About Chump Lady

The Unicorn of ReconciliationChump Lady is a nice person who wants better for you.

If you’re reading on this site, chances are you’ve been cheated on, or know someone who has. You’re not part of the Smug Unknowing class, untouched by infidelity. You’re a chump. You got played and you want to know how to navigate yourself out of this pain.

I’ve got the toolkit right here. Chump Lady is not a site optimistic about reconciliation. I liken reconciliation to a unicorn, a mythical creature I want to believe in, but which is seldom seen. This emphatically is NOT a site to save your marriage — this is a site about saving your sanity.

Who is Chump Lady? She is the friend who sits with you at 3 in the morning, pours you a bowl of raisin bran, and tells you to LEAVE that motherfucker. You deserve better than this. There’s a GOOD life out there without this jerk in it. Move toward it. You’re going to be just fine on the other side of this nightmare.

So why would you listen to a chump?

Because I lived it. And I got to the other side with my soul intact. I spent several years trying to figure out what the hell happened to me when I allowed my life to intersect with a serial cheater’s. Chump Lady is the wisdom that I wish I had the day I woke up in bed with another woman’s thong stuck to me. Chump Lady is the brain dump of everything I learned (painfully, stupidly) about infidelity. (Consider this the trial-tested results of What Not To Do, flubbed by yours truly.)

I also spent over a year trying to reconcile. Enough time to know what a painful time suck that is. Another place I spent a ton of time was online infidelity forums and realized, after reading thousands of stories over six years, that affairs are terribly banal and predictable. Cheaters have their playbook.

This is yours. Welcome!

So who are you really?

JLW_033Tracy  Schorn. I am a journalist, cartoonist, and blogger. My work has been featured in the Huffington Post (online and video panels), Brain, Child magazine, Acres USA, the Baltimore Examiner, AARP’s Bulletin, Mid-Atlantic Horse, and Lancaster Farming newspaper (where I was the regional editor for several years). Prior to freelance writing, I was a think tank editor in Washington, D.C. (The Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University.) I’ve spent 20 years writing, editing, and imploring academics not to use “paradigm.”

A peripatetic liberal arts major, I have degrees from Kalamazoo College, the London School of Economics, and a useless masters degree in southern African history from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London). I also received a Thomas J. Watson fellowship in 1988 and spent a year interviewing anti-apartheid activists in South Africa.

What does any of this have to do with being a chump?

Absolutely nothing really. Anyone can be chumped. It’s a rainbow nation. What distinguishes me is that I can write decently, draw cartoons, and have created this blog, which has over 8 million views. My Chump Lady columns are regularly featured at Huffington Post Divorce and the blog was named one of the top 10 relationship blogs for 2013 by Babble, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Co. In 2015, the blog got a book deal with Running Press (Perseus) — in spring 2016, look for it — 256 pages of advice, snark, and full-color cartoons.

But do you have any sort of background in psychology that makes you an expert in infidelity?

No. I’m an expert at being a chump. I lived it. But being of an analytical mind (years spent deciphering bullshit as a think tank editor) prepared me for parsing cheater word salad. And I studied history with African Marxists, who have a tremendous amount to say about oppression and decolonizing one’s mind.

So how did you become a chump?

In 2006, I married a man who turned out to be a serial cheater (and probably a sociopath). I discovered his infidelities 6 months after the wedding, when his mistress called to inform me of her existence. I had no clue. I had just financed his career move (he was an attorney), had a custody trial to relocate my son, left my job, and purchased a 100-year old fixer upper house with him in a no-fault divorce state. It took me nearly two years to disentangle myself from that nightmare, and a couple of protection from abuse orders. Turns out he had a double life spanning back at least 20 years.

I was stranded in Lancaster County, Pa., after moving there with him from Washington, D.C. Amish country is a disorienting place to experience infidelity. There are about 12 last names in the county and everyone has been married since they were teenagers. LanCo the most wholesome place in the entire world – it has a very low freak threshold. (Buttons are scandalous.)

But I liked it there. I found a publishing job with Lancaster Farming newspaper. And after I left my ex, I bought a farmhouse on the Susquehanna River thinking I would live there forever.

But you live in Texas.

The best laid plans… Vowing never to move my life for a man again, or remarry, or countenance even the acquaintance of another lawyer – I remarried a Texas trial lawyer. I met my husband at Jazzfest in New Orleans 2009 in front of Solomon Burke. He was also a chump, married for 22 years to a serial cheater who seduced her last paramour as a troll priestess playing World of Warcraft. (Yes, the cheaters were trolls.) Having met the only person with a crazier infidelity story than myself, it was kismet. We’ve been very happily married for several years.


  1. Jo says

    OMG. I love you, chumplady! I seriously love you. If you have ever doubted whether your energy was well-spent making this website, let me guarantee it was. Even it is was only to help me alone heal. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • says

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Jo. It means a lot to me that this site helps you. I’m several years out from the pain now, but there IS a good life on the other side of this shit. Keep moving towards it!

      • says

        I have only recently started looking at some of the many “affair” blogs and found myself actually feeling jealous that many of these women are still with their husbands and trying to work things out. It’s refreshing for me to hear the truth from you because it’s what I already know inside: In the end I will be better off without him.

      • Baffled says

        I love you too and need to ask about the fact that my sons age 19 and 22 have publicly praised their dad on his bday with lots of (for lack of a better word) gush. It sickens me in that I can’t understand that while I was the parent who was there for them all their lives and he was living a selfish lifestyle, while I hear my boys complaining about their dads selfish ways today, they would publicly praise him on social media? Yet when I have shared something w them on sm, I’m told its unimportant. He left us when they were young and comes out looking like a great guy. Please advise. Thank you!

      • says

        Chump Lady! A friend “turned me on” to you just today and it was instant love! I LOVE a sense of humor and yours is wonderful. Your ability to get to the heart of the matter with humor and wisdom is just what I need. Thank you for this website. Hugs, no BIG Hugs!

  2. JL says

    Excellent site. Wish I had found it 8 months ago when I discovered my husband banging someone half his age and then found out he was a serial cheat.

    I did a lot of dumb shit along the way but am divorcing his ass. And the floozie at work has now dumped him. Hahahahaha

  3. Michelle says

    Finally!!! Someone who tells it just like it is!! I think I love you!!
    Also a veteran of survinginfidelity.com
    Yup, I went there because I. Was. Cheated. On.
    And made all the dumb mistakes you mention.
    But, that’s over now.
    Hurray for you Chump Lady. You are anything but.

  4. Annabelle says

    I LOVE your site! It is so difficult to find a place that tells the truth about infidelity. SI leans heavily towards reconciliation which is not the best choice for many. Truthfully, I would say most, but I’m a realist. I find their Reconciliation Forum the most depressing place on the site. It is so heartbreaking to see the hope crushed over and over again.

    I believe infidelity kills the marriage. Your choice is to either live with the rotting corpse or give it a proper funeral through divorce.

    • felinefan says

      Yes you are SO RIGHT – I took mine back several time (I’m a idiot – I know) and you are just wasting PRECIOUS time and a cheater will NEVER EVER change. So true…a rotting corpse. When I search the divorce literature SO MUCH is geared towards reconciliation! What a crock of shit….

  5. MovingOn says

    This blog is terrific. I was just thinking that people who have been cheated on need some sort of handbook for how to cope with it and what steps need to be taken. When I joined SI, I was blown away by how similar affairs are and cheaters behave. I thought that I was alone in the world, dealing with someone who wanted to cake eat and was happy to jerk me around when I initially offered reconciliation. I’m glad that I only offered it for about a week because your blog speaks to what I feared most– it would be a huge waste of time. I love how candid and honest you are, and I hope that more people find you to get the wake-up call they likely need. Keep up the good work!

  6. hiya there says

    Thank you, Chump Lady, from a fellow Chump. You give clarity to the situation, you encourage appropriate anger and resolve. Those of us who have been taken advantage of are left in a position of shock, self-doubt, and depression need to be reminded that we are best off drawing the line and moving on. Hopefully we find a better life beyond the betrayal. Thank you, thank you, thank you for distilling it down into wonderful pep talks!

    • says

      Thank you for the commentary pep talk! Nice to meet a fellow Chump. You wrote “hopefully we find a better life beyond the betrayal.” I would add, don’t you think a life in which you aren’t being betrayed (or reminded of having been betrayed) is intrinsically better? I do. It took me awhile to get there. But now it’s been several years off the crazy train and I marvel at what I tolerated. Welcome to the site!

  7. Arnold says

    Can you comment on “Revenge Affairs”?

    The common cliche is that they are just as wrong. But, that simplistic analysis fails to consider several factors.
    First, the contract has already been broken and it would seem the non breacher is no lunger under an obligation to the breacher. Why abide by a voided contract(ask your lawyer husband for his take on this, from a legal perspective).
    Also, revenge affairs are often said to be worse than the original breach. This is , often , put forth by cheaters, with the rationale that , unlike the original cheater, the betrayed that then cheats is fully aware of the typ of damage cheating causes.
    But, I take issue with that. First, any person who is old enough to be married knows that infidelity is a huge abusive blow , causing major damage. That iswhy they hide it.
    Second, a recently betrayed spouse is in such a traumatized condition, that , essentially, he or she may be somewhat non compus mentis, having diminshed capacity, thus mitigating any poor decision making.
    Finally, a cheater who in turn is cheated upon can look to their own cheating as the cause of the betrayed’s infidelity. Whereas, a betrayed , typically, looks at him or herself and accepts the allegations of deficiencies as reason for the cheating.
    So, it is much more personla to the originally betrayed.
    I know this is not politically correct on some cheating sites. But, Ifeel that a betrayed person who then cheats has done nothing wrong. The contract is already kaput. Thye are, often, not trying to get revenge, but , rather, trying(perhaps misguidedly) tore-establish some sense of being halfway attractive. And, the original cheater is nowhere near as personally attacked as the originally betrayed, as the camn link the cheating to their behavior vs innate self worth.
    Your thoughts?(This is the type of thing that got me banned from SI and TAM, BTW).

  8. Arnold says

    People hate it when I take this position. And, no , I did not have a revenge affair. Much like my reaction to the “hysterical bonding” concept, I was in no shape, self esteem or confidence-wise to perform sexually after this trauma, for a long time. It ripped my self confidence and willingness to be vulnerable and intimate right out of me.

    • T says

      Wow Arnold,

      That’s the exact way I felt. I had no self confidence left after being cheated on mulitiple times and I find it very hard to be vulnerable and intimate with someone new even though DDay occurred over a year ago. It has gotten better though :)

      • Arnold says

        Yeah, well I would say you are pretty normal ,then T. It gets better but you need to find the right person, a caring, compassionate type. Then , go slowly.

    • M says

      Arnold, you hit the nail on the head. I don’t believe it is always done for revenge. Instead, I agree that it is a way to feel attractive and wanted again. Feelings that have been depleted by the betrayer. Once the contract has been broken and further compromised by a continued sense of entitlement, as well as physical and emotional isolation by the betrayer, the betrayed needn’t feel guilt or remorse.

  9. CallMeRed says

    I followed a link from SI and found your site. I read every single word on it and you are an amazing writer. The fact that you can draw as well; well it just goes to prove all is not fair when they handed out the creativity points!

    I’m 2 months from dday and numb. R doesn’t look possible. My H is “forgetting about it”.

    He has no idea about my meticulous plans for my (and my childrens’) future. Bwah ha ha ha!

    From another writer (who can’t draw!).

    • says

      Welcome! There’s a link to me on SI? That’s funny, because they recently banned me. LOL. Thanks for the kind words on the site and the cartoons. I just felt that there needed to be a Throw The Bums Out voice on the internet. Don’t feel bad “R doesn’t look possible” for the majority of people — and that’s a blessing. Hang in there!

      • CallMeRed says

        Yes, the link was put up there by a member a while back and I bookmarked your site. It was on a thread though – no chance of me finding it again I don’t think. Shame you’ve been banned.

        My WH “only had” a ONS. But it was pre-meditated, planned, and he wanted more after – but the OW said no. (Ha ha ha.)

        I was one of those people who used to think a ONS wouldn’t bother me so much. Maybe it wouldn’t if they had both been drunk in a bar and there was remorse.

        But there is no remorse. Apparently we need to “forget about it” and get on with having loads of regular sex etc. Oh, and I am to blame for everything, of course.

        You say cheaters are narcissists. Amen to that.

      • Jane says

        Hi Chump Lady! I too have been Chumped. I am 7 months out from DDay. I found mention of you on RAH. I am referred to as a victim of SWAS (Sudden Wife abandonment Syndrome) I love your blog already!

      • Patsy says

        Dear Chumplady,

        you are mentioned a lot on Midlife Forum, and on Mumsnet in Britain.

        The convenor of MLC Forum is gritting her teeth and asking people NOT to copy you…

  10. Arnold says

    How about a piece on the oft seen allegation of the affair partner that he os she did nothing wrong, as he or she never took vows to the betrayed.
    I cringe when I think of how dumb and immoral folks who take this position must be.
    They must operate under some really weird, twisted, moral framework , or be incredibly dumb,to be able to say something like this without embarrassment.

  11. Decimated says

    You’ve got balls Chump Lady! Bigger ones then me…and I’m a guy….and a fellow chump. My hats off to you. I agree with and respect your words and your message. This is the kick in the ass I needed after D Day #1, #2, and #3. I too stayed in a false R with STBXW for over a year…it nearly killed me emotionally and physically. I finally “grew a pair” and said “F**k this S**t and filed for D.

  12. leslie says

    ChumpLady…you rock the universe. You answered my question a while ago about the other woman being in the lives of my children. So helpful. Would love to have a “chat” aspect to this website. I just turned 40, and in my world I don’t know many other people that this has happened to, much less people who are divorced…
    I have wondered how to meet others out there “like me” but even better, like YOU on the other side of this BS. I am divorced (as of January) but I am still trying to heal.

    • says

      Thanks Leslie. I will look into that feature. Thing is, it’s only me here at Chumplady.com — I think forums need moderators and such (you know, to ban all those people who don’t drink the reconciliation Koolaid apparently). I suppose I could just build it and let you all say whatever. And here’s a thought — I’d love to be some conduit for BS meeting other BS for friendship or even romance. SI frowned heavily upon that, but my feeling is you’d do a lot better to find another BS from the congress of the fucked over. Why the hell not? I think the only thing standing in the way is my time and my newbie WordPress skills.

      • Champ, not Chump! says

        Chump Lady, the above post is over a year old, but if you ever have a question about WordPress, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am a freelance marketing/design person for 14 years, and develop many websites, all on the WordPress platform.

        • Ms. Shepp says

          Chump-mingle! So funny. I love this site. I am not alone when I’m here. My son and I are stranded in central PA, far from home, and this has become my connection to sanity. Thank you Chump Lady, for your strong viewpoint, hilarious command of the English language and smart cartoons. Well done.

          • lovedandlost says

            Yes I agree especially “let’s be friends” ha! I was so amazed at your comments and experiences. After almost two years, I’ve read a lot about narcissism but still somewhat doubting and keeping some blame for myself, I realize he is a classic case. It was your site that made me see how common he is. There should be more on this personality out there. Too many women (and codependants like me) are being sucked in and blindsided later. Adults make their own choices but children are the innocent by standing victims of these “people”.

  13. Arnold says

    Sorry to keep asking for your take on a variety of infidelity related issues.
    But, can you comment on why there seems to be such a difference of opinion on the appropriateness of telling one’s kids.
    I see betrayed spouses often attacking one another over this issue, with those who refrained, often, casting aspersions such as “selfish”, “vindictinve” etc at the betrayeds who disclosed.
    First, i think as a betrayed, there is some desire to lash out at someone, anyone and this seems to be an outlet for some. But, I think we need to stick together and support one another.
    I realize there are differences in opinion on this. But, the acrimony toward a fellow betrayed seems wrong.
    I can see both opinions as having some merit, but favor disclosing without editorializing, as you suggest.
    What are the advantages and disadvantages of either option, in your opinion and how do the “experts” weigh in on these two options, in general?

  14. Arnold says

    My girlfriend is a betrayed. We had a lot in common and it seems to be workijg out. She reads here. She is super hot and smart.

  15. SoOverHim says

    It’s been nearly three years since I got chumped, and I’ve just found your site. Perfect timing! — I am through the fire. Never again. I’ve been on both sides of the divide. I once cheated, when I was younger and struck by a perfect storm of cataclysm — Off I went, utterly mindless, and I cheated. I blasted some beautiful souls in the process. Never again.

    Then, about 14 years later, I got cheated on, by the one person in the world I felt wedded with. The betrayal nearly killed me — I was ill when I discovered his philandering, and what this did to my health …

    Still here. Never again.

    Thank you, Chump Lady. You are a gem. xo

  16. Rose says

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart Chumplady!! Love reading your posts and articles.. You are a godsend! My shit SBTX.. The “wasband”.. Or better yet.. The “hasbeend” is a selfish, heartless, manipulative, controlling, lying cheating bastard. And you know what? As I sludge through this divorce I see freedom and brighter days on the other side. Your strength, humor, insight, and wisdom is vital to me and all your readers in the journey of leaving a cheater. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging the rest of us to stand firm and strong!!! :)

  17. Jani says

    Most cheaters have a “serious character flaw” that character flaw will most likely never change..can there be a rare exceptions, yes there can, do you want to be the one to waste more time finding out if you are? I say kick them to the curb

  18. kim says

    Dear Chumplady, every time I feel weak, like doing a facebook driveby, comparing the OW facial features and body measurements to mine, think about setting clothes on fire pissing on them and them dousing them in the toilet….I come here. When I think of his eyes, the sweet things he used to say, the mean things he has said..I come here. Your website is the antiseptic Polysporin spray for the infidelity wound. Thank you for the relief.

    • felinefan says

      That’s what hurts the most – you realize every “I love you” was a lie and you feel so unsure of life anymore.

  19. Pearl says

    Dear chump lady
    You have done such a wonderful job describing the cheater. Can you please give me insight into th mind of the ow? It boggles my mind how a woman, who has kids of her own, can get involved with a married man with three kids? And when the affair was discovered and we were supposedly trying to reconcile the ow would drop her kids off at school and then”excercise” by walking around my block with her shirt rolled up? I don’t get it. Please help me understand

  20. Falene says

    CL, I truly believe you are a godsend. You certainly are to me. I consider you a friend.

    You are dead on as usual. I would like to give you, my friend, some advice. Never lose your empathy for those chumps who are in the closet. It was a devastatingly long and hellish road for me to see with clarity. I still feel like I am in pieces. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone (well, almost anyone). My heart bleeds for that woman and so should yours.

    Much love to you. Keep up the good fight.

  21. rlouise says

    I’ve been perusing (and occasionally commenting) on your site now for a couple months. I look at the archives and realize you started this site up just about the time my STBX revealed his relationship with OW (and the revelation that our marriage had not been working for years, causing him to be depressed and ill – yes physically ill due to being with me.)

    I would say this is extremely serendipitous.

    • Ms. Shepp says

      I am surprised every time I visit this site (every day, now). Over and over I read parts of my story. Even though I knew my STBX was f’d up in the head, I still feel/felt so much shame and agonizing pain. Thank you, rlouise. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My STBX blamed me entirely for the fact that he took to bed (and the couch) for the past year and a half. It wasn’t the paternity suit he was served with 1.5 years ago (surprise-the child was a 17 yr. old boy), or the back support he was Ordered to pay in the 10’s of thousands (karma), nor was it the IRS, who had caught up with him and garnished his accounts with thousands more still owed. No. It was me.

  22. Sher says

    I thought I had read everything about infidelity available on the Internet, but today I found your blog and wow…I LOVE IT! Talk about serendipity, I just filed for divorce today! I also am a survivor of survivinginfidelity.com. While I never had a bad experience there, I did find it absolutely pro-reconciliation, and dare I say it – a wee bit whiny. Although, the people there were very supportive during the early days and probably saved my sanity so I would never discourage someone from checking it out.

    So, after a particularly grueling night recently where stbxh cruelly shredded what little was left of my self-respect, I logged onto SI to get my nightly dose of commiseration. The first post I read started off…”It’s been 3.5 years since d-day and I still feel as miserable as I did on d-day.” That did it for me. I made the decision right then that I wouldn’t spend one more minute with a cheating, abusive, lying POS. After 2 years of trying to R with an unrepentant, blame-shifting loser, I was done! Now that I have found this site, I know I will stay strong. Chump Lady, you rock! Finally an authentic and brave voice for those of us who choose to stop being mistreated and dump the cheater. Thank you.

    • says

      Welcome Sher! I’m so glad you found us. And congrats on your new beginning! Good things ahead. It really is so much happier on the other side of the “unrepentant, blame shifting, loser.” I’m living proof. (Happily remarried for going on three years, to a fellow former chump.)

  23. Ash says

    So glad I found this! Sitting her six months after finding out the soon to be wasband has been cheating, actually I found out this past summer but gave chance after chance and he promised and promised and I caught and caught as seems to be the case, and now I find this site after telling him to pound salt and this is just what I need to stay strong and ensure it is the right choice. After ten years of marriage and a child it is hard to move forward or believe that I could really be with someone like that and not realized it. I read the saving marriage books god I wasted my money on three and spent way to much time crying and lost way to much weight and guess what he was doing cheating more of course to top it off he was pretenting to go to couselling to “fix” himself and he was going with her. Anyway what I am trying to say in a round about way I love this site and it is great to not be alone and have hope for a new life without my darling cheater!

  24. flaca says

    I am an almost-former-Chump. Still in Chumpville… trying to work it out with the Cheater. But I tend to agree with you… why should I accept Chumposity? I am better than the abuse he dumped on me. I need to stand up and dump it off. Grrr. Thanks for your blog it is a welcome sight for these tired eyes. In my opinion MarriageSherpa is the worst! It’s a bunch of crybabies rehashing the same stuff… I agree with Sher… I too can’t imagine still wallowing in this misery 3 years from now! It’s been one year… and I too refuse to give anymore of my life away. One stolen year was enough.

  25. Been Chumped says

    For some reason I can’t access the “contact Chump Lady” link so I’m submitting my question here. My question:
    Dear Chump Lady–how does one get over the horrible feeling of jealousy? I ended our 33 year marriage eight months ago after many years of being chumped…chumped over and over again but never having hard evidence, I finally did, called him on his shit and pointed him to the door. Since then I’ve been to counseling, a divorce recovery group and have read so many self-help books that I could just explode. I’m so sick of the woo-woo way I’ve been told to “get over” this…breathing, mindfulness, tapping (EFN–check it out), and on and on…all very calm and “spiritual” and none have done me any good until I discovered Chump Lady and found out that my anger and nausea and disgust are not out of line and are, indeed, a healthy way to get that creep out of my life and head. But…but…. as much as I am so happy to be living on my own and not in the presence of that narcissistic, alchoholic, sex addicted creep I can’t shake the feeling of wanting to see him and his skank go down in flames. Instead, when I showed him to the door she let him live rent free in one of her many rentals (her husband was all for it as well because he was told by them that I was the one having the affair and poor, poor dickhead was “kicked to the curb”–lies that he believed and meanwhile his wife and my husband were getting cozier and cozier.) So eight months later, the husband now knows the truth and has left the area leaving his skanky wife the beautiful home they owned, several rentals that are her source of income and her dalliance with my STBXH. They are giddy! His business is dying, but that doesn’t matter because she has enough money for both of them, he rarely contacts our grown children, and the two of them are out buying cars for themselves and socializing and having fun and meanwhile I’m home, going to work every day, living with my two aging and needy dogs (I love them but, hey, they’re dogs!) and hearing about all the fun and escapades my ex and his skank are having. It’s eating me alive! I have such a need for retribution or at least some kind of karma. I was married to the jerk for 33 years–never once cheated or even ogled another man, worked every year we were together–sometimes supporting him as he went back to school (and boinked co-eds) and even after our two kids were born I was only allowed 3 weeks off after each of their births. He has always been independently employed and could come and go (mostly go) as he wanted. Now he has access to 50% of everything I have struggled to put away (pension, Social Security, IRAs that came directly out of my paycheck, etc.) and I have my dogs. My kids won’t talk to me about it because they don’t want to feel negative about their dad and they tell me it takes two for a marriage to fail and resent me for booting their poor, poor, dad out. I’m pissed! I want retribution! I hate to hear of all the fun my ex and his skank are having and I want to move on but just can’t seem to get beyond wanting to see those two go down in flames. It just doesn’t seem fair and I guess that’s what I’m having trouble with. How does a person who has tried to do everything right, devoted herself to a sham of a marriage, now past her prime and feeling old and used up (I’m heading very quickly toward 60) feel ok about the way things have unfolded and have left me swept under the carpet and them riding the waves? I hate to admit it but I’m jealous of them and feeling sorry for myself. How do I get beyond that?

    • Preggo Chump says

      Omg!! This site is what I need!!! 3 months since my husband told me he was having an affair, loved her, I am a horrible shrew…oh, and he cheated many times in the first 4 years of our marriage until he got on lexapro. Then 4 weeks later we found out I am pregnant with our 3rd child. I was willing to try & see if it could be salvaged. He refused to defriend her in Facebook, so I said he had to or we need to separate. We separated. He offered up that he wouldn’t date, work on himself. I stupidly believed this, well or wanted to believe it. Last night I was dropping the kids off and he left a birthday card from the OW on the counter. Yeah. I’m scared, I will have 3 children under 4….but this is nuts!!! I’m done!

    • teresa says

      Dear been chumped, don’t let that pos get half your Ira. Take a loa from work, a big loan on your ira, go to Europe or anywhere , spend it he doesn’t deserve a dime.

  26. Chumped says

    Hi Chump Lady

    Do you believe a relationship can be reconciled and move forward after a one night stand cheat. Heres the catch – it was 2 years ago and the woman has come forward to say there is now a 15month old child, who lives on the other side of the country but will not have a relationship with it’s father (the cheater). Is there a chance of moving forward?

    • chump says

      And I got my ass reamed by the infamous Dr t for calling my whore a whore. was the final freeing moment for me. she felt it offended the women on a men’s site…….I maintained the name from Webster’s and that it was not namecalling by the Webster definition. whatever…..it set me free. is that not what it is all about? my final catharsis…….the ex destroyed me. I finally stand and call her what she earned and I am taken to task? Wtf…..that kind of thinking is what imprisoned me.

  27. Valentine says

    Hallelujah! Someone who finally says, in practically my own words, how I felt about the whole I-was-cheated-on-by-a-pile-of-sh*t. I too was on one of those save-your-marriage-by-waiting-til-he-comes-to-his-senses boards. What a load of doo-doo that was. After wasting 2 years ‘waiting’…he got his girlfriend preggo and then I was done…still it took me a long while to get divorced from that clown because he was the narcissistic kind that wants to win at everything. Oh, and his now wife really is a whore…she did the same to her husband #1. Both are cheaters….good luck to them!

    Anyhow, I am now engaged to a fabulous man, and am living the life I only dreamed of!

    Thanks for your blog…makes me smile, hell, it makes me LOL!

    Luv ya!

  28. Robert says

    Dear Chump Lady, met you on the Huff enjoyed your attitude, loved your writing and its content. Not sure if I qualify as a chump, I understand that my observations are mostly conjecture but my gut is screaming at me. My wife just refuses to acknowledge any memory of the following:
    Thirty seven years, five seconds. I had to drive my wife to work that day, I don’t remember why, however I do remember in detail what happened after we arrived at just after six in the morning. My wife would always go into work that early and sometimes on the weekend. We entered through the main doors eventually exiting the back door for a smoke. I joined her not because I needed the nicotine, but it gave me a few extra minutes of her company, those were the “long days” for me. He knew she was down stairs, and was waiting for her. He saw us before we saw him, this means he, if he had chosen to had the opportunity to retreat unseen, but he didn’t. He was quietly aggressive almost like he caught his girlfriend doing something she shouldn’t. He came through the door to send a message to my wife, this he accomplished. Because I was there and he was unsure of the situation he kind of scooched off to the right. As he arrived at his destination about twenty feet away, he wanted to observe us which he did, but without turning his head, just his eyes. He fidgeted as people do when they are agitated. His actions were meaningless until I observed my wife’s actions. When my wife first noticed him it took her five seconds to recover. She grabbed my arm with her left hand, the door with her right, then pushed me over the threshold literally, at the same time telling me “You should get going, see you later.” I noted traces of panic in her actions. She was afraid that he would say or do something that would give the game away; the irony of course is they both through their shifty little actions did give the game away. This event playing itself out in five seconds were seismic. Thirty seven years pushed through the door like garbage to the curb, for whom? As with other cataclysmic events in our lives it’s not always apparent at the time. My wife wanted me out of there so she could be alone with him, no other interpretation is possible. On balance if I put his devious, subtly aggressive little actions together with her actions on that day, what other deduction could I possibly come to?
    She is an accountant; all of her colleagues arrive for work at 09:00 or later. If it were her boss why did they not acknowledge each other? Why was I not introduced? Why were they the only two people there at that time in the morning? Why in the five years she has worked there I have never been introduced to her colleagues? When I questioned my wife sometime after the events of that day she replied; “I don’t know who he was, he works for another company in the same building.” I broached the subject once again a year later, this time she said, “I don’t remember anything from that day.” An easy method for foiling further questions, she insisted on that stance, so any further probing on the subject rendered redundant. She remembered that day. It was too dramatic not to remember.

    • Ms. Shepp says

      Trust your gut and all of the red flags. I, too, knew something wasn’t right. I knew it. My gut was screaming, but I couldn’t find anything concrete. He was a master at shifting the recollection of events, which made me feel like I was losing my mind. I hope you are in a better place now.

  29. Jamie says

    This is exactly what I needed. I felt like I was totally alone in what I was feeling. You are truly amazing

  30. Martha says

    Thank goddess I found your site, Chumplady. My STBX husband is “in love” with a woman he met on Facebook. I could see it unfolding right in front of me the past six months but he denied that they were chatting, sexting, Skyping & so on. I told him to give me his Facebook pasword if he had nothing to hide. He refused. It took him 24 hours to come up with his BS reason; he keeps an online journal on Facebook! Right! This is the least introspective person I’ve ever met. After three counseling sessios he bailed on our 30 year marriage. He moved out six weeks ago. Next week he’s off to spend ten days with this woman he’s never actually met in person. He better hope it works out with his honeybucket because there’s no coming back. I used to joke around that he would never have an affair because he’s too lazy. Facebook made it easy. I’ve been looking around online for some insight & landed here. I need to hear it like it is. Thank you, Chumplady!

  31. Nomorechit says

    CL i have been married to STBXH for 20 years. 2 great children. I am 89 days post DDay ( this is the 3rd time) but Im struggling with not contacting him even though i know i shouldnt. Am i addicted? I am confused, sad and angry…

  32. Martha says

    I posted two weeks ago that my STBX was heading across country to spend 10 days with a woman he was “in love” from Facebook but hadn’t met in person. What fucking chump I was! Someone with a conscience whi barely knows me finally told me the truth. Over a year ago the OW flew here to screw my husband while I was away visiting my mom for Mother’s Day. Apparently she took a picture of the hotel room number & made it her Facebook cover photo then posted the juicy details of their fabulous weekend. She was married at the time. Later she & her husband split & shortly after, he killed himself.

    Trusting chump that I am, I hadn’t even noticed this woman on my STBX’s Facebook page but eventually it became obvious. I guessed that they were sexting, skyping, phoning & so on but he denied everything. It all finally blew up when she sent me a threatening message. I ignored her & blockex her but STBX gaslighted me & lied his pathetic ass off. He agreed to marriage counseling and moved out. He said he was leaving me during the 3rd session – i’m guessing he only went so there was someone else in the room when he announced that he was out.

    Stupid chump me. I had no idea. I was busy being a grown up & dealing with some seriius real-life problems, not policing my STBX on Facebook. This site & everyone who shares here have been hugely helpful these past few weeks, but yesterday’s bombshell hurt. Like I knew he was an asshole, but it turns out he’s an even bigger asshole than I knew. and the OW is a sociopath for sure.

    STBX is burning a lot of bridges right now so when this Black Widow is done with my STBX, she’ll move on to someone else’s man & my STBX will be all alone. However, I won’t be available. I’ll be here at Chumplady soaking up the wisdom & strength of my fellow chumps. I love you all! Thanks for being here.

  33. JC says

    At last! A site that smacks me back into reality when I start having second thoughts. My STBX walked out on our 20 year marriage and 3 boys last November for his soul mate…17 years younger office tramp. I may be a chump, but let me tell you, her poor fiancé, now husband will probably be on this site soon too!!! My STBX can have her. They’re made for each other!

  34. Amy says

    Thank you ChumpLady. I am new to your site and it has really helped me cut through all the BS my cheater husband has been throwing my way. Over the last ten years, I have lost the ability to see things through my own lense, from my own point of view. It seems I can only see things from his point of view. Your entries, although very funny at times, are truly informative and have allowed me a bit more clarity.
    Just a definition question – what is a “serial cheater?” Someone who cheats several times and then is discovered? Or someone who cheats, is discovered, and then cheats again?
    Thank you again. I truly cannot explain how helpful this site has been for me.

  35. Nomorechit says

    Dear CL, what do you think of sex with the stbx? Ive lost weight and am looking pretty good. I want him to see and feel (with a condom) what he is missing. To fuck with him the way he did with me all. These. Years. Thoughts??? nmc

  36. TC says

    Dear Chump Lady: I ended an eighteen-year long relationship last September after my ex-narcissistic BF’s affair came to light in a hospital room when he had an appendectomy. I was completely in the dark before that horrible day. After I confronted him over the phone days later, he offered no apology for cheating and that was the end of the story. I considered myself a victim of fraud because this N serial cheater has never committed himself to a real relationship in the last 40 years. He is totally self-absorbed and got his nerve to lay blame on me for his unfaithfulness. I found out he started the affair with a student whom he taught at a community college when I was battling the second return of my cancer in 2007. He had kept the affair quiet from me but brazenly advertised his cheating partner’s pictures on his facebook page (I do not have a facebook account). I did not know how bad a situation I was in until I broke up with him. In retrospect, I was verbally & emotionally abused, gaslighted, used, and cheated on. Therapies did not help me much because I didn’t tell my therapist the whole TRUTH. I have been silent for the past nine months, but I am thinking about breaking my silence. Do you mind if I e mail you my question? I am not comfortable posting my questions here for privacy concerns.

  37. Renee says

    So glad I stumbled across this, have a 12 week old son and just found out my husband is on dating site saying he’s single and have no idea how long he’s been doing this. Even used a pic of himself from our honeymoon on his profile!!!! Feel so sick – I am a trusting fool

  38. says

    Dear chump lady,

    I (a guy) have been cheated on in the most devious of manners. I have started a blog(see link) on my experience and it would be very kind of you, if you gave me your input. Just read the summary, unless you have a lot of time. I would like to fix things somehow, to me it is clear that she has some kind of problems and that is why she acts the way she does.

    Thank you for your help.

    • TennisHack625 says


      I read your blog. My friend…you’ve been chumped! My STBXW would lie to control the conversation. They get this bad. It sounds more like Borderline Personality Disorder. You need to get as far away from this bitch as fast as possible. I left my wife and 4 kids for my wife’s safety and I love my kids dearly. You will get the kids on you’re terms when you can be you. Not a product of her bullshit.

      As a man, the rage will build in you forever if you stay. I’ve read about guys that assaulted other men and put them in the hospital. He would buy her a new car and she would cheat again. She will say this has to do with your manhood. IT’S NOT! don’t buy into her bullshit.

      Run Forrest Run…

      • says

        thanks for taking the time to read it. Well the ‘good thing’ is that she did the get away and cutting off contact part. She said she had problems like that with other guys before (I guess they found out and she got into trouble because of that). So I suppose she has a lot of experience in that regard. That’s why she had employed all these preemptive cover up tactics and I am left with absolutely nothing to prove anything.

        She has deep psychological issues about feeling inadequate in some regards(unless that was just a rouse, but another chump of hers confirmed these insecurities).

        Where she differs from most cheaters is that I think she only has chumps. The other guy I contacted at least didn’t know anything (I don’t have the slightest idea on how many guys she had/has, but she was/is constantly grooming). The energy and effort to conceal this must be immense.

        I’d like to get her out of this, she will make more lives hell(basically her pattern is to look for guys who are far too trusting and would never cheat). However I can’t do anything, cheaters are well protected by the law(i.e. informing people is defaming the cheater). She’ll keep hurting more people.

        I wouldn’t mind her blaming me for something. She didn’t however, she said it’s just like that. It’s a family thing. So she rationalized it as being out of her power to stop, she is a victim of her genetics .. lol.

        Well I think the best thing I can do now is to leave this city. Everything here still reminds me of her.

  39. Anne says

    I need help, CL. I found out about my H’s ten year history of compulsive porn use, frequent emails to escort services and six sexual incidents with escorts in November 2012. He has seemed to me to be mourning the loss of his cake and the shame that goes along w sex w hookers although he believes he has adequately expressed his remorse. Our pattern has been essentially he’s on his best behavior for about two weeks in a row then he explodes and expresses anger about the fact that I have moved out of state w the kids (I make sure he sees them every weekend). He states that he did what he did to me, not them, and I should be living near him so he can see the kids more. Lately he’s been doubling down w the nice behavior – demonstrating some I insight into his behavior. We have very young children and I’m terrified of the fallout of leaving him even though being with him makes me feel so sad. The fear that life without him could be worse than life w him is almost paralyzing. And then there’s that unicorn belief that I should give him a second chance. He says he will never do it again. I just feel so stuck. I don’t think he’s a sociopath but I do think he’s pretty limited in the empathy department. However he’s been really trying to be more engaged w the kids, helpful when I’m around, trying to be attentive to my needs (not really emotionally but otherwise). I need some CL wisdom. Should I give him a second chance?

  40. Uncertain says

    Dear Chump Lady,

    I love your site. It has helped me enormously. One thing I wonder about is how people who have been cheated on deal with some of the inevitable lack of confidence and worries about cheating when they start new relationships. My transition was long. I found out about the cheating 5.5 years ago but did not separate until about 2.5 years ago. In that follow-up three year period, I surfed the net all the time, trying to figure out how I could be better and prevent this from being my reality. I reasoned that the cheating must have been my fault (I know, crazy, but it took awhile to really feel that that wasn’t true). I thought that if I could identify the problem, I could fix it. It took me a long time to realize that that this simply was not going to happen.

    Then I got into dating, long and winding road with some strange incidents. I am in my mid forties. One thing my ex always emphasized to me (that I stupidly internalized) is that older women are simply and generally undesirable and it’s hard for women to find anyone again (whereas for men it is easy) as a partner. There is some truth to this, to be sure, in terms of sheer numbers, I suppose (women get the short end of the dating stick, so to speak). But it depends on a million variables. Anyway, I met a man I fell in love with 20 months ago or so. He is truly wonderful to me and has never been less than transparent. He also travels a lot for work. Well, no matter what, traveling for work or not, I still feel nervous about trust issues some times. I hate myself for this, but I don’t know how to deal with this. Do other people have this? Does having been cheated on and having gone through all the stuff that one goes through on this end (a lot of it for me was not wanting to screw up the children’s lives with the fallout from this) mark people kind of for life? I have this giant dilemma: If I am suspicious and worried and anxious, I am not attractive, I know this. Yet I have a lot of fear and uncertainty. No one owes me anything. I cannot expect other people to understand (although this website certainly helps!) these feelings. But they are there. I did some counseling. I have good friends and great kids. I have a very good life, including a good job with a good income. But this thing, this trust issue, is one that is hard to shake. I have read so many people’s accounts of going through the abuse of infidelity, and it helps a lot. But I would love to know more about how people get through to the other side, perhaps of moving on to a new relationship. I fear this (current) relationship not working out. I fear being alone. Blah blah blah. It’s the human condition of fear of the unknown. My new relationship has brought me a lot of joy, and even if it ends tomorrow, it will definitely have been a fantastic experience in my life. But how do you and how does everyone else rebuild trust and deal with fear when it comes up? I guess that everyone has some natural fears in this area. But having experienced infidelity surely compounds all of this?

    Thanks so much!

    • says

      Uncertain, I just read a really good book called ‘How Not to Marry a Jerk’. It gives great info on how to go into other relationships w/our hearts AND our heads, and how to tell, over time, whether someone is good material for a long-term, monogamous, committed relationship.

      Reading it not only gave me more confidence going forward, into new relationships, but also opened my eyes to a lot of why I messed up so big in picking my ex as my life partner and the father to my kids.

  41. TennisHack625 says


    As a man we struggle with this as well after being chumped and dumped. It does take time and the dating scene isn’t very fun for people seeking monogamous relationships. There is a you-tube video that speaks of quantum energy of a woman that was chumped in Australia. It was very helpful. Dr. Phil stated that it’s better to be alone than to be in a toxic relationship. Don’t waste your life trying to make sense out of non-sense.

  42. stuckinjax says

    Hi CL,
    Love your website. Question: how do I get the images of the STBXH and the OW together doing the nasty out of my head? Left him, done with all that, but still suffer from those images and sadness about the blown up future. Any advice?


  43. Nena says

    I am glad that you have a site like this. I have been cheated on before and know how much that sucks. I also supported friends who went through this.

    BTW, I love your curls. How do you get them to look so perfect? :)

  44. B12yankee says

    I love this site! Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness was just what I needed to read. After suspecting that my STBX was cheating on me I received proof positive via one of his friends last night. The pictures tell it all…

    It made me laugh and realize that it is time to move on, clean out the closets and rid myself of all the guilt gifts. It was one big mind(bleep) with him. As my therapist stated “He is as narcissistic as they come”

    I have to find the humor that he has been cheating on me with his ex wife, the woman that cheated/divorced him 25 years ago. (We were together 22years) She married the other guy 30 days after the divorce was final. Holy overlapping relationships!! They deserve each other!!

    Thanks for making me laugh!!

  45. Ken Tuck says

    Relationships. I’m 63, male, retired for 10 yrs, happily married to college sweetheart for 42 yrs, BA in Psych & MA in Human Relations…and I ran into a 22yr/guy personal trainer I hired to help me lose weight after cancer surgery & radiation. Within 5 months, I was suicidal and an emotional wreck. I couldn’t “see” what was happening to me…my wife saved my life, supported me, got me into PsychoTherapy, got me on Prozac…she’s my hero.

    I survived a relationship with a narcissist, but just barely. He had me sitting up, rolling over, and begging. I’m so ashamed to admit that I was completely caught up in his “state of mind”. Today, I’m out 1 1/2 yrs, have read over 150 books on PsychAnalysis and truly understand him and myself. I made a mistake, recovered, healed, and sincerely feel grateful to be the person I am now!

  46. Blueberry says

    What do you think of people who advocate being “friends” with your wayward ex after the divorce for the sake of the children?

    • says

      I don’t know Blueberry. What do you think of being friends with the uncle who molested you? Or eating at restaurants that gave you food poisoning?

      Check out my other posts. My take away is tell the truth in age appropriate ways and don’t editorialize (i.e., “Mom is a whore.”) I think it’s sad, but necessary that children understand life has deal breakers, and it’s confusing to remain friends with people who do you grievous harm. You don’t have to wish them ill, but you don’t have to sit down and celebrate Thanksgiving dinner with them either.

      • Blueberry says

        Do you think you need to “co-parent” with your ex to be a good parent, or can you just “parallel parent” and keep communications with your ex to a minimum, say, e.g., by email?

        • Jamberry says

          It is fine to “parallel parent” — I have been doing it for nine months and my child is doing well. The important goals are to communicate child-related issues with your cheater and reduce your child’s exposure to conflict while keeping yourself protected from emotional pain. It works.

          This “being friends” advocacy is often made by people who have not experienced infidelity and have no clue about its emotional impact. Or, more commonly, by the cheaters as a front to show everyone that all is well despite their heinous behavior: “My ex and I celebrated Thanksgiving together with the kids. I am a good man and she can still see that. She is cool with everything.” (Vomit.)

          Good luck as you navigate this difficult path.

          • Blueberry says

            Thanks, Jamberry. How do you communicate with your ex? Can you just limit it to email? Would a court look unfavorably on me if I don’t take XH’s calls or talk to him in person or be there at child exchanges?

  47. Denise says

    Not all narcissists are cheaters. I can’t imagine that betrayal. Although I’m married to a narcissist I have long thought is gay. He’s the religious kind of narcissist. No love in him, just rules and misery. He will never come out — the religion prevents that, but he will marry someone younger and cuter than me and being to subsequently ruin her too. Then, he will be blame her for all his problems. Well, first they will blame me together, then when I’m out of his life, he’ll turn on her. We have four children together (chump, chump, chump!) so I will never fully be free of him, but thinking about you living in the Amish country alone does my heart good. That’s what it’s like for me in the church. You see, I’m the terrible brazen woman who would dare leave “such a good man.” Yeah, I’m not ever marrying again.

  48. Anna says

    I am thinking that instead of writing just another book why not collaborating with a university to give them input found in this blog and in this forum, in order to change the contemporary view of infidelity? In deed there couldn’t be a better place to chose a sample of infidelity statistics than this blog! The world of psychology and/ or psychiatry could very much use this data!

  49. Connie says

    Dear Chump Lady,
    I love your blog, you give me strength and the will to stand up for myself.
    I have a question.
    Iam a widow 11 years. I finally let my heart feel again and he turned out to be a psychopath. Narcissistic asshole. I was ripe for the picking for this one. Lonely, widow, caregiving my 38 yr old son that sustained brain injury in a car wreck.
    He cheated on me with ex wife twice that I knew of, hated my grown children, tried to alienate me from them. I caught him responding to craigslist personals.
    Even after all of that I was a chump and fell for his excuses.he felt pushed aside. He gave me a ring to hold that he said was very sentimental while he moved back to his state to finish his divorce, and then he would come back for me. All regrouped and changed.
    I found out later from ex wife the ring was her wedding ring that his dying best friend had let them have from the friends deceased mothers jewelry because he couldn’t afford her a ring.
    After he went back hone to regroup, he went missing for days, found out he was dating. Then he found my replacement, a new prize. He wants his ring back , I hate knowing that he will give it to a third woman. He gets to just come in my life , devalue and discard and ruin my health.
    Ride off into the sunset with new and improved victim ,all of this hell lasted a year.
    Is it the only right thing to do to give him back the ring ?

  50. Anne says

    Not sure where to leave questions so here goes:
    I am getting divorced from my husband bc of repeated infidelity throughout the course of our dating and marriage. I have recently started dating and I met a man who seems very sweet and thoughtful and insightful. He is a good listener, kind to others and seems to have a good understanding of several issues that led to the ending of his previous marriage. After our second date, he revealed that after years of being unhappily married he had had an affair for three months and that was the impetus for his divorce. He wanted to tell me early on given the situation w my STBX.
    I can hear you screaming “Run for the hills!!!” and yet I was really impressed that he told the truth up front, that he had confessed what he did to family and friends, that he had been willing to do anything to keep his family together, but it didn’t work. He is also much more emotionally available and thoughtful than my ex so I just keep thinking…maybe…just maybe this could work?
    Please help!

  51. Brenda says

    One of the more common sense blogs on earth there is, and hey it’s FREE! you cannot beat this, Thanks for this wonderful informative site, Oh and there is more than one way to have been cheated on folks, some of us come here from even just lies told to us online that wasted our time, But the common sense rules are the same non the less!!

  52. Ellen says

    I am divorced from a cheater who two counselors described as narcissistic. He is with the bimbo( whom my kids describe as sleazy). There is no accountability on his part. Says to all we had a bad marriage( news to me, told first counselor we were all good, no need for anymore help, she stuck with me for rest of life). Kids are older, confused. Father acting loving,happy than gone, out wants divorce next day. Huge amount of lies. My question- he is manipulative and abusive to kids…example: no money if the kids don’t do exactly what he wants. My attorney says he bully’s them. I am remarried to a wonderful man with morals,kindness and a big heart who is a great role model for my kids( four, two adults,two teens). Some cry to me about what to do. I try to always take high road, teach them honesty and rightness. How can my ex get away with this? How can I help my kids? Where is the law to help?

  53. Arnold says

    I would simply tell my kids about NPD and what your counselor said.
    My kids would complain to me that “mom always lies”. Rather than dispute this and make them doubt their perceptions, I agree “she does. I know”.
    This is not parental alienation where you are gratuitously bashing an ex. It is connfirming their perceptions vs gaslighting or ignoring them. You do not want them questioning reality.

    • Ellen says

      He does accuse me of the alienation issue. For a time I worried that I was, but now see it as all part of his manipulation and of course the blame that is all on me. His explanations and lies confuse the kids on life, marriage and morals. I do tell and show my kids the fact that even in a legal book it staes that the individual who has an affair and ends the marriage changes the history of the marriage. And a good quote from noted anthropologist Helan Fisher in her book ANATOMY OF LOVE gives a fascinating explanation of how infidelity causes divorce-” infidelity is exciting, causing an excessive production( in men and women) of testosterone and amphetamine like nerotransmitters, at the expense of comfort seeking hormones like oxytocin or happiness and contentment producing hormones like seratonin. People in affairs are nuts, dependent,desperate,miserable and paranoid, unable to relax around their familiar mates. They are not necessarily unhappy with their marriage before the affair but they are afterwards. Adulterers can’t reestablish intimacy as long as they harbor a secret or fear their partner’s anger or rage.( see the recent movie UNFAITHFUL for a picture of what a thoughtless, motiveless affair can do to a serene and cozy marriage)…. Makes sense…and I let my kids see this stuff so they can understand that I am not crazy. My youngest is 17.

  54. heather says

    Hi Chump Lady,

    I just want to introduce myself. I’m Heather. I’m a Chump. I’m married to a Cake Eater. I’m making an appointment with an attorney tomorrow. I told my friends, my closest friends who have been trying to get through to me all along, that I found my people today. I stumbled onto you this afternoon and have been reading the posts and comments all afternoon. I told my friends I felt like I came to a clearing in a forest and found you all.

    I’ve always said I’d rather have a painful truth and a lie. Thank you for making me laugh at my own shitty story.

    Glad I found you,

      • Martha says

        Hi Heather – sorry to hear you’re going through this horrible experience but glad you found Chumplady. The support here is smart, honest & infintely helpful. I couldn’t have gotten through the pain, disappointment & anger without my fellow chumps. Take care of yourself & keep coming back.

  55. Mara says

    To all those who have been cheated upon…..it is time you look at your part in the relationship and ask why your mate cheated on you. Maybe he or she was bored with you in bed, you focused too much on your work or kids and not on him or her, and most important, you had NO COMUNICATION. Don’t blame the other woman or man, take responsibility for where you may have been a failure…..your choice perhaps in this person.
    I am sorry but I have been the other woman many times and have zero guilt because if it isn’t me, it will be somebody else if this person’s relationship is on the rocks as it usually is. The problem is that you either have to be super rich or super poor to get a divorce today. But is it worth being with someone who really doesn’t want to be with you?

    • LoyalGaga says

      Mara you are a piece of work. I can’t wait until Karma does its work on you, and you come crawling back to this website with your crushed heart in your hands. No relationship is perfect, and no person is perfect. But to break vows, LIE, and BETRAY to the person you have made a VOLUNTARY COMMITMENT TO cannot be excused by anyone’s imperfection. And do you really think your fuckbuddy (our husbands and boyfriends) is telling you the truth? You are a joke. He lies to you just like he lied to us. And you don’t have the self-respect to be with someone who is AVAILABLE. You are a disgrace to womankind. “Zero guilt”? You have a hole in your soul, you big whore.

    • Gio says

      Something wretchedly horribly is going to happen to you Mara. You just wait. And when it does, you will know Exactly. Why. Because. You. Are. A Very Vicious Whore Face. The ugliest soul on earth. A waste of skin. You fuck married men because you can’t get a decent single man, admit it. Because a decent single man wouldn’t have a thing to do with you or your stinky skanky canooter. You’re despicable. Go away and tell your shit somewhere else. We all hate your mother fucking guts here. We’d kill if we could. Now go!!

    • Gio says

      I challenge you to a fight in an alley you dirty fucking bitch. I will kick your teeth out. How about right in front of my house? I know someone just like you. I went to grade school with her. She fucks married men. She’s still hanging on to a cake eater. He’s going to ‘leave his wife any day for her now.’ Uh huh. While she gets uglier and bloated by the day drinking her gallon of wine every night and smoking her pack of Marlboro’s waiting by the phone for her phantom lover.
      You whore’s are all the same. Blaming US.
      You know what happens to assholes Mara? They get ASSHOLE cancer.
      You better start checking yours real close these days.
      Karma C*^%t

    • Gio says

      And you want to know something else Mara? It is such bad juju to have someone hate your motherfucking guts SO BAD.
      Do you know what that does to YOU??
      I can’t imagine fucking someone over so bad that their hate seethes through every cell of my body.
      You are the scum of the earth. You deserve every single shitty thing that comes your way. You deserve to rot in hell for all eternity.

      Like I told the whore that fucked my husband, “I will chase you in to the Gates of Hell!!” and I meant it and I will.

      You are a stinking pathetic piece of shit C U Next Tuesday and I know Chump Lady doesn’t like that word but some women are C U Next Tuesday’s and you are one of them. I would spit that word in your face.
      By the way, you sound like you have an 8th grade education. Maybe that’s why you have to fuck married men. They buy you Dairy Queen and take you to Motel 6 to fuck you up the ass in see through sheets.

      • LoyalGaga says

        Sounds like my x’s ho, Gio! SCUM of the earth. Always fucks married men. Slimy piece of shit. I feel sorry for her children, learning this kind of bullshit from this whore. C U NEXT TUESDAY is too nice for her!! Karen SS in Piscataway, YOU ARE A F-ING WHORE WITH NO HEART OR SOUL. KARMA IS COMING AND SHE’S A BITCH.

  56. Connie says

    I’ve read it somewhere, that the first person you think of in the morning when you awake you’re either in love with or they have hurt you terribly.
    I wake up and have shitbag on my mind every morning. I’m sick of it. However the other thing and my saving grace is, as my eyes are trying to open to the morning and my brain is reeling with thoughts,, I reach for my phone and check my email for YOU Chump Lady!! You help me get through another day. Thank you !!! Thank You !!!!!

  57. says

    Chump lady you are the best!!now i see that my darling children have not taken my side ,they just LOVE the memory of Uncle Daddy , so i have to watch myself. Can it be i still have a little bit of chump in me thinking everyone is SO well meaning? Well you are right they arent. and yes if they want to cheat they will .When Art left i was gorgeous, skinny, and wore silk suits, makes no difference, you are quite brilliant and have supported my philosophy of” FIRE EM” SO THANK YOU KEEP IT UP, ALLBEST MURIEL

  58. LS says

    Hi Chump Lady, I’m currently the chump of the world and wondered how I could write you? Do you have an email address you are reached at? Need advice like I need air. Or maybe I just need a kick in the butt. Either way… How do I reach you?

    • LoyalGaga says

      LS On the first page of the site, down a bit on the right, you will see a link called “Contact Chump Lady”. That’s how you write to her! And welcome to the world chump community! We are all chumps here!! :)

  59. freedom says

    Chump Lady ~
    I am new to this site, I’m not even sure if this is the appropriate place for me to leave a comment? But I want to thank you, I am so grateful that I found this wonderful site. It truly has been life changing for me.
    I am in the midst of a divorce, complicated by the fact that I am currently living overseas. Everyday I get on this site and read everyone’s inspirational words. I know that I’m not alone, I’m not the only person going through this hell.
    Thank you again, I have a long road ahead but I know it will be worth it.

  60. felinefan says

    LOL “Smug unknowing class” SO TRUE! I had some bitch at work say to me “Just get over it!” MY fave is when YOU get blamed – you must suck in the sack if you have been cheated on, right? It’s obviously YOUR fault (kind of like they treat rape victims.) Ouch.

  61. sara says

    Tee hee. Now it’s so clear what a nice guy my sparkly turd is. Chumplady, I have a question: In my case there is no question; the soon ex is a megalomaniac, socio-psycho-pathic compulsive liar. He lacks empathy and borders on sadism. No–no border. He’s a sadistic sick bastard and remains utterly unapologetic (“every guy does it”) about his stunning porn addiction –which evoloved into live Internet sex–alcoholism and cocaine habit. I don’t know where he gets the time to work but he does, so he can miser away every penny and rage if anyone implies he’s less than generous. He’s a sparkle plenty Industry Turd which comes with its own dimension of narcissism. My question: There’s a tendency in this consciously uncoupled culture to overuse diagnoses of the week or toss about half assed concepts from the Urban Dictionary. When the psych told me I was suffering from P.T.S.D. it sounded so self-indulgent and trendy I was embarrassed. The soon exes snarky judgement about (everything) therapy probably added to that. True malignant narcissism and psychopathy are serious hazard that wreak havoc on those of us in its wake–whether the owners cheat or not. Not that cheating alone isn’t enough, but it seems like almost all of our cheaters here suffer from some form of this? I was reading a stupid article yesterday (I posted highlights under Ashley Madison thread) about “thriving after an affair.” My question: Is there any such an animal, just a normal guy who fucked up one night when he was drunk, say, who is not by definition narcissistic or sociopathic? Not that I’d stick around in any case but I wondered your thoughts about this? Thank you for helping me get through the daze.

  62. nomorechit says

    Hi Cl. First, thank you for all you do. You truly have no idea how important you are to us.
    I am an everyday lurker and rare poster to your blog.
    My 3rd DDay (after 20 years of marriage, 2 children and 1 grandchild) was in March of 2013. Separated since May 2013. For the most part went No Contact. Got a good attorney and he filed the petition this morning. I waited a year as I needed the time to heal and gain strength. I have days when Im great and others when I am momentarily melancholy. I have a blessed life: family, friends, job.
    But here’s my boggle: today a friend called to tell me she saw Fucktard and his latest Schmoopie recently driving around town. This was right after my attorney called to let me know he filed the petition. After all this time, and after so much heartache…why the fuck does this hurt so bad???!!!!
    I thought i would take events like today in stride and was totally unprepared for the emotional and physical response i had today…my stomach hurt and i wanted to cry. I kept it in because i didnt want to upset my youngest son who still lives at home ( he refers to Fucktard as “doucher”).
    I need a brutally honest answer to this simple question: When does the pain go away????!!!!!!

  63. Erik says

    Dear Chump lady. I live in lancaster county pa. I agree. It’s not a fun place to experience infidelity. Is anywhere? My sweet wife of 9 years cheated and left me for a heroin addict. Until the moment she admitted to the affair, I thought we were very happily married. We have four kids and they live with me now. I spent the last 5 months in despair, feeding her cake, hanging into hope, and perpetuating my misery. Thank God a friend told me about this site. You live in county and everyone prays for you. Prays for reconciliation. But it’s bullshit. She’s not sorry. She’s having a blast while I’m picking up the pieces and carrying all the responsibilities. I just wish I would have found this site 5 months ago.

  64. Mad as Hell!!! says

    Dear Chump Lady!!
    No wonder I LOVE your blog so much! While I live in the land of crazies (CO), I’m a proud, TX gal who is tough as nails and has bigger balls than my pathetic narccistic-sociopath serial cheater husband! I may have been duped for the past 2 years (and probably all 17 years), but this girl is getting her ducks lined up while the SOB continues to fake his way thru sackcloth and ashes. Vengeance will be MINE.

  65. Lisa says

    I became involved with my barber last year only to find out that he’s a compulsive liar. Before I became involved with him, I asked the typical questions about him being involved with anyone and of course he said no. I was involved with him and unbeknownst to me he married some chick in December 2013. I just found out July 3, 2014 after checking his Facebook book. He neither denied or admitted to being married. BASTARD! I cursed him out thoroughly. I even seen his wife a message via Facebook, but she hasn’t responded. I’m hurt and cried about it, but I’m the lucky one. I feel sorry for her. Six months into his 3rd marriage and he’s already cheating. There is no telling who else he is fucking….such a LIAR.

  66. WaitingToExhale says

    Dear Tracy,
    For now, I just want to say thank you. As when presented with many challenges in life, I do research. When it became apparent that I HAD to divorce my cheating, manipulating, abusive husband, before the very smallest of spark that was left of me, went out, I spent hours at night (while he was away for days and weeks, at his very im PO tant job in Washington, DC, ) crying and puking and Googling, divorce, cheating, lying, trust, gas-lighting, Narcissism and on and on and on. I never felt like I was getting anything “real” until on various sites I started hearing some one speaking with a voice like mine. It was you. I found your site and held on for dear life. I don’t like bullshit or platitudes or judgement. You offer none of these and you and the incredibly brave men and women who have shared their their stories have literally saved my life. I thank you and I thank them. What I am going through pales in comparison to some of the stories I’ve read. But then I remember everyone’s “truth” is different. I keep thinking I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and it keeps turning out to be a train. But I keep repeating my mantra , “NO MORE!” One day, hopefully soon, when I can see this in perspective, I will share some of my story on your site, with the hope of having one thought, one word or sentence, help one person, take one more step, on that day when even ONE more step seems impossible, as you and your members have done for me. As for now, until it is well and truly over, I feel like I have been holding my breath, waiting, just waiting, to exhale. Thanks, Geri

  67. Chumpedbutliving says

    I tried for months to cowtow be patient submit. Listen. Understand. Give space. Until my then 11 year old called me a wuss. That was the wake up call

  68. Patttu says

    Tracy you have no idea how much your book helped me… After three years of knowing he was a fucktard I finally found the courage to tell him I was done trying to win him back likenhe was a ducking medal!!! She can keep him .. He s not getting any cake from me

  69. AussieChump2 says

    Dear Tracy,
    Your story involving a serial cheat and the aftermath, trying to understand what happened, is so similar to my own and to many others that have written in your blog. I wish I had found your site sooner. I am somewhat of a writer myself although more related to the physical sciences, but I have put together most of the elements of my story, as I understand it, and would like to publish it here. It has some interesting features related to recognising and understanding the effects of personality disorders on relationships and the long-term effects of emotional abuse.

  70. Linda Robinson says

    I have read up so much on personality disorders and am free from my particular lunatic as a result. I do like the memoir type healing reads. I also enjoy novels that incorporate the subject. I have read Eloise Loving a Sociopath by Catherine Lockwood which is a chilling read but a great warning with much insight. It’s great to me shackled no longer.

    • AussieChump2 says

      Dear Linda,
      Like you I found that reading up and understanding the various aspects of personality disorders (particularly BPD related to childhood sexual molestation), how they affect behavour and impact others (emotional and psychological abuse). This understanding helped me, in some respects, come to terms with what occurred in my own former relationship. And also like you with this understanding, I enjoy novels and TV shows (including reality shows like Dr Phil) that deal with the subject.

  71. Dana says

    I am divorced as of June. I was with my eh for 20 years, married for 15. The first affair, that I know of, was 5 years ago. They even traveled to a convention together, while it was home thinking he was trying to grow our business. We have 2 children, 14 and 11. Last year, he started up with a new employee of ours. He told her we were separated! We work together in our businesses, but at different locations. Last September, I asked him to leave, he took his clothes and toiletries and went to her house. Of course they only lasted a short time, then he entered a relationship with a woman that could not be more opposite of me. 10 years younger, tattooed everywhere. Very bizarre for a man that is so vain. Anyway, he has started coming Around with his I’m sorry and you are my best friend and I love you. I know I don’t want to go back to sleeping with one eye open, but why do I have a part of me that is afraid to him going back to being indifferent? I feel depressed that it is almost comforting to me when he says nice things, because I truly know that he is lying. It is so sad that we (the chumps) find ourselves thinking our lives are one way when they are actually another. And yes, we still work together although at different locations. I do feel better knowing I am not alone and unfortunately there are many women that know what I am going through. Thank you ladies for your stories.

  72. Cat says

    Once a cheater always a cheater……at least my husband was. He used sleazy sites like Craig’s list and Backpage to find his hookers. After 43 years of his cheating and lieing I’m finally getting a divorce.

  73. Jen says

    I really liked your post about entitlement. It makes the most sense to me as I reel to make sense out of his inability to stay faithful. I have hurt so much over this, and I don’t think he has hurt at all. He just felt he should have whatever he wants regardless of how I feel about it. I am such a bitch for figuring it out and questioning it.

    I know he won’t change. I have spent all this time trying to understand where I failed to earn his love. What I should have done was just walked away. Why do we choose people who are not capable of loving us back? And why do we hang on after they show us what they can and can’t give?

    Thank you for helping me not feel like I was the one who is broken. I have been fantasizing he is someone he isn’t. If I am to get ahold of my life and create a safe world for my son I can’t afford to live in lala land anymore. Thank you again

  74. says

    THANK YOU!!! And though I might not be in Amish country currently, though sounding half nice, I’m in the chump waters… I soooo love finding humor in this mess and so many times, thank you :)

  75. Sue says

    Dear Chump Lady,

    My gay-in-denial cheater ex is a trial attorney, too. As you might imagine, I now have an aversion to all male attorneys and, quite honestly, to men (just passed the second divorce anniversary in June…the same month as our wedding (would have been 34 years). My question to you: Does a person ever gain back trust, dignity, respect in others to possibly make a go of a new, hopefully HONEST relationship? It appears it has happened for you. I just don’t feel like it’s going to happen for me…

    • Happy says

      Sue, It depends on their under”lying” value system. Some people just actually make mistakes and can actually admit and stop, but for the majority, like my ex, they are still the same way 20 years later… You need to focus on finding someone with empathy. Empathy is key to a human emotion that allows the caring for others. Don’t be confused by charm – it has an underlying desire for self. Empathy has an underlying desire for others. Notice how some people ask questions and listen to you, while others will talk over anyone and never involve others in a conversation, or ask you a question in a one-on-one conversation. There are good ones out there, just walk carefully over the landmines.

  76. afaboulder says

    I would like to form a meet-up group for Chumps in my area. Are you OK with that? We would use your book and blog as an inspiration for conversations.

  77. RealMonkeyLove says

    Chump Lady, you are a God send. I found out 4 months ago my wife of 17 years had been having an affair because our marriage had become stale. Initially I blamed myself for a lot of the problems (she gave me a shopping list of my faults) and I hoped that we would be able to reconcile. After becoming Amazon Chump and reading loads of stuff I found your site and the Infidelity Help Group and realized that, yes our marriage had become stale (both our faults), but no, I wasn’t responsible for her cheating which was down to her way of looking at her place in the world. The stuff about high entitlement coupled with low empathy has really hit home and whilst I haven’t decided what to do yet, at least I now know what I’m dealing with and what signs I’ll need to see from her before a real reconciliation is possible. So far so not so good, so hope not very high! Wants to stay friends with AP and doesn’t quite get why that is a deal breaker as far as I’m concerned! I think she may be a Barbed Wire Monkey! Thanks again

  78. Samantha says

    Your bio is amazing! Rock on. My double life psycho ex in Texas used WoW as part of his ruse for his ultimate betrayal after we were married in 2006 and I got a call 6 mo later too….

  79. Lisa says

    I’ve just discovered your site. I’ve just started going through the archives. I adore you. Thank you for so eloquently describing exactly what I’m going through. I don’t believe in reconciliation either. I’m still living with the douche, but hopefully not for long.

  80. says

    Yepper-Doodles that was a sociopath you were hijacked by. I know I was in 2012 – asked him to leave 10 months later. Found 2 other wives, 6 kids, 3 fiances, 9 girlfriends and 2 previous marriages. Plus he stole from me. I blog too now – saving lives supporting others end up in the clutches of a sociopath. LOVE your blog!

  81. Stan Elias says

    Chump Lady, Kudos for a great site and an inspirational message. For me, D-Day as far as FINDING OUT was 8 months ago. But the brutal betrayal actually goes back much further. I realized I only found the tip of the iceberg 8 months ago. The I dug some more, and I wish I didn’t. I’m sure you are by now familiar with that “Hell on Earth” forum known as Ashley Madison. It took me quite some time to wrap my head around this monstrosity of a web portal…and the fact that my STBXW was a proud leg-spreading member for at least 3 years. Of course, that was only part of the overall deception. There were many layers. Like an onion.
    The fact that there is a 5-yr old child ADHD child involved simply adds to the pain and mayhem. Mommy has no problem spreading her legs to alien peni$es, but G-d forbid she acknowledge that our son needs medical intervention for his rapidly worsening ADHD.

    Of course, all of this is enough to drive one into a major clinical depression, which is where I now find myself. Each day is a struggle for survival. The symptom severity is requiring Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) every couple of days, in addition to the usual meds. Plus, this is all still pre-divorce. Once that hits, oh what fun we’ll have! No doubt, STBXW and her lawyer WILL play the mental health card. My lawyer says not to worry: just keep to the 42% custody I’ve been doing, plus we’ll have a note from my treating physician. I figure there’s a small light of justice and hope in all of this…somewhere….but I have zero idea where it is. Just taking it hour by hour. The emotional pain is insane.

  82. LOL says

    Oh my goodness … Thank you so much for this site. You have just made my day. As my lying, cheating, soon to be ex (our divorce is almost finalized) sits downstairs on the couch wondering why I’m keeping my distance, I’ve been peeing myself with laughter in my bedroom as I read through some of this stuff. Just what I needed to shake my feelings of inadequacy and reassure me that keeping my distance is the best policy.


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