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Five Things That Keep You Stuck With a Cheater

Are you on the fence about leaving a cheater? Is this not their first rodeo? Here are some common traps that keep you stuck with a cheater and prevent you from moving on.

1. Hope. Codependency has been described as the addiction to the POTENTIAL of things. Are you hooked on a cheater’s potential? Wow, she could be a great partner… if only? Or — I want the guy I thought I married back? Do you grasp at the smallest indication that this person gives a shit about you? You’ve got hope sickness.

It’s hard to be down on hope. It’s hard to fault people who have hope. It seems virtuous. But in cases of infidelity, it can keep you STUCK. Listen to me betrayed people — hope is not your friend. You need to bludgeon hope with a fencepost and begin to operate with total lucidity.

Because hope is so strong, cheaters know exactly what a powerful manipulation tool this is. The goal of a cheater is cake. Your goal is to get them to come to their senses and be that sparkly person you fell in love with and commit to you. So they will use hope to keep you on the hook. They will feign remorse, cry, say they miss you. They may go to counseling. Admit, hey, they aren’t perfect or Mistakes Were Made. They may crack open a book (usually something like “When Good People Cheat.”) And you, desperate to save this mess — take it as a Sign.

The only antidote to hope sickness is self knowledge. Know what you will and will not tolerate. What your values are. Where your boundaries are. Be unswerving in your loyalty to yourself, to your well-being and what sort of relationship YOU want. Hold out for that. Cheaters lie and they lie artfully. So it is essential to watch what your cheater DOES and pay zero attention to what they say.

This is very hard to do. Hope is like that siren song in Ulysses. You’re going to have to tie yourself to the mast and stuff cotton in your ears. But stay strong, because crazy hope that this person is going to fix this and stop hurting you — in the face of evidence to the contrary — is the number one reason why people stay stuck with cheaters.

2. Fear. It’s scary to leave someone. We humans are programmed to bond. There’s that famous study about baby monkeys — have you heard it? Some baby monkeys are put in a cage with real monkey mommies and some in a cage with barbed wire mommies, wrapped in a thin veneer of terry cloth. A pale mommy monkey substitute. But the babies with the barbed wire mommies try to bond with that thing. Even though they get pricked and are bleeding and the entire experience sucks. Inside their little baby monkey brains, they must be thinking… something better than this exists. But they haven’t experienced it. So they cling hard to the barbed wire monkey. Of course, the babies with the REAL mommies are thriving.

Moral of the story? Step out of the cage and go find some REAL monkeys to bond with. It’s scary to leave the barbed wire monkey — but if you find the courage to do it, you’ll experience true monkeys. You don’t know what you’ve been missing.

3. Denial. As coping mechanisms go, denial is pretty effective. When hope fails, there is denial. Just be oblivious about your situation and your feelings about it. Poof! It never happened! We spackle over our life messes, because we’re invested. It’s hard to walk away from an investment, even a bad one. In fact (there’s some law in economics about it), the MORE you invest, the harder it is to walk away, even when you know you’re losing! So, naturally you just pretend the investment isn’t really that bad. (See “Hope” above). If you want to get unstuck, you have to take a hard, unvarnished look at your reality.

4. Pride. It’s hard to admit to yourself and the world that you fucked up something as important as choosing a life partner. Being cheated on is humiliating. It’s natural to want to control the outcome, and put lipstick on that pig and reconcile. Either you don’t tell anyone (and suffer alone or on online forums or in your therapists office), or you tell people and spend the rest of your marriage either avoiding everyone who hates your cheating spouse or convincing them that your Marriage Is Stronger For It.

Remember — infidelity is not your failure to own. Do not borrow shame. It takes a lot of strength and character to navigate this shit. If you loved a lousy partner, okay, so what? You’re human. You picked from the barbed wire monkey pile. Explore that, fix it, and choose better next time.

5. Inertia. Infidelity is exhausting. Did you know the universe is conspiring to keep you stuck? Inertia is a basic law of physics —  “the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion.” Change is HARD. But staying stuck is PAINFUL. When the pain gets too great, you’ll make a plan and get unstuck. The problem is, a lot of us are endurance athletes when it comes to pain. We think it’s our lot, what we deserve. Expect better for yourself — and move toward it. Better is out there.

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  • I love this, so much. I am 18 months out from divorce and still having a heck of a time killing hope. Hope that he will turn into the mythical creature and become that man i imagined he could be. Not that he actually EVER was that man. Oh, or that he even wants to come back. Bah

    • One day, when I was feeling as if I would prefer to simply slip over to the other side and not exist any longer, the thought struck me: I was being released of an enormous burden.

      I do not want to be released of the burden. I had not even had full conscious knowledge that I was struggling with the burden – infidelity and all of the emotional abuse launched on me to keep me side-tracked, minimized, devalued, etc., so that my husband could “rationalize” and excuse his secret world of sexual fantasy and conquer –

      I did not want to be released of the burden – I wanted my marriage, my home, my story about my life.

      With t his sense that I was being relieved of a burden, I realized that my husband was not ever going to get well. A magical, radical transformation was not going to happen. Not ever. Regardless of what I do or do not do.

      I thought that my marriage was reasonably good and that my family had successfully managed some difficult times. The truth: my husband’s long-term intimate sexual betrayal was a rotten, cancerous secret at the core of my marriage, the core of my home, the core of my family. AND when it is secretive, everyone becomes increasingly destabilized, unsure, fragmented, because something is obviously wrong, but there is no way to determine WHAT is wrong– and the betrayer just continues to play each member of the family, duping, deceiving. manipulating, willing to damage everyone rather than reveal his “entitled” secretive world.

      But relieved. I wanted everything FIXED. I did not want to be relieved of it – FIXED!

      I realized, suddenly, that it will never be fixed, and that somehow the truth being exposed has now given me and my family the opportunity to see the truth, as painful as it is, and to heal, to reclaim our lives, and to now have the chance for much more healthy lives.

      NOT WHAT WE WANTED. But, WHAT IF, I thought, WHAT IF we never knew? WHAT IF this just continued, we never knew, we never learned that at the core of the family, we were being abused.

      It is indeed so covert, so insidious, one could easily spend one’s entire life being abused and damaged by such deceit and manipulation and never come to reality. THAT would be a soul-killing loss.

      • ” But, WHAT IF, I thought, WHAT IF we never knew? ”

        This sentence makes so much sense to me as I sit here after so long, still pissed off because It Happened…but, if I had never known, I—–wouldn’t know. And that would be so much worse.
        The POS asked me what I wanted, and I said “I want it not to have happened”. He is long gone yet I am angry each day, for at least a while, that I was so duped, and I ruminate on each event that I didn’t know the truth about at the time. Every time I thought to myself, ‘gee, that’s a little funny’, now is a moment explained, even if he didn’t fill in all the blanks in the story. Now I think when anger arrives, I will tell myself “But I know”. I know, and knowing helps me build an authentic narrative of my life.

        • I was married for 26 years and 9 days. I learned that he had a thing with a coworker where he claimed love but no sex…he held onto his story with a white knuckled grip for the 7 years we wreckonciled before he dropped dead suddenly.

          I found photos of OW in his office soon after he died but I had a huge “come to Jesus moment” where I forgave him and I felt good about how well I did as a wife despite him being a meanassbastard.

          11 months after he died I found hotel receipts and gifts which rather proved his whole story was crap…Im sure lots of monkey sex happened and then lots of lying and disrespect.

          2.5 yrs after he died, as I was preparing to marry a good man, I learned that deadH was a serial cheater…there were at lease 2 OWs before the one he fell in lurve with. Well if a man were going to betray his wife, family, & faith to screw OWs, why the heck would he have stopped at 3?

          I really truly never knew about the first ones, I so seriously DIDNT KNOW…I would have sworn on my children’s lives that he had not done such a thing and he got away with it, he was dead before I knew. And now I have my whole life to reprocess…all those little odd moments that didnt quite fit but were easily dismissed and spackled…I guess for many/most of them they were covering a sweaty ass pounding sexual liaison that I was not privvy to.

          and Im SO MAD at him…I would give anything to scream at him and see shame on his face

          and I cant tell the big wide world because it would hurt my daughter immensely.

          I really didnt know, but I remember looking at him and thinking that he acted like a person with a terrible secret…my guess was that he had burned down a building playing with matches as a kid and someone died or he had pulled a teen Josh Duggar and molested one of his sisters (later to grow up and realize it was disgusting and wrong).

          I would have bet my life on the affair I knew about being the only one…Im shocked at how wrong I was. I thought the “once a cheater always a cheater” was a sign of bitterness of jaded people and boy howdy was I proven wrong.

          Most of my friends know we went through a bad spell in our marriage and triumphed over it…Im sure if their husbands cheated, they would expect me to tell them to pray and hope – but I wouldnt , I would tell then to run away like their hair was on fire.

          • Hello,so sorry for all the ugly.But thank you for sharing your story …Yours is most similar to what I’m entangled in…Only in my case,I’m one of his side playmates…..I had no idea my soon to be husband was already married. Our time together lasted 4 months until one day as I was dropping him off at home.. (the home he shares with his 3 adult children, that he helps so he said)..his daughter came charging out of a parked car nearby yelling at him …I jumped out of my car so quick,she then asked me “excuse me,who are you to my dad?.he tried to answer for me saying I was his friend…ha! I i said i am not just his friend im his girlfriend……her mouth fell open and turned on him more telling him how disgusting and evil he was and how much she hated him. …my turn…..she says….”Did you know hes still with my mom? They were just out earlier today ,and shes here every weekend. Of course i told her,I had no idea….showed her my engagment ring in confusion…and shock …it was all a live true,nightmare…all I could here him saying is Cathy please go….please…let me fix this…please…I sat on a neaby stoop in front of the church where we would park….stupified…I told him…go home..just leave me here ,I can’t drive…go inside…leave me alone. ..I’m not yelling..just my hands in my face in shame for us both…his daughter still screaming at her father…she even slapped him so hard. I looked up to see him just standing there in defeat,not even trying to say one word to his defense….this alone was truth..I was nothing to him…This happened 4 weeks ago…At first he was apologetic saying he should have told me he had a friendly relationship with the mother of his children..more lies. Of course he didn’t say that in front of her,on that night..he’s asked me for time to “fix”…all of it.
            It’s incredible that he would continue his lies,even after being caught red handed….and moreso I’m amazed listening to them…how can a person be so sick? I tbought…so I had to know…I started reading about pathological liars…and such…a whole new world of evil deceitful people has been uncovered…I M DEVASTED THAT THERE’S NO HOPE EVERYONE CLAIMS.My childhood friend is in a place where I can’t help him..I miss him because I saw him most every week sometimes twice a week…we laughed and played like children ,made love for hours like teenagers..he would say things like,I can’t wait to wake up to your face every morning…let’s go wedding dress shopping….Can’t wait to see the wedding invitations….I fucking love you so bad…I’m so happy we found each other again….Everything all of it was a game to him. Why? I just don’t understand why he would have to create so so so much lies. Praying for him and his family for truth to be there.what else can I do?…I’m grateful I know the truth right….but it hurts like hell.

            • Cathy I’m so sorry. It’s such a bad place to be in. There are skanks this happens to, but unfortunately there are decents too. Run do not walk from this man. At least you knew before you married him. He’d have done this to you. Well he did do it to you. I’m so sorry. This hurts like hell I know.

            • Kathy I confronted the ow. I was cordial. First time she said she didn’t know. She was not the type of women to break up a family. Let’s fast forward through 3 more confrontations. 3 more so sorry. A year later she is still around. I’m sorry for what you want through. I’m glad you found out and were honest to yourself and let this man out of your life quickly. Good luck to you

            • My partner of 13 years had a 3 year affair. He’s an addict & at one point told me he was going to rehab but was on a holiday in America with the mistress. Stupid me is still with him & I hate myself for it! WTF for? I’m hurting, angry & constantly suspicious. I just can’t believe someone could be capable of telling such a lie. Also, while he was away, would send messages telling me he loved me more than anything in this world, that our relationship is going to be better, how much he misses me. WTF! Why am I still with him?

              • Thanks Kimberly. No longer stuck with him, he did me a favour & walked out of my life 8 months ago. It was excruciatingly painful for the first six months but I somehow made it through. Still a way to go but I’m no longer stuck & that’s amazing!

          • Thank you thank you for your story. I’m totally ashamed that I’m sharing my story but don’t know where else to turn. My husband displays all the signs of cheating but always has a story for each “cheating sign”. when questioned he rages, til I back off. He openly flirts with other women & I in turn am always being jealous. it makes me wonder if that’s how he behaves in front of me what’s he like when I’m not there. We also believed for a long time that my jealousy was what was destroying us. His fave reply to me when questioned about a hurtful behaviour to me or our marriage is “well if you weren’t such a fucking bitch, I wouldn’t have ….) . His sneaky actions are always justifiable as he thinks I’m getting what I deserve from him . I do know I’ve allowed a lot of things for far too long, but what particular parts did I allow for too long? Why I reply to you, is I’ve had this sick in my stomach feeling that something ain’t right in dodge but no proof of what I think is wrong. I’ve had it for years this feeling. I cry & cry & cry – it feels as tho I’m going crazy, trying to riddle whatever it is that my gut feeling won’t let go of. He works out of town a lot, doesn’t like being W5 about his whereabouts & life, yada yada. I can’t seem to justify leaving us with just a bad gut feeling – I’ve prayed, read, done counselling, you name it to deal with this bad feeling & no relief. I’ve asked for proof of what I suspect in my prayers. But Nothing – just lots and lots and lots of hints of but no proof. I feel like I’m being played for a fool but have no concrete evidence. all I have are cheating signs & good lies to decipher from. And now, to add to my confusion, in the last 3 months he’s been acting more loving, nicer, more romantic . The only thing I do know for sure is I’m married to a man who could sell ice to an Eskimo Ps he says he’s had hundreds of opportunities but never acted on one – we’ve been together 32 years.

            • You write you have no proof, but lies are evidence, aka proof. Remember this axiom: What’s worse than lying to the Judge? When the Judge knows you’re lying.

            • Have you ever heard of the narcissistic personality? NPD- pretty sure this is your hubby. I think that’s what I’m dealing with. Any article says to get as far away as possible.

              I have been in a relationship for 6 years. He cheated- lied about it. Even denied it when I found out. I always had this gut instinct what he told me was incorrect. I tried to piece our lives together- made excuses for him. He’s under lots of pressure, we are going through a lot- that’s why he’s upset so much. Even though I was the one hurt. We finally made it to a better place 9 months later. I chalked this up to actually a positive- we learned how to communicate better, he was more attentive- blah, blah ,blah.
              I was supposed to be out of town. I come home- she’s in my f-ing house!!!!! And it was never the girl he said it was initially—- I always felt like it was this chic from his work that I hated. It was her!
              He even had the nerve to say, we hadn’t had sex. Her bra and shit were on the floor. His pants on the floor. And she admitted to her husband (whom I was in contact with, and he helped me get the story straight) that there were a handful of other times.

              This was 5 days ago. I’m somehow still teatering on”I HOPE therapy will work” and “screw him! I’m out!”.
              The more I write this- I think what the hell am I doing. Change is hard- our heart and intuition don’t always talk the same language. However, I feel our intuition is a bit wiser. Listen to it.i need to take my own advise.

              Even if he isnt cheating- what a dink for saying the things he’s saying to you. You deserve better! Because you wouldn’t treat someone like that.

              • Leave. I made a mistake and stuck with a 495 credit score, him filing chapter 7 because he pissed away our money and charged up my credit cards without permission AND 3 kids.

                DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID! I’m at least forcing a way out (taking the ACT, getting ready for college, and I CAN’T WAIT TO LEAVE HIS SORRY A$$!) Truth is….THESE MEN WILL NOT CHANGE FOR YOU. People will only change for themselves…your emotional pleads fall on death ears.

                Sure…he might act good for a few months maybe, but it will come back to this very moment…it always does.

                Im sorry you had this trauma. Please find yourself a VERY GOOD therapist (CBT and Mindfulness helps a lot!) and find power to leave if that’s the road you choose.

                *hugs* please keep us posted ok? It’s scary and my heart breaks for you. ?

            • From what I gather you already know what to do, your gut knows. I think he’s cheating and you know it. If your not a priority than that’s a problem. My wife cheated on me and lied for 6-7 months. The silence will bring the truth. Be strong.

            • Whoa… those gut feelings of yours are the TRUTH. Sounds like you’ve got a lying serial cheater on your hands, or a narcissist player, or both… either way, I suggest you get far away from this guy and FAST before you get some STD or worse. I learned the hard way with a cheater who swore and swore that he was faithful to me and there were no other women. Came to find out that there were at least SIX OF THEM. No kidding. And I’ve learned a HUGE lesson that you gut doesn’t lie. You already know the truth, you can feel it, and it’s only killing you because he’s telling you lies. Read “Are You The One For Me?” by Barbara DeAngelis. I had to have the devastation of discovery before I could learn that my gut was always telling me the truth. I hope you can find the courage to escape.

            • Jenni,

              You are not alone, i’m in the same boat except that twelve years ago i found he actually did cheat. He’s probably been doing it all of our 20 year marriage and our 2 year dating. His reason back then was “ALL MEN ARE PIGS!!” swore on his kids lives he would never cheat again and yet he seduced and probably still having an affair with the “christian” therapist who was supposed to help us. Their explanation for sexting, meeting (which they deny) and constant texting and calling was that it was “unconventional therapy” to help the bastard with his whore problems. I’ve had enough! After research he is a serial cheating narcsistist and will never change….maybe with shock therapy or brain sugery….maybe? I feel stuck with 3 kids and don’t know what to do. I want him to leave the house but he won’t. I don’t want to sell for many reasons. I am so miserable and unhappy! We have kept trying these last 12 years but he hasn’t changed one bit. Like you I still have that gut feeling and I know he’s still at it. Of course he swore again…recently. I don’t know what to believe…as you can see i’m really screwed up. Why, why do we allow these fuckers to play with our minds. Why are our hearts so soft. We are strong women ….yet…..

              • l find myself in the same place. 36 years together…34 married…3 children and I’ve finally discovered that my husband is a serial cheater.
                Back in 2008 he sought out his first girlfriend and rekindled their brief relationship…even arranging l and my daughter be out of the country so he could holiday with her ….l discovered his deceit and in order to ( l thought) save our marriage gave him all the attention his thousands of e-mails to her said l denied him.
                Now fast forward to 2017 and despite his denials, his triple locking of his computer and smart phone..l come across a brand new phone… as yet unlocked with photographic and written proof of his latest infidelity….. which even though I’m showing him the phone.. he continues to deny!!
                l contact other females with whom he has been communicating on a daily basis… only to be informed by one of them that she had a brief affair with him 33 years ago when he sold her the story that we were separated….in fact I’d just given birth to our first child and l thought our relationship was strong… he now seeks her out through social media and is meeting her regularly for coffee and heart to heart chats and she describes him as her soul mate!! He is sharing with her intimate information about our family!
                So now l have the realization that all those times when l had the gut feeling that something wasn’t as it should be and he became physically or verbally abusive… denied lovemaking with me etc etc were his way of covering up his deceitful affairs.
                The charming empathetic facade he presents to the world is totally different from his at home persona… absolutely everyone including, my sisters have been duped.
                He even uses the fact that he supported me during my battle with aggressive breast cancer as evidence of how attentive and loving husband he is…. Apparently publicly he expounds the virtues of his ‘his capable wife and the attributes of having children and grandchildren…when in actuality he has lived, by choice, on the periphery of family life…. never once did he willingly attend a school function or talk with the children’s teachers about their progress for example.
                So were does this leave me?
                66 years old…without a pension… without assets.
                The family home which cannot be sold as he has put it under the protection of a law here….l live in Greece by the way….
                My life is in an utter shambles and I’m living on auto pilot.. he’s sleeping in the spare room and keeping a low profile.
                My Lasseter advises against a divorcee as the law offers nothing.. he isn’t obliged to support me… and the house is as l said tied up legally and even if it weren’t real estate is at an all time low here.
                Do what am l supposed to do? Where to find a job? How to support myself.
                He has his pension…l have nothing…. but a bleak future it seems relying on hangouts from him and my children. Not exactly how I’d envisioned my twilight years that’s for sure.
                Such a surreal situation.
                A sham marriage from beginning till end… how did l allure myself to be manipulated for so many years. How dumb am l?
                Will l actually survive this?
                l have spruce friends , l have family… but did l have the strength to come through this situation …?
                Think it’s going to be as bad as dealing with my cancer. … at least there l had to follow doctors orders… this situation calls for other solution… it’s frightening…. overwhelming in fact.

              • I’m 29 years old. Thank you for sharing this story and making sure I don’t fall for it. I too have 3 kids and scared. Smart phones and future technology is nothing compared to a real, breathing woman. We can’t compete w/ on demand porn and Hoe workers.

                I’m starting college ASAP and going to prevent that from happening to me! Please don’t give up either!

              • I’m going through the same thing. I have known, have had confessions, years ago, have believed lies of stopping, and have had so many signs since that he never even slowed down. I had a small child back then, but my excuses for trying to believe now vary from my job and friends are here (in this small town where he grew up and would be supported no matter what) to being afraid of trying to survive on my own. I’m in my 40s, and I’ve certainly been exposed to the hyped up horrors of being alone in your 40s. That’s pretty scary also. I think I have stayed because I don’t want to be alone. My entire adult life has been spent with this one man, and I’m not 19 and beautiful anymore. It’s scary. It should be against the law to inflict this kind of emotional pain on people. I wish they had a device that could measure it. The results would shock people who don’t understand the weight of infidelity.

              • Cartoons, I’m wondering how you are doing? I’m in the US and read your story. My marriage of 30 years is almost the same as yours.
                I feel terrible for you and would like to help if I can. I’m legally separated and I’m almost 60 years old. However, I have the house and I got lucky he didn’t fight me.
                Anyway, my heart bleeds for you because I know how devastated I am.
                Kati

              • Listen, you have to put you first..I have been hopeful and forgiving for 30 years..yes cheated on for 30 of 39 years. Today he did not hang up the land line and I heard the most disgusting sex call he was on with a so called friend i wanted to vomit..is this the man i loved so many years ago? Is this the father of our grown successful children? I made a decision that moment, i am leaving..and guess what peace enveloped my entire being..i am in my 60’s but I know it’s never to late for peace and happiness…leave before you stay to long..

            • In the beginning of our marriage, my husband cheated on me and confessed it after 18 months of marriage. We had 2 small children at the time of his affair. We were married in a Catholic Church with marriage encounter weekends making sure we continued being faithful and trustworthy. We went to consoling, had our vows redone and basically it was hell for years to recover from the incident he committed. Later in our marriage, I would sense infidility behaviors, but he would tell me that he would never do that again. We seem to move every 4-5 years because he can’t get along with co-workers, or the politics at work or one thing or another. Once I washed his billfold by accident and to have opened the wet leather billfold with items in it to dry and found 3 kid’s school pics and they weren’t our kids. He told me that she was a friend at work and just gave him the pictures. I later found out that he had been going to her home, he told me that he didn’t have sex only heavy petting. I have caught him lying and keeping secrets about money and gifts bought for others. He even sent flowers to one of our female friends, later telling me that he wanted to let her know how much he appreciates her. I’ve caught him flirting and making sexual jokes to others and have asked him not do that, due to it makes me feel uncomfortable. Also, he tells me that he brags me up to others and says…”See, I tell everyone how great you are and that you have so many graces.” All his behaviors go through my mind at night, thinking of his betrayals, lies and secrets. I found last year that he actually had a secret account to stop me from looking at what he buys, which wasn’t even on my radar. The only reason I knew is that when we moved, the bank clerk told me that my husband told them I knew about this account. When I asked him about it, he told me that he was sick of me bitching and he is sick of feeling guilty about everything. In the last 6 years, my husband literally goes to church and confession 4-6 times a week. He even tells me that I should go to confession and that it would be good for me (I actually do go to confession, but I still have never confessed his sins against me…mmm maybe that would work?). He literally is a very smart man and others repect him highly. Many of our friends do not have any idea that he has cheated on me. We now have 5 grown children, I love my kids and could never hurt them. I could never let them know about their dad so I can never leave him. Just last year, when I had his phone by accident, porn came up. He was so embarrassed and said that it wasn’t what I thought, he tells me he can’t even get an erection and I should trust him now. We don’t sleep together anymore and he seems to like me better until I say anything about my feelings. I suffer from loneliness, betrayal, sadness to the extent that I actually look at past pictures of myself and wish I would have left him. If any of you are reading this and your husband has cheated on you, I am so sorry for you. I don’t believe that its something you can ever truly forgive, but you can forget about it sometimes. Life can still be good and full and beautiful. Just don’t be me, don’t think it ever will go away, it doesn’t. This hurt is real and last your entire life time even if you pray about it.

              • Betty, this is such a hopeless cry. Please don’t think that you can’t (leave him and hurt your children) because you can. Most of us here have children and we all dreaded hurting them. But there comes a moment when continuing to breathe the cheater poison just because you are used to it becomes impossible. Please keep reading. You will find many women (and men) with adult children who broke free from their abusive relationships. What your husband does to you is abuse and you need to educate yourself here. This site helped me. The collective wisdom of all the people here helped me see that constant lying, stonewalling, false comparison (I tell about your graces to others, hence should be allowed to have a heavy petting with another woman!) – this is abuse meant at creating doubts in your mind about your own feelings and intuition. Your gut screams at you that things are wrong and you should take an action but you supress it because taking an action would create a havoc in your life. So you silence your gut with various “rationalizations” for his behaviour and set yourself up for further abuse and the pattern repeats.

                Betty, my cheater used to talk about my graces in front of friends and me and so friends would always comment how much he loved me and cherished me. While I always felt there was no love, I was just a good working appliance also giving him the stability of a married life, a kid, etc. He had a passive agressive behaviour that made me walk on eggshells around him all the time, while in the company he was all charm.

                This is an an old post so you won’t get many replies here. Please read the daily Chump Lady column and responses. People here are very encouraging and helping each other. This site helped me break the vicious cycle of repetitive patterns. Life is so much better smart-and-charming-cheater-free.

                Hugs.

              • I love this site. It’s giving me real hope….in myself. The more stories I read which are similar in nature, the more i wake up to reality that the saying “once a cheater, always a cheater” is true to the core. Giving a cheater any kind of chance, whatever your reasons may be is only telling them “Hey baby, I forgive you. You can cheat again and again and again because I will still be here”. To Love someone is a decision and so is to CHEAT! We should be living in peace surrounded by people who genuinely love us but only we can make that happen. I to feel stuck and confused but believe me it doesn’t get better and although we say it won’t hurt anymore it still does. My whoremonger continuously says to give us another chance after his escapades because I am the problem…that I don’t trust and love him. That I continuously throw in his face his “past”.
                mistakes when all I was trying to tell him how hurt I am and how I feel. That all i wanted is the “truth”. The truth is…. that will never happen. At times he admits the wrong done (vaguely) and at times he says he has not done anything wrong. After stumbling upon this site and reading all these unfortunate stories, I am now realizing that a narc will say anything to keep you bound in chains of confusion and mental chaos. In turn this robs us of our true selves, our freedom, our peace and even love for ourselves. I can’t believe that such a beast, demon actually exists or was born to this world to cause so much pain. The SOB ((who comes from a dysfunctional family…his father was a junkie, his mother slept with her daughters father- in-law who had a family of his own…7 kids) is currently “falling in love” with another tramp. Little does he know what’s in store for him. It’s a never ending battle. He will definitely reap what he has sown …..but not until I’m gone for good! And that will be my ultimate revenge.

                Stay strong…there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

              • I came to know about my husband ‘s infidelity on 20th of fabruary this year when by chance l happened to overhear a phone conversation he was carrying out with this OW who was a doctor and his girlfriend about 40 years ago before our marriage.I heard him pining ,longing for her praising her and putting his heart at her feet in such a way that the words felt like molten lead to my ears.My 40years of devoted life of an Indian wife with three married children and two grand children just fell down like a million tons of bricks on me.He was always a flirt with a roving eye but I for some reasons always ignored those flings.When confronted,like every thief he first denied and said sorry and it will never happen again.I always wanted to know the real truth but he said that it was only acting and they were just words without any meaning.What acting I said I never heard a single word of praise from you for whole of my life other than different abuses and closing the doors on my face when I was upset and needed to talk to you.Then I came to know that this was going on since last one year when he happened to meet her in a hospital where he had gone for his check up.(in another city)I am sure that it is a cooked up story after they were caught,and why he was traveling so frequently.I tried to save my marriage for my family’s sake.Only my children know about it and want me to keep it hush hush.I am shattered and mourning a death like feeling every day, He does not want to work upon improving the situation but wants me to help him cleaning the shit.Now since last one month he has gone into a denial mode.(I did not have sex with her )I want him to leave as he has many options but he won’t go.He tries to use his children against me in the name of social status etc.I am stuck in a situation where if I cry I am called a drama queen.God ,I would not want my biggest enemy to be in such a situation where I am right now.I have no faith in this thief ,and liar and a cheater.How many other incidents were there I do not even want to know but in the near future I see no hope for my self.

            • He’s obviously projecting and lacks empathy. When they displace issues onto your feelings, which, probably, are effects of his behaviour, it’s a mark of psychopathy, they elicit the feelings they use against you as evidence of your failings when they are invested in the failure of the relationship. In so many ways, partners determine the characteristics you manifest. If a person won’t engage and treats you with disdain, how do you give love? The fabric required to make love an aspect of your relationship is absent, just usually the weaker, devalued, partner carries the can for this because the dominant, highly valued partner, isn’t invested in the relationship because they are having their needs satisfied outside of the relationship.
              I think it’s important to consider the qualities you experience via the relationship which manifest engagement and the form of your relationship. If your partner doesn’t attend to you, if they don’t share information, if they are evasive and displacing questions rather than answering fully then that is probably why you feel insecure. In a relationship, to incite trust you have to volunteer information, you have to elaborate and provide details so that your partner feels significant and knows you are not forming exclusive bonds. Secrecy and evasion are marks of exclusive relationships and also of compartmentalisation and instrumentalisation which are characteristic of narcissists and psychopaths. If your partner is accusing you of jealousy when he can’t provide you with the information to ensure you don’t feel like that, it’s indicative of the nature of his persona and the bond you have with him. It’s clear he doesn’t care to nurture that bond.
              If you have that sick feeling in your stomach, something is wrong. I lived with it throughout a relationship, it’s hard when don’t want to judge someone unfairly and they never tell the truth. I live with the pain now, I will never know the truth. They never admit even though there can be little dooubt about what their behaviour indicates.
              Sadly, few human beings seem capable of love and it seems almost impossible to find someone you love who loves you who welcomes your love. For everything my ex did, whilst I always tried to make sure she knew how much I loved her, I almost always told her “I love you” unless she made me feel so neglected I felt hurt after she’d been out late with another man but I do regret never telling her everything she meant until she left. I didn’t want to frighten her, I wanted to try and be like one of the cool confident men she compared me, unfavourably with, now I regret the depth of my love didn’t emerge until she was in another relationship. I say that to lament how complicated it can be. It’s so hard to meet someone you can love who, more importantly, actually loves you and who welcomes the level of love you give. Most cultures have an expression I used to tell my ex that of two hearts one if hot, the other cold, the cold one is valued more than anything and the hot one is cast aside. I used to say it to my ex and say I knew I loved her more than she loved me and she used to feign love a little but I knew it was true. Seems many are condemned to never be appreciated, valued or loved.

            • The same thing happened to me, gut feeling about OW, & a few things thrown in that made me suspect, but no concrete proof, I thought I was going nuts & I was, I had to be seen my the local mental health team. I found out 3 years later. I had the opportunity to go through his phone & there it all was. I’m still with him & I hate myself for it!

      • I am so glad that I read this! When I think back to when our marriage went “bad” was 4 or 5 years ago. I now realize that this is the same time that he decided to sleep with my best friend of 20 years. They both lied to me so well…augh!
        You can not have that kind of poison in your marriage and be “normal”. Somehow though it is my fault that I didn’t show him enough affection or that I didn’t commuicate enough with him. No….HE changed and I no longer knew what was happening to him.
        He knew and he had a choice to tell me and not let me suffer. So he also decided that he could also have other “indiscretions”. Further harming our marriage but no it is my fault. Whatever! I am so sick of people’s excuses!! I keep thinking what if I never knew but I am glad that I am finally being able to live MY life again!

        • I had the exact same thing happen to me…It was so painful but after six years, near suicide, severe depression, self distruction..etc. etc..I decided its time to end the dilusion. It will never be okay in your heart. Our hearts know everything, our brains talk us out of this. The heaviness in the pit of my stomach, the pain and heaviness of life. The more I loved myself, the less I LOVED US and I wasn’t willing to give up my happiness any longer. Time cant heal this, trust me.

        • http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/521936

          I will vouch for the truth in this article.
          But it is driving me crazy that I allowed myself to betray my own gut feeling –
          Yes indeed, it’s difficult to walk away from a bad investment.
          I wish it was t so true.
          I wish somehow I had known I’m worth so much more than dishonesty.
          “The truth shall set you free.” If only I would just have believed it.

          • Thanks Diane, I needed to read that. More affirmation that what I was feeling was normal. I am moving out in June and we just told our kids that we are divorcing. It is hard but I know once I am out that MY life will be on MY own terms.

            My Stbxh still says that eventhough he cheating that he always loved me. That these things didn’t mean anything. We tried to reconcile for a few months because I was afraid of giving up on the whole life that we had created. Though in the end, he could never give up his Ho-worker and last OW. I refused to do the pick me dance in my own marriage.

            I agree with CL that most cheaters will not do the hardwork to fix themselves. Which is case you get the saying “Once a cheater, Always a Cheater”. My husband also now will admit that he doesn’t think he will ever be able to be faithful. He is absolutely crazy producing because he still loves me and wishes that we could have worked it out but can’t think he would able to be faithful?!?! Let’s just say, that I would rather be alone then to be with someone that sucks. I am worth so much more then this crap!

            • Ho-worker!!!! What an awesome word… my cheater has one of those, too. Thanks, Lisa – I’m going to start using that term!

          • I have this gut feeling that my husband is emotionally involved with someone. He is not as affectionate with me and when I ask him certain questions he gets defensive or changes the topic. I’m however a stay at home mom so therefore I have no income. I’ve been sending out crazy resumes and keep telling myself once I get a job I’m leaving.

            Am I wrong to be staying in a relationship I’m getting a bad vibe of. It sucks so bad and I feel sad everyday.

        • Me too….I have gone round and round over the three yrs since Dday. I finally feel like I am letting go. My ex has not only hurt me but his only daughter. I still have visits with her. He tries to keep me in his life. He said not long ago to me. ” it seems you don’t want any kind of relationship/friendship with me.” I responded ” you fired me as your wife. Asking me to be your friend is offensive and insulting.” I used to get sucked in to the friendly text messages and attempts to remain in contact. It’s a process to let go. He texted me a few days ago and I have not responded…I only respond now when it’s about my Step daughter. That is empowering.

          • “you fired me as your wife. Asking me to be your friend is offensive and insulting.”

            I love this. Something I’ll have to use in the future.

      • Kristine, you described it to the T. My husband gave me roses out of the blue during our reconciliation and I was in the 7th heaven for a week. In 12 years this was his third flower giving. We give so much value to little things and try to fix and forget the hurt. We want the relieve and the rescue. Usually from the ones that have been meticulously destroying us. Our inability to accept the situation as is and hope for the potential keeps us stuck. I got stuck on the roses and his little involvement with our child and household chores. Lasted 1.5 months. I see the truth now and still feel unable to act on it. There is a feeling of increasing rage and I welcome it. Maybe this will help..

      • “AND when it is secretive, everyone becomes increasingly destabilized, unsure, fragmented, because something is obviously wrong, but there is no way to determine WHAT is wrong– and the betrayer just continues to play each member of the family, duping, deceiving. manipulating, willing to damage everyone rather than reveal his “entitled” secretive world.”
        Thank you. You Have Put Into Words What I Am Feeling now. I just found an extra phone of who I thought was soon to be my husband’s. So many! I couldn’t believe how many females he was actively talking to! My mind can’t comprehend if he could actually find time to sleep with them all or just engaged in the conversations? I moved out the same day and am staying with family. The hardest thing is feeling that I want to go home. I want this to not be true and I just want to go back to what I believed was a pretty happy relationship. Then I read more in the extra phone (I took it with me) and I realize this is not going to change. This is not one female or one affair or one encounter, he is actively engaged with 30 plus females! It makes me so angry because it is as you say he feels entitled to this. His secret. I had no clue about the phone was just looking in the car for something and it was in the glove box. Now everything I believed is a lie. And I was actually searching for articles about getting past cheating and found this blog. All of the comments on here are so raw and real and powerful in their honesty and it makes me see that I can not go back. Not now. Maybe not ever. I am of two minds right now. I want what I had, but what I had was a lie. So I either want a lie or I have to accept that I have to stay gone. Thank you for your comment because it just helped me feel like I can really stay strong and get myself through this and not cave to a lie that I know will destroy me in the end.

    • Mine promised the moon and stars. swore he took her off his fb account and such . The NEXT fkn day he was texting her again saying he told me he took her off his fb acct. She then told me she blocked him that day . yes i confronted the whore . 5 months later shes liking his pics on fb . surrounded by liars and cheaters. DONE DONE DONE finito whatever language its dead and gone . 17 years down the toilet with his loyalty

  • Thanks Jojo. It’s a year and a half since your divorce? Don’t look back towards him. So many cheaters just don’t have the guts and the wherewithal to make it right, make themselves right. And you know what? That’s often a blessing. Because now you can unhook yourself and start fresh.

    But grieving is hard work sometimes. (((Hugs)))

  • Thanks CL! To be honest I let him cake eat up until last month. Wow, we can really lie to ourselves can’t we?

  • I’m reading this with great interest. I think that you’ve hit on a lot of the main points here. In another post you write about the “pick me” position, and that is another of the reasons I think people stay stuck.

    There is something important about the “win”. Like, to be strong on the other person, the BS digs in and says: “You’re not getting this, this is mine.”

    I personally know someone who has done this, and it is just really a pathetic position, but I see it ALL. THE. TIME. on infidelity forums. People who celebrate the fact that: “that skank didn’t get my man.” or whatever. Thing is: What on earth have they won? Talk about low expectations. In this situation, and all things being equal, the “skank” is the one with the better odds of healing and moving on and doing/finding better.

    I loved this point, CL: If you loved a lousy partner, okay, so what? You’re human. You picked from the barbed wire monkey pile. Explore that, fix it, and choose better next time.

    I think that is so spot on. Bad choice. Move on and away from that choice. But then, and this is VITAL: Explore that, fix it, and choose better next time.

    OMG. YES!!!

  • Kristina this is exactly what I wrote on a blog of a 60 year old woman whose husband had an affair with a 20 something and with whom he was in love with.He also had a couple of other relationships which were only abbot sex.DUH

    The wife said her marriage was stronger after the affair because all said and done ” he came back to me”.I had to read the post twice to even be able to comprehend what she was trying to say.

    There is so much I wanted to say and I did tell her that why are we women conditioned to feel honored if the man chooses to come back after their affairs? I think women stAy back most of the time because they do not want the other woman to have him.How stupid can we be?

    You want to stay in a marriage and be miserable with a pile of shit because you do not want the other woman to have that pile of shit? Are you for real? If you Wally want to get back at the other woman send her this pile of shit nicely gift wrapped and perfumed !!!!

    When you insist on staying with this pile of shit you have in fact blessed the OW.

    She walks Away into a better future while you are left holding the dirtbag.

      • Trying to feel grateful that the OW wants to take him on. Already at the “she can have him” part. Why is this so hard for this chump. He showed a particle of remorse and I felt empowered for a few moments. Now I know that he was manipulating me. Back to NC.
        I do feel stronger already.

    • My Vain Narc 70’s Porno Mustafa, said of his ex-wife, “She let me do what I wanted, because she knew I always came back to her.” First RED FLAG! – To my credit I immediately said “I’m afraid that kind of fucked up bullshit won’t wash with me!”

      But I still spackled, danced, and chumped my way through two yeas of triangulation, fuckupidness, lies and cheating before I finally, finally, finally, finally (yes 4 DDays) kicked his entitled arse into touch.

    • “She walks Away into a better future while you are left holding the dirtbag.”

      Sooooo funny!! I have to keep telling myself that.

    • Sanity,

      I love your name and everything you said in your post. You have given me back my life. I have been holding on to hope and my head has been killing me going through all the memories, promises, and the famous line……NO MATTER WHAT! He lied, blameshifted, gaslighted me, manipulated, and controlled. Someday I will share my story in truth but for now this site has helped me to start getting my life back. Just wish I had seen the red flags early on. They were there I was holding on to belief. Merry Christmas!!

  • “hope is not your friend. You need to bludgeon hope with a fencepost and begin to operate with total lucidity”

    My fence post was when he took me out to the middle of no-where–a place that was actually “our” place years before—and threatened to kill me.

    It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea the man I married deliberately and meticulously manipulated me into marrying him with premeditated deception.

    • It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea the man I married deliberately and meticulously manipulated me into marrying him with premeditated deception.

      Oh these words you wrote. This explains what I have been trying to say. I walked down the isle crying in my wedding dress, 5 months pregnant. He had slept with sluts and everyone knew. I was in trauma and pregnant and had paid for the wedding and tried to hang onto the barb wired monkey.

      He wanted me dead at the end too. As a recovering alcoholic, he was putting glasses of red wine next to my bed at night. He told me to go kill myself like one of friends just had. Not long after he met me I inherited a lot of money. Over the last 8 years of our marriage it disappeared. He married me with premeditated deception. It really is quite scary.

  • Chump Lady, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!! I SO wish I had found your site last year, during the breakup, but even now, you and the amazing people who post here do my soul so much good. You GET IT, all of it! The hope! The spackle! The cake! You both harden my resolve and give me great laughs. You are a saint of bloggerhood.

    And it is such a relief to see how well my ex fits all the patterns (well, except the sparkliness – he was more a ‘poor thing’ than a sparkler in many ways – they can slip under your defenses when a more obvious Narcissist wouldn’t). That reassures me that when I think he sucks, it’s because he really really does.

    • My ex was more of a “poor thing” too. Looking back at my own situation, it’s really quite remarkable how he used “poor me” to get his cake. To me this is the most dangerous type, precisely because they can slip under your defenses so easily.

      • Exactly! In my new dating life I’ve met a couple of men who tried to sparkle all over and dazzle me, and it’s SOOOO obvious. I bet the ex also used ‘poor me’ to get the OW; poor thing, all alone in a strange city for work, all alone in (luxurious) hotel rooms, having his solitary meals (in nice restaurants), dealing with such a stressful project! All while missing his adorable children, rushing home on weekends to the home of the almost-separated wife (I’m betting that’s what he told her, you know; we sleep in separate rooms, we’re separated in all but name, we’re just in the same house for the kids. Anybody 49 ys old who believes that is PATHETIC) who is so mean and withholding and doesn’t understand him at all ….. Add a little ‘wouldn’t you like to try untangling my skein of fuckedupedness, you’re so smart and caring, I bet you could do it ….’, and I bet she was falling all over herself to leap into his bed!

        • I love this! you are so right Karen. Two faced pigs. I met a guy online who was married. I talked to him but had no intentions of going out with him. He was so SPARKLY. He had been married 26 years and told me he doesn’t love his wife anymore…well doesn’t “feel that way” about her anymore. I told him, “I wouldn’t want to be your wife.” He stopped talking to me as he knew he wasn’t getting in my pants but I saw a post on his FB a year later. It said, “I’m with the one I love of 27 years.” I wish I had the guts to call his wife.

          • i would post sh*t like that on FB too. but in reality i was wondering if he was cheating on me. no matter how hard i tried i never actually CAUGHT the man while we were married. separated yes, i saw with my own eyes, but not while we were together, which only verified what he tells me….that he never cheated on me while we were together. (not that it really means anything, we are married not dating)

            i would have loved for someone to come right up and tell me that he was fucking them or whatever and could have given me the proof i needed. i know,,,,,,i know,,,,, it is funny. i say that but would i have been open to some random stranger? i think i would. i was already having doubts and if she could have provided PROOF, either in pictures or text or something. i think i would have been open. but not all women are like me, some (most) actually know and then get angry at the person trying to prove their fantasy is wrong.

            • Mo, you saved yourself a lot of grief for not finding out and posting…..In the end you get called crazy and vindictive.

              It blows my mind that in 2015 it is still “just the way guys are”. I found a note from ow talking about what great rendezvous they had. Because he couldn’t deny this particular breech, he “confessed” to 3 times over a year. (Menopause had put a real chink in my desire). I marched up to ow house and had a lil sit-down with her. Those 3 times turned out to be several times a month for 2 1/2 years. So much for trust building. Also just after I found out he offered to erase her number. A couple weeks later I found her number and 2 others under the name “candy”. I kid you not!!

              I work in a public atmosphere and shared with a patron whom I considered a friend. Word got out and I became nosy and jealous and he is the darling. Life of the party. For several reasons I am stuck for a while and pretend/hope that all is good.

              When I cannot stand it any longer, we argue and he flies into a rage and shouts to “get over it already”. It has been 6 mos.

              His infidelity has made him the poster boy of confidence and virility. He is truly a peacock.

            • I know exactly what your saying, I did get the proof I needed and it tore my heart out , details and all, problem is it was her sister that slept with my husband and she asked me not to mention her when I confront him, I have to wait for my son’s wedding to be over before I talk to hubby , so for a month I have prevented everything is fine , hard very hard to do, inside I want to puke when he touches me, two weeks till d day can’t wait, I’m leaving regardless if he admits it, wasn’t his first rodeo but I stuck it out for the kids and hope that he would change, so far in the last month I have gotten a lot of info on his pathetic ways
              I will be strong and leave!!!!!

              • This site came to me for a reason!! I am 59 and so is my husband of over 30 years. We have 2 grown kids, one still at home going to University, other 1 foot still in the house. We have MY family property with acreage and home, and very close big family mostly on my side, but 2 siblings close on his.

                4 years ago, husband had a bad accident falling off a roof, broke 3 vertibrae in back and both arms,.. guess who looked after his EVERY need til he recovered.

                After recovery, he was not able to achieve successful erection, and so no sexlife to speak of. Used to cuddle more, but that part of our life is just gone. We love each other, but are not in love, and really have no desires or romantic anything.

                I discovered about 10 months ago, that he created a fantasy life as a separated guy, rolling in $$, big business owner, and lonely. He took up texting with this 36 yr old very pretty woman who claims is widowed with a 10 yr old son. He has been texting her since about Feb of 2016, and their relationship has grown and blossomed to full love fest with total pornographic hard core chats. She sends him pics of herself in all kinds of dress and undress, and honestly the words that she sends I cannot beleive come out of a woman. I am convinced it is a man saying those things cause that is the kind of shit they fantasize about having done to them.

                Regardless, when I first learned this by my secretly snooping into his phone, I was blown away. I felt I was living in a movie or novel… After getting over the shock of all, and constantly keeping up with their conversations, I started logging them. Then any pictures I see, I snap them and mail myself to also keep a collage of them, as I want them to be available for blackmail.

                Making a long story shorter, I confronted him about this 3 times, told him I hired a PI to investigate, which is BS, but I dont want him to know I can get into his phone. He has repeatedly told me it means nothing, he wants our marriage, he will end it… which he’s done for a few days to a couple weeks..but always comes back to messaging her.

                He has also sent her $$, not sure how much altogether, but due to his fantasy life where $ is no problem, he’s ‘helped’ her out a few times.

                In mid November, I went to visit my sister for 5 days. We talked about the time away, and said it would be good for us. While away, we both decided we do want our life together and to enjoy our retirement in our country home like we planned. He knows I will never forget, and probably not trust him or believe him, but the fact that I am willing to forgive and that we do still love each other and are very compatible in other ways, we don’t want to upset life we have built.

                Now comes the crazy part… as of today, he is still messaging her multiple times per day. While I was away, he ‘hired’ a hacker as he suspected she is maybe doing this with other guys online. He found out that she is in fact a wizzard online and has expensive anti hacking stuff on her phone/computer. He claims he has to continue talking to her so she doesn;t suspect shes being hacked. And the guy told him he will have enough on her to charge her and get all $ back. Sounds like crap to me.

                I think hes been taken again. But, now he is putting off the hacker guy cause he needs more $ to complete his hack job. AND he’s told her that the only way to communicate now is via email…only way. Little does hubby know that I have access to his email account so now I am saving the ongoing emails back and forth. He still calling it true love, he will come get her, he will make love to her for days and weeks…. even tho he cant get it up for nobody.

                With Christmas so close, and our big family and multiple season parties, I just dont want to take action before the season. And to think what this would do to my kids… I cant believe he would jeaprodize our 35 or more years together for an online beautiful pictured woman who has sex chat with him.

                I can also understand how he got where he is with our loveless sex life. And I have done my share of lying and sneaking which I will not admit to him ever.

                Is it possible to turn a blind eye to this fantasy online life and still enjoy the big family we have? Is it totally stupid to do that? I am not interested in looking for another life partner, and am content with no sex and physical affection. I do feel more like a mother figure to him than wife, and I am a taking care of people type person.

                The last 10 months or so, I have had NO ONE to talk to about this as anybody would think I am crazy to put up with it, and it would ruin any relationships with my family, friends and everyone we know.

                Feeling torn at almost 60 years old…. can someone help me sort this out?

  • Hope was definitely my drug of choice. It’s a very tough and painful business to kill hope. For me it was like fighting a very powerful addiction to break those bonds and give up hope that after 31 years he’d wake up and see the life and family he was throwing away.

    • I really do believe hope can be addictive. My 1st ex was an alcoholic, and it took YEARS to break that hold, even long after I had figured out that things were not going to change. Since the break-up w/the more-recent ex, I see that one thing I miss is that looking-forward-to feeling. Not just to seeing him, or having good sex, or doing some activity w/him or w/the whole family. No, it was to seeking out the good moments, the better times, hoping things would improve when they were bad and last when they were good.

      Hmmmm, I see a dissertation in there, lots of fMRI scans (very trendy, surely there would be funding!) – and it would be huge for the whole world of treatment of abuse victims. Anybody up for it?

  • Chump Lady, I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am for this site, especially this post. I’ve spent the last couple of months trying to figure out the why’s of my 8 year relationship with a cake eater and every point you make in this post resonates with me down to my core. I can’t wait to be fully free from him! (I’m about 6 months out from finalizing the divorce). Just today it occurred to me how small my life with the cake eater was and how much possibility there is now. Thank you for helping me realize that I’m not bat-shit crazy!

    Also, this is my favorite part of the post:
    “If you loved a lousy partner, okay, so what? You’re human. You picked from the barbed wire monkey pile. Explore that, fix it, and choose better next time.”‘

    I’m printing this out and taping it everywhere! Forgiving myself for choosing a cake eater has been the hardest part of the process. He stole my youth, but I’ll be damned if he’s going to steal my future too!

  • Why haven’t I seen this before…I thought I’d devoured every word you’ve written, Tracy!

    This. I’m speechless (i know. unusual.) I am printing this out for myself (dating in my mid 40’s sucks but I also need to be reminded of the basics of “Who To Stay Away From”)—and I am handing it to several people I know. I would give it to my friend who is involved with dirtbag, but she’s kinda like that woman in NC who is going to force dirtbag to stay with her no matter what. Can’t fix stupid.

    This entry is awesome, though.

  • Wedding vows…..for better or for worse……what do you think worse means???? the vows leave room for error and mistakes can be made….. You sound like a very bitter person. There is nothing wrong in staying with a partner that has done wrong. If that person is truly sorry for what they have done and is willing to change. Forgiveness!!!!

    • I think you just hit on the issue David.

      “If that person is truly sorry for what they have done and is willing to change”.

      That may be an accurate description of the one-time mistake that lasted two weeks. Very few affairs can be described as a one-time mistake that lasted a couple of weeks.

      But people who spend years lying, manipulating & deceiving their spouse (and children), rarely acknowledge they’ve done anything wrong. More often, they have a litany of reasons why it is “not so bad”; why it is “the other person’s fault”; etc., which is all just double speak for “its okay for me to do it again if the same circumstances come up”.

      There are two types of people in the world: those who believe integrity is circumstantial, and those who believe circumstantial integrity is not integrity at all.

      It takes no effort, but a lot of respect and consideration, to tell your spouse you made a terrible mistake in getting married, and you want a divorce. But people who spend months or years lining up the next significant other, sometimes 3 or 4 SOs before they settle on the one they “want”, have no respect or consideration for their spouse.

      People who make years of choices involving lies, deceit, manipulations, etc, rarely turn into honest, unselfish people if their spouse refuses to continue paying the mistress’ rent.

      It neither makes a person bitter nor morally inferior if they refuse to allow their spouse to continue cheating on them. Nor if they refuse to put a Pollyanna face on things and pretend like they are “over it” in span of days or weeks. Those who throw the “bitter” insult are just trying to control the pace at which a person heals from betrayal. Control is just another word for abuse.

      The Bible even considers infidelity to be such a big no-no that an entire commandment is devoted to it: “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. It is the only reason which a believer can biblically seek a divorce, whether their spouse regrets the actions or not. It permanently alters trust; and very few habitual betrayers are willing to put in the time and effort to rebuild that trust, even if they do experience character-changing moment.

      Personally, I always thought “or worse” means things like illness. When I was gearing up to lose an organ due to complications from pregnancy, Andy was trolling the internet for girlfriends. When he needed me, I skipped my own grandfather’s funeral to take care of him during influenza when the doctor wanted to put him in the hospital. When I needed him, he was looking for the next girlfriend.

      “Or worse” for a cheater usually translates to “be available when I need you, but don’t expect anything from me”.

      I’m kind of surprised you would go on a board all about recovering from cheaters and getting their poisonous shit out of your head, and make statements in the vein of “its not that bad”, etc.

      Walking away from a cheater is not a betrayal of wedding vows. Cheating is a betrayal of wedding vows. Please don’t attack the faithful person with this guilt-trip built on tripe.

      • Totally agree. Very well said. “be available when I need you, but don’t expect anything from me” in other words, I want my cake and eat it too… you can have the crumbs or starve. Selfish to the max.

        • I was guilty of accepting crumbs. Not anymore. It is hard to let go of what your picture of how your life was going to be. There comes at time though when you know enough is enough.

          • Welcome, Kerrie!

            I too accepted crumbs, as that was what we are ‘brainwashed’ into accepting from these cheater freaks. And, yes, there is a major difference between ‘giving up’ and knowing when you have had enough.

            The cheaters are the ones who ‘give up’, but we genuine folk are so often blamed for being the ones that ‘gave up on the marriage’ because we are often the ones that have to leave the home, take the drastic actions that are required to protect our children and ourselves.

            Being here at this Nation of awesome, kind, authentic people will give you the tools and encouragement to keep on the road to Meh!

            Forge on, Kerrie…..ForgeOn!

            • I so Agree! I went from trying to fix and excuse thinking” midlife crisis? ” I bounced from reading here and divorced busting. Then I realized ……it’s not me. I did try…I did everything I could. I’m now trying to adjust to the new life that I did not see coming.,

              • {{{HUGS!!}}}

                Embrace your new life! And stay right here with Chump Nation! They will direct you to superior resources that will enable you to achieve your best life ever!

    • Blue Eyes and Bruises has it EXACTLY right, David. If our exes and soon-to-be-exes were the types who were ‘truly sorry for what they have done and willing to change’, then forgiveness would at least be an option. But this site is frequented by people whose cheating partners are neither of those things, even though many of us wanted to believe in that possibility for a very long time. Our exes are mostly character-disordered selfish idiots, and when you read some of the things they’ve done, you KNOW that’s not just bitterness – it’s REALITY.

      • So well put, Blue Eyes and Bruises. David, my experience with cheating partners has been to listen to them blame shift, minimize, gaslight and lie so brazenly, in the face of all evidence, as to be almost frightening. If a relationship is in trouble, or if one person is unhappy, there are so many alternate paths that can be taken with integrity rather than cheating and lying about it. My ex used that “for worse” crap on me too, along with the “sickness and in health” line, after I discovered her multiple affairs which covered most of our marriage. It’s all bullshit. Every bit of it. And if I hadn’t divorced her, she’d still be at it, guaranteed. You can certainly forgive them, that’s for your sake, but still, get rid of them.

        • David, geez.

          Okay, let’s follow your logic through, shall we? What is considered a “mistake”? Is it–one night stand? 2 week infatuation but no sex? 6 month fling in your car, in your house, on every flat (or not) surface? bad mouthing your wife/husband to the AP or others while screwing someone you’re not married to? 4 year affair with expensive gifts purchased from marital assets, or worse, when YOU are unemployed and your spouse pays your bills?

          Can I get a copy of this rulebook? What’s the timeframe on forgiveness on “gee honey, yeah, I stuck my dick into that woman, but it was a COMPLETE MISTAKE, even though I did it repeatedly, over months/years, spent money that I didn’t work for, endangered your health by having sex with the two of you at the same time, packed up my car as if I were going to do my hobby thing to go and screw her and come home with completely confabulated stories of how my day went” ??

          It’s quite obvious that you are a cheater, in some way, shape or form here. Either you’ve had/are having an emotional affair, or worse. You desperately want to NOT be that asshole—the one whose kid is going to grow up KNOWING WHAT A FUCKING ASSHOLE YOU ARE for screwing all the neighborhood women and lying about it.

          What gets me–is that guys who just want us to “get over it” or “move on”–don’t ever consider that the kids will find out. One way or another. Kids talk, kids hear their parents talk, kids are cruel.

          One day, you’re going to screw the wrong woman, pal. Some woman with a disease that is lethal to YOU. Some woman with a really, really pissed off and motivated husband/boyfriend/family member and they take matters into their own hands. Some woman who is certifiably NUTS and hurts your family, your kids, and you—PHYSICALLY and perhaps legally.

          This is what I wish for guys like you. Go ahead and make your “mistake” again, and again, and again—it’s what guys like you do.

          You’ll meet your match, someone who will fuck you up as much as you’ve fucked other people up and over, repeatedly. It’s what guys like you do. It’s inevitable.
          The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they do turn—and what I absolutely love is watching guys like you get exactly what’s coming to them. You have everything, you have money and love and respect and you throw it all away because you think you’re just so clever, so deserving and just the center of the known universe.

          No one owes you a thing. You screwed up, you play—you pay.

          • Female commenter here. I want to say you’re off your fucking meds lmao. Your counter argument makes no sense what so ever. You definitely sound mad bitter and have some daddy issues beyond being cheated on. Reply if you want, but I’m not going to respond to all of this crazy bitchiness.

            • Oh, you’re one of those kind of women… somehow, your criticism of stereotypically ‘female’ traits is more valid because you’re female. It’s transparent, you know, your longing to be accepted by men… all that “bitchiness” is characteristic of those other women… not you. Of course, not you. You’re down. You’re mad cool. And yet, you took the time out to bash someone on a forum meant for mutual support and understanding.

          • yes, yes, yes and I was made into the other woman without my knowledge or permission and I am that instrument, “You’ll meet your match, someone who will fuck you up as much as you’ve fucked other people up and over, repeatedly. It’s what guys like you do. It’s inevitable.” And I will never stop until I can forget, not feel anything anymore for him. He has done exactly as you have said, to so many for so long, 50 years of causing heartache to others, using others, taking from others as if
            we are not humans, yet writing about his “bonding with his tools”.

      • David,

        The entire vows are wrapped up with “forsake no others”. I spoke with my priest many times about her actions. He assured me that if she feels no remorse then I can’t forgive her.

        In laymans terms he told me to “dump that bitch”. My words, not his of course.

        Please don’t get stuck in denial…man-up and get rid of her.

        • Dear TennisH,

          I am new here at CL (and just love it!) and have been reading through all the posts and comments, so I just now came across your comment to David. I think I spotted a ‘typo’…..

          I do believe the traditional vows actually say: “Forsake ALL others……” which, as you know, means to leave all other humans behind for the sake of putting your spouse first in ALL things. (except what belongs to God, of course, but you already know that!)

          What a cheater does is “forsake NO others”! In other words, they will never dare to ‘hurt the feelings’ of anyone, other than their spouse, never reject an opportunity to do as they please!

          Such sorry, lost souls are all the serial cheaters. (So sorry you went through it; so glad you freed yourself from her!)

          Your priest is totally correct on this point—-even God does not forgive if there is no basis for doing so. He gives chances, oh yes! But, one must do a total 180 degree turn around and never go back to the filth!

          He has requirements for extending forgiveness and expects us to adhere to the same standards when deciding whether to forgive someone or not. (1 Chronicles 28:9 / Hebrews 10:26-31 / Psalms 139:21,22)

          God does NOT expect us to forgive unconditionally. He knows that it would destroy our souls……….When need to ‘let it go’, yes, so it does not drag us to our ‘death’, but ‘forgiveness’ without repentance or contrition? Never! That would violate God’s perfect standards of justice.

          Take Care, TennisH!

          Love to all……..

          • “God does NOT expect us to forgive unconditionally. He knows that it would destroy our souls……….When need to ‘let it go’, yes, so it does not drag us to our ‘death’, but ‘forgiveness’ without repentance or contrition? Never! That would violate God’s perfect standards of justice.”

            Well, im catholic & I never really knew that. I thought I did have to forgive anyone no matter what???. Meaning, we suffer like Jesus did for us.

            So does God really say we should not forgive if it will destroy us?.

            Im intrigued now.

            • Perhaps you should follow up on ForgeOn’s recommended reading regarding forgiveness, Iceman.

              I’m not religious, but I was raised Catholic, so I’m not sure what your reference to being Catholic means? We don’t have a corner on that whole God and forgiveness thing 🙂

              What I believe FO and others are saying is that to forgive someone who is not remorseful or contrite, is not what God intended. Evil will be punished–people who harm others, whether it’s physically, spiritually, emotionally, financially or otherwise–and are not truly remorseful do not deserve our forgiveness and it is up to God to determine at that point. As I understand it from my years of CCD, God gave us free will and the ability to know right from wrong.

              Cheaters CHOOSE to do the things that they do. They CHOOSE to harm others by lying, breaking vows, stealing time, wrecking lives, spreading disease, damaging children and families. If anybody says that the end result of a cheaters’ actions are not exactly this (whether or not they get caught)—they are liars themselves.

              God knows what is in the hearts and minds of evil men and women. HE KNOWS when it’s true remorse or Fake Naugahyde Remorse. Cheaters are very good at fooling those that have trusting and honest souls, and may get away with certain things for awhile—but God works in ways that may not be obvious to bring about justice.

              It may be getting caught, it may be losing the respect of your kids/family, it might mean losing your job—it might mean contracting a lethal disease or just as simple as your friends all abandoning you. God will mete out the justice, it is not our jobs as humans to do that. Forgiveness is not a right, it’s a privilege—something that cheaters never seem to learn. Each person has the right to draw a line in the sand on what he/she will tolerate and forgive.

              • Iceman,
                l will consider contacting you at your email.
                Right now, my work day has started, so I must focus on that.
                So glad you benefited from the information!

                Catch you later…..

            • Hey Iceman and Maverick!!! Good evening…..

              Just read your comments. Iceman, so glad you are intrigued. This is where good Bible study habits can come in to play!
              As Maverick mentioned, start out by reading those passages I cited. Then, check any footnotes or cross references next to those verses in your Bible to see additional verses on the subject. (Hopefully you can get your hands on a good Study Edition of the Holy Scriptures)

              As for Mavericks comments, Absolutely awesome!!! Just exactly that! He has a better way with words than I do! Thank you, my friend!

              I will have some other verses to share later for you to research. l had a very long work day and am not up to writing a decent comment right now…..So, check back later. It may be a few days or so, so do not give up on me!! (Be sure you are signed up to receive notice of comments posted on this post!)

              Take care and ForgeOn, My Friends!

              • ForgeON saw this…

                Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Speak well of those who curse you. -Luke 6:27-28

                So we are to forgive “EVERYONE” then??? Even cheaters???

              • Morning Iceman, Good for you! You got the Scriptures out and started reading. Yea, you!

                OK……Those verses in Luke are part of the Sermon on the Mount. (a condensed version of it, by the way….) The setting is: All those people listening to this sermon were still under the Mosaic Law, which included what we call the Ten Commandments. One of those Commandments was:”Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Do you remember what the penalty was for adultery under the Law of the Land at that time? Yes, it carried the death penalty.

                Anyone committing adultery would have already been put to death. There would have been NO adulterers in Jesus’ audience or in the general population. There was NO provision for forgiving and reconciling with an adulterer at the time, so the thought of forgiving a cheater did not even exist at that time.

                Additionally, Jesus was not commenting or expounding on the marriage relationship in this passage.

                The primary focus of this sermon was on those who were his disciples, those who were already following him, even though there were many other people in the audience. He made it clear that, just as he was hated and persecuted for teaching the Good News about God (& showing the religious leaders of that time to be hypocrites) so would those who choose to follow him, especially after his death. He was telling these followers not to return violence for violence to enemies of the new Christian way of life he was establishing.

                When you read the corresponding account at Matthew chapters 5-7, you will find the full sermon. You will be able to read where Jesus not only condemns things such as murder and adultery, but condemns even the underlying attitudes that lead one to commit such heinous acts.

                So, no, Jesus was NOT referring to cheaters when these words were spoken!
                Yes, it is true that under the new, Christian arrangement, the death penalty for adultery was done away with and the option for reconciling was opened up. However, once again, take all Scripture verses in context and use other verses to fully clarify and understand. The Bible always interprets & explains itself.

                There are many passages and verses that deal with marriage in what is commonly referred to as the New Testament that make it clear God’s view of marriage. There are many verses that show his hatred for adultery and those who commit it, even though he does leave the option for such a one to fully turn away from such a course and truly repent. Then, such a one can be forgiven, but that does NOT mean an innocent mate is required to remain in the marriage and reconcile. They are free to divorce and remarry.

                Another verse to consider: Rev 21:8.

                Gotta go now, but I will try to post additional thoughts & comments later……Stay tuned!

                Forge on, Iceman ForgeOn, ChumpNation! Love All Y’all……

              • PS: Iceman,

                If you are not already doing so, please start reading over at Divorce Minister. He has an excellent handle on the facts of the matters concerning adultery and all the issues surrounding it.

                He has a very clear understanding of how God really feels about such things and what is actually required of a Christian in these situations.

                Rather than just pushing the often incorrect human twist on what the scriptures actually say about the subject, he sees clearly God’s heart on the matter and lovingly teaches it.

              • Morning Iceman,

                Some scriptures for you: (from American Standard Version)
                {Bible Gateway is an excellent place to go on-line to compare various translations side by side for your Bible Study}

                Luke 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”
                Notice the last part of the verse: “IF he repent……”, then he has done what is required to be forgiven. The unspoken alternate is, if he does NOT repent, there is no basis to forgive.

                Acts 8:22 “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee.”
                Notice once again the stated requirement for one to receive forgiveness is to first repent of the sin, in this case a sinful attitude.

                (Remember, repentance is NOT just words; it is a total 180 degree turn around, going in the total opposite direction & actually abhorring the former course, as well as the attitudes that led to choosing the ungodly way.)

                During his ministry, on three occasions Jesus spoke about adultery & divorce. (Matthew 5:32; 19:3-9; Luke 16:18) Interestingly, not once in any of these discussions did Jesus mention forgiveness.

                Also, consider 2 Samuel 12:9-14.
                This passage is God’s judgement on David after his debacle with Bathsheba that included David causing the death of her innocent husband, Uriah. David did indeed truly repent of his dastardly deeds, and God allowed them both to live. However, God also pronounced life-long disastrous consequences that would befall David and his entire family.
                The baby born of the adultery died and you likely know the rest of the sordid history. It was God’s right to allow these 2 adulterers to live, even though the Law at that time called for their death. That Law was given by God himself, so he therefore had the right to decide mercy, if he so choose. Primarily, it was due to the fact that the line of decent to the Messiah was prophesied to come through David. So, even though there was true repentance & forgiveness then granted, it did not remove the dire consequences.

                The 2 main reasons I mentioned this account:
                In my own case & many others, the cheater claims they are repentant, want to reconcile, but the minute there is any mention of consequences, they cry “Foul”! Why? Because they are NOT repentant. Notice that David did not cry “Foul!” when these consequences were pronounced upon him. He knew he had messed up royally (pun intended!) and he fully deserved such judgement from God. So, that is another way God knew he was truly repent. (Besides the fact he could actually read David’s mind & heart!)

                It also shows God’s heart on the matter of adultery. He really is FULLY aware of all instances of adultery and truly cares about innocent ones. Do you think it is a “typo” in the scriptures that Bathsheba continues to be referred to as “the wife of Uriah” even centuries after the events? NO! It is because God truly does care what goes on “behind closed doors” and will see that justice is done.

                There are many more verses I can share, if you wish.

                Forge on, Iceman…..ForgeOn, Nation…..

  • Chump lady,
    Me oh my did I wake up to the wrong phone call that lead me to this site. Its my birthday today and my boyfriend whom I have been seeing for over 3 years called me at the ass crack of dawn to wish me a happy birthday. Only after watching me cry and making me feel like I’m a pile of dog shit to avoid on the side walk for the past two days. I found that he was looking at cougar911. basically a site to hook up with older women who are usually in relationships looking to meet up for no strings attached sex. The worst part is everything he has told me is just lies to keep me around. He has 4, that’s right 4 children. 2 that are about to turn 14,15 and two that are 5 and 6. His ex wife is absolutely bonkers and mind you I totally gave this lady the benefit (it takes two, she deserves to be apart of the older children’s life) until she verbally abused the children, manipulated them so she could stalk me, harassed me, broke in to the house to get to me while i was sleeping. I mean all of this is just straight red flag after red flag… I grew really attached to the older two children which is most likely the only reason I have continued to try, but how much b.s. does one person have to put up with before they say enough already?? I found out yesterday I must move and find a new home due to the unfortunate circumstance of my landlord going through a divorce. Its all to much. I had so many men tell me I looked ravishing, beautiful and becoming the other day. Sure I tend bar for a bunch of men old enough to be my dad, but it felt good to be complimented and feel good about myself. My boyfriend came in and never said a word and to add insult looked up that site when he got home??? I am 27.. I know most of you would say I’m still just a baby and what the hell am I doing… but I’ve invested 3 years of my life to this man and I’m 3 years away from thirty with no family. I don’t believe I ever will have that. Everyone I know has children with ex wives or baby mama drama, there are no single gentleman that treat women right anymore. I have spent my whole life with the perfect marriage displayed in front of me (my parents, married 33yrs) and I just don’t see in this lifetime it really happening for me. I have always been independent and strong willed and passionate and thrown the trash away where it belongs and now I’m trapped in this “I love him and the kids, I’m going to end up alone.” crap.. I really need to get away to move on from him cause he literally is making me physically ill with his drama and games.. and yet I stand in stagnant water. Where did i lose the love for myself to allow myself to be treated this way? Why can’t I just let go? Is the verbal and mental abuse as if he were physically hitting me? cause I left my ex with no question when he decided to throw stuff and we were friends for 6years on top of the 3 years we were together and I never thought he would do something like that. Im just very lost and afraid to take the correct steps to better my life.. thank you for writing such an informative article. Its very helpful and I apologize if my venting is all over the place. Thank you for reading.

  • “Hope” doesn’t change other people. Ever.

    For people to even change themselves, first they have to really want to.. and even then it is usually a real struggle. People are who they are. Some of that is built into them by their DNA, some of that is built into them by how they were raised, etc. Some people damage themselves severely with drugs and alcohol.

    You know you cannot turn back the hands of time. The best thing you can do is start now and build a better future for yourself…

    THAT is where true hope is.

    • Moda–you are right. I think that the whole psycho-babble bullshit that I was taught in college—“nature vs. nurture” and the ridiculous debate that surrounds that concept (books upon books upon lecture upon lecture..) can be boiled down to Tracy’s “Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness”.

      That’s what it means, maybe. Who gives a shit if they call their mother 15 times a day (and she calls him as many times. true story.), who cares if he was bounced on his head as a baby, who cares if he didn’t get breastfed enough, who gives a rat’s ass if she has “daddy issues” or “abandonment issues” or “I just want to eat cake because I’m entitled to.” issues.

      At the end of the day, they cheated. It doesn’t MATTER why they did it.

      And yes, I’m still seething over the “marriage vows leave wiggle room for mistakes.” A MISTAKE is not putting the milk back in the fridge and it goes sour. A MISTAKE is when you left the coffee pot on all day and came back to a black sizzling mess on your countertop.

      Saying your wedding vows, whether or not you believed you had “wiggle room” (did you mention that to your spouse before the wedding? I think not.), means that you are fully aware of your responsibilities NOT to stick your dick into women who are not your wife–or spread your legs for men who are not your husband.

      Simple concept. Those are not mistakes. Those are on-purposes. And guess what. You get your ass handed to you. On purpose.

      • much needed reality punch- thank goodness I declined the narcs multiple proposals from the get-go

        “Saying your wedding vows, whether or not you believed you had “wiggle room” (did you mention that to your spouse before the wedding? I think not.), means that you are fully aware of your responsibilities NOT to stick your dick into women who are not your wife–or spread your legs for men who are not your husband.

        Simple concept. Those are not mistakes. Those are on-purposes. And guess what. You get your ass handed to you. On purpose.”

  • I had to read this post again CL to make sure I memorize these points. I had to laugh to myself envisioning that “barbed wire monkey pile”. IMO, the barbed monkey pile is much bigger than the genuine monkey pile, but now I know the difference 🙂 This post should be required memorization for every chump!

  • Thank you so much for this article. It really resounded with me. I found out yesterday my partner of 2.5 years who moved recently to another city for work actually moved there with his “ex” wife (they never got divorced but have been living apart for 2.5 years). I confronted him and he told me they were not living there as a couple, just roommates and I was the one he wanted to be with. A huge part of me so badly wants to believe him, just like I have all the other times I have caught him spending time with her. Thanks to your article I realize I am stuck on hope and co dependency. I always had fear and pride but never thought about the HOPE. Your article is helping to give me the strength to keep my distance from him. I’m going to need to keep reading this many times over the next few days as I get over the early days which for me are the worst.
    Thank you for giving me strength

    • victoria ‘ well you the O/W affair partner his enabler for allowing him to have his cake and eat it too .. LOL sorry to say this but you never get involved with married men .. if the man can lie to his wife well what makes you think he is telling you the truth .. hash as it sounds find a man who is single instead of helping kill marriages you little devil JEZZEBELL wake up satan seeks to destroy infidelity and adultery is not okay .. btw the wife you refer to probably moved on with her life funny how you thought you were so special good luck hope youe awake now victoria . LOL

      • Pinklady how hilarious your bitter comment is to me now when I posted that years ago. Broke up with him as I said in my post. Fast forward to now and I am engaged to the man of my dreams and have a beautiful 6month old baby girl with him. My life could not be better. I hope things improve for you too and you find enough happiness in your future to not leave such hurtful and cruel comments

  • Yes. That whole thinking “if only…” thing is so destructive. I stayed around with an emotionally unavailable manwhore for way too long. I finally broke away.

    I have an amazing man now. He’s had as much bad luck as I have had with partners. We look out after each other. I didn’t think I was able to find anyone nice. They DO exist. It’s just that sometimes they (male and female) hide out in fear of being hurt.

  • Yesterday, while re-hashing my 4+ year divorce proceedings with a dear friend, she mentioned this site, insisting I visit. Boy, am I glad I did!!!
    I dated my husband since 1989 and married him in 1994. I filed for divorce in May of 2010. I sat back for a couple of years and gathered all kinds of evidence that led me to the knowledge that he was involved in a long standing affair.
    I can relate to all of the reasons for staying with the cheater, especially the denial part. I couldn’t understand how someone I knew since high school, with whom I gave up my career to delve into a 6 year battle with infertility and finally create 2 amazing children with would carry on a double life with another horrible person. Of course he denied it for some time until I let him know I was in touch with her husband and we collectively had them busted: lock, stock and barrel. They both only admitted to “knowing” one another at that point, my husband calling the OW “my emotional mentor” and claiming she was just helping him train to become a triathlete.
    There are so many areas in which I’d like to write about and receive feed back…….but just knowing that I’m not alone helps an awful lot.
    Thank you, Chumplady.

  • I was watching Steve Harvey one afternoon and something he does in his show was to play matchmaker to ladies that ask for his help. On this show I watched he said that saying “once a cheater always a cheater” is not true. He set himself as the perfect example, he said “Look at me, it took me three marriages to get it right. Cheaters learn and change.”

    What do you think of that? this is the first time I heard somebody give a rebuttal.

    I can see the magical unicorn running around just about now haha.

    • He won’t cheat again ONLY if he’s forced and policed to stay clean. Same for any cheater (male/female). What it took to cheat was a lack in internal restraints that is core to a being. External restraints are all that will work on such souls. :-<

      • Why anyone would force someone to stay faithful is beyond me. If you are so desperate that you need to control your cheating spouse, it should tell you it’s time to get out. Why stay with someone who says they love you but their actions show otherwise. Also, cheaters find ways to cheat even when the spouse police them. You can think you’ve covered all the bases but there’s always ways around it.

  • I see these other blogs & forums where these woman have has 2, 3, 4 or more DDays & have chosen to stay & I just shake my head, like WTF are you doing? Are you mental? My sister’s husband cheated on her several times & after the 2nd time of forgiveness it was hard to support her. How do you respect someone who doesn’t respect themselves? And who am I to judge right? Well it has happened to me, that is why I judge. I’m a 3 strikes your out kind of person. My ex cheated on me twice that I knew of & when I suspected a 3rd time, I didn’t even stick around to find out, I bolted & it was the best decision of my life. I don’t know why so many women focus on the OW when you can use the OW as a great tool. A tool to get information out of a as well as a key to unlocking the mysteries of what a piece of crap your husband is or can potentially be. I thanked the OW’s in my sitch. They saved me thousands of dollars in what I would’ve spent in private investigator and decoy fees. I eventually was fortunate enough to see the bastard for who he is & got out. Ten years later he is now remarried with a new child. Not even to any of the OW’s! A totally new clueless female…that poor girl. My DDay are definitely a celebration day. A “thank your husband’s mistress” day!

  • Don’t know if I was ever cheated on. Have had a very long marriage with the usual ups and downs.
    I have a question to cheaters who may be reading this. Did you have really cold feet about marrying this person? I have 5 friends(female) who knew a couple of weeks, months before that they should call off the wedding. Due to family, community constraints they married anyway. They all cheated. It was how they got out of their marriages. Only one feels guilty about what she did because she said he is a nice guy who did not deserve what she did to him. Unless both people are totally committed to fidelity and have good mental health and strong moral values there is trouble on the horizon.
    Cheating steals your spouse’s ability to trust and I find that unforgivable. I also think children are damaged because no matter how many times you say it is not about them thay know it is a lie because they are in mourning so of course it is about them.

    • “Cheating steals your spouse’s ability to trust and I find that unforgivable.” ~ Great quote ! So true. Without going into the whole long story, due to financial and health issues and yes, inertia, I am still with my husband of 31 years . I don’t trust anybody, and I mean ANYBODY any more. I just assume everyone is lying to me. I rarely find myself slipping into the “marriage police role” at this point because the emotions are gone and in it’s place is indifference. One of these days I will set the process in motion. Just some things that need to be taken care of first.

      • I know how you feel because I’ve been saying the same thing. My SO has made me really question what I thought I knew, and her acts with several of my friends have proven to me that I’m a fool to trust many people.

        There has to be hope for you to be able to trust again

  • What a GREAT post! So absolutely spot-on, and delivered with a much needed touch of humor. You know, there’s nothing about those memories and all that came with it that will EVER be funny, yet the humor part makes coming to terms with the painful emotions a little easier to do.

    BTW, “put lipstick on that pig”……priceless. I’m going to use that whenever it’s appropriate. Hope you don’t mind!

  • I just discovered this website. I know it’s ment for women but my wife has been cheating with the same man for 25 years! I found out about the first affair when she told me she was pregnant and didn’t know who the father was. I think she was forced into telling me because he is black and we are white so if there was a child born it would be easy to tell. He had lied to her about a vasectomy and she ended up getting an abortion since I told her if there was any chance it was his she would be out with her bastard child. She had him sleeping with her in my house in my bed with my children around while I was out of state starting a new job and a “new life” for us according to her! I took her back and we eventually had two more children and life went on. Of course I really never forgave her or “got over it” and on Jamuary 30th of this year I discovered she had been having another affair with him for the last two years. In the emails I found that she had a second affair with him while we were working through the first one! She did see him socially, by accident she says, during the years inbetween even going out to lunch once. Since January she says she wants only me and that she ended it (physically) about six months after it started this time. But, she continued to lie to me hiding the facts, keeping the second affair secret, distorting the truth about this affair and even that she KNEW he lied to her about the vasectomy shortly after the abortion! She now says the lying is over and it will never happen again. To my point, I have stayed with her for all this time because of the reasons in this thread. My therapist has helped me figure this out and I am only a couple of weeks from telling her that I want a divorce and on what conditions. We have assets, home, retirement investments however I assume she will be agreeable to a dissolution on my terms as our adult children do not know anything of her “bad choices” and I assume would like to keep it that way. Thanks for having a place to help me realize what I need to do and not have to see all the “you can survive and have a better marriage” junk thats out there. That might have been possible at some point but not now. Oh did I mention I am her second husband and she had two affairs durring her first marriage and was pregnant at fifteen, had an abortion and didn’t know between two guys who the father was? I really think I am a glutton for punishment and at age 54 I am finally seeing the light!! Thanks again!

    • Welcome to the club no one voluntarily joins.

      Your wife sounds like a real piece of work.

      (Un)fortunately, she sounds pretty similar to the SO’s that brought the rest of us to this “club”, so you are in excellent company.

      Good friends and No Contact will be your lifeline to sanity in the coming months.

      Keep us posted.

      • Thanks for the encouragement, after 32 years, as much as I need to get away, it’s still hard to summon up the courage but I’m really thinking I can do it. I will keep everyone updated.

        • Jimmy, I was married for 32 years also. I am finally getting out, moving to another state in two days, and it is scary! Do you have a therapist? I think this is one of the keys to finding a healthier way to live. My X did a MAJOR mindfuck on me for our entire lives together, sounds like your’s did to you, too. Like CL says- we just kept making our needs smaller and smaller (to continue the marriage). I finally admitted to myself that he’d never change, and was getting worse even. I wish you the strength to leave, get into therapy if you can, and figure out why you tolerate her abuse!

    • Hey Jimmy,

      Similar story…married 25 years when I found out. She completely broke my heart. Another 6 years to figure out there’s no recovery from betrayal. Now in process of creating a safe post-divorce landing place.

      Haven’t heard how your recovery/new life is going. Hope you’re back in charge.

      Cheers.

    • I see it’s been four years since your post and maybe you will never read this, but I can somewhat imagine what pain you’ve been through.

      It doesn’t matter if this blog was for men or women, because we all have feelings. Just as many women cheat as men and that’s a fact. I hope you’re able to have moved passed this by now and realized you’re worth more than what you’ve settled with.

      GodSpeed!

  • Dear Chumplady,

    I read this out to my IC (5 years of therapy and counting, blech). As you know, therapists are not allowed to say ‘what the F are you doing, leave him already. But he HAS told me I am a masochist.
    Anyway, he loved this blog. He told me that I was owning it. He got very excited about the monkeys. He told me that not only did the little monkeys have barbed wire, but that they were randomly shocked by their wire mums when they were fed. And they STILL kept coming back. He made the point that the monkeys with the real mommies and the real attachment, felt free to leave.
    Takes a lot to impress my PhD etc etc marxist atheist therapist. Well done Chumplady.

  • Fear and Pride got me.. As for wanting him back, negative. I got turned off by his stupid and selfish ways and I don’t think I can ever trust him again. I just want him to leave the other woman so she won’t feel so lucky and happy. After that i can laugh at her.

  • Lala–it sounds as if you’re still in “Lala-land” and clinging to your cheater.

    You say you’re “turned off by his stupid and selfish ways” and then turn around and say “I don’t THINK I can ever trust him again”—and then you’re playing the Pick Me Dance (you are, you just keep denying that you are) by wanting to win the Sparkly Piece Of Shit Award that IS your cheater.

    But hey. After your Sparkly Turd “leaves the OW” you can have that 6’2″ shit sandwich all to yourself! WOW!!! What a prize you got there, huh? OW can walk away, find someone nice, kind and committed (did you ever stop to think that you are actually DOING HER A FAVOR instead of hurting her, like you are so gung-ho to do? Not smart.)

    OW can (and will, if you succeed in wresting your Mr. Shit Sandwich “away” from her)–walk away scott free, to live her life–perhaps meet someone nice and have a happy life…..and YOU?….you won Mr. Sparkle Turd.

    Perhaps Pride Cometh Before a Fall? 😉

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  • SO Glad I found this website. It makes me feel so much better knowing that there are lots of chumps like me out in the world. Loved the ‘hooked on hopium’ Chump Lady! Ha!

    My cheater told me that I was his second wife but after I married him I found out I was his FIFTH. He cheated on all of them. Besides five wives he had some live in girlfriends in between too. While we were married he got a life threatening cancer and almost died several times. I took care of this gravely ill man for an entire year, sleeping on bad hospital chairs and chemo pumps going off all night long. After a miraculous recovery he insisted we renew our vows on our wedding anniversary. Three months later I caught him sneaking off to a motel room to screw the librarian from the college where he worked.
    He left me for her. Since then they both got great jobs at Yale and bought a house on the ocean. It bugs me. I know he’s a POS but it sure looks like their lives are going great. Better than mine. I spend every single holiday by myself and have taken to going on vacations alone. I don’t get it. It’s been six years and their lives seem to get better and better. Out of guilt he did give me half his money. I’d trade it all for a good man.

  • Dear Chump Lady,
    I am going through a real break up after being dumped by the guy whom i loved for 12 years and was faithful to ….. I have done everything i could for him in the 12 years and he has done everything he would to make it worst…. violence, lies and using , one night stands and had sex with married woman who he claims to have fallen in love and says he was not happy in our relationship and so he did …….. and then had the audicity to ask me for marriage without proper love or nurturing and when asked him to prove that he loves me ….. he stops talking and finds another woman in facebook who is an ifs officer and gets married…… and cruel enough to tell me he never valued me……….. so he did it……… i feel terribly hurt ……… like someone has carved a big hole inside and trying to recover….. its one year and one month…… and still not finding anyone remotely to date……. i know i deserve better … Pl. help

    • Dear Sid,

      You have been through so much horror, please allow yourself time to live now! Yes, you deserve better. But, please, oh, please do not define who you are, your true value, by romantic relationships or lack thereof! That is one of the big reasons many of us stayed ‘stuck’ with the cheaters for so long!

      A year without a ‘new man’ is actually a very good thing! Please, stop looking for now. After all, isn’t that part of the issue with a cheater?—–always gotta have a love interest——

      In reading on this site and so many others over the years, one of the re-curing themes is that the ‘jilted ones’ focus so much on finding a new love interest ASAP and when they haven’t found one quickly enough (in their minds!) they seem to feel that proves that they are worthless, etc., just like their cheater told them they were!

      Please, Sid, focus on being a whole, complete, amazing human all on your own. While I am a firm believer in God’s marital arrangement, wherein the two are compliments of one another, ‘complete’ one another, you have to totally understand what that really means—–that you can only ‘complete’ another person if you are complete yourself.

      EXAMPLE: It takes an egg and a sperm to ‘complete’ each other to become a baby. But, each are whole & complete cells on their own. Also, an egg and a sperm each must be healthy, normal cells in order to make a healthy baby. If an egg cell or sperm cell are damaged or malformed, the baby from that union will be unhealthy, malformed or even die. Same with marriage—each person has to be complete, healthy, able to be happy on their own, before the can ‘complete’ another person & create a happy, healthy relationship.

      It has taken me years to truly comprehend this myself!! I thought I needed to hang on to my cheater, do all I could to restore the marriage because I had come to define myself by whether I was ‘in a relationship’ or not, and it nearly cost me my sanity and my life! (I was suicidal many times!) I thought that if the marriage failed, I had failed, even though I was the innocent mate! In other words, what was I without ‘a man’?! But, now I am so much better off!

      I have absolutely no interest in finding a ‘new man’ until I have spent time caring for myself, by myself and maybe not even then. It has helped me ‘live well’, feel good about myself and has prevented me from getting into another mess (relationship) while my ‘picker’ was still malfunctioning!

      I hope this reply has some useful thoughts for you. Keep looking for more resources, on-line or in the Library, to help you. None of us can succeed on this crazy journey alone.

      Take care……
      Love to all…..

  • I’m actually staying out of financial codependance. I’m not even completely sure he has cheated and I don’t care enough to find out. We have enough other issues to warrant divorce.
    I know my options and have considered them fully and am working to finally be in a position to leave. That day can’t come soon enough. I’m tired of having to be nice to him on a day to day basis just so our kids won’t have to live in a hostile home.

  • I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for many years. I suspected my husband was cheating but never had any real proof. Three weeks ago he started coming home with ” hickey” on his neck. Quite bold! He claims he scratches himself and get those “marks.” I have decided to leave him. We discussed it and he just pretends the discussion never happened. I never realized how controlling he could be and the lies are manufactured in an instant. He is a very good manipulator.
    I am deeply religious and even spoke to my priest after my husband made some remarks that caused the priest to question me. I came clean with the priest and told him that I knew my husband is cheating. I am making the necessary changes to get myself independent. I suffered a spinal injury many years ago and cannot pick up any item beyond say 5lbs. It is a tough journey for me. I have to make many adjustments like going to the grocery, shopping etc. I will never go back to him because he is not worth it. My heart has been shattered.
    I feel like this betrayal is worse than having to deal with his death. My daughter lives with us and I find that she is caught in the middle. However she is quite intelligent and understands the situation quite well. I have never posted on a website before but I am deeply touched by this one.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I attempt to reclaim my life. Thanks.

    • Hi Rukhmin,

      First, you’ll probably get more replies and support if you post on a current day’s postings. Most people don’t dig this deeply into the archives too often, so almost no one is seeing your request for help.

      But I’m glad you are reading this site. The Chump Lady is full of straightforward advice, and it has been so helpful to me to realize that I’m not alone.

      I am glad you are speaking to a priest, but the advice you get from that corner may be geared more toward the marriage than toward you or, worse yet, the priest may feel an equal or greater loyalty toward your husband. You deserve to speak with someone who is most concerned with putting your interests first. Please find yourself a lawyer. Knowing your options, especially given your health concerns, is extraordinarily important. When I first saw a lawyer, I took my sister-in-law with me and she wrote the check for the consulting fee. I gave the law office her phone number. I was too scared that any clue that I was looking for help would lead toward greater abuse from my husband toward me. Take care of yourself.

      I know that betrayals are hard. And you don’t deserve what is happening to you. Finding a better life will be slow, and some days you will feel like you’ve slid back to where you began. Be prepared to weather some tough days with your daughter too. A spouse who cheats on you and emotionally abuses you will probably do everything he can to manipulate his daughter. Some days, she just won’t know what to do–she wants two loving parents, and coming to terms with the fact that one of them only loves himself will be a roller coaster ride that takes her years to escape from. Be consistent in your love. She’ll have good days too (and so will you).

      I’ve been out of my mess for 2 and half years, and some of the fog is still lifting–for me it was the emotional abuse that was hardest for me to understand . . . to see how many lies I had fallen victim to, how much I had learned to accept his denigration.

      It isn’t fair. It isn’t easy. But it is better–better to live in truth and free from deception and disrespect.

  • To new, and recently devastated chumps who have just come upon this site:

    THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLE YOU WILL READ. TRY YOUR HARDEST TO TAKE IT ON BOARD.

    Why am I saying this? Because for 5 long years I grasped at the slightest evidence that he gave a shit about me. I listened to what he said and completely overlooked his actions. I could not believe that our beautiful love had turned to this.

    When I took this article to my IC (after 5 years, remember). the IC had two reactions:

    1. he said CL wrote extremely well.
    2. he talked about me finally owning it, and just about did flik flaks across the room.

    This is a seriously important article. I hope you don’t have to go through years of abuse and mind fuckery to get it.

  • Glad this thread is still going. With CL on holiday, I found these other great sites that date back a couple years ago so, am glad there are still folks posting to this great article.
    I fell back about 4 months by writing my stbxh that I still loved him. (FACE PALM)
    He told me he loved me too. (ya right)
    I just hate myself tonight for that – he’s so phony in his answers and I WILL QUIT emailing him, I promise. My open mouth is like one of those kibble-feeders you leave your dogs while you’re gone a few hours. Press the button – kibbles arrive. What AM I thinking. I don’t need kibble anymore because I’ve got my life ahead of me – dammit!

  • She chump
    Just keep moving forward.. Only the past is behind us.
    Go NC for you.
    Its bloody hard that’s no lie. But keep reading, posting and most importantly remember “know your worth” . You matter.

    Bellzero

  • I hate cod liver oil. It was forced on me by a loving mother and I’m sure led to my core good health and great immune system.

    I hate exercise and fitness workouts. They are painful and time-consuming. They have led me to all sorts of energy and reserves of self-esteem.

    I hate this article and it’s strong language. It’s causing me to wake up and view those hoovering truths around my head. Sigh.

    Several years ago my long marriage got royally f-ed up when my wife began repeated cheating. (No, there was no infidelity on either side in the previous 25 years of marriage). After the confrontation, I did everything wrong: repeatedly forgave her; assumed shared responsibility; went to loads of couple counselling to ‘fix us’; even allowed her a one-sided open marriage (no need to say it…I know) so she could get what she needed but maintain our family; and finally (growing at least a partial brain) insisted on complete fidelity or bust.

    What I didn’t do was insist on a restoration my self-respect nor her’s for me. Cheating is a permanent breakage of more than intimate trust but essential respect. There’s no regaining it. Like ‘pouring wine into a broken bottle’ I tried to put more effort and relationship work into an old marriage. I mourned the loss of what we had without recognizing it’s departure. She can never look at me with the glow of confidence in manhood when she freely sought it elsewhere and I can never feel safe in my own character to hold a woman’s loyalty.

    I’m not looking at this situation with a short-shortsighted, reactive, emotional mind-state either. I’ve tried for over 6 years to live in this new reality. (I’m a little slow to piece things together apparently). I am convinced that there’s no recovery for infidelity. It’s not a bruise to pour ointment on…it’s not even a break in the bones of the marriage…it’s an amputation. What was alive and growing with you as a part of your body has been brutally torn away and is gone. Only the offender is responsible for that because honestly, you can’t tear away a limb from your own body. It’s like holding your breath to commit suicide…not possible.

    Signed,

    Moving forward, moving out.

    • Dan, It’s like you drinking the
      Poison and expecting your wife to die.

      Our spouses made their choices to do whomever, and now we, have to make choices for ourselves without them. ( we did not sign up for this, second rate life)

      I grieve for the marriage I thought I had, but it trully never existed. The thing I have feared has already happened, so, what am I so afraid of happening now? Maybe I fear a life of peace, of not constantly having to look over my shoulder or waiting for the “next” bottom feeder, as he, to show up at the door or call my home to announce the obvious that, “they are doing my spouse” news flash, your not the first and most definitely will not be his last.

      Dan, what in me, has made this ok? And to be repeatedly treated this way. I HAVE BECOME AN ENABELER.

      My fear has frozen me for 25 years, the situation will not change, that he’s going to do whatever he wants, and I am trapped, only by me, to finally walk away.

      Here he is, no prize, a cheat, a liar, why hang on for dear life as I’m being drug through it, all I have to do is let go? Right?

      • Yes, Goitalone……Let go! Let go or be dragged.

        Takes some of us chumps a very long time to process that fact and act on it. ‘Frozen’ is a an apt description. But, as you are now here, you will quickly ‘thaw’ out and get a move on!

        “It is not the end of the world….It is the end of a (VERY) bad experience.”

        “There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough.”

        Let go and welcome to your new, peaceful LIFE! Thrive in it / revel in it!

        Forge on, Goitalone…..ForgeOn!

        • Thanks ForgeOn,
          It seems to be next to one of the slowest extractions, in life, to remove decaying, rotten, no use, disease inflicting, no true pain numbing or pain management spouses.

          I am my own crown of thorns.

          He cut me loose, along time ago.

          I have that mentality that I failed, and that is a false accusation on myself and for anyone else going through this soap opera.

          It’s a game where I never really was formerly explained the rules, to their Super Bowl, I mean what cheater gives you the play book and says have at it and, good luck with me?

          • You are at the right place to cut through all of the poo and leave all those nasty false accusations behind!

            Keep reading and keep posting. This site and these chumps will be your ‘rocket fuel’ to blast you away from your past!

            Thought: Wouldn’t matter if the cheater’s gave us their play-book. We can’t read their childish scrawl and they keep changing the rules as they please.

            So, stop worrying about the ‘shoulda / coulda / woulda’. Now that you have extracted yourself, clean the nasty, decaying poo off and go live authentic and cheater-free, a place where there are no regrets and no ‘games’ are played!

            Continue to ForgeOn!

            • ForgeOn,
              You’re Right I have no interest in the playbook, how any cheater thinks, or their excuses, and the BS lies.

              Is this Hell?

              There’s something gone, and I am really tired
              Thanks for your time and input.

          • Goitalone, I can “hear” the anguish and sadness in your post. I understand. All of us here understand exactly what you are saying and feeling.

            Each of us are at a different point in this process, some further ahead than others. Those further ahead serve as beacons of hope to those just digging themselves out of the black hole that is life with a cheater.

            If you don’t listen to anything else here, you do have to try to internalize that the death of a marriage, for whatever reason, is still a death. You still experience the same stages as you would the sudden death of a loved one.

            Be kind to yourself, GIA. You are NOT alone. Not ever. Not while there is a single chump with breath left in them. This is a one step at a time process, a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll surge ahead, thinking “I’m FREEEEEEEEEEEE!” and then something will kick your ass right back to square one. It has happened to all of us, every single one.

            Things seem hopeless to you right now, but I can assure you—if you do not give up, you do not sell yourself short, if you believe in yourself–you WILL get out of this. You WILL heal. But you have to want to do that, GIA. You’ve made the decision to get this cheater out of your life—now what are you going to do with the rest of it?

            There is support if you want it. Shrug off those feelings of failure, because they are NOT yours to own. Accept in your heart that you did everything you could, you did what you promised to do and then some—and someone else tossed a grenade into your life, someone who promised to have your back.

            You’d want to understand how and why a cheater thinks the way he does? Really? I don’t. I am thankful every single day of my cheater free life that I don’t “get” what motivates them. For if I did, I would be afraid for myself and those I love. I would never, ever want to “understand”….because then I would go on to believe that maybe, just maybe, since I have the rulebook, I could FIX THEM.

            Nope. You cannot fix them. Someone compared trying to reason with a cheaters to the end scene in Rain Man, with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise–Cruise is putting Hoffman on the train, and after all of the experiences, hardships, fun times that Cruise had with him, how the whole trek changed Cruise….he’s reaching out to Hoffman, saying heartfelt things, really trying to connect—and Hoffman can’t reciprocate. “Judge Wopner is on in 27 minutes.” “Did you hear me, Ray? I said I love you.” “Yeah, okay. I wonder if there’s jello.”

            It’s not different with cheaters, GIA. Hugs to you.

            • SphinxMoth,
              Thank you for the support, and I really don’t want to know what makes the SOB’S tick, I would just like to avoid them like the plague.

              Everyone has a story and as I read the post, I think that there has to be an entitlement gene in the DNA of a cheater, get a damn divorce before screwing your coworker, the babysitter, the neighbor and so on and on and on, then stop blaming your wife/husband whose like who the hell are you.

              I am mad I was suckered and time was stolen from me, I hate the way I feel and look at people now. I have just enough disdain and distance to not even bat a lash at my own grief.

              Sorry for my rant, but how many crapbags are out there ?Obviously too many, because here I sit posting on a site, all about these people who will never care what they have done to anyone.

              History repeating itself with no mercy in sight.

              • Goitalone,

                Please also visit “Divorce Minister”. You are going to need all the (Superior!) help you can get! ChumpNation and Divorce Minister are THE BEST of the best of the best!

                Be a ‘Thriver’ NOT a victim! Come thrive with us at ChumpNation.

              • GIA, you’re suffering through the stages of grief. Just like with any death. That is real. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.

                Can I ask, how long has it been since you found out about your spouse’s cheating? It doesn’t really matter, because there is no rulebook that says you have to jump from one stage to the next in a certain timeframe. The important process is getting to Acceptance, or “Meh” as we call it here.

                How long were you married? Do you have kids with this guy? Is he still pushing your buttons? Are you still married and cohabiting? Does anyone else know? How did you find out? Do you have a good support system in place, people who will take some of the burden for you while you heal? Are you in a financial position to leave safely? The answers aren’t important to post, but they are important for you to consider, in how long this might take in order for you to come to terms with this situation and how effective you can be without help.

                I’m not a therapist, but there are some on this board. Do you know what that means? Cheating can happen to the most highly educated, faithful, loyal, intelligent and loving people. WHY? Because cheaters/NPDs/sociopaths (not all mutually exclusive, btw) target people like us. They target people for a living. Each one is different–some want a “front” to give them legitimacy, some want a disciple who adores and fawns on them…I think you get my drift.

                Please, please, please—you sound so very discouraged and beaten down—please find a therapist. Someone not invested in your situation with your spouse, someone who is neutral. They can lead you through the toughest portion of this experience. If you feel unsafe—please contact someone of authority that deals with battered or abused women…they do this for a living and they can guide you.

                You need to make a simple plan at this point, GIA. First, take care of you and if you have children, them. If you are not in a safe place, you need to find one. Get help to do that, there are many people in your community who deal with just that one thing. Do you have family? Talk to them if you can. Find refuge with those that love you best.

                Once you’re out of the sphere of influence of these types of people, things do get slowly better. The fog lifts. Your mind clears. When you have a purpose and a plan, you are able to put energy into that until you can put energy into figuring out the what’s and why’s of the cheater situation.

                The important thing, GIA, is that you MOVE. Get your feet moving forward. Don’t wallow in this, don’t obsess. It’s easy to do—I should know, I did it for 3 years before acting on what I knew. Some here stayed frozen in grief and fear for TWENTY YEARS OR MORE.

                We know what we’re saying, and we know how to help you if you truly want help. I can say, though, if you are living with your cheater or you are doing the dance with him—not a lot of what we say is going to get through to you….because living with a cheater is called DENIAL.

                Please see someone. Find a place you feel safe. Then start thinking about the rest.

                Good luck. Stay on this board. Read through everyone’s stories. You are unique, but the cheaters are not. You’ll see much here that will resonate with you, things that your cheater did/does. They’re not everywhere and not every person is capable of these things. With time, therapy and lots of healing…you will fix your picker and “avoid them like the plague”.

  • This blog is helping me in unimaginable ways. Just heard from the cheater wishing me a happy birthday and hoping that I have ‘regained my optimism and spirit.” This is someone who cheated prolifically for 33 years of our relationship who now expects me to be nice about it. WTF. For just brief instance I was going to reply, but then decided to re-read portions of this blog to come back to my senses.

  • This is exactly what I need to hear. It’s been two and a half years since the major cheat, although I am sure he also cheated while traveling for business in between the 16 years we we’re together. He moved out 9 months ago after I asked him to. I find it hard to give up hope. You see I cheated in my first marriage that lasted 10 years or so. My STBX (divorce proceedings starting this week) knew this before we started dating and insisted on total faithfulness which I was happy to do since we had a remarkable relationship. I never cheated on him. But I understand that he is a narcissist. Does it make me deserving of his infedility if I cheated on my first husband? Is there any hope? I managed to not cheat with him so can things not turn around for him? So very confused.

  • Dear Chump Lady,

    Thank you. I thank you. Your wisdom, clarity, definitiveness and drawings have really helped me. My favorite drawing is the one with the guy with thong on head saying, “What thong?” I did not find someone’s thong in my bed but my lying ass cheater scum would go all vague and what I call “Drrr Huh What?” when confronted with lies, etc. The Drrr Huh What incited me and I would ask, “Seriously, seriously – your back to feigning traumatic brain injury (TBI). Answer the question!” But the answers never mattered because the answers — when I could get any out of TBI lying scum — were crap. I actually wanted acts-of-service validation/love as opposed to words because the words were useless and untrue. But my lying scum only did acts of service in the beginning – the great trick. He would not go to the doctor with me, though he is whiny baby and I always went with him. He professed undying love for me, the whole absurd soul-mate love, over the top love, bla bla bla, vomit vomit vomit, gag. Do you think if he loved me, he might have actually cared to go with me to the doctor to find results of serious medical tests? Hmm…. I wonder. I’m gonna go with Ya, Ya, I think if someone loved you that person might actually care if you have a serious illness or not. Thank God/Goddess I have loving friends and family who always offer to go with me to the doctor. And I am fine.

    May I contribute this to the Stupid Things Cheaters Say (unless you think it will harm any of the Chumps because I do not want to harm them and it is not necessary to be repeated if it will): “I had shingles on my ass.” He did not have shingles on his ass, or shingles on his dick. He had herpes and he did not tell me and he risked my health and lied about his in order to enjoy unprotected sex with me and others. I found out later he had herpes after he admitted cheating, sobbed, begged forgiveness, professed his undying love, and agreed to get medical tests. He got the tests and they confirmed he had herpes but they also established he had herpes all along and did not get it from the confessed cheating encounter. He lied, because he is a lying cheating scum. I did not get herpes or any STD from lying scum and I am ever grateful for that.

    I tried to get past the disclosed cheating that he referred to as a “one-night stand,” which was somehow supposed to be less bothersome to me than an on-going affair. It was in my opinion worse. If it even happened which I will never know because this narcissist lying scum actually thinks, I think, that saying another woman wanted him and did him is somehow a positive attribute. I think he believes it makes him more valuable, as opposed to defective and lacking all integrity.

    I did not do what you call the pick-me-dance. But what I did do is get really really stuck for several years. I have been breaking up with this lying cheater for years. First, I kicked him out of my house. No. Wait. Let me be accurate. He threatened to move out if I did not immediately correct some perceived injustice to him. I declined the invitation to correct the purported wrong and told him to go. We still saw each other though for years and years. I thought, of course, that it was exclusive because that is what the lying cheater said. Ultimately, he cheated on me again and I guess he simultaneously cheated on the new woman/women with me. No thanks.

    But stuck I stayed even though I had not seen him for months. Then I actually tried to be friends. Hello? Why would I want to be friends with a lying cheating scum? The attempted friendship was not good or healthy for me and included marriage proposals by him though he is now with other women, or so he says. We were engaged previously but that ended on D-Day 1 because I am pretty sure engagement means both parties agree not to fck others. If I am wrong about that, please advise.

    Chump Lady, praise to you (and the blogging chumps) because you all got me unstuck. I absolutely believed 100% until reading your blog on Hope that this scum and I would someday in the very distant future — years and years from now — settle into a happy, calm, loving, reciprocating, doctor-attending, married old couple. Say What? I believe in hope. I did not view hope as the enemy. I do now, at least where he is concerned. I thank you. Thank you. I would have stayed stuck forever.

    My recovery and Onward Movement finally began (7 years later) when I read your blog a few weeks ago. It is sometimes lonely even though I did not see this person often, because he used to call and text and bla bla with how much he loves me. Ya? One more time – don’t you think if he loved me, he would have gone with me to the hospital where a very scary eel lived in a tank? I was afraid of that eel and he knew it and he would not go. Hell, I would have strangled the damn eel for anyone of my friends. I would have personally bitten its head off if need be. But no, this scum could not be bothered to go to the doctor with me. I think the last time he told me he couldn’t go because he had a television to plug in. Adios fck head.

    Obviously, I have work to do on me for thinking this nightmare was “love.” I have blocked him. He contacts me sometimes under new email addresses. I do not open them. I do not read them. But I did see the first line of these emails.

    I’ll end with this: The last email said, “Call me please. The universe is at stake.” That’s the only part I saw. Hey Chump Lady, do you think the universe is at stake if I don’t call this lying narcissist cheater?

    I believe in Happy Endings. And I will rewrite the ending of my life without this lying cheating scum. And one way or another, perhaps totally unexpected and unforeseen, I will live happily ever after.

    • Absolutely, Colors. This was my first reaction—and that is a FOO issue all our very own to deal with. My cheater didn’t cause that feeling—my parents did. Raised by two Narcissists, with two ruined siblings ahead of me—I didn’t stand a chance. Nothing was good enough. Why can’t you be more like your older sister, she’s the pretty one, the smart one, the one who is going places. On and on.

      Then Sociopath came along and targeted all of those ingrained insecurities. “It’s you and me against all of them, Sphinx.” “Don’t listen to them, listen only to me. I will love you like they never could. I will be your family…cut them loose.” “Don’t worry. I understand and love you and will always love you for you.”

      I had no other choice but to believe in him, trust him—because he was acting in a way that my own family SHOULD have acted, but didn’t. I was desperate for someone, ANYONE to see that I was loveable. I was worth it. I’m a person with feelings and needs and dreams.

      Sociopaths hone in on people like us, Colors. It’s how they’re wired. It’s horrible, but they take everything—every need, every dream, every desire—and they twist it to where all you believe you can rely on….is them. And then the isolation starts, the subtle abuse–maybe verbal, maybe they push you around a little, maybe they withhold money or sex or time. It’s all subtle. Crazymaking.

      In the end, it’s the humiliation…driving home that old belief that if your own family couldn’t love you—maybe you really ARE unlovable.

      YOU ARE LOVABLE, Colors. The fact of the matter is—just because biology connects you, that doesn’t make a family into something healthy. There are fathers who molest daughters. There are mothers who drown their kids. There are siblings that steal from you and physically harm you. BIOLOGY means nothing. So….their OPINIONS mean nothing. They don’t love you? Well, that’s on THEM, not you.

      So your Sociopath Cheater doesn’t love you? That’s on THEM, not you. You loved with your whole heart and you chose from the barbed wire monkey pile. You get yourself into therapy and deal with the issues that haunt you—and I guarantee your picker will improve. Next time, you won’t fall for someone who learns all of your weaknesses and then preys upon them like a predator.

      You are lovable. You are worthy. You are going to make someone really, really lucky to be with you—for the simple fact that you have the ability to open yourself up and love them honestly and without reservation.

      Do you know how rare that is in this world?

      • Stunning, SphinxMoth, superbly stunning!! I sure hope Colors is as encouraged by your reply as I am.

        Hang Tough, Colors. So glad you found your way here.

        Love to all of ChumpNation!

        ForgeOn, all ya all!

  • I’m stuck! I found out the infidelity went on for 14 months, unprotected, through the unexpected death of my mother, pregnancy of our third child, and even after his birth. It ended before I found out because her husband found out first and eventually told me. The first few people I mentioned it to are older and wiser and said I should stay. However, since I’ve encountered many friends who say they support whatever decision would make me happy. The idea of staying makes me feel like I could never possibly feel happy bc I have an idealized idea of the happy couple I want to be half of… On the other hand, we have three children and I don’t want to screw up their lives. My counselor, who is focused on Christian values and counsels me on staying, makes me feel like Although I can’t see it, I will gain happiness again. “DH” has been baptized, tries to do everything right and whatever is needed to make amends. He’s the perfect husband NOW, but I don’t care anymore cuz I feel like I’ll never have that hope for our marriage that I once did. What should I do?

    • J,

      So sorry you are going through this.

      First, you need to take care of yourself. Stand back, and breathe. Your confusion is palpable, and completely understandable. We all here have gone through it.

      Second. You know that he had this 14 month long affair—unprotected sex with this woman. You need to be tested for STDs, HIV and Hepatitis. Period. No waffling on this, and DO NOT take his word for her “cleanliness”. Please, just do it.

      Third. I can see what you’re doing here–you are asking friends, colleagues, counselors, “others” what you should do about YOUR life situation.

      I’m not going to beat up on you, because a good number of us have done this too–looked elsewhere for answers. “Please tell me what I should do!”

      Okay, what if I told you, in my opinion, based on my experience with my cheater—what you should do. Would you do it? Of course not. I wouldn’t expect you to, either. Your situation is unique to you.

      You’ve already answered one of the most important questions—do you feel safe in this relationship? NO.

      “He’s acting like the perfect husband, NOW…” Yes, it’s what they do. Did he voluntarily admit to his affair? No. He was busted and outed by the AP’s husband. In other words…this would have gone on ad infinitum until either you found out on your own somehow (see STD above, or possibly AP pregnancy, or possibly hubby just walking out one day with no explanation, or crazy AP stalking you because she’s getting impatient).

      You do understand that, right? HE DID NOT TELL YOU OF HIS OWN FREE ACCORD. Someone had to out him.

      He profoundly disrespected you in the most repellant way a man could—he was having unprotected sex with another woman WHILE YOU WERE PREGNANT WITH HIS CHILD. There is a circle of hell all special for guys that do things like cheat on pregnant wives.

      At the end of the day—these people “advising” you are not living your life. They do not live with cheater, they do not sleep with cheater, they do not reside inside your mind or your heart. YOU are the only one that can decide for you what it is that you will or will not tolerate.

      The “idealized” relationship—sweetheart, I hate to tell you, but that doesn’t exist. Everyone has problems. Your problems may be unbearable to me and I may have things in my life that seem tolerable that you would just run screaming from. It’s all individual perspective.

      But what you have to decide is what you want in your life. Do you trust this man? Is he doing the hard work—therapy, post-nup, complete transparency, allowing you to vent your anger and grief without irritation, sleeping on the sofa until YOU are ready—all of those things are needed in order for him to even attempt to remedy this situation. And even then, you have nobody to tell you that you MUST FORGIVE and take him back. This is up to you.

      Your kids already live in a broken home, like CL said in a blogpost the other day. There is no trust and your husband is scrambling because he got caught with his pants around his ankles with a MARRIED affair partner. She probably is dancing pretty for her husband in order to stay in that relationship….which leaves your husband without kibbles. Uh oh. Can’t have that.

      All of a sudden, you are the most important thing, right? You and the kids are “everything”, right? He won’t ever do anything so hurtful again, right? Sound familiar? Because we ALL have heard this from our cheaters. ALL OF US.

      If you were “everything”—he would never have slept with another woman for FOURTEEN MONTHS, unprotected, lying to your face every single day, allowing you to go through a pregnancy with him diddling this woman—he would have been THERE FOR YOU. He had to be outed. That says EVERYTHING to me.

      I would stop listening to everyone else and listen to my own heart.

      See a lawyer. This shit is real, not some fairytale. He said he’s sorry. Great. Get a post-nup that protects you if he ever cheats again.

      Get yourself and your kids into therapy—get husband into IC and you both into MC if you can stomach it. You get to ask the tough questions until he gets so tired of repeating the same answers—and he gives them with a smile on his face.

      Start combing through phone records (although, underground is probably where this affair has gone. secret cellphones are popular. $15 at walmart.) He gets no lock on his phone, or his computer. All of his passwords are now given to you. You get to put a keylogger on all computers. You get to put a GPS on his phone and in his car.

      Look at credit card statements. Those can tell you a lot.

      You want someone to tell you what to do—and the advice that you’re getting from friends and counselors is “forgive and forget, it’s the Christian thing to do”—-um….nowhere in the Bible does it say that you have to forgive an adulterer. In fact, adultery is one of the ONLY reasons that the Bible gives as a way out of a marriage.

      Read CL—so many of us here know from experience. PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR KIDS. This is a man who could come home every single day for 14 months and lie to your face. Remember that. Remember his behavior during those months—did it seem aberrant? No? Then how do you know he’s not lying now?

      You don’t. That’s the problem. You will never trust him again. Is that okay with you?

      Good luck to you, J. Stay here with Chump Nation. Read. Step back and evaluate what’s important to you.

      • SphinxMoth,
        This is my first time posting in a place like this so please understand my lack of knowledge on how to do this if it’s wrong.

        I loved your input you gave J. I’m wondering what your thoughts would be to my situation. Here it is:

        My husband and I have been married 20 years. I cheated on him 3 times in the beginning of our marriage and he forgave me -he never threw it up in my face and the 3rd time was it for me-I got counseling even though he didn’t ask me to and I never strayed again. I saw what a huge mistake I had made and I wanted to be better and be a good wife/person. Yes I suck and I’m probably getting what I deserve for it now.
        In April my husband came to me and said he was unhappy. I thought it was a talk where one says you work too much I’m not happy and the other says you nag too much lets work on it but I was wrong because a few more weeks pass and he then tells me he doesn’t love me anymore. He had started playing a game called GMe of War. To the point of obsession and my 16 year old even said “dad why don’t you spend some time with us and put that away-it was bad”
        I ask him if there is someone else and he says no. I was floored by the news that he didn’t love me because I thought we were doing ok all except I had been going through some ups and downs hormone wise with perimenopause for about 6 months.

        A friend and my sister both tell me to check phone records but I hesitate a week or so until things I see and feel (now that its brought to my attention) are just not right. And I find it. The one number they said would stick out. There it was from 11pm-4am many times over and over and through the day while he was suppose to be working for hours on end (he owns his own business). I find out she lives in another state and he met her through this game. They have face timed through iPhone and talked but haven’t met -yet.

        I ask him to stop talking to her and he says no that she’s only a friend and it’s
        Not fair to him because she gives him advice about our marriage etc. We went to therapy (I had asked for therapy a couple times in our marriage and he would never do it until now) he lied to the therapist and when I found out the truth I called him out on it in therapy and he ended up never going back. More time passes and I find out they have phone sex I kick him out. He comes back and I take him back a few days later. Then I overhear him say he loved her a month later (at this point they had only been talking 3.5 months and never met in person) and I throw him out again. He stays gone a day (at another home we own) and comes back. He tells me she means nothing he’s just talking to her until she finds someone to make her feel good. His complaint about me is that I was never loving (I’m not a real touchy feely person and remember I’m moody with hormones at times) he uses the hormone trouble to say I’m unstable and he never knows when I will blow up. (Deferring blame) so it comes time for our annual family vacation and it’s 10 days. He decides he isn’t going. Instead he is going to spend 5 of those days in this woman’s state but he says she won’t be there she’s away and he’s only going for the amusement park (yes I see the lie already). I hire a PI and track him and he is with her as soon as his plane lands. They immediately hold hands and act as though they have known one another a lifetime-they go back to the hotel and go up to the room and according to the PI they stay so long the PI didn’t want to waste my money any longer so he left. He doesn’t call me or the kids those 5 days. He flies home and meets us at our vacation place. His parents are there with me they had just arrived before him. He acts different now like he cares for me again he is acting like when we dated 20 years ago. He says she just showed up (a miracle) that she wasn’t away after all. When I ask if he plans to see her again he said “I don’t know, maybe” after a few days we go to dinner and I bring her up after a couple drinks and I’m feeling no pain. He gets very mad and his nice guy attitude toward me is now gone and stays gone. We go home a day or so later. He’s distant.

        He signs a rental lease around that time (but doesn’t leave yet) and also makes arrangements for our annual family trip to Disney for thanksgiving week …..without me. By this point I have lost 20 pounds and I’m a shell. It’s not until weeks later I find out he has also made the arrangements with her name and her daughters name on everything except the hotel room.

        In august we tell the kids we are separating. 4 months have passed since he told me he was unhappy. He moves out the same day we tell the kids. Except he still comes by when he wants to. I’m too afraid to make him leave because I have been a stay at home mom for 16 years. I don’t have a degree or money. He controls what money goes in to my
        Account and I don’t have access to his accounts. I’m saving money for a lawyer but it’s slow going plus I have to see a few and they didn’t have free consults.

        The kids and I go on best we can. It’s hard for me having a 16 year old and a 6 year old . The little one is still very dependent. She consumes my time and the situation consumes my energy – I’ve now lost 40 pounds.

        Since being gone he hasn’t slowed down talking to her and has seen her now twice total. He begins to tell me there is hope then there is no hope and I understand this is his way of getting sex. He’s nice to me when he wants to have sex afterwards he casts me aside and is cold to me until he wants it again- yes I have since been tested for STDs. I find out he tells her things like they will have a future together and even plans to bring her here in the summer.

        He tells me he wa ya to see a therapist on his own. He feels he may be a bad person/father. So He sees a psychiatrist then a therapist. He says the psychiatrist didn’t diagnose him with anything (our marriage counselor said before we stopped going that my hisband has strong narcissistic traits- I’m not shocked)

        The man I knew is now a compulsive liar. Everyone is shocked with him he seems to have had a mental breakdown- it’s beyond a mid life crisis he really seems different through all this. One day I get paperwork in the mail and it’s a bill for a vasectomy he’s had – for her. I had my tubes tied with our last baby. He sees her again for a 3rd time. He begins to tell me he is seeing his therapist to find out if he wants to stay married to me ir divorce- I finally get enough money to pay the lawyer I decided on. Because of all our property and all our IRS debt that I was unaware of this is going to be a slow process (divorce) because now I need a forensic accountant because he is not truthful with what he makes and I’m u aware of stocks he has (in this time he removes 14,000 from stocks I didn’t know we had to his bank account) he pays for her daughters college tuition for a semester and the other daughter gets gifts and the other woman gets flowers and gifts. Meanwhile I’m selling his crap to save for an accountant.

        Ok so here is where it stands. At times I feel strong. At times I feel I can leave and I want to leave. I just this week told him I’m ready to let him go because I see he doesn’t want me. Yesterday he gets me alone. We talk. He says he’s trying to work it out by seeing a therapist. He big issue he says is still my mood swings ( I don’t see these swings and he rarely talks to me except when he is looking for sex) he tells me he misses me (a first) and misses the kids. He says he is upset over going to Disney without me and insists he has cancelled her reservations (I don’t believe it of course). Last week he told our son he has a “friend who
        Is a girl” she helps talk to him about what’s going on and mom doesnt like her or that he talks to her. My son isnt stupid he’s 16. He refuses to go to Disney and wants to stay home with me. While alone with my husband he says he is depressed we all aren’t going together and I say BS me and the kids have asked repeatedly for you to include me or just cancel the trip while you can get a refund. He says his therapist tells him to still go- and to not include me because if I go and have a mood swing and it causes him these anxiety attacks he feels he will have no where to go to get away from it (I don’t believe this). So after crying and him moving in for the kill while I’m weak and crying he is holding me -we begin to kiss and he tries to take my clothes off I ask him to take me home. He sits back down and talks more. We end up having sex. I’m weak and pathetic and I feel I have yet again lost my strength and my respect for myself. He has not apologized -he rarely apologizes to anyone for anything and he hasn’t accepted any of the blame. And yes yesterday he was kind and sweet and full of hope that it could get better and today he was not around except to text. When I say things like you can’t have both of us (which he is already getting) he replies in a way that I hear at the moment but right now I couldn’t tell you what he said.

        I feel confused- constantly. I’ve lost 65 pounds through all this. I’m scared and I don’t have family to turn to for help my sister lives too far away for me to take the kids and my friend does too. I know I’m weak around him. At times I feel like I have battered wife syndrome (my therapist says I have post traumatic relationship disorder) because I keep going back to him hoping he will wake up. But then I ask myself will you ever be able to believe him again? I don’t think so. After all this I still feel I love him how do I turn that off? How do women just shut that off and move on? How don’t move on? Where does that strength come from and how don’t keep it? My friend says I will get to a point that the sound of his voice will make me sick but have doubts.

        Thanks for your time. I’m sorry this is so long I just wanted to get it out.

        • Wondering, im sorry I couldn’t read your whole story. You sound like my wife!

          So you cheated three times FIRST THING and now after 20 years of mistrust you’re this upset that he talks to another woman on the phone, in another state? How cute!!

          Sounds to me that you’re reeping what you’ve sown

  • i was married for 16 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started hailing me and he was abusive..but i still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost?then he filed for divorce..my whole life was turning apart and i didn’t know what to do..he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster?so i decided to try it reluctantly..although i didn’t believe in all those things? then when he did the special prayers and spell, after 24 HOURS, my husband came back and was pleading..he had realized his mistakes..i just couldn’t believe it.. anyways we are back together now and we are happy..in case anyone needs this man, his email address prophetsalifu// at// gmail// dot // com OR
    prophetsalifu// at// yahoo// dot // com, his spells is for a better life.

  • I am in this boat right now. Debating on whether to leave or not. My husband cheated on me last year while we were planning our wedding with one of his co-workers. So, technically he was my fiance’ at the time and he confessed to me one month before the wedding. I forgave him and went on with the wedding but getting info out of him regarding the affair was like pulling teeth and I knew there was more to the story. Sure enough come that December she calls him late at night and I answered, grilled her as well and I found out more. Then a few days I checked onto my Facebook messages which I never check and she happened to message me the night he confessed to me at the exact time as well. Apparently, they let each other know that I was told and not only that but continued speaking even days after the D-Day. Not only that but she had the nerve to message me again a month after claiming that she needed to speak to my husband ASAP and for me to let him know. I have struggled so much with this and do not know what to do anymore. I mean I do but it is so hard to leave because this wasn’t my choice but I know that I cannot be with him. I am so down on this. Thank you in advance for your responses! xxx

  • Finally my family member kicked out her cheating POS husband!!!! Liar! Thief! Porn abuser! Womanizer! Scum low-life! Took her 20 years, two foreclosures, 2 kids later, 3x him cheating, 2 bankruptcies, almost one woman he lied up contemplating suicide, credit card issues, fraud, friendships lost, & lots of hurt feelings for her to finally realize she was married to a user, abuser, con man, malignant narcisstic jerkoff!

  • This is so true…Is it lunacy to be married to someone for twenty years, know that they have had years long relationships and many one night stands during that time, yet still insist that they will change? That somehow, he will realize just how wrong he has been. Even though he admits he is not, and never was truly “in love” with his wife…It’s like a Mihaela thing…Some would say it’s hope, I say it’s merely stupidity…But yet, now, he’s been caught again… in an nearly four year relationship…I just have to shake my head…..How is it that anyone can believe it when he says “I was wrong, and I will change.” UGH

  • I’m stuck with a cheating wife. Four months ago she told me she wanted a separation. This after she rekindled a “friendship” with a man whom I came to find out she had previously had an unrequited crush on in high school. She told me they were meeting. At first, I thought it was a woman because this guy has the same name as her mother, and I wasn’t really listening. (I’m not perfect). Soon it dawned on me that this was a man and I told her no way. They got together anyway. They started texting. At some point she probably started to tell him what a miserable sob I was and how neglected she felt, etc., and this scumbag OM saw his chance and moved. Instead of being honest with me, she lied about the nature of their relationship, even though I knew what she was doing (she wasn’t good at hiding it) and knew it had developed into an emotional affair. Finally she told me she wanted to separate, just after I called her out on her texting this guy. I immediately knew what was happening, but she insisted it was because of the marriage and not this OM. BULLSHIT! She may have been unhappy in the marriage (she was, and we had issues, don’t we all), but instead of being honest with me, telling me she was having feelings about this man, working to address them together as husband and wife, she decides to have an affair. We separated, but I continue to live in the house, albeit part time. I was also out of work because our separation meant I could no longer work at the store we started together. So not only am out of a family and a wife (and potentially soon a home), I’m out of a job! I became desperately depressed. Stopped sleeping and eating (have lost 40 lbs so far), and she didn’t even seem to notice or care. All my attempts at reason fell on deaf ears. I repeatedly accused her of cheating and she denied it. I made every mistake in the book! Made me look like a pathetic, pitiful loser… I’m sure she and her OM were laughing about it the entire time. What a doormat! But I clung to HOPE. Man HOPE is your worst enemy in this experience. Absolutely. Three months later my wife attempts a reconciliation which turned out to be false. I knew it would immediately because she refused to sever contact with him. But I held out because of HOPE. Those 2 weeks were complete torture. When I found the condoms in her purse it was almost a relief (she lied about that too and was angry at me for invading her privacy! Cheater logic). Now a month later we still live together, she’s still fucking this guy, and pretending we’re a happy family while I’m dying inside. I don’t even know who she is anymore. All my anger and resentment has turned into sadness and disgust. I can’t even look at her anymore (and she’s very attractive, so that’s saying something). I want to spend time with my son but I feel like I have to get past her to do it. She looks at me like an obligation, she said as much. Meanwhile she’s “in love” with this new guy… yeah right. I went along for awhile trying to be superman hoping she would take notice (the “pick me dance”). Well, I can’t make her stop cheating any more than I made her cheat in the first place. These people take a departure from reality, reason, and accountability when they cheat. Those are the first things to go out the window. Then rationalization and denial come in. Then blaming the spouse by using self-confirmation bias. The list goes on and on. In the end, they are cheaters, and they are in cheater land now, which has nothing to do with everyday reality. Which is you having your life torn apart, destroyed, and them looking at you every time you open your mouth like, “now what. My boyfriend is so much easier to get along with than you. Will you please just go away? But don’t forget to pay your 1/2 of the mortgage. Why are you angry when I leave my pussy shaver and my sexy lingerie out in the bathroom? You’re too sensitive.” etc. By the way, my wife was cheated on by her first husband and, according to her, “it nearly killed her.” But she’s Mother Theresa because unlike her 1st husband, she’s simply not walking away and never speaking to me again. Like that’s a blessing. She wants me to be friends with her, but I’m finding I can’t be friends with her because she’s no longer the woman I love but a torturer. Again, cheaters never stop to think about all the lives they are affecting or the damage they are doing. Some do wake up and realize, but most don’t. If they didn’t have the capacity to bury the guilt and rationalize and deny their extreme narcissism and entitlement they wouldn’t have cheated in the first place.

  • Want to know how badly a cheater feels about cheating? Google “cheater guilt” and visit the exactly THREE or FOUR websites or blogs that address this. End of story.

  • Forgiveness is the releasing of someone from debt. You can still be angry, not talk to them, avoid them…all that.

    It doesn’t mean “Oh well, I forgive you – it’s all under the rug.” NO!!!! That’s societies version of “forgiveness”. That’s not biblical OR correct forgiveness!!!!

    My husband financially cheated on me…BADLY….AGAIN and sadly…once more on top of that by lying.

    I forgive him, but I’m also serving him divorce papers after our baby is born. (Surprise). I’m not going to talk down to him, or treat him like garbage. I will distribute no justice from my end. That’s forgiveness…the true meaning of the word.

    If a friend was late picking you up for work 2 or 3 times, you would forgive them right? But would you trust them to pick you up again? NO. You would drive yourself or take a bus! They have proven untrustworthy. Trusting them again is foolish!

    You won’t hate them as a person or go slash their tires…you will simply say “you screwed up…but I am going to take the bus now. I forgive you, don’t offer to pick me up again – the answer is no”.

    So yes, forgive your spouse….write a list of every wrong and every hurt they caused you. Look at it, feel it, and cry. Have the courage to tell your spouse “You wronged me…this is the debts you owe, but I release you of them and forgive you.” Release those debts (forgive), and start your life new. That’s biblical and true forgiveness!!!! It’s harder than hanging on.

  • Hi there,

    I realize that this article was targeted towards women, but I am hoping that I can receive some advice.

    My wife and I have been married for coming up on 10 years and have two awesome kids (ages 9 and 7).

    About 5 years ago my wife had an affair with her boss, which ended because I found out about it. We did some couples counselling and she joined a church for the next few years.

    Fast forward to 2016 and I find out about her doing some ‘online flirting’ that had some innuendo elements in it. We go do some more counselling. And now more recently I find out that she has been talking to another male co-worker about her dissatisfaction with me — and that these conversations have been taking place over the last year.

    We had a ‘come to Jesus’ type of meeting at lunch where she promised that she will do the hard work required to make the marriage work (this is after her disclosing to me that she was having conversations with her co-worker). I agreed to let her have a chance.

    Then a few days later, while watching a family movie my son (who is seven) blurts out that he watched a specific movie with this same fellow that my wife has been talking to. Turns out that he had come over for a movie in a Friday night the day after I had left for a two day trip. She never mentioned this to me.

    Now — my wife maintains that nothing physical had happened in any of those situations. She says the only affair that she’s had is the one that we had dealt with.

    She’s now begging that I stay… that we focus on the family and kids… and that she will go get counselling and that she will be forever faithful to me.

    Any suggestions in regards for what I should do? What is best for the kids?

    • Precious Dadof2,

      Welcome to the Nation no one wants to belong to! However, you have found THE best place to navigate the s___ storm your wife has created. When this is the crap you have to deal with, this Nation is the best place to get realistic, logical, rational and life-saving advice that works!

      “…….. where she promised that she will do the hard work required to make the marriage work”
      “……..and that she will be forever faithful to me.”

      Really?! I hope that you will look thru ChumpLady’s fine assessment of such spew! Tracy has already put these two pieces of bulls__t thru the Universal BullS___ Translator.

      Bottom line, Dadof2, your ‘wife’ has already shown you who she is, that she will not keep these promises. Remember, she made these very same promises on your Wedding Day! She has already broken them repeatedly, so what makes you think has any intention of keeping them now?

      More counseling?! If counseling was going to help her change for the better, she would have already done it. You have been through at least 2 rounds of counseling and her attitude & actions have not changed.

      What is best for your children is for you to show them that cheating, lying and breaking promises are deal-breakers. Be the sane parent!

      Oh, and the other piece of bs that we faithful spouses heard sooooo often: “She says the only affair that she’s had is the one that we had dealt with”

      Unfortunately, affairs are all too often like cockroaches—where you see one, there’s many more you don’t see. Her track record speaks for itself.

      “We had a ‘come to Jesus’ type of meeting…..” mmm, yea…..Cheaterpants in my situation was an Ordained Minister ( Booted out now, of course)
      Words mean nothing / Actions say it all…..Living a Godly life, according to the pattern Jesus set, is something one just does as a free-will choice; it is not a matter of merely saying they will because they have been called out on their s__ for the 10th / 20th / 100th time!

      And I understand why you have given her many chances. I gave cheatepants years of chances, so I am not belittling your attempts at reconciliation. Been there / Done that…….{{{Hugs}}}

      You can do it!! ForgeOn with this Nation….We have your back

    • Dadof2, welcome. To the club noone wants to join. Your best bet is to post in the forum under General. The older posts are usually active for a few days but then sort of die down although I keep going back to many. I was subscribed to receive new posts to this one and saw your message.

      I think your wife is not honest with you. She has not fully disclosed the information about this new guy. How many more blurts will you have to receive to believe the truth? I did wait for over 10 years. Hopium is a terrible friend. After all you have been together she had to be completely transparent with you. You, finding out she was talking to other men about you and the relationship? This should not have happened. Period. She does not value you or the relationship she has with you.

      Post in the forum. Peace to you.

    • Hi dad of two, I’m mom of 3 and in the EXACT same situation as you. (Except my husband is “the boss”).

      I can give you a bit of insight. If she was sorry for what she did, she would have disclosed EVERYTHING to you BEFORE anything bad had a chance to happen. Not only that, she would be able to talk to you about coworkers getting a bit too friendly, who wants to come over to the home, and be totally open with her cell phone, internet and facebook accounts. (Everyone here knows – secrets breeds problems!)

      You had a STRANGER come over to your house, without you knowing who they were WHILE your children were present…AND SHE DIDN’T TELL YOU.

      Let that sink in Dadof2.

      Someone else was around your kids.

      You can either – make your wife tell you who this person was, make her give you his phone number and you call him. (and ask what happened) OR you can get a lawyer (without telling her).

      Dadof2….she’s not going to change. I’m sorry. Information shouldn’t trickle in after something already happened a week ago. You should know about things BEFORE they occur. “Hey Dadof2, this guy at work – you won’t believe he was hitting on me! How can I deal with this, what should I do?!” and work to solve such problems before they balloon into secret movie night with the kids.

      BTW – She was seeing him A LOOONG time before. No one…not 1 man would meet with kids unless he has been talking or seeing the mom for awhile. Just my 2 cents. I’m sorry for the pain you’re going through, but trust me – it gets better.

      -SunnyFlowers

  • Help me please I feel the same way and I don’t want that hope. What do I do? How do I get rid of this hope? I feel so stuck and hurt. Please someone help me I don’t know where else to put my hope. Do I need any Deliverance for healing? I am not divorced yet. I started to go through a divorce but backed out. I really need someone’s help I don’t know who to turn to or what kind of help I need? Please someone help me figure this out?

    • Hi Christine,
      Why did you back out of the divorce? Maybe you are not ready for that step yet. Think of all the pain he has put you through. Do you want to continue living with that??

      If you post on a current days topic you are more likely to have people reading your cry for help.

  • after having read this i realized i had to make a decision that i have convinced myself for 6 years was difficult. i had morphed myself into the person i thought was ideal in a relationship. i lost all my friends and my family kept on telling me he was no good but i held on to the hope , i thought i could change him , i believed he only LOVED ME and the rest of the women were just infatuations.

    i moved my two girls and i without informing him , took the car i bought that he drove these women in , went to the club with and stayed out all night with and sold it , i cleared the debt the left me in. the first week i hated sleeping alone , i cried in-front of the mirror and let the pain the out and now i am living the life i always envisioned. i am not fighting over the TV remote with anyone , i am not broke ,i can actually do my hair and look good without being ridiculed and my girls and i are happier because i am not depressed.
    choosing to forgive him for me was also the best decision i made and in order for my heart to heal , i dont hold a grudge and i am not angry , i am just disappointed that he prefers hopping from one woman to the next.

  • We have been married for 20 years. 4 children. There have been suspicions since early on in our marriage, but nothing concrete that I could prove or that could prove anything to me, until…I found that a female coworker was texting him early in the morning and late at night. He even wrote her a letter about how upset he was that she invited some other guy to her birthday party (a party I didn’t even know he went to.) He had lied to me about that night, saying it was a work function. I had three young children and a baby at home. He admitted to going to her house once, just for a beer, going out to lunch with her twice (as friends only) and going to this party which he swears I misinterpreted the letter. He tore it up soon after. He admits to flirting with her but claims they were only friends and he didn’t want to tell me about her because he knew I’d be jealous. This was a woman he use to tell me he wanted me to meet, “that I’d really like her.” Turns out… I didn’t really like her at all. That was 11 years ago. Then there was the dating lines that he called. One morning I turned on our printer and vajayjay shots printed out….. Not mine. He still claims to this day that the calls were never sexual, that he never talked sex on the dating line he was just looking for companionship and the vagina shots well, he’s a guy and she offered. He convinced me that the was just looking for attention… I was so busy with the kids and didn’t WANT him, only needed him and he needed to be wanted. We went to therapists…things got better. I tried harder at our relationship. He “stopped looking elsewhere.” But I was still suspicious….Two years after his emotional affair, I had a sinking feeling. He had a new job that required him to stay in hotels overnight for work. My sister-in-law called me to tell me that she heard him telling her husband that he had a chick in hotel room. I confronted him. I lied. I told him I recorded the event but some of the recording was fuzzy. He admitted to having a girl stay the night, but only because she was drunk and he felt bad kicking her out. They slept in the bed together, only slept. He admitted that she offered him sex but he refused. Therapists again…… therapy just for me and couples therapy for us both. Things have been very estranged for the past few years, but I have been hopeful…look at me the monkey clinging to that barbed wire. We went to his work party….me with a sprained ankle. I sat at the table in the main dining hall where the band was playing. He flitted in and out talking to coworkers and drinking. When we got home. He had a picture in his back pants pocket at the photo booth of him and one of the co-workers he did not introduce me to. They looked pretty damn cozy. He says he doesn’t know her. He was drunk. He isn’t sure what happened. I feel like a complete idiot. He says he only wants to be with me. He swears the picture means nothing. He doesn’t know her, he doesn’t remember taking it. He swears he has been faithful. I feel crazy and devasted and seriously unbelievably godamn hopeful. What is wrong with me? I can’t prove anything concrete, yet I feel like I have never been enough for him, or that he needs that thrill of deceit. I know that sometimes things are not what they seem. I just want someone to be real and honest and love me with the commitment that I give to them. I want to call this woman and ask her if she knows my husband. I just want to know what is true, so I can know what I have and whether I want to stay or leave.

    • Faith,

      I like your name. Have faith in yourself only, not in your cheater husband. As soon as you do, things will fall into places.

      Firstly, welcome to the Chump Nation, a place noone wants to be part of but also a safe place for millions like you and me. Glad you found this site. Please come back here and read often. What helped me realize and see the truth was reading so many similar stories from people all over the world. Writing and sharing my story also helped. When you put things in writing and then read what you wrote yourself, you realise the absurdity of your situation and the fog is lifted. You realise you have been projecting your own values, feelings, committment onto a person that has none of those and you suddenly see through him/her.

      And also, this is an old post, a very valuable one which I read and re-read many times. But people usually comment on current posts. So please come back, share your story, there will be many chumps eager and ready to help.

      Unfortunately, you just described my life with my STBX. I also started feeling pretty early on that things were off. There were discoveries but they were “not sufficient” to prove anything and he always blamed me in being needy, jealous, and with no time for him. I took up that blame and he flirted right and left in front of me. When I asked him to stop he would say that ” I wanted to control him or keep him away from people.”

      I never thought he would cheat and lie to me. Not because there were no opportunities – those were plenty and he is a handsome, smart, charismatic SOB. But I always thought he was the man of integrity. I was certain that if he ever wanted out he would come and say so to my face. Well, let me tell you, that I absolutely did not know the man I was married to for 13 years. That was the hardest pill to swallow – realizing he is not what you thought he was. Admitting your own shitty choice and people’s assessment skills. Placing so much trust in a person that has been stabbing you in the back, then turning around and saying he wanted to be with you only.

      Even after I got all the proof, he kept lying untilone day he confessed it all. A long term affair partner and multiple sex swings here and there. And even after that I wanted to reconcile with him. I committed myself to a renewed relationship which here is called “pick me dance”. Two blussful months later I found another proof.

      My only regret now is that I did not trust my intuition and gut screaming at various points throughout our marriage. All because, as you say, I wanted to love and be loved and in a commutted relationship. But I was clinging onto illusion. It was the most painful period of my life, but it’s so much better on the other side. You will get there. Have fairh in yourself, Faith.

      Hugs

    • I am so sorry for you-you feel trapped, afraid, Di you want to leave him if he has been cheating? Then you will have to find out. Tell, don’t ask, him that you want him to arrange a lunch with his DELIGHTFUL friend(S).. Guaranteed their body language will tell what you need to know. OR he will refuse-and that too will tell you plenty.

  • These are all quite true. The worst is hope. Such a lovable thing, hope. I am about finished with hope. I feel stupid. I never believe him. I just hope it won’t be true. I hope he will grow up. He won’t. I replied to a comment before I wrote this and stated that I was afraid to be alone, and that’s true, but I also said that I’m not beautiful anymore, and that’s not true, he just wants me to feel that way. He looks like a fool peacocking around, drunk at almost any time after 3 pm, and feeling so smug. I am embarrassed that he has cheated on me so many times, and who he chooses is just bizarre, but I should be embarrassed when he is not cheating on me, too. I should not be proud to walk in anywhere with this person who is so fond of himself as to not be ashamed of his character flaws. I’m feeling empowered also, and while there are not a lot of people describing alcoholic, middle aged men with cheating ways and fragil egos, in their dating wish profiles, there are probably quite a few who would want a woman like me!

  • Looks like I’m the BIGLY chump. Four weeks before our 50th wedding anniversary my husband told me he had cheated once, then it became 3 times then it became 5 times ….well you get the picture. If you have the gut feeling that something is wrong BELIEVE it. I felt that 25 years into our marriage and asked him point blank if he was having an affair, it just felt like it. Of course along with so many other lies he denied it for another 25 years. The reason he gives for finally telling me, he couldn’t stand to see me suffer (asking him over and over if he was cheating). What a guy, huh? I don’t know how many others there were but my gut tells me many more. As said so wisely in the above comment ” at least now I know” and for that I am thankful. Marriage over, children devastated but strong, we will recover.

    • It is just amazing how this thread keeps going!

      Hey619fool – I’d like to see you change the word fool. You aren’t a fool. You never were.
      A liar will always find a way to make you believe them.

      Hang in there and keep reading. It will get better …

      Hugs…stay strong.

  • Ugggh. This makes me sick. I found out 8 years ago about my wife’s affair. She was about 35 at the time of discovery, and the man she was screwing was 55. He was a preacher over two churches. They used to meet up at one of the houses the church gave this guy. They also were banging each other in my office (the place I struggled to start and build a business). He apparently came to my house while two of our young children were home; but of course, she claimed nothing happen. I don’t believe a dam word out of her mouth. This relationship went on for two years. She would screw him without protection and come home and have sex with me the same night. Talking about she didn’t want to refuse sex to me, so felt compelled to let me slide up in her after he did his business inside her. The idea of her putting me at risk for aids and other std just infuriates me. I don’t trust anything about this woman. We had five kids together and I question everything. Did she screw around the entire 20 years we were together? I took one child for dna testing and after going through that, I just couldn’t bare to take the other four. It just broke me too bad. I hate her for putting me in that position. As far as I’m concerned, I raised all five of those kids and they are mine. Don’t need any freaking test to tell me a dam thing. I managed to get this preacher thrown out of his church. I’m a web designer and i bought the pastors first and last name as a dot-com name. I posted his picture and laid out how he and my wife screwed each other for two years. I found him and my wife were sexting photos back and forth and told him pictures of his penis were going on the site if he didn’t confess (he tried to deny it during the investigation from the United Methodist church). I told him his wife wouldn’t deny recognizing that penis of his. Fortunately his son shared his name and his wife contacted me to ask if I’d show compassion and take the site down. Apparently the son was catching slack at school. I complied after the investigation. They stripped him of his pension and retirement, and threw him out of the church and the United Methodist organization. He was pissed of course and made comments to suggest he had vicious thoughts and feelings. I asked my wife if he knew where we lived. She denied it. I stressed to her the urgency of needing the truth so we can move out to ensure our safety. She just lied and denied it. I followed my guts and moved us out. It would be a year later before she confessed to him coming by the house. This woman just lies and lies. The United Methodist organization paid for one year of counseling. Tried to make this work but this woman couldn’t help but self sabotage herself. Wouldn’t do what the counselor suggested. Always had excuses. I didn’t cut her any slack. I stayed in her ass. I tried to make her go work. She wouldn’t. Sitting around and looking at her all day just infuriated me. I’d spit fire when she came anywhere near me. Just always half-assed every thing. Three years after the affair, we get in an argument and she’s downloading magic jack app to her phone to secretly call this preacher man. Of course I bust her, but then she claims it wasn’t nothing. ‘I was so mad for what he done to cause our marriage to be like this…’ I’m like really??? It’s his fault? You were the lying MF coming up in my house. Deceiving me. Lying and scheming. I convinced myself I needed to stay because we had five kids and I didn’t want to live separate from my kids. That decision cost me 8 years of torment, pain and misery. The anger in me made me lose all sense of reality. My health deteriorated. Had panic attacks. I thought I was dying. My rage got so bad I started having nightmares and started seeing things. My bed shook and moved. That’s how far gone I’d gotten. My blood pressure was jacked up. This woman would just do stuff that didn’t make sense. When I finally gathered the courage to leave and started to make plans, she grabs a bottle of pills and starts to take them in front of the kids. So I have no choice but to stop her while our oldest daughter call 911. They enforce the Baker Act on her ass and she got committed to the hospital for 11 days. During that time, we got a sense of peace inside that house we never seen. I took care of the kids during that 11 day stretch and it was that stretch of time that made me realize I could do this. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. So I bailed a few months later. She didn’t like that of course. My dad got sick with pancreatic cancer and I had to take care of him. During that time I forgot the lease was expiring on the house the wife was in. She didn’t look for a place. So she finessed her way into my apartment. Saying she would leave after 60 days. I feel she took advantage of my dads situation. 60 days turned into 16 months. I got all my symptoms back and started to go crazy again. So I recently bailed out again and now she has a week to find her own place. Doesn’t look like she’s gonna find a place and I’ve already forbidden her from coming into my place. It was a living hell dealing with this woman. And this is just a watered down version of what happened. This doesn’t even scratch the surface. Don’t let anger get you, because it was bring you down. I lost a lot of time and money. Don’t give up on yourself. You are worthy and deserving of happiness

    • *hugs* You CAN do this! She wasn’t doing her part of counselling, AND was trying to communicate w/ that old man AGAIN….smh.

      *Your kids love you, and it’s great they have a wonderful daddy to look up to.

      *Glad the Methodist church took strong action against the nasty priest. A priest of all people.

      Anyways, your exwife is the problem. She chose that route and you seem like a very nice man. Don’t allow yourself to be used by her anymore. You and your kids deserve happiness.
      Cheaters know how to cut where it hurts the most time and time again.
      ——————————

      • Thank you and Yes. The church moved swiftly on this man. I believe the website helped a lot because I mentioned their organization and promised I wasn’t going to stop until the world knew what that man did.

        The thing with this cheating wife of mine was how she spent all of her time telling me how I needed to forgive her.

        She kept insisting ‘you just need to try harder and ask God to help you through this’.

        She sits there with a straight face acting like she don’t understand why I fly off into rage cursing and name calling. I know I shouldn’t do all of that, and it’s not my character to behave like that, but that infidelity messed me up.

        She’s convinced herself she’s found God and expects me to behave like God.

        ‘Well I’ve repented and asked God to forgive me. He wiped the slate clean and has forgotten my sin. And you shouldn’t hold it over my head and remind me. You’re not going to use my past against me.’

        She brings this foolishness up whenever I call her on her bullsh*t.

        For example, she’s in this new small ministry group where they’ve convinced themselves they can heal folks and cast out demons and deliver people from various spirits and demons. Now all of these klowns have cheated on their spouses. So mine spends hours on the phone with one of these guys who cheated and when I call her out on how wrong it is to be on the phone with another man who cheated, while you’re trying to re-establish trust in your own relationship, she flips it and says she’s doing work for the kingdom and that she can be trusted.

        And that this was her past and that the devil is trying to use me to remind her of her shame.

        Some of these calls go 2-4 hours while she was away from home.

        In the beginning after the affair, the counselor would give her things to do to rebuild the trust. But because I was so angry, she’d stop doing what they suggested because I wasn’t showing her any sympathy. She wasn’t getting positive results or feedback from me fast enough, so she’d stop and say … ‘it doesn’t make sense for me to keep trying when you forgive me’

        That drove me krazy … u cheat for two years and expect me to jump through hoops and work harder than you to fix this thing?

        Now she runs around and tells me I have murder demons in me because of the hate and anger I have. Says God is going to punish me and send me to hell because I won’t take her back.

        She’s convinced because I don’t want her ass back, that it’s unforgiveness and that I’m gonna oayba price.

        I’ve tried forgiving that woman, but everyday, she harassed me aand would do things that just set off triggers.

        One of the things was her constant texting with that dam phone. Because her affair was facilitated with her cell phone and Facebook, the Counselor suggested, and she agreed not to use her phone until she earned phone privileges back (get a prepaid phone to keep In car for emergencies).

        But nope. She couldn’t do that. That woman would constantly bring me anxiety by texting on that phone all day. Every where I went, she had that dam phone.

        I told her how it made me feel and for eight years, she never did what that counselor suggested. Never got off that phone long enough to establish any type of trust.

        When I moved out the first time and lived in hotels for three months, this arrogant woman would be come to my hotel texting and all on the phone.

        Drove me insane. But I’ve finally walked out for good. I have a 12 month wait before I can divorce her in South Carolina.

        I’m just trying to ride out my time. Seems like forever.

        I’m ready to move on. I struggle being alone in my place. The kids stay with me while she works.

        Think I’ve gotten used and addicted to the drama. Being living in Hell all these years. I’m trying to create a new norm and live with the new norm happily.

        I do have peace until she comes around trying to force me to take her back. Right now she’s getting evicted out of the apartment we shared. I tried to get her to move out months ago into an affordable place. She wouldn’t look or move. So I left.

        That was going to be the only way I’d get my own place. So now we’re separated again and for good this time.

        She’s already begging me to let her into my place again for another 60 days.

        Ain’t happening. I got suckered last time with promises of change and promises of moving out.

        Me being nice and trying not to look like a monster to the kids has always screwed me over.

        I should have thrown her out the house. But didnt want to look like the bad guy.

        My business collapsed and now I’m trying to rebuild it. Just lost so much. But on a positive note, my peace is getting better and better every day.

        Stay strong. .

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