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Dumb Things Cheaters Say, And How To Respond

Dumb Things Cheaters Say, And How To Respond

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Cheaters say the most absurd things. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being cheated on, you’ve probably found yourself gobsmacked at the excuses cheaters give. Haven’t you wanted the perfect rejoinder? Wouldn’t you love to know what’s going on inside their noggins to make them spout such nonsense? Well, wonder no more. Here are dumb things cheaters say and how to respond…

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1. But I loved you all along.(But it’s you I love)

It’s a common trope that cheaters “never stopped loving you.” This ability to “love” you while cheating on you is often attributed to “compartmentalization.” Yes, I loved you. But then I was able to shelve my love for you just long enough to f.uck another person. When I came home, shazam! I loved you again. Real love is about connection and respect. You have to be emotionally and spiritually disconnected from someone to be able to cheat on them.

Your response
“I don’t believe you loved me while you were cheating on me. Love and betrayal are incompatible. I don’t feel safe with that kind of ‘love.’ ”

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2. I love you but I’m not in love with you.

A classic. Translated it means — “I did unloving things, but telling you ‘I love you’ makes me feel better about them.” I love you but I’m not in love with you is simply impression management. It has nothing to do with you. This is about maintaining the cheater’s self image. And it softens the blow — hey, you wouldn’t impose consequences on someone who loves you, would you? They think they’re letting you down gently. Cheater love is a compartmentalized kind of love — “I love you, but I put that aside while I was screwing someone else.” The two things aren’t at all connected. Why should “love” get in the way of a good time?

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We naively assume that people who love us act like they love us. Cheaters subvert that assumption and turn it back on you. “But I’m not in love with you” is a subtle blame shift. “I don’t feel giddy and effervescent. I need sparkles. Alas, if you had only twinkled brighter, perhaps it would not have come to this.” It’s so disappointing the way you’ve let them down. What can you do to make it up to them? “I love you, but I’m not in love with you” is your cue to perform the “pick me” dance. They may be dumping you anyway for the affair partner, but some parting ego strokes would be nice.

The subtle of “I love you but I’m not in love with you” is that it’s not definitive. It’s pure cake speak. They aren’t saying, “Hey, I love someone else. It’s over. I’m sorry.” No, there is an opening — they love you. Just not in that way. It’s a deliberate confusion, this whole torn between two lovers schtick. It keeps the cheater in cake and makes their desires central. The cheater can feel very noble about their love for you in the face of your inadequacies. They’d like credit for that higher sentiment — but they’re unburdened by their commitments because King’s X! — they’re not in love with you.

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“I’m not in love with you” is a justifiable reason to a cheater for casting about and loving someone else. So, which came first? The falling out of love, or the permission they gave themselves to cast about? We all know grown-up love means not feeling “in love” all the livelong day. There are no butterflies when you’re doing taxes, or visiting the in-laws, or cleaning up after a kid’s stomach flu.

Your response
Don’t try to parse with your cheater which parts of you they love or what their butterflies are saying to them today — state what you need. I need to be in a relationship where I am fully loved and respected. You don’t love me the way I deserve to be loved. Buh-BYE.” Don’t ask yourself what you did to be so unlovable. Don’t dance the pick me dance. Just let them go. I’m sure their butterflies will be migrating again soon.

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3. I would try to reconcile, but you’re never going to forgive me.

Yup, your inability to forgive is the real problem here. Yet another example of “The problem is not what I did. It’s your reaction to it.” Any cheater who can utter these words has absolutely zero interest in sincerely reconciling with you. True reconciliation, that rare unicorn, is based on humility. A repentant cheater must assume the risk that you won’t get over it, you won’t find it in your heart to forgive, but a truly sorry person will make that herculean effort regardless. So why would a cheater say such a thing? Because then you’re cast as the bad guy. The quitter. The person who wasn’t trying hard enough. If you couldn’t forgive, hey, it’s all on you.

Your response
“What makes you think you’re entitled to reconciliation or my forgiveness?”

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4. If you met him/her — you’d really like them! He/she’s a lot like you!

Of all the stupid things cheaters say, this is among the more patently moronic. Oh yeah, if this person wasn’t screwing your spouse, you could be best friends. Besides the obvious insult — do you really think I have less moral sense than God gave dryer lint? — it’s propaganda to convince you that the affair partner is a really good person. Why would your cheater assert something so ridiculous? Because they’re minimizing. Hey, the cheater is a good person, the affair partner is a good person. They’re all just good people caught up in something larger than them both. Where is your compassion? This person is just like you. Someone you could really like if you’d get over your prejudice. “You’d like them!” says a lot about your cheater’s narcissistic worldview. You’re all just interchangeable really, united in your love for the cheater. One’s as good as the next, but what matters here is the centrality of the cheater. Wouldn’t it be great if you were all friends together supplying the cheater kibbles? A cake fantasy come to life!

Your response
“I’m nothing like your f*ckbuddy.

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5. I need time to decide.

No, they do not. This is not Let’s Make a Deal. “I need time to decide” is a stalling tactic.

Your response
“You can’t decide if you want to be with me? I am not a consolation prize. I am your spouse. This isn’t a bidding war and I’m not going to compete for the honor of your ambivalence. There’s the door. I’m getting on with my life without you.”

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6. I didn’t intend to hurt you.

Hurting you was unintentional? Cheating is about as deliberate as a NATO airstrike. There’s nothing unintentional about secret cell phones, dating profiles, diverted monies, and clandestine hook-ups. It takes a lot of planning and premeditation to cheat. What was unintentional was you finding out about it. Cheaters prefer the passive voice language of “mistakes were made” after discovery. (No pronouns, no responsibility!) In the real world, people don’t just accidently land on each other’s genitals. It’s not a “mistake” or something that “just happened.” That sort of language distances cheaters from personal responsibility for their crappy choices.

“I didn’t intend to hurt you” is gas lighting with some blame shifting thrown in for good measure. Hey, hurting you wasn’t a conscious choice. If you want to interpret what I did as hurtful, well, that’s on you. But it’s not how I intended it. See how this trick works? The onus shifts from the cheater (who didn’t intend to hurt you) to you (a person who has mistakenly taken offense where offense wasn’t intended). Left out of the equation is that they did something offensive. “I didn’t intend to hurt you” is a gem of impression management. Yes, they are cheaters, but not bad people. It’s not like they go around feeling like Dr. Evil, plotting your downfall. Hurting you was completely beside the point! You’re a bit of collateral damage, that’s all; so don’t take it so hard. What’s important to remember is that the cheater is still a splendid person. The fact is they didn’t care if they hurt you. Not enough. They did the risk benefit analysis and screwing around won out over your feelings every time.

Your response
“Your intentions are irrelevant. You knew full well that cheating on me would hurt me, which is why you kept it a secret. You didn’t intend to hurt me? Well, you didn’t intentionally try to keep me from harm either.”

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