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A Spectrum of Cheaters

The Cheat-o-meter


At one end of the spectrum, you have the folks for whom this was a one off. A drunken, one-night stand at a conference sort of thing. Someone with bad boundaries who does something idiotic and regretful. The one-off cheater feels guilt and remorse, usually confessing.

After the one-off cheater, you have the exit affair cheater. This sort of cheater is actually unhappy in their marriage and realizes at some level that they don’t really want cake, they want out of their marriage. Cheating is their really crappy and cowardly way of blowing things up. These sorts of cheaters tend to leave for their affair partner, or just call it quits, and make an unambiguous break from the betrayed spouse.

In the middle of the spectrum, you have the average cheater. Someone who doesn’t mind being married, but wants a side dish fuck. This cheater engages in an affair for months and hides it pretty well. They either kick the relationship themselves, or get dumped, and feel pretty conflicted about it. But not conflicted enough to not have done it. Unless exposed, or remorseful, the average cheater stands a good chance of being a repeat offender, trying to again attain the Nirvanic state of Cake Eating.

At the end of the spectrum, you have serial cheaters. Serial cheaters are a different breed of cat. These are the people for whom deceit is a lifestyle. Deceit is part of the high. In fact, I’m convinced it is the high. Getting one over on someone. Gaming the system. Getting all the ego kibbles. These are people who have double lives. Multiple affairs, spanning years, decades even. Consequences don’t really register with these folks. Divorce them, and they’ll just remarry and do the same thing to the next sucker (hopefully their affair partner).

Serial cheaters are usually personality disorders on the narcissistic, borderline, sociopath spectrum. Their empathy synapses don’t fire. They’re wired wrong. These are the kind of folks that sleep really well after being exposed, while you puke and cry and lose 15 lbs in a week from despair. They may look at your distress blankly and shrug. Or say something to the effect of “Don’t be a Pollyanna. I don’t see what the big deal is.” Conversely, if you’re dealing with a borderline, you might get operatic “remorse,” and then when you’re out of sight, they’re coolly dialing their affair partner and giving them the same operatic remorse. Actions never match words, but they’re masterful at the spin.

Serial cheater
Serial cheaters are sharks in people suits

Serial cheaters are deeply, profoundly fucked up. You’d be an idiot to try and reconcile with one. (Ask me how I know.) Personality disorders do NOT get better. These people congenitally lack the ability to connect intimately with you. They fake it. They may look human, but they are really sharks in people clothing. They’re predators. If they tell you they love you – believe me, it is not a love that is good for you. It means you are of USE to them. That’s it.  Get the hell away from serial cheaters, the sooner the better.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • So true! I’m reading earlier articles and responding: “been there, there, and there” (wish I hadn’t). My X was definitely a serial cheater with PD. He had an affair when our youngest was one. Cynically, I realise he learnt to hide (and lie) better whilst he played at being “James Bond” until 27 years later. There was no intention of valuing intimacy. It was only when he thought he could replace me that he revealed his true nature. I couldn’t believe how callous he was. All those years of supporting him meant nothing: no conscience, no connection. He told me that he had been approached by the government to be a spy when he was younger. Well, if it was true, they certainly spotted his ability of live multiple lives.

  • CL kudos.
    Yours is the first website i found which says unequivocally…LEAVE.
    I so totally agree with that.
    Most of the others advocate recovery which is total BULLSHIT.
    How can a man who is a serial cheater ever going to manage his life without a couple of women in it?
    He cannot and more so he DOES NOT want to.

  • I completely agree with this post. I do want to say one thing in regards to Sanity. I’m sure you didn’t mean to imply that all cheaters, much less serial cheaters, are men. I am living proof that this is simply not true. My X went through a detailed list of all of her sexual relationships and was pleased to “prove” that I was wrong when I said she was unfaithful in nearly all of her relationships. She smugly showed that it was only in 9 of them (or about half). Male or female has nothing to do with being fucked up.

    • Welcome Geough! I do my best to make this site gender neutral. Yes women can be serial cheaters too. (My husband’s ex-wife was one, you’re in good company.)

  • So many bells.

    Mine didn’t believe the emotional affairs on the internet, or the girls he “messed around with” in our bed counted—only the ones that had penetration.

    No empathy, no compassion. My father at one point even stated he wasn’t treating me like a human.

    I actually had to change my phone number because of the harrassing phone calls I was getting from my husband’s ex girlfriends. Yes you heard that right.

    I’ve had mental health professionals tell me Lifetime Movie Channel would have to redact my story to make it believable.

    Maybe when I need tuition money for our six year old, I’ll sell the story….

  • Help me to do no contact and walk away please! give me advice to give me that last nudge so I “see it” and am not so scared. What am I scared of though? I got nothing from him except stress! Help!!

    • My ex bf cheated on me three different times with three different girls and after three years of that, I said bye. Same thing happened to my sister except it was her husband & they had two kids together. Same thing 3 different girls in 3 consecutive years. I don’t care if you have been married 30 years & have 5 kids together, this is unacceptable…GET OUT NOW LADIES!!!

      • I was married 33 yrs to one and he was alcoholic Too. I left and he denied everything even with proof im way happier now snd can do much better

        • I am married to an alcoholic for over 30 years, found out about the cheating 14 years ago and planned on leaving, got a good job started to save and then tragedy struck our son died. I stayed, things got better for about 8 years, now he is back at it his former job gave him the freedom to travel all over the world, drunk and screwing hookers. I filed for divorce in AuG and he left the state, drinking Hus way across country. I asked him to ce back to sell the house and finalize paperwork, he had a heat attack. He is now back in the house unemployed, drunk every night and saying he is depressed. Got h to the drs. He has hep c. He is 53 years old and going to be a grandfather in a few months, he may not make if. I work everyday thinking what the hell am I doing in this nightmare. Just tonight drunk again and talking about how stupid I am and when asked why he did not get a divorce years ago, he said it was too much work. Tells me several times a day that he loves me and in 5 min telling me that I am stupid or that he screwed around because it was my fault. I live 4 hours from friends and family and am trying my best to move close to them by the fall. I can’t take this anymore.

  • My husband made the front page of our local paper arrested as part of prostitution sting! Did not tell until he KNEW it was going to make the paper and he would be “caught” for sure. He was arrested 24 hours prior to this and came like nothing was even wrong that day. He was in a great mood even! It made the papers, he got fired from his job immediately. He is blaming is “alcoholism” now and is seeking treatment. There is more than alcoholism going on here because he’s been hiring prostitutes and cruising craiglists and backpage for decades hiring women to have sex with and I just found this out! Had no clue! I feel like and idiot! So used. He tells me “I am doing all I can to get better”. Yeah right! I am not supposed to mention this even happened because “he’s doing all he can to get better, he said he was sorry he just doesn’t know what more he can do to convince me of that”. Wow! Really? That’s what I get after something like this?

    • You need to leave him. Like yesterday. Lawyer up!

      There is NOTHING he can do to convince you he’s sorry. Because he isn’t. He is sorry he got caught.

      • He texted my children to say this is a blessing he got “caught” because now the secret is out and can fix it. So, being caught is such a good thing for everyone! Who thinks like that? He’s doing inpatient alcohol treatment right now and sits there and sulks and is on the pity pot that it’s so hard and these people are all on a power trip, they took his phone, etc…my therapist says he uses me.

        • Listen to your therapist.

          More important, listen to a lawyer and file. I’m not kidding.

    • Never A Chump Again, if you still follow CL’s blog I’d be interested to know how things turned out for you. Did you husband ever change and did you leave him? Your story resonated with me and I’m in the process of splitting. STBX claims he’s “changed” and has control over his thoughts now.
      I’m just wondering how things ended up for you?
      I hope you axed him and are now living a wonderful Chump Free life.

  • Your site if finally giving me insight that I NEEDED to hear! I can’t do no contact, what is wrong with me? I try and after about 12 hours I break! It’s like he could careless if I ever texted or called him again, it’s all me that can’t walk away. I am having trouble identifying why this is. He repulses me!

  • Be careful of your attorneys as well ladies! After 15 yrs of being married to a serial cheating verbally abusive narcissist, who left me with three children to care for and nothing but major debt, I had a very difficult time finding a divorce atty~ because I had no money to pay one. Enter much older serial MASTER cheating narcissist!! This man took full advantage of my vulnerable state and manipulated me into believing he was almost god incarnate… And he is is 23 yrs older than me; And I’m (not to toot my own horn) a very pretty skinny bitch who never in a million years thought I’d get sucked in as prey by this fucker! Just be careful because if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. I’m still shocked that wasn’t smart enough to see the signs, and now I doubt I can ever trust any man. BTW, he’s still continuing to manipulate because he found me a job where he has major influence & I live with the fear that I could be fired every day.

  • Totally identifiable. I’m actually in the process of dealing with a serial cheater. We’ve been together almost six years…of those six, he has cheated on me for four, that I have hard evidence of. I’m convinced I have been played a fool from the get go. I have counted over 50 different people that he has talked to and possibly had sex with. Of the emails that still exist(ALL sexually explicit), I was able to forward myself 4 full pages, displayed in my inbox, soliciting sex from craigslist and Adam 4 Adam. I found out by snooping, which is wrong, but to think, I was going to marry this man!!! Not only that, but I’ve caught him with text messages, pictures, dating profiles, “sex” apps (manhunt, Grindr, jack’d…just to name a few of the numerous, numerous that he had). We lived in different cities, which gave him all the more time to do his “deeds”. I drove to see him every weekend and at least one day out of the week. When I finally graduated school, we finally made the decision to move in together. Two months if living together, and what do we have here? He is the type person that if I showed him hard proof, he would dispose of it, then deny it all. Maybe I was blinded by “love” but it takes a very special person to have cheated and possibly had sexual relations with this many people, and be able to turn around and proclaim his love for me, as genuine as can be. Kudos to his stellar performance in deceit, lies, and infidelity. He really does deserve an oscar. What a fool I have been. Well, a fool no more. Karma has a new best friend!!!! (He fits the bill of a borderline to the “T”).

    • FYI: Yes, I am definitely getting tested for a sexually transmitted disease….as I had advised him to do the same.

  • hey just coming across this article has helped me understand how some people work sadly ;( i think its so repulsive how some men can act like this and still be the winner in their minds. Surely after a male has done an act of infidelity he should be re-building your trust and working towards becoming a better man for himself as well as yourself.
    i have been with my fiancee for five years almost i love him to bits but he constantly fills my mind with paranoia unfortunately i stand for it no matter how bad it gets. i no he doesn’t deserve me but at the same time i accept it. This article and comments ive read has made me understand im not alone and comforts me. i wish my partner would understand it from my point of view and perspective. i am wishing i would have feelings of anger towards him for his actions but i dont which is the hardest thing about all of this . its nice to let off some steam in a comment like this 🙂

    • My dogturd bomb dropped initially saying all the usual crap – I love you but not in love with you and how he needed se time apart to think. I talked him into a marriage workshop 1,5 days later only to learn on the way up he had been cheating on me and it was not the first time. He said he was planning to marry the OW but claims they were only having an emotional affaire. He moved out when we got home and in with OW. he wanted to only tell our 14 year old daughterommy and daddy had grown apart and told him no way – I wasn’t taking ANY blame for his cheating. I also believe he was lying through his teeth about not having sex with her because he wanted to marry her so he must have tested the goods. I gave him to the end of the week to tell out daughter or I would tell her myself. He tried not to tell her but she forced it out of him because when he arrived at the park for a walk he came from the wrong direction if he was really staying at a hotel. Then he shifted into the mode that this was was just like her mother and so great. She told her father this woman was nothing like her mother because for starters her mother would never fuck a married man. She called the woman a whore and he got pissed telling her he was planning to marry this woman and since my daughter never met OW she had no right to call her that. So my daughter yelled whore whore whore making a scene and then asked if she could change her last name to my maiden name. He spent a few
      more weeks trying to get out daughter to meet OW and she refused so he has since ditched our daughter too and hardly sees her. On rare occasions they do meet she mostly reminds him of his fucked up moral compas.

      With time he now claims he didn’t have the other affair and he maintains he only “emotionally” cheated. I really don’t believe it for the simple fact when we
      met 25 years ago he informed me he would never marry someone he hadn’t slept with and lived with. And here he was wanting to marry the OW. I think the only reason he was leaving was because she had agreed to marry him and it was a safe jump – he wouldn’t dare risk not having someone to feed him kibble. He picked a much younger woman (15 years) with a young child so now he can rewind his perceived shitty life and try again with a new wife and kid to get that perfect kibble giving family.

  • I really wished I had found CL when my soon to be ex bomb dropped. He initially claimed he just needed to be separated and evaluate our marriage. His big complaint was not enough sex. In fact he kept saying he “couldn’t go on loving a celibate life “. I was both confused because he certainly wasn’t living a celibate life but of course I was willing to change and give more kibble. We had been married 23 years and together 25. I signed us up for a marriage workshop 1.5 days later which he agreed to attend. On the way to the workshop (7.5 hour drive) I learn he has been having an affair. He claims “only” an emotional affaire for a couple months. During the workshop he admits to another “emotional affair” 10 years earlier. Then he admitted the current affair had actually been going on for several years. Then he admitted the other affair lasted several years. He still claimed they were only emotional affairs. Then I learned he had actually moved in with the OW and that he wanted to marry her ASAP so he wanted a divorce immediately.

    My question to you is should I believe him it was “only” an emotional affair? Since then he sometimes claims there was no other affair and I was just misunderstanding him (gas lighting ?). I feel that if it was “only” an emotional affair he wouldn’t be wanting to marry this woman so fast. He used to always say you had to live with someone and have sex with them before marrying. I also feel at this point he probably has had many affairs over our marriage but I also question myself on anything concerning him.

    Don’t worry – I am
    divorcing this dogturd. I don’t spakel any longer, the rose colored glasses are gone. I just want to know what others think about whether he is a full blown adulterer.

  • Ok so you have some valid points but I have borderline personality disorder and how dare you stigmatise us all! I have never cheated , I feel empathy I do not act and I am the spouse of a cheat , I am totally disgusted by your opinion on a borderline, I think you need to look at the difference between a borderline and a narcissist. !
    Because borderlines fear abandonment we are the least likely to cheat !!!!

    • Chrissie, that is simply just not true. I have an ex-bf who was a borderline, and he was almost religious about cheating and making up a story. Many people here have survived relationships with borderlines, and I get that you have the disorder, and deal with it differently, however the overwhelming evidence is that those people are awful in relationships.

    • Not true ! Some borderlines are constant cheaters because they do not have to have an emotional attachment as they would with a spouse. Maybe some do not cheat. Many do not even acknowledge their BPD and never receive help.

  • Mine is a good story, after 2 decades of off and on cheating he has come down with a genetic disease that makes him much less desirable. He is also a full on BPD! And they do cheat!

    At some point, I really grew up and I changed, I just didn’t feel like a victim anymore, and I saw him as a person with a LOT of issues. This viewpoint on my part completely changed our relationship. His cheating stopped and I can’t explain exactly how it happened, but it did! I have been in the drivers seat ever since I stopped feeling like I was his victim.. I am still around because of the kids and the lifestyle my kids get is better if I stay married.

    Btw, that is how they control you, through cheating. They love having that power over you, the pain they see you feel, and the desperate state they see you in, that is until you take your power back, then they become terrified of you leaving them. Once they are terrified of you leaving them, they only focus on that, and that focus takes them to a different layer of their personality, BPDers have lot of different personalities. And the personality that is terrified of you leaving them, is not the same personality who goes out confidently cheats.

    Funny how that worked out. I can hardly look at him now, I stay for the kids. I can get along with him enough, barely, but I have lost complete respect for him. I will either leave at some point, or be surprised and make it work and stay. We will see! Either way, I am feeling great these days.

    • I am a full bpd and we don’t all cheat, ypur attitude towards mental health illness is stigmatised and you disgust me, I ve been cheated on because my husband can’t cope with it so he did the logical thing and turned to someone else, wtf ? mental illness does not cause cheating !!! Check yourself out, selfishness causes cheating, I won’t read your site anymore and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else does cause your looking to label a selfish behaviour on a personality disorder !!!
      News flash people cheat cause their primary emotional needs aren’t being met ! Stop labelling all BPD’s, I have been BPD for 20 yrs never cheated on anyone and guess what I keep my knickers up ! Try waging your war on selfish cheaters not all BPD’s are bad !’

      • Ginganear — I am not saying every person who suffers from BPD is a cheater. I am saying some cheaters have BPD. I’m sorry you were chumped. The ability to conduct a double life — the lack of empathy and compartmentalization that requires, sexual impulsivity — are often signs of a mental disorder. I’m not pulling this out of my butt — researchers say this. Promiscuity can be one of the diagnostic criteria for BPD. From the National Institute of Health

        • Well you may want to actually look at the condition seriously, because what your explaining is narcissistic , most BPD’s don’t have the capability of what ypur talking about because of abandonment fears !
          Most of us have it from PTSD that comes from a horrific trauma that goes un treated and take it from someone who is BPD, you are spreading stigma that puts us all in a bracket that is un fair and very hurtful !
          People cheat because their emotional needs are not met ! But the behaviour your explaining is narcissism, because as once qouted the only object of their affection is their own reflection, my condition is debilitating , I don’t lie to people I don’t do devious things, cheating is a selfish choice made by a selfish person !

          I personally feel that you may have a narcissist on your hands because BPD’s do feel emotion we feel pain so strongly that it causes destructive and harmful behaviours to ourselves, statistically we are more likely to hurt ourselves before anyone else, and we love very deeply, you may need to look at narcissism , it’s a personality trait that is more associated with cheaters, I wish you well, but I ask you kindly to be aware that living with BPD is a daily struggle that means you can’t regulate your emotions it’s an emotional dis function that often leads to battle for your life on a daily basis, I fought for my marriage and I fight for my children, please stop making out that we are evil liers that use people. ! It’s stigmatisation, within my BPD therapy group not one has one single trait or behaviour you accuse us of, many are ex service veterans , that trauma has broken our ability to control emotion, like I say, look to narcissism, that’s probably more their behaviour .

        • I’d also like to add that most people who have bpd have it because they have been sexually assaulted or abused, promiscuity is the last thing on our minds, in 20 years of knowing many BPD’S and being one I ve never met a cheater !
          Unstable relationships

          If you have BPD, you may feel other people abandon you when you most need them or get too close and smother you.

          When people fear abandonment, it can lead to feelings of intense anxiety and anger. They may make frantic efforts to prevent being left alone, such as:

          constantly texting or phoning a person
          suddenly calling that person in the middle of the night
          physically clinging on to that person and refusing to let go
          making threats they will harm or kill themselves if that person ever leaves them
          Alternatively, you may feel others are smothering, controlling or crowding you, which also provokes intense fear and anger.

          You may then respond by acting in ways to make people go away, such as emotionally withdrawing, rejecting them or using verbal abuse.

          These two patterns will probably result in an unstable ‘love-hate’ relationship with certain people.

          Many people with BPD seem to be stuck with a very rigid ‘black-white’ view of relationships. Either a relationship is perfect and that person is wonderful, or the relationship is doomed and that person is terrible. People with BPD seem unable or unwilling to accept any sort of ‘grey area’ in their personal life and relationships.

          For many with BPD, emotional relationships (including relationships with professional carers) involve ‘go away!/please don’t go’ states of mind, which is confusing for them and their partners. Sadly, this can often lead to break-ups.

          Hard to agree that we want to deceive and get laid when that’s just one symptom!

          • I agree Chrissy. You are very on point about borderlines. The only reason I think that a borderline would cheat is if they had a feeling that the relationship was nearing an end (rather it is real or imagined) and the borderline usually will end the relationship in a way like that because they basically already know that something is all the sudden not right with their relationship. I have observed that borderlines have good intuition when they are not emotionally distraught and stressed out. But when they are their intuition is more paranoid. But I do agree with you and what you said.

            • The fear of abandonment in border lines could cause emotional seeking elsewhere , whether imagined or real. The “I love you/I hate you” push/pull of border lines could cause a person to seek to actually hurt their significant other ,whom they could actually love , because of the imagination of abandonment. They can’t handle the emotions resulting of being “abandoned” that they will actually yearn to hurt their significant other. Therefore, border lines do often cheat. I say so from experience as I too have the illness.

          • Sorry, but there’s a lot of co-morbidity within cluster B personality disorders. That means that many with BPD are also narcissists, antisocial and/or histrionic. The BPD I had the misfortune of meeting and making the mistake of believing and allowing to seduce/court me into falling in love with a fraud (which ended up being a con of thousands of dollars while pretending not to be cohabitating with a so-called “roommate” and 3 years of my life) was a huge narcissist and an antisocial as well. She was a “vulnerable narcissist”; I didn’t see it coming because it was long-distance and she was a great actor and always played the long-suffering victim needing rescue. In reality, she was both BPD and a malignant narcissist. That’s almost a psychopath.

      • I’ve met a number of people with various mental illnesses. They’re the nicest, most empathetic people I’ve met. My ex on the other hand was completely selfish. While, I question if he is troubled due to the fact that he shot himself in the leg with a pellet gun multiple times, I don’t think a mental illness is the cause of his selfishness. I also don’t think people necessarily cheat because their primary emotional needs are not being met. The first time he cheated, I looked for the primary emotional need that wasn’t being met and I asked him what his love language was, thinking it would help me be a better wife. All he could give me was “I guess touch.” So, I’m the most touchy person and I was already touching him a lot, but I tried to give him even more sex. I thought maybe we’d be good, but he cheated again. He later cut me down for my introversion and told me I wasn’t normal. I’m not sure how that keeps his emotional needs from being met or how I could have even rectified that. At the same time, my emotional needs were badly unmet during the marriage. I couldn’t get him to hug me or show me affection. Talking to him about his made no difference. I remained faithful despite all this.

  • My BPD husband of 16 1/2 years has done NOTHING but cheat, all the while professing he completely loves me.

    86 times (that’s different people every time) to be exact. Not all BPD’s are the same but cheating is very common to Borderlines. Borderlines have a tendency to push people away. By doing so they believe they are protecting themselves from being abandoned, making them feel like they are controlling the decision of leaving before they are left. That would be known as the “Go Away”.

    However at the same time he has done nothing but worship me and praise me, from a distance. Really of course this love/hate only causes pain and confusion to declared loved ones.

    This man severely emotionally abused me for years, the manipulation, gas lighting, lies, was endless, and after every time he was burdened with guilt but never enough to prevent him from doing it again. He DESTROYED me. I use to think well of myself, now my ego is shattered. Often I can barely leave the house. I trust no one now. Years of severe abuse crippled me and I am just now coming out of the fog. I have developed complex PTSD from trauma he has inflicted upon me.

    Like many Borderlines tend to do, he blamed everyone else for people distancing themselves from him, as if he was some kind of victim. When in reality he took advantage of them all, lied to them, used them and forced them away just so he could watch them finally leave and say “Ha, see everyone abandons me!” when it is entirely his own doing. Enter any decent group, with other people who have been in relationships with those suffering from BPD, and you will find thatnon-cheating Borderlines are the rare desert flower.

    More often BPD destroys lives of entire families. Out of communicating with over 300 people in the past 2 years I have heard of about 4 BPD’s not cheating, one of those is Chrissy above. That does not include the hundreds of online blogs, forum posts, and general comments I’ve read. I never bothered counting those.

    I do not believe Borderline makes people cheat, people choose that themselves, most of them unfortunately happen to have BPD and the symptoms encourage it, not prevent it.

    • I also have PTSD and it was caused by a cheater my husband ! Which has left me with borderline, and you honestly do not know what u are talking about, what your husband has is narcissism PD, I have all the exact issues you have and since he caused all these issues I am diagnosed bi polar Bpd and PTSD , but un like you I am not trying to find a reason or a label for someone else’s selfish arse cheating behaviour, at leAst with all my damage I don’t sit and say well he did it because of a personality disorder, !!! I am in the exact same boat but I fight back I have 3 diagnosis that have all come from being on the receiving end of selfish behaviour of a cheater , but though I may have bad days and rapid cycling mood swings I am no bloody victim, I take responsibility for what my actions my have played ! But I can tell you from someone who Is on Your side of the problem and your cheating partners !! It’s not the personality disorder that does it ! Because human beings know the difference between right and wrong from the age of 5, and you can throw PTSD as an excuse all you like I to have it, and work to help others with it, believe me I know what it’s like to have a major panic attack or a flash back, I am an ex cabin crew purser and have Also modelled , I have the kindest heart, but these days I wear a nappy to bed because if the terror caused by cheating and breaking of my trust, but every morning I run 5 miles, i face what I have to because though my husbands actions caused my 3 problems no way on this earth would I blame it on anything other than a selfish bastard that is meeting their own needs and yes you’ve been deceived and yes you’ve been hurt , but your looking to rationalise something you can’t !
      Everyone knows what the difference between right and wrong is unless you grew up in a cave without other humans !
      It’s not disorders it’s a selfish person that cares nothing about consequences, I can truly answer that from both your side and his, I also know what it’s like to be told get over it ! Man up ! Suck it up !, because I know the physical symptoms ptsd leaves you with!
      And you know what despite how I ve been treated that has left me with these 3 burdens, I would never ever treat anyone that way because I was raised better than that, and you sometimes need to accept that you married a selfish cheater that chose to ignore consequences , and no tablets or therapy or kind words can wipe away that damage and you may find that one day after PTSD has been there a while like me they will say you are boarderline like they did myself !
      I have no record of anything that they say it does , and if you actually talk to more BPD’s I think you’ll find that they class a lot of pekoe who are insane or deviant as one though they are fighting to change the name to emotional difficulty disorder ‘!
      I truly feel for you because I feel your looking at just what it’s done to you and your trying to find or label and blame something cause you want to say it wasn’t me it was his disorder !
      Well it’s not you and neither is it the disorder, it’s a selfish, cruel person that doesn’t care for consequences !
      You have to accept that you reading the bad end of the spectrum to find a reason to blame, people with bpd just can’t handle emotional issues the way others do which most of the time comes from PTSD , and I bet your life on it, as you take your journey with PTSD as I have you will be diagnosed bpd , cause honey I assure you most of us started out in the same position!
      He knew right from wrong, only insane people and folk that have lost their minds are exempt from that.
      You may want to look at yourself and maybe look at the way your viewing your situation, the only way to get your life back is by your own retaking, stop looking to label and maybe look at , we all married men that think they had a right to do that ! It is part of a choice not a personality disorder !
      It really is a choice they make, we all have self control and know right from wrong, cause if you believe the crap you read on line, then your saying your husband is capable of murder and raping children, robbery, and every other disgusting thing you can label ! Aileen wahouse the serial killer was classed as bpd, suffered yrs of PTSD , but if you watch the documentary footage of the day before execution you will clearly see by the stuff she screams at reporters she’s insane !
      Stop the stigma if you have PTSD then you really should know better, we all know right from wrong !

      • Oh and my husband gas lit me and professed he loved me and did all those things cheaters do ! And guess what he doesn’t have a personality disorder he’s a decorated war hero, the nicest charming chap you’ll meet !
        Cheater is a cheater, personality disorders are nothing to do with it, look at your situations and you will end up with bpd cause PTSD causes you to be unable to cope with emotion anymore cause your minds been tricked and then one day you’ll read these sites and think oh so I am capable of all these things I ve never or would never do ! All I can say right now is open your eyes, stop looking for excuses for some else’s behaviour, it’s their behaviour ! You can’t control label or really go on like that !

      • My personal opinion on all of those wonderful cheaters that take a lovely woman’s trust and destroy them !
        Your attention seeking , your ego Is low and you want a constant ego boost, and your weak !
        It’s about that really, it’s about ego boosting cause they have low self esteem, most of the skanks they go with know they are married , does that mean they are bpd to ???
        Let’s just look at it for what it is, a person with any sort of personality disorder has a choice, you learn to live with it and you go out of your way to keep the person you love or you’re just plane selfish and a cheater !
        Right and wrong cheat or don’t it’s all a choice , and next time the lame arse try’s to blame it on bpd you tell them first hand, that you know that’s not the reason !!!
        I mean I love the it was a mistake excuse !, when my hubby said that I replied ” I accidentally picked up your car keys by mistake yest, I never had to hide my tracks though ”
        Cheating is a pre meditated act, it takes planning betrayal and lies, there is no illness or disorder that can explain why a person feels obliged to do it ! It was their choice , they just need to learn to clear up one mess before they make another! The damage they do is life long ! But remember everyone there is no excuse for a choice of pre meditated betrayal !

      • Chrissy I understand where you are coming from. And do not let other people on this upset you. They are entitled to their opinion. You know what you are feeling. And it’s not their business to judge you. But you can’t control them, so just ignore them. From your emotional reaction, I see that you are genuine, and you have been extremely hurt by someone you loved and you were betrayed. And I understand how much that hurts. And how it makes you questions EVERYONE. I have lost faith in humanity at times because sometimes it seems like there are no honest people who have good intentions out there. But on a public site such as this. You don’t really know who these people are. Sociopaths and narcissist like to get you upset for their own personal pleasure. They are evil. Don’t take their bait. Don’t give them what they want, which is an emotional reaction. Just don’t acknowledge them. It’s obvious with their sarcasm and BS – they are soulless assholes. Be strong. Don’t let them get you upset.

      • Yes! Sometimes I feel like therapists are a little too good at “labeling” people who are going through a difficult time emotionally. While I get the need to diagnose someone to help them, that diagnosis can quickly turn into more of a curse than a blessing. I also wonder if it isn’t a good idea to get a second opinion on some of these diagnoses just like we would for a physician’s diagnosis?

      • Chrissy, I don’t mean any offense, but you don’t “get” borderline. It and other PD’s are born out of childhood abuse and neglect. PTSD can certainly be acquired through abuse and other traumatic events.

        But BPD and Narcissism are disorders caused by early childhood events. Not as a response to trauma.

  • Chrissie, I do appreciate you taking your time to reply to me and share so much, however your reply doesn’t seem to be appropriate to things I wrote.
    In fact you argued some of my points back at me… which is interesting. I didn’t say anywhere it was BECAUSE of him having BPD. I also don’t see where you’re getting the impression that I sought to label him, either. However twisting things around is also, unfortunately, typical BPD. Of course perhaps you just misread what I wrote.

    Let me make this crystal clear; I don’t blame the BPD disorder, I blame him.
    However the BPD helped in the sense that it merely added a hell of a lot more fuel to the fire.

    I find it interesting you know my husband completely, apparently better than I and all his medical professionals, and that I, according to you, have no clue “what I am talking about”.
    This all perceived by you from the tiny slice I shared.
    Okay then.

    My husband has BPD and is a serial cheater.

    I didn’t self diagnosis him, he received it after a failed suicide attempt and hospitalization that occurred after I saved his life a year ago, which he did because I said I was leaving him. That kind of entrapment is another unfortunate BPD tactic.

    He has BPD from childhood abuse and being abandoned by his father, who ironically left his family of 7 children because he was a cheater. My husband vowed to be nothing like his father, which as you guessed didn’t work out as planned.
    As a side note, I also was abused terribly in childhood and never knew my parents but I never blamed myself for the rotten abusive actions of the people who provided me a home. That’s only a shred of my life. I have endured a lot, like most people. I was severely bullied my entire childhood, raped several times, held at gunpoint, stalked, and as I am natural bleeding heart, taken advantage of many times. I have fought for myself my entire life, and I will go down fighting with my last breath if I must. I may have been broken, humiliated, and put into a blender but I’m still dangling on trying to pull myself up and THAT makes a world of difference.

    I am always proud to take responsibility for my actions and failures with nothing BUT total honesty and objectivity. The only mistake I made in the relationship was not leave ages ago, and “do” for myself. I was beyond caring and attentive. I did everything. Not in a co-dependent way. I know I was 100% the glue keeping us together and for a long time. I was fighting for the way it was, not knowing it was a ruse never to be had again.
    Not only did I manage every aspect of our home, I homeschooled our children, ran my own business, helped him go to school, and still managed to provide the consistent support to friends and family that they always expected of me, in addition to doing volunteer work WHILE educating myself. Trust me when I say he may have ripped out my insides but I’m only temporarily down.

    After he was diagnosed everything made logical sense to me; his behaviors, his words and actions for over a decade. I was able to understand what was ailing him for years and though I felt sympathy for him at the time (due to my own syndrome) it didn’t jar my judgement to keep me from seeing what a phony scum of person he is, mental disorder or not.

    I have Aspergers, and my life was ruled by intense emotion. Too much, in fact. I was taken advantage of by many people because I always felt so deeply for them. Now that I have CPTSD, that is all gone. In some ways, it’s a gift.
    I have not experienced any emotion for nearly 5 months, thanks to his last affair, where he went off to work and dropped off the face of the earth for 10 days causing me to have a severe breakdown thinking he was dead somewhere deep in the woods. I reached out to friends, family, the police, to no avail. Our 2 children (both also with Aspergers) were damaged in ways only time will tell.
    Of course he didn’t fall off the planet. Instead he was shacked up with a 21 year old, nearly half his age, and using her for his twisted ego boosts that he constantly seeks to feed due to his severe lack of self esteem and constant self hatred. Lucky me.

    When he wasn’t cheating, he would cut himself, drive recklessly, and spend money like it’s burning a hole in his pocket. All of which are also typical BPD traits. Of course he feels terrible, overwhelming guilt after, but when he’s doing it he is riding the selfish monster ego boost wave and is king of the world.

    I don’t know where you are getting your information about BPD (also known as the Casanova syndrome) from, but perhaps you might want to try reading medical books or genuine medical articles. I repeat; Most BPD’s cheat, you are the rare one who doesn’t. I don’t apologize for tending to agree with the thousands of papers I have obsessively read on the subject that coincides with his behavior. Thanks to Aspergers, of course, as one of my compulsions is information and objective thinking.

    Again I appreciate your concern, words and time. I am sure it is coming from a good place and I sympathize as best as I can from inside my head, without emotion. There are many different levels of BPD, like there are many different variations of bipolar, Aspergers, and just about anything and everything.
    Cheating is one of the ugliest behaviors to exist. It’s just a few levels down from child abuse, rape, murder, etc. yet for some damn reason more people seem to be doing it thanks to the good old internet making it so accessible. Still I don’t blame the internet for cheating.
    Perhaps if we brought more public awareness so people can recognize when they need help and remove stigmas associated with possible mental issues, syndromes, and illnesses of all sorts, people would try to then figure out why they have such severe gaping holes where their souls are and try to repair themselves, instead of filling it with the holed bucket called “infidelity”.

    • All the behaviours your husband has I to have,and I’ll level with you , stop being a victim, stop crying I ve been through all this, we all have , your just reiterating what I’ve already told you ! Though one point I may have to clearly make we don’t commit suicide and fail to blackmail, we do it because we honestly don’t understand our emtional. Reactions, if we wanted to die you’d be the last person to know before the deed is done !
      When we do it , it’s about getting you to listen, I believe my husband did what he did because I emotionally shut down from years of the abuse which I to suffered !
      We have a lot in common my son has disbraxia I know what comes of all the things that happen, and what ever stage of recovery your at, you really need to let the victim go, or you won’t survive !
      I am not trying to tell you what to feel or how to cope , but writing crap on the internet that others will read and then maybe mis judge could damage their lives ! Talk about your journey your experience but don’t slam a behavioural personality dis order for everything , because it’s way out of the truth, I will answer anything you want to know about bpd because I do control mine very very well, but I can honestly say that no matter what either have suffered or do suffer it is controllable, it’s not bpd that makes you do it !
      Now for the bpd truth, if someone whined at me 24:7 about woe be me, I’d see everything else as shiny and fun ! I think both of you are totally wrong to be together if you would accept that behaviour and I could do it , then hell yeah I’d walk all over you !
      Get some self respect , find your fight, anyone can damage your confidence rape your mind hurt you psychically but only you can get it all back, I feel for you because you have allowed it , I asked my husbands opinion to what yours has put you through and bearing in mind I am the one with 3 conditions , he said. – if you allowed that what does that say about you !
      I won’t comment anymore I can see that your victim status is truly earned and you need it to define yourself , as bpd defining is something we are not supposed to be able to do, that’s why we obviously do all these things, though I clearly do not ! but straight to the point , my husband or I would never let either behave like that, I can cut my self I can have anger rages I can lie on the floor and ignore the world or rock back and fourth for hours cause of my traumas, but having sex with other people is a pre meditated act ! And no you can’t !
      Please just step out of victim and find your fight, god bless you , I hope you find inner peace, god knows I can’t but I won’t let it ruin me ! Do as you would be done by, if he is all the things you say he is, you can’t fix that, self respect darling, it’s a powerful powerful thing that will save you x

      • Holy crow.
        I mean…
        Wow, either you cannot read or you just live in your own damn world.

        Clearly it is entirely pointless to respond properly to you, because you just make up whatever you want. Congrats.

        I’m not a victim.
        I’m not crying.

        Maybe you have some kind of mental disorder that twists everything around in your head so you interpret things to be the opposite…oh wait, that’s right, you do, supposedly, it’s called BPD.

        But I bet I can tell you that a thousand times and you’d still ignore it so….

      • Chrissie, your post has all the hallmarks of borderline rage. Your understanding of what borderline personality disorder is and how it affects people, both the suffers themselves and those that are affected by their behavior, appear to be related entirely to your own, narrow emotional perspective and not to anybody else’s experience, or to what is actually know about the disorder through research.
        No, I don’t believe that everyone suffering from BPD will cheat on their partner. But studies clearly show that there is a strong predilection for people with BPD to engage in this behavior. I do have an interest, because my former wife who suffered from BPD (a strong fear of abandonment, trust issues and other characteristics of BPD) was a serial cheat with a series of other men throughout our engagement and marriage.

    • Your husband sounds like an attention seeking asshole narcissist.. Not someone with borderline. Therapist rarely are able to diagnose narcissism or sociopathic disorder. Because the narcissist will never admit they are anything but perfect and the sociopath is a pathological liar (they are incapable of telling the truth – even when the truth would have a Better outcome for them, then will lie, and there is no rhyme or reason behind the lie).
      I think you were asking for trouble by single in your Chrissie. She told her opinion, as she is entitled to. And you yours. There was no need to use her name in your own personal experiences. Ya know?

  • Loving this site so far, however, I’m not sure why there’s a Cheater Meter here. It implies one type of cheating is more damaging than the other, but I consider ALL cheating damaging…whether it’s serial or a one-time regret. It’s like putting a meter on physical abuse. To the left, the person who shoved you once and expressed remorse…to the right, the repeat abuser who sends you to the ER. Regardless of the meter reading, I’d be out of there b/c someone who genuinely loved me wouldn’t abuse me like that ever, not even once. Maybe you feel the same way; it just wasn’t clear by this article.

    • I do, but my deal breakers are not everyone’s deal breakers. Some people put up with a slap or a shove from their spouse as well.

      My feeling is that infidelity is abuse, period. You cannot cheat on someone you care for or respect.

      • It saddens me that some people think abuse is a normal part of every marriage. Glad we’re on the same page about all infidelity being abusive.

  • My wife of 18 months recently told me she cheated on her ex husbands (3 of them). She told me that 3 years ago she had intense counselling and had to face some confronting traits etc. Since then she says she has no desire to cheat on me beacuse I am ‘the one’ etc. We are normally very happy and totally enjoy being together. We have had recent issues with my ex in court, our kids arguing with each other.
    However, a friend of hers (12 month friendship) who was an angel recently passed way from the dreaded C. During the last few months of her life, my wife was spending considerable time at their house, even if her friend was asleep all day and couldnt get out of bed she still would go there.
    Now, I became very jealous of my wife spending so much time there and ignoring her own family’s needs. But mostly I was annoyed she was spending a lot of time with her friends husband. He is a good person, funny, intelligent etc. I said to my wife how I felt about them spoending time together, the reaction I got was “I’ll never go there again” etc.
    My wife knows I am feeling insecure about our marriage, however even after I spoke many times about how I felt about them both, she spent 1.5 hours there yesterday after dropping his son who had been to play with my son. She wouldnt answer the phone. said it was flat (but still rang!)
    When I confronted my wife, she has said “well he just wanted to vent to me about the funeral etc”.
    Even after our last conversation she reassured me by saying “I will never be around him without you there” she still chose to be there. She once lied and didnt tell me she was there even.
    Now, I hardly know him as I work fulltime and she was there to visit her dying friend during school hours a lot. I dearly love her and she does me too, I trust her and dont want to lose her in any way but want to understand how i should handle this.
    My concerns are:
    – is this the start of the cheating process
    – am I wrong to ask she doesn’t visit him
    – should I believe her intentions are inoccent
    – knowing her past, is she again seeking another man to make her happier
    – I got angry, but never called her names or physical (never have). Do I have a right to be angry and hurt
    – I know he likes my wife, he has told others she is a good person. Should I confront him?
    – they have text each other, am I being too controlling to ask she stop texting
    – Is she a serial cheater, and am I just sitting on a time bomb waiting for the enevitable.
    – Or has she been healed from those mistakes and we will continue a happy marriage

      • Don’t play marriage police. Don’t lie to yourself – you don’t trust her, and she’s proving to you that she can’t be trusted at her word (“I won’t go without you there).

        Run. Bug her phone if you need proof. But, most importantly. Run.

  • Oh! I wish I had come across this six months or even four months ago. My boyfriend(now obviously my ex) was with me for eight years. And six months ago he comes and tells me that he has been in a relationship with another girl for the exact period of time. In fact he started dating us a month apart. In between(I recently found out) he had had several other affairs with people who didn’t give a damn if he had girlfriend’s’. He comes up to me, then dumps me. And goes to his other girl and later I find out that he had already started dating another girl since 1 n a half year(was she supposed to b my replacement?, well I found out she was a complete slut, so good luck with that). Now the girl he was dating when he was dating me (let’s call her X) has been giving him moner all these years. He used to take money from me too, but I stopped as I thought it was unethical of him. The new girl also gives him money, I found out.
    Loads of drama ensued over these past 6 months with him going to and fro from one partner to the next. I foolishly accepted him back for a month but got fed up with all the emotional abuse. Miss X is a narcissist, so she threatens me, blames me for everything. It’s such a mess. And since I live in India. We are generally told to suck it up. Forget counselling, sometimes major mental problems go without treatment here! Dogmas, superstitions and a society that just does not understand. So I turned to the internet. This article helped a lot. I especially enjoyed the repartee between the different people commenting. My ex was a serial cheater. With no remorse. You have described him to a T. Infact when Miss X found out and started harassing him, he simply turned the cannon on me. Even when I was out of the picture. If there is any advice you have on how I can handle this emotionally as well as mentally, it will be much appreciated!

    • I see that this was a year ago now. I hope that things turned out well for you. You sound like a smart woman and hope that you were able to clear your mind and have this person out of your life. Sometimes people just have not made it to where they need to be yet. You cannot fix people they have to get there on their own. Enjoy your life.

  • Does having ONE moment of weakness (the later involved a drunken kiss in a public setting) in two different relationships make someone a serial cheater?

  • Reading all these stories really scared the crap out of me. An ex BF of 5 years, stopped talking to me for almost 3 months, and came over and out of the blue, confessed that he cheated on me, and had a love child with this girl. After I I forgave him the first time and stayed, he goes and does it again. Ugh!! Go figure. I’m so stupid! Who knows how many there were. When he confessed, he made it seem as though he was finding joy in seeing me pout and cry my eyes out. Then after telling me this, he tells me that he still loved me and that he was very sorry. That after seeing me, he will never contact me again. Grabbed, hugged and kissed me saying that he was sorry. I wish there was a way to turn the clocks back.

  • It’s so refreshing to read a post like this. Call a spade a spade I say, why pussy foot around the subject making excuses for them? Serial cheaters are SICK and F**KED UP people!

    Proud to say that I have finally cut one out of my life for good after finding out that was cheating on me for 6 years of our 10 year marriage. I got the fake remorse theatre first and then the cold cruel ‘I’m gonna take you to the cleaners’ routine when he realised I hadn’t bought it and was actually divorcing him. So yeah, he sure was THAT sorry and genuinely remorseful that he just had to play hard ball in the divorce – despite clearly having already caused more than enough hurt and damage – and take my money /assets. But then again what’s the best you can expect from someone who’s that disordered and f**ked up?!

    It cost me dear but kicking that ass hole out of my life was the best thing I ever did. Such calm and tranquility knowing I am safe from him and the trauma of his roving c**k!

    Anyone in doubt, take chump lady’s advice and get out, FAST!

    • Thank you for your great words I have been with my bpd boyfriend on and off ten years has cheated and lied about most of the affairs. Recent had an argument over me being fifteen minutes late now won’t talk to me saying I’m a whore a cheater when I’m almost certain he is doing it again!!!! I will not go back this time trying everything in my power to stay away!! He has lied done the gas lighting thing over and over he is verbally abusive for years and has been physical at times. His diagnosis is narcisstic borderline and bi polar.

  • Suburban, normal family, husband is an executive. 20 years of marriage, 2 kids, 1 year engagement, 3 years dating…. I find out now that he has been cheating the ENTIRE time. Must be 100+ women. Mostly one-night-stands and 3 long term ones – including the current one who inspired his asking for a divorce. I knew about one 8 years ago, we went to counceling, he was so sad, sorry, blah, blah. Lied to me about the other suspicious things prior to that one, lied to the therapist… It’s all my fault of course (I’m not a good communicator, he needed more adventurous sex and threesomes and I am too judgmental for him to have felt comfortable asking. Yes folks, he told me that). Current affair is someone who works for him. I doubt she know that she is not “special” and that she is just one of many… apparently they are in love with each other. And, for the affairs during my entire pregnancies – those he says are completely normal for men who are nervous about becoming fathers. (Apparently his current therapist concurs with this.) I don’t know how I don’t have diseases.

    He is super pissed that I am “sad” says he is tired of my “weeping and drama” when I know that it makes him angry. He will pay me a little on the side until he deems I have had enough time to get on my feet. No alimony and No child Support! I haven’t worked full-time in 16 years. Just freelance and volunteering. I am also not allowed to get a lawyer – we are supposedly going to file independantly not through the courts. My cell phone dialed numbers are being monitored, and he tried to hack into my email. He is also wanting to approve what job I get to make sure I am working to my full earning potential. He won’t leave the house until I get a job he approves of and I am scared to get legal help until he is out of the house. Nightmare!


      Call a domestic abuse hotline. This is domestic abuse. He cannot force you to stay in your house.

      PLEASE get professional help.

  • H started an affair that started in 2009. Confronted him. he stopped talking to her …for a while…resumed..told him he had to switch jobs and move states. He did…and the woman followed him with her husband and kids in tow. Took a job at the same place. They continued to talk, meet up — didn’t find enough to file for D on adultery grounds — so I hung in there. FF to 2015 and woman after moving back to the original state takes a job where she’s away from H and kids 3-4 days a week and travels. Met up with my H and know they got in on in the back seat of a car in a parking lot. Told his family and he blew up at me yesterday for telling them. Don’t see any hope at this point.

  • I’ve been pretty quiet on this forum recently, as my ex has discovered my online persona and now monitors what I say, but since there seems to be a lot of BPD commentary on this particular thread I will toss this perspective in:

    About half of all people with Borderline Personality Disorder are diagnosed to have sociopathic tendencies, or out-right Anti-Social Personality Disorder, which is the current preferred ‘label’ for a sociopath by the mental health community.

    The only difference between a sociopath and a psychopath is that a sociopath has not turned to physical violence (yet).

    However, I want to stress something most people skip past.

    HALF of all people with BPD are diagnosed with sociopathic tendencies or as an outright sociopath….

    That’s a sizeable chunk, and good reason to be wary. However, the two are not automatically hand-in-hand. HALF of all people diagnosed with BPD do *****NOT****** possess sociopathic tendencies and are NOT sociopaths outright.

    When encountering someone with a BPD diagnosis, in no way do I think you should not be careful, or even more cautious in the first few months than when dealing with the general public. However, 50% of people with BPD are just people, with a mental health illness, doing their best to get through life, just like the rest of us. If you haven’t seen any red-flags within a couple of years of seeing and interacting with them on a regular basis, you aren’t going to. (And don’t get me wrong: the first sign of sociopathic behavior from them, I say cut your losses and cut them off. But I’m of that opinion, whether the person behaving like a social predator has BPD qualities or not. NOT ALL SOCIOPATHS have BPD.)

    Two of my closest friends are people who were diagnosed with BPD, and neither of them have a nasty bone in their body. Both were victims of domestic violence– think police reports and hospital records — and one had a father that was so abusive (he could be one of our ex’s, if that tells you anything about his behavior), and her BP disorder progressed so extensively, she underwent electro-shock therapy, lost most of her memories of her life. Left herself all kinds of written records, copies of chat logs, almost diary-esque, etc to re-introduce her own life history to herself afterwards. Try, if you can, to imagine the kind of childhood and marital horrors that would leave someone so devastated that 20+ years later their entire life is shocked out of their brain trying to cope with it. Try to imagine re-discovering it, after the fact, as words on a page, with no first-hand memories of the emotional context behind everything. And she never, not once, did anything to hurt her husband — that’s not to say she’s perfect or a paragon, or didn’t make mistakes (which were genuine mistakes, not calling something a “mistake” to justify something) but she didn’t do anything in the way we think of when we talk about BPD and abusers / cheaters — but he certainly hurt her.

    Both of them have been rocks for me through my entire ordeal — those who have not read a lot of the past comments probably don’t know much about me, but suffice it to say outside of his name and his birthdate, virtually everything I was told by the man I married was a lie. He spent years punishing me for expecting him to be the man he deceived me to believe I was marrying. My therapist has been very clear there was nothing resembling informed consent — based on his deceit and manipulation — and some of what I have discussed with her she has been very clear to state bordered on out-right rape. In addition to that there were death threats, hair-line fractures, and the fact that for almost three years he averaged sending me one OR MORE emails a day. (Two of those years were after the divorce was final. And I still have 20+ months of emails to catalogue. Joy!) I may be wrong, but I don’t believe this is the garden-variety of an acrimonious divorce. (He once took me out to a secluded, extremely large nature reserve, on a weekday when people were in the office or at school, and had his inner-werewolf, which has it’s own name, threaten to rip my throat out with his teeth. Make of that what you will.)

    There is a strong correlation between BPD and sociopathy — but correlation is not causation.

    If I had assumed it was, if I had written both of these women off, simply for the horrors they live with as after-effects of the horrors they endured, I have no doubt I would not be alive today. They are two of my closest friends, and I trust both implicitly. I have known one for around thirteen years now, and one for close to two decades, and I can assure you, if they were social predators of any sort, I would know.

    _If_ BPD presents without sociopathic tendencies, it is very similar to Major Clinical Depression. Depression is anger turned inward. BPD is anger turned outward. Both are comprised of anger that is justified and reasonable, for legitimate cause, and in both cases that anger is turned toward someone who is not deserving of it. But being angry with someone — even without just cause — does not automatically mean you will cheat on them, or steal their life savings, or beat them up. It is the justification, not the causation.

    For those who are actually interested in BPD _where sociopathy does not present_, the book Get Me Out of Here by Rachel Reitland can shed some light on how terrified and miserable the person living with BPD is, just as much as the people living with them. (And interestingly enough, BPD in and of itself, can be treated. It is sociopathy — the complete lack of conscience– that cannot be treated, not the combination mood and behavior disorder that is BPD.)

    I hope that helps people on both sides of the equation, and Good Lord that’s a lot more than I originally intended.

  • I was initially going to say that my ex-husband was am “Exit Cheater”, but looking back and remembering other circumstances and situations over the years together where I just “had a feeling but can’t prove it”, now I see him as a serial cheater.

    So glad he’s out now and we’re divorced.

  • Some good advice here, but it would be more helpful if it was not so one-sided, as if women never cheat.

    My wife of 30 years was just diagnosed as having BDP traits. More testing to come.

    She cheated on me when we were just together a few months. Went to a wedding with her mom and left with another guy, who she then had sex with, and came to me right after.

    Just admitted last week that she also cheated on me, about 1 year into our relationship. Has always denied it, and still hasn’t told the whole truth. “We were having sex when I felt guilty and stopped in the middle of it. I realized then how much you meant to me”.

    Anyone believe that one? Who stops in the middle of penetrative sex?

    Then in 2000 when we had been married for 13 years, she had a physical and emotional affair with a long distance co-worker who visited her home office for a week of non stop sex. I found the chat logs on her PC, confronted her, and she promised to do everything she could to save our marriage. Checked the logs the next day and she was telling him that she got caught, but that nothing was going to change and the affair continued. While she’s telling me she loves me.

    She has snowed 3 shrinks so far. Blamed everything on me… Gave me 20 reasons the affair was my fault, some pretty silly. One of the reasons was because I had started to slouch. Slouch at age 45?

    It seems she’s had crushes on other guys our entire marriage. She’s past menopause now, so I think that’s died down.

    A few months before her affair, she had a crush on a coworker who had substance abuse issues and was in the hospital. She went to see him in the hospital by herself, twice that I know of. Still insists nothing happened. Nothing happened because he wasn’t interested in dating a crazy chick.

    One last thing. At the end of her week with her new lover, she was heading out to go to the zoo with the people from our department. I was supposed to be going with her, but she just changed her mind and said I couldn’t go.

    She started to pack, just enough clothes until he went back home.

    I sat on the couch, in total shock when she said, “I just needed to be with a man my own height for a while”. And that she just needed to get away from “It” for a while. “It” being married to someone shorter than herself.

    Sorry for the ramble

    • Hi Bill,

      I just want to say you sound like a really kind and rational person and you don’t deserve that treatment. Some people prey on the goodness of people closest to them and abuse it for their own means. It’s selfish and disrespectful behaviour and I really hope you and not blaming yourself for any of it.

      To everyone else, thank you for sharing your stories. It truly brings me comfort to know I’m not alone in my struggle to find myself again among the broken pieces of my heart.

      My story – I met my ex-bf of 5 years while on a gap year overseas. He was visiting the island I was on but was from a nearby province. He seemed really sweet and we spent 4 nights together. He told me he loved me and wanted to be with me. On the 4th morning his phone rang and he disappeared. Literally… he didn’t answer or call again for a week and then finally did professing his love and that he had army recruitment training. Another week passes and again nothing, then he shows up on the island and sees my sister and tells her he loves me and to wait for him. I got one more phone call saying to wait and then nothing again. His phone was off. I’m telling this story as it showed early on he was deceitful and untrustworthy but I was intoxicated by him and felt like we had a really strong connection. Plus it was a foreign country where I didn’t understand the language or the culture.

      Anyway a guy who knew him came to find me and told me “he has a wife who’s pregnant and they live in Japan”. I couldn’t believe it! I became friends with this guy on FB and my ex saw me and added me. He called and Msged me and said he wasn’t happy and didn’t love her and wanted to come back to be with me. 2 weeks later he leaves Japan and his wife and comes back to Thailand. Changes his number and deletes his FB.. meanwhile the wife is 2 months pregnant. At the time I justified it by saying to myself he was unhappy and we were meant to be. 3 months passes and everything is great, I really loved him and it was this perfect whirlwind relationship, but my friends and family don’t trust him of course.. one friend explicitly told me she can see he’s untrustworthy in his eyes, plus we caught him talking to two girls when he didn’t know I was there.

      Then I decide to go home for 3 weeks to sort out a few financial things. One week into my trip home I get a call from a friend saying she’s heard a rumour he’s sleeping with someone. She then approached the girl and asked her and of course the girl said yes but she didn’t know about me. This was the first time, I was devastated but I still went back as he promised he never would again.

      of course over the next 3 years I also realised he was extremely jealous and prone to rages. He dragged me home once for being out talking to some guys I knew and another time he punched me after a fight. The physical violence was never often enough to hurt me as much as cheating did. I felt violated by the cheating. The first 3 years I justified his behaviour a lot. When He would try to intimidate me I would just be really quiet.

      I also realised the first year he was illiterate, he couldn’t read or write in English or his language. His father was/is very abusive and would beat him for not learning. But he was always the victim, everything was always about him being hard done by. He never took responsibility for his own life and hurt he caused others.

      Anyway I took him back to my home country 3 times and paid for everything.. my family didn’t like him but tried to be supportive. The rest of the time we were long distance. After 3 years I thought we had a few problems but the cheating was done. That’s when I found out he had been seeing at least 3 girls behind my back. He never even mentioned me until they found out other ways. Two he took to the house i helped to pay for. Once he lied to one that he was going away so she left for 10 days while I came over to visit on a break
      And then called her the day I left. He tattooed her name on his leg and then covered it. I only found this out when she got in contact with me to tell me. The other girl he told her all the same things he told me, he loved her, wanted to marry her etc. another girl I only heard about through the grapevine but apparently he said the same things to her and then told her to fuck off one night when she saw him with the other girl.

      I had no idea, I gave my trust completely even after the wife and first cheating incident. I was totally blindsided. I would go over for a month and then the second I left he would go have sex with someone else. He kept giving me thrush and bacterial vaginitis and I didn’t know why until then.

      Anyway 7 months after finding out about the next three girls decided to move back permanently to give it one last try. After 3 weeks there I start a new job in a new town and he is pretending everything is all normal and then bang he disappears and turns his phone off. Runs off with the same girl again for a month. I was sick with betrayal.. I just wanted to know why. Of course this girl goes back home again to her old bf and he calls me up the same day saying he’s missed me and happy birthday (it was my bday). He then proceeds to say he only thought about me and regreats everything. He called all night begging me now to go with anyone else. I’d been sick for a month and I just wanted to enjoy myself so for the next 2.5 months I did, I partied, slept with a couple of guys and met a great guy. But he was still incessant with his contact.. begging me to see him. He was hounding me asking if I was seeing someone and I finally told him I was. That’s when he was crying and pleading with me to see him. Finally I decided to go and see him.. I told the other guy I was going to see my ex and then just dropped all contact.

      From then on it was hell.. he wouldnt let up, blaming me for everything saying I destroyed us, I wanted to fuck everyone, to show me the guy and the msgs Etc. He threw a huge suitcase at my leg and it cut me, he grabbed my throat when I didn’t do something right. Every time I talked to a man he lost it and said he can’t trust me anymore when it was always him who cheated on me and then wanted me when he saw I was happy again.

      One night he was pushing me saying I was not ok to talk to his friends in a certain way because he didn’t like it. I lost it and threatened to stab him with a box cutter and locked him outside. He sat outside crying and saying i was a horrible person.

      He would always accuse me of cheating after that and I never did again up until this very day. I tried to love him fully and did everything I could to keep him happy. But nothing was enough. He started swearing at me more often and talking down to me in public. It was so embarrassing I would just not want to make a scene.

      I still suspected he was cheating at times but didn’t have any proof. I’m January a girl contacted him he had told her he was single and a fake name. She was mortified when I told her, she said he was so charming and said he wanted to be with her.

      Whenever I went out or talked to anyone I was always the evil one. He bruised my chest poking me hard after telling me I was out of line talking to a group of guys with my sister. He made me go home and then pushed me.

      Every time something went wrong with anything it was my fault, even though he couldn’t do anything himself.

      One month ago I came home to visit my parents and he lost it, calling constantly, making me video call and sleep with it on and still accusing me of sleeping with someone at my parents house. He said he could hear me and I was evil. He was leaving messages saying he knows I’m with someone and I’m treating him like a dog blah blah. It didn’t matter how many times I said I was just at home and I never even thought about doing something like that he wouldn’t listen.

      Finally I deleted him and blocked him, the stress was causing me to feel out of body and unheard and disrespected. I felt guilt wondering if he’s ok though of course so I unblocked him. For a week he’s been calling saying he’s sorry but he just loves me too much and to please just come back. He also was saying how can u do this, I don’t love him, I’m fucking other ppl Etc none of it true.

      Of course I find out today he is sleeping with another girl the last two weeks, all the while accusing me of it and crying saying I’m not human with how I mistreat him
      And lie to his face. So twisted and backwards.

      Anyway after talking to this girl I’ve not even spoken to him, just deleted and blocked and now am trying to gain some clarity. I feel sick to my stomach and violated by him. For 5 years of been trying to make this work and justifying his behaviour but I’m exhausted and drained. I want peace and someone who has values, loyalty and morals.

      I struggle to “diagnose” him as he’s from
      A different culture. I think some kind of attachment disorder though and personality disorder. What does it sound like tonyou guys?

  • Had one of these. I never would have even guessed he was doing it. Cool Hand Luke, he was. Even after the woman told me what was going on, it was deny, deny, deny… !!! Then justified his behavior, as my fault. Like an idiot after my very soul was ripped apart, I still chose to take him back. It’s a cycle, I’m still working through. He stole my emotions. Look up Psychopath Traits…. If ANY appy; RUN and don’t look back.

  • but what do you do when it’s your mum that is said serial cheater and u have watched ruin 3 marriges through it… I have my own kids to think about and have cut contact with her for now because I just can’t do it anymore… my stepdad (marriage no3 ) is in bits and I will stick by him 100%…. but I can’t help but feel a loss because she can’t see what she is doing wrong or even give a shit that she has broken our family apart yet again …

  • RUN Serial cheaters WILL DESTROY YOU! Mine cheated with same woman at out of town conference for 11 years! Claims he ” only ” did it 5 times and never did it more than 1 x even though they were there at least 2 nights always. Oh ya, he’s also a serial liar who went to self imposed counseling 3 x and lied all the while. Said he had a ” right ” to oral sex because he wanted to. ???? you tell me. Keeps saying it was ” just sex ” OMG WHO CARES? Shows no real remorse, refuses to do anything the counselor says he must do to rebuild trust, STOP LYING, BE KIND, SHOW LOVE. Nope, nothing. Claims he is incapable of empathy on any level, I finally believe something he says! RUN RUN RUN

  • Ex- husband cheated on me for at least 30 years of a 33 year old marriage with my “best friend ” plus other random females . He is not border line personality , not a narcissist, not a sociopath , he is a PSYCHOPATH…..I’ve done lots of research on this subject and I am convinced of this…An example of one of the little bastard’s remarks….” The best thing I ever did was taking my wife’s best friend as a mistress “…….He’s never admitted to this day what he did …he is totally beyond any consideration and belongs in Hell .

  • Oh, how I wish I had known your site existed, back when you wrote this in 2012!!! I was in the midst of wreckonciliation hell with my serial cheater “sex addict”, now STBX, finally… If only I had read this back then, my life could have taken a completely different turn. 🙁

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