The Humiliating Dance of ‘Pick Me’!

Ooh, pick me!One of the most common mindfucks the cheated upon may experience after discovery of an affair, is the expectation that they will try harder to win back the cheater. This expectation either comes from the cheater directly –  “I cheated because you’re a lousy <partner, housekeeper, lay>” –  and how are you going to up your game to keep me? Or it comes from the codependency of the betrayed spouse – “What did I do to make him cheat? And how can I be a better partner to make him stay?” Often both dynamics are at play, and feed into each other. The cheater, of course, is quite happy to pin this shit on you.

When terrible things happen, it’s very natural to want to feel a sense of control. To think, oh if I’d only done X, Y would not have resulted. If you are at fault, the reasoning goes, well, then you could FIX this. (Codependents love to fix things.) So you will take this crappy situation, and think you can control the outcome by just trying harder.

This is a bad idea for several reasons. First, you aren’t at fault for another’s cheating. That’s on them. As they say in therapy about people behaving self destructively – the Three C Rule – “you didn’t CAUSE it, you cannot CURE it, and you cannot CONTROL it.”

Second, if you see the affair as a competition that you must try harder to “win,” the marriage becomes a bidding war between the betrayed spouse and the affair partner. The best response is to fold, because the game is rigged. There is no winning bid. The cheater just wants the competition to go on indefinitely. (See the Unified Theory of Cake.) They want to sit impassively while you do the humiliating dance of “pick me!” This makes them feel powerful, central, special.

Cheating comes from a sense of entitlement. All you do when you compete for your marriage is solidify that entitlement – that it is YOUR job to ensure the happiness of the cheater, and hey, you missed a spot. Healthy relationships are based upon reciprocity. Infidelity is a toxically lopsided situation. Cheaters want the scales tipped in their favor (more attention, more ego stroking, more sex, more materialism) at your expense. They just don’t want to try that hard, and they’re gonna sulk if you make them.

What does the humiliating dance of “pick me!” look like?

  • Mounting a defense of the marriage – trying to hard sell your cheater on What You Have Together.
  • Eating the shit sandwich. Not bringing up the affair. Stuffing your emotions so as not to upset the cheater with your distress.
  • Believing that the cheater’s need for “happiness” is paramount to the commitment they made to you. If they want to break that commitment, fine, there are honest ways to do that, beginning with a divorce lawyer. If they want to work on happiness, there is therapy, God, and working at pet shelters. But they cannot have all the benefits of marriage AND a side dish fuck because they aren’t “happy.”
  • Let’s make a deal! Don’t make a bargain with the Devil – as long as you try harder to make the cheater happy and fix what’s wrong, they won’t betray you.
  • Super spouse! Having hysterical bonding sex, going to the gym, and dressing spiffier. If you’re trying to be a better you to “win,” you’re just rewarding them. Be a better you for YOU. Your next partner will appreciate it a lot more than they will.
  •  Finally, don’t beg. Don’t grab their ankles as they walk out the door. Don’t drape yourself over furniture weeping. Let them go.




  1. Ms. Jay says

    Amen Sister! After I caught my “serial cheating” ex-husband in a web of lies for the 2nd time, I gave him his “walking papers”. I refused to give him permission to disrespect me and dishonor our teenage daughter. If he wanted to have sex with a variety of women, then he shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. If at some point in our 20+ years of marriage, he decided that he couldn’t move forward, he should have been honest with me. I would have gladly signed the divorce papers. I would rather see him happy with someone else, instead of him being miserable with me. In my opinion, you cannot make another person love or respect you, either they do or they don’t. And his actions told me that he did not love or respect me, so I assisted him in becoming a “swinging bachelor”. He has the right to love someone else, and he has the right to always be a part of our daughter’s life. However, he does not have the right to treat me like crap, and think that I would continue to tolerate his adolescent behavior. I’m so happy that he is out of my life. The chaos and negative energy that he constantly brought into our family’s home have been replaced with a sense of well-being, peace and harmony.

    • Mitzi says

      wow, Ms Jay! Cathing your man a second time…..exactlty what happened 2 days ago, same old same old, same twat too, he also couldn’t miss indicating to his pal that he was over the moon to have reconnected with her!!!!!!!!!!!!! (she called him in the office after 3 yrs)….in that instant everything I felt washed away, nothing that we had still stood – he beat me up very badly when he was dating her years ago, because he HAD to see her and spend the night, this continued for some time, possy 6 months, and now 3 yrs later, he’s happy to reconnect with her????????? I think that was worse than them actually being in touch, that, after so much violence (to protect her “dignity” and “honor”) towards me, he feels “happy”… was the ultimate cake remark, he has it all. I dropped him home, I left, and haven’t spoken since (got the usual million calls round midnight) I would have been doing the pick me dance before get him back, but, this killed everything in me and spurned my last inch of self respect into survival mode; I have nothing to say to him anymore………………that’s it…..nothing, we already lived apart (clever man – being everyday together like a couple but living it in both our places taking turns)….all i feel now is that I really see him for what he is for the first time and feel fysically sick that he actually “is happy” for bringing back a nightmare into what I thought was “our” lives….so; enough said…officially I should not have known, I overheard but knowing how calculating he is, it was meant to happen…..I feel stupid for having tried 3 yrs thinking it was over – stupid me…..not after him living for 7 months with another woman in another country (being told NOT to visit him, neither his kids n pals)….he is the classic twat and I am very angry with myself letting him get that far (just got back from ski hols spending it with his daughters)… posting here as I feel its the only place that gets my mood and situation….will maintain the no contact……but now it’ll be very difficult, fear he will show up at the door….maybe need to tell the guards not to allow him into the compound……he is not my concern anymore, more those are intelligent feelings, the heart isn’t there yet….

  2. Stephanie says

    My God. You just made my day.

    Thanks for giving me the thumb’s up on kicking his sorry ass to the curb so fast that it made his hair blow back. The whore who took him can have him. He’s not worth my concern.

    I love your no-nonsense style!

  3. Peaceful One says

    I wish I’d found your web site years ago. I’m astounded at how everything you say so completely nails what I was dealing with. I wasted a lot of time staying with him but once I made my decision, I did it with strength and wide open eyes that can no longer be fooled. I’ve done what I can to protect myself financially and emotionally but boy, if I only knew what I know now five years ago I could have saved myself a lot of time and pain.

    • says

      Yeah Peace, I wish I’d found my website five years ago too! That’s why I created it. To help other folks navigate the same mess. Congrats on your new beginning!

      • Pinklady says

        Thank you chump lady ‘ lets see married 28 yrs husband ask for divorce back in june 2015 ‘ I was crushed Dday found her text msgs n yes I punched him square in the face betrayal is hard pill yes he even blames me for his affair he had a choice ‘ so dragging them both to court divorcing grounds adultery ‘ I will not humiliate myself playing pick me dance ‘ I am worth so much more . after divorce n house sell I am moving to florida 1500 miles away so I can find peace n harmony go back to school make new friends n start to live a life that I can be proud of ” btw AP worried about court because she is married with 2 children after this will cost her too lol .. thank you chump lady

    • mirad says

      same here! so many bullshit online counselors out there . I tried to learn, learn, learn – what kind of affair was it? What happened to my husband to make him like this? Ugh. SO much time wasted on this cake eater.

  4. Duped says

    Stephanie, so glad I found your site. Comments by the other readers above are helpful and inspiring as well. Almost one year anniversary since my husband walked out on me although just days before he had been telling me I was the best thing that ever happened to him. However, he had painted me as the problem in the relationship all along by saying I was emotionally unavailable but it was just projection of his own inability to be emotionally connected and a rationalization to cheat on me for 15 years. He really had me convinced. He would threaten to leave me and I would put all my energy into coming up with systems to be better. We even had weekly meetings where I was judged on my level of connection during the week. I was usually given a C or C+ and I would argue that it wasn’t me, that I had been connected but by the end I would give in and agree to try harder. That sound so pathetic but at the time I was so afraid and ashamed of being left.

    During the divorce, it came out that he had started cheating on me early on in and throughout the marriage. His excuse? He loved me and wanted to be with me but was so lonely. I guess that’s why he spent thousands of dollars at night clubs in Hong Kong known for being places to meet prostitutes, charged hundreds of dollars at women’s clothing stores, sent thousands of dollars to a young woman in Russia who was his “mistress”, thousands of dollars on porn site subscriptions–the kind with live webcams where you can ask women to do acts and send them extra money as tips, it goes on and on. Absolutely devastating and disgusting and I have been so enraged and angry off and on.
    But for a year, I have still wanted to see him, spend time with him, hope to get back together with him, hope it can work out…and I’m a smart woman with a lot going on–respected in my job, lots of friends, fun to be with, a loyal and caring friend and so on…I know, I know. Just cut him off. But I still care about him, worry about him…
    I’m trying.

    • says

      Welcome to CL, Dupe!

      He held WEEKLY MEETINGS? I don’t even have words… can only sputter… mindfuck! emotionally abusive! That’s taking gaslighting to a whole new level, with filofaxes, agendas, and minutes. I can’t even imagine how that would go. “Dupe, it’s Tuesday. As you know, every Tuesday we gather to discuss your deficiencies and how you can better serve me…”

      I hope you’ve gotten some therapy. People like this can grind you down, and you can hate yourself for letting them.

      Please don’t “worry” about this horrible person. The very best thing he could do for you is walk out of your life. This post might help you

      You have value. You deserve to be loved and cherished. Don’t love things that can’t love you back. He sounds disordered to be so abusive and serial cheating. Check out on personality disorders and Dr. Simon’s blog at

      • Vegan Chump says

        Early on in my marriage, the Ex developed a swallowing problem. His weight dropped from 185 to 165 (he’s 5′ 11″) because he couldn’t swallow food… only liquids, nothing solid. He went to specialist after specialist to have test after test performed until finally the last specialist said, “There is nothing physically wrong with you. It’s all in your head. What you need is a psychiatrist.” After his first appointment with the psychiatrist, he came home to tell me his “swallowing problem” was my “fault”. I was incredulous. How could his inability to swallow be my fault?! Turns out, the reason he developed a ‘swallowing problem’ is because he was a pathological effing liar who was feeding me one lie after another all the while carrying on double life!

        Yeah, he sucks.

        • Mitzi says

          Hi Vegan Chump!!!! what a scream, too funny!!! I noticed that my Narc would also get very upset depending on his levels of lying, not that he had to lie, but that his lies would become so complicated that it would be difficult to maintain consistency; over the the years the truth somehow would come out: “I know where the whores live in milan” as supposed to “I didn’t know where you can find whores in Milan” years before…..that’s just one example…..lying takes a lot of energy and having kicked two psychopaths (narcissists) out of my life….I need to get this “echo” thing out of my system!!!!

          • TheLadyisaChump says

            A month ago I was at dinner with my Narc cheater and two sons and his eyes were glued to the @$$ of the waitress. I was talking to him and I actually tapped his arm and said “Hello, I’m talking to you.” He turned to me and said “I’m looking at…I mean I’m listening.” NO JOKE!!! I got up and walked out. Talk about Freudian slip.

  5. The Affair Partner says

    Rip off the Band-aid and hate me.

    I am “the Affair Partner.”
    Long story

    I’m not hear to justify the deception that I participated in with my married lovers, but to let you know that in all cases except one, no one was actively trying to hurt their spouse. It’s not that easy to have a clandestine affair and it’s not glamorous. The logistics are very convoluted and the venues are not necessarily swank hotel rooms. Again, I’m not trying to make the Betrayed Spouse feel sorry for me, but only to pop the balloon that it’s all swooning and romance. Most of the men were paranoid their wives would find out. Only one man wished that his wife would catch him so he would be appreciated more. I saw a picture of his wife, and realized she and I could do better than this guy.

    Yes, we were having our cake and eating it too.

    I am not proud of what I’m done, but I did get the sexual satisfaction I desired and so did they.

    I just want to let the Betrayed Spouses know that sometimes it is just for the sex. Sometimes they want different sex, sometimes they just want a different person to have sex with, sometimes they want more sex than what they’re getting at home. It’s not the Betrayed Spouse’s fault. If spouses have different sexual appetites, then affairs will happen. Yes, you can make a marital vow , but promises and social constructs only go so far in stopping this animal drive that we all have to greater or lesser extents. Those with high sex drives will cheat unless the lack of opportunity or attractiveness prevents it. It will happen. If you haven’t had an honest discussion about your sex life, then chances are, one of you is cheating.

    You see, I have been married for over 20 years. Most of them without sex. My sex drive is so high that I had considered getting a total hysterectomy just so I could be compatible with my husband who has no drive. In the beginning, I suggested an open marriage, but he refused. We worked on our sex life, then stopped. Then my attraction for him left, as his left for me years ago. I was a very, very loyal wife. Not even a kiss with another men. But this year, I told my husband I couldn’t take it, and asked for a divorce. That won’t happen for awhile, so now we have an open marriage. That’s when I began seeing men, married and unmarried. The beast was unleashed, but I’m beginning to settle down. I saw pictures of the men’s spouses, and I felt like crap.

    Betrayed Spouses of the world, you don’t have to forgive the cake eater. The choice is up to you as to whether you divorce or to have an open marriage. Begging your spouse to stop cheating is futile. I was right in being honest and giving my husband the opportunity to be freed from a marriage with me and pursue his own love interests. I didn’t want to be unfair to my husband – having my cake and eating it too. I just told him, “Listen, we’re not having sex with each other, so I’m going to find a man to have sex with.” That was it. It was painful, but expected.

    I saw a my married FWB on Facebook with his wife. His wife had the caption underneath, “The love of my life.” That was a month before he sought me out. Two years after he had an affair with another woman. He is seeing a completely different woman now. I enjoyed his company and have a lot of affection for him, but he looks like the poster boy for a cheating spouse. He will get caught, but not with me. After I saw that picture, I felt really terrible about playing a part in the deception. Yet, I wasn’t the first, and I’m not the last. When his wife finds out, unless she divorces him, he will make amends with her, they’ll be all lovey dovey, but then, he’ll cheat again. She should either divorce him, or allow herself to have some cake on this side.

    A couple we have known for years has an open common-law marriage. They’ve been committed to each other for over 20 years, but occasional dalliances on the side. We used to disparage them, now, we realize they might be on to something. It’s possible to be committed to a partner, but have your sexual needs met in other ways as long as you both allow it and are communicate with each other.

    So, when you find out about your spouse, recognize that there might be an extra slice of cake with your name on it too.

    • says

      Ye-ah. Well, I won’t be eating my slice of fetid cheater cake, thank you.

      You raise a lot of points, which I’d like to respond to, so I will post your comment and reply there. Thanks.

      • anudi says

        The Affair Partner

        Thank you for your insights! However, if you can kindly illuminate us about some questions, we always wanted to learn from the other side:

        1. We (BSs) were into marriage, as this institution provided a) a relationship with emotional availability and physical proximity, where there would be openness about all our attributes and sharing plans (individual and together), (present and past) lives etc. b) a comfort that we had our best “friends” in the other for bad times n good times, till death do us part c) an exclusivity in knowing that someone means the world to us and we mean the world to that someone d) having kids together, the mutual sharing of important roles and responsibilities e) having other relationships together (his friend is also my acquaintance and his mother is my mother in law).

        How much value these rudiments have in your life?

        2. “Exclusivity” and “Openness” leads to the dimension of that “trust” on which an institution like marriage is built upon. We (BSs) hold that this is the most important dimension in a marriage (See CL’s reply on your suggestion of side-cake for BS). Any arrangement like “open marriage” is like comparing a marriage, which is an institution, to a contract (with an underlying clause that it can be broken, and therefore, only so much investment should be done that it doesn’t harm the contracting parties).

        What is your expectation from a marriage (closed or open) and why should you be in any marriage?

        3. Do you have temporal (time-dependent) needs of sex? I mean, do you realize after getting into a marriage that you were not quite cut-out for it, that you had different sex appetite etc.? And given that you had a hint of your make-up, what is it that propels you into marriage with BSs? Also, can some knowledge, on part of BSs, about discriminating people of your kind, help them in their selection (poster-boy cheater)?

        4. What shall be your life after say 10-20 years, after your spouse and children have left you and the larger society has shirked considering your exposed inadequacies in relationships (who would want a branded cheater near their family, bad effect on spouse and children)? What is your concept of old-age like?

        I always wanted that there are honest answers to these questions that always trouble me. Knowing your worldview is therefore important to BSs like us.


        • Brenda says

          Well when things are good and my self-esteem is intact I have a mighty fine sex drive as well, when the lies start and pain starts my sex drive completely diminishes becasue of that, and most men they were not any higher sex drive than I was but wanted to THINK they were.

          And sure once they screw up trust, and I realize everything was just an illusion and there in no love in there for me in a mature adult way that will take a persons sex drive and destroy it, so are all these cheaters really with a person having a lower sex drive? or do the lies make that happen as well for some women, it get’s complicated yes, but only with all the lies.

          And you know I sense them and my body knows before I even do, and lets my know that by shutting down.

          I cannot say any longer I loved anyone, But I loved the illusions and or dreams that never came true, Open marriage I am way more for that than for lies when both know and agree that is something completely different than cheating and not all cheaters have any higher sex drive, sometimes they are actually punishing the woman they are with maybe even for being more sexy than him, many situations.. a lot more than sex is really going on in the heads of men I will tell you that… it’s usually power NOT sex I think.

          And what better power to have than to keep someone in the dark.

        • June says

          We are used to living alone. We like living alone. We don’t have your hangups about being alone, no man around, getting older, etc. We have social networks of friends, platonic, girlfriends, married men, work friends, whatever, we have these networks, and we are interconnected, so we have more support as singles than a married woman. We don’t have to take care of a man. It’s all about us. Great sex, great conversations, relaxing times, no negativity, no money problems, no kid problems, nothing but relax and enjoy. We don’t have to do things if we don’t want when he’s not around, such as keep the house clean daily, shave our legs daily, make dinner for him, take care of his sick ass, etc., etc. Now do you see why so many single women like married men? I know I could care less what people think about my social life. It doesn’t affect any part of my life what others think. I’m single. I’m not cheating on anyone. Think about it sensibly: the MM are the ones who look badly, not us women. I would speculate if your hubby looks halfway decent and has a job, he’s in an affair. Affairs end, new ones begin. I know no MM who hasn’t had an affair, I work and have worked all my life as one of the only females in male dominated fields. I am privy to their male conversations about their affairs and their wives, who, by the way, they are always putting down. Most of them have gone to pot and are overweight and boring, doing things such as knitting, basket weaving, crafts, etc. The MM are so bored with the wife. She’s no longer fun and sexy. She’s boring. She doesn’t use estrogen cream in her vagina to keep it youthful, she’s atrophied down there and sex is painful. He can’t throw her around the bed any longer, and she’s not initiating with him. He feels forgotten. Us OW make him feel special, like a king. That’s it in a nutshell.

    • Patsy says

      Dear Affair Partner,

      good sex 4 x week.

      Next excuse? I am looking forward to it. I would like you also to consider that I am a PERSON who has FEELINGS which you should, if you were halfway decent, be THINKING about this.
      Why don’t you fuck someone who is single? There are lots of young students who dream about being ‘done’ by a cougar. That way, the only person you are hurting is yourself and your husband.
      Regards, Patsy

      • SueB says

        I have to say I agree with Patsy. Long after I divorced my cheating ex and became single again, I ended up having a fling with a cute single guy. I usually don’t even do stuff like flings. But, I’m glad if I was going to have semi-casual sex that I picked a single guy. At least this way, when it ended, only two consenting single adults got hurt a little, instead of messing with an unsuspecting spouse and innocent children.

  6. Arnold says

    I think what the other woman poster fails to address is why, with the option to have sex with single men, she decided to go for some married ones. I mean, seriously, if she is halfway decent looking, she could easily fined some single guys to fuck.
    Every once in a while, I come accross an article like the Dan Savage one referenced here, where there is an allusion to some affairs being justified when it is just impossible to leave the marriage. Then, kids, finances,reputation etc are cited as the reasons that is isi “impossible”.
    Well, hello, this is 2012. At least 60% of marriages are dissolved, eventually. There is little stigma. There is access to child support, and half your kids’ friends are from divorced marriages, so there is not much stigma and the kids seem to adjust.
    I like the fact that she told her husband and he can make his decision based on reality. But, I cannot understand why this woman would choose to fuck married guys. I mean, dicks are dicks, and if she wants some strange, why not just get it from a single guy or guys. How complicated is that?
    I suspect, despite her claims at feeling guilt, that, in some weird, sick way, it is a greater thrill and she satisfies some weird competetive thing she has with other women.

    • says

      Exactly. That’s the sicko thing, the “competition.” But how much of a competition can it be when the other side doesn’t even know she is competing?!

      That’s cheaters for you. They want the game rigged in their favor. I’ve always said cheating isn’t just sex — it’s the high from the deceit, and the gaining advantage over another person.

      Well I can gain advantage over someone by tying their hands behind their back and blindfolding them too. Now like the OW… I’ll imagine I’m competing with them… Ooh. I feel pretty.

      • Brenda says

        OMG did you read my email recently or something?

        I swear I said almost that EXACT same thing to someone, I said this: “What would you had done if I had married you? Tossed me in a closet blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back?”

        This was a once friend that rather enjoyed hiding important information’s from me, like the fact he was living with someone.

        Maybe HE thought I was the back up plan? But the thing about being someone’s back up plan is.. “That is also sort of also up to the considered a back up plan person if they want actually want to go along with that plan, LOL” and I do not, and did not, and never will.

        I am only grateful that I was in no condition to date anyhow, and it was someone that I had never actually met in person… And now can never trust to meet either.

        And trust is too important for me to NOT have to ignore period.

        Plus I am sure he will bounce from one woman to the next, Maybe even get his dream of having kids fulfilled and then find some reason if she gains weight for it to not work out.. And then keep her around as a FRIEND in case the new one don’t work out with all his kindnesses, yet while remaining “secretive and distant” but just enough there, while he is screwing the new trimmer and younger or fitter one.

        And while she waits around for years. She too can loose years off her youth and life while he is out playing the field and getting all the gains, until she too finally cannot even care anymore.

        These people will harm you until you finally really do NOT even care or even feel much of anything for them anymore… Life goes on no-matter how much time was wasted folks, so let’s get over the time loss crap, it means really nothing, all we have is NOW so let’s do NOW.

    • June says

      I don’t like to date single men because, think about it, 1) they can get to where they want a more serious relationship with exclusivity, 2) there is more of a chance of diseases as they can be having sex with many women, , and 3) not chance of jealousy issues with MM, whereas single man tends to want me all to himself. I’m very sexy, average looks, but great natural body, no plastic, and in my 50’s. I like MM in their 40’s to my age, not older than I. My MM I new for many years as a friend, and I don’t visit affair sites. If I were to look for someone else, it would be in my circle of work associates or continuing education classes.

  7. Boo Boo says

    I am a person with an open relationship and I try very hard to avoid married men at all costs. Problem is, men lie! I was messing with a married man for 6 months and didn’t know it. I feel like I have to be sherlock holmes to assess people’s relationships…since there are just as many psycho girlfriends reading emails and threatening to kick your ass.

    My point is…even for those who try to follow the rules, it’s never easy.

  8. Arnold says

    Well, BooBoo, it seems to me it is not all that hard to do one’s due dilignece in this regard. I mean, seriously, in this day and age, with the technology and data bases available, you can find out if someone is married quite easily.
    Ask for Id and address and start the background check. Not terribley difficult.

    • Linda says

      I did almost all that when I met my ex at work. Everyone at work said he was single. I also didnt sleep with him for 6 months to be sure it was right first.

      Found out a year later that had a girlfriend of 4 1/2 years and was leading pretty much a double life. I did question a couple things during that time that made me suspicious but he turned it around on me disappointed that I had no trust in him.

      So eventially i ended it shattered and broken and there was no one to support me because I’m the conniving OW. Shes the poor girl he’s committed to. He’s proposing to her on Christmas day with a 20k ring and I know this because he threatened that I did anything to jeopardize it, I would pay.. I shouldn’t hurt an innocent person and ruin her life, blah blah blah. He’s decided he’s going to be good from now on so I should just accept it and move on.

      Now how could she not have known all those nights he didn’t answer his phone or come home that he was with someone else?

      If anyone can tell me what I could’ve done differently to avoid this happening then please do so because in my head, I ticked all the boxes.

      Come Christmas day, I’ll be feeling like a trainwreck knowing he’s popping the question. I’d like to believe in karma and that it’ll eventually come back but I don’t. I know there’s nothing I could’ve done to ask for this that’s for sure. I’m crushed.

  9. Sharen says

    I refused to beg him to come back. He told me that he would “log” all of my calls and if I contacted him he would call the police on me. Essentially after 25 years he just walked out. Okay, then my plan was simple….contact a lawyer, put his stuff out on the deck covered in a tarp, get him to come and pick it up, get him to buy our son a cell phone, and that was that. I did contact him a few times because it was a bit difficult at first, but that stopped pretty quickly because I had friends that were giving me “tough love.” Also I repeated the mantra “I do not want to be with someone that makes my children cry”.

  10. Tiny says

    This is so what I have been dealing with for the last 14 years. I just didn’t realize that I was being played. I have been competing with his AP the whole time. He tells me all the time that “as long as you can’t or won’t do what is nessisary to make me happy. I feel that there is no reason for me to not cheat.” He also said I have to give him a incentive to not cheat. Otherwise, it’s he right to do as he wants. When ever I confront him about his cheating he somehow manages to turn it around on me, by pointing out the thing I do that are not up to his standards (cleaning, disaplen of the children, sex). Saying anything ,and everything he can use to take the shine off of him, then shame me. I have told him meny times that I feel like he is setting me up for failure, so he will have a excuse to cheat. Of course he denighed that to be the case.

  11. Jen says

    I don’t know whether to sob or laugh. I thought myhusband was a textbook cheater and everything I have read on here describes him to a T. I never would have gained weight (15 lbs – to a whopping 145 total) if I loved him, and once he told me that he didn’t want to be married anymore why didn’t I try harder? I could supply you with ridiculous stories for the next year.

  12. Laurel says

    my husband gave me permission to date. yes, I know… strange and I was so clueless, I couldn’t put 2 and 8 together. I just thought he wasn’t interested in sex any longer. He was just not interested in sex with me, and vice versa. HOWEVER, what I have a problem with is the word– DECEPTION. (lying) I was always truthful with him and told him how much he wanted to know. It was a failed experiment and I realized that that sordid world was not for me.

    However. I chatted with 100s of men and I know this is going to sound weird… but I kept hearing the same old tired excuses… like we have different sex drives.


    So, I started counseling them as a wife, myself. I would say… hey, have an affair with your wife! buy HER the little maid outfit. Take HER to the motel. (that’s hot). Arrive as the UPS guy with her “package.” (sorry for the lame pun)

    and how about COMMUNICATING. I know, I know… so scary. well, yes, it can be, especially for the intimately challenged amongst us and I daresay, who’s so supremely confident with their sexuality, etc. that they are not somewhat challenged? This communicating thing is really scary. However, its very vital.

    I tried communicating. I told my husband that I needed a man who truly loved and desired me. He made me feel unattractive. (I’m not. I’m considered to be a beautiful woman.) But, that is how I felt and I longed to feel appreciated as a woman, again.

    When I finally figured out where the encouragement to date was coming from. (because he had been messing around for at least 10 years), I decided that we were through, but it took me 18 months to leave.

    My husband was my best friend. We both have the same sick sense of humor. We have a long history together. We were not at odds. Its really sad. I do not believe that marriage is “work.” However, it does take EFFORT. Husbands, you have to pay attention to your wives. If you put only HALF amount of energy into your wife that you spend in procuring new pussy, you would have a GREAT marriage! It takes no effort to eat the cake. But baking it (from scratch) takes practice and bit of time.

    I can tell you from personal experience, that its well worth the effort. There is nothing more delectable than HOME-MADE chocolate cake. My husband could’ve had me any time he wanted. However he talked himself into believing that we didn’t have any chemistry.

    I guess that’s why he married me. right. he’s full of shit! just another lame excuse that cheaters use to justify their piggy behavior.

  13. Laurel says

    ps: I no longer long to feel desired by anyone at all. its total crap and was just a dangerous escape to fill something that I was trying to avoid. I wasn’t facing my life head on. I needed to leave. I needed to take care of me, but in order to do that, I needed to leave not cover up the pile of shit with whipped cream, cause underneath its still toxic.

    one last thing. I lot of cheaters get their start with porn. I have read that heavy porn viewers are far more likely to act out in person. I am not a prude at all. In fact, in the early years, I rather enjoyed watching the porn WITH my boyfriend then husband.

    He had lost his job. His was bored and lonely. I would’ve always been there for him.

    I was right there. I never would’ve judged him or made him feel badly about anything… but in addition to the affair partners, he went to an old fuck buddy from thirty years earlier and used HER as a confidante. I read in an email that SHE was the only one who knew the ENTIRE story. (this was AFTER he left his cyber sex OPEN on MY lap top, by “accident.”)

    really? can I tell you that it was this sort of thing that hurt me to my core? I met her once and she is a controlling cow who cheats on her husband and has had sex with her shrink. nice lady.

    I married my husband because I thought that he had more integrity than anyone I had ever met. Didn’t we all think that?

  14. says

    One thing that felt just oh-so-good was when I told my ex, “Honey, I didn’t lose you to that skank; YOU lost ME when you CHEATED. She can keep you, and all your issues. Have a great life.”
    Of course, that little fling of his didn’t last. In fact, it might have already been over at that point. Don’t know, don’t give a gnat’s ass. Never did the dance and wasn’t about to.

  15. Hazel says

    This post described me to a tee one year ago…

    My ex hired a 23 year old girl to work for him (who had zero experience) and then began to spend all his waking hours with her to “show her the ropes.” That was his excuse. Then he said they weren’t having an affair (emotional / physical – all the same to me – total bullshit). Call me crazy but when your husband is texting in the middle of the night under his pillow (“checking the weather”), spending 45 mins in the bathroom with his cell phone, ignoring his family… you get the picture. OH, and SHE pretended to be my friend the whole time.

    After we separated (when I kicked him out for going away with her and caught him in the lie), she started badmouthing me online, he continued to sleep with the BOTH of us, and I kept trying to get him back up until July of last year.

    The best thing I ever did for me and my children was to stop chasing him. It’s amazing this site, how many spineless narcissistic people exist in the world. And the lies. In all honesty, the best medicine for the two of them is to be together. I’m grateful to be done with him legally. And maybe my son will meet a man who can actually be a role model instead of a serial liar and a douchebag.

    I appreciate your no-nonsense approach and this site…I’m enjoying reading the posts.

  16. Valentine says

    Sadly….I was a ‘Pick Me’ person….I believed if I dressed nicer, allowed him to use me sexually and didn’t pressure him, he would come back…or as he put it “maybe he wouldn’t leave”, then after he left “maybe he would come back” after he had some time to ‘think’.

    As time went by, I realized he wasn’t coming back. By this time, I was having a hysterectomy at 40 after years of fertility treatments and 3 lost pregnancies. Then I got a text from a friend exclaiming she didn’t know me and Mr. Not so wonderful had divorced. I told her we weren’t and she texted back, OH. So I made her tell me what was going on. She was at a restaurant and he was there with the PREGNANT OW. Talk about the floor falling out from under me!

    I really DO regret doing the dance. I wasted a lot of time. I played right into his hand. Oh and he was REALLY into porn too. DOn’t know if it is significant or not, but its the truth

    All I can say to those who are currently doing the dance: STOP. NOW.

  17. Rob G says

    I did the dance. I’m French decent. So I started texting her in French like when I did when we dated 20 years ago. What a joke. She had 4 OM during a 6 month stint. Her family has infidelity all over it.

  18. Geoff says

    I did the dance too, but with a different tune. I didn’t know at the time she was cheating. I just felt her being distant, so I turned into super-hubby. When I found out the truth, I was that much more pissed off. She did say though, that she ended the affair and “chose” me. Didn’t she do that at the altar?

  19. No more free cake says

    My ass clown ex-boyfriend is still enjoying the fact that 2 hideous women (his EW and ex FWB) are still playing this Pick Me Dance with him. I left him and told them they can keep eating the shit sandwich, and keep hoping that one day he will choose one of them and be faithful and trustworthy (yeah, right).

    This is a guy that continually ping pongs to one or the other depending on who will be desperate enough to put up with his bullshit. He can’t be alone or he becomes totally undone and deflated and extremely depressed.

    I also had the feeling that when I dated him, he was probably checking in with all of us around the same time he would make his calls. He would call me, then the other one, then yet another. It was all so bizarre it is almost unbelievable but when you learn about their state of “fuckedupness” you kind of understand that this is how they operate to ensure they have plenty of sources of cake.

    He was also very protective and secretive with his cell phone -he acted like it was his umbilical cord. He would never let me see who was calling, sometimes would not answer and make up an excuse as to why he didn’t, would be on the phone when he went out for a smoke or whatever. So much was done in secret with tons of excuses, explanations, reasons, and more servings of shit.

    It was actually funny, because one time I called him on his bullshit. His EW was calling him on the phone, and then texting him, because obviously he wouldn’t answer with me being present. I asked him who called & why he didn’t answer. He told me it was his daughter and I knew he was lying because he always pretty much answered whenever she called. So I interrogated him a bit about it (very calmly to really get him unglued) and he became extremely agitated and I said “It’s okay – just hand me the phone so I can check the call log and it will prove to me who just called you – then I will know that you were telling the truth.” His hands started shaking and he started getting loud telling me that his phone isn’t working again, it’s fucked up and doing weird things, then he started yelling at me asking me “Why the fuck don’t you believe me – why are you questioning me, etc.” This was after the fact that I busted him by calling his ex previously and her admitting to them screwing around. He acted as if I had no right to question him. The balls! I know I should’ve seen the signs and ran like hell – especially after I discovered he was sleeping with his EW and supposedly the ex FWB.

    My only hope is that he ends up alone on his fucking barstool at his favorite bar looking back at what a piece of shit he was in life.

    • Laurie says

      I love the one about “my phone isn’t working right… it’s fucked up and doing weird things.” I got that and many, many other shit sandwiches like… never answering the phone because it “must be a wrong number”. One time I grabbed the phone and answered it… and the person ont he other end was in a state of shock… “uh, uh… uh… iiisssss ummmm, well, uuuhhh Sheila there?” Yeeeahhh – no, she is not. Goodbye. The best one was… I just need a new cell number. What?? A new phone I might buy… as a chump – but new number? Nice try fucktard. :P

  20. Kat says

    I had someone try to cheat on his girlfriend, who he was living with, with me. Lasted a week and I caught him in a lie. I’m REALLY tempted to put his girlfriend’s phone number on craigslist, with his name attached. Hehehehehee. I know revenge isn’t good, but DAYUM would it feel good!!! lol

  21. Smart Ass Texana says

    Hi there…
    I found an article on facebook today.
    I tried and TRIED to copy & paste but to no avail.Maybe it is not allowed.
    I think it is worth looking at just to realize but fucked up the RIC really is.
    The article is titled;

    “How should a cheating husband be treated?” dated Dec.1, 2012 @2:30 a.m.Facebook.

    ” Prepare his favorite foods and don’t nag about what he is eating. Also have more sex, initiate sex often so he will not wander.”…. in other words… REWARD his bad behavior !!!! He “just might stay with you ” ?
    What a load of shit !

  22. lili says

    I am sooo glad I discovered this website!!! What a relief! Found out 3 months ago my H of 10 years has been cheating for at least the past two years with prostitues, one night stands, women he meets at bars, etc. He’s on all the dating sites, porn sites, everything. Works out of town 2-3 weeks at a time so he has the perfect scenario for a double life. I found crazy explicit sexual texts between him and a prostitute he’s been seeing for at least four months. He wasn’t the least bit contrite, in fact he said I forced his hand (some ongoing unresolved issues we’ve had blah blah), and in fact told me until I changed he wasn’t going to stop, to “get my shit together” and in the meantime, it is what it is. Very cold and matter-of-fact. I reacted by doing the dance, pick me, pick me! Didn’t know there was a term for that! Turned up the freakiness in the bedroom, lost 21 pounds, working on a better me! What a load of crap!

  23. Nena says

    Know what the funny thing is? These cheating types will lose out in the end. Good looks don’t last forever. Eventually they will be ugly and their vigor gone. Nobody would want them.

    • says

      This is exactly what has happened to my ex’s father (his role model in cheating, and in treating people badly in general). He was young and good looking. He had a pretty, smart and extremely loving wife in my ex’s mother, cheated so often and so obviously that she finally kicked him out. He then married his AP (who didn’t know she was an AP), she also loved him and treated him great, but he kept cheating and she eventually kicked him out as well. Then he lived with the last AP from his 2nd marriage (who probably also didn’t know she was an AP) for a few years, until she left him. Now he’s in his 70’s and alone. Plus of his 3 kids from his first two marriages, only 1 still talks to him (my ex – who says his father is an asshole, but doesn’t recognize how similar he is to his dad!), and his 3 grandkids don’t want to have anything to do with him either.

      Love to see that karma bus doing its work!

      • CW says

        Wow. My XW’s father was the same way. He could (and did) literally “charm the pants off” of women and was a big-time narcissist.

    • deedee says

      @ Nena- not true. My ex is an impotent, Aspergers, narcissistic workaholic who has so many physical problems he can’t even effing walk the dog. But he has his cheap, grifting, gold-digging whore’s leg to hump anytime he wants. Why? Because he gives her money hand over fist.

      The main thing is money. If they have that, they don’t need looks, vigor, virility, good hygiene, or anything resembling human traits. And the whore makes him happy because she only cares about the other bulge in his pants, and that makes him feel manly. *eyeroll.

  24. L says

    Wow. I’m now playing the “pick me” game. My BF of 2 years was and still is doing something. I don’t know what but I know it’s something that stinks of betrayal. I found sexting texts, FB messages & dating website profiles to name a few. We were in a committed relationship for nearly 2 years when I suspected something due to late night texts he was receiving and sending. When I looked (yes I snooped) at his phone, I was shocked by what I saw. Texts of an extreme sexual nature to at least one woman and 2 or 3 other women with whom he had “friendly” texts going back and forth. Thing is that I didn’t know any of these other women. In looking at FB messages, I discovered that he dated one a few months ago when we were supposedly planning our moving in together. When I confronted him, he GOT MAD AT ME for snooping on him. He said I could not be trusted and that his privacy was paramount. He would NEVER think of invading my privacy as I’ve done to him because he has ‘principles.” OK, so there is no arguing back with this type of logic. Believe me, I’ve tried. He has since moved out because of my snooping. He says he doesn’t remember the texting because he knows it was wrong and he’s blocked it out. I’m stuck in this pick me game though and can’t seem to get out of it. I think the events of this have really damaged my own self esteem and I feel so emotionally wounded. What could I have done differently, how could I make this better, and my internal conversation goes on and on in this manner.

  25. hanika says

    Your blog is amazingly powerful & I feel humiliated for the authors of blogs who are trying to reconcile with serial cheaters. You know when you feel shame & embarassment for someone else & you didn’t do a thing? Yea, that’s how I feel. I would never want to live with that feeling on a daily basis as a BS. You teach great lessons like, it is okay to leave & divorce is not a bad word. Divorce can be a beautiful thing, a new chance at life. Because no matter how wives of serial cheaters want to slice it, their lives with always be a show, a put on, a prison if they decide to reconcile. I don’t buy the reconciliation fairy tale when it comes to serial cheaters. That is why you see these wives of serial cheaters posting blogs on reconciliation 3, 4, 5, years out. They aren’t healing & they’d rather have control then be strong enough to walk away.

  26. Brenda says

    This has to be one of the best sites I have come across in a long time that actually makes sense, if only this had been around years ago for me to see – it would have saved me a lot of time wasting non-sense.

    Not one ex rather a cheater or player or just selfish from my past is in even one way desirable NOW.. I only wish back when I thought they were that I had seen this site, So many things would have made sense SOONER, and spared me years and years worth of misery.. Like this is like the REAL truth.

    “The best response is to fold, because the game is rigged. There is no winning bid. The cheater just wants the competition to go on indefinitely.”

  27. Deb says

    I have a vague memory of laying on the floor begging as the (nothing can name such a horrible person) walked out the door. And it is so crystal clear to me now that the pick me dance is you fooling yourself.

    You really don’t want that (nothing can name such a horrible person) you just haven’t gotten to that in your head yet.

    I found myself changing my mind when one day he was telling me something he liked, which I already knew that as I had been with him decades by then. It became so clear, I wasn’t going to start all over and pretend with him we were all new to see if we should “MEND”

    I ALREADY DID THAT, in what is MY LIFE, and raising our kids and LIVING. And then I got really angry.

    When you hear your husband say he never eats pasta and he is Italian and his mother was in Italy during the bombings in ww2 and he says that, really, you know he has lost his mind and just, don’t do that dance, such a waste of yourself.

  28. AussieChump2 says

    “I cheated because you’re a lousy ” – and how are you going to up your game to keep me? Or it comes from the codependency of the betrayed spouse – “What did I do to make him cheat? And how can I be a better partner to make him stay?” Often both dynamics are at play, and feed into each other. The cheater, of course, is quite happy to pin this shit on you.

    All of the above! But it was a game I didn’t play. I figured (after she left) that it takes two to make a relationship work. After I tried very hard to make it work when we were together only to be rebuffed at every turn, it was up to her to make an effort and put some runs on the board. I was certainly open to any approach she might have made and remained available, and even went out of my way to encourage communication, but no approach, no explanation for her actions or behavior was ever made.

  29. CalmityJane says

    I know this blog started two years ago, but I just want to put in my two cents.

    IMO I believe cheaters think love and betrayal are the same thing. I did the pick me dance for one day. He picked me, and it made me sick to think I had to do that for the rest of my life to stay in a relationship with someone who thinks love and betrayal are the same thing when I know that is not true.

    The chumps are people who believe that sexual intimacy is communion with their lover, husband, S.O. It is spiritual, all consuming sexual abandonment with someone they trust and love. It is felt, embraced and personal. IMO cheaters do not see sex this way. To them, sex is love betrayed. They do not trust it. They cannot experience true ecstasy with someone because of this lack of trust. They don’t share or give sex. They are greedy for their own orgasm. I believe this because the cheaters have to continue to “chase the pipe” so to speak. The high does not last like it does when you experience true sexual communion with your partner. They keep trying and trying for a lasting high. But that only comes with love for your partner. Something they lack. Love.

    The sadness is when you realize you felt it with them, but it was not reciprocated. It wasn’t shared. The good news is this website shows there are people out there who are capable of love and we are not alone in our absolute sorrow and madness of misjudging the character of someone we loved.

    Those flea sucking, loveless, entitled, motherfuckers…

    Whew… now I feel better.

    • Kay says

      Ok so this was written 4 years ago but I’m having a rough day and have to comment. My husband has moved in with another woman, basically went NC and it’s been a year and a half ( I had no idea it was another person, stupid, I know). Anyway, fastforward that painful time, we are divorcing which he wants by Valentine’s Day. (We’ll be a few days late) Today he gets girls( no warning) takes them to breakfast, and buys a present from them to me. Usually it’s like the ugliest, cheapest crap ever, but today he gets me a gift certificate to the place where we used to wait tables. Just hurts. I just can’t believe how this has turned out. I feel so sad so alone. But it will get better I know. Jeez though. I just never thought he’d be this person. I know I’m preaching to the choir right? Wow. Ok. I’m finished. Putting kids to bed. Thanks for letting me vent!!


  1. […] he will throw her under the bus. Your wife will want you to do the Humiliating Dance of Pick Me. The Humiliating Dance of Don't do it. You need to TAKE CONTROL. If you don't do it for you, do it for your son. You think […]

  2. […] why is it that the cheated spouse is always willing and ready to fight for the marriage, even though the WS doesn't want them anymore. I don't think it's always that way, but I do think the BS is the more invested party. They have to be. To cheat you have to UNinvested, emotionally, physically. Cheaters are narcissistic, they're disconnected. So if there is value, even to a broken marriage, the BS is often the person who is Trying Harder to fix it. Also trying to fix disasters is a very codependent dynamic, and a lot of BS (I was one) think they can control the outcome through codependency. Ooh, I'll just make my needs smaller. I'll be nicer. What did I do to make them cheat? And the cheater is invested in the BS thinking that way, and usually wants there to be a competition. I explain the dynamic as doing the Humiliating Dance of Pick Me! The Humiliating Dance of […]

  3. […] often wants the betrayed spouse to compete for attention with the affair partner. I call this the “Humiliating Dance of ‘Pick Me’!” And I think a lot of betrayed spouses fall for it. I will up my game! I will use my gym membership! […]

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