cheat but his lack of self awareness smacked a bit of “trad paternal.” If that’s the worst of what he did (arguably under duress) in the relationship, I see it more as a kind of liability than “equal instigation.” Men who– though they may not be genuinely awful in relationships yet who “fall for” and are suckers for feigned “trad femme” compliance to paternalistic bossy behavior are kind of setting themselves up for and “handing excuses” to potentially shitty operators.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago

I get that. I agree that we as chumps are often overly aware of our own possible contributions. I still sometimes feel guilty for being, as ex/FW put it, “controlling” and it absolutely gave him more ammo. Especially when it came to manipulating me. I truly thought I was the unreasonable one in our arguments and often backed off. When anyone else would have seen my requests as reasonable – stop being friends with the person you cheated on me with! Help with the house once and a while instead of leaving literally everything to me! And then, for a while, I felt bad about backing off, as if I were weak and therefore caused the abuse, and maybe if I had been a bit stronger he would have listened. Ugh. A stupid loop to get stuck in. But I completely understand what you mean by the chump tendency to more extreme levels of conscientiousness.

I’m sure Alan had a lot of time to be retrospective after the break up, like a lot of chumps do. Or, at least, I hope so. Hopefully, he realized some red flags and thought more about what a mature relationship dynamic would look like for him, because while everyone’s may look a little different, and some may even be weird to others, some are just bad to be in. And you absolutely don’t want to give FWs ammo. You want to immediately disarm them – by walking away and going no contact.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
2 months ago

After I had separated from Traitor Ex, I was in an initial F2F conversation with a man I had just met. This was not a date but just getting to know someone as a friend. He “told” his former wife to do something, not “asked”. Like an authoritarian parent might interact with their minor child. I noticed it immediately and it completely changed my opinion of him.

The education I received at my local domestic violence prevention organization is why I picked up on it.

One word actually can speak volumes, loud and clear, and tell you all you need to know.

I’m glad you pointed this out.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

Good for you for heeding the red flag. It’s almost like some men have a “kink” of playing daddy. It just doesn’t happen to be my kink and, in my experience observing women, women who play along with that “kink” tend to be pretty shady or at the very least somewhat disordered.

I wanted to be careful not to jump to conclusions regarding the OP. Alan was obviously very rattled and upset and it’s possible he misworded that part of his exchange with his ex or acted uncharacteristically. But the men who are good at “relationshipping” tend to be aware of gaffs like this and call themselves out.

That doesn’t mean Alan is a potential FW/abuser himself or deserved to be cheated on. I’m just pointing out a potential chink in some people’s– men’s in particular– awareness or a little blind spot of hubris whereby they can end up being exploited worse than they themselves are exploiting.

Women also have to be aware of “hubris traps” like, say, listening to some new guy disparage all his exes and, rather than hesitate to get drawn into bashing other women and taking note of whether what this guy objects to in women was all about these women’s ability to assert themselves normally, sort of enjoys “winning” in the comparison… and thereby gets conned into playing a total doormat.

In both cases, the punishment of ultimately getting fucked over– while still excessive and unfair– is a little more “biblical irony” than “biblical tragedy.”

I worked and went to school or briefly dated men who, though likely loyal good provider types, erred on the side of “paternalistic.” Even if I understand that there’s a protective aspect to it (my valedictorian “big brother” mentor in high school giving me antiquated father-knows-best lectures for my “own good”; a very married Catholic guy I worked with who was about ten years older lecturing me about wearing transparent clothing; a college boyfriend who “helpfully, patiently” buttoned my shirts up to the neck), it’s fucking annoying and I can’t even fake an attraction to it. Consequently, I naturally wonder why any woman would put up with it if she wasn’t a) terrified of violent reprisal for not complying; or b) doing some secret exploitative trade, like, “You get to play bossy protective daddy and mildly humiliate me while foisting a wee bit of incestuous daddy tone into the relationship and, while I stick my finger in my cheek, bat my eyes and play “daddy’s widdle naughty baby” I get to embezzle our assets and/or bang the pool boys…”.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
2 months ago

I agree with you that context is important and your comments about Alan. It just reminded me of the incident and in my situation I do believe he was abusive.

Something that does not get talked about much here (that I can recall) is that abusive people get cheated on too. No one deserves to be cheated on, and IMHO it’s very dangerous and potentially fatal to cheat on a batterer, but chumps can be anyone and being a chump is not a guarantee that someone is safe and trustworthy.

Last edited 2 months ago by Velvet Hammer
Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

I was literally terrified of a female cop who came to one of the support meetings I moderated for a DV survivors organization. During the meeting, she kept aggressively cross-talking during other survivors’ narratives and insisting that every victim there must have had a terrible childhood and was therefore attracted to and “sought” an abusive partner. She would intimidate anyone who sort of gormlessly contradicted this theory by saying that, in fact, they didn’t grow up with abuse. No, she insisted, you grew up with abuse and you just won’t admit it!

The woman police officer– sort of a short little tank of a person– approached me after the meeting to complain of all those “idiots” who were in denial about how they’d basically drawn abuse to themselves on their voodoo tractor beams. I tried to counter this idea with statistics but the woman cop became so weirdly scary and intimidating that I intuited she was, in her own right, a violent person.

She was a case of an abusive person who– in being violently abused by her ex husband– had been “outdone” by a bigger abuser. What I realized later after a lot of study is that part of the reason abusers abuse is as a kind of maladaptive and irrationally “superstitious” attempt to avoid being victims themselves.

For the moment, I have an interim theory that abusers honestly believe that life is “kill or be killed” and that, in order to avoid victim status, one must– absolutely must– become a perpetrator. It could partly explain the compulsion. But like everything else that abusers “truly and deeply” believe, they are fundamentally wrong. There is no exemption. It happens to good people, sweet people, innocent people, healthy people, fucked up people and shitheads alike. In short, being an abuser does not protect against abuse. Abusers– like hunters– widely vary in taste for prey. By that logic, some would naturally enjoy bagging other predators.

Part of me wanted to tell this terrifying woman that, just because she was a violent and scary asshole didn’t justify her ex in holding her at gunpoint and nearly breaking her neck. But I tend to reserve my risk-taking, efforts and insights for people who might make some positive use of them.

SortofOverIt
SortofOverIt
2 months ago

I think my FW falls into the scenario you outline. He had a lot of verbal/sometimes verging on physical abuse growing up. And he is now an angry and suspicious person. In many ways he does come across as “if I am a jerk first, people can’t be a jerk TO me”. He is quick to judge people and deem them unworthy/cut them off. It has sometimes read to me that he wants to turn them down before the can turn him down. So the tiniest flaw gets a person written off as unworthy of his respect. There are many, many other layers. And I don’t think that is what feeds his cheating exactly. But it is related in that he DOES seek approval/attention/kibbles and flirting/affairs provide that.

Hell of a Chump
Hell of a Chump
2 months ago

For the record, whatever went down, I don’t think the cop’s ex had merely been “defending” himself from her. She had been visibly scarred and partly disabled and it was clearly overkill. She may have been a shark in her own right but she encountered a much bigger one. Because… no exemptions.

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
2 months ago

If you have to ask someone to stop hurting you, who very well knows they are hurting you before you even know about it, you are with the wrong person. Those someones have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they are not safe or trustworthy and are dangerous. Let the dim-witted have them.

Boy oh boy did it take far too long for that to sink in for me.

ChumpOnIt
ChumpOnIt
2 months ago
Reply to  Velvet Hammer

This was the realization for me. I was telling someone – and not just any someone, the person I married(!) – how he was hurting me when he knew very well the effects of what he was doing. Also, telling a grown man how he should be showing me that he was remorseful. I may have stopped mid sentence as I realized what I was doing. Anything to avoid the idea of divorce until you stomach the alternative any longer…

Mehitable
Mehitable
2 months ago

In Vino Veritas – if they tell you something when they’re drunk….it’s true. I was raised by and around drunks and I’ll tell you….the truth comes out when they’re drunk. The inhibitions are down, that’s when you see the REAL PERSON. Don’t ever discount what you see or hear from a drunk. THAT’S THE REAL PERSON. The sober person is a facade, a persona for the world.

It’s great to see a letter from a chump at an early point in their relationship – you’ve seen the red flags early on before you are too deeply involved, before marriage, kids, decades in. GET OUT NOW. If you spot this shit early on, get out NOW. Someone who cheats, especially this early in a relationship which should be a honeymoon period, it’s never going to get any better. I hope this young feller did – run, run like the wind and NEVER TAKE HER BACK. When she talks about getting back together eventually….that’s Plan B, you never want to be Plan B for when she can’t find someone “better”. Everyone needs a minimum level of security and stability in their lives, this drunken hoe ain’t gonna give it to you.

JeffWashington
JeffWashington
2 months ago

The keyword in “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” is “friend.”

I personally do not think that somebody is behaving like a “friend” when they do something hurtful and then disappear to greener pastures until the heat blows off. Cheating(which is out and out abuse) definitely qualifies for that at a minimum. And that level of betrayal should indicate “deal breaker.” Friends SHOULD run-but it should be TOWARD you when things get “real.” Not away.

Friendship is built on trust. Cheating is one of, if not THE most major violation of trust.

Is that what you want to spend your life with? Always worrying and wanting to see her phone?

Doesn’t sound like a “friend” to me. Sounds like a user and abuser.

I hope 2 years later that you made the right call and stayed the hell away.

It’s challenging, I know. My FW seems to be attempting to probe and make inroads. I don’t want that horror back in my life. Nothing she can say or do will repair the harm she has done. And that’s not the sort of thing that ANYONE should overlook.

Do-overs are few and far between in real life. That sort of betrayal is definitely not one of them.

Chump-Domain Cleric
Chump-Domain Cleric
2 months ago

I hope Alan is doing well.

As a note, while I’m sure we all know this, new chumps may not:

If your partner asks for a break after being caught cheating, while you’re suspecting an affair (even an emotional one!), or during any time you’re suspecting infidelity, I can guarantee – it’s not a break, it’s cake.

Ex/FW did the same thing. Needed a few days to decide what he wanted after being caught cheating (the first time) – time ALONE, and when I asked if we were free to be involved with other people during this time, he said NO. He later admitted he spent that time with ex/OW, but didn’t want me to start seeing anyone else. But he chose me, so it was fine, right?

I’m sure you can tell, with it being the “first” time, it wasn’t fine.

It’s just cake. They want you as a back-up. Or they just like the idea of you pining for them. It’s the perfect triangulation. They’re free to do anything, but you’re there, in the background.

People who actually need breaks take breaks AWAY from potentially interested parties. And breaks don’t fix cheating, anyways. Breaks are for people that are mentally drained or struggling. And shouldn’t be too long. It doesn’t fix entitlement and betrayal. (Also, some people don’t feel comfortable being in a relationship with someone who needs breaks from it, and that’s okay!)

It’s not a break.

It’s cake.

susie lee
susie lee
2 months ago

Yep the day mine left (New Years Day) he said he thought it would all work out, he just needed some space to get his head on straight. Vomit, all he wanted was an easy exit out the door and if he left me with hopium I would play nice. Of course I didn’t know it then, but it is clear as day in hindsight.

OHFFS
OHFFS
2 months ago

Great points. Count me in as somebody who wouldn’t want a partner who needs a break from me, even if he wasn’t cheating. That says I’m intolerable to him in some way. That’s not acceptable to me.

Chumpolicious
Chumpolicious
2 months ago

You are a heterosexual male with a job who wants a relationship? You my friend are a unicorn and in demand. Find a nice loving supportive woman. Dont do the right thing with the wrong woman. Itll be a lifetime of unhappiness. There are plenty of nice women out there.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago

Amazing at the chumps who say she’s not cheating because she told me so. No cheater is going to admit to cheating.
That cheater script 101.
Repeated cheating is very common. Its who they are.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago

The ones I cringe at are.
But I love her! Like that is supposed to mean something. They don’t give a damn.
I’m fighting for my marriage or relationship. If you have to go for it. There’s nothing to fight for.

Marco
Marco
2 months ago

She’s in the fog. Poor muffin doesn’t know what she’s doing. All that planning and deceit that goes into an affair shows you it’s a bullshit excuse. The only fog I see is the one the betrayed chump is in.
You can only be a chump if you allow it.