Red Flags You Were With a Cheater?

ecardRecently HuffPo asked me to contribute to a piece they wrote on Cheating Red Flags You Missed. (I’m Tracy S.) My example was dreadful time management skills. In retrospect the combo plate of intense solicitousness and flaky date canceling should have been a sign. But I spackled, because gosh, he seemed so sincere about wanting to get together, but Events Beyond His Control often interfered.

To maintain a double life, you need a lot of flexibility. But as I wasn’t really cognizant that Apparently Nice People engaged in such sociopathic subterfuge, I was chumped.

So, following up on the HuffPo question — any signs you missed in retrospect? The two on the HuffPo list that stand out to me are cell phone secrecy and defensiveness. Yes and yes.

 

 

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MissTwizzler
MissTwizzler
8 years ago

..the secret phone calls on Sunday morning… Pray that I get out this sham of a marriage.. I deserve better..

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  MissTwizzler

You do deserve better, MissTwizzler! I am sorry you are going through this.

MissTwizzler
MissTwizzler
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Thanks, Northern Light….I don’t post here as much but I’m taking the wisdom in..:-)

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  MissTwizzler

MissTwizzler, as someone who just got through my divorce two weeks ago to a pathological cheater, lier, abuser, etc… (confirmed by two Psychologists – because I’m such a chump I felt I needed a second opinion). May I ask where you are in your journey? My hugs and support go with you, wherever you are.

amjive
amjive
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

I know me too.. I’m trying to figure it all out. It’s like a big sham..

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
8 years ago
Reply to  amjive

Me too. Now that I have awaken to this nightmare everything is sooo glaringly obvious. That this has been going on for IDK how long! Just have evidence for last 4-5 yrs but realize that it has been so much longer. Just not as prolific as it was recently. I have days I feel so hopeless. My better days are when I read these posts and recognize I have options and support.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

I too go back and realize just how sick the person I loved betrayed me for years. The realization it was a relationship of one is agonizing. This relationship gives true hope.

Chumped in Chicago
Chumped in Chicago
8 years ago

He made himself the Pied Piper of Women (and some Gay Men)….Is there a color reder than red? Maybe code orange? Had to “be there for them at all hours at all places”, whatever they needed. I used to feel like “the chosen one”…ha!

dandoopy
dandoopy
6 years ago

Chicago, maybe we were dating the same guy. I’ll call him Mr. Sparkles: CEO, charismatic, charming, socially well connected, super narcissistic, He genuinely loves life and i am just accessory arm candy, though he tells me i’m more, but his narcissistic love is fleeting and temporary, based on circumstances and how much attention he is getting elsewhere.

At my age, 49, i’ve learned not to take cheating personal. This is fairly simple to do because Mr. Sparkles and I have no children together and my finances are not tied up with his, nor will they ever be. I have friend zoned him for the following reasons listed in importance:

#1. My gut tells me . Even if there were no other signs. This is all i need. I no longer need proof or validation or to find evidence via romance police sleuthing. My anteneas are picking up signals and i trust them. No need to confront Mr. Sparkles either. If someone is cheating, they will never tell the truth about it. So why ask for verbal confirmation? It’s a waste of time.

#2. Mr. Sparkles has emotional affairs with numerous woman business associates. His focus is work and maintaining strong business relationships. That’s what he’s good at. Who am i to judge his success? I interject these facts when he’s making goopy romantic declarations about us and asking when we’re getting married. Yes, Mr. Sparkles wants to be married to have someone to cheat upon, a recipe for triangulation and drama that focuses on him exclusively.

#3. He’s always texting and emailing when we are together, he has a seperate phone number, he has a wondering eye in public. Focus is fruition and he is not focused enough on me when we are together, enough said.

#4. He never remembers important facts about me. Little things mean alot.

#5. Women flirt shamelessly with him when we are together. Mr. Sparkless has been a bachelor for many years and there’s a reason. He has established many long term shallow relationships and at this point in his life, that’s all he’s capable of.

I feel very comfortable with Mr. Sparkles in the friend zone, any closer, i turn into a mess.

*There are more signs but #1 is all that matters.
As a recovering Chump, i understand that i am responsible for holding the standards high for the way I am to be treated.

My instincts tell me when and where to make a stand and when to speak up!

It is all about me until i find someone whose all about me, then i’ll be all about them.

For future refrrence, here’s my checklist.
My partner must do the following:
-empower me
-we have fun just being together
-he bring out the best in me
-make me feel happy and secure
-admires me, respects me
-have amazing communication, both verbal and non verbal between us.
-be 100 percent fathful and loyal to me in his body mind and spirit.
-trust
Not perfect, not looking for perfection, real
-sense of humor, intelligence
-I’m alright with chubby
-consistant with his inconsistancies
-hold me higher than anyone else on earth
-this is how my marriage has to be. It is a sacred relationship, above all others.
-if i don’t have all of the above, then i’m much better on my own.
-vise versa, i do the same for him
-there is mutuality

Ideally:
This is how the union between a man and a woman is supposed to be and when it IS, you feel it and when it ISN’T, you feel that too.

This may sound philosophical, but anything less than 100 percent feels incomplete.

Why do that?
We are complete on our own.

How are you feeling today?

Idle hands
Idle hands
8 years ago

He suddenly bought himself exorbitantly expensive boxer shorts, this from a man who had never replaced his shorts in the 15 years we had been married. I used to buy him new shorts and throw out his old ones when they became threadbare. But all of a sudden, he takes it upon himself to but several new swanky pairs?

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  Idle hands

Idle, a friend once told me, after finding her long time husband having an affair with her best friend/personal assistant, that when your spouse starts;
1. Buying new & more expensive underwear
and
2. Starts going to the gym out of nowhere….
you’ve got an affair on your hands. They just began giving a damn about how they look naked.

Who would think we should have to even keep an eye out for these things?

Rain-or-Shine
Rain-or-Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  Idle hands

OMG – This just dawned on me that he started wearing boxer briefs and prancing around about a year ago about the time he started 2nd affair. Should have been a red flag. He had me doubting my intuition for 30 years always telling me I had nothing to worry about, he was a VERY good boy, yeah right!!! He had an affair 20 years ago, I just found out about and another just ended after 8ish months. Tried to get other women to have sex with him but no takers I guess. Had him take a lie detector to make sure he told the truth which I would highly recommend. He’s soooo remorseful and wants to work to get me back. What do you think? Am I fool to even consider it? Like a lot of descriptions here, he is charming, witty, successful, funny. So f**king difficult!! Never felt such pain. Been 5 months since bomb drop and I’m getting stronger every day, but still tough.

Kara
Kara
8 years ago
Reply to  Rain-or-Shine

If you have to perform a lie-detector test on him, he’s not worth keeping. Lie detectors can be fooled and you shouldn’t have to do that on your own husband anyway.

Any relationship in which you have to fight to get the other person to love you, or where you have to gather extensive proof that they’re NOT cheating on you, is not a relationship worth keeping. You should not have to police your own husband into being faithful. You just flat out shouldn’t.

It’s okay to have deal breakers and it’s okay for infidelity to be one of them. Charming people can be cruel too. Being charming and successful doesn’t negate cruelty.

Blown Away
Blown Away
8 years ago
Reply to  Kara

My XH was an oscar winning charmer, highly intelligent, VERY successful, and VERY generous with his time and money.
He was witty, fun and loved to be the center of attention. He was considered one of the “good guys.” When the curtain was pulled back on the wizard, when the mask fell off and onto the floor…we were left with a decades long serial CHEATER. His first affair was nearly forty years ago. He was given a second chance and the marriage continued. I am telling you, do not waist another year of your life with a CHEATER. “Once a cheater, always a cheater” played out in spades in my life. Dr. Phil says “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” SPADES. Google serial cheaters, narcissism, and personality disorders.
If you must stay, go in with your EYES WIDE OPEN, be hypervigilant and follow every red flag that flys. I am hoping you don’t arrive in life where I am and the whole thing was a lie…your life. This is YOUR LIFE and they are not worth that.

Gauzy
Gauzy
8 years ago
Reply to  Blown Away

“””If you must stay, go in with your EYES WIDE OPEN”””

And get a post-nup.

Rain-or-Shine
Rain-or-Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  Blown Away

Kara and Blown Away – When you’re right, you’re right. I like the quote “believe someone when they show you who they are.” He’s shown me who he is over and over and I still fell for his lies. No more!!! Thank you so much for responding with such great perspectives!!

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
8 years ago
Reply to  Rain-or-Shine

Rain-or-Shine,

You asked: “What do you think? Am I fool to even consider it?”

OK….I’ll bite—–So, this is what I think: You are not a fool to ‘consider’ it; However, I dare say it would be very foolish to actually DO it!

I say; “Run! Run away from the crazy! As far and fast as you can!”

He has not had a ‘character’ transplant. And, remember, just like cockroaches, where there is one affair you can ‘see’, there are LOTS more you can’t! At this point in his life, he is, as they say, ‘set in his ways’. He will continue to abuse you in whatever way he can, even if it stops including affairs. And you have already had to do ‘policing’ with the Lie Detector test. Being the marriage police is NOT a respectable or satisfying ‘career’.

You also mentioned: “Like a lot of descriptions here, he is charming, witty, successful, funny.” All those things to added up to “Shallow cheaters” in these cases. Think about it this way: What is so charming, successful or funny about the excruciating pain we innocent ones feel in the wake of an affair? Looking at it that way…..Yeah, maybe he really isn’t so charming, after all…..

{{{{{HUGS!!!!}}}}} Hang tough! Grow Strong! And RUN!!!!!

Rain-or-Shine
Rain-or-Shine
8 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

ForgeOn! I feel so stupid wasting 30 married to this guy even though we’ve had many happy times in there too. Thank you for the clear, straight advise. He’s now turning to God with a holier than though attitude. Says he’s working on forgiving me for the hateful things I’ve said to him. Amazing! Things said like that makes me realize too that he hasn’t changed, same old narcissist.

ChumptyDumpty
ChumptyDumpty
8 years ago
Reply to  Rain-or-Shine

Dear Rain,

From the been-there-done-that perspective (including the polygraph), no one is going to criticize you for still having heart enough to give the asshole another chance. I remember reading and hearing so much about the ‘no regrets’ approach to Chumpdom, ie, ‘you can try and walk away knowing it couldn’t work, or not try and walk away wondering ‘what if’. So I dug in to try to save 25 yrs of marriage, my family, etc. It had ups and downs but at 15 mos or so I knew it was curtains. The downs were glimpses of the real so-called-man still hiding behind the dark curtain despite the show. The dude who wanted to save-face more than save the marriage. Keep the chick who could expose all his dirty littles happy!! Meh. That’s no marriage.
But ya know, it does take time to process it all and be SURE you’re doing the right thing. So, the best little pearl I can give you from my experience is this: If your H doesn’t have his own therapist he’s working with to ‘get his head straight’, GET one. After awhile it will be important for you to have a meeting or two with the therapist. What comes out at these little meetings is invaluable. Namely, whether your H is lying to him, too. Like mine was.
I had info on my ex that I didn’t disclose. Ex would go in and tell his therapist I was worried about this or that, but he hadn’t done it, ‘honest’! Or rewrite the history of an incident to make himself look like a good boy and me like a crazy woman. Is it any wonder my counselor & our marriage counselor had him pegged as a possible sex addict while his counselor thought he was a remorseful choir boy?
When I divulged stuff to ex’s counselor (in front of ex) & saw the blindsided look on his face, I had my answer. Everything ex did was about damage control, not fixing the source.
I am SOO much happier now and I only wish I’d gotten out sooner.

kristil
kristil
8 years ago
Reply to  Rain-or-Shine

I was also with my cheater husband for 30 years – it is 18 months since d-day . He was a ‘respected’ member of the community … we have 4 beautiful adult children. I have recently moved cities and states to try to escape my grief . My whole life has been uprooted because I couldn’t stand living with the triggers of my home town and old life … everything about my life felt like a lie …..and all of the secrets I knew about the life he lead while we were married broke my heart. For me a good therapist, good friends, time and distance were the only thing that healed – I am thinking of you xxx

ForgeOn
ForgeOn
8 years ago
Reply to  Rain-or-Shine

Dear Rain-or-Shine,

Yeah, it sure is crappy to feel as though we have ‘wasted’ all those years.

Personally, I am unable to afford a divorce, so even though I have been separated for 2 years as of yesterday, I have been married to him for over 34 years now. So, ‘all those years’….yea, I do understand. However, I have none the less ‘Lost a cheater / Gained a Life’!

Remember, the stupid ones are the cheaters, NOT you or I! (even though they spend enormous amounts of time & energy making us feel that way!)

WE are precious. THEY are users and abusers. WE are faithful, loyal, kind, generous, virtuous and so on. We have so much compassion that we are now able to assist, direct, console and advise others as they break free from similar ‘stupid’ situations.

You and I are in very good company! Many of the precious chumps here at this amazing Nation have spent this many, or even more, years stuck in the sticky web of narcissism.

Yes, it is totally (sickeningly) amazing how they always turn it all back on us. I, too, STILL get accused of so many unbelievable things. (Related to me by my child from conversations with the cheater—–We both just laugh at the twistedness of it all!)

Please, do take the advise of Tracy & the rest of us chumps…….Get away…Far away!

ForgeOn, My Friend…..

PS: If you have not done so already, please be sure to check out the resources Tracy has listed. The more you educate yourself about their manipulative ways, the easier it is to see the need to remove yourself from the situation, as well as how to do it safely.

StevoB
StevoB
8 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn

…34 years for me too…just found about the affair a month ago. Failed to connect the dots for over a year, the panic if her cell phone was more than a foot from her body, the changing of passwords, the increase in work related travel…always to SoCal, the loss of interest in things we had shared for decades…travel and sailing, last but not least…the lack of intimacy. yes…34 years is a long, long time.

Stayin Strong
Stayin Strong
8 years ago

When I looked at the history on the family computer and there was a dating site listed. Logged in and saw his profile. He told me that the site put everything together based on his online information and he had never signed up. I had two little kids at the time and I suppose I wanted to believe him. Maybe that is why we stayed together so long. I had my head up my ass, while he was out looking for ass. Ugh, could kick myself.

Duchess Chumpetta
Duchess Chumpetta
8 years ago

First time:
Cell phone secretiveness. Defensiveness. Increasing coldness.

Second time:
Many late nights “at the shop.” Saying things he never would have come up with on his own. Insisting that a separation will save our relationship.

I was a trusting fool. I can’t believe I took him back after the first time.

My best advice: Don’t be a step-mother; don’t take him back if he cheats.

Lina
Lina
8 years ago

“Saying things he’d never come up with.” Mine too. “Amicable.” “Mediation.” Definitely was coaching with someone. He didn’t have a very extensive vocabulary to say the least and no way those words just came out of nowhere.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina, just what they need a life coach. They find a new caretaker that knows the ropes.

overcomer
overcomer
8 years ago

Oh this was my ex’s MO. After 34 years together he said lets separate for six months and take baby steps, getting to know eachother again. When I asked if there was someone else he said “no, there is no one else, why would I want to complicate things more by adding in something like that!” He said he just needed a little time to sort things out. He encouraged me to move out and he moved closer to work.

When in reality he moved closer to the preditory ho-worker and unbeknownst to me played the pick me dance and ate cake for two years until I became suspicious and did a credit check showing he had moved in with her. He married her a couple months after our divorce.

But don’t feel bad for me because I won-I have woken from the hologram marriage and I am free!….and she gets a flaming narc sociopath! Say bye bye to your money and soul ho-worker…lol

Walking it
Walking it
8 years ago
Reply to  overcomer

Oh this is so me – Say good bye to your money and your soul. My past is her future.

syringa
syringa
8 years ago
Reply to  Walking it

‘My past is her future. ‘ Exactly.

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  syringa

Aha, I like this quote. I’ve said it in many ways but this one is right to the point. Love it!

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  overcomer

Overcomer, sounds like you were married to a cheater who could have been my ex cheaters twin! I’m with you, I won and Schmoopie is in for the ride of her life with this user! But, she deserves it and I want both of them to get what they so richly deserve!!

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Roberta, that is my wish, too; that X and Bim get exactly what they deserve! They are perfect for each other. I’m sure I’ll hear about the implosion within the next few years. X can only sustain his facade for so long.

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  overcomer

I’d say any time a partner or spouse wants separate living arrangement, that’s a giant red flag. One way to deal with that might be to use the opportunity to set up your own permanent place and then drop by his new place on a Sunday night…

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

The separate living arrangement was always for the OW, so he could test drive the one’s he was dating. When it didn’t work out for him, he always came back. He would move out for the summer to play and then came back. It was never to work on our relationship. This last time I just gave up and threw him out. With no other options or way out he is now stuck with his ho. it was the hardest but best thing I ever did.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago

My brother’s wife just lost interest in anything having to do with the family, marriage, children etc. The kids got fed when they got fed. The house was never clean. She would forget to shop for groceries so they ate cereal. My brotherwas recovering from a terrible illness, working a full-time job and coming home trying to take care of the house. He spackled and spackled and speckled never for one minute thinking she was cheating on him. He was blown away and so were we all because not only did she abandoned him she abandoned her children. I guess Red flags are different for different people but I would say in her case total indifference was it.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

I think indifference is a big red flag. 🙂 Every thing my ex did in those last years pointed to a life separate from mine. I just could not save it. Who the fuck walks away from their children!?!?

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Cheating is often accompanied by other forms of abuse. I became indifferent to survive.

mrsvain
mrsvain
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

i hear you Arnold. how sad that we become indifferent to survive and the cheaters walk away with no accountability. you were hurt by the one person who should have never hurt you that way. i pray you find peace and happiness and will no longer need to be indifferent. there is a beautiful world out there Arnold. Let it find you.

mrsvain
mrsvain
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

the home wrecker married whore that enabled and encouraged boyman to leave his wife and children had already left her own kids for YEARS. she was living with anyone who put up with her, had no job, no car, no place to stay, no responsibilities, no kids to get up with, feed, raise (her are 8ish, 12ish, 16ish, 21ish). from what i could research, she walked out on her husband and left him the children at least 5 years ago. and this is the *uhm* woman my husband choose over me. WTF?? now he also has abandoned his children. we havent seen or heard from him since fathers day last year.

although i know it is just as bad for a father to leave his kids. and of course i am not excusing it or belittling it. but in my opinion, it is easier for a father to leave his kids. But how the hell could a MOTHER leave her kids? i have ZERO respect for a woman who runs off and leaves her children. the babies she carried in her uterus, possibly breast fed, most likey bonded with when they were little, who instantly connected with her, and whole hearted trusted and depended on her. how the fuck can SHE run off and leave them? dont get me wrong, i am not talking about those exceptional cases. i am not talking about abuse or a controlling man. i am only thinking of a normal situation, with a somewhat normal woman walking out on her own flesh and blood. my XSIL lost her kids to the state, they gave her every chance to get them back over 4 years. all she had to do was keep a job for 6 months, keep a livable house herself (not live with anyone) for 6 months, keep out of trouble (not on drugs or getting arrested) for 6 months, and take the classes. she took the classes but COULD not keep it together for 6 MONTHS straight!!!! every time she fucked up, either lost her job or quit, didnt pay her rent, even got tazed one time from running from the cops, the state would just start her 6 months all over. it was pathetic. now 7 years later, she is crying and carrying on how she would do ANYTHING to get her babies back and how she tried so hard but “they” kept her babies and she loves them and misses them sooOOoo much (she doesnt even have pictures of them, no baby pictures or anything) and all i can think of is she would do anything for her children? but she couldnt do it FOR 6 MONTHS !!!!

i have zero respect for woman who run off and leave their children ESPECIALLY when the only reason they do is so they can stay up all night, drinking, drugging and fucking and then sleep all day. i dont care what their story is, unless they are busting their ass working and saving money to get lawyer or to fight for their kids, i dont want anything to do with them. the courts are biased towards mothers. there should be NO reason a woman doesnt have her own kids. i just dont understand it and i dont agree with it (AGAIN, NOT talking about the exceptions) and i personally immediately DO NOT want to have anything to do with a person like that. and yet THIS is the type of woman my husband decided was better then me. she will treat him better then me (she didnt treat her own husband better) she respects him more then i did……whatever. the only reason he is with her is because she washes his clothes and lets him drink…..

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

MrsVain, they do what is easy. And since I like to call names lately, how about easysleazy. My grandmother used to always say, “Look what the cat dragged in”. You can’t apply logic to the disordered.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

PREACH!!! I agree 100% mrsvain…… any woman that is a loving Mother has NO use for any woman who walks out on or gives away her kids!! I am sure… in certain instances there could be unavoidable situations (mental illness) but ANY woman who does NOT have the instinct to nurture her OWN flesh is NOT capable of nurturing ANYONE.

And you are also right about the “reason” he is with her…. I know the reason MINE left and needed his schmoopie so BAD is because she tells him exactly what he NEEDS/WANTS to hear… AND most importantly she does not have a clue about who he really is and what he is about. She knows what he wants her to know. She’ll figure it out… and as soon as she starts expecting some accountability… he will resent her ass too.

mrsvain
mrsvain
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

i doubt she will ever expect accountability from him, she doesnt even have any herself. i suspect they will stay happy together and it pisses me off. she is an evil person and yet she has an easy life. i dont understand it at all but i can only do what i can for me. if not in this life then hopefully in the next i will get rewarded for trying to be a good person. it is frustrating to see these types of people “get away” with being evil.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

There is an older book that says there are 4-6 % Sociopaths in the world. Most of them aren’t killers. Most of them can live next door to you. They just don’t give a rats ass about anybody, including their own kids. I have no idea what my ex SIL is but she sure as hell left some broken hearted children behind. She never has bonded with them. The kids told me their dad was the best in the world so they have had lots of love but nothing makes up being abandoned by a parent.

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

My ex, Drew, from 3 beautiful kids. There is no way to fathom it or get over the bewilderment and abandonment they feel.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  Kelly

Mine too. Three beautiful young adults. They were just weapons and pawns in the divorce settlement as well as he stopped caring for them.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

NCStevie, I can’t agree more about the best therapy and reinforcement is found on this site. I was tired of spackling for the last year of our relationship when I realized he was so indifferent to every aspect of our life. My therapist identified him as being disturbed and a serial cheating narcissist and I couldn’t believe this information until I found CN and realized the traits of the character disordered. They disguise themselves so well it appears they loved you until you realize the ease they have with lying, cheating, and discarding in my case both myself and his adult children/granddaughter. They really fuck themselves in the end. This was a guy that hid in his marriage as an imposter. He continues to subtly degrade me to my children. I threw him out almost a year ago and he continues to blame me for the divorce and the price he has to pay namely living with a whore, not seeing his children, and having to take responsibility for his finances and himself. He always thought the grass was greener and he is living miserably with a whore to support. As a chump I am thankful for knowing what truly makes me happy. It is having a cheater free home, a great job, loving children and my granddaughter every weekend. The fact they can’t appreciate or love what they have destroys them in the end. I am very thankful for CN.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Honestly…. I have NO idea how often or how many times he may have cheated. No way to confirm. He won’t talk bad to my son about me… he always tries to look like the “nice guy” in every situation, honestly… he isn’t “mad” he got what he wanted and he isn’t malicious, he’s just fucked up. I am the ONLY one he has ever treated with disrespect and indifference, I truly believe he resented me for not saving him. Sometimes I think he is pissed at me because he truly thought I would BEG him to stay again…. not this time. He consistently states “you stopped wanting me a long time ago.” I loved him, very much, I was just tired of making excuses for him and his bad choices…. it was exhausting. One week after D-Day I offered him immunity, I offered him my love and my hand and I promised him if he could stop lying and go to counseling that I would stick by him. I still hoped he was redeemable (unicorn). He told me that every thing I was doing was just pushing him farther away. I told him a few times that I was sorry that he obviously felt that I somehow “failed” him. Truth is that he made it impossible to save him, he couldn’t get out of his own way.

I was tired of his financial irresponsibility & selfishness and I guess I wasn’t making him feel “special”. He was already a financial disaster when I met him, I have TRIED talking to him for the past eight years…. we are NOT young…. I did NOT want to still be “renting” an apartment or house when we turned 60!!! I was just tired of living the way we were and it wasn’t going to get any better. He was the main breadwinner, controlled the finances and did a shitty job of it, I have never before met an adult that just completely AVOIDED any financial responsibility and just didn’t seem to be concerned ONE bit??? wtf??

Looking back on it all…. I acknowledge things that I sensed didn’t FEEL right….but didn’t want to “see” or “face”. He has seemed very detached and distant….. emotions seemed forced… fake almost. He complained about our sex life but wouldn’t LISTEN to anything I said about what the “problem” was or my needs….. told him I felt like he was being “serviced” and it wasn’t a turn on for me.

I offered him everything and he turned his back on me and our son. I can’t save him and i don’t even know if he can save himself. He SAID he knew he needed help…. but he wasn’t willing to do the work…. easier to just bust out and take the path of least resistance. The immediate gratification is a pay-off for him right now, short term. But in the long run…. he is the one that lost what mattered. What did I lose? A coward, a disordered lying cheater who didn’t value us.

Today was our (his biological) grandson’s 2nd birthday, I was there with our son, he came alone. He was “nice”, always is. Am I sad? Yes. Have I cried? No. I’m not spending one more day of my life feeling like shit and crying over and pining after anyone who could do what he did to me. Fuck him.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

What an asshole. They get so much mileage out of making us feel responsible for their inability to work on themselves. They can’t be fixed. There is no logic. They suck.

willowchumpx30
willowchumpx30
8 years ago
Reply to  Donna

OMG Donna this is my H!!!. Subtly degrading me, disguising himself as the family man, lying, cheating, discarding. I believe he intended to divorce us if he could get out looking good. Blameless. My confronting/accusing him stopped that. All of a sudden he won’t look so perfect. Now he is competing with me for kids affection. Campaigning to be the best parent ever. It’s so scary cause he is so good at hiding his true intentions. I never know what he is up to. He is always planning and manipulating. I am doing everything I know how to protect myself and the kids.

Donna
Donna
8 years ago
Reply to  willowchumpx30

WillowChump, I am not sure of your children’s ages. My three are all adults and I have a teenaged granddaughter. After just three weeks of seeing my therapist I was worried because I knew he would use his tactics to blame everything on me and try to look good in their eyes. His delivery is so sweet but calculating trying to extract sympathy. My therapist said let it be, stop trying to convince them, he will basically want NO relationship with any of your family. That is exactly what happened.

They are such masters at manipulation and it is pathetic when they try to control you through children.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

You know what is so scary about all these creeps? They are so damn charming. My ex SIL can charm birds out of trees, she is sparkly and swirly and cutesy. If you only knew her socially you would think she is just wonderful. I hate her.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

Yep. Both XW’S put on excellent fronts. Behind closed doors, they were brutal.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

Mine is the EXACT same way…. EVERYONE just thinks he is this “great guy”…. yeah… I did too. Different when you live with him for almost a decade and realize you’ve been spackling the hell out of everything. It has ALWAYS been all about him…. always what HE needed or wanted first.

I could NOT believe the schmoopie talk between him and OW…. I’d be f*cking embarrassed talking like that as an adult. He charmed me… but not with that stupid shit….nonetheless I sure as hell fell for it…. and I’m NOT an easy mark (I was a bartender for 14 years).

Waiting to reach complete and utter indifference….. I’m getting there.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Honestly Jen, and I think most chumps here will agree…. the BEST therapy and reinforcement you will EVER get is right here on this site. Getting to “meh” is different for everyone, depends on when you figure out you have either had enough or just get passed it all.

Maybe it has something to do with when you finally stop spackling and truly open your eyes and look at them for what they are and not what you believed or wanted them or the situation to be.

I also hate devoting my feelings to someone who wouldn’t (doesn’t/can’t) do the same, truth is…. I think most of us realize that they aren’t capable of truly loving, they pretend. Trust that they suck. Fuck em.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

My ex is a restaurant manager/proprietor. They are a sleazy breed. His restaurant will be losing by June due to slow business and bad management. I very nearly posted a warning on Facebook today, but stoped myself.

I would like to get back at him for playing me the way he did, but revenge never fares well. At least he can’t blame me, I’ve been gone since mid January. I’m sure he’d like to, he had me doing admin stuff that he didn’t understand. If I was at meh I wouldn’t care. Any suggestions to propel me to meh? I am so sick of this. I hate devoting my feelings to someone who wouldn’t do the same.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

“Who the fuck walks away from their children!?!?”

^^^^ THIS ^^^^ SPOT ON DREW!!!

Exactly!! I have NEVER understood this…. IMHO…. who? Disordered souless assholes….. that’s who.

Red
Red
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

XH’s current record is 3 WEEKS without contacting his kids (ages 13, 11, and 8 at the time). Who blows off their grade school kids like that?!

He met his new wife last summer and has officially spent more time with HER kids in the last 10 months than he’s spent with HIS OWN kids in the last 10 years. Sad.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Red

Mine has been better with our son than his kids from his previous marriage, according to ex-wife (awesome lady & friend) he never went to ANY events with her kids… conferences, school functions, etc. His youngest with her is a 10 year old daughter…. as of last Friday he hadn’t seen either of our kids for 3 weeks and had not called his youngest daughter ONE single f*cking time in those three weeks….. and he has the bullocks to call ME selfish. Disordered asshole.

He left 4 months ago, I desperately hoped he would be there for his son who adored him…. like he PROMISED him. But NOPE…. not a chance…. he avoided our son just like every other unpleasant circumstance he created in his life. I know that our son’s pain made him feel like a piece of shit…. as it should, he couldn’t get away fast enough when the crying started. Went from living with him every single day and tucking him in every night to calling him every 3 or 4 days (sometimes) and every other weekend visitation. I told him he is pathetic….. I said…. I bet you don’t miss ONE single phone call to your cheating tramp every day though.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Oh…. but he NEVER fails to call at bedtime when he IS with the cheating tramp…… part of the love bombing charm…. showing what a “LOVING” Daddy he is……. makes me want to crawl through the phone and punch him in the mouth myself. He should have been in theater. Asshole. “Daddy loves you SOOOOO much.” Really? It’s disturbing that he has NO SHAME whatsoever!!!

TheBetterJamie
TheBetterJamie
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

Ugh, all of this^^^^^

Superdad is my STBX’s favorite hero to emulate. The only involvement he has with his child is when OW or his family is involved. Otherwise I don’t hear from him about her. OW tries to impress him by adoring our daughter and he does the same to impress her.
I laugh when I think of how conned she is. She has NO CLUE what he would actually be like if she procreates with him. Lmao….she should give it a try!
He thinks he’s broke now? Where the hell would he find money or the give a fuck for 2 kids?

Red
Red
8 years ago
Reply to  NCStevie

No, they have no shame. It boggles the mind to think I gave him DECADES of my time…

hurt
hurt
8 years ago

Word “kiss” on several days on his calendar for the month of December 2009. He frequently had to entertain out-of-town guests. In that December, many of the dinners were on a Friday & he wasn’t home until much later than on other nights. In hindsight I guess that is when the “kiss”ing occurred. I do remember when I asked if he was having an affair & asked if he “fcked” her yet. He said no but that he wanted to- it was probably a done deal & he was lying.

Note to Chump Lady – I love my little cartoon character. I feel like that on the inside most of the time.

Ashley
Ashley
8 years ago

The profile on adult friend finder he filled out while out of town. It was “his friend” that did it and it only linked to his email because “auto fill” filled in all of exH info including his email. They were “just messing around” to see what would happen. The profile read: “in town for 2 days, no strings attached” I actually dumped him when I found it but my best friend at the time convinced me he must be telling the truth because he sound so sad when she called him. Funny, he didn’t fight to get me back until my best friend called him and told him to. So now, I have an exhusband and an ex best friend…lol
My favorite phrase since: before you diagnose yourself with depression, make sure you’re not just surrounded by assholes first.” Yup!

KRKing911
KRKing911
8 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

Talk about spackle…. I didn’t even know what Adult Friend Finder was and he was on it all the time! He constantly tried to get someone else into our bed. He even surprised me one night when I came home from work by inviting another couple he met on that site over for DINNER… I was so pissed off – working all day – coming home to this surprise – he told these people where we lived. My kids were home… Dinner? They came in the door and I told them outright – that I was not into that and that he had no right to do this without my consent. I couldn’t believe it but spackle, spackle and more spackle – I was so disgusted.

Overall, I’m so much better off now that he’s with someone else. He gets married next month. I’ve got plans to do a little celebrating. From what I hear, she is ok with swinging and she likes her booze so he found what he was looking for.

I’m just too old fashioned for that kind of lifestyle. I didn’t want to see what was right in front of me FOR YEARS because of fear and if you don’t acknowledge it it will go away right? Nope – it’s one of those things you just have to learn… Onward and upward – we all deserve much better than that.

tony
tony
8 years ago
Reply to  KRKing911

Wow. With kids in the house. That is so messed up for the children. I think it is hard for other people to comprehend that these things actually happen when one tries to tell them about it.

LadyStrange
LadyStrange
8 years ago
Reply to  tony

Ok – just a little tidbit about “Adult Friend Finder.” So I got on that site about 12 years ago because hubby and I thought maybe we needed a little umph. He was WELL aware I was on the site. It didn’t take very long until I realized this just wasn’t going to happen. Ultimately, I don’t think I could go through with a threesome. Done! 10 Years later hubby decides to go out and get his own cell phone so he could sext other women. My son found it and read the texts! My son told me about it and divorce proceedings began. Hubby, trying to justify his actions tells me “Well you were on Adult Friend Finder.” Ya well guess what butt head – I didn’t HIDE it from YOU. You on the other hand ARE HIDING your new fucking phone! While I am the one paying for the cell phones for the family – he decided to get his own. POS.

onthehill
onthehill
8 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

“before you diagnose yourself with depression, make sure you’re not just surrounded by assholes first.”

^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS.

Leolion
Leolion
8 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

Absolutely this^^^^. I am so glad that I am not the only one!! My doctor asked if I wanted to go back on my depression meds during my appointment to get tested for STD’s after D Day! Seriously?!? I am suppose to cry and be sad/mad/pissed…etc. Why would I need medication? I am finally seeing my life the way I was suppose too. Cheaters make you think that it is you but now I know I was just eating a shit sandwich and didn’t even know it!!!

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
8 years ago
Reply to  Leolion

OMG! I love this so much!
I too, was eating a shit sandwich, and didn’t even know it!
Being in reality is so much healthier, and he can carry on with his life of deceit and delusion, without me!

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
8 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

Ashley, not just depression, but for me I had horrible migraines several times a year that only prescriptions could help with and I have not had one of those since we separated.

NWBiblio
NWBiblio
8 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Yep, ML, all of my gut problems have “mysteriously” cleared up in the past year.

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

I started with the auras whe the devalue began.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

What do you mean by “aura”? My first ex used to tell me he could see a purple aura around me, he also claimed to be very religious. I think it was bullshit, but now you have me curious.

Idle hands
Idle hands
8 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Some people get auras before they get a migraine or have a seizue. I think that’s what she means…

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Idle hands

Yes. And “floaters” and zig zag lines in front of my eyes.

Gone
Gone
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Weird. I started getting ocular migraines after I moved in with him.

Idle hands
Idle hands
8 years ago
Reply to  Ashley

Agreed! I saw a psychologist and psychiatrist for anxiety shortly before D-day and was prescribed meds and taught some self soothing/imaging/breathing techniques. Then the truth came out and I dumped the meds (didn’t even wean like u r supposed to) and got righteously pissed off. My mind was so fucking clear, I was like, get the fuck out. It was such a relief. Now, I view anxiety as my friend. It’s the tip off that something’s amiss.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  Idle hands

I agree! I felt like crap, it only took knowing the truth and getting righteously pissed off and dumping my Cheater for my life to improve!

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Red flags I missed while dating: both XW’S had been OW .

ForgeOn
ForgeOn
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold,

REALLY?! Seriously, dude…….

Thank goodness your ‘picker’ has been repaired & fine-tuned!

{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to you…….

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn

I was really naive, and egoistical. Thought it was youthful indiscretion and it would be different with me. Frankly, I was an idiot.

Qwerty3.14
Qwerty3.14
8 years ago

Most recently: focus on his business. Can’t discuss marriage (alone or with MC) without becoming talk about his business. Claiming need to “grow business” and hire employees…”interviews” occur on Saturdays and as late as 11pm during the week. Disappeared when daughter and I accompanied him to bookstore for “interview.”

Strange comments from 4 year old. About curly hair lady that joined them on their days out. His response was “4 yr old imagination.”

My favorite, leaving phone open. Naked selfie complete with mans aping and smirk while I was plateau on vacation. I didn’t receive this pic.

Texts asking if “she will free him”. Claimed to be coworker (Hello MOW!). Same out of state number reappearing. Calling immediately after MC. He won’t answer in my presence. Claims telemarketer. Right!

After 4 yrs of gas lighting, knew this relationship was done.

Friend
Friend
8 years ago

His strange sense of humor (jokes about pedophilia, dead babies and pornography).
Also, he never wore his wedding ring. He said it was too small. I got it resized. He still never wore it.
He let the women at his work make him lunch. I tended to our chickens. He would bring the eggs to work. His female coworkers would make him frittata. I asked him to have them stop. (they never did)
Also, his female coworkers all wanted to meet me and the new baby! When I showed up at work, they couldn’t make eye contact with me. (they wanted to size me up?)
Oh, and his propensity to not keep small commitments to me. (ie “I promise to wear my motorcycle helmet” followed by, “Haha, I didn’t wear my helmet!”)
The tip of the personality iceberg. Oddly, I never suspected him of actual cheating! It was a few neighbors that pointed that out to me. At first, I was, “nah! him?”

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Friend

Mine thought “dead baby” jokes were funny too. I tried to explain to him how they aren’t funny and how painful they might be to someone, and he thought I was just too uptight. And there were some other parts of his humor that I just couldn’t understand (one related to porn). This was in the very beginning and I guess I figured he couldn’t really believe all the things he said. Not deep down. And I thought he was playing devil’s advocate or something with some of the debates he had where he argued certain questionable perspectives. After I got upset, that’s what he said he was doing. But now? Well….those things would make warning bells go off in my head. You live and learn…. But I am surprised to see someone else mention the strange sense of humor. I had figured it was just my ex.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Count me in, too, for an ex with a strange (read: sick) sense of humour, which he always pridefully chalked up to his country of origin. Apparently the folks there have a sense of humour that’s *way* more advanced than I could ever hope to comprehend. Yes, he was actually very pleased with himself and what a clever iconoclast he was. Now, I just think dude, please. Do NOT blame an entire country just because you happen to be a complete douche who’s in dire need of psychiatric help.

Gypsy57
Gypsy57
8 years ago

I asked him if he ever cheated on anyone before. He was married for over 15 years, and his wife had breast cancer for the last 6 of those years. He actually SMILED and told me the story of how he and his wife hadn’t been intimate since she was diagnosed. During that time, he had become a bit more ‘friendly’ with a client (he’s an attorney). He said that they had planned to go to a hotel, and kissed in the cab. Once they got to the hotel, he said that she ‘couldn’t go through with it’ and would feel guilty about “doing that” to his wife.

The whole story didn’t quite sit right with me.

After D-day, I thought about that story and realized that if she didn’t back out (that is, IF she truly backed out), HE WAS WILLING TO GO THROUGH WITH IT WHILE HIS WIFE WAS AT HOME LITERALLY DYING OF CANCER!

He was also EXTREMELY protective of his privacy and often said that he “got along better with women than men”.

Yeah. I was chumped.

MmmHmm
MmmHmm
8 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

My ExH was irritable and angry most of the time. He would cancel plans at the last minute or have to go into work during a date with me. He is w firefighter, so his job always gave him the best excuse for having to leave on a minutes notice. I hated it but I never believed he would cheat on me. He had me convinced I was the love of his life. He was “head over heels in love” with me! No guy that was so crazy about me would ever cheat on me! I realize now that he told me those things to give me a false sense of security. He never meant any of those things. He never loved me brcause he doesn’t know how to love anyone but himself. His first affair occurred while I was pregnant with our daughter. His 4th affair began while I was recovering from brain surgery to remove a tumor. I didn’t know about affairs 2 & 3 until after the divorce. There are probably more.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  MmmHmm

MmmHmm–I’m sorry that happened to you. Your X is an odious lump of carbon-based material. May he develop internal parasites.

MmmHmm
MmmHmm
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thanks tempest. I’ve really found some great support here. My fellow chumps feel like family. It’s impossible to explain how traumatic going through something like this is to someone who has never experienced it. It’s a club none of us ever wanted to belong to, but we have a deep understanding of each other’s pain.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

Oh my God, Gypsy, you just told my story. Holy crap. Except in my case, he *did* go through with it, multiple times, and kept the affair going through email. Apparently his AP (a former gf of his) thought he was going to leave his wife and had started planning their happy new life together. But then his wife found all the emails, and he was busted. This is while she was undergoing chemo for the second time. At the time he confessed this to me, several years after his late wife’s death, I remember feeling moved because A) he’d been so honest about such a terrible shame and B) it must have been so hard for him not to have intimacy in his marriage for so long. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that less than a year later he’d also be cheating on me, and he certainly didn’t have the excuse then of having a partner who wasn’t whole or who wasn’t passionate.

Yes, Tempest, these people are scum. For so long I heard about how her illness impacted on him, but now I believe the cause-effect relationship ran the other way. I also believe now–or maybe I just hope–that if his late wife hadn’t been terminally ill, she would have left him. Just after I moved out I received an unexpected email that showed me how his long-standing porn obsession had badly impacted on her as well, and this knowledge felt like a little gift from her to me from beyond the grave. I can’t even begin to imagine how she suffered.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

I now think a porn obsession itself is a huge enough red flag that it warrants leaving right then. Most of the people I know who developed a porn obsession (and not only at an addiction level), went on to some pretty tawdry sexual behavior.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes. Porn addiction. There is a great site, “Your Brain on Porn” and a fantastic letter I found by a Porn addict that really spells it out how the mind works when addicted to porn and how fucked up your wiring gets.

No reason to stay with the cheater, it’s for info only. I would warn it can really fuck with your head.

A MALE GRIEF: NOTES ON PORNOGRAPHY AND ADDICTION–DAVID MUTA

I would RUN like HELL if your mate has this problem. There is NOTHING you can do about it.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

CJ, thank you for the link to that article. I just read it, and so much of it seems to describe my Ex. For a long time I thought he must have been abused as a child. I will never really know. My ex SIL said to me upon finding out about Ex’s cheating and me kicking him out, “You DO know about the terrible incident in his life, don’t you?” When I said no, she clammed up and never spoke to me again. I’m way beyond untangling his skein of fuckedupness, though, and now as I approach Meh, I even feel sad sometimes about the waste of a human life that he has become. But I know that for 16 years I provided a warm loving home to him, was a warm loving partner to him, faithful and honest and over and over forgave him for his abuse. There was nothing more than I could have done and I did more for that guy than anyone in his whole life before me, and more than OW will ever do either. So it ends.

WiserToday
WiserToday
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

That has certainly been my experience with my ex-porn addict, Tempest. They have to keep upping the ante to get their thrills. I know in my heart that as he gets older and his pecker gets even limper that I would never trust him around small children. Because their MO revolves around power and control, I believe it’s only a matter of time until he breaks that final taboo. Sad to suspect that someone you once loved might be capable of such heinous behavior, but there it is.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  WiserToday

Yep, same here. It’s an escalating thing, and it pretty much obliterated my relationship. I used to have a very benign opinion of porn and actually thought it was pretty hot occasionally as a shared indulgence. Not anymore. I’ve done my research, and the whole industry is sick, sick, sick. Moving forward I will NEVER be in a relationship with a porn user again. Which probably leaves about 3 men left on the planet. How sad, for our society and for our kids. They’ll grow up thinking that this shit is normative.

mrsvain
mrsvain
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

me too FoolMeTwice. i was like that too, porn or magazines didnt really bother me. i had occasionally looked at it also (not the wierd stuff). the ONLY issue or problem i had was i DID NOT WANT it in the house where my children could accidentally find it. not because i thought naked women are bad (again, not the weird and freaky stuff) but because i think the innocence of children should not be shattered at an early age. so i threw a fit over magazines in the closet because everyone KNOWS you cant hide shit from kids especially in the closet!!!

come to think of it, i guess it did escalate. he started watching porn and looking at those dating sites that leave nothing to the imagination. i am a computer major, did you REALLY think you could hide your Internet activity from me. sigh.

i will never allow myself to be disrespected like that again. if you want to see titties and ass on the computer while i have titties and ass just fine. then you dont need me.

pissed off
pissed off
8 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

love the fact that I found out he was going to erotic massage parlors before he cheated, oh but then again that’s a form of cheating too.

Thankful
Thankful
8 years ago
Reply to  mrsvain

Porn addiction was my firsts real red flag. And as he was a committed Christian man who apparently was an example to those around him. So sparkly and straight laced, to know that he was spending his lunch hour and any other time he could rangle from work to visit local adult shops, just made me sick. When I stated that I saw it as adultery I was told that I was too black and white. Life was also grey.
He then promised to never do it again it was all behind him, he even did the whole confession and prayer thing with our then minister. And I trusted and believed the lies, little did I realise..
NOT dealt with. Over the ten years that followed it increased from porn to affair with another man, flirting with the members of his soccer team right in front of me, to hooking up with strangers in public toilets. He even got bashed once by a hook up. And once again when confronted and eventually came clean on the issue stated that it is all in his past and he would never do it again. But Ten years of suspecting him of cheating and having it used against me that I must be depressed or struggling somehow, his lack of intimacy, being emotionally distant, the secret phone calls, needing to personally go and see clients on weekends because they were busy during the week, needed to go out for dinner every few weeks as a part of a local volunteer committee member. It was all enough, I think his new love is in for the shock of her life when it finally hits her what she has allowed not just into her life but the lives if her two young children.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Gypsy57

People who cheat on their spouses with cancer, or while their wives are pregnant, are the lowest form of pond scum imaginable.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I had eye surgery, skin cancer removal and a double hernia repair all during the affair. Wife never even gave me a ride to or from the hospital.

Sherri
Sherri
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

I broke my wrist and my then husband didn’t come to the emergency room…my boss did when he found out I was alone (I broke my wrist at work). Hubbie didn’t come home until early morning hours so I had to sleep in my clothes because I needed help to get undressed. He told me he was bowling… I didn’t even try to argue that bowling alleys aren’t open 24 hours…too tired of it all by then.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Mine never attended a single prenatal appointment (2 children), nor drove me from (a) amniocentesis; (b) surgery to remove precancerous cells, nor (c) impacted wisdom teeth surgery.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

They are truly shameless. Despicable!! He offered, I declined. WHY would I want anything from him, he made his choice.

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I couldn’t agree more! I discovered (in retro) evidence my now-ex husband had a cheating “encounter” while I was post-op from brain surgery….we were engaged at the time.

NCStevie
NCStevie
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

I’ve already shared the fact (a few times) that my asshole left 6 days after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He was still communicating (and refusing to stop) with OW in the week after my diagnosis, when I stopped “pretending” it was okay and started unspackling he couldn’t get out the door fast enough. He never missed a beat and never stopped screwing around with her either. NO remorse whatsoever.

One of my favorite quotes from CL that I always keep close…..

” Who abandons people without so much as a warning? Assholes. Vile people. People with shit for character. Cowards.”

natalia
natalia
8 years ago

One major was when he was all about buying an “Investment property” the same town he works at (about an hour from home)…only to find out the girl who was renting was also the OW…when I found out about his infidelity he said “it’s just flirting, because she noticed you did not pack my lunch for me everyday”…so then if course she took advantage^^…There is way too much

Miss Sunshine
Miss Sunshine
8 years ago
Reply to  natalia

because she noticed you did not pack my lunch for me everyday

Of course, that was your cue to do the pick-me dance for the asshole.

TJ
TJ
8 years ago
Reply to  Miss Sunshine

Why is packing their lunch such a big deal? I did for the first year of our marriage then his mom asked me “why are you doing that?…you work full-time as well and you don’t expect him to pack your lunch”. So…I stopped. 13 years later he tells me that when I stopped packing his lunch is the day he realized he wasn’t loved. Boohoo. Really?

He informed me that the twat-waffle he left me for packs his lunch everyday. Well, I should hope so. She has no job (never has) and he will be husband number 3 at 35 years of age. Bet she is dancing her ass off to keep my ex. Hope she enjoys making sandwiches while eating the shit sandwiches he’s feeding her.

He was a serial cheater for 8 years (unbeknownst to me until after the divorce) because I didn’t pack his lunch. You can’t make this shit up.

M
M
8 years ago

Well, in retrospect the sudden interest in high brow literature was a giveaway. In seven years with the guy I’d seen him read maybe three books. Two of those were biographies of rockstars. Then suddenly a little book collection appeared including such authors as James Joyce. Vintage classics. Later on I discovered the OW was an aspiring novelist doing a masters in English Lit. He was actually buying new copies of books I have had in my large collection of books for years and that he had completely failed to read or even notice in all the time we’d been together.

ForgeOn!
ForgeOn!
8 years ago
Reply to  M

Yeah, the reading thing……Reading quality material is a way to feed one’s soul. Those who have no soul, have nothing to feed!

So, it seems that lack of interest in such reading, as well as their reaction to our love of reading is a very common red-flag, though not universal, because Schmetterling mentioned she had a different experience in this regard.

Mine read only very rarely and it was only if he was required to do so for work or such. I LOVE to read and it was only during the horror of the affair, discovery & False Recon. that I found it nearly impossible to read.

Read on, precious ones…..ForgeOn, Nation!

Nord
Nord
8 years ago
Reply to  ForgeOn!

I had a hard time reading after dday as well, mainly because my mind was in a million pieces. And of course I know readers cheat as well …but I maintain I will never date another man who doesn’t have at least a passing interest in books.

ANR
ANR
8 years ago
Reply to  Nord

I’ve had a hard time reading since Dday two and a half years ago. I used to be a books columnist. Just shattering.

ChumptyDumpty
ChumptyDumpty
8 years ago
Reply to  ANR

It’s pretty interesting to hear the 180 many of us have done to avoid similarities to our ex’s in future prospects. Who’d have thought reading could be trigger? But we identify it with them. My ex was a brainy, avid reader of money making/business type material. He hated to sit still long enough for a movie. Now I find myself attracted to guys who enjoy more ‘entertainment’ oriented media. Even moreso, ex was always fit & trim but in the last few years (no surprise) was too into it. Even though I’m in the best shape of my life now I get turned off by buff guys. I actually like a few extra pounds now. 🙂

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumptyDumpty

I posted this anomaly of my ex in a prior post a few months ago about the “no reading thing” and asked for a response and no one responded! I am glad (or at least interested) to hear that others had this “no reading” quality in their Cheating X. I will repeat that when asked mine said that the authors “didn’t know what they were talking about, and are just trying to make money!” I was floored and asked him that if he didn’t read, how would he know this?
The other thing he did that was funny was when we moved into a new home (first one together after marriage) I told him I was going to need a bookcase. He said “for What?” and I said “Books????”
It ended up outside in the garage here in Florida which as you can imagine did not do much for my books.
The other things for new folks on the blog is that we figured out many of them did not take pictures or care that anything was documented. (vacations, Disney, special family outings, etc.) Did not seem to need or want photos of our life together, just didn’t care. The only pics we have together was when I handed the camera to a third party & asked them to take it. One of these photos was taken on my 53rd birthday of the 2 of us which was up on the mirror on the dresser in front of the bed so I could be further devalued by him. They could look past photo of me while fucking in the mirror!! NICE!! Shocking disrespect in my book! Like making a mockery of you & your relationship & showing OW you mean nothing!

Hesatthecurb
Hesatthecurb
8 years ago
Reply to  Regina

Every time I read about the red flag lack of pictures, I raise my hand…. During my tenure with cheating live-in bum XBF, I can only count two times when pics were taken of us out together.

To the contrary, whenever he was out with his ho’s (particularly at their initial meetings) he had someone document it copiously. He did take one pic of me that I saw in his Canon camera. It was me in my kitchen, I was unaware it been taken and it’s very unflattering–deserved deletion not retention. I did not mention the pic cos I didn’t want him to know I had figured out how to review what was in his camera….

{He always told women that my home was his, my car, etc was his and proudly showed them pictures, calling MY possessions his. I guess it went like this—-“Here’s a pic of my show horses. No, you can’t go see them. Here’s my house…..no, you can’t go see it.)}

Months after my seeing the pic, I learned from a ho that he’d shown it to her (to show off ‘his’ gourmet kitchen) and she inquired ‘who’s that?’ and he replied that I WAS HIS MAID!!!! She told me she remarked ‘she sure doesn’t look like a maid, she’s dressed awfully nice (and to her credit, other compliments) and the shit hook replied “I only have attractive people on my staff and required them to dress nicely and be in full makeup and well coiffed”.

When I pounced on him with this revelation, he totally denied that he’d ever shown anyone a pic like that/in fact, the pic never existed in the first place.
(Isn’t it amazing that both his ho and I had the same hallucination that we’d seen a pic of me in my kitchen???)

Believe me, this asshole did some HORRENDOUS things to me but this comparatively innocuous incident really sticks in my craw. The ungrateful self entitled bastard showed a unflattering mid-motion pic of me in MY home to one of his ho’s and referred to me as his hired help.

Finally realized
Finally realized
8 years ago
Reply to  M

LOL. Biographies of rock stars to fine lit in one fell swoop. And it didn’t occur to him to check out your collection with his budding thirst for reading material?

M
M
8 years ago

I know, bizarre. I wonder how long it took her to realise it was all a fake? I really doubt he ever got to the end of the James Joyce.

Nord
Nord
8 years ago
Reply to  M

I’ve learned to never trust a man who doesn’t read. It’s one of my top five rules for anew man. Sounds silly but ex never read a book, ever. I just don’t trust people who don’t read.

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
8 years ago
Reply to  Nord

My ex read four books during our 20 year marriage, and one of them was a porno. When we split, he said that the fact that I liked to read made me like an old lady, and that maybe when he was 70 or so, he would share similar interests as me. He included my love of gardening in the “old lady” pursuits.

Sausalito
Sausalito
8 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Yes, gardening, reading, and doing puzzles made me an “old lady” too, and therefore boring to him.

Portia
Portia
8 years ago
Reply to  Nord

I love to read, and I think it is important that any companion would like to as well. I love to talk about books with people who read. Reading, and respect for those who read is important. Reading is not a waste of time, and anyone who thinks it is would not be a good match for me, either as a friend or a possible relationship. It is an attribute on my list of essentials, too. Several of my girlfriends think this is very amusing, but I cannot imagine sharing my life and time with someone who does not read.

Schmetterling
Schmetterling
8 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Wish reading would be an indication of good character. My lying and cheating H has always been into book.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Schmetterling

Mine liked to read to. In fact, during the “distancing” in the six months leading up to D-Day, in one of my attempts to get him to talk and engage, while we were sitting at the kitchen table and I saw him reading, I asked cheerfully, “What are you reading?” The answer: sullen, sarcastic, with a dirty look, “A BOOK.” Then dead silence.

Which was one of many attempts I made to get him out of his stony silent little world in those months. I thought he was just having one of his phases of depression that over sixteen years I had seen before.

The irony of being told he cheated on me because I “didn’t pay enough attention to him….” when he was sitting in the chair right next to me while we were watching TV together and he was texting Schmoopie. Now WHO wasn’t paying attention to their partner?

onthehill
onthehill
8 years ago
Reply to  Schmetterling

Mine was a reader too.

CRHCHK
CRHCHK
8 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

Yeah, STBX not only reads, but collects books – mostly to keep his incredible intellect on display.

Live and Learn
Live and Learn
8 years ago
Reply to  onthehill

Mine, too.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  Live and Learn

Ditto! Mine would read three at a time and he had a Kindle also! Constantly buying books!

Paula
Paula
8 years ago
Reply to  Nord

OMG!!! My stbx never picked up a book our whole sick 10 year marriage….when i got really pissed off I would call him illiterate !!! There definitely has to be some correlation here. Thanx Nord…I am adding reader to my must haves for a new dude.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
Reply to  Paula

As for the readers… mine read and read and read,three books going at a time, the only dates we EVER went on were to a book store or the library… I call it brain candy… it is like any other drug… but reasonable amounts of reading are fine. But mine, lived in his head and that left precious little space for anyone else.

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago
Reply to  Paula

My ex did read, although not a lot for pleasure, more for work. He read newspapers, the very occasional history book, and comics (it’s a huge French thing). But I eventually realized he didn’t read fiction because he didn’t ‘get’ it. He had no capacity to put himself in someone else’s shoes, or even to imagine how he himself might feel in the future or remember how he felt in the past. He could empathize minimally of he could see the person’s emotional reactions (except when he didn’t care, of course), and liked really obvious movies, for this reason. I think this contributed to his pathologically selfish and stupid behaviour, as well as to his not enjoying fiction. I bet a lot of narcissists are like this. Too bad it’s not all of them, that would be a great screening tool!

Marci
Marci
8 years ago
Reply to  Paula

Interesting about the “never reading books” issue. Mine used to get irritated as if he were jealous whenever he came into a room and found me reading. He also hated it if I read a book while he watched TV in the same room. Cheaters are such attention ho’s that anything that takes your attention away from their awesomeness is considered competition.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
8 years ago
Reply to  Marci

You are describing my XH also, Marci. He would get pissed if I was reading a book and didn’t respond to his awesomeness quickly enough when he addressed me. POS!!

Drew
Drew
8 years ago

Ditto to the reading or lack thereof. He never read and I do all the time. He too got upset because apparently I wasn’t hanging on his every word or watching tv. He never had anything new to say, either.

Alegria
Alegria
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Sorry to break it to you guys, but reading is no guarantee that your not with a cheater. They are just more sophisticated narcissists. My cheater had THOUSANDS of books that filled up our home and he read every one of them. He carried books to the bathroom, when he ran an errand, on any trip anywhere, etc. And he is the biggest f*ckng cheater on planet earth. His OWs were also academics and would give him more books. And several of his male colleagues who read tons of books, were also cheaters who cheated on pregnant wives, with their students or other colleagues. Definitely, no guarantee there if s/he reads.

GreenGirl
GreenGirl
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

Once again I am reminded of a six year old, Mommy! Mommy! Look at me! Did you see that!

minime1224
minime1224
8 years ago
Reply to  Nord

ha ha my ex never read a freakn book either. I swear there must be a protocol for these men 🙁 That will be my one of my first questions, first of all do you read? lol

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  minime1224

My ex became angry with me when I spent too long in a bookstore. I thought, “gee, I spend a fair amount of time in bars watching you throw darts or play pool because it stokes your ego to win, and I love you. Why can’t you spend more than 15 minutes in a bookstore?” Because he didn’t love me, and he wasn’t a very curious person. Sports, gambling, drinking, drugs, and sex were his interests. I even bought him a book chronically the grateful dead, but I read more of it than he did. It wasn’t the music that he loved, it was the drugs and the social aspect of being a deadhead. I don’t even think he loves women, he loves telling his male friends his conquests.

malbecrioja
malbecrioja
8 years ago

He was always bringing home “things” that he was fixing for a buddy. And then he’d work hours in the shop making it pretty. Weird. Also, there was always a “buddy” that needed help with something on the weekend. And to think I thought he was just this super helpful friend!

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  malbecrioja

Oh Crap Hesatthecurb!! That takes first prize, all YOUR stuff is his & you are the Maid? Nice!! I hope you didn’t slow down to even 50mph when you tossed him to the “curb.” I wonder whose stuff he uses now to impress the girls??? What an ass.

Free
Free
8 years ago

The red flags for cheating were there but I was so naive that I was completely oblivious to what they meant, it is only in hindsight that I now realize what was happening.

1) He would go to bed much later than me (to watch porn)
2) Added extra nights onto his business trips (to sleep with prostitutes)
3) Went through cycles of love bombing me and then hating me (it depended on if he was sleeping with someone else at that moment)
4) He was always angry (so disgusted with himself I presume)
5) He loved to pick fights just before he left for business trips (so he could justify his infidelity by telling himself how awful I was)
6) He became more and more distant and more and more critical of me

But more than that, I missed the red flags regarding his character because he had fashioned such a facade of respectability and Christian commitment that it just wasn’t possible to put two and two together and come up with ‘ he is living a double life’.

He was extremely charming, generous, giving, amiable, thoughtful, intelligent and successful but also . . .

1) He was OCD and became more and more controlling over the years
2) He had episodes where he couldn’t control his anger
3) He took offence very easily
4) He was desperate for people to like him
5) He bought people’s adoration
6) He was arrogant and pompous

Jumping to assume these things means a person is living a secret sexual life just doesn’t happen. You just don’t set out to assume a pathological aspect to your partner.

willowfrost
willowfrost
8 years ago
Reply to  Free

I was such a thorough chump. Totally and unreservedly trusting.
1.stopped sleeping in the same bed
2. Working out like a maniac.
3. Manscaping
4. Wanting lipo
5. Irritable all the time
6.slew of business trips.
7. Get away trips to reduce stress and visit relatives
8. Smelling of smoke(does not smoke)
9. Ignoring me or walking away from me in public. (Trying not to be seen with me)
10. Found a pack of condoms in his car. He said they were our sons.
11. Getting a back wax
12.tagging on extra days to trips
13. Arguing to have private work out sessions.
14. Buying gifts for the “business partners GF”
There is so much more. I am truly the chum priest of chumps. How could anyone with normal intelligence not see what was happening???

kiwigirl
kiwigirl
8 years ago
Reply to  willowfrost

To add to the list
1. Booking flights a day earlier than needed for business trips or leaving home at the weekend by car for Monday business meeting
2. Cell phone devoid of ANY messages of the female ‘ work colleague’ he was on a project with- they were using other ways to communicate but he showed me his phone to ‘ prove’ I was being paranoid. Not even a business text
3. Phoning her in front of me ti have abusiness conversation and say how annoying or strict she was
4. Travelling with his anti snoring spray
5. Wearing his expensive aftershave to go to site meetings ‘ with the guys’
6. Being angry at me for everything
7. Putting expenses on our credit card to claim back from company for joint lunches ‘ with the guys’ ( salads and juices). The ‘guys’ are hardy line workers
8. Coming from business trip and putting all clothese in the wash and having a shower
9. Grooming his ear hairs ( they used t annoy me and I used ti pluck them for him)

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  kiwigirl

“3. Phoning her in front of me to have a business conversation and say how annoying or strict she was” — yes mine did this too. Was remodeling a house for a female “client” and kept complaining about her, how she ordered the wrong sink, how she never listened to him, etc.

Deliberate attempt to cover up the affair that was already in progress. And I was so chumpy that when I finally got suspicious one night and logged into our cell phone account and saw a number beginning with her area code, 100x a day texting, picture texting, phone calls… I of course thought, well of course, they are working on a house remodel. Then it dawned on me there shouldn’t be business calls at 10:30 p.m., 6:30 a.m., pics being texted 3 or 4 in a rapid succesion first thing in the morning (keep wondering what was she sending him, her vag?)

Marci
Marci
8 years ago
Reply to  kiwigirl

Kiwi,
Yes, that list sounds familiar. I would add:

1. Showered the moment he came home each time he worked a ‘longer shift’.
2. Always insisted on putting his own clothes in the washer.
3. Suddenly developed a sensitive anus and started carrying baby wipes in his briefcase. That one was totally weird.
4. I observed him putting a roll of TP in his briefcase one day. He said they didn’t provide it at work – he worked in a large company…..
5. Suddenly developed “digestion issues” and had to go to the toilet multiple times during shopping trips, even to the supermarket. When I casually inquired about it one day, he said “what digestion issues?” Yeh, he was probably phoning schmoopie.
6. Was suddenly a good guy, and washed the bed sheets while I was gone for the day to an out-of-town business meeting. Turns out the OW came over for “lunch”.
7. Spent hours in “his” room – the spare bedroom, door closed, painting little soldier figures – hundreds of them. Had no aim for this – didn’t use them or sell them, just collected them in bags. I now know this was his way of having time to chat with schmoopie.
8. Claimed he had to run wasy from his first wife because her grown son was “extorting” money out of him. Turns out the guy discovered his cheating and threatened to kill him!
9. Had dozens of online profiles when I finally got around to keylogging my computer – which he used – and he used the same ID and password for all. He still uses that password, so I can look up his activity even now five years later. He is cheating on schmoopie.

Friend
Friend
8 years ago
Reply to  Marci

Wow Marci,
That list gave me a giggle… Especially the ex-step son ‘extortionist’. That son rocks!

Gaby
Gaby
8 years ago
Reply to  willowfrost

Willow, my list and yours are kind of similar…but silly me! I just thought he was having a midlife crisis:
1. tanning beds
2. wrinkle creams
3. botox
4. thousands of dollars on “medical program” to to slow aging.
5. new weird too juvenile clothes
6. obsessive about diet and image

and these are just on the “appearance” department. Good grief.

willowfrost
willowfrost
8 years ago
Reply to  willowfrost

Also known as willowchumpx30

Regina
Regina
8 years ago
Reply to  willowfrost

Willowfrost- Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are trustworthy, so you believe others are too. I am sure you had your suspicions, but chose to believe someone you loved and believed in like the rest of us did. This is what we do-spackle over all the crap & try to keep our house together. We trust because we are trustworthy.

GoodMazal
GoodMazal
8 years ago
Reply to  Free

It’s such a good point that it would be very hard to jump to assume they are having an affair–where they are working so hard at putting up a show of “goodness” and righteousness, your experiences are very similar to mine Free.

Looking back I can see so many red flags. One in particular comes to mind now.

He moved out of our bed when our child was born because I nursed at night and our son would sleep with us for some of the night. He said he could not sleep with others and had a hard time sleeping even with one person (was true, would regularly go into the living room) But now he absolutely refused to work with me on how to feed our child while sleeping together—-or even sleep on a futon or air mattress so he could feel sorry for himself that he “had to” sleep on the floor. Then he looked for a EA to help him because he had a very mean wife who cared not for him sleeping on the floor, although I told him that it was not okay that he slept on the floor and he had to sleep in the bed or we needed to get another bed. He refused. When I brought his sleeping arrangement up he would get angry and say he was fine and did not want to talk about it. He created a situation that he could feel victimized, how dare I try and work things out so he/we had it better!! He insisted on his independence in making these decisions and that I was invading it—so confusing for me at the time–so very very confusing.

So, for me is red flag number one is not being able to say what you feel. Ex was a person who denied his feelings with vehemence and irritability. When a person denies their feelings you never know what they will do, who they are and what anything means for them.

Ask me how I feel and you will hear it. Things may change, but I will express that. Not ex. His life is one big cover up. Not interested in that ever again.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  GoodMazal

That business about sleeping on the floor and claiming victimhood reminds me of my Ex who decided that the “only” place he could put his office in our house was in the unfinished basement with a dirt floor. He moved his desk and file cabinets down there. No one made him do this. He complained often that my teenaged sons created “chaos” (OCD) in our house so this was necessary. Then at every opportunity he complained to other people that “Muse and her children forced him down into the basement.”

This was even dredged up during Post D-Day talks though the children had grown and moved out 5 years prior to D-Day. And I am convinced though no hard proof that one of the reasons he moved his office down there was to view porn as he had a computer down there, one of the 5 computers that he had, every single one of which was super locked down pass-word protected, every single folder on every single hard drive. Victim indeed.

Schmetterling
Schmetterling
8 years ago
Reply to  GoodMazal

Mazel, this is so very well worded and to the point:

“He created a situation that he could feel victimized, how dare I try and work things out so he/we had it better!! He insisted on his independence in making these decisions and that I was invading it—so confusing for me at the time–so very,very confusing.“

I can so relate to this. I was so confused from all this ambivalence and H“s victimhood. All the covert blame and instilling of guilt for things I had absolutely no control over and that he had created. So very manipulative, it can really make you crazy.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  GoodMazal

GoodMazel, I agree. My ex too could never talk about his feelings (but he could never understand how others felt either). Weirdly enough he would talk to anybody he didn’t know well about what he did for a living.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

I felt flattered that he shared some personal/painful stories from his childhood. Then I heard him telling the same stories to customers in his restaurant.

I don’t tell random people personal things, so I don’t understand it. I am doing it here, but there is the anonymity of the Internet. I feel I need to get some things out and I don’t want to bother people I know. I realize they will remember and form an opinion about me based on my issues.

But I guess they are not as significant for him, just like sex is not that significant. Am I wrong to want some things to be special?

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Free

If I were to take a guess (without knowing him), I would guess that #4 on the first list was because reality was messing up his attempts to live in affair-land where everything is fun.

M
M
8 years ago

There was also the Skype call I made to him while he was on a work trip where suddenly starting explaining to me why he wasn’t wearing his wedding ring because he’d dropped it somewhere blah blah. I hadn’t actually noticed he wasn’t wearing it or asked him about it.

Drew
Drew
8 years ago

Red flags: long distance “dating” for eight years with no commitment in sight (I spackled with “we’re young!” Reality was he had no intention of settling down until I gave him an ultimatum, ugh, my bad), inability to engage in a meaningful discussion ie what are you going to be doing in five years?, inability to sit still at home, always off to the next activity, too much time spent at the racquetball club with skeezy immoral stupid friends, way too much time at work, little eye contact (hard to gaze at someone you are cheating on and lying to), financial creativity (he made great money but would make big purchases knowing we had expenses coming up-kids in college, hello?-nothing seems to be “enough”) big red flag was refinancing the houses-and pulling out equity, unilateral decisions (like the time he hired someone to finish MY tile job while the kids and I were on vacation, passive aggressive much?), never taking just me on real vacations (we always traveled to see family and stayed with them, he was not into family fun), cheap when it came to me (birthday presents, thoughtful gifts, uh…no!), inability to plan, inability to “be present” in times of challenge (ie deaths, illnesses, etc), overly concerned with death, Me,Me,Me attitude because life revolves around the disordered, sex life never improved it just got worse as the years passed (something was missing, he was disengaged, and it became mechanical, the opposite of what years and a loving respectful relationship should be), sunglasses! and female radar on a swivel head!, inability to appreciate differences, inability to be spontaneous, believes he is “better” than others, competes with family members (while pretending to be supportive), compartmentalizes his life (racquetball, work, family, each group separate from the other), solicits limelight to control narrative (he is written up in several papers, what a “nice guy!”). Yeah relationships with fucktards are a challenge. In the later years I never felt safe or valued by my ex, he made me feel less than when I knew I rocked. I spent many years far away from family raising my own…alone. My ex’s best friend always called the house looking for ex who was never home, in the end I think he knew about the infidelity before I did because he was concerned. (He’s a good husband, appreciates his wife and kids, so I am sure he was always thinking why wasn’t ____at home?!?) I spent a lot of time alone.

GoodMazal
GoodMazal
8 years ago
Reply to  Drew

M we lived the same life. Every single point. I am hoping you are in a better place. I am healing. A long journey but glad to be away from that asshole.

Blown Away
Blown Away
8 years ago
Reply to  GoodMazal

I want to hold hands with you both…SO MANY of the above were my reality as well.
And ALONE…yes, and my two adult children say “Mom it was always just three of us.”
Just sad.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
8 years ago
Reply to  Blown Away

Me too. It was me, and MY three awesome boys. He never ever went to the park, beach, friends houses to play, etc. But that’s OK, I was with them because I wanted to be. I knew they would grow up so, so fast, and I got so much love and fun out of those kids!
His loss!

Martha
Martha
8 years ago
Reply to  Blown Away

Drew -You have given great examples and pointers to the day in day out red flags here!

M
M
8 years ago

Of course the biggest red flag of all was him going off on a two and a half week work trip the morning after my diagnosis with breast cancer and ignoring my texts and phone calls while he was away. I think they were plotting their strategy which turned out to be ‘string her along while she’s sick’. Perhaps they hoped I would die so he’d inherit my bit of money (it’s not much, but still). So then after two and a half weeks he came back and reassured me repeatedly there was no one else and made up some lies about having no mobile signal while I sat there with my port in my chest and my poor baldy head wanting to think the best of him. But It all blew up in his face before long. I found out he was a cheat and a liar and had divorced him before I even got to radiotherapy. Cannot stand liars now. Anyone lies to me, admits to cheating or pulls any manipulation tricks – they are out.

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  M

M, you are fierce! I hope you’re well along your road to recovery in all aspects of your life. Huge chumpy hug to you!

M
M
8 years ago
Reply to  FoolMeTwice

Thank you FoolMeTwice. I really appreciate that. The Chump Lady blog and all my fellow chumps have been a lifeline for me. I don’t post much but often read and it has helped me so much. Hugs to you all!

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  M

M, you are probably much healthier away from him. Toxic people really do serious damage to those that have to live with them , work with them, interact with them for any reason. What a horrible piece of shit. I hope his penis rots off!!

M
M
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

Thanks Let go. You are definitely right, I am better off without him!

Drew
Drew
8 years ago
Reply to  M

I never called my ex when he traveled. He was never the guy who called home. Last Christmas gift? Cell phones!!!! to OUR Kids. Me. And Him. Aaawwwww down that slippery slope. Guess he needed a leash to keep in touch with his whore.

catdance62
catdance62
8 years ago

mine was cheating on me when he was working out of the country, primarily. Apparently he did, however, cheat on me a couple times in our US town. (how friggin humiliating, this is a smallish town) I should have known that he was doing something when he started distancing himself from me, emotionally. Like, he never seemed to want to do anything “fun”, other than travel. I think like most addictions (he had a drug addiction at one point for a couple years), it started out slowly—-just the occasional bonk every now and then, and just escalated to where he was doing it all the time when we were apart (we’d be one month together, one month apart, back and forth between countries). I should have known better. The thing that pisses me OFF so much now is that I gave him an out years ago. I told him that if he ever find that he didnt want to be married anymore, or that he wanted to be with other people, just let me know and we would go our separate ways. I’m a grownup, and I have been married before, so I know that people change even when you dont want them to. But NNNNOOOOO….he wanted his CAKE and eat it too! Of course, like most cheaters.

Current Chump
Current Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  catdance62

I too had that same conversation before with stbx-We were supposedly in agreement that if one of us wasn’t happy/wanted to leave that we would tell each other before moving on to someone else. Stbx even knew that my late father’s mantra was “You do not get married to “date” other people”

Of course, now I realize that stbx NEVER had any intention of being honest with me. After DDay, I have given him every opportunity for an out and he still refuses to go. IT IS SO AGGRAVATING!! I told him since I now know all about his other life-we can get divorced & he can have his freedom & go do everything he wants (Craigslist, hookers, massage parlors, work on his stupid POS car, etc) and me & the boy won’t be in his way.

Yet he still won’t go

FoolMeTwice
FoolMeTwice
8 years ago
Reply to  Current Chump

Personally, I don’t think it should be his call at this point. Since he made the executive decision to cheat, *you* can make the executive decision to divorce his ass. Hugs to you!

Nord
Nord
8 years ago
Reply to  catdance62

Heh, I remember having that talk with ex at one point. We were going through a difficult time: kids small, lots of work getting in the way of everything else, general life stuff. He wasn’t around a lot, kept blowing off things, etc. I asked if he was cheating, he said no (found out years later that yes, he was cheating at the time). We had what I thought was a great talk, where I said if either of us felt the need to get out we should do so respectfully and try to not make it ugly. No cheating, etc. He completely agreed! Of course he did!

Turns out he was screwing around for years and had no intention of being honest with me about anything. What an ass. He had every opportunity to handle things above board and he chose the wrong path each and every time.

thensome
thensome
8 years ago
Reply to  Nord

Mine too Nord. I said, “If you ever want to cheat on me, come home and let’s have a conversation first. Don’t let me be the last to know and let’s be respectful.” He would agree.

But nope. Even when I suspected he was cheating, “Nope!” Even in MC when he was confronted and asked if he was cheating, “Nope!”

Apparently, the problem was all me.

Um, nope! Bye cheater.

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  thensome

I had the same conversation as he was just about to confess. He changed his mind about confessing when I said I loved him, but I could live without him.

So what should I have said? It’s very clear he was just about to tell me and changed his mind. I hate conflict too, but why pretend you’re something you’re not.

Paula
Paula
8 years ago
Reply to  thensome

My first two husbands cheated on me and my third husband’s first two wives cheated on him. We were both chumped twice so I thought we had a clear understanding that this would never be an issue in OUR marriage! WRONG!!! He has been the worst husband yet but i’m going to do it until I get it right!!! I really think I know how to put character to the text now thanx to Chump Nation!!!

KRKing911
KRKing911
8 years ago
Reply to  Paula

Paula, how sure are you that your husband was chumped twice? He might have been the one doing the cheating all along. People don’t usually change their core. I’m sorry that happened to you.

Paula
Paula
8 years ago
Reply to  KRKing911

KRKing911, I was going to add to my comment that I later accused him of being the cheater and just turning around his stories, that would make a lot more sense!!! Thanx KR

Paula
Paula
8 years ago
Reply to  Paula

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Hopeful Cynic
Hopeful Cynic
8 years ago

Never Home – he always had to leave early to go to the gym before work, had an errand to run before work, had to get to work early to receive a shipment, had to work late, had to go back to work to finish something, accidentally fell asleep at work… and I was always extra supportive and sympathetic, taking on all the housework and childcare.

Manipulated Other People – he was always twisting the truth to other people, manipulating them to make things turn out better for him, lying to make himself look good, to get out of something he didn’t want to do… and I never thought he would turn this power on me because we were in it together and what benefited him benefited me. I even encouraged him to use me as an excuse for things.

Self-Centred – everything was always about him, we had to watch what HE wanted on TV, go to the movies HE wanted to see, sex was always all about HIS pleasure, we ate the food HE liked, the money and time was always spent on HIS hobbies… and I went along with it because for the most part, we liked the same things, and it was easier than arguing with him when we didn’t. Whenever I suggested something he didn’t like the sounds of, he’d give me this look, like “why would you want to make me do something I wouldn’t enjoy?”

Many of HuffPo’s red flags were there too, but I didn’t see them because, well, see above.

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
8 years ago
Reply to  Hopeful Cynic

Wow, HC, the description of your ex is eerily similar to my own experience. He spent so many extra hours at “work” that 99% of the time, he left before the kids woke up and got home after they were in bed. But of course there were always reasons, and he was working so hard–the poor thing!–so I kept juggling all the home stuff by myself. I finally realized how crazy his schedule was when he went out of town for a few days and the kids didn’t even ask about him once.

And ditto on the manipulation and the self-centered behavior. He bragged about specific ways he made others bend to his will, like it was a game. Most of the time he didn’t even care about whatever it was that he “won.” It was all about the winning.

Oh, and when you mentioned your ex giving you a look, I had quite the flashback to the looks I used to get from my ex. Wow. I’m so pleased I don’t have to endure those “why would anyone want to do THAT?” looks anymore.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago

For years my first XW was gone before the kids were up and home after they were in bed. They would go days without laying eyes on her. She always had some lame reason.
I came to find out she had been having sex with strangers she would meet in bars.

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Ugh, Arnold. Charming. My ex was getting up early to go get in bed with whoever the OW was at the time. Since the OW were always coworkers, he would then either linger at work late or go grab dinner with them before heading home. Of course this is all stuff I’ve put together on my own from different puzzle pieces I found. He never admitted to anything.

Nat1
Nat1
8 years ago
Reply to  Hopeful Cynic

Hopeful, do you ever wonder howcome they’re not too exhauseted to fuck around like they do? After reading your post I was exhausted for him, and I know many of my friends have commented that x just didn’t seem to have enough get up and goto do anything let alone what he did do. Amazing!!!! Makes the mind boggle.

Hopeful Cynic
Hopeful Cynic
8 years ago
Reply to  Nat1

Keep in mind point 2 when you are reading point 1. He was not at work or at the gym, and all his errands involved being at schmoopie’s house. He was getting plenty of rest there.

Nicole S
Nicole S
8 years ago
Reply to  Hopeful Cynic

I just realized my post (below) is almost a copy of yours. Jerks!!

Untold
Untold
8 years ago

Signs I saw from my CW:
– Poor eye contact, shifting eyes
– FB and Pinterest posts that were strange, didn’t make sense
– Other obvious ones like concealing cellphone, laptop screen

Blown Away
Blown Away
8 years ago
Reply to  Untold

The X would never look another man in the eye when he shook hands with them…always looked down. It made me crazy…now we know why.

Nat1
Nat1
8 years ago
Reply to  Untold

Yes! Same. Oh and the gagging at the dinner table when I suggested a date night where we could hold hands and smooch in the back row t the cinema. Though he had gone before that Saturday had come around. Maybe the gagging was the the catalyst he needed?????

crickets
crickets
8 years ago

How about the complete disrespect shown to you at a work function/conference? Not that we were invited to many, but occasionally there would be a family picnic or party in which we would dutifully attend with the children. Usually when we would show up, he would be running off to socialize as soon as we got there while the kids and I would try to awkwardly mingle with strangers. He was never keen on sticking with us or introducing us to coworkers — who now that I think about it would barely make eye contact with me.

I remember one time I was off with the kids at an activity and looked over to see him engrossed in this conversation with a young female employee. At the time my gut was screaming that he was being totally inappropriate and disrespectful to his family. When I brought it up on the way home, I was told I was being “completely ridiculous and jealous” and made to feel like a jerk for even bringing it up. Guess it was a real killjoy to have to bring your family around while trying to pick up OW!

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  crickets

Totally relate to this, but the episode that sticks out in my memory was an office party where a live band was playing and no one was dancing. I am a super shy person though I do like dancing, Ex wanted to get up and dance so I agreed. Everyone was watching as he started dirty dancing with me, thrusting his pelvis right into me, so vulgar and disgusting as my colleagues and their spouses, my employees, everyone was starting at us. When the song stopped I wanted to sit down and he became livid and angry at me! Sullen, silent treatment, pissed, we had to leave the party because he was SO mad. Later I tied this into one of his sick sexual fantasies that he verbalized which was he wanted to tie me up on my desk at work and fuck me in front of all my coworkers “and there is NOTHING you can do about it” said in the most sick, dark threatening way. God, I think I still need more therapy.

Ex also had the swivel head and would embarrass me everywhere by outrageous flirting, calling saleswomen “sweetie”, touching their hand or arm, etc right in front of me while they looked me in the eye and I averted my gaze. Shame.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

*staring, not “starting”

LovedAJackass
LovedAJackass
8 years ago
Reply to  crickets

I think it’s a red flag for someone not to care about a partner’s feelings or to show respect in public.

FreeWoman
FreeWoman
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Absolutely. If they’re not proud to be seen with you, and introducing you around, believe me – they don’t love you in their heart, they’re just faking to keep you around to wash their socks, and pay their house payment, OUCH.
At least, that’s what happened to me.
The guy I’m seeing now is very proud of me, and loves showing me off to people. He even exclaimed recently ‘You look beautiful!’, because I wore a new dress. The only reason this is amazing to me, is because X never once told me anything like that (he was invested in being in the One-Up position, so he could chase tail freely). I am not high maintenance, or vain about my looks, and I don’t think beauty depends on outside appearance. Inner beauty is the best. However, it is really nice, to have your guy say something that kind, and want to make you feel good!

Jen
Jen
8 years ago
Reply to  LovedAJackass

Yes. If someone loves you, they care about your level of comfort. I will never be with someone who doesn’t care about my level of comfort again.

Justine
Justine
8 years ago

There were so many signs that I just can’t believe I was so stupid. One that I recognise now but didn’t then was him accusing me of flrting with other men on a night out. He even abandoned me and took off with the car drunk driving home leaving me to get home somehow. I was gobsmacked – I hadn’t flirted with anyone! Basically he was accusing me of the very behaviour he was prepared to use (and did use).
There were other signs too – secret texting, new undetwear and clothes, extra nights added to business trips, no interest in his family…

Schmetterling
Schmetterling
8 years ago
Reply to  Justine

Justine, that is exactly what mine did. One night he came home late and he picked a huge fight without having anything to base it on. He accused me of having an affair. I had a two month old at that time and a 5 year old. WTF!

M
M
8 years ago

O yes, I forgot – his FB account just disappeared. Later, after the divorce, he went on FB again but tried to hide from me by adopting the persona of a woman named Karen. I was puzzled because why did FB keep suggesting I be friends with this Karen person? We had so many friends in common too – who could she be? I realised when I noticed one of ‘Karen’s’ photos was a moody shot of a guitar amp or something with him reflected in a door. What a completely embarrassing prat he is.

ChumpedALot
ChumpedALot
8 years ago

Being secretive about his cell phone and being on it ALL the time was one of the earliest red flags for me. Unfriending me and everyone that knew both of us from his Facebook page (including relatives) was another. Buying clothes (lingerie, I later discovered) for a “friend” who lost a bunch of weight and couldn’t afford to buy new stuff…I could go on. Fucktard! Trust your gut when the red flags start popping up.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
8 years ago

My husband was at the bank a lot due to the nature of our business. I usually let him do our banking because I knew he’d be there anyway. One the rare occasion that I actually had to do the banking, it seemed the whole bank would get quiet when I walked in. There were a couple of older ladies that were exceedingly nice to me, but the younger girls seemed to be sizing me up. I thought for so long that I was paranoid, but then found out he had at least two hot and heavy affairs with tellers, and one I suspect he was grooming for an affair.

He told me one evening in a very somber tone that his secretary of 10 years was pregnant and asked him if he would accompany her to get an abortion. He said he felt bad for her because there was nobody else to take her. A coworker told me after Dday that they knew my H had taken her to 2 abortions, and was sure at least 1 was my H’s, but wasn’t sure of the 2nd. It was going on right under my nose, and I never suspected a thing!! They were chummy, but acted like brother and sister when I was around. She knew me well… I babysat for her when she was on vacation, even brought her family over for dinner once. It was right there… the perfect deception, because I was the perfect idiot.

Of course there were other red flags; like having to leave at night to service a customer. I used to actually brag to my friends and family about how compassionate he was, leaving the comfort of home on a moments notice to take care of elderly customers… so caring… what a man!

Survivor
Survivor
8 years ago

One day I opened the mail to see a phone bill with calls to the same number just as I pulled out of the driveway and headed for work each morning. All month long. Why hadn’t I noticed that before? He always got to the mail before I did. Suddenly all the other random things that didn’t really add up made perfect sense. There were a lot of red flags that got explained away, but once I saw that red banner I couldn’t unsee it. I gathered up as much information as I could and confronted him. Then I never saw a phone bill again. Having the mail forwarded to his office was his idea of solving the problem.

ChChChChump
ChChChChump
8 years ago

He seemed pissed off all the time. He complained about ME “being distant” but would not respond to hugs or attempted kisses (“You only seem to make contact when YOU want contact!” ??? Um, yes??? Am I supposed to make contact when I DON’T want to?) Cologne scent when he never used to wear cologne (“I worked out at lunch and didn’t have a chance to shower”) Even more late night working in the home office that usual instead of coming to bed. Any time anything came up – care trouble, request from friends to socialize, “I don’t have TIME for this!”)

ChChChChump
ChChChChump
8 years ago
Reply to  ChChChChump

I forgot one – this was rather clever, actually:

He installed a bunch of lifestyle management apps on his phone

– a ‘sleep monitor’ app that gave him an excuse to to have it under his pillow all night so there was no way I could access it while he was asleep (if it vibrated while he was in bed, he’d mutter about the ‘stupid app’ and how he had to reset it all the time);

– an app that was supposed to track his daily activities – showering, eating, driving, etc. – so he ALWAYS had it with him and could constantly fiddle with it without (stupid me) being suspicious.

Schmetterling
Schmetterling
8 years ago
Reply to  ChChChChump

Amazing what creative shit they come up with in their cover up stories.

thensome
thensome
8 years ago
Reply to  ChChChChump

Yes, mine was grumpy all the time and wasn’t invested in our daughter. He was a real pain in the ass most of the time and not much fun on holidays. He was into the sauce most of the time. Ugh.

Cindy
Cindy
8 years ago

The two week vacations he gave me with my girlfriends at the end of a successful school year working. They thought he was the coolest husband ever, I did too at the time. Three years later when I found out the truth, not so much. So I left a 30 year marriage, sued him for alimony, divorced him and never looked back. Too bad I had to see him when our youngest son recently got married and will see him again this May when he graduates college.

StrongerEveryday
StrongerEveryday
8 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

I can relate. He once pushed me to attend a good friend’s wedding that was half way across the country because we couldn’t afford for both of us to go. He encouraged me to go and have fun and emphasized how much I deserved this time for myself. What a gem of a guy! I eventually pieced together the truth as well. Kudos to you for getting away from that manipulator! The shared parenting events are a trial, but it does help to remember how pathetic these folks are, whether or not it’s readily apparent to the world! You can hold your head up high.

Cindy
Cindy
8 years ago

Thanks Stronger! The co-parenting is hard but at least my 3 boys are grown. This graduation coming up should be the last thing until the grandchildren come along or my middle son gets married. We live in a small town and I have been very fortunate to not run into him yet.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago

Frequently going supposedly on “man dates” with male friend (half a couple we were friends together with); supposedly dinner and a movie, but getting enraged when I texted or called to see when he would be home after five or six hours (“don’t EVER do that again!”).

Working Saturday and Sunday in addition to other 5 days.

Claimed to be “hanging out with the whole gang for a couple beers after work” at a work site he was working at but never invited me to hang out or meet any of them; found out later in found emails these dates corresponded with mushy emails he had sent an OW thanking her for “a lovely Friday night”

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Adult Protective services calling my house, and when i answered, them asking for Ex’s “old girlfriend.” I said she doesn’t live here. “Are you sure?” they said, “isn’t this the residence of [Ex’s Name]?” — I was so upset because he’d told me his old GF was “crazy.” I thought, “how dare she tell them that she lives here?! (in the house Cheater and I bought 7 years before that phone call). NOW I know the truth because I looked her up after Ex surprised me by cheating with current OW. Old GF told me, yes – APS was involved because she was in the hospital with a handprint on her face after the slapped her during ‘rough sex.’ So when they called my house, they were investigating a “domestic violence incident” and they ASSUMED that because he lived here (at this address) and they were A COUPLE, that she did too.

When Ex came home from work that night I told him about the phone call and he went: “What???? Don’t ever believe anything that has anything to do with her– she’s CRAZY!”

I’m sure that is what he has been telling current OW that he lives with after I kicked him out 1.5 years ago.

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Upshot: after moving in with me and startiing our “relationship”, he was still involved with and fucking (and slapping) prior GR for the first 9 years that he “lived with” me (if you define “lived with” as having all his clothes and other shit here, using it as his legal address, and presenting to me and his family, mine, and all our friends, as “my boyfriend.”

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago

Red flags galore, but I was a chump…

1. Became attached to a cell phone, one he insisted not be on our family account. This was a big red flag because he always made fun of th