Why Is It So Hard to Remember They Suck?

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

Why is it so hard to remember that they suck? What makes hapless chumps so prone to pity and compassion, even after our spouse has attempted every position in the Kama Sutra with our best friend from college?

We are all at varying stages in the process — suffering the first pangs of horror and panic attacks after learning of the ultimate betrayal, followed by the slow, but still sharp pain of realization of how badly we were deceived by the one person we trusted most with our hearts. And the RAGE that seems as if it might consume us from within, but which finally propels us to take the steps necessary to disengage from our marriage or union and look ever so slightly into the future at what life will be like post-divorce. A sigh of relief — the divorce is final, settlement is settled, no-contact is in place (as well as it can be if we are co-parenting with the cheater), the anger subsides, and then….we start to miss them, to edit the past and remember the good times with the person we thought they were.

What’s up with that? Month after month, our cheaters got carpal-tunnel system from texting their APs, sneaked away from family events to bang the babysitter or the next door neighbor or a graduate student or a co-worker, bought the APs fancy dinners or gifts that we never saw the likes of. And we MISS them? Get nostalgic for the happy times? Huh?!

It’s normal. In fact, we’re programmed to do so. Just like the hand evolved slowly but surely from flippers over millennia, the mind evolved to cope with thoughts and decision-making in an efficient way. Not necessarily an accurate way. Our minds are pre-ordained to remember some things better than others, to lose those pesky details in favor of sweeping generalizations, to let our emotions seep into memories and decisions. During our marriages, we were subject to the confirmation bias — combing the evidence for any event to channel Sally Fields and believe, as we gaze upon our sex-addled spouse, “You love me! You really love me!!” Evidence that our beloved is having group sex with the entire Chippendale troupe or Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading squad is ignored because he/she passed.us.the.salt.at.dinner. “You love me, you really love me!”

The confirmation bias gets a heavy dose of enabling from cognitive schemata. Schemata (or schema in the singular) are cognitive frameworks or scaffolding we use to organize information, to help fill in missing pieces, to infer what might happen next. For example, in a classic study*, people read passages about commonplace events, like going to the doctor’s office. People remembered more details about events consistent with a schema (e.g., nurse taking one’s blood pressure) than events that were inconsistent, and mentally filled in missing details (e.g., they misremembered that the passage had mentioned having one’s temperature taken). How does this apply to chumps? Most of us have a schema that people are generally good. We filter our attention to recall times where our cheater actually showed some compassion (he drove me to have my wisdom teeth out!) or generosity (she bought me golf balls for Christmas!!). And we conveniently forget the acts inconsistent with our schema for “goodness” — he criticized me for the dinner I made while still drugged up after wisdom tooth extraction; she sold my golf clubs at the garage sale to pay for her Brazilian.

After cheaterpants is out of the picture, retrospective memory exacerbates this tendency. The loser is no longer there to remind us of the quotidian rudenesses we suffered under her or him; we gaze at family vacation photos and are taken back to the wonderful day on the beach, with cheater building sandcastles with the children. Her taking a topless selfie to sext to the AP on that same vacation, or him sending pix of his junk encased in seaweed, is confined to the dustbin of verboten memories.

We also use reasoning biases when we make category decisions, or inferences about what another person is likely to do. One of these is the representativeness heuristic — a tendency to assume an item is in a category by comparing it to a prototype event. For example, imagine you see a small animal out in your yard and try to feed it a nut—the animal is light brown and stands on its back legs; looks like a squirrel, eh? But upon closer examination, someone has taken a skunk, died its fur and taught it to stand upright to resemble a squirrel. Who can blame you for thinking it eats nuts? Not your fault if you get sprayed and have to bathe in tomato juice. Take the faux remorse of our betrayers after D-day. In the movies, among 7-year olds caught eating cookies before dinner and threatened with punishment, weeping and wailing and saying “I’m sorry” correlates with true remorse. In romantic comedies, after an argument and breakup, one partner begs forgiveness and promises undying love, and….happily ever after. SURELY, someone who weeps and wails, who eats pillows, and threatens to not live another day unless we forgive, is truly, wuly sorry! We take the behavioral evidence of cheaters seeking wreckonciliation—actions & words that are representative of shame and regret—and see that as ACTUAL penitence. But painting a skunk brown and teaching it to stand on its back legs, does not make it a squirrel (yup, cheater metaphor).  Don’t be tricked into the “happily ever after.” Cheaters are great at the trompe l’oeil; but when you try to walk into that inviting scene of a Tuscany countryside, what you actually run into is cold, hard plaster.

Can we overcome these memory and reasoning biases? Yes, with pencils. Those evil emails, the lascivious texts between cheater and AP, the ILYBINILWY pronouncements, the “I cheated because you turned me down for sex when I was feeling vulnerable” blame-shifting—write it all down. Print out the texts, the emails, the pornographic selfies taken in the bathroom mirror. Keep them in a handy file to read, and re-read, until you accomplish a schema shift. It’s sad, but we need to realize that all people are not good, that even those we trusted with our hearts will trample them if it gets in the way of their next orgasm. We will need reminders, sometimes even after meh, that things were not as they seemed. That while faux remorse resembles real remorse, it is missing essential characteristics, and those features make it analogous to viewing a two-dimensional cartoon character as a live human. After infidelity, what we all need is a cognitive revolution.

What did you do to help remember the awfulness of your cheater, and help propel you to the finish line?

by Tempest

 

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Verity297
Verity297
8 years ago

I kept a detailed journal. And when I doubted my judgement, I read them again, many, many times.
It was amazing how much I forgot in between readings. But there it was in black and white.

ItsAJourney
ItsAJourney
8 years ago
Reply to  Verity297

I have a box of emails, receipts and notes that I sift through as needed. I began creating it after Dday. Piecing together the reality of my 30 year marriage was devastating, but also helped me to feel more in control. Whenever I found myself entertaining thoughts of reconciliation I’d pull the box out, and just as Tempest has stated, constantly challenging my confirmation bias eventually led to a schema shift. It’s a bit of a relief to have the concept validated, because there were times that I wondered if I was a little sick, or masochistic.

Four years later, I’m finally in the process of divorce. I had considered burning the box, but I think I’ll keep it, at least until the ink is dry on my divorce papers.

freefall
freefall
8 years ago
Reply to  ItsAJourney

Itsajourney..I just saw your post I hope you get to burn that box of crap soon. When you hear about an unusual amount of smoke in North America you will know I am buring the hell out of my list and the hell out of my life!! Stay mighty!! You deserve it:-) 🙂

violet
violet
8 years ago
Reply to  ItsAJourney

I haven’t questioned my decision to leave my marriage much, because there literally is a front page article in the local newspaper describing what the cops saw when they approached the car (where my X and his AP were discussing their deep religious faith-not). Guess I was one of the “lucky” ones. Believe me, there is nothing like having a reporter show up at your office for a comment about your husband’s infidelity to keep the betrayal fresh your mind. Do I miss the days before my marriage imploded? Absolutely, but what happened to me was the emotional equivalent of a death. Although I once had a relatively good marriage, it died the day I was publicly humiliated by my X’s actions. All the nostalgia in the world will never change the fact that X had no difficulty in throwing it all away in exchange for a BJ, with some ego stroking thrown in on the side.

Having said that, I do feel sorry that X’s life is such a shit show, now. He is old and sick and alone…and completely aware of the fact that he has no one to blame but himself for his circumstances. Do my feelings incline me to take him back? Hell to the no. As I have said here before, there is no way I will ever trust him again. A marriage without trust is like an expensive car without gas. It may look good, but it just won’t run. I am completely comfortable with my compassion for my X and for my decision to leave him. Rose colored glasses suit me fine, just as long as the barbed wire fence stays in place.

FMT
FMT
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

“A marriage without trust is like an expensive car without gas. It may look good, but it just won’t run.”

Slow clap for one of the best analogies I’ve ever seen.

2kids2love
2kids2love
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

Bravo Violet. I’m keeping a copy of your post for future reference.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Verity297

Great writing and good advice, Tempest. I was fortunate, I had some really egregious instances of abuse or really off the wall triggering that I often referred to when I had my doubts about who was the disordered on in our relationship. No contact is really helpful, too, as continued contact gives them the chance to try to convince you that it was all you.
In reading and talking to people that have been in relationships with the personality disordered, I have found a very common thing occurs: the non disordered person is left wondering if it was really himself or herself that had the personality disorder.
This is due to long term brainwashing and isolation by the abuser. The abuser will use any piece of information that you have confided that may support this theory.
For example, I had disclosed to my XW that my dad was very verbally abusive before he stopped drinking and that I never wanted to be like him in that regard. So, when I told my XW she was an asshole, after she verbally blasted me right after I returned from visiting him on his death bed ( I forgot to take out the garbage. Might have had other things on my mind, like seeing my dad weighing about 70lbs.), I was now an abuser.
But, it really helped me to do a couple things to stop thinking that it was all me. First, as I mentioned and other have, as well, there were some really egregious things, things that no non abuser would ever do ( like waking me to describe the body of one of her partners.)
Second, I tried to look at how other folks viewed me, based on my relationships with them. No one in my family thought of me poorly and I got along with all of them. No co-workers or colleagues seemed to dislike me and I was well thought at work. No friends thought poorly of me and I had never just hurt anyone as my XWs , often did.
Folks coming out a relationship with a PD should take a look at how others feel about them.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

“Folks coming out a relationship with a PD should take a look at how others feel about them.”
Everyone loves my narc. Everyone. He is super sparkly and I am told over and over again what a great guy he is. I am somewhat introverted and it takes awhile to get to know me. I can’t stand the idea of everybody thinking this is my fault.

Susan
Susan
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Wow!!! Did I need this blog now or what! I thought it was me, and only me!

I thought I was being a horrible person bc I couldn’t forgive, ((in the way h thinks forgiveness is)) and remember all the wonderful things he has done for the past 30 yrs as well all the things he’s is still trying to do for me to understand, “his mistake,” of 1.5 yr affair!

Yup, he knows he messed up big time, and probably wouldn’t cheat on me again, but he’s the biggest narc I’ve ever seen since our separation, & I never really noticed before!

Hes always telling me I’m only remembering the negative things ((affair, & the bad, bad shit I went thur)) that I should think positive and look towards good things together that we can fight this together!

When I look at him, all I see is affair, and he makes me feel bad w his comments as, “is that all I am to you now?”

His resentment is slowly stewing, at the same time his eyes fill w tears & words as, “I’ll never stop loving u, do I bring you unhappiness? Are you ever glad to see me?” WTF???

I need to wear that rubber band on my wrist whenever I’m around him.

This all has been such a head trip as well as a broken heart trip and every other kind of trip one can imagine…

freefall
freefall
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Thank you Tempest for your wonderful research/explanation of why the good memories often trump the hell, so many of us have been through. After the Triple Decker discovery day (20+ woman, dinners, gifts, affair sex sites, hotels, on and on and on!) I made a spreadsheet of all his misgivings. Every person, event and every physically abusive moment and emotionally abusive moment. I was fired up, served him divorce papers and was ready to end this crap once and for all. Buuuut I was not practicing “no contact”! Ugh- yep he constantly reminded me of the good stuff about our relationship and I became obsessed with forgiveness books. Ahhhh stupid ass nice memories, stalled me out from kicking him out of my life!

The insanity of it all “ah isn’t that sweet he is playing board games with the kids, just like the good old days”. WTH was wrong with me – duh the last time he played board games with the family, it was on a table he had served dinner to one of his many girl friends!!!

I want to scream! Because yes, the good stuff from the past and present has actually been debilitating. My mind needed some serious retraining.

Tempest, a month ago you reminded me to make that list of misgivings again. The list is longer than it has ever been! I read it every morning and amazingly my boo-hoo crybaby feelings in the morning have dissipated. (Granted I get a little fired up, actually pissed, but hey what ever propels me forward!!)

Additionally, removing triggers has been enormously beneficial! If a mug or a blanket or a picture gives me the slightest anxiety, it’s out of here.

I am mindful not to throw away things my children may want someday – but if it triggers good or bad memories it goes into a box in the garage!

Best advice ever Tempest – thanks for reminding me to REMEMBER what crazy crap I have put up with!!

AND go no contact as much as possible! !!! (Thanks chumptitude – your amazing wisdom on how essential no contact is, has allowed this chump to actually sleep through the night:-)

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  freefall

Freefall–I’m glad the idea for the list helped! Sadness incapacitates us; anger propels us.

I need to follow your lead on getting rid of sentimental things (though I am at a stage of trusting that he sucks that has removed the sentimentality from most things).

choosewisely
choosewisely
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thank you for this post and replies. Needed that today.

Another Rebecca
Another Rebecca
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

This is fascinating to me. I have struggled on and off with slipping into fear and having difficulty trusting that my stbx sucks, and part of that is due to my natural inclination to overlook negative aspects (not because I’m sunny so much as because I’m willing to sit in denial to avoid scary change).

About two years ago, right about when I first found CL and CN, I told my usually terrific therapist that I wanted to make a list of reasons my stbx sucks, so I could refer to it when sentimentailty/ fear/ inertia started to creep in. She shut the idea down immediately, with a long explanation about why it doesn’t make sense to focus on the negative, sit in the pain, etc. She suggested that I ‘flip it around’ and make a list of what would be better without him instead. Since then, I’ve often of that as her only real misstep in the few years I’ve been seeing her… I’m not a therapist so don’t have the background to assess her guidance meaningfully, but I know in my heart that a simple list of even just my stbx’s top ten betrayals would have prevented many, many steps backward emotionally. It would have been the emotional equivalent of a rubber band on the wrist– just a tool to snap out of unnecessary emotional engagement. And I disagree with the thought that it just “keeps us focused on the pain.” Instead it’s a factual reminder of reality. Meanwhile, the other approach– about the positives of life without my stbx– was noble but ultimately just too theoretical to resonate with me in the same way.

freefall
freefall
8 years ago

AnotherRebecca…I bounced around trying to find a therapist to assist me with the pain of betrayal. I heard alot about letting go and finding forgiveness. One had me write down all the things I resented, and then week by week work on letting each one of them go. (Ok if I had written down ALL my resentments it would take two years to get through all of them – seriously 100’s of dates 1000’s of dollars and too many to count BS false apologies from that POCrap).

Anyway -Ironically, it was the marriage counselor that woke me up. My husband refused to go, so therapy turned to focusing on just me. The therapist referred to a book, I cant remember the title, something Burried Feelings Never Die. But the point was burying the pain was what I had done for years. Swept the crap under the rug and falsely accepted STBXs gifts and promises that his behaviour would never happen again. You should know I have lived over three decades on hopiam! And my STBX always came to me with “you are the only person that knows me” “I love you so much” blah, blah, blah! So I, too, over the years have focused on gratefulness and compassion. Ok it was wrong!!! I made lists of things to be grateful for. You know, he came to bed, he made plans for a picnic, he put gas in the car, heck he put the dishes in the dishwasher. Ok, the idea of a grateful journal is truly positive. But it can also be self-brainwashing!! I did that, brainwashed myself and my STBX ate it up. I mean come on, if I found enough little positive things he did, that ought to clear up trolling singles webites, or phone sex. Right? It wasnt that serious, be grateful he wasn’t really screwing other woman or taking them to nice restaurants. That wasnt my husband? Right? Well it took me yeeeears to uncover the truth -and all those gut feelings I had were true. That POC had been screwing around for years.

Back to my point on burried feelings. Stuffing all those painful feelings and stuffing all those gut feelings I had went some where. They went deep into my being, like a poison. The therepist pointed out that this process of stuffing all the crap from my marriage could lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, etc. Ha, no way not me I am Super Chump.

Well, I go back for chemo in two weeks for a cancer that should have never come back!! I have developed high blood pressure – in one year and sleep? I didn’t know what that was until I joined the Chump Nation! Sure as we age health issues happen. But when I told my medical doctor a little bit of what I have been dealing with she stopped running the additional test on my excruciating back pain. And we talked about the pain in my brain that was shutting my otherwise extremely healthy body down!!

I would never advovate for anyone to hold onto the past and by doing so live a miserable life. But living a life of denying resolve to your pain is, in my opinion just as bad. Kudos to those couples that resolve infidelity or abuse issues – seems unbelievable to me.

(Note: I keep a grateful journal, but it includes nothing regarding the STBX! And I keep that long list of reasons why I am getting a divorce very close to me so I stay strong and focused. The day the divorce is final I plan on burning that list and releasing all the negative. Its actually something I look very forward to. That will be the right time to let go of the pain!!)

Keep me strong Chump Nation, I truly depend on all of you daily to keep moving forward. I am so grateful to dialogue with such an amazing group of people! ! Best wishes:-)

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago

I think that just as recovering drug addicts and alcoholics become drug counselors and AA sponsors, there should be former chump therapists. ‘Cause unless someone’s been there, they really don’t get it.
Time to hang out your shingle Tempest.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

Another Rebecca: Not all therapists will be right about all issues. They typically have their eyes on the long game (getting you to peace, acceptance, and a new life), and may not allow clients enough time to go through the requisite early stages (deep pain, grief, rage, anger, hatred). In my view, this hurts the therapeutic process. Lists of the specific ways in which your cheater sucks are necessary until that viewpoint becomes automatic for you.

I’ve had debates with my therapist about desire to know more information and details. His view was that extra information about X’s affairs and sexual proclivities would only come back to haunt me; my view is that I need/ed that information for closure and to fully move on & compartmentalize my marriage. He has finally accepted that, and simply advocates that *some* day, I throw out the notes, emails from X and lists of X’s failings. I may do that when I’m ready, but it will probably take longer than my therapist would advocate.

I’ve also challenged some friends’ and a hot-line therapist’s assertions that (a) hate is really the opposite of love, and (b) anger is just a cover for pain. Neither one is supported by emotions research, and both misconceptions stem from outdated Freudian theory (that what you see is just a mask for underlying trauma). [I’m pretty sure the hot line therapist thought I was the worst caller ever!]

Therapy should not be one-size-fits-all; we have individual preferences, proclivities, differences in what we need from therapy. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you disagree, or therapy is not meeting your needs (you’re the expert of YOU, you don’t need training in psychology to know what feels right or therapeutic).

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Sorry. I meant how folks feel about you, the victim.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

HeHid, your post describes me perfectly. Except for the narc mother, that’s just how I am. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with us, I just think we learn early on that trusting, loving, and forming strong bonds gets us hurt. I too have had a few close friends throughout my life, but mostly it’s casual friends, acquaintances, coworkers. I’m always gliding along the surface, never really exposing too much because I guess I feel I’m not good enough. Maybe I’m attracted to these narcs because they sparkle so and make me feel worthy. Until they don’t.

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

I’m curious Carmella, did something happen in your early years to make you distrustful of people?

I know for me it was super volatile narc mom. One minute we would be laughing and joking and the next she would be raging at me. I learned to think a million steps ahead in every interaction I had which made socializing overwhelming and inauthentic. It’s hard to just be you when your mind is thinking of every possible way someone could react to what you are saying or doing.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago

Yep, I totally relate to the million steps ahead thing. My mom was super volatile too. Not a narc I don’t think, just trying to survive being married to my dad who was an alcoholic serial cheater who abused her. So she was really controlling, impossible to please and often screaming. Plus I was the outcast at school, so school was bad, home was tough, couldn’t trust my dad or rely on my mom. You sort of learn to survive in your own way and rely on yourself. It makes you a really good observer of others. Too bad my spidy sense failed me when I needed it most.

Buddy
Buddy
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Some subset of Everyone, even some of those who say nice things, probably do wonder if your narc has some issues, or if your narc takes advantage of you, etc. Not saying he isn’t good at fooling people, but I bet he doesn’t fool everyone.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  Buddy

Never thought about it that way Buddy, but I suppose that’s true. Actually his parents have been commenting on how he’s been shirking his responsibilities lately. It’s hard to see through my own spackle.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Hehid, do they live with him? Do they spend hours, days, weeks with him? You may have social anxiety but I’ll guess he made it much worse by the hot/cold thing they are so good at. Don’t compare yourself to him. I had a psychologist tell me that one or two deep friendships are what most of us have. The rest of them are “friends of the road”. As long as we are traveling together ie. “Mommy time”we are friends, but it might end when the kids get older. I feel very blessed to have the handful that I do. The rest I have good memories of but we have moved on.
The leech I wrote about always has a new best friend. It never lasts. Your ex’s family is going to make place for him. That is what they do. You need to make your own “family” and drop the narcs out of your life. You owe them nothing.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

I am sure you have read books on this but I will emphasize it. If you feel a knot in your stomach, walk on eggshells, feel low grade anger, feel anxious, feel teary you are being played. There is a book, GAMES PEOPLE PLAY that is nothing about childhood games. It is about how people manipulate us so that they never have to have intamcy with us. I am not talking about sex. I am talking about the person who can never be truly engaged in you, your life or your kids. They will set up a game(usually unconscious) that you respond to and you never win. Off the top of my head I can remember one where the person spills things on your furniture then apologizes. You begin to notice that every time you are around this person something of yours is damaged. They always say they are sorry. In order not to appear petty you always say, “Oh, that’s ok” it isn’t ok. This person is out to get you to keep you at arms length. Another person will tell you they have a problem they need help with. You as the innocent party give suggestions. Each one is shot down as not working. You could sit there for eternity and never solve the problem. The other person does not want it solved. It keeps you focused on the problem and not the person with the problem. Being played is the hallmark of the victim of a narc. There training began in childhood and they have the equivalency of a PhD. You are never going to win. You are too emtionally and mentally healthy. They HAVE to make you look crazy otherwise you will expect maturity. In th meantime you are barely making it just trying to keep up with the manipulation going on in your life. Get the hell away from these people. You will find your sanity and look at your ex with clear eyes. They suck! I don’t care how much thay sparkle!

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

Thank you tempest, you are so right. I have always been a little jealous of people who can manipulate because I have zero skill at it. I am so straight forward that I just can’t figure out how to play the game. Perhaps this is part of my struggling to make friends. I will say that with therapy I have been working on my self esteem and standing up for myself. It seems to be helping with the anxiety and making casual friends. If only we chumps all lived in a big commune 😉

Let go, my therapist has said the same thing. She said if you find one good friend every decade or two then you are doing well. I have been lucky to keep one college friend, one wife of our couples friends, and my sister in law. These else are the three true friends I have. The rest are situational, either work friends or mom friends. And you are so right that he made it worse. Once he moved out and I started getting therapy (from the best therapist I have ever had) I started making huge strides in my self esteem and ability to make friends. It’s crazy how covert narcs can cut you down so very subtly. It has to be so much easier to see with the narcs that are less controlled in their emotions, not easier to escape from I would imagine, but at least easier to see that they are doing it when they are flat out calling you horrible names and screaming at you.

Let go
Let go
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Carmella, look at his other relationships. A person who latched onto me like a leech had all the hallmarks of BPD, NPD and HPD. Man, could she sparkle. Everybody who just knows her superficially thinks she is the most charming person they have ever met, but, one by one people who get personally involved with her eventually move on. She is exhausting.

Buddy
Buddy
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

I suppose being used and abused by a narc sort of puts us in a state where we “indulge” in our relationship, but I think it is important to not confuse co-dependency and playing the role of the victim with narcissism.

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
8 years ago
Reply to  Let go

And this is my biggest fear, that I am a narc. He is super sparkly. Everyone says he is awesome. He has a large group of friends that he has had for 25+ years. I have always struggled to make and keep friends, since I was a little girl. I have a few friends that I have held on to throughout the years, but only one friend proactively calls me. I am always the one to contact and make plans with every other friend. I think that I am liked by my colleagues, we laugh and have a good time together, but I am never the one to get invited to parties aside from the ones that everyone is invited too. I am not invited to any special get togethers of just a few people.

I don’t get along with my family either. My mother is a raging narc as are many of my siblings. The sister I love the most, the one I was closest to growing up, regularly goes through the narc cycle with me. She pulls me in and showers me with love and attention, then she starts cutting me down, and finally she ignores me completely. She has gone years with completely ignoring me and then starts it all up again. My counselor say a that my mother is a narc and that I am being healthy by distancing myself from most of my family.

I have terrible self esteem and always have. I figured out at some point that I could get good grades, so I became confident in my academic abilities, but I have had periods of severe social anxiety and the rest of the time is moderate social anxiety. All my life I have just wanted a safe place to land, someone who I could trust completely who would have my back, someone who would happily claim me and love me, instead of always having to scramble for little scraps of love and attention.

So to look at me versus ex, he has long term family and friends who think he is awesome and stood by him in all of this. I have very few family and friends. He is well liked, I am not. To an outsider you would say I was the narc.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

HeHid:
Who have you manipulated today? lied to? put on a sparkly demeanor to trick them about your motives? used pity to get what you want?

I thought so–none of the above; you are not a narc. And I’ve read enough about your X to know that he IS. That’s the most irritating thing about covert narcissists–they can fool a lot of people some of the time because of their charm and Oscar-winning performances as real people. But eventually some people will start to see through them, and their habits typically mean they will put their foot in a pile eventually, in a way that affects their outward success.

If you want to make more friends, I suspect you would have no trouble doing so, based on your engaging posts on CL. A few close friends can be better than a pack of less-close friends.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

Carmella, ditto the lovable cheater here. I am slightly introverted but now that I am getting on in years I am more or less middle of the road. We KNOW the truth. It sucks that seemingly nobody else does. I might have to ask my lawyer to reconsider the whole adultery is a felony thing. A friend of mine joked that he would never be able to hide that from our little town. Even just the item in the newspaper if I sued him. So immature yet so appealing.

NoMoreNarcs
NoMoreNarcs
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

My alienated teenager does this to me a lot. She knows I’m just figuring out that starting with my Dad, every major relationship has been with a narc. So when she rages, she tries to convince me that I’m the narc – not them. I must have asked three people today if they think I’m a narc (even a little bit).

So far – the answer is no, but you don’t think I’m one, do you?

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  NoMoreNarcs

I’d you were a narc, you wouldn’t ask.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Wonderful advice Arnold.
I was in terrible self doubt, and still am sometimes, until I started reconnecting with all those old friends who I was isolated from. Their comparison and ability to forgive my departure from their lives was amazing but what truly touched me was all the wonderful things they said to me about how I was a good person and a true friend to them so they would always be there for me. They reminded me who I really was and who I want to become again.

Lynne
Lynne
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Excellent advice Arnold!

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Lynne

Thanks. so many of us have been through this and dealing with very similar doubts about ourselves. It is an overriding theme when coming out of a relationship with one of these types. They are master manipulators. They have had a lifetime of practicing their art.
I bet most of us had never heard of these disorders and did not know what hit us. One minute, they adore you. After entanglement, the mask comes off. Confusing as hell. Makes you wonder what you did to cause it, despite the fact that you have never affected others this way.
One of the even more confusing concepts is the fact that these folks do not act like this , much, except behind closed doors. So, even when you start looking at your friendships and you see that you have never treated any of them poorly, you wonder ” Yeah, but if I am a NPD or other PD, perhaps I never mistreated these folks because I was never in an intimate relationship with them. Just friends Maybe, behind closed doors, I really do act like a NPD.”
It is all so confusing. But, notice how, in time, after being away from them, all the fleas you picked up go away.
Sure, you were going to react and be angry( not abusive) when you are , consistently belittled and treated like shit.
I was fortunate in both my marriages that members of my XWS’ families came to me and told me that my XWs had always been like this and that they could not believe what they observed in how they treated me.They had specific examples of similar behaviors toward others and instances of bizarre , disordered behavior that had gone on long before I even know my XWs.
Not too many people are this fortunate: that the families come to you with this info and support.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

It seems as though a lot of these cheaters have severe cases of personality disorder (sometimes several personality disorders!) and like to project their disorders or mental illness onto their spouses. My STBX even went as far as contacting members of my family (several of whom, including me, work in the mental health profession) to get them to diagnose me with a personality disorder or two and virtually institutionalize and incarcerate me. (Or maybe he thought that if he told enough people that I was crazy and criminal somebody would believe him, although I am neither crazy nor criminal, and put me away or at least take our children from me. Fortunately, I have not yet been incarcerated, institutionalized, nor deprived of contact with our children.)

Another psychological concept that I wanted to add to Tempest’s list, which I think is on target, is the concept of reinforcement schedule. Reinforcement can be constant (predictable as it is provided in constant amounts at equal intervals) or variable (you never know when you will receive positive rewards, or negative punishments). Many experiments have lent support to the hypothesis that variable reinforcement much more strongly supports habit formation than does constant reinforcement. I believe that a lot of the cheaters described here practice variable reinforcement. Thus, many of us never know when ‘our’ cheaters will be kind or cruel to us and we are sucked into sticking around until the next positive reward (a tangible gift, a compliment, a smile, a promise, generally unfulfilled) materializes, or even we imagine materializes.

When I start getting sucked back into looking at my marriage through rose-colored glasses, I look at my legal binders for my nearly dozen hearings to date and my checkbook. Reality hits like a race care in the Indy 500.

Suze
Suze
8 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

Variable reinforcement. You hit the nail on the head! That’s part of the terrible confusion of trying to decide when to leave.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Suze

Yes, that’s why so many of us stayed long past when it was adaptive to do so. Behaviors under variable reinforcement schedules are the hardest to extinguish. Few of these gals/guys were universally horrible; they threw out just enough emotional pellets to keep us trying.

PalomaBlanca11
PalomaBlanca11
8 years ago
Reply to  Lynne

So needed to hear this. I have started to wonder if it was me who was the controlling one, lately my behaviour has been like that but I realise its not healthy and brought about entirely by his continued lying, managing down my expectations or as Arnold says- brainwashing. I think no contact is the next step but I’m finding that so difficult as I choose the good side too. Just as this post points out

Buddy
Buddy
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

Arnold, that is good advice and something I’ve relied on heavily. I’ve even logged in my journal both how others view me, as well as their specific feelings bout my marriage post-DD. For me, I’m fortunate that those feelings reaffirm. (I know not everyone is that fortunate).

I’ve also kept a detailed log of egregious behaviors that I reread often.

samaritan
samaritan
8 years ago

Hi Tempest,

Question for you: What if when you look back at all the emails, texts, memories…that you’re the one who could have been better? In my case, my husband who cheated was always there with kind words. Not actions, but words. I on the other hand, feeling his shadiness on some cellular level but not recognizing it, was not always good with words. I once called him a dummy in front of his friends. I could be really hardcore in my questioning of him and where we were going with our future. I was not easy but I was honest. He was easy and dishonest. How do you reconcile being left when you can’t peg the bad on him and see it more in yourself? My husband didnt bang a cheerleading squad. He fell in love with someone else and over 4 months lived a deceptive double life. He was a prince until he was a monster. I know that sounds iffy but it’s why I self blame. What a mind f%ck.

Free Vixen
Free Vixen
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

I felt this way for a while, too, until I realized two things: 1) there was significant escalation over time and a build up of being ignored before I got to the point where I wasn’t being so nice; and 2) my cheater was passive aggressive and unable to express anger, so he provoked me into expressing the anger that he felt. His calm and seemingly caring demeanor belied a manipulative objective of framing me as the angry, hostile one, even though his repeated stonewalling, ignoring my repeated requests to have my needs met, and withdrawal stocked the powder keg that eventually exploded after years of this treatment. Don’t buy it. Passive aggressive types do that on purpose, but it’s s facade and no-win situation for you.

Ninja chump
Ninja chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Oh lord, me too. Your comment summed it up for me Vixen. Only now that I’m away from the poisonous shitbag do I realise just how much he affected my personality. Weirdly I more or less stayed the same around him bending over backwards to try to please him (of course I never could) but became much less patient and tolerant of anybody else around me. Not just people I knew but even strangers, so not my natural personality. I’m so embarrassed about this now and actually incredulous that anybody could have such an effect on me, and for so very long. Just like looking after a toddler, your fuse gets incredibly short with everyone else because you’ve just got nothing left. Ugh, so glad to be away from that ridiculous no win merry-go-round.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  Ninja chump

I think we also learn to adapt or die. You wait for them to change and when they don’t, you do. How many times can you offer up your heart only to be rejected? How long can you try and try and get no response? Eventually you build a protective wall, but over time the resentment creeps in. You become a little passive-aggressive because you’re so weary from conflict and the direct approach doesn’t work anyway. Emotionally abuse anyone long enough and they’re going to bite back.

Fireball
Fireball
8 years ago
Reply to  Carmella1722

@Carmella1722, exactly my sentiments, well said! 31 yrs with a cheater, liar and all that goes with PD. Im FINALLY taking care of me but Im too am “weary of the conflict” that aaccompanies the divorce process (I filed). NC works for a long while and then the need to have communication about something almost always ends in me biting back. He (the abuser) requires nothing from anyone, Me (the victim) requires my family, friends etc to hear me, understand, HELP. But as we all know, nobody wil touch us with a ten foot pole. Its a lonely journey to the land of MEH. Half way there.

Personally, I am grateful for CL and other sites I have found that allow me to vent and gain knowledge and understanding. Thank You Temptest for the great letter. GRATEFUL!

Patsy
Patsy
8 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

OMG perfect description Vixen! I became an angry, resentful person who wasn’t very nice as a result. Incredible how my demeanour and anxiety have changed now …

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Same here. I spent years spackling, blaming myself for his snooty Sneetches-on-the-Beaches silent treatment, dragging him to counseling, trying to join him in his many hobbies, begging for at least one “date night” a month, any crumbs would have kept me going. But I got nothing. So I stopped walking on eggshells and started calling him out on his behavior. Yes, there were a couple of angry outbursts along the way, but for the most part (thanks to advice here and elsewhere on narcs) I remained calm, unruffled, and matter-of-fact.

Then all of a sudden I was a crazy, “raging” bitch who was the meanest person he’d ever met and abusive to boot. All said to me, or rather yelled at me, with actual rage and a string of insults and F-bombs. As Tempest said, there is no winning with the disordered–no matter how factual and calm you are with them, you’ll be met with rage, denial, and projection.

Catlady Chump
Catlady Chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Yes, *this* times 23+ years. Thanks so much for the concise explanation. I’ve never been comfortable describing my ex as a narc, but he was pathologically passive aggressive. I’m making a sign for my bathroom mirror of your comment.

susan
susan
8 years ago
Reply to  Catlady Chump

So was mine. He did outrageous things, but covertly. Always the picture of moderation on the outside tho.

Heather
Heather
8 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Same here. Decades after the first affair, ten years after the second, I began to see, and years of living with a passive aggressive sent me into a tailspin. All I ever wanted was to be loved. I did the proverbial pick me dance, ate the crumbs, but wasn’t his wife in any deep sense of the word.

Funny thing, PA’s get away with looking wounded and we look like we should be locked up. Poor sausage….

Yes, I still take on the guilt for my issues but I’m working on meh. My son recently told me that he is 110% sure I did the right thing. I try to hold on to the wisdom of others who see clearly when my vision gets foggy.

It’s so hard, but never ever give up!

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Classic example of ” picking up fleas” Free Vixen. That is exactly how it works.

ChutesandLadders
ChutesandLadders
8 years ago
Reply to  Free Vixen

Same here, Free Vixen. X is a master manipulator.

Funny though; when my powder keg finally blew up, I went back to school to better my chances of a steady job that would support our family when X was unemployed. He on the other hand, started building a lifeboat with a skank at his temp job so he had the option of moving from our family right into a new one without missing a home-cooked meal or a mortgage payment (skanky pays all the bills).

mylifebeginsagain73
mylifebeginsagain73
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

Your honesty is refreshing Samaritan. Even though it sounds like you “Were not exactly a walk in the Park” to live with ; there is still not one justifiable excuse for him to cheat on you. He could have called you out on your behavior and told you things had to change, he could have asked for counselling, he could have divorced you but he chose to chest… That is on him.
If it’s any consolation, I was the ‘perfect “STEPFORD like WIFE” ‘ I loved my ex, was mostly always kind & was always respectful of him in addition to having a very well paying job and using it all on our family. I was attractive ..none of it stopped him from being a serial cheat. I’ve since realized it had nothing to do with me.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago

samaritan,

You are not accountable for his behavior. You cannot make a person cheat. Cheating is a narcissistic act. It is a act of being entitled. Cheating is also a choice. We all have free will. Sadly he doesn’t care about you and your marriage. Your husband made a decision to screw another woman. It is not a mistake is is a choice.

If he was upset with whatever remarks and/or actions you done to him what he should have done is have a private chat with you. During that chat he should have explained to you how your actions/words hurt him and you then in return tell him you are sorry and not do it again. That is creating healthy boundaries in any type of relationship.

What is he is doing is pulling one of the most old fashion blame games on you. He is using your weakness against you. Then he is keeping you in a fog and also gas lightening with his kind words and blame shifting his behavior to what you said to him. What you are describing is typical NPD behavior.

I don’t care if his screwed the entire “cheerleader squad” he broke your marriage vows. He has placed your health at risk for STD’s, and HIV/AIDS and now he is screwing with your mental health at the same time. All of that is abuse. Simple as that.

I know it is hard for you to see because he is being so sweet with his kind words. Stop falling for that bullshit. My ex did the same. Your huband’s has slipped off and it will slip off again. I am reading loads of spackling on your end. We all have done that, including myself. Trust that he sucks. I know it is hard to see but trust us that he sucks. He isn’t a unicorn. Unicorns sadly are not real. He is not real.

Trust his action and don’t trust his words. Actions (Cheating and his blame shifting and falling in love with another woman) speak louder than words.

Leave a cheater, gain a life!

samaritan
samaritan
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Thanks Beth and Tempest. You’re both right and your words are super helpful
And if I’m honest, 3 years onto our relationship he did have an STD. I was so naive that my instant reaction was that I gave it to him. I was tested and all clear. Did he cheat and that’s why this happened? Maybe. Probably. The more worrying concern looking back is he saw something, went to a doctor, got a result, went back to doctor and had it taken care of….and then sat me down a week later and explained it. With any partner i have, I would have told them as soon as i suspected something. I would have probably been anxious about it. Does this make me a martyr and perfect, no. But it shows controlling behaviour that went exponential when he was having his affair. He has also left every woman he has been with. But me…he JUST married me! I was in the heat of planning our life together. He constantly managed me, our life, and never compromised. And then completely abandoned me, moved in with her a month later. I’m now longer wondering when he’ll admit he made a mistake. I’m wondering what it is about me, that up until a month ago, I would have taken him back.

I also want to mention. It took me 6 months of texting him nonstop until I went no contact. I was terrified of the silence and facing it. Two months ago, he started wanting to see me. We went to lunch and then he came to mine for dinner. He gave me an ultimatum: 2 months of silence or he would send me a lawyers letter. Three days later, i sent him a loving text that turned into a nightmare fight that turned into him saying I was harassing him. And now there is silence and I’m working up the nerve to petition soon. I did all the things CL says not to do. I just wanted to fight for it so bad. I really loved the life i created with him (I’m aware that part of that life was a lie) but ultimately, it’s gone.

With Brave Wings
With Brave Wings
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

Samaritan,
I wasn’t always the kindest with my words when speaking to my ex. In fact, I once told him that I hated him. Five years later he was using it as an excuse for cheating. Your behavior did NOT make him cheat on you. If he was so unhappy he could have addressed the issues with you but he CHOSE not to. That’s on him and always will be. He’s the cheater with the poor character.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago

They don’t want to leave; they want to have their cake and eat it, too, while concocting reasons why WE are the problem. I offered mine a divorce almost every year for the past decade because of his criticism, cold treatment, etc. He would promise the sun, moon, and stars to get me to stay, only for me to find out he had been serially cheating for at least the last 8 years of the marriage. Once I no longer believed his “sun, moon, & stars” routine, he would threaten that oldest daughter couldn’t attend a prestigious out-of-state university if I divorced him (even though I’m pretty sure he was in another affair at the time).

They need a cloak of legitimacy–a chump–while they conduct a tawdry lifestyle on Craigslist or with coworkers.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

*Your husband’s mask has slipped off and it will slip off again. sorry correction.

samaritan
samaritan
8 years ago

You’re right. There is no excuse. And the times I was tough usually came down to one thing. I was not a priority. I moved countries for this man and was very lonely. I asked him to come home from work (he is self employed) at 7pm rather than 8pm constantly. I asked over 5 years. Not once did he compromise or make sacrifices that were in lieu with what it means to be together. And this made me angry and I blamed him. He also, by the way, began his affair when we began to look at moving back home. Falling in and out of love seemed to be in accordance with his own needs and lifestyle. I look back in the light of harsh self blame and it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. I feel its tragic. Because if he ever did voice a concern with me or have a sit down, I think it could have literally been an hour on a counsellor’s couch. But he threw it all away. And very quickly. He says he feels guilt. But no remorse. How do you move on from this?

HeHidBehindAMask
HeHidBehindAMask
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

Samaritan, I think a few have said this in various ways, but know that narcs are highly skilled at crazy making while they sit calm and cool watching you dig your own grave. They know how to turn you into the crazy person for everyone to shake their heads and say “yes, we can see why you did it, you spouse was crazy indeed”

They have spent years studying you and know just what to do to get under your skin.

My ex did subtle things like driving very slowly when we were late to get somewhere or waiting until we were running on fumes to gas up the truck when we were in the middle of no where, towing a camping trailer, with our babies in the backseat. He loved to set up anxiety producing situations just to throw me off kilter.

I would venture a guess that the time you said your ex was a dummy he had in fact set up the dynamic for you to say it in front of his friends. You just fell into his trap. The fact that you remember it even now speaks volumes to how out of character it is for you. If you regularly cut him down you wouldn’t remember having said it at all.

not Juliet
not Juliet
8 years ago

That’s one reason the RIC doesn’t like for the affair to be “exposed” and neither do the cheaters. It’s much easier to make you look unbalanced, crazy, overly emotional, etc. when it’s a secret and you get no support. It was great to finally expose it all. It’s not me, he’s a whore, and then people get it.

TwinsDad
TwinsDad
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

Samaritan – something you said struck me – ” I feel its tragic. Because if he ever did voice a concern with me or have a sit down, I think it could have literally been an hour on a counsellor’s couch. But he threw it all away.”

I used to think something like this all the time. “Why won’t she just TRY?!?” It seemed to me that if my ex would have just made an effort, just been honest about her feelings and really tried to work on our marriage, it would have all worked out. I finally realized this was the unicorn talking. I struggled with this for a long time but now know that she didn’t try because she didn’t want to. It couldn’t have happened like that at all. It was my desire, my fantasy.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

That is the bottom line TwinsDad.. people do what they want to do. My STBX always did.. when I think back. He wasn’t good at personal sacrifice, even though his lame narrative is that he “gave and gave and gave” to me and got nothing in return. The further I get away from him the more insane I am seeing that really is. If anything is was the opposite. I was in no way perfect but I carried a large load for him and for this family. And he never appreciated. Further, he always got what he wanted.. whether it was good for us or not. He once changed jobs (voluntarily) right when I was about to give birth to our last child. It was VERY stressful, the insurance considerations, etc. He did this so he could go work for OW. At the time, I didn’t see it for what it was, but now I wonder. He was so hot to go work for her, even though the hours/commute/money wasn’t necessarily better and it put his supposed “beloved” wife through a lot of hardship. He did it because that’s what he wanted.

These folks are at their core, selfish.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

Newchumpatl,

Mine tells anyone who will listen (even my family of origin) that he ‘gave, and gave, and gave,’ (poor martyr), so it’s unfair for him to pay me alimony (even for a few years. just to avoid homelessness), forget the fact that he has dissipated the family assets on cocaine, services of prostitutes, and trips for him and the occasional ‘lucky’ f-buddy to an exotic locale.

MrsVain
MrsVain
8 years ago
Reply to  RockStarWife

ahhhh yes…..the “I did everything/so much but she is never happy” routine. the boy i married is a master at that. at one point he had my oldest daughter against me, and my #2 child STILL argues that it was my fault because dad did the best he could but i was never happy….

total mind boggling. the longer i am away from him, the more i see how fucked up and twisted he was. i was the one who gave and gave, who forgave and who gave in, who carried most if not all of the load so he could do what he wanted. and yet, i was the one who got boring, didnt treat him right and didnt appreciate him…. wtf

now he is telling anyone who will listen (mostly himself, i think) that he worked 6 JOBS for me. so i can have this house and everything in it (that i mostly bought with my money) 6 JOBS!!! of course when i asked him “you had 6 jobs at once? really?” he started stuttering and saying some kind of bullshit like “when you count all the things i was doing, working on cars, side jobs” stutter stutter stutter….. right, whatever you need to tell yourself dude.

i am so much better off without that kind of mind fuck.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

OMG, that is pretty disgusting. Yes, I would say that’s more than a little selfish!

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  TwinsDad

Ding!
Thanks TwinsDad I have struggled with this exact thing and you’re right that’s the unicorn talking. He never went to counseling the times I asked because he didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to change. He didn’t care.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

The disordered avoid counseling like the plague. Think they want someone with some expertise assessing them? Fuck no. One of the reasons I believe that the stats on the prevalence of PDs are so much lower than reality is that almost none of these folks are ever diagnosed. They will not be assessed.
There are way more than 2-4% with a PD among us, way more.

WhereisMia
WhereisMia
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

My monster went to counselling and I intercepted text messages between his male gay psychologist and him blatantly flirting and referring to me as the ‘ ‘volcano’ histrionic wife. He ended up fucking that psych as well. I had no energy or fight left in me to report this to the relevant association… He always wins and I come off looking like a scorned bitter woman loser… He is now ‘president’ of under 19’s football club and guess what? His favourite is young male flesh. Football club were made aware and warned by another enraged affair partner but they chose to elevate him to president….so go figure I give up !!!!

Chumpette
Chumpette
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

about NPDs or BPDs not wanting therapy.

if they find one they can trick, as they did their trusting spouse or partner, the therapist becomes a new source of patient, understanding kibble supply. also can be used as a shield or mask to outside world.

2kids2love
2kids2love
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

My X refused to go to counseling with me. Said it doesn’t work. Then bingo…after I found out about the affair, he went to counseling by himself, That was a kick in the pants. And in counseling, he conveniently discovered that he was completely justified because he was vulnerable and didn’t love me anymore. He discovered that he owed no explanation to our adult children and was told to say “it’s between me and your mom.” The children are not stupid. They know there was another person involved and that SHE was more of a reason than *I* was that our family was in the toilet. He went to counseling every few weeks for about a month and a half until I guess he felt he no longer needed it. Awesome happiness for him. I’m still in counseling to this day, almost a year later. Our daughter is in counseling, and our son is struggling with his feelings because it hurts too much to talk about it.

RockStarWife
RockStarWife
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

I imagine that, many people who have personality disorders, as Arnold said, do NOT want to participate in therapy (individual or couple’s). Mine STBX, however, was eager to ‘participate’ in therapy as it gave him a chance to tell psychotherapists what was wrong with me and try to get me ‘officially’ diagnosed with personality disorders and mental illnesses. He still claims that I have Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorders. I don’t think that he started mentioning these terms until I mentioned them one day while talking about my workday (I worked in the psych department at a university).

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

I completely agree; the rates of full-blown Cluster B folks are under-diagnosed. If you include those with high numbers of NPD, Borderline, Sociopath traits (but who are too high-functioning to warrant full-blown diagnoses), 15-25% or more would not surprise me.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

Samaritan: None of us are perfect. If marriage required perfection, we might as well just toss the concept in the dustbin now. It sounds to me as if your X was fairly controlling in family decisions, his willingness to spend time with you, support for your endeavors. Calling him a dummy is pretty mild retribution for feeling like a third-class citizen in your marriage; resentments were bound to build up over time.

Honest exit. If someone is unhappy in their marriage, work at it or get out. People who can’t leave until they have a replacement lined up have a character flaw (or multiple flaws).

If you caught yesterday’s post, you might remember that I got a “You suck, here’s how to reform” letter from my X 8 years ago. He had just ended an intense affair (that I didn’t know about) and wanted ME to reform. It was a mean, nasty, remorse-less letter, and he obviously thought that my imperfections were WORSE than his transgressions. Yes, cheaters really do think like that. WE don’t have to; don’t beat yourself up at giving him paper cuts when he lopped off your limb.

MovingOn
MovingOn
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

“…he obviously thought that my imperfections were WORSE than his transgressions.”

Yes. I wasn’t the perfect wife, but there wasn’t anything that I did that could possibly equate with his Ashley Madison cheating. However, he didn’t see it that way– he has always behaved as though he were perfectly justified in his actions, especially since he married the AP. There’s no arguing with that disordered train of thought. I just walked away knowing that I was leaving behind someone who was terribly messed up, and it was not my job to fix him, and I was not responsible for his actions.

tflan386
tflan386
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Samaritan: How do you move on from a husband who exits your marriage without remorse – slowly. My ex-husband married his affair partner 16 years ago. I caught him, he was pissed off, he left 4 months after D-Day, and re-married within one year. He never looked back. They remain married to this day.

When the two of us were married, I also begged and begged him to try come home early from work to spend time with me. No, can’t do, too busy, too many demands on his time, absolutely impossible, don’t even think about asking such a VIP to make time for the little stay-at-home mother. However, interestingly, it was quite possible to get away early, many times in the week, to carry on a torrid affair with the nifty work colleague. That he could well do. When I accused him of his double standard, he just said vaguely, “the paradigm had shifted”. WTF?

He also never communicated that he was unhappy in the marriage. Not once, not a peep. When caught out on the affair, he simply said “our marriage had gone flat”. Essentially, the marriage ended on those two statements. That’s all I had to work with. He refused to talk.

In all the 16 years we co-parented, he never once expressed any remorse about the demise of our marriage. He has also never expressed remorse to the kids. Nope, he made the best decision for everyone involved, because he’s far too clever to make a mistake. His mantra: “I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong”.

Back to you Samaritan. If your guy is like my guy, there’s no hope. It’s a slow recovery because you’ve been frozen out – certainly in the marriage, and probably going forward. There’s no information to work with – you’re out of the loop. Here’s my advice: freeze him out, like he’s frozen you out. No histrionics, no temper tantrums – keep things cool, level-headed and business-like. Mirror him. He will hate it.

Lynne
Lynne
8 years ago
Reply to  tflan386

Yes, tflan386, I can totally relate to your term about being frozen out. Over time, I have learnt to freeze him out and that has been my best defense against myself – l have freed myself of the constant wondering and questioning of what I could have done so that this wouldn’t have happened.
Also realizing that I could only control myself and not his behaviour helped me in my decision to leave.

Arnold
Arnold
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

One thing to remember in dealing with a disordered spouse is the concept of “picking up fleas”. After a time, the abuse in whatever form it takes ( actively hostile, passively demeaning, condescension, derision , silent treatments vs the more obvious raging etc0 any normal person starts to act out of character. The longer one is with these folks the worse it can become and you start firing back.
You kick a nice dog often enough and it will bite you.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Arnold

So true. Then, the disordered add insult to injury by pointing to your biting them as justification for their affairs and disenchantment with you.

Staying with a cluster B jackass is a lose-lose situation. The house has all the cards. Just run, and don’t try to convince them of your viewpoint before you leave. It’s an impossible task, will only hurt you. I have TONS of such examples from my X, but I think I’ll just put them in the novel (revenge being a dish best tasted cold, and perhaps with a royalty).

Chumpette
Chumpette
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

oh yes, Tempest! while you are helping educate Chump Nation, by all means cash in on it! Write that novel! Change the hegemonic cheater friendly narrative!

and THANK YOU for your guest posts. You are mighty, Dr. Tempest 🙂

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Chumpette

Thanks, Chumpette–we are all mighty!! The collective wisdom and sassiness in CN is astounding.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Very True, Tempest and Arnold.

sephage
sephage
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

Samaritan – similar situation here. I was, at times, a jerk to my stbxw. But she cheated. She took the equivalent path of attacking someone with a lead pipe after an argument. That’s nuclear escalation, there’s no excuse for it

My advice: if you’ve got aspects about yourself that you’re not happy with, work on them ***for you***. That’s how you move on; by becoming your most awesome self.

Stayin Strong
Stayin Strong
8 years ago
Reply to  samaritan

The coulda, shoulda, woulda’s are what kept me stuck for a very long time. I too think that my ex felt that I was overly demanding and required too much of him. I felt that he basically dumped everything in my lap and let me do the heavy lifting. He often would tell me “I haven’t changed at all since we met, you have”. Which is actually quite true. 25 years of marriage, raising 2 children, working, keeping a home, helping with parents does make a person change and I grew resentful of his lack of maturity. The more resentful I grew, the more distant he became. He never stopped doing the things I asked (hanging at the bars after golf 4 nights a week, drinking and driving, being an uninvolved father, not helping around the house, etc). I asked for 20 years if he would please go to counseling with me. The answer was always no. It was a very lonely marriage.

But he chose to serve up another tray of shit sandwiches with a side of “whore du jour” when he decided to have an affair. He chose to walk away from the marriage. He chose to move out of state. He chose to abandon his children. I never would have done that. Now I realize I coulda, shoulda, woulda”s divorced him a long time ago.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  Stayin Strong

I can REALLY relate to this. I too always felt like I carried more than the usual burden but ironically at DD he turned it around on me and said I was “too needy” and that “I never did anything for him”. That was the worst insult of all of them. NEVER DID ANYTHING? Like you, I work a job, I take care of two kids, I do the family stuff, handle all the household administration. He used to come home, give the baby a bath (his one chore) then retreat to the basement for the evening. They he complained I wasn’t there for HIM? What??? I was here every night.. wiping noses and asses, making your dinner, washing your clothes. I wasn’t out whopping it up. But I didn’t initiate sex enough or give enough blow jobs. That’s what it came down to. But it never ever occurred to him to help me more, lighten my load, and maybe sit down and watch TV or a movie with me instead of going to the basement. Yet the whole thing is my fault.

Emotionally immature is the right description.

MrsVain
MrsVain
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

staying strong, newchumpatl and lyn — all 3 of you just told my story.

“my ex felt that I was overly demanding and required too much of him. I felt that he basically dumped everything in my lap and let me do the heavy lifting” ….. the boyman i married actually told me several times that i ask too much from him or i want to much from him. when basically the only thing i was asking was for him to put the wife and kids FIRST over the drinking, fair weather friends, and family and foolish material things he HAD to buy. he wanted me to take care of everything and he had a free ride to do as little as possible. which worked for him for over 12 years. but after my daughters death i needed someone to pick up the slack and take care of me, which he did for all of 9 months then i was expected to “get over it already” so things could go back to “normal” of him doing as little of the work as possible.

“Like you, I work a job, I take care of two kids, I do the family stuff, handle all the household administration. He used to come home, give the baby a bath (his one chore) then retreat to the basement for the evening. They he complained I wasn’t there for HIM? What??? I was here every night.. wiping noses and asses, making your dinner, washing your clothes. I wasn’t out whopping it up. But I didn’t initiate sex enough or give enough blow jobs.”……..the exhole said i didnt “treat him right” because you know doing everything, while he did nothing but work. plus him not even giving me money for bills or food, not coming home, spending all night out drinking was me not treating him right. all the times i tried to talk to him, to find out what i was doing wrong, and what he needed me to do….well it boiled down to having sex with him, of course he made me feel so desired, so wanted, so loved that i had no problem initiating sex with him …NOT. but since i wasnt having sex with him (and he did not think he needed to do anything to fix that) then it meant i didnt love him, i was tired of him and made him feel like our marriage was over. WTF? what about all the other shit i was doing? fucking idiot. i do so much, i stayed with him so long, i forgave him many times, i put up with so much, i continued to try and then he told me i got boring…..yep, my depression over my daughters death was “boring”

so like Lyn said “I remember thinking, “then I give up, because I couldn’t have done any more.” and that is what i keep telling myself.

i do have a journal. ironically i started it because Diablo kept telling me i never listen to him, and he “already told me that” so i started writing all this stuff down to make sure i wouldnt miss anything he told me, you know so i could fix it and make my marriage work… all those times i called him hoping that we could work it out only to be belittled and blamed and have everything i said twisted. (of course his wonderful neighborhood hood rat was there to help him understand all this) the hateful and cruel things he said that left me breathless and in so much pain. and only to find out that nope he did not tell me and i really did listen to him. he wanted out so bad that he listened and believed some slut he knew for 3 months over the wife who loved him for 14.5 years.

i dont need to read it anymore. i know that he sucks. and the longer he stays away from my boys….the more i hate him.

Patsy
Patsy
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

Newchumptatl, beware the double bind: ‘you don’t initiate enough’ whilst rejecting/’not noticing’ initiating. I learned to initiate veeeeeery subtly so that retreat wasn’t humiliating (yes, it ‘wasn’t noticed’ a lot)

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

Add me to the list here folks.
The one thing I really look forward to in my divorce is him getting out of my house.
Number two is him having to learn how to do everything I have done for years, work full time, raise kids, make breakfast, make sure they make lunch, know what everyone likes to eat, doesn’t like to eat, get the house cleaned and taken care of, field trip permission slips, school supplies, the stuff of life that needs to get done that he has never had to do.

2kids2love
2kids2love
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

AllOutOfKibble, I hear you! Mine started his affair the summer after our youngest graduated from high school. I don’t know if the timing had anything to do with it, but he was able to benefit from me taking care of ALL the school stuff and then took a hike. In fact, I never felt he gave me credit for being the “family secretary.” He acted like he did everything and I did nothing. To his credit, he *did* do a lot and was never lazy, but a lot that I did was behind the scenes, stuff he didn’t even know existed. And yet, he constantly ask me to do things for him. I never, ever asked him to help me. That was my perception. His perception is probably different. But he’s an idiot and I’m not.

Roberta
Roberta
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

AllOutOfKibble, if your cheater is like mine then he’ll just call from time to time telling you what YOU need to do! Mine just pulled this on me regarding taxes that he agreed to past, but obviously he and his “rich Schmoopie” have been unable to accomplish! It was laughable as he told me that he paid them. What he did not know was I had already contacted the IRS and I guess he didn’t realize that writing a check for insufficient funds does NOT in anyway satisfy the governments criteria for “payment”! Then he proceeds to command me to “handle the problem” and it’s all my fault! I asked him if while we were married and I took care of taxes, did we EVER have a problem? His answer: No! Then I reminded him that we were no longer married thanks to his infidelity and I then directed him to the page numbers of our divorce decree which specifically states that taxes and payment are HIS bailiwick! Then I told him to “kiss my ass” and hung up! Problem solved!

LiningUpDucks
LiningUpDucks
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

newchumpatl, giving more head likely wouldn’t have worked anyhow. It didn’t in my case.

Before we had our first child, I read this book called “Baby-proof your marriage” which advised wives to give lots of sex/blow jobs/etc. throughout, because it tends to be what many husbands really need to feel loved. So I did that. Even just a few days after giving birth, I was back at the BJs (even though I was exhausted from caring for the baby). But it didn’t matter. He cheated anyhow.

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

newchump, I was also incredulous at the “you never did anything for me” my ex said on DD. I basically gave up everything I wanted to support his dream, and he left me isolated on a farm for weeks on end. It never made sense to me that he wanted so much property but was never there to take care of it. When he said “you never did anything for me,” I remember thinking, “then I give up, because I couldn’t have done any more.”

Anyway, I was definitely a victim of confirmation bias. Also fantasy bonding. Whenever I would feel sad or neglected I’d remember good times in our relationship and hang on to those in the hopes they’d come back. Now I wonder why I stayed so long, but at the time I clung to him like a drug. I was so afraid he was going to leave. Now I realize that after the kind of childhood I had, I needed someone who was available for me, not someone whose first love was his own ambition.

JJ
JJ
8 years ago

I’ve got an awful memory, something for which I’ve been immensely grateful this year, as I’ve removed all signs of him from my life, and talk only through email and texting. It’s only been 7 months, but it feels like he is really a memory of a time gone past, which I have a very dim recollection of. Awesome.

chumpnomore
chumpnomore
8 years ago
Reply to  JJ

Me too JJ. Unfortunately, it used to help me remember the good stuff and not the bad during my marriage, but now, that I have gone no contact as much as possible (we have two kids) and whenever he tries to hoover or I find a picture or stuff that reminds me of a good memory, I immediately remember how that good memory was there because of all the work I did to make it, everything from the planning to the pictures. And then I remember how he ALWAYS did something to try to ruin the good time: so if it was a vacation he would try to have a fight before, during and after or would criticize the way I packed, or planned, etc, He would pout for his birthday and wanted a week long celebration, while he always forgot my birthdays and got upset if I didn´t remind him of all of the birthdays of his side of the family. And now I just add the question mark of how many of those “good” memories he was actually there, was he sexting? was he thinking about his AP? was he wishing that he could get out of the marriage all those times? So, that does it for me and then the memory is gone very quickly but I keep the parts that I enjoyed or that my kids were happy and give all the credit to myself….I am lucky that everytime I see him in person, he reminds me of how much he sucks…

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  chumpnomore

Chumpednomore–YES! My X ruined every single significant event, and every vacation except 1, with his moods and snarky comments, and criticism and cold treatment. He even ruined our wedding night by getting so drunk he had to vomit into a waste basket by the side of the bed to consummate the marriage. That was a real turn-on, let me tell you.

Then, the only vacation he didn’t ruin (our last major one together), it was because I had warned him ahead of time not to be a jerk or I’d never go on vacation with him again. Turns out, that was the vacation he was all nervous and on the computer because he had been turned into the sexual harassment officer at the university for his affair with a graduate student years prior. [at the time of the vacation, I knew nothing about the sexual harassment charge or the affair, only that he was behaving in an anxious way]. Poor little sausage was so scared and in need of my support, he couldn’t misbehave to me.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

My Ex also said hurtful things on days that were significant to me ir before doing things that were important to me. I always thought it was bad timing of a fight, but maybe something in him (perhaps unconscious) wanted to take away some of my joy? Ugh.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Sar

A disappointment? I’m hoping your not still with this creep. X was also into porn. Many of these porn addicts despise women and are blatantly into degradation of women. X got creepier with age checking out very young girls.

ringinonmyownbell
ringinonmyownbell
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

What is it with these guys ruining every single vacation. Dr. Demento would have a roaring rage at the beginning of every trip. It got to the point that me and the kids didn’t travel with him on planes. He would go by himself and we would meet up with him. It worked. My therapist said it was be cause he didn’t have much executive function. I just this think it was an issue of control. New situation…MUST. EXERT.CONTROL Asshole… that is one of many deal breakers… moody controling traveller… adios amoeba.

Other Kat
Other Kat
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Ruined vacations . . . man can I relate to that one. He’d either golf all day, leaving me behind with small children, or when he did deign to grace us with his presence he’d act as if it was such a chore. Instead of joining in on various activities, he would walk behind us with his hands held behind his back and his head down to gesture his impatience and judgment about whatever “silly” thing he was being dragged to. When he went on his infidelity diet and makeover, he stopped eating with us at restaurants (vacations were the only times he would even go to one with me) because he preferred his superior diet of rabbit food and loves nothing more than to sit in silent judgment.

Funny, Tempest, I had the same experience–the last vacation I agreed to go on with him I laid down rules and boundaries that he was afraid to cross, and his sulking no longer had its intended effect. He was a sad sausage the whole time but we all ignored him and had a great vacation together.

Patsy
Patsy
8 years ago

This is such a useful post, thank you Tempest.

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  Patsy

Amen to that Patsy!

I think of the texts I saw between ex and OWhore about how he loves her and should have told her to her face and how much his cock hurt after fucking her, and I think I am free of this disordered crazy. Life is so much better when you no longer have a POS cheating asshole in it.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  Deloris

Deloris
Can’t miss that. Happy Tuesday.

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  donna

donna, exactly. Nothing worth missing. Happy Tuesday indeed.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Deloris

It that isn’t a Hallmark moment then there will never be one. Geez! ha!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

if that…. damn phone and autocorrect!

ChumpFromF
ChumpFromF
8 years ago
Reply to  Deloris

“how much his c@!!$@ hurt after fu@@$$g her”
HAAAA ha ha ha ! Noooooooo …

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpFromF

For real ChumpFromF. If that isn’t disordered crazy I don’t know what is?!!! Hence why I never did the pick me dance. My brain did a WTF, REALLY, WTF, NO WAY, WTF, HOW COULD HE, WTF, BUB-BYE!!

chjrn
chjrn
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpFromF

Wow, your ex sure has a way with words!

If I have any warm fuzzy thoughts about my ex, I replay the conversation I had with one of my best friends from college (a GYN). “I need to be tested.” and the pure shock on her face. Puts things in perspective real quick!

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  chjrn

A regular Prince Charming. No wonder OWhore couldn’t resist?!!

I’m am thankful 10 months on I no longer have nostalgic moments when I reminisce about my ex. I’ve spent that time focussing on me, healing, loving, caring for and appreciating myself, knowing I’m worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into it.

I saw ex about a month ago while I was on the bus going home from work. It was the first time I’d seen him since we’d split and he’d moved out. What shocked me the most was I felt nothing. I expected my stomach to churn of something, an overwhelming feeling of sadness, uneasiness, some emotion. Nada. He might was well have been another random stranger on the street. That was my Tuesday and what a wonderful day that was.

NorthernLight
NorthernLight
8 years ago
Reply to  Deloris

Congrats on recahing the Land of Meh!

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  NorthernLight

Thanks NorthernLight. What a wonderful place it is.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Deloris

*applause* for you Deloris

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Thank you Tempest and AllOutofKibble!!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Deloris

Yeah for your Tuesday!!

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  Deloris

*or something

Kimberly
Kimberly
8 years ago

I’m not at the finish line yet, but mine was simply a compulsive liar and I remember that he never really cared about me at all – I keep remembering that – it helps put things into perspective. Great post! Thanks.

Uniquelyme
Uniquelyme
8 years ago

Based on the recommendations here for “It’s Just a F***ing Date”, I read the book. The author stated that women tend to believe in a man’s potential instead of believing who they really are. To me, it was a major AHA moment because that was me in a nutshell during my toxic marriage. No matter how many times cheater ex showed me who is really is (he wins gold for the “Trust That He Sucks” award), I kept on believing he didn’t suck My love and belief that he could be a better man were bogus. I can’t change ANYONE. Nowadays, when people show me who they are, I believe them. No sense in arguing since that’s a lost cause. Best I spend my time doing something else, like sort out the stray buttons in my drawer.

Thank you for another great post, Tempest.

unicornomore
unicornomore
8 years ago
Reply to  Uniquelyme

I did that big time. I was convinced that there was a decent kind reasonable man hiding inside my H waiting to reach his full potential, but he was mean to me and acted like I was a very low priority. I prayed that he could find the capacity to be kind. The face that he found his happy place with OW nearly killed me.

Marci
Marci
8 years ago

I did keep journals about the cheaters as password-protected files on my laptop. There is nothing that could incriminate anyone in them, but they are important to review periodically. It is amazing how much detail we forget. Although I know my decisions to divorce were based on good judgment at the time, it is sometimes helpfully reinforcing to read the detail…strangely enough, about how evil the OW can be.

I have asked my sons to delete those files (they are filed under please-delete-upon-death) and they also know that the files contain the journals about their father. The only thing anyone would gain from reading them is sadness.

My own father left an unprotected laptop when he died, and my son and I deleted all his files once we had settled the estate. However, some of his strange journal musings were things I wished I had not viewed. This is why it helps to name the files.

mom3085
mom3085
8 years ago

as chumps we always believe in the best of all people. I still live with my STBX and I get the text messages I LOVE YOU but all I need to do is remember that I read those same messages to the OW ( she dumped him) it is hard to have been married so long and not have good memories but certainly with the help from my therapist ( and Tracy and this column) I can look at them without the rose colored glasses

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  mom3085

Cheaters are unoriginal. Ex sent his OW the exact same messages he sent to me on a daily basis, gross. Saddam called her “hon” same as he did me. After reading them I realized he hadn’t called me by my actual name in at least 5 years.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

Mine called me by my first name last week for the first time in years too. It sounded weird and I realized that’s going to be what he calls me from now on. I will embrace the hell out of it.

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee
8 years ago

It’s interesting…I was doing a good job of trusting that he sucked until Mr. Wonderful got married again. After that, I began to wonder if he really sucked as much as I thought. Maybe he was like that because of something about me. Maybe he doesn’t really suck. What if he and the new wife (not the one he left us for) are having a beautiful new life together?

But then, through a series of very weird events, I learned that he was having STD testing.

There must be trouble in paradise.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Stay tuned, Elizabeth. You already know how that story ends.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth Lee

Looks like new wifey got a bite of a rotten apple.

I just found out mine has a new victim. Frankly, all I feel for her is pity. Though X’s hookups were not all nice people, he does tend to choose warm, compassionate people for long-term relationships. There is not a snowball’s chance in hell any nice woman will be happy with him.

ChumpFromF
ChumpFromF
8 years ago

To help remember the awfulness of my cheater, and help propel myself to the finish line, I wrote a mere chronology of facts, that runs over five years.
No feelings, no remarks, no gory details, just a very simple list with dates and events.
The lawyer read it, and handed it back to me saying: “you definitely have to leave this guy”. And it was sincere, because the consultation was free, as it turns out I don’t need a lawyer.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpFromF

Just be sure that representing yourself doesn’t put you at a disadvantage. I filed pro se, then got a lawyer. Had I not, I might have been tempted to accept X’s “generous” offer, where the cash payout was 1/4 of what my lawyer calculated I should get.

ChumpFromF
ChumpFromF
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Thanks, but no worries: conditions are simply that I have to buy half of the house, at the price estimated by the real estate agency where we bought the house 13 years ago. Each of us paid half of it. This is why a lawyer is not necessary; there is nothing to discuss. My lawyer will come into the picture only if he refuses to sell.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpFromF

You should get an independent assessment on the house, just to make sure the price is right, same as you’d do if you were buying/selling with anyone else.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Before I met with my lawyer, I used the calculators on the State website for child support. The numbers came out much lower than what my lawyer was coming up with. He is also telling me I can get a LOT more spousal support than I had figured on. The measly retainer will pay for itself after a few months (when I finally get to that point)!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago

Another great guest post! Wonder if Chump Lady and Tempest could adopt me? I am house trained. Well sometimes I am getting older and I have some issues. ha!

Oh I know full well everything the ex did. It was a nightmare. There is not enough computer memory to hold everything that asshole did.

Just to name a few from gambling pay checks away and I didn’t have enough money to cover the rent and the other bills, drinking and drug use, getting fired from jobs, getting kicked out of his Dad’s house, being in credit card debt, being unemployed for a very long time, all the lies about bills and just daily things he would do or not do, getting into loads of car wrecks with his poor driving, the cheating, the gas lightening, his damn ass family and their issues with everyone and everything, to his ED issues, other health issues all now I know is related to his NPD, the nights I would worry that he would be not home and use the excuse he was working but he was banging some whore, and the list goes and on and one.

The first D-day I did try to heal the marriage but at the end of the day I couldn’t do it. There was nothing to work with. I slowly learn that he was an empty shell of human flesh. Then guess what happen? Another D-day. I had several. This thing I was married to is a true NPD. Over the years I found out more and more things. I don’t have any good feeling or memories with this loser. I saw the devil right in the eyes of this guy. I was married to the devil himself. There is nothing good at all I can recall with him. I am so happy that he is out of my life. He is a sick ass monster.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

On the toll that it all placed on me with PSTD, and placing my health at risk, what he did to me financially also, the bullshit he told others about me and blaming me for the marriage breaking up.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

sorry I have no clue what I my phone was trying to say about “on the toll”. I need a new phone. ha!

Not Juliet
Not Juliet
8 years ago

I do think it is easier to wipe out the “bad” memories, at least after a while. My father died 25 years ago, after a five year battle with cancer. In the beginning, all my memories were of him being sick. After a few years, those were replaced with “good” memories, and it’s like the bad stuff didn’t happen.

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago

This was torture for me, but I searched on line and found a x-rated video of an escort in a hotel room with a so called client giving a BJ for 5 minutes (5 mins is LONG BTW and made me ill). That’s what my soon X did to me a week before D-Day that I learned about from his assistant manager while they were out of town on a business trip. I called the assistant manager to just ask about the suspected affair with a ho-worker I had found evidence about in emails and phone bills. So this news was on top of the 4 year affair I learned about and got some confirmation from the AM. It kind of turned my “mind movie” into a reality by doing this which I needed.
Btw, my X admitted to the hooker and he said he couldn’t get it up and it was the worst 5 minutes of his life and he paid her only because he was too nice. That was his explanation along with, “that is not who I am”. I just think about this and I have no problem with knowing that he SUCKS!!!!!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate50

Kate50–I’m sorry; the mental tapes we play of our then-H or -W having sex with someone else are bad enough; real tapes are more powerful and harder to get rid of. I did the same thing as you–after D-day, I looked up porn pictures for the first time in my life to get up-close-and-personal images of intercourse. I think it was my version of aversion conditioning–if I could look at those images, what my now-X did to his grad-whore (and numerous women) would become less trauma-ridden. I don’t know if looking at that filth was the cause, but my horrible panic attacks did decrease in intensity after that.

I’m furious with my X for so many things, but the fact that his behavior led me to do things I wouldn’t otherwise have done, is on the list.

Carmella1722
Carmella1722
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

“I’m furious with my X for so many things, but the fact that his behavior led me to do things I wouldn’t otherwise have done, is on the list.”
This Tempest. Especially during the pick me phase. Trying to compete I guess. Trying to win the approval of the person who so painfully rejected me. I had to forgive myself for all that.

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I’m glad I’m not alone in how I went crazy trying to figure things out, I just hated who I became after I found out what he was doing, glad I left so my life can return to normal and even better than before!!! Thanks Tempest.

Not Juliet
Not Juliet
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate50

Regarding hookers, I think you have to pay based on the activity, not the results. Not his “niceness”, he probably would have got his ass kicked.

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago
Reply to  Not Juliet

Not Juliet, I wish his ass got kicked or the hooker was an undercover cop and had him arrested to be honest.

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago
Reply to  Not Juliet

NJ, the assistant manager said that when he saw him the next morning, he was exhausted and couldn’t hardly function. I think the hooker stayed for the night and the entire story I got was all lies. What’s even worse is he texted me the next afternoon say he missed me and loved me and that he was so tired from the buyer show he was at along with a bunch of hearts! I still have that text. POS!

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate50

That is so mess up. I am puzzled about the reason for making the video and then keeping it. Why keep it if what he told you was true? I just cannot think like these sickos. These people are really messed up in the head.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate50

Geez, Kate50 that is really terrible. There are some things like that with the ex that is very difficult for me to share. I can fully understand it never leaves your mind.

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago
Reply to  Beth

That was hard for me to share here because of what I did, looked for a video, but I needed a reality check because he kept minimizing that it was the worst 5 minutes of his life. It made it real for me to know exactly what he was in the end.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  Kate50

Oh Kate50, I can fully understand your feelings about sharing it here. The good thing about this site that so many of us have to deal with such pain also. I saw some really nasty things about the ex also. It takes a lot of courage to type what you do. You are mighty. There is no words to describe how sorry I am that you had to deal with such abuse. All these PD are just sick. Hugs to you.

Not Juliet
Not Juliet
8 years ago

My first husband died 16 years ago. He was a bad alcoholic and very abusive. It’s unbelievable now, but I never think about him at all. If I do remember anything about him, I don’t have any emotions associated with it, it’s like i am watching a movie of things that happened to someone else. It’s very strange.

Einstein
Einstein
8 years ago
Reply to  Not Juliet

That’s exactly how it feels for me, and it is indeed a strange feeling. No good memories, no bad memories, just nothing.

unicornomore
unicornomore
8 years ago

During my M, I was so traumatized by his behavior, I would forget the worst parts of it (like a bad car wreck)…I once called a friend who I had dumped on after thenH had done something especially heinous to ask her what it is that he did to me because I forgot. I spackled over any and all of his meanness.

BUT…. A month after he died I found photos of OW in his office, 3 months after he died I realized that like was calmer and happier without his meanness, 13 months after he died I learned he had lied (during the “coming clean” conversation) about the main OW, and 2.5 yrs after he died I learned he was a serial cheater.

I have crossed the abyss…when he comes to mind now, my first thought is “cheating, lying, selfish asshole”

and he was one to cover his tracks, he never ever wrote anything mean …he only spoke his cruelty (because according to him, spoken words have no power or weight …they just disappeared into thin air) but I wrote him letters in response to his horrific spoken words and I have a pile of them…next to his hotel receipts and a single love letter to OW I found. Some people may think its petty and unforgiving to keep this shit, but I need it, I need to remember he sucked.

Cheaterssuck
Cheaterssuck
8 years ago

Keeping a list is definitely helpful. I don’t refer to it much anymore but I keep a list on my cell phone where it’s very handy to read whenever I head down the nostalgia road.

I also used to tell myself to “trust that he sucks” for the whole 20 minute ride to work for about 6 months after our divorce.

I don’t get nastalgic for my old life anymore and I’d like to think those two things helped.

just another chump
just another chump
8 years ago

Maybe it’s natural to wipe out some of the bad memories but when you had very little to work with it’s hard to remember actual good times. Reflecting back on the marriage most of the memories of me being a single mom while he worked away from home. When he was home he ignored the kids, constantly went out to meet people (networking), and criticized all of us.
Now I realized the twenty some years are my life with my children and the occasional visit from the him. All I was for him was a facade for his worklife, and a housekeeper, ATM and nanny for his homelife. Sometimes I miss little things like having somebody to talk with or joke with about things pertinent to people in our age group.
I saved his Ashley Madison chatgroup stuff and copies of credit card statements showing his cheater spending just so I would never forget he truly was an asshole to me. He dumped me once our youngest turned 18 and told all his friends how awful his marriage had been. Forgot to tell them his marriage was so awful he had to serial cheat to have his needs met but never once thought about owning up to his horrible life and divorcing the sexually inadequate but financially supportive woman; also forgot to tell his best friend he was boinking the friend’s wife for two years before she divorced him.

Tracy
Tracy
8 years ago

My husband’s girlfriend sent a text message saying I am just jealous that I didn’t know how to suck her man’s …….. well…. considering her man is still my husband, I posted that on everything. Infact I found a T shirt at Good will that had green lips on it and said” I got good lipservice”….that text got attached and gifted wrapped for him at Christmas. My daughter says she misses Dad….but she says I mean the old Dad not the person he is now. I explain to her….they are one in the same.
He has his whore living in my house…he won’t settle…he is fighting me for China cabinets. His whore called my work and asked for me….I work at an attorneys office. Caller ID….it is all games and manipulation. I texted her and asked her to help get me divorced so she can have him….we don’t want him.
I have been diagnosed with PTSD… with good reason….this man filed a PFA to have me evicted out of my home to move his whore in. It worked. So for 3 years I have had to watch my life become a Tsunami. He had me jailed…he came to my house…stole from me…came to my church….came to my 2 house…broke in….but the PFA protected him…not me.
I regurgitate that drama to remind me that it is ALL HIM….and God removed me for a reason. Had I stayed….I would have killed myself from the crazy he put on me for years. People see it now. They see the slow methodical abuse. He is good….he is charming. He is poison. If he was on fire….I wouldn’t even piss on him to put the flames out. That “forgive him ” stuff…. sorry not happening. Jesus will just have to understand.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Forgiveness is a luxury I don’t yet have, and I’ve learned to live with that. It might happen one day and it might not. Don’t let anyone pressure you about that Tracy.

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Forgiveness? I’m celebrating the fact he’s getting surgery which entails months of painful rehab and won’t have income for a year.

It’s bad enough these assholes can manipulate the system, quit their jobs, hide money, degrade their spouse, abandon their children, threaten, stalk, and cheat. That’s a heap of fucking entitlement right there. They aren’t entitled to forgiveness.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

If I ever find myself forgiving X, I will slap myself. He’s still lying about his serial cheating. Coupled with the emotional abuse I sustained, he doesn’t deserve forgiveness.

There’s a difference between forgiveness & moving on with a better life. I am moving on; I don’t have to forgive the f*cker.

violet
violet
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Forgiveness is only available if there is remorse. And even though my X has expressed his remorse to me, I will never forgive him for the hell he put me through. Yes, it may seem strange that I feel sorry for him but I don’t forgive him, but I think I feel the way I do because I have emotionally divorced myself from him. Watching his life fall apart has been like watching a building burn to the ground, something I wouldn’t wish for anyone, but something that doesn’t impact me in any way.

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I’m in the same place Tempest, he still lies and denies things I’ve found out, right now it feels like hell needs to freeze over before I can forgive him.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Tracy–I’m so sorry. Document, document, document for the sake of settlement, and to get harassment charges brought against her. You have no cause to forgive him (or her). Forgiveness is advocated by people who have not lived through what you have lived through.

Datdamwuf
Datdamwuf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Tracy, you are not alone. Saddam attacked me and got me arrested for abuse. It is all kinds of fucked up. I dream of him dying on a regular basis. One day soon I hope to wake up and hear a voicemail from his mother telling me he is in fact dead. I would go to his funeral just to make sure it was true.

Five jump chump
Five jump chump
8 years ago
Reply to  Datdamwuf

reoccurring thoughts/wishes of dying ex’s… Yep. I often think how I might handle my ex whores death concerning my daughter, should it happen. Of course I won’t attend any funeral, etc, but I wonder how it will effect her when I appear completely ambivalent, unmoved, and actually in my heart of hearts glad.

My ex-POS bitch did everything in her power to destroy me, using her own daughter as a weapon, and completely does not deserve to have this beautiful, kind, HONEST person in her life. I do wish she were dead, for there are some things done in life to others, that IMO require you to not continue breathing. What I and many others went through because of my ex, to levels so far from what I ever thought possible, allow me to believable as I and we do. Pangs of missing my divorced, disordered ex; nope… I am so grateful for every second I have now, and although I do hate my ex, it’s a cold hate. Fuck cheaters.

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

Wow, Tracey! Your experience has touched me. Keep being a badass mother for your daughter. She will appreciate how much you love and care for her wellbeing and your own. You are so much better without that POS cheater in your life. Hang in there and keep strong. You and your daughter are worth so much more.

Rarity
Rarity
8 years ago

I have a picture of him and his then-mistress kissing passionately at a formal party. They look very dolled-up and happy and glamorous. It was taken the day after D-day, when he had last seen me crumpled into a sobbing heap on the floor. I got it because it was posted on his FB feed for all to see, and though I had him unfriended and blocked by that point, it showed up on our daughter’s feed.

It’s a good reminder of who he really is. He did not feel even a hint of remorse about cheating on me; he practically stepped over my crumpled body on his way to adultery prom night.

Whenever he’s turning up the sad sausage routine, I look at that picture. He didn’t show me one whit of sympathy or compassion in my moment of need, and he’ll get the same from me.

ChumpFromF
ChumpFromF
8 years ago
Reply to  Rarity

In their troubled minds, after screwing some hungry obsessive OW, they conclude that with us, they did not get the praise and worship they deserved. Although they never expressed dissatisfaction verbally to us, they consider that we knew they were dissatisfied, yet continued behaving as usual, because we are cruel, you see, not because we are overloaded with the work they don’t do on top of life’s many challenges.
Building lies upon lies, since we willfully ignored their needs, they are only taking a revenge when they cheat. They are the good guys who have been mistreated, who made justice happen. We can’t be sincere when we cry, these are crocodile tears, an attempt to manipulate them further into staying with us mean creatures.

Their narrative is crazy, totally untrue, but it enables them to go with the other person without self loathing.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpFromF

This is Asshat except he did periodically express dissatisfaction. It would often be way out of line and I would left standing there wondering where he came up with those issues in the first place. They were just excuses to justify his behaviour. I questioned him and I just reinforced his perception of me as the evil, nagging, frigid wife.

dollparts
dollparts
8 years ago
Reply to  Rarity

Jesus. I am so sorry. It hurt to even read that.

Rarity
Rarity
8 years ago
Reply to  dollparts

Ty for the sympathy. My life is much better now. His mistress dumped him less than 6 weeks later and wrote a hilariously fatuous, narcissistic blog post about dumping him. Our divorce was finalized 9.5 months ago. He has tried numerous times since then to seduce me, but I want nothing to do with him.

I am finishing my master’s degree, building my career, dating regularly, enjoying my children and NOT living paycheck to paycheck anymore. I never bother trying to learn how either of them is doing, especially her. I’m probably not 100% “meh” yet, but 95% of the time, I really don’t care. And CN helps me heal through that last 5%.

Kate50
Kate50
8 years ago
Reply to  dollparts

I agree dollparts, I felt that pain that feels like a fist in my stomach come back like it did when I found out what mine did. I don’t know how they can do this and live with the pain it causes us. 🙁

Lyn
Lyn
8 years ago
Reply to  Rarity

I like to remember that when I had pneumonia, I encouraged my husband to go to a work-related party because I knew he really wanted to. I thought I was being so kind and understanding in letting him go. Later, I found out he danced with coworker OW all night. Things like this happened quite often, but I was so good at stuffing my feelings. It wasn’t until after we separated and I started telling my girlfriends about things he did, that they assured me they would have been upset too.

Throughout our marriage I kept thinking I was just overly suspicious and insecure. It didn’t really occur to me that there are men who don’t make you feel this way. I think it was the mixture of what seemed like caring on his part, with the reality of his actions that confused me. I’ve told friends many times that if I’d ever walked in on him with someone else that would have been the end. It would have been clear cut. But when everything is just shadows and suspicions? You start to convince yourself it’s your imagination.

Lynne
Lynne
8 years ago
Reply to  Lyn

There were times in my marriage too Lyn that I would have questions – but it was always just shadows. He would stonewall when I voiced my suspicions. He would simply refuse to talk about it after denying it outright. Over time I managed to convince myself that it was my imagination and that it was me that was insecure and suspicious. I also started spackling big-time once we moved to another country to offer our children a more secure future. The ex consistently denied and stonewalled, at the same time appearing to be so committed to our little family, so that when those shadowy, vague suspicions reared up, it was easy to just accept it was me and not my intuition telling me something was not right or adding up.

donwit
donwit
8 years ago

I keep the box of naked women pictures (them on him) he left for me to know what a great prize he was and what a loser I am – reminds me of what a loser he actually is

SDK
SDK
8 years ago

works wonders. Made a list of why she left/made me unhappy. Just reading it changed my miss her feeling to GTFO out feeling.

Deloris
Deloris
8 years ago
Reply to  SDK

SDK, this is gold…!!!

TiredChump
TiredChump
8 years ago

Wow. What an appropriate post. I have been pursuing reconciliation for six months (Dday Jan 20 – found husband had been having serious emotional and physical affair with assistant 28 to his 55 for 2-3 years – Basically, he stole from our family and gave her his time, efforts money, etc and told us he was working late – made me feel like a paranoid controlling shrew when I raised suspicions at end of 2014). There have been barely any joint sessions because MC is working with CH as he is having trouble going no contact with AP. He is “worried” about her, as she has “abandonment” issues. Apparently, ruining my life and our kids lives does not matter..

But yesterday I found this when cleaning up after vacation…..a list he had put together to help him “decide”….
Ouch…

From his list……
PROS (for AP vs our family)
Younger
Sexier
New Family
More Compatible
Like her liberal-ness and feisty-ness (Note from Tired Chump: she is sort of smart/ sort of slutty/ always idolized him and is very sexually adventurous from what he’s told me. )

CONS (against AP)
My children will hate me for a while / Relationship will never be the same
Lose Tired Chump as a friend
Lose 1/2 money and house
I will be 75 when kids are 18 (i guess these are kids he’s planning with AP? he did get her pregnant and have abortion, which was when i realized we were way way way over my bottom line)
I will be old with a much younger person
Have to get a new set of friends
My relatives will think I made a huge mistake

Wow. My value after 32 is nearly non-existant.
Sad
I guess I should really remember that he sucks and call a lawyer today.
So sorry for my kids…..

CalamityJane
CalamityJane
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

TiredChump,

Do not feel sorry for your kids. You are giving them a gift:

* You are showing them how not to be a door mat for a disordered individual.

* You are showing them courage in the face of uncertainty.

* You are showing them the importance of self love.

* You are giving them knowledge for future reference should they find themselves in similar circumstances.

* You are showing them that the future, without a cheater, is promising.

So not feel sorry for your kids. They will are going to be in a better environment with a healthier mother.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  CalamityJane

Exactly, CalamityJ. Our children look to us for guidance and strength. My 19 year old daughter, in particular, seemed to look at me with newfound respect after I ditched X’s sorry ass. She asks me for advice more than she used to. Kids, even adult kids, need to look up to someone with admiration. They can’t do that to the cheater, so we have to be what they need.

Lynne
Lynne
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

I can second that.
My kids have both told me that they admire my courage and respect me for leaving my marriage when I did. They witnessed how much I struggled after I left and that I survived it all. They have both told me that now, when faced with a difficulty, they think that if Mom could go through what she did and come out of it, then so can I. No matter what it is that they’re facing.
It is indeed a far better, healthier example.

chumpnomore
chumpnomore
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

Wow, TiredChump…finding Cheater´s list is gold…not only is it a major sign for you to finally get a divorce, but it will help you in the divorce proceedings and it also has told his future so clearly..the Pros will fade quickly but his Cons will be his life! He is such an asshole that he is telling you that he perfectly knows what he is doing and how he is hurting the people closest to him but that all of that may be worth the Pros of a younger, sexier OW!

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

Copy EVERY financial document you can get your hands on, then call the lawyer. Today. Your kids are grown; there is NO reason to stay except inertia. Fuck his list. Let him make a new list–objects he wants to take from the house.

TiredChump
TiredChump
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

In early July, the 7th to be exact, I found he was at her house and I kicked him out for a few days. One of my kids didn’t even ask where he was – as he has been so focused on his company and working crazy hours / traveling for much of our lives. My actions shocked him as I had been so controlled / calm since finding out. (it helped to know that i was not crazy and my suspicions were justified) I think the kick out was after “the list.” He literally envisioned his future – and said it was the first time he had ever considered suicide. It scared the shit out of me and I called the MC, who sent him to another counselor who deemed he did not have depression, just needed to untangle his fucked up life. I let him back and have been thinking about lining up ducks since, but I am just emerging from denial and still wishing this wasn’t my life.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

TiredChump, keep on being strong. You don’t need his abuse. And that is good a professional said he isn’t depressed. Don’t believe his sad sausage suicide story. Asshat gives me that shit every few months when he is in a petulant rage. The longer i have to live with him the more often I dream he just does it. It disgusts me that this is how i think about the father of my child but it is what it is. And he is an ass.

Shechump
Shechump
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

Tired Chump – mine pulled the suicide card – “I just wanna go shoot my head off”, when we talked about sexual problems. And, then, once I caught him cheating. That scared me for years just to bring up anything sexual that I needed. Talk about manipulation technique! I since learned here that the next time he pulls that crap, I’m calling 911 on his ass and getting him admitted. (not that he’s my problem anymore – 1 yr divorced)

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  Shechump

or say, “here, let me help,” and hand him a gun. “Oops, officer, was it really loaded?! Dear me!”

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Ooh, here’s a thought….

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

TiredChump

What strikes me the most about this list is his entitlement and blatant arrogance. So fir two to three years he’s been screwing around and now Mr Cake Eater believes he is still holding all the cards? No wonder your tired. I’ve been there and never realized my emotional needs were never met in my marriage until I threw him out.

For years I never wanted to face the pain and divorce the lying cheat. Instead I LIVED the pain year after year as X never stooped. Facing the pain was the most difficult thing I have ever exoeriences. But it’s OVER now after a year. Tired Chump you don’t want the daily double for life and neither do your children. It sounds like you’ve had enough and are going to take your power back by filing. Good plan.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

For sure, lawyer up. What a POS, seriously.

Beth
Beth
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

OMG Tired Chump! That is very sad. Congrats of contacting the lawyer. Get all the proof you can and keep it in a safe place and bring it to you attorney. Get the bank accounts sorted also. Don’t let this guy know what you are doing.

Oh yes btw I had the same mess with the ex also.

Wising you the best of luck! Never trust a cheater they will fail you all of the time.

Tracy
Tracy
8 years ago
Reply to  TiredChump

Call the lawyer 5 minutes ago. If he has to make a.list….then you make one….of bank accounts ….investments…. 401K….appraisal of the house…. get your financial list in order. Do not tell him. Get all records of balance in bank accounts and get a credit report today. Find out WHERE your money had been going. Then….. give him your list.
Marriage is about love….Divorce is about money. And you will need money.
I work for my new divorce attorney. Trust and believe when you go to take his money. …he will become evil. Cake…they want all the cake.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  Tracy

If this site had a like button, favorite star or up vote , this post would be mine for the day.

TheClip
TheClip
8 years ago
Reply to  AllOutofKibble

Ditto

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago

Tempest you are brilliant.

What I do is just what you suggested, I pull up screen shots of the jerk’s match.com profile, which he lies throughout including calling himself “divorced”. We aren’t yet.

I go back and look at the log of calls to the first slut. I remember the “date” we had where I caught him texting her while he was out with ME! I read my diary where I outline the whole sordid story. Where I match up strange phone numbers to events. Where things start to come clear. Where his lies are all there for me to remember.

I think about all the duplicity, the deception, the blatant lies. I think about the fact that he isn’t the same guy anymore.. that guy is dead. He’s been replaced with this jerk that I have to coparent with, but beyond that, I have no responsibility for at all. The only real feeling I have for him now is rage, which still isn’t meh. I am sad and lonely but only because I am missing what I “thought” he was, not what he really is.

It helps, but being cheated on is trauma. I have said if he had put a bullet in my head, it wouldn’t have hurt as much. This is the WORST thing you can do to someone besides the bullet. What they steal is your life. All of your memories, the things you thought you were as a couple, the life you thought you were building.. it was all a lie.

But I tell myself if not for this union I wouldn’t have my two sons and the truth is, to go back again, I would marry him all over just to have those boys. They are worth this trauma, they are worth the pain. If I had never met crapweasel, they wouldn’t be here. I might have married someone else and had other kids, but not THESE and I adore my kids.

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

newchumpatl, you say what I can’t concentrate hard enough to spit out these days. Recently, someone asked if I would take it all back. Of course not! My precious son is worth everything. Still doesn’t mean any of this is okay.

And while I have a looong memory, I am short on hard evidence. I do know that last summer, he was texting Florence from my parents’ condo and yelling at me every time we were ‘alone’. He feigned illness, threw a tantrum, changed his plane ticket (to come home to work for a week while my son and I stayed to visit friends and family) and left early. The day before my birthday. He spent my birthday with Florence. I don’t have proof and i don’t need it. Meanwhile, on my birthday, we were burying (uh, actually cremating) one of my aunt’s whose kids lived with me for a short time while i was in high school. I couldn’t go into the service bc it was open casket so i sat in the lovely waiting area and watched my son play quietly. I had to carry him on the procession through the cemetery bc he was sleepy and my RA shoulders were in pain for days afterwards. He kept asking why everyone was crammed into the crematorium and I could barely speak to make up an answer. Asshat was probably getting his rocks off with the same woman who is now stalking me. He got too sick to fly back and drive across the country with us so i drove 2,500 miles alone with my then 6 y.o.. On the way, he asked me to stop and get Florence a present for helping him when he got sick. He holds it against me, though he denies it, that i was not here to help him.

He wonders why I have so much hatred for him.

newchumpatl
newchumpatl
8 years ago
Reply to  ChumpyElf

Totally screwed up. Recently, I remembered that asshat bought the whore a “basket” after she had a minor surgery. This was like 2 years ago, maybe 3 years!! A long time. But it popped into my head the other day. My little one was just a baby. I didn’t know he bought the basket but he must have sent it from both of us because she sent me a thank you text!!!!! I actually still had the text!

Now thinking back there were all these little signs. The sad/scary thing was the whore was a friend of mine.. she and I did Yoga classes together, she’d been in my home, around my kids. She came to see my last child in the hospital when he was born!!! HELD him!!! When I think of that it makes me want to vomit. As recently as October she was inviting me to do workouts with her (this was at the height of her daily interactions with my husband) and in December i met her for breakfast for a business thing. Come to think of it, she was REALLY nervous during that meeting and looked really disheveled. I wonder if she thought I was going to confront her. After I discovered her daily calls to my husband in February, I went back and looked up that date we had breakfast and they talked RIGHT after we left the restaurant. That would be a hell of a coincidence for “casual friends”.

Sickos both of them. They deserve each other.. although I think she may have dumped him. Good riddance to bad rubbish. These people are trash!

ChumpyElf
ChumpyElf
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

The only time I ever saw Florence was about a year ago when I took my son to see my PCP, bc his pediatrician was booked. She was filling in for the regular nurse and did not introduce herself. Her name tag was facing the wall. She was nice but I thought she seemed flustered and distracted. When Asshat got home, he asked about the appointment and I described the nurse. He already knew it was her. She is a nurse who no longer worked in his clinic. Why would they have reason to speak? I almost asked but he started droning on about something and I walked off. I am disgusted she touched my kid and I am disgusted that he puts his mouth near us because I KNOW where it’s been.

Earlier, I was putting some clean laundry in his House Elf den and was hunting for his missing old cell phone. Found a printed email for a referral for a counselor from a year ago. So he had been screwing Florence for months (of course I’m not sure since he doesn’t remember) or at least was in love with for about 8 months at that point and then he decides he is depressed? He had been acting as though he had had to seek professional help for months and that i didn’t care but at the point he told me, he couldn’t have gone to more than a handful of appointments. Where I very much doubt he admitted to fucking someone who isn’t married. They commit a felony (or is it multiple? Maybe only a misdemeanor since he can’t really get it up) and I get to sit here and protect my child from her impending craziness and this shitstorm. Yeah, I’d say that sounds fair.

Ever since the word got out Tom Brady destroyed his cell phone before being questioned I am curious as to why he didn’t send it back and he doesn’t have an excuse bc I thought they charge you if you don’t return an old phone if you upgrade. I don’t need to do anything conscious to remember he is an ass bc he lives here and I have to see/smell/hear him every day.

AllOutofKibble
AllOutofKibble
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

newchumpatl, This is exactly how I feel! “But I tell myself if not for this union I wouldn’t have my two sons and the truth is, to go back again, I would marry him all over just to have those boys. They are worth this trauma, they are worth the pain. If I had never met crapweasel, they wouldn’t be here. I might have married someone else and had other kids, but not THESE and I adore my kids.” Would be nothing without my kids.

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  newchumpatl

Newchumpatl–Eloquently put!! I completely agree; my X’s burying a machete in my back would have been preferable to cheating on me. And whenever I find myself ruing the day I met him, I look at my two wonderful daughters and realize I would walk through the fire of that marriage again to have them.

But…(and this is for you, TiredChump), I wish I had left the day after my second daughter was born. My kids would have been psychologically better to have a single, overwhelmed parent than one overwhelmed + one emotionally abusive parent. Fearing the loss of kibbles with a second baby in the house, my X did something so atrocious the day after my youngest daughter’s birth that I saw the mask slip entirely. Part of me hated him ever since that day, and never felt safe. I should have left then.

FMT
FMT
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

Tempest, what did he do?

Tempest
Tempest
8 years ago
Reply to  FMT

Warning: graphic (if you don’t like medical details). My second daughter was fairly big (8 lbs. 9 oz.), and I had a decent-size episiotomy, with stitches, and was told not to go up & down steps for 2 weeks. Not only did X harangue me into coming home a day early from the hospital (he was sick of taking care of the 5-year old), but as soon as I got home, he was cold & grumpy and started his complaints that the toys had not been picked up in the basement from before my delivery. I had promised to do that when we built the basement and add-on, had not kept my word…blah blah blah. We were in the midst of a major snowstorm at that time, the basement was around 60 degrees and no one was going to go down there. Pure power play–Hannibal Lecher kept criticizing and being contemptuous until I gathered up the 1-day old baby, and headed into the cold basement, sobbing from the pit of my stomach, to clean up toys that clearly could have waited to be picked up.

That was my first episode of true hatred for him. Enter the unmitigated thought that he did.not.care.about.me at all. I wish my hormones had not been in flux after giving birth so that I could have either (a) left him that very week, or (b) buried him in said basement and claimed postpartum psychosis.

violet
violet
8 years ago
Reply to  Tempest

It’s stories like yours that make me think my X wasn’t so bad after all. Yeah, he was a jerk with a huge ego, but my X would never have done such a thing. I don’t think anyone with even a remote sense of human decency would; it makes me angry for you that you were treated like that!

donna
donna
8 years ago
Reply to  violet

Yet cheating in itself IS abuse. Cheaers pretty much follow the same script. The manipulation, blaming, gaslighting, lying, and isolating, and intimidation are all abusive behaviors.
I convinced myself many times that he wasn’t that bad yet I could put a check mark next to everyone of the above.

donna
donna
8 years ago