What is the difference between cheaters and chumps?

liarchumpToday’s guest post is by Tempest (who has a PhD in psychology)

Yes, yes—the obvious; one betrays their marriage or family as the other is trying to keep it healthy. Chumps free associate “CL” as Chump Lady, cheaters as CraigsList.

And, of course, we suspect that there are gross personality and cognitive differences between cheaters and chumps involving in cost-benefit analysis (really, cheaters, 30 visits to the strip club was worth burning your kids’ college tuition?) But what does the research say?

It is difficult to encapsulate all cases of cheating, or all cases of chumpdom, under a single category. There is, however, evidence that those who are willing to engage in unfaithful acts within a committed relationship are more entitled, have poorer impulse control, and are less empathetic than their faithful spouses. Conversely, additional research suggests that many chumps may have empathy, loyalty, and self-control in abundance.   Hyena, meet prey.

Surely, the freshly-married have stars in their eyes for each other, and “forsaking all others” ringing in their ears. Nope. A classic study[i] asked newlywed couples to participate in interviews and personality tests, including questions about their likelihood of engaging in acts of cheating within the next year (flirting with someone, having a passionate kiss, having a one-night stand, having a romantic date, having a brief affair, and having a serious affair).

Did any traits correlate with intended infidelity? Wait for it … Yup, narcissism. Shocked? Women and men with high Narcissism traits claimed they were more likely to engage in acts of infidelity; men with high Narcissism also predicted that their wives would be more likely to engage in infidelity (projection?).  It did not require that a spouse qualify for a full-blown diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, only that the person exhibit higher-than-average traits of self-centeredness, exploitativeness, and grandiosity.

Men and women low on Conscientiousness (defined as dependability, self-discipline, and a preference for planning over spontaneity) were also most likely to report that they would participate in extracurricular behaviors or relationships. Another shocker — both men and women who were deemed impulsive (based on a measure of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire) had a higher likelihood of performing at least 5 out of the 6 cheating behaviors. Cheaters have self-control issues?  Whodathunk?

We know that Narcissists often have sparkly traits; could their high levels of charm, achievement, and confidence be at the heart of why they felt more entitled to cheat? They tend to marry down because it is so hard to find their equal? Here’s the twist — the interviewers also judged each person’s overall desirability rating, to see if partners in discrepant relationships would be most willing to engage in infidelity. This was not the case; Mate Value Discrepancy was not a predictor of betrayal. The more desirable member of unequal pairs was not necessarily the one most likely to stray in the marriage. And most of those who predicted they might cheat had fairly equal Mate Values to his/her spouse.

So, sorry, one cheater excuse won’t fly — that infidelity was the only way they could tolerate marriage to their inferior spouses. (Of course, this leaves open that narcissistically-oriented spouses may perceive themselves to be of higher mate value, and thus entitled to seek extra perks outside the marriage, even if objective observers disagree about Ms. or Mr. Cheater’s actual appeal.)

What about the flip side — do chumps have personality traits that predispose us to be chumps? Women coupled with ClusterB men were invited to participate in an on-line study.[ii]   [Although the main research was conducted on women only, it’s not a far cry to assume that the same results apply to male chumps.]

Spouses of the disordered were found to score in the top 3% of the population on traits such as empathy, bonding, helpfulness, compassion, responsibility, loyalty, and trust. Sandra Brown termed these “supertraits.” So how is it possible for people so different from each other to become attracted in the first place? Chumps’ overabundance of positive qualities helps compensate for cheaters’ deficiencies in empathy and responsibility and loyalty. Cheaters can skate while chumps do the heavy lifting in the relationship. This, btw, has also been confirmed — people engaging in extramarital affairs are usually the ones doing less work to keep the marriage/relationship healthy.[iii]

But Brown also found that a few traits were shared by psychopaths and their relationship victims: Both were high on excitement seeking. But “I don’t like bungee jumping,” you say. “Kiddie coasters are the extent of my desire for thrills.”  For cheaters, this is obvious; seduction and deception themselves are sources of excitement. For chumps, the relationship drama is our excitement; we might hate, hate, hate the fights and the devaluing, but we adore the highs of love-bombing when things are going well. Until we don’t.

Cluster Bs and the people who love/d them were also both high in dominance (defined as “feeling as if one is in control of one’s own life”). That trait displays itself differently, though: cheaters believe that, through sheer force of their wonderfulness, they can bend us to their will. Dictate the terms of the relationship (in their favor, it goes without saying). And chumps? We believe we can change the sparkly-but-flawed cheater through the power of love. We can make a marriage work singlehandedly!! Superman and Wonder Woman have nothing on us; heck, those superheroes didn’t even have kids to juggle in the midst of saving the world.

So there you have it — the evidence has spoken. Cheaters really are overgrown toddlers with entitlement issues and the empathy level of a cockroach. Chumps, on the other hand, bear and forbear, dispensing care and concern to our undeserving spouses, while holding up our end of the tent and theirs.

How did your relationship fit the data?

By Tempest

[i] Buss & Shackelford (1997)

[ii] Brown (2010); website: saferelationshipsmagazine.com

[iii] Glass & Staeheli (2003)

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JJ
JJ
8 years ago

Hi Tempest, can you provide the link for reference II? I can only reach a statement saying the data collection is complete. Cheers, JJ

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  JJ

JJ–Most of the research is detailed in Sandra Brown’s book, “Women Who Love Psychopaths.”

Here is a link synopsizing some of the main findings: http://www.sott.net/article/228663-The-Unexamined-Victim-Women-Who-Love-Psychopaths

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago

Tempest. I love you. Thank you for this research.

Tonight I played my music with the most wonderful married men proudly displaying their wedding rings and talking about their wives. Most of them married for 25 plus years.

I know what is wrong with my picker. I know there are other chumps in the world and they come in both sexes. I hope and pray I will never settle for less again.

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain…

“Chumps free associate “CL” as Chump Lady, cheaters as CraigsList.” This is hilariously true.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

Love you back, CalamityJane! Yes, there are good people out there. We just have to make sure those people are in our “acceptable” dating pool. Integrity first.

Carol
Carol
8 years ago

That pretty much explains it.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago

Thank you for this information, Tempest!

This confirms 150% even more what I have read about these Cluster B Personality Disorders. I have Sandra Brown’s book and she really explains in detail what you wrote above. I always refer to it and to a podcast I have posted many times. I highly recommend the book and the podcast. Both have been a major part of my healing process. Also both explained many puzzling questions I have about the ex, his family/friends, and mind also (Yes, of course his APs).

This information above is very powerful and I hope it helps all the chumps out there. The more I read about them the more I can see that these experts are explaining my ex 110%. Also it explains how I became a chump. Yes, it explains me 110% in traits of a unwilling chump.

I am all for posting more real data that really can explain in great detail the Cluster B PD and also explain why us chumps can be unwilling victims of these individuals. We need more information like this to help us be better informed and also ways to educate our children. I have read so many books about Cluster B Personality Disorders and they all say the same.

Thank you again Tempest and Chump Lady!!!!! I am loving these guest post.

Tempest you might find this interesting. I was posted yesterday in the Daily Mail (UK newspaper):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3199335/You-psychopath-don-t-yawn-study-found.html

It talks about what you wrote above.

Dango
Dango
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Hi Beth — At some point I have to stop focusing on the character flaws of Handsome (Mr. Cheaterpants) and start focusing on how to identify sterling character traits in people, and what it feels like in my heart to be around people who have the healthy attributes I seek. What does it feel like to be around an honest person? How do the other people react to the honesty in this person? What does it feel like to be around a person who has at least an average dose of empathy? How can I identify humility in a person? So far I have identified three qualities that seem heart-warming in a man: honesty, empathy, humility. There are other qualities I seek, and I have an idea of what to avoid . . . however, I want to become expert at identifying the good qualities, and seek to have my perceptions objectively verified by others.

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

^^^Very Much This^^^!
My profound gratitude to Tempest for this amazing post, and to Beth for a
wonderful response.
I’ve been soaking in as much of Sandra Brown’s material as I can get ahold of because it resonates with me so much. I was late-to-the-party in participating in Ms. Brown’s survey, but I believe I fit into her profile: a college graduate with a high GPA, successful and well-respected in my career – which included 30 years with the same amazing company. I was confident, happy and hopeful about my future, even with the challenges of my deteriorating physical condition.

Then I met him. I found him
quiet, unassuming, with a great self-deprecating sense of humor. Intelligent,
kind and generous, I was puzzled by his determined refusal to pursue college despite the fact he had the resources to do it from his parents. He also had a penchant for working mediocre jobs – which were varied – classic underachiever. Being an open-minded Chump, I just took it in stride.

He is perfectly described by Ross Rosenberg as a Covert Narcissist. Coming across as a perpetual Eagle Scout, he voluntarily and cheerfully ran the gauntlet of my close friends and family members (male and female), passing with flying colors. We married over a year later – a beautiful September wedding in 2013

I discovered his serial cheating and secret life February of 2014. The rest is history: I filed, and the divorce was final February of this year.

I’m fascinated with the results of Sandra’s survey data and her conclusions. Though some Chumps may have what is classified as Co-Dependent behaviors, ANYONE can be a Cluster B’s target. They are that good at what they do. In fact, Robert Hare, who is a modern pioneer working with these disorders and the people who have them, admits to occasionally being duped by his patients. What I’m trying to say is, don’t automatically assume you’re Co-Dependent because you were taken for a ride-to-hell by one of these predators.

Tempest, when I put up my first post on this blog, confounded by my then-husband’s actions just a couple days before (I was still a bit scared), you were the one who told me what his agenda was, and what would probably happen next. You were right on all accounts. Your insight helped me to officially file ASAP, and gain control of the situation. Thank you so much and big hugs!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Boudica: I’m glad I was able to help you months back (and help get that paperwork filed asap). Your posts are always so full of strength that it is inspiring, and you’re a great model for newly minted chumps.

Amen to the not-a-codependent argument. Being chumped doesn’t mean a person is co-dependent; we can be deceived by master deceivers, and not relish haven been taken for a ride once we find out about infidelity. Best way to make sure you’re not co-dependent? Leave the abusive narc.

freefall
freefall
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you Tempest for your amazing discussion/research. See, I get the codependent gene. LOL before I was married decades ago I mindfully acknowledged codependent behavior since I grew up in an alcoholic household. I was very careful not to marry a drug addict or an alcoholic . Hahaha joke was on me, I didn’t get the narc, sex addict memo!! I am seriously laughing at this madness. The great thing is I no longer feel alone in crazyland! I am actually feeling a bit normal under the circumstances I have been in, thanks to CL and everyones contributions and comments. Thank you – you all are mighty:-) 🙂

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  freefall

See, theres no such thing as ‘sex addiction’ being used to cheat. If someone’s sex drive was that high, there are PLENTY of ways to fulfill that desire other than cheating.
First way being “Provide sex thats actually fucking interesting and your partner might want to reciprocate?”

freefall
freefall
8 years ago
Reply to  Lania

Lania 🙂 LMAO that is so true!! That BS of being a sex addict rings so true!!

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I may be taking a harsh stand on this, but I believe
that automatically putting the
co-dependent tag on Chumps has a slight whiff of victim-blaming. Not intentional, just well-meaning but ill-informed. “You’ve been chumped? You must be co-dependent.”

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Thank you, BrokenHearted Believer.

Boudica Reborn,

That is how I take it also and I cannot agree enough it is Victim Blaming.

Lania,

Great way of thinking what I have been feeling for many many years.

Lania
Lania
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Of course its victim blaming. Its basically saying “You are tolerating this shit because you have flaws too!”

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

There isn’t really research on ‘co-dependency’, since it’s not a concept or diagnosis that’s used in psychology or psychiatry. It comes more out of the addictions field, which until recently was almost entirely by ex-addicts, not trained researchers or specialists, using 12 step models, which are also not research based.

Same goes for all the ‘sex addict’ stuff – mental health specialists have a lot of doubts about that, and there’s very little research on the problem or the suggested treatments.

What I don’t understand is why couple’s counsellors aren’t educated about the role of personality traits and Cluster B traits/disorders on infidelity. There’s too often the assumption that everybody’s reasonable and mature, and can work this crap out. Hah! Rrrriiiiiggggtttt…..

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Therapy. It’s serious stuff. One thera tells me I am codependent, another doesn’t spot his narcissism at all, however, narc ex abuser was VERY good in therapy: soft-spoken, concerned, sensitive, intelligent, and tearful. Fooled that therapist for sure. I think the best solution is to simply ask the thera. What is your experience working with Cluster Bs? (though many of us may not have known to even ask or think of a question like that) and go from there because I know for a fact that they are well trained in all DSM diagnoses. It’s just that PDs are tricky, especially the brands of narcissists. Narcs are sneaky and I believe really know how to fool a thera. It’s part of their maddening traits, appearance.

FMT
FMT
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

Thanks for this, KarenE. So much depends (no pun intended) on what school of thought the constructs emerge from, and lots of stuff just doesn’t translate across models. I really appreciate hearing it put so succinctly. 🙂

When I was first starting to put 2+2 together, I was very fortunate to come across an organization called POSARC. They follow the trauma model, not the co-dependency model, and I think the difference is so much more than a semantic one. That model and their website saved my hide, because it made me realize that it wasn’t *my fault* or *my choice* to be cheated on and abused, and there was absolutely nothing I could have done to mitigate/control what my ex did. Ultimately, this knowledge led me here, and I am sincerely grateful to be part of this Nation and learning and growing every single day by what I read. In the intersection of our stories and lived experience, I’ve found courage and I’ve found hope. More, I’ve found folks I’m proud to call my friends.

Having said that, though–I will never remove co-dependency from the many check-points along my way to healing. Maybe I didn’t choose to be chumped, but I did/do choose what to do with the information I have at any given time. That’s on me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Love to all of CN, and thanks again Tempest for a very illuminating post.

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Me too. My first therapist tried to label me co-dependent. I didn’t even know what it meant. I went home and looked it up and got really angry. I was always independent and had my own things going on, which actually irked my ex. He tried to control me until it got to be too much work. He was lazy so he gave up and just internalized his resentment.

I was doing very well when I met him. I did enjoy being married and having a partner but I don’t think I was co-dependent and neither does my current therapist.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest and Boudica,
I always question the co-dependent part of these studies. I don’t have the signs of being co-dependent. So that I have to disagree on that part and say with that part of the studies that isn’t 100%. I am very strong minded. I know I never could sort out the odd behavior with the ex. I had so many excuses or reasons from him being young to being a follower. I know but that is what I did. When I meet the ex I was very much single for about a year or so. Then after the split and the divorce I was single for about 1 year also. Yes, some dates but nothing to write home about. I enjoyed being single. I enjoyed being able to do what I wanted to do again and how I wanted to do it. I got to know who I was again. Well even before we split up I was pretty much single I just didn’t know it.

BrokenHearted Believer
BrokenHearted Believer
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth-I’m with you on this. When I met my soon to be ex I was young and naive but I really don’t think I match the co dependent characteristics. I’ve always been very independent and strong and a “rock” to my friends and family. I definitely was attracted to the love bombing, heck, I thought that was just courting. I, too, think I will be fine as a single person after 20 years. I have my kids and great friends. My biggest heartbreak comes from the extreme verbal abuse I received at the end of our relationship and watching my kids go through the crap my stbx and his family are putting them through. I pray it makes them stronger and smarter for their adulthood.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago

Codependent is way overused and very amorphous. There is nothing codependent about trusting a master liar or hesitating to divorce once you are entangled. There are, often, kids, finances, mortgages and rsspectdd vows that would cause any healthy person to hesitate and think about ramifications.
These folks target good, empathetic, committed people and are masters at fooling folks. That mask does not come off right away, often not jntil enmeshment and entanglement is well in place.

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Yes, my therapist told me I was codependent and it shocked me. I never thought of myself in that light and did not fit the criteria. Such a loosely used word. And in my opinion, one more little message we get about what we did wrong.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpB

You’re right, ChumpB–it is absolutely victim-blaming. “Hey, you’re suffering at the hands of another’s behavior. How did you contribute to that?” Burns me.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Thank you Boudica Reborn. If you don’t mind me asking if you can prove me with the link that Tempest replied to you about what his agenda was?

The reason I ask is that I still don’t understand why the ex set his sights on me and these AP (one is his wife). I am still puzzled because we were very young and still trying to sort out what we wanted to do. His future life was not sorted at all. In fact, it was not going to well. I was just starting to sort out my formal education and at the time we both were working fast food place. We were working together and that is how we meet. So there was nothing in term of money. We both were very young adults trying to sort out what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives.

Then 20 years later things were very different. We both had our formal education done, great jobs, new home, and even I was about to even go along with having kids. He would beg me to have kids for many years. Then the first Dday. Everything changed. He wanted to stay together I was about to file and I feel for it. The promises. Nothing came to be true. Few years later another Dday but it didn’t add up long story but now I know it was another Dday. Then another Dday day that one was the one that he left for the ow and now his wife. They have kids together now (2). She is 20 years than him. Her mother is 5 years older than him.

All along I had so many red flags about his behavior. Now I just want to know why me? Why them? Why all that wasted time since there was really nothing to gain for it? I don’t have money. There was nothing to gain in our relationship. I guess now that is my last question so I can fully close this book.

Thank you again.

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth, I agree with not
over-thinking why you were chosen. However, my theory is that Chumps, having what Sandra Brown describes as Super-Traits, ooze compassion and empathy through our pores, and Cluster B’s can somehow smell it on us – like sharks can smell blood in the water. Both are unfeeling predators. I believe I would feel safer with a real shark – they live out their true nature, and don’t even attempt to mask it.
Seriously, what Narcs/Psychopaths do is study human behavior extensively. Example: If they detect a potential target, they will find a way to approach the person to start a conversation. In the process of talking (read: interviewing), they will work some sort of misfortune and/or tragedy that has befallen them into their narrative – then study your reaction. If you respond with a great deal of kindness, compassion and possibly helpfulness…bingo! They have a possible target – let the games begin!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Thanks again, Boudica Reborn. Yes, Sandra Brown’s book & website is amazing. Reading your story and others I can see my ex in so many of them. What you wrote above is clearly my ex. That is what he did in my case. I know for a fact he did to others.

I am learning so much from you and others on this site. Chump Lady and Chump Nation has helped me so very much. I cannot thank you all enough for all the love and the support.

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Hi Beth! Don’t ya just love the autocorrect messaging? There are times I could strangle my phone.
The baffling behavior I posted on that day last December (I don’t remember the date or post right now), was this in essence (I was still pretty stressed and don’t remember exactly what I wrote): I had suddenly and secretly moved out of the house (his house) and he came home from work to a house-without-a-spouse! Surprise! I had become the Kibble Nazi – No Kibble For You! Not knowing where I relocated at the time, he wrote an apologetic letter via email, stating he didn’t understand why I left, thought our marriage was stronger than this, felt sorry that I was so afraid of him that I felt compelled to leave, and capped it off with saying he would undergo counseling to see where he messed up. Still Chumpy at that point I replied: Thank you. After that…..crickets. Since I didn’t come running home after his “heartfelt” declaration, curiosity made me check some things about 24 hours later. 1. He had changed the password on his/our email account so i couldn’t access it, and 2. On his Facebook page, he had eliminated all photos of us together (wedding, honeymoon, misc. – everything, along with all references of me. Every single comment about me or us from both him, myself and friends – gone. It was as though I never existed. Oh, and the Marital Status? Guess! Yup – Single. At that point Tempest alerted me: he’s getting ready for a pre-emptive strike. Getting counseling huh? Counseling my ass!!! I filed as soon as I could get to an Attorney’s office.

FMT
FMT
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Your story makes my blood run cold, BR. Your ex is evil.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  FMT

Oh dear, Boudica Reborn. That does ring a bell about the ex. Many hugs to you about that disordered freak. The ex was the same way. The reason why I asked is to better understand how these disorder things work. I do see many similar things in your ex and my ex. Thank you for sharing that for me. What he did is pure evil. Just like my ex and yours one second you are the best thing since slice bread and then next you are sadly nothing to them. I experience the same thing just in a different order of events.

You are so mighty! I wish I was much stronger then. Sadly I didn’t have the information as I do now.

(Gotta love autocorrect-mine is having issues with correcting green to prime today-everday it is something new with my autocorrect). ha!

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Oh, I forgot the most important part of all:
He had taken my name off of our joint bank account. That fast.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

*provide not prove sorry damn autocorrect on my phone.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Thank you so much Tempest for all your contributions to this blog and through the forums. We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as you are. With the knowledge you had after DD1, you believed that your generous offer to give your marriage another shot was your best option. With what you knew then, you could not know your ex would take your generous offer at a second chance as a new shot at double cake! His loss!

But I can relate to your struggle. I am a repeat chump (from two different relationships), and I know forgiving myself will probably be the hardest part of this whole journey.

I hope that it can bring you solace to know that your comments, filled with wit and incredibly rich wisdom, have been a beacon of hope as I keep forging on to Meh. I stumbled upon CL and CN right around Xmas, the best gift I could have hoped for! Thanks to you, Dat, Beth, Arnold, Luziana, Boudica and many many other amazing contributors, I find the strength and wisdom I need to forge on.

Beth – I have been working through the “Why Me?” question. I thankfully have not had to deal with any of this, but a friend how was diagnosed with cancer gave me the best advice. She told me it took time for her to get that she was spending more energy trying to understand why she got cancer than she was spending on healing and staying in remission. She is not placing her energy on remission while learning how to change the behaviors and thoughts that might have contributed to her first diagnostic (e.g. exercise, nutrition, stress). Applying her advice, I now spend as little time as possible on avoiding my strong tendency to untangle the skein (https://www.chumplady.com/2012/06/untangling-the-skein-of-fuckupedness/) and as much energy as possible focusing on what I can learn from my past that will help me build my joyful, cheater-free future.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

Chumptitude,

Thank you so much for your kind words. Hugs to you! You also have some amazing comments on these pages. One thing I know that Chump Nation is a great source of information and support. That includes you, Chumptitude. You are so mighty. Thank you so much again for your support. It means so much to me the kind words of encouragement and the wonderful link you provide. So many people like you on this site has offered me so much help and better insight about these PD individuals. Many hugs to you!

My heart goes out to your friend that is dealing with cancer. I will keep her in my prayers. Your friend is correct with what you wrote to me. When I read that people are dealing with such terrible illnesses like cancer I know that my issues has nothing compared what she is dealing with. Thank you for that and your comments. Sending her prayers and hugs. She sounds like an amazing and very strong person. I hope and pray she overcomes her illness. Please let her know that Chump Nation is on her side. Also please keep me posted on how she is doing.

I guess the reason I asked the question is to help me better understand and educate myself on how these disordered individuals work and think. Also to help others to better understand how damaging they can be.

I hope my question on “Why me?” did not come across as a pity me question; however, a question that I want to gain more information so I can educate and empower myself to better understand the mental thinking process of these PD individuals. If I can better understand how these PD minds work and the signs maybe just maybe we all can help someone else out there.

I am at the stage of wanting to break down the old stereotypes and excuses and statements of what people deal with these PD individuals. Two previous post from Chump Lady “Worst Infidelity Advice?” and another one “Is the Mid-Life Crisis Real?” are two prime examples how us chumps deal with such insensitive comments and stereotypes when it comes to cheating and the AP and the cheaters themselves and even from our so-called family and friends.

I fully believe that we need to educate ourselves and every single person on this planet so they can be aware of PD. These PD individuals do not offer anything good to the world. Still today I was reading (on some other site) the same uneducated insensitive statement about cheaters, AP, and it is all the fault of the chump. That is abuse also.

That is the many reasons behind my question.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Thank you Tempest, “insidious” is such a brilliant way to sum it all up!

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Thank you Beth for your kind words! This is a painful nation to be a part of, but I am very grateful to know that we are all in this together, helping each other out with the resources and support we all need to create our best life!

Very much like you, I crave to understand how I got here, how I could have become a repeat chump especially given all the knowledge I had at the time. Some books I keep re-reading that you might find helpful include:
*Why does he do that? by Bancroft (I mentioned this one in an earlier comment)
*Stop caretaking the borderline and narcissist by Flejstad
*The Betrayal bond by Carnes

These books are filled with good resources, sound research and practical insights.

The start of trauma relationships are generally good. For me it was rather the slow slide from balanced to toxic relationship that took place. I believe that rationalization defense mechanisms that I used during early mask slipping episodes kept me in the relationship for way longer than it would have had I had better boundaries. The more he was pushing, the more I rationalized.

Hence, I not only need to fix is both my picker, but also shape up my ability to keep my boundaries up in romantic relationship once I decide to commit to a specific person. Much more work ahead!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

Thanks, Chumptitude. I just looked up The Betrayal Bond, and a few sentences in the synopsis on Amazon really struck me:

“Little acts of degradation, manipulation, secrecy and shame on a daily basis take their toll. Trauma by accumulation sneaks up on its victims.”

This is the trauma that people don’t see–the small insidious acts that wear us down and suck the life out of us.

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumptitude

*as much time as possible on avoiding my…

GladIt'sOver
GladIt'sOver
8 years ago
Reply to  Boudica Reborn

Boudica, yours is the type of story that scares me most. Some disordered folks can completely wear the mask until their victim is snared, only revealing their real selves in small cracks once it’s hard for the victim to get away. My ex is such a person as well. Even though my current boyfriend doesn’t show signs of being disordered, it still really scares me that he might just be fooling me, and eventually I’ll find out I was chumped once again. This makes it really hard for me to trust or move forward with the relationship.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

GladIt’sOver and IHave Hate, I felt the same way also. Now since educating myself about PD and reading so many books. I do find myself feeling much better these feelings. I am getting pretty good at seeing the signs. They are behave the same way. There is clear (well to me) red flags I can see within seconds of meeting someone new and people I been knowing for years. Is it full proof? No, but I am enjoying my new “super power” now.

I can fully understand how you feel. I know I will always be on alert when it comes to things like this.

IHaveHate
IHaveHate
8 years ago
Reply to  GladIt'sOver

Glad…….Yes!!! A billion percent! Afraid of being fooled/duped again too.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Thanks, Beth! Some of the neuroscience on Cluster Bs is pretty fascinating, including that they may be wired to seek rewards at any cost: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100314150924.htm

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Good article, Temoest. I read an articke by a guy named Richard Skerrit where he disagrees with the oft cited comparison of the disorderd to toddlers.
He points out that toddlers can be comforted and that their rages stopped when their needs are met. Not so with clustef b folks. He also points iut thst toddlers can truly love whereas disordered people cannot.
He seemed to feel that while the behavior of the disorderd can appear to be due to arrested development, in reality,the disorderdd are fully developed, just really messed up. They do not really resemble toddlers because of the aforementioned inability to be consoled and the lack of capacity for love vs toddlers who can be comforted and can be very loving.

I also wonder why some of the books regarding relationships with the disordered, like Lundy Bancrot’s anc the one you mentiin abouf women married to psychopaths could not be more gender neutral. I wish there was mord out there in terms of support for men martied to abusive women.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Yes, the toddler comparison was poetic license (no analogy ever fits perfectly, and I love toddler; cheaters not so much). After all, who/what are cheaters like? Perhaps pit vipers? But even they moderate the amount of venom in a warning vs. an attack strike.

I completely agree with the research being one-sided. Believe me, I looked for information on male survivors of infidelity when trying to write this. Almost tempted to start a study myself…

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

The stuff I have read for male survivors of abuse is from a couple websites : Shrink4men, Shari Shreiber, amd Sam Vaknin has one youtube post on female narcissists. I do not think society has caught up with the fact that the personality disordered come in both genders at , roughly the same rate.
Even Vaknion still thinks that NPD is more common in men. I have read that the reason more women are diagnosed with BPD and HPD and men with NPD and ASPD may be due to the fact that ASPD and NPD are thought of as more malignant and the folks diagnosing still cannot bring themselves to look at females that way.

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Tempest, such a great post. Very healing for me. I needed your wise words today backed by research. Such wonderful insightful truth that you spoke and I am very grateful! And YES, you described my ex-nar-abuser to the Tee.

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

“Previous research on psychopathy has focused on what these individuals lack — fear, empathy and interpersonal skills. The new research, however, examines what they have in abundance — impulsivity, heightened attraction to rewards and risk taking. Importantly, it is these latter traits that are most closely linked with the violent and criminal aspects of psychopathy.”

Very interesting. I’m not sure about lacking interpersonal skills…. many disordered have very GOOD interpersonal skills, in terms of being able to charm and dazzle people. But that paragraph from the article pretty much describes my ex, who was diagnosed NPD and probably is really a sociopath. He never felt fear or anxiety, even when it would have been normal to do so. Total, absolute confidence, regardless of the circumstances. And Lord knows he requires constant stimulation and excitement. It was exhausting to be with him.

This is a great post, Tempest, thank you.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thanks, Tempest! That is very interesting reading. Some things that Sam Vaknin also talks in his book and YouTube Channel. Also Tempest I posted some questions below. I hope you don’t mind answering them. I would love to have your professional views on the questions.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

*It was posted yesterday…..not I….

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

I read that too… I think I am going to check it out with a psychopath I know. 🙂

donna
donna
8 years ago

Last night I sat at a table with the mighty chumps with super traits. Each and every one was beautiful inside and out. The excitement cheaters seek is self serving. It does NOT go away.

I was stuck for the longest time reliving how I put my super traits to good use over the years of being in a relationship with the abusive thrill seeking boy wearing his super hero cape of escape.
It goes like this: I took care of his grandmother for years, i was a good mother, I forgave, supported and did all the right things to make it work.

As chumps we relive all we did and the truth in the end is the thrill of the chase suoerceed anything we could have, would have done or did.

We as chumps need to know we did what comes naturally to us and THEY do what comes naturally to them.

I will NO longer ruminate on what I did and waste another moment beating MYSELF up over being a GOOD person. Fuck them.

As chumps we beat ourselves up over this for YEARS. I’m changing my narrative leaving the serial cheating, personality disordered OUT of my goodness.

As we move forward it’s important to accept our super traits and remove the “and he..,…” (Lied, cheated, abusdd) statements. Donna you were an amazing mother. Donna you were kind to those who needed your love and understanding. Donna you provide live and support to children and make a difference in their lives daily.

From this day forward I will look at my traits and align them with those worthy of appreciating them and never include X. Thank you TEMPEST.

Just a funny note. I am writing this from my car as I met up with the lovely and amazing chumps last night and I couldn’t drive home because if torrential rain and was unable to drive. I pulled over and found an inn however it was full so I slept in the parking lot in the back seat if my car. We create and build when we nurture what WE have. We really do have a lot now don’t we?

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Donna–your posts are the main thing that motivate me to forgive myself for putting up emotional abuse and being sporadically belittled for too many years. I know you are aware of my X’s demand letter that I read the other day (from 8 years ago), and have been beating myself up for staying for 8 more years, even after he basically said, “You suck, and here is what you need to do if you want me to stay with you. Oh, yeah, and even that may not be enough.” I stayed for the right motives, as did all of us. We stayed for our children, to try and help a flawed spouse, because we had made a commitment & took it seriously. All those things are admirable, not shame-worthy. Your posts always remind me of that.

You’re also great at the “glass half full” attitude–“Had to sleep in my car? Yeah, but I got to meet a great group of chumps!” Thank you for your wisdom & inspiration.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest

This touches me so much. Thank you. Brown talks about being an “Ambassador of Change”. CL and Brown are the new pioneers. Knowing these super traits put us at risk is heartbreaking. It’s what makes us persevere and make sacrifices we DON’T have to make. I missed the “If only” I knew boat. Now we have life rafts and a life line with CN.

Your post about the letter was timed right after my therapist told me to stop beating myself up. Your post made it sink in that as chumps we carry such a burden of pain far deeper than just being cheated on. They make demands!! Your letter helped me figure this out. I love reciprocal relationshios!!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Donna, I cannot agree with you more about Brown and CL being new pinoneers in helping us chumps being better informed with these soulless cheaters and their APs. Also I can see Tempest in that movement also. The truth that these ladies speak is loud and clear and the TRUTH. I owe so much to CL and CN and to Brown and now to Tempest in helping me be better informed about these PD aliens.

I am the same when you wrote “If I only knew”. Sadly we are not born with this knowledge about PD and how to deal with them and how to heal from their abuse. The Dday with the ex happen many years ago and I had no clue what was going on. All the blame was on me. I knew that was not right. I knew something was not right about him. I thought that the first day I meet him. I just never could wrap my head around it. Now I do. He has every single NPD trait and I think he has even more that is not on the normal list. The more I read about NPD and PD the more I know without a doubt the ex, his ow(ife), his family/friends, and yes sadly my family and some friends have these disorders.

Big hugs and much love to you all. Thank you again Chump Lady for all you have done for me and I know everyone else feels the same.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

I agree Beth 100%, Tempest is mighty as hell in this movement!!

What you described was exactly how I felt for years. I was aware off abuse growing up but could never wrap my head around the love me love me not feeling that always kept me off balance. This, today is just amazing to see how we get sucked in by these predators.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

*pioneers

Mehphista
Mehphista
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you both. Love to Chump Nation.

x-Meh.

Nicole S
Nicole S
8 years ago
Reply to  Mehphista

“I stayed for all the right motives, as did all of us.” Yes, yes, yes. I got a “you suck” lecture 8 years ago from my cheater. I couldn’t understand it. I was such a devoted wife and mom. I stood up to him and told him his attitude was way off and that I didn’t deserve it so he either needed to change his attitude or go live with his mother. He said he’d change his attitude but he never really did and I put up with it, the belittling, mean behavior and I just kept spackling. I absolutely 100% stayed for my kids. Maybe it was the right thing to do because now they are older and can see him for who he really is. Maybe it wasn’t the right thing to do, but it is what it is.

Cheaterssuck
Cheaterssuck
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Yikes Donna. Sorry that happened. 🙁

TheMuse
TheMuse
8 years ago
Reply to  Cheaterssuck

hope you are safely home now! great comment, and great evening meeting all the MA area chumps 🙂

ChumpB
ChumpB
8 years ago
Reply to  TheMuse

Sounds like a great gathering despite the night in the car.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Cheaterssuck

It was fun and I survived thanks.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

You rock, Donna! Keep us posted on your plans, yes?

donna
donna
8 years ago

Yes I’m hunting and gathering. Lol.

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Oh no Donna! So sorry that happened to you!

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina, I couldn’t see two feet in front of me and when cars started pulling into the breakdown lane I exited the highway. I was more worried about the chump headed to Maine. I sat and ate junk food and tapped into the hotels internet. It was fun.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Glad to read that you are ok Donna. Do you know if the chump heading to Maine is ok?

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

No haven’t heard.

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

I don’t blame you for stopping Donna.

Hope that OC is okay.

x2Chump
x2Chump
8 years ago

I fee like you just did a case study of my failed relationship while reading this… Thanks for the insight tempest!

Cat
Cat
8 years ago

I know this is going to sound naive and foolish to the enth degree, but is it possible for someone with narcissistic qualities to ever truly overcome their narcissism and become decent human beings? For many years I was on heavy medication for epilepsy, and during that time I would complain to my doctors that I was having significant cognitive problems which they then attributed to brain damage. Essentially, I was told that there was nothing I could really do about it. I was just finishing high school and entering into college when this began, so my mother arranged to provide for me due to my illness so long as I worked as her live in maid. This was also when I began dating my current fiancé. I had the persistent feeling that they were taking advantage of me in different ways, but my thinking was too fuzzy to clearly identify what was wrong or do anything about it. Seven years later I switched to a doctor who recognized my symptoms as the side effects of my medicine rather than brain damage. Once the drug was out of my system and I began to recover, I slowly started to wake up to the world around me and the people in my life. I was horrified to discover how bad the situation was. My mother had arranged for her doctor friend to put me on the medication I had been on so I would be “easy to manage”. My fiancé had been cheating on me and emotionally abusing me. So I started digging myself out of the hole I was in so that I could get my life back on track and escape. When my fiancé realized that I couldn’t be fooled into giving him eleventy million second chances anymore and that I was finally in a position to leave him, he started shaping up. As much as I distrust him, I want to believe that his progress is real. I want to believe him when he says that he’s a different man. The combination of love and trauma bonding (or possibly just trauma bonding and trauma bonding) make it difficult not to wish that the Blue Fairy might pay a visit and turn my fiancé into a real boy. On top of all that, my father is dying and my fiancé is my only source of support right now. Sometimes I feel like I can’t afford to leave him, and it scares me to think that that might be exactly the position he has set me up to be in. As angry as I am over the past, I know I would forgive him if he really was the changed man he claims to be. However, people with narcissistic traits tend to be excellent actors. I don’t want to chase after a mirage. Is there any way of knowing if the change is real, and is it even likely?

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
8 years ago
Reply to  Cat

Cat, they are both vile creatures. If you can get away from them and go completely no contact for the rest of your days, please do. A good therapist can do you worlds of wonder as well, but only one well versed with narcs. I am so sorry that the person who was supposed to love and protect you chose to exploit you instead. It is just wrong, plain and simple.

Boudica Reborn
Boudica Reborn
8 years ago
Reply to  Cat

Oh Cat! I wish I could give you a big hug. I married my now-ex repeat offender cheater only four months after my last brain surgery. With my Dad in fragile health, I asked two of my girlfriends, one on each side, help me walk up the aisle. When I found out he was cheating the entire dating-engagement-marriage, I didn’t know what to do – I was at that point dependent on my husband, as I was by then disabled (but had not started the SSD process). I was also second-guessing myself at every turn because he was gas lighting me using the toxic “I’m not doing anything wrong. Aren’t you being over-reactive and too emotional? You’ve just been through brain surgery after all – consider that.”
Cat, disordered people, like the ones who are/have been in your life won’t change. They can’t, and, even if they could, they probably won’t BECAUSE THEY LIKE WHAT THEY ARE!
if you feel as though you have no other recourse, you can call the domestic abuse hotline (cheating is abuse), and explain your situation. I got out with only $100 in my pocket.
Resources are out there for you,
and very compassionate people behind those resources.
Please get out of there, and let us know what’s going on.
Chump Nation is here for you.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Cat

“is it possible for someone with narcissistic qualities to ever truly overcome their narcissism and become decent human beings?”

Cat–the short answer is No. I’m sorry you have to contemplate what to do with your relationship when you are in the midst of grief over your father’s illness. But your odds of winning the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket are roughly equivalent to your odds of reforming a narcissistic cheater. He will simply take his activities further underground.

Two things motivate a cheater–Power and Impression Management. Having power over another person, whether through deception, being able to charm or seduce them, or raging until the person does what they want, is their ultimate high. They need impression management because it is very difficult to get someone to do what you want if the person thinks you’re a total jerk. Status is also power, and thus *appearing* to be high-status, or a good guy/girl, is mandatory.

Your BF is illustrating both traits. As CL says, they have 3 channels–charm, pity, and rage. Your cheater is currently using charm (and possibly some pity) to get what he wants. What does he want? The respectability of a great girlfriend while he continues to cheat behind your back. Then, the deception becomes even more challenging now that you know he is a cheater!! Voila, an even greater high!

Run. Have your exit strategy. I married someone I thought was a reformed narcissist/cheater (in his former marriage), and wasted almost a quarter century with a dishonest person. You cannot trust what they say; mine had explanations for why he wouldn’t cheat on me, and since he was 12 years older, I thought the age difference would also help his fidelity. Nope. Serial cheater for at least half of our marriage. He, too, was sporadically emotionally abusive, and it got worse, not better, once he had a ring on my finger.

Hugs to you; this is hard to live through, but it is so much better the other side.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Cat

Cat

Now that you have options given your new medication are you able to go to college part time and get a job with flexibility? The reason I’m asking this is because getting a job and going to school will build self confidence and make you less dependent on both your mother and fiancé.

It’s time for YOU cat. Decide for yourself what is best for your future. When you make these changes see how they react. If they try to limit you or discourage you, things will become clear. Healthy positive people in your life are supportive and want you to succeed rather than keeping you in a place of dependence.

As far as “believing”, believe in yourself. As far as having a fiancée whose action demonstrate disrespect, believe he is not going to change. It sounds like your caught between two people who limit your potential. If your mother is supportive of your decisions to take classes and find employment then it would be better to live there while achieving your goals. As far as the cheater DUMP him you deserve better. There is no magic pill for narcs. They rarely seek treatment and continue to degrade you. Pack up and get away from this asshole.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Cat, please run from both of these people. Your mother is a horrible person and your fiance is just as bad. Time for you to get the life you want. It is also time for you to get some therapy. The mother that you have is a terrible person who has changed the way you see the world and your value in it. Please go to therapy. Some people see the world through rose colored glasses and other have glasses with a monkey-vomit green. Your lenses might be monkey-vomit green, thank you so much mummy. Run! as fast as you can away from both of them. Much love.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Cat

Hi Cat, I am going to give you a link to a well know writer and I believe he proclaims himself dealing with NPD. His name is Sam Vaknin. He has his one YouTube going into detail about NPD. Also he has written some great books about NPD.

1st thing I have posted Can Narcissism be Cured?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npLHrRivMJU

2nd is his YouTube channel. Great, great information on there

https://www.youtube.com/user/samvaknin

Hopefully it can help you out.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Overall, the answer is NO nothing can be done. The reason is that he doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong at all. It is a mental disorder and they don’t think anything is wrong with them. The is much debate in the field with Cluster B Personality disorders about nature vs nurture. Sounds like this person is playing the same mental games that all of these PD do.

I highly recommend for you to get out of the relationship like NOW. Get some much needed help for yourself. Go 100% no contact. Educate yourself about PD. Chump Lady has a great book and also I recommend a book about PD from Sandra Brown and also there is a podcast on the site that Tempest wrote about. If you cannot find it just let me know and I will post it to you.

Also just remember it will only get worse with the guy. If you can look at past post on this site and read the comments. It doesn’t get better. It is a mental disorder. Nothing can be done. It is not your job to “fix” him or wait around for it to get better. You have enough on your plate to wait until pigs can fly. Then again pigs will be flying BEFORE things will improve with him. Also look at it this way would you want your mother, your best friend to deal with such abuse? I don’t think you would. Just leave. Go no contact for your healing process. Learn about PD. Like this site reads “Leave a cheater, gain a life”.

Also we are here for you! Stay with us also and we will support you but staying with him will be placing your health at risk and maybe even your life. Get out and now. Sending you some hugs and remember you are mighty and you can do this. You had a life before him and you will have even a BETTER life without him. Trust he sucks!!!!!

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

What do a narcissist and a sperm have in common? They both have about a one in three million chance of becoming a human being.

Seriously. It’s not even a mental disorder. It’s more like they’re a different species altogether. They can not be fixed the way a shark can not be turned into a golden retriever.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

OMG, Kat, I am one state away from you. Can you hear me shrieking with laughter? The narcissist comment would make a mighty fine tattoo. Like across a cheater’s forehead ;O

DoneNow
DoneNow
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

“Why would I want to change? I like being me. I want the kids to be like me.” Yes, that’s what he said after decimating his wife and children. If doing damage to people who love you can’t inspire a little change of perspective, then nothing can.

Great post, Tempest.

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

DoneNow, right before leaving the house the morning after Dday, my ex looked at me cool as ice and said, “I love myself just the way I am. I would never want to change.” This is a guy who committed more infidelity than anyone I have ever heard of.

No, disordered do not change. They are not capable of change, because their brains are miswired in some way. It’s like a person who is born without eyeballs, they are never going to be able to “change” to having vision because they are lacking what is required for that ability.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

“What do a narcissist and a sperm have in common? They both have about a one in three million chance of becoming a human being.”

Love it, Kat!! (And that is pretty accurate about stats on the reform of narcissists.)

Chumptitude
Chumptitude
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

“What do a narcissist and a sperm have in common? They both have about a one in three million chance of becoming a human being.”

Love this Kat, and still chuckling as images of traumatized coconuts in a crater keep popping into my mind, thank you!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest,

I would love to get your professional opinion about a couple of things if you don’t mind:

1. What are your thoughts about the cheaters marrying the OW/OM? What are the stats of them having successful marriage?

2. What are your thoughts about the NPD wanting to have kids so much? The ex was always pushing me into having kids. We never did and now he has some with the Owife.

3. What about the cheater and the Owife having shared social media accounts? Trust issues or what?

4. What about when the cheater ends up staying in connect with the chumps family and friends during and after the divorce and still years after? Note he never did like any of my family and friends and we never had kids.

5. Why do so many of these NPD end up having affairs with such younger people? The ex is about 20 years younger the OW (now wife) and about 5 years younger than her Mother.

6. Will his “friends” and family (if they also have NPD then some don’t) ever see his true colors?

7. I have not been in contact with him and/or anyone in his life including my family and friends that are still friendly with him. My question is do we ex’s ever come to there minds years later? Hence he is still in the same town and he still in the same area that we use to have a home together or we just truly forgotten?

Many thanks!

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

My ex loves kids too (supposedly). He always wanted more than the two he had with first wife. He was actually the one who insisted on keeping all of the kids’ baby clothes. What’s so weird though is that he has absolutely…and I mean none…pics of his kids except a pic of him with each of them that he has on the wall. And pics of his son playing little league. Always with the Little League. He had none of the kids when they were little or babies. And erased everything from the three years we were together off of facebook without saving anything. I still have all of my pictures of the kids. He’s never once asked for a picture of my son either.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Kat, don’t be fooled. I believe it’s because these parents see their children as literal extensions of themselves, especially the cool, athletic, talented parts that reflects their own interests.

I have three sons, and X had his favorite, who happened to be a good baseball and basketball player. X loves basketball and baseball, so this son was in!

The other two? Well, one time my son fell off the swing set and came in crying and holding his arm. I asked X to come with me to the hospital, and he told me to just wait until after the ballgame. It was the Sox v. Yankees, see? That’s his FAVORITE rivalry, and he wouldn’t have been able to yell obscenities at the TV. That’s his favorite past time, not baseball. P.S. Our son came home in a cast before the ninth inning.

Another time, one of our boys joined a soccer team that played every Saturday morning for ten weeks in the fall. I was his coach. X never made ONE game. Why? Because, “I hate soccer.”

The boys learned the pick me dance early, knowing that if they wanted their father’s attention, they damned well better be doing something he likes.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth:
A caveat–I’m a cognitive/developmental psychologist (rather than a clinician). I got interested in narcissism because of my developmental/parenting interests (how does one avoid raising a narc?) and ..oh yeah, ‘cuz I was married to one for almost 2 decades.

1-Stats on cheaters marrying OW/OM are low to begin with, and second marriages are more likely to end in divorce (here is a quick link, though ignore the “Guilt about the affair undermines the foundation of the relationship.” line–we all know guilt rarely enters a cheater’s mind: http://aboutaffairs.com/2011/03/can-relationships-that-start-as-affairs-succeed-revisited/ ). Exit affairs may be different; one-time cheaters who leave a marriage in which they report being unhappy might have better marital luck (though I don’t know of stats on that). For serial cheaters–forget it. Just because they can convince someone to stay with them doesn’t mean that person is happy (and if it’s the OW/OM, too bad so sad if they are unhappy).

2-I’m not sure all NPDs want to have kids; children get in the way of obtaining narc supply from their spouses. For those that do emphatically want children, they may view kids as a new and never-ending source of kibbles–from the children themselves, and because outsiders will view the children as embellishments. My narc father constantly bragged us up to others while treating us like crap in the house.

3-Cheaters don’t do boundaries well; shared social media reflects either trust issues, or “look at how wonderful we are together!!” barf.

4-A cheater trying to stay in touch with chump’s family is pure impression management. “Hey, his/her family likes me! I’m not a bad person!”

5-Cheaters going for younger women or men is probably some combination of evolutionary factors and the desire for the impression of status. Hey, she may be skanky, but she’s !!25!!.

6-Narcs do usually reveal themselves as exploitative frauds to a wider array of people through time. But as PT Barnum said, “There’s one born every minute,” so the narc will be able be able to fool some people for very long stretches.

7-Highly unlikely they come to their senses. If life is hard enough on them, they will APPEAR to come to their senses to pull the pity-play. Don’t fall for it.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I think the wanting to have kids is a control tactic, no different than wanting to be married quickly. Ties that bind you to them. They just don’t have the depth of emotion to realize the child will take attention away from them.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you very much! I cannot thank you enough for your helpful and thoughtful and yes very funny insight. Much love to you! I am so very sorry and everyone here is dealing with such pain. Reading your comments will help my healing process even more. Thank you again! hugs;-)

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Tempest, another question would him and her getting engaged just a few months into my divorce process be a sign of impulse control?

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Another sign of Narcs is that they can’t be alone.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Hmmmm, interesting. Asshat can spend time on his own but he craves attention in a way that my lonely inner child never has. I enjoy the company of friends and family but also enjoy being alone. He accuses me of being anti-social and depressed, which is not true. He simply cannot understand that I don’t require constant validation and the admiration of others.

Maree
Maree
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

ChumpElf, you and I are very similar by the sounds of it. My 33 year old son has been very cruel to me and accuses me of not having any friends and abuses me relentlessly. I have a hand full of friends who have been in my life for mostly 40 years. That is what I call real friendship not this liking on Facebook etc. My ex and I lived a quiet life but I realise now that is not what he wanted. He has to entertain his 23 year old’s family practically overnight and he is 63 now. God I would love to be a fly on the wall. He was having nana naps with me. I bet he can’t have them now particularly with her 2 little boys of 5 and 7 to look after. That just might be a serving of karma, not sure.

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

Response is for Chumpy Elf. I used to joke that my ex’s worst nightmare would be to be on a deserted island by himself. I think he would actually implode. Or explode. They’d just find a smoking crater surrounded by coconuts.

I on the other hand am just fine spending time alone. In fact I love it. Going to a movie by myself, or dinner, or for walks. Ok, I have a toddler so now time alone is pretty non existent. Hell, time alone in the bathroom is non existent. I also don’t need to constantly be in relationships. I took three years off from dating in my twenties to spend time with myself and see what I needed to change.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

CL should make a cartoon of your crater surrounded by smoking coconuts 😀

This would be Asshat’s fate too had he not eaten all said coconuts ;O

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

ChumkyElf – you’re killing me today! 😀

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Jayne

Jayne, I thought of this later but I should have added that the coconuts would have been severely traumatized, if they survived the initial Asshat buffet, bc he’d probably have tried to hump them all first :-O I realized that is not an image anyone wants to have but if the coconut fits….

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

‘They’d just find a smoking crater surrounded by coconuts’.

Oh Kat – what a fine, fine visual!

ROFL!

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

Shoot, the not being able to be alone reply was for Kat….

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Beth, my “Is the Pope Catholic?” response below should have posted here. Yup, poor impulse control and lack of boundaries.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

(comments are not posting under the originals; thanks WordPress!)

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

is the Pope Catholic?

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

*He has his own YouTube channel……

ANC
ANC
8 years ago
Reply to  Cat

No. Cut your losses and RUN. Your head is now clear. Your deserve so much more. If that guy had had your back, he would have been the first person to take you to a specialist for a second opinion, over and over and over again.

He’s love bombing you. It feels good and it’s supposed to. He wants you hooked and in place where he wants you to be, and then his behaviors and your sorrow will repeat itself all over again. Please end the relationship.

ANC
ANC
8 years ago

Ok. You just described my life. Yes. I do like excitement. I know that bit about me has let me have some incredible experiences and opportunities. Yes, my relationship with the cheaterpants began with excitement that I ironically organized or friends of mine organized and invited him. Yes, there was subtle grooming to keep me in place and reward me with excitement. Yeesh.

I have some things of my own to work on.

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

ANC, keep in mind that there’s nothing wrong with liking excitement! Somebody has to be the firemen and the explorers!

But I now know that I have to keep the excitement coming from HEALTHY sources; my work, sports, travelling, trying new activities… And in my next relationship, I’ll make sure the relationship is peaceful, even while we’re doing exciting things!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago

Gullibility is one of the super traits I think we chumps have. It is not just that we are stupid in a classic ‘gullible’ way, it is that we don’t know that we have the other super traits. We think everyone has them or most people and our cheaters just need a little more love. My XH was able to even use this against me. Accusing me of being manipulative for all of the nice things I would do for him, for our kids and for people and the world. The he would project his awfulness onto me, during his rages. It left me very insecure about who I was. Was I mean Ringin’. I didn’t think that offering to get dinner for someone was a mean and manipulative act, for example. But with my XH’s mindfuckery, some how simple things like that became evil. Free at last, Free at last, Oh thank God I am free at last.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago

Yes yes yes! Ringing.

This is my lesson learned: “We think everyone has them or most people and our cheaters just need a little more love.”

Cheaters have NO CONCEPT of love. None.

I believe it’s IMPOSSIBLE to cheat on another person if you know the concept of love. Real love disables the cheating gene.

chumpnomore
chumpnomore
8 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

“Real love disables the cheating gene” : So true! Remembering this has been very helpful! My cheater began to hoover recently, one month after divorce is finalized. He said that I was being too aggressive, and if I wanted to have that type of relationship, then he was ready. Or would I prefer “cooperation” from now on? I said, “cooperation, of course…” and he still called me aggressive and said that I had changed so much in the last year, that he figured out that I was a manipulative and a lyer and had humiliated him wherever I could. (because I divorced him and gathered more than 200 pages of email, skype and other evidence of his cheating, and told everyone we know that the real reason for divorcing him). He said he was sooo disappointed in me and would have divorced me years ago if he knew what a terrible person I was. And then he played the victim and showed me how terrible his life was, with so many debts and so much humiliation. He tried to make me feel like I caused everything. WTF! Cheaters never stop trying to manipulate the chump so that the game is on their field. But when they loose, they suddenly become the victims with no empathy for what the chumpp went through because of their cheating!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

Yes, Ringin–been there, done that. They use even our positive traits against us. Living with a narcissist is not dangerous because they throw punches out of left field (though some do), but because they take little scoops of dirt out from under your feet, day by day. Before you know it, you are standing in a pit of toxicity, with your self-esteem, mental health, and ability to sort things out rationally, in tatters.

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Amen to that tempest! It is so insidious that we chumps don’t even realize it is happening.

I would venture to say that many of us would not take this abuse if it was outright and obvious. They had to condition us slowly over many years to get us to the point that we were broken and they could mold us like clay.

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago

OMG Ringin’ – that’s chillingly reminiscent of ‘The Great I Am’. He’d do exactly the same thing! One week after D Day (and I was in utter shock – on the D Day diet, not sleeping, traumatised to my very core) ‘The Great I Am’ ‘fessed up to some of the complete clusterfuck he’d made of the finances. For a fleeting moment the thought to tell him to ‘go fuck himself’ when he came to me with this new bombshell, entered my mind, but I put how I was feeling aside, and sat down with him to work out a plan to get out of that hole – helped to identify where the financial priorities were, how to approach creditors, where we could make savings etc. Some time later, during the disastrous wreckonciliation he accused me of not loving/caring for him, doing nothing to help him. I cited the help with the finances and was told I’d done that to manipulate him.

That wasn’t the first time, by any stretch, when he’d twist my kindness – and I agree, it’s a huge mindfuck – and does have you questioning your own motives and inclinations – complete evil bastards!

On top of everything else nasty ‘The Great I Am’ laid on me – I’d forgotten this aspect. God I really hate these bastards. No wonder I still feel like I have PTSD 6 years on from D Day!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago

Test

Happily never after
Happily never after
8 years ago

p<.05

Another PhD

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

?? Care to explain?

Kat
Kat
8 years ago

Ok, but if I’m so empathetic, loyal, bondable, trusting/trustworthy etc, why can’t I find a dude who’s like that? Also I like excitement in the idea of new things, but certainly not relationship drama. But I am sort of a sparkly person myself. So can a person being charming and sparkly and not be evil? Is it possible to have some narc qualities without any of the sense of entitlement?

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Yes–being sparkly or vivacious itself is not a narcissistic trait; Entitlement and Exploitativeness are the two dimensions of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory that are deemed most damaging, and that typically stem from/result in lack of empathy for other people. After all, narcissists think the rest of us are merely here for their use.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Arrogance vs. confidence.

Big difference.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Can you empathize with others? Are you able to purposely inflict pain on others with no remorse? Are you able to walk away from your life and children without giving it a second thought.?

I like excitement and adventure. It does not involve harming others through abuse. Entitlement defines narcissists.

Kat
Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

I definitely have empathy and remorse. I was just wondering about the traits because when I was younger I used to lovebomb for sure. But I’ve never destroyed someone’s life. I’m not worried about being a narc but I’m curious as to having certain similar traits and what causes such things. My sister is also sort of a love bomber.

Don’t worry. I’m waaay too empathetic and compulsively non-entitled and honest and very loyal and I don’t like hurting others and I absolutely believe in taking responsibility for shit and not blame shifting.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Kat

Kat

Of course your not a narc.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Kat, we all have a some level of healthy Narcissistic within us. If you ask that question then no you don’t have PD. The ones that Tempest is writing about don’t have these type of questions. They don’t think anything is wrong with them. Sadly it can be very hard to find someone without running the risk of finding out later on; hence, the mask they were. The best thing is to educate yourself about PD and if you have any red flags (your gut) listen to them. There is a lot of material out there that can they out. Sam Vaknin has a youtube channel that gives some information about.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

sorry on my phone *There is a lot of material out there that can help you out to see what the red flags are. Listen to Sam Vaknin’s YouTube channel. Great infor!

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

This is one thing that keeps me stuck and confused. Mine admitted to me that he knew he had something wrong with him and that he was a crappy person. He did blame it on his mother (she is a narc) so that may mean something. More blame shifting or whatever. Maybe it was a sad sausage thing. It didn’t last long. Things quickly went back to me being the crappy one. I really don’t know what the problem was so I am stuck in self blame. If he knew he was crappy maybe he knew I was too. If you know what I mean.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina: Narcissists can be very good at figuring out puzzles, e.g., that your X had traits that got him in trouble, and therefore he had to find a way to explain why. Notice that his explanation blames someone else (his mother) rather than taking any responsibility. Then he set his sights on you to blame shift & project bad traits. Why would you trust his opinion of you? He is clearly disordered and cruel and (since I know your story) largely good for being turned into compost.

He can cognitively recognize his cheating and abandoning a marriage are against societal and personal norms (that’s why cheaters lie instead of proclaiming their conquests from on high). Thus, since HE broke the rules, someone else (YOU) must be to blame. That’s how they roll–number one predictor of a cheater is that they blame shift.

You are a warm, compassionate, intelligent person, as all your comments on CL indicate. Do not internalize the things a fucktard said to you. I understand the temptation. Below I posted a story about receiving a “you suck, and here’s how you need to improve if you want me to stay with you” letter after my X’s first affair (though I didn’t know he’d had the affair back then). What kept me sane was realizing that, while I was imperfect, I didn’t suck as badly as he conveyed; the “bad” was all emanating from him.

Hugs, friend.

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you Tempest. X

I so relate to your letter story. I would probably have received one too if he wasn’t too lazy to write one. He set me up to fail with his “conditions” so he’d have an excuse to do what he did.

I’m going to try to stop letting his opinion of me keep me stuck. I’ve been internalizing it since he left.

Thank you again. Hugs.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina

Your comments about your X reminded me of the final year with the crap shooter narc I thought I loved. Every time I walked in the door with a smile on my face he was sure to wipe it off within a short time.

X did this wierd breathing thing where he exhaled through his nose as if he was disgusted. Over what? Don’t care anymore.

I often asked myself the same thing, “For what”? We put them on a pedistal. And they put us in a pumpkin shell and there they keep us very well. I bought an ornamental empty bird cage and hung it on my window. We are finally free.

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

Donna, one of my friends said to me near the end, “Honest to God, it’s like he can’t stand to see you happy.” And it was true.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  Lina

Lina, it’s just blame shifting from your crappy partner! If you read some of the links above, especially Sandra Brown’s, you will come to the conclusion that Narcs/cluster B’s target good, capable, smart and above average women/men. I figured this out for myself while I was dealing with my cheater during the divorce. And I told him that he was leaving me because he knew deep down inside that I was too good for him so he went with what I would call a bargain basement, discount downgrade! You should have seen his face! It was as if alarm bells went off in his peanut sized brain! He knew I had his number and I was done with him siphoning the life out of me. Funny, I know I was right because he has all kinds of legal and financial problems right now that go back to our joint affairs during marriage. These issues were clearly placed into his “court” in the divorce decree, but you can’t imagine how often he gets in touch with me trying to get me to untangle the awful mess he created. Guess his “smart” Schmoopie is incapable of handling all those boring, mundane details of everyday life! Too bad though cause I don’t give a damn!

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Thank you again. X

You can use ho-worker. 🙂 I got it from someone else here. Not sure who coined that phrase but it’s perfect.

Mine’s ho-worker was already married with kids. I don’t know what happened between them because I’m no contact but I doubt she left her husband for him. It’s always been my feeling that she was playing an ego game with him and that she really wasn’t interested in him for himself. He always was very gullible. In a way that makes it worse but also better if she dumped him. I feel a lot of sadness over the waste of it all. I really loved him despite his faults.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

You are so very welcome. I have all the hugs you need. That is so good he is gone. My heart goes out to you with the pain you had to deal with. Oh yes, that is what the ex did also met and married an ho-worker. I like that term. I will use that if you don’t mind? ha! How are you doing now?

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Thank you for the hugs. I needed them.

He’s long gone. Walked out on me and filed out of the blue about 2 1/2 years ago after a year or so of devaluation and emotional abuse. He claimed stress over his job but he had met ho-worker.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Lina, I’m having the same thoughts as Roberta. Blame shifting. I hope you are able to leave this loser. hugs!

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Thank you Roberta. X

I know what you mean about the alarm bells going off in their brains. I asked him if we could try counselling before he just walked. Of course he didn’t want to and was very cruel in his answer (“What good would THAT do? Make me fall in love with you again?” Like I was a piece of garbage who could never be loved) I told him if he didn’t want to go to counselling with me, he’d better go for himself because there was something wrong with him. The look on his face….

unicornomore
unicornomore
8 years ago

“Hyena, meet prey.”

and

eternally gullible

with supertraits hones in a house with an alcoholic parent

I was a sitting duck. I cut myself some slack that the magnitude of his dysfunction was well hidden when we were young and dating. He hid a massive amount of dysfunction behind a witty and clever sense of humor that in later years became a sharpened surgical tool of gaslighting where he could disown every mean shitty nasty insulting thing he said to me with a tiny twist on the very last syllable of his toxic spew that inferred “and Im only kidding” if you react at all to my scathing insult I get to accuse you of not having a good sense of humor.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  unicornomore

Unicorn, YES! X is a clever copywriter, and used his words to cut like the surgical knife you mention. If I never hear “I was only kidding!” ever again, it will be too soon.

unicornomore
unicornomore
8 years ago

He was a mean ass bastard to me and I feel a little guilty that I dont miss him

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago

Yay Tempest! 😀

Have been looking forward to your guest post – and it’s great and informative and thought-provoking – just as I knew it would be! 🙂 (we are so lucky to have you in Chump Nation, your insight, care and support is immeasurably beneficial for all of us. So sorry you had to join us, but so, so grateful you have).

‘But Brown also found that a few traits were shared by psychopaths and their relationship victims: Both were high on excitement seeking’…
This is a great point. I think many of us, when faced with the steep learning curve on PD’s and Narcissism, come to question whether WE are the PD/narcissist (I certainly know I did) – probably because of the ‘enjoyment of excitement seeking’. And also, sometimes, I think because D Day and the ensuing mindfuckery has us focusing on our own pain and, in a sense, how this has blown up our own universe (in truth, how could we not) we start wondering if this sudden obsession with ‘self’ is indicative of Narcissism. (‘The Great I Am’ couldn’t resist telling me the world didn’t revolve around me, as a response to my ‘how could you’ question).
Thanks for that info – I think it’s useful for chumps to see that there can be similarities but they don’t make you similar to the PD. For a start, chumps will actually take the time to self-reflect – unlike the PD/Narc – for me, the big, main difference!

Today I had a FOO experience that reminded me of how I was perfectly trained to be a chump – to accept crumbs where I’d give the whole bakery. Ye Gods, sometimes I wish I could be born again.

Love you Tempest – thanks for all you do for all of us 🙂 xxx

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Jayne

Yes, self-awareness and self-reflection are not really well-developed traits in a narcissist (though they may feign these as a way to get what they want). After dating one-full-fledged narcissist, I was impressed that my next BF (who became my husband), could say “I’m sorry.” Purely instrumental–as I saw many times throughout the marriage and his faux attempts at reconciliation, when it came time for actual remorse, cruelty and blame shifting ensued.

(Love you, too! And rest assured–you’re not a narc! Your posts on CL are filled with empathy and insight.)

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

When the guy I am now dating said he was sorry for something he had done and apologized and discussed it with me, I was absolutely stunned and didn’t really know how to respond. It was then that I realized that I did not have a lot of experience hearing those words with my ex.

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

@Tempest….

Aww shucks (blush) thanks! 🙂

Lina
Lina
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Maybe you just answered my post above Tempest.

Maybe admitting he was a crappy person because of his Mom was a good excuse for what he was doing to me?

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time
8 years ago

Wonderful article, Tempest!!

“There is, however, evidence that those who are willing to engage in unfaithful acts within a committed relationship are more entitled, have poorer impulse control, and are less empathetic than their faithful spouses. Conversely, additional research suggests that many chumps may have empathy, loyalty, and self-control in abundance. Hyena, meet prey.”

This ^^^ sums it up for me.

I thought I had those character traits because I am a “good” person, I never realized they were setting me up to be prey. Although I will always have those traits, I will never allow myself to be prey again. Xh will always have those traits, too. Good luck to OW…hope she enjoys being stalked, hunted, and gutted.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

One Step at a Time–“stalked, hunted, and gutted”–great analogy!!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago

Lol kat, they cannot be fixed. I have 32 years of trying to show and my mother has 53. Assholets from the day they were born and fully formed flaming assholes by age 16. Somewhere in their predatory hearts they know something is wrong and they use that as the basis of their sad sausage routine. Not wanting to change, mind you, just using it as a test to suss out the depth and breadth of your super traits.

Now I spend my time trying to identify them. Just the slightest whiff of au de clusterb has me back behind my security screen door saying thank you but I don’t think I will buy any of the frosting covered shit cupcakes you are selling today. Move along. Move along.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

“au de clusterb”–brilliant, Ringin!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

LOL Tempest… but I have had two romantic relationships in my life, one with a covert narc and the other with an over narc… my mother did the same thing. My bio dad, overt narc so she was determined not to do the same thing so who did she marry a covert narc and monster. I have to learn how to identify these people, in my daily life and in my romantic life. I am not taking one step near the dating pool until I have my narc detector honed like a drug sniffing dog. So I practice every day. The poor people who are around me, my staff… they get run through the narc detector, (I had one ClusterB emp who did some damage, and my former board chair, I believe is a full on psychopath. I am going to war with him, next week and without one bit of guilt or second guessing.) I have learned a very valuable lesson, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, fucks like a duck( see radio lab on duck penises :)) it is not a goddam chicken… it is a duck, Ring’n get it, it is a duck.

Mehbound
Mehbound
8 years ago

Tempest

I always enjoy your knowledge mixed in with wit comments! So, as I happily saw you were a stand in CL, I grinned when I got to: hyena, meet prey.
That would describe how my marriage dynamics played out but it took decades for my ex to let his mask drop. I relate to the studies between characteristics of cheater vs chump. His “wonderfulness” evidently did feel entitled to get involved with patients and his co-worker(s) but in the back of his distorted and disordered mind and void of empathy, he did know I would be history should I find out his double life.

Towards the end of marriage, he would say “I have fear I’m going to be alone in life”. Yes, I am long gone (2yrs divorced). His kids have no interest to engage and his once thriving practice is in ashes. I am grateful I fled from the burning house! I fit in the chump mold as I got played.

moxie
moxie
8 years ago

This rings so true. All of it.

Cheater ex told me during false RC that my exhibiting those “super traits” actually made me marriage material in his eyes. He even cited an example: years ago while we were still dating, he told me that one of his family members had had an affair but the couple had worked it out. I was horrified at the news. He later confided that he told me this specifically to gauge my reaction in an attempt to guess if I would ever cheat. He had other specific examples of where I had passed the super trait test.

And the kicker is, he admitted to cheating on me from the earliest days of our relationship, even while “testing” me.

I wasted 20 years of my life on this man & it was all a game to him from day one. (A game where he gets to make up the rules so he always wins.)

My advice to anyone who discovers their partner is cheating: RUN don’t walk for the nearest exit.

Julie
Julie
8 years ago
Reply to  moxie

Moxie. My heart goes out to you. This makes me want to scream, this is so my life! Just gutted……….

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago

Someone in. This group needs to become a stand up comic (kat?). We need to do riffs on narcs clusterb cheaters. It would resonate with so many people and it might do some real good ala that comedian who called out that psychopath Cosby. His one show did more for that situation than all the things those women had been saying for years. I am serious. Humor has power as all of the super traited and super funny women here can attest.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago

Oh thank you so much, Tempest! When Asshat is out of the house, I am printing this out. Impulse control is a huge problem here. I knew before we got married that he had very little but I thought it had to do mainly with food and buying useless trinkets. Getting my little guy’s breakfast just now, I noticed again that Asshat has been snacking on more and more unhealthy stuff, despite my making all manner of yummy ‘good’ snacks available (and reminding him every day). I would not have thought to view his whole family having (over)eating issues as an indicator of extremely poor judgment and character. Sheesh. I just thought he really liked cheese. Just like nobody wants to be the marriage police, I really don’t enjoy being the food police. Thankfully, we agree that our son inherited my restraint and self control when it comes to food. I pray he also inherits my common sense and decent judgment.

I was dreading having to paint on a happy face today for shiny-happy-family-time but then I got to wake up to this awesome Sunday post 🙂

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

ChumpElf –

‘I would not have thought to view his whole family having (over)eating issues as an indicator of extremely poor judgment and character. Sheesh. I just thought he really liked cheese’.

This made me LOL – thanks for that!:-D xxx

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Jayne

Hmmm, I am unable to post replies where I want them to go now….

Thanks, Jayne 🙂 When we were dating seriously (and exclusively, yet I had to gently inquire as to why he kept ‘forgetting’ to turn off his Match and other profiles), he used to text me (we lived 80 miles apart) after grocery store trips. I remember thinking it was cute but the day we were on the phone and he counted the varieties of cheese in his fridge, I did seriously wonder what I was getting myself into. Eleven, btw.

KarenE
KarenE
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

Hey, right this minute I have at least 7 types of cheese in my fridge – I really DO just love cheese! 😉

I don’t think even impulsiveness alone is a big problem: caring and non-entitled impulsive people end up with too many colours of nail polish, and sometimes put their feet on their mouths, but they don’t consistently disregard other’s feelings and rights.

(and at least when they put their feet in their mouths, the toes have pretty colours!)

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

KarenE and NorthernLight, I *may* also have a cheese and nail polish problem…. I recently pared down the polish so I counted only six bottles. i have not put any colour on this year bc I don’t want Asshat to go all coco-crazy. I recently posted he is grossing me out bc it feels like he is leering at me and all but catcalls if i wear something that is not pyjama based.

Last week, I was desperately looking up places in my state to buy cheese curds as I am poutine deficient and I think it might help me to not be so angry ;O

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

Poutine-deficient? Sounds like that calls for a quick vacation to poutine-land. 🙂 Yum.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

I went home last month and my family went on a goofy road trip to take photos at the cottage before my elderly parents sell it and at our old house in Montreal. I did not eat enough poutine while I was there. Usual family drama with my increasingly cuckoo mother and my two sisters fighting with me in the middle. Literally, they almost had a sidewalk brawl near rue St Catherine. A new bar opened here and Asshat’s nurse (a friend, not the OW nurse) just told him they have poutine on the menu. Trying to figure out a way to go without the cheater….

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenE

KarenE, I have a lot of cheese AND a lot of nail polish in my fridge. 🙂

ANC
ANC
8 years ago

I’ve been wondering about that too. Am I the Narc? type questions. Nope and nada. Living with a mindfucker is disabling.

Being constantly shoved into a parent / rescuer role because I am empathetic and than villanized for not willingly jumping through every single flaming hoop is exhausting and erodes your sense of self.

ANC
ANC
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

My iPad is causing me grief today. I’ve posed the am I a Narc question in IC during this past year. Mainly because of the mindfuckery my cheater continues to pull. I’ve had years of grooming by him that my needs don’t matter, and to ask for my needs to be met meant I was too self-focused.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

ANC, one thing that Narcs do is question our mental health. After leaving these things we question everything about us and they want us to look crazy. They project the things onto their victims. I even question myself if I was a Narc and my therapist said to me if you have that question then no you are no because a true Narc doesn’t have this type of thinking process; hence how NPD works in their brains. Also I read the same in many books about Narc. If you question yourself, then no you don’t have NPD; however, all human beings do have a health level of Narc quality which is very normal. I hope that helps.

Not Juliet
Not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Yes! I was continuously being told how CRAZY I am! I’m not one damn bit crazy, thank you very much. People who chase roadwhores they knew 20 years ago and the roadwhores themselves are the crazy ones. Purely and completely delusional losers.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Not Juliet

Yes, that is what they do. They still do that no matter how long it has been since they been in out of your life. It is all our fault.

That is what also they do is grooming. I do truly believe the ex is a groomer and predator.

I was just reading that most of them (the men with PD) also are Misogynist. I’m sure it is the same with the women PD that are misandrist.

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  ANC

‘I’ve had years of grooming by him that my needs don’t matter, and to ask for my needs to be met meant I was too self-focused.

Exactly ANC.

It’s like they’ve convinced us to believe in the saying ‘who smelt it, dealt it’.

MovingOn
MovingOn
8 years ago

“For chumps, the relationship drama is our excitement; we might hate, hate, hate the fights and the devaluing, but we adore the highs of love-bombing when things are going well. Until we don’t.”

That’s me– I didn’t fight with the ex-cheater very much, but boy, he lovebombed me, and I reveled in it. Same holds true for a recent guy that lavished me with attention and compliments and then poofed. I have to stop looking for that and/or hoping that whatever guy I’m interested in will behave that way. Lovebombing is romance novel behavior– complete fiction (and IRL, fiction that is covering up something else, like a disordered personality).

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
8 years ago

Thanks, Tempest for this eye opening post. It’s not surprising that Little Napoleon and myself are textbook cheater/chump.

Well, I WAS a textbook chump, but not anymore!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Moving Liquid–That’s right, our textbooks are on Edition 2 (and there are a lot of changes)!

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Moving Liquid

Hey ML – you sweetie! How’s u doin? 🙂

Moving Liquid
Moving Liquid
8 years ago
Reply to  Jayne

jayne, still putting one foot in front of the other, but I can actually see progress and it feels great. How are things for you? Did you meet any chumps when they went across the pond?

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago

I guess I don’t mind spending time reading up on Narc/cluster B’s to figure out how to avoid them in the future, but the very best advice I EVER got came from my psychologist, who, BTW, had a Mom who had been chumped! I told her I felt powerless. She told me this, “to the contrary, you have all the power and HE know it because you have the power of “No!” She went on to explain that most spouses/partners want to please their mates so we often times have a default setting to say “yes” to these fools without thinking about how it affects us or the ramifications. She told me to forget about what HE wants for the first time in my life, and start thinking about what I NEED! Believe me, his mask slips fast and hard! Narcs don’t expect you to say No! They are so wired and have groomed you to think only of their needs and wants and it comes as a shock to these types that you would ever leave the script they have so carefully written for years! If you want to “test” someone in a future relationship then just say No with no justification to them and watch their reaction. Should be a great indicator of who you are dealing with. Just my take for WIW!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Roberta,

My divorce was almost done and the ex called me again for some stupid reason or excuse. Well I was feeling pretty empowered that day I told him I didn’t want him calling me again. I told him there was no more reasons or excuses he can give to weasel his way in my life as he pleases. I told him no more calls and he didn’t reply (dead silence on his end) and I hung up. That was the best day in my life! I was with a dear friend that day and she looked at me and said good you did that now you can focus on your healing. Then we started to laugh! First time I laugh that hard in a very long time. It was a real laugh if you understand.

I knew he was still contacting my family but I was no longer talking to them also because they were telling him many things that I was doing. The word “NO!” in whatever placement in a sentence is our power and our power also is going NO CONTACT! It is not for these cheaters or whatever you want to call them it is for ourselves. To gain our sanity back, to help us in our healing process.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Yes Beth, THIS! It’s taking back the control and power in our own lives for our own well being and Lord, these Narcs hate it!! That’s when they absolutely know they have lost every bit of sparkle and persuasion! It’s incredibly empowering and at the same time, so simply amusing that one tiny word can send these PD’s into a total tailspin! I can fully understand you when you say you actually laughed heartily for the first time in a long time. It’s that “AHA” moment and you realize you have lost a whole lot of nothing and you have let the next victim (schmoopie) take her prize! It’s the moment of your liberation from an incredibly destructive human being! It’s the sweet feeling of Victory!

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

Laughing heartily. Love that Roberta!

Hennshar
Hennshar
8 years ago
Reply to  Roberta

This is extremely helpful. I need to remember this tip.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago

Tempest, I am slow to wake but am now stuck on two traits. Confidence and empathy, or lack thereof. Of either really. Asshat is super insecure about just about everything. He overcompensates for his lack of confidence and puts on a good show. He is a good physician, full of empathy for strangers. When it comes to me, he thinks I am also on the receiving end of his empathetic glory but it is often not true. When he is projecting all manner of crap on me (dude, seriously, quit it with the ‘I thought you could be cheating on me’ shite!), he is cruel and not at all empathetic. “You can’t move your shoulders and hips this week? Get thee to the rheumatologist! Why the fuck haven’t you asked for new meds?” Okay, I am paraphrasing…. But instead of being supportive, because his solutions are not viable and he should KNOW it, he just unleashes. In the one IC appointment when I was asked to attend, to provide his IC with a list of his strengths and weaknesses so they could work on him owning his own shit, I carefully brought this up. Instead of accusing him of being mean and uncaring, I said he was SO empathetic to his horde of demanding patients that I felt left by the wayside sometimes. He sacrifices so much family time to coddle people who continually trample on professional boundaries (and he allows them to) and I explained, and was backed up by the IC, that this is just illogical and unfair to our family. Later, after D-Day, i told him he was nice to everyone, that he refrained from getting angry and putting his foot down and saved all his frustration and ill will for me. He mumbled that it was probably true and it went no further.

I guess Asshat is just unclassifiable. Other than as an utter jackhole. Sigh.

violet
violet
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

I also experienced X’s need to be the hero to complete strangers. I never could understand why it was more important to him to be needed by people who essentially did not give a damn about him than it was for him to make himself available to the people who loved him. It was as if he knew his “real” self was hollow. As he aged and could no longer get his hero fix satisfied by others, he sought the admiration/attention of a person who was more than happy to tell him how perfect he was. He knew what a fool he had been when he discovered OW viewed him as her pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. By then, the kids and I were no longer willing to be his loyal servants and he ended up alone. Even now, though, he goes out of his way to try and dazzle people he doesn’t know. It truly don’t care because there is not enough sparkle in the world for me to let him back into my life.

Tessie
Tessie
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

Yep, the hero hook was just what cheater ex’s girlfriend used to snare him. She “needed” him to solve her problems. Of course I was the one solving the problems in our family, so he brought her problems to me to solve too. This was right after the ILYBINILWY speech. I was literally speechless at that point. Then I was mean for not helping him with her problem….Say What?

Great post Tempest, I always enjoy what you have to say. And even better it really makes me think. Slowly but surely revamping my picker. So many wise folks here, I’m glad to be a part of Chump Nation.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

Violet, I secretly hope, if Asshat ends up with Florence, that he is humiliated at being used. He ISN’T awesome (in the sack or elsewhere) he just puts on a mediocre show. Now we live somewhere where there are lots of sparkly people. He is dazzled but now working double time to try to keep up appearances.

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

ChumpyElf – it’s definitely the ‘Impression Management’ thing. Narcs (from my experience) want / need to be adored. They want / need to feel godlike. If you look at what he gets from the relationships he has with these ‘boundary-busting’ patients – you’ll see – it’s major kibbles. He’s indispensable to them, he’s ‘such a lovely man’ to them. It’s absolutely about fostering adoring fans without all that messy reciprocation that real relationships require.

I struggle to understand why they get into the ‘discard’ mode when they are getting all the adoring kibbles from their faithful spouses – but I think that part’s down to the thrill of seducing new source. ‘The Great I Am’ knew I adored him – there was nothing to have to seduce from me – the con had worked!

As for the ‘lacking in self-confidence’ – nah – that’s also impression management. Great for ‘poor sausage’ moves and – you guessed it – more kibbles – less demands.

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Jayne

PS ChumpyElf …. ‘The Great I Am’, his sister (a serial cheater) and his brother (a rock star) ALL profess how lacking in self-confidence they are. Let’s be honest, you certainly don’t end up a rock star if you’re lacking in self-confidence, do you?
From my understanding of Narcs – the disorder stems from a fundamental dislike of themselves – so I suppose they are ALL lacking in self-confidence / over-compensating, aren’t they? Whatsmore, their opinion of you is framed by their own dislike of themselves – you must be either a fool or as nasty, horrible as them if you can love them.
They wear their masks and feign empathy and ‘good eggedness’ but they totally believe the true them is a worm – and, eventually they show their wormy nature.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Jayne

Argh, now it keeps trying to reply to a specific reply of Tempest’s.

This is for Jayne. Yes! He is all about impression management. He knows he needs to keep up appearances. I just wish everyone else could see what a jerk he is. I realize it shouldn’t matter but it is really annoying 😛

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

It shouldn’t matter – but it does. I totally get it.

Unfortunately, the fact we loved them makes us unreliable witnesses, on a social and even legal footing. Insane – but then again – I wouldn’t want the world to believe I’m the monster he’s projecting me as (and I used the word ‘projecting’ deliberately).

Trouble is, they wore the mask well enough to get us to fall in love with them and ‘hitch our wagon to their star’ – they know how to charm and … ‘impression manage’ … they are very adept at it – remember, the true narc has been hiding what a despicable person they, at heart believe they are, for almost their entire lives. They’ve got the patter well rehearsed and tested.

While it pisses me off that there are people who want to stay ‘Switzerland’ (unreliable witness, d’you see) and there are people who’ll believe his history revision. I like to hope that some of them squirm a bit with unease when they recall how much I obviously loved him – but, what the hell. Let them stay fools – I can’t foretell whether they are going to get bitten by him, but I kinda hope so!

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Jayne

Jayne, in Asshat’s case, I know there will be a majority staying neutral (ie totally dissing me) bc he is Dr Pillar of the Community. I KNOW it would bug me a whole lot less if I could just have my own fun – when it is no longer a freaking felony (listen up here Asshat and Florence). I have only told a few people in town who I feel matter the most to me. Other than that, I will tell as I see fit, or to avoid snapping necks as I am finding this whole living-in-the-upstairs-convent arrangement to be most frustrating. Another six months of this and there’s no telling what I will become ;O

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

OtherKat, that is awful about your mother. Asshat isn’t quite that extreme but maybe it is partly bc he knows how bad it would look. When I was still working, he went embarrassingly large floral arrangements to my work. So every hot firefighter would see…. Then when I quit to move to his town, the flowers and showy gifts all but stopped. No need to impress anyone anymore. Sigh. Of course MightyCat was also eating the flowers.

Some days i just want to scream, “He’s not that special!” when another subordinate or patient gushes about how awesome he is. Small town. Sigh again.

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

I know how you feel, ChumpyElf, my STBX is a highly successful artist and in a position to mentor, network, and offer projects to a wide range of people in his field, all of whom fawn all over him like nobody’s business. Oh, and is he the man to go to whenever one of them experiences a personal or professional crisis–he can feign empathy like nobody’s business but it is nothing more than impression management, pure and simple.

And of course, when it comes to showing empathy or concern for me, forget it (same goes for the son who’s always been onto his game and calls him out on it). He actually kicked me while I was down during the personal crises I experienced while we were married–after my mother died and I was still in the throes of grieving, he told me to stop being so “overly dramatic” and accused me of always looking at the negative side of things. Such jerks.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

ChumpyElf–where’s the *behavioral* evidence he has poor self-confidence? He got into a competitive academic area, is a top person in his field, right? People with low self-confidence don’t do that. Add his cheating into the mix and voila–behavioral evidence points to entitlement, with “poor me” as a strategy. The empathy for patients is probably feigned as part of his impression management. As a result of my trying to make him a better person, my narc simply got better and better at charm and feigned empathy and seduction. But, oh, did the mask slip when real empathy was called for.

Yours could be different, but I’m not convinced yet.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Yes, Tempest, he must have enough hubris to have made it through his specialty. It is tough and every once in awhile he likes to quietly boast about how few med students match in this field. But he always acts so humble about it. Obviously, I know he’s a complete tool now so I am hypoimpressed. Last month, I could practically hear my mother oohing and aahing over him and he awesomeness. BARF.

Most of his life is about acquiring more gold stars. I do believe he cares about patients’ health. It isn’t just so he looks like a better doc than others though he likes to tell me every time a patient tells him this. And I don’t think he is motivated to provide good care to avoid malpractice suits. So he must care.

He is all about the ‘poor me’ shit, too. Just earlier, he asked me a dumb question. I didn’t reply in my kindest tone and he got shirty. “I don’t mind doing it, I just don’t like the way you said it.” I don’t waste my breath to tell him I pretty much hate most things about him so it is difficult for me to muster the energy to speak adoringly to him. Poor him, indeed.

FMT
FMT
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

“I didn’t reply in my kindest tone and he got shirty.” I’ve never heard this expression before, “shirty.” Love it!

ChumpyElf, I think what Tempest said earlier about your STBX and insecurity is bang-on. Before I found this forum, I thought that anybody who could treat other people this terribly must have awful self-esteem issues. Otherwise, why else would you need to tear someone else down? But from everything I’ve read on this board, and certainly from my own experience, I don’t think there are self-confidence problems, and anything that looks that way is probably another mask. They really do think they are that special and that important, and as for why they are abusive, they do it because they can.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  FMT

FMT, I got ‘shirty’ from an unlikely source – Harry Potter! Well, Oliver Wood to be precise.

Thanks for the insight 🙂 I used to believe there was a lot of truth to all the criticism. Now I am fairly certain he is just a dickweasel. Seriously, I wasn’t seductive enough even though I married him knowing he had ED and he was the one who ballooned to twice my weight? Sorry, I wasn’t moaning all bendypornstar style bc I was too busy trying to breathe under all that dead weight :-O

And I completely agree, they are abusive bc they can be. I guess I know now to just head it off at the pass.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, top in his field he is not but he is accomplished, professionally speaking. Ruminating still….

Maggie May
Maggie May
8 years ago

Tempest….. A borderline sociopathic husband leaves his wife and family to be with a sociopathic mistress . How does a relationship with two sociopaths work? Is it possible for them to marry and be happy?

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Maggie May

Maggie May–nope. While two sociopaths may ignite in sympatico flames of passion for awhile, there’s only room for one of them in a relationship (and I’d advocate trying to never be in a relationship with one at all). That marriage will go down in flames; even if they do stay with each other, two sociopaths can never be happy with each other. Heck, they typically can never be happy because it requires constant “new” to feed them.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

My mother used to always say, “There is only room for one in the mirror!”

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

That is what I’m thinking the ex’s owife is. The same like him. All the pictures I have seen of them together is just a show. Just an image they want to project to the world. They can have it. Sadly with to PD parents my heart goes out to the kids they will be the same like them. I am so happy I listen to my inner voice not to have kids with that bastard.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
Reply to  Maggie May

No but it is possible to bring a blanket, and picnic and some popcorn and sit back and watch the show.

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago

“No but it is possible to bring a blanket, and picnic and some popcorn and sit back and watch the show.”

You’re killing me Ringing, I LOVE this!

Kelly
Kelly
8 years ago

bwahahaha

kb22
kb22
8 years ago

Ringinonmyownbell-too funny and oh so accurate

Jayne
Jayne
8 years ago

LOL – from a safe distance of course – bring opera glasses and ear muffs!

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
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