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When the Cheater Has a Personal Epiphany

Did anyone see this article on HuffPo today — “Why I Cheated on my Husband”?

It’s quite a masterful mindfuck. Really, I think my ex-husband could’ve written this. It’s exactly the sort of faux remorse and parroted therapy speak that personality disorders excel at.

Maybe I should be less cynical? In the article she owns up to cheating as a very “selfish” act, realizes that happiness comes from within, and admits that her husband was a pretty nice guy (although not “fanciable” any longer), and gosh, she should’ve worked on her marriage.

But she lowers the narcissist boom in the last sentence:

“I don’t regret what I did; as a result of the divorce, my ex gave me the biggest gift of all — I finally got to find my happiness from within.”

She doesn’t regret betraying and devastating her ex-husband? An innocent person who was faithful to her? Because it resulted in a personal epiphany for HER? And her happiness?

She claims she is in a better relationship now. Poor man.

Before I get accused of thinking once a cheater always a cheater, I’d say, THIS kind of crap is why I am skeptical. Cheating is about character. Many people get bored in marriage, don’t have the same lusty passions as day one, etc. And they don’t cheat. She makes noises about insight, which the more dim-witted among the HuffPo readership will take for actual insight — but she never says I regret what I did.  I had a failure of character. I hurt an innocent person who did not deserve it. No, it is all seen through the lens of HER happiness. She’s got all the entitlement,cheater-think still. With that mindset (It’s all about me! And my happiness and self actualization!), I think she’s got good odds for reoffending. She’s a dry drunk now. All the asshole behavior without the Jaegermeister.

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  • Wow, just effin wow! The double speak is stil amazing even as it is so typical.

    I hope her poor ex husband never reads this. A mindfuck is putting it mildly.

    Oh my after years of marriage to a man SHE presents as loving, caring, concerned and protective, she is surprised that the sex was not as wild as passionate and had now become the typical normal companionate type of sex. She’s really matured and grown and become enlightened, can’t all us naive loyal spouses see that?

    Well she was right about one thing, she is selfish and self absorbed and unrealistic about life, and eventually that itch between her legs will enable her to make excuses for cheating on hubby number 2.

    If I ever date again, and date a divorced man, I am going to ensure the divorce was not due to his cheating.

    I think very few cheaters are remorseful. Some maybe, but it’s rare. All the reasons that enabled them to cheat in the first place are all part of their core personality.

    • I’m with you Sara. I keep saying to people, when they ask if I’m ready to date and do I want them to fix me up: my one absolute criteria is that they have not cheated. I may end up with a smaller pool of people to choose from but no way will I ever knowingly dat someone who’s cheated.

      And agree in the sex: guess what, sex after however many years is not going to be of the ‘we need to jump each other ten times a day’ variety. Incredible that people still chase teenaged love when they’re grown-assed men and women.

    • “I think very few cheaters are remorseful. Some maybe, but it’s rare. All the reasons that enabled them to cheat in the first place are all part of their core personality.”

      I so agree with this. The majority of cheaters don’t regret cheating, they regret how it fucked up their lives. Emphasis on THEIR lives.

      You will also find that any serial cheater applies that same type of selfish, rules are for other people, “loophole” thinking to many other parts of their lives. These people really don’t make good partners even if they manage to stop screwing other people. Their fucked up thinking will come out in other behaviors that will eventually derail your life just the same.

      I agree also with Nord there…when I finally untangle myself from my lying, serial cheating husband, finding out a potential was a cheater will get them an automatic “next”. I don’t even want to hang around long enough to find out what other fun ways they lie and cheat in their life.

      • “The majority of cheaters don’t regret cheating, they regret how it fucked up their lives. Emphasis on THEIR lives. ”


      • Absolutely. I remember my ex’s “apology.” He never said he regretted the actual affair, just that he regretted I found out about it w/o him telling me. So naturally, I concluded he really wanted to be with her. When I gave him what he wanted, by leaving and divorcing him, he was mad at me! Gosh, I’m such a bitch…

  • So true and I’ve seen it time and again. Why? Because it’s still all about her. What a silly cow and I really pity whomever she’s involved with now.

    • My favorite line is the cheater classic — “no one judges me as harshly as I judge myself.”


      It’s that canard that they get to the remorse and bad feelings first, so we can all just, you know, get past it.

  • Lord, she even plays the “it all turned out for the best,” card, as in, “it all turned out for the best . . . [implied] so seeing the affair as hurtfull and irredeemably wrong is only the result of short-sightedness, a lack of long-term moral vision.


    You know what would’ve been best, lady? Staying faithful in your marriage and getting therapy. Next best? Divorcing and allowing your family to move on without the horrible, life-scarring pain you inflicted. What you did? That was Option ZZZ. What might technically be called . . . “Least Best.” Or also, “The Worst.”

    The fact that the people you hurt ultimately healed to some extent (and we’ll have to take your very unreliable word on that) has NOTHING to do with you, lady. That work was done DESPITE you, so don’t try to use their effort or success to deflect well-deserved judgment from you.

    And at the risk of Hitler-ing the thread, I’ll draw this crazy person’s rationale out to it’s logical conclusion: The Jewish people finally ended up with a homeland, so the Holocost “all turned out for the best,” too.


    Pompous cheating Hitler-loving b*tch.

  • My ex-wife could have written that. Worst of all, she mentioned clients…I think this woman is somehow profiting from all this.

  • Wow – same language patterns and everything. I have a friend who cheated a bunch of times – its really difficult to listen to her talk about her current marriage and how she’ll, nonetheless, “always love” this poor guy that she would run back to every time one of her new relationships hit a bump – she would basically re-establish things with him while she went trolling for someone new. Its very very hard to listen to anymore. In fact, I know an astounding number of women like that…… I am forever changed and they make me sick to my stomach and I have to change the subject. There is this remarkable lack of personal regret and remorse…… the lens of their own happiness is the only lens. Wow.

    There is NEVER any real remorse or regret – it is all justified by the “I’ll always love him” even as I was totally fucking him logic. Why did I never see this until it happened to me??? All I can say is…… Wow.

    • I’d get those friends out of your life. pronto. When I look back at friends STBX had in his life most of them were immature, either age-wise or mentally-or both, and this reflects on him and his ways. Surround yourself with people who reflect your values.

    • I’m with Nord. Cheating friends ought to get the heave-ho. Mine did, and it made room for much better friends to show up.

      I think the same co-dependence that kept me blind to the sociopathic and narcisisstic tendencies in my ex kept me blind to the same traits in friends.

      • I have had the same experience, Nomar. I’ve really cut some dead wood out and now, out of nowhere, all these amazing people have come into my life and wow, I feel so bloody lucky to have room for them. It’s hard to let go sometimes but I’m glad I’ve done it. I’ve kept the good ones and the rest I’ve just let go of completely. It’s incredibly freeing to do this while going through the pain. Weirdly it makes me stronger. And yes, I had some real vampires in my life that I didn’t even recognise as such. They’re gone and good luck to the next person they latch on to.

    • Erika,

      Next time she spews the ” I will alwasy love my Husband”, ask her if she loves him while she is pleasuring another man. I had to re-write that last part of the sentance because my original version was much more graphic. However, I suggest you make it as graphic as you can to drive home the point of her fucked up thinking.

      I’m also not sure I would be calling her a friend.

  • I’m a fan of anagrams, rearranging the letters in words or phrases to get new words or phrases. For instance, “George Herbert Walker Bush” becomes “Huge Berserk Rebel Warthog.”

    After reading this column, I searched for anagrams for “Cheater’s Wisdom.” What did I get? “Moist Screwhead.

    Don’t know what it means, but it seems to fit.

  • There seems to be this hypergamy deal with female cheaters. They look to trade up, while keeping the drone spouse as a backup/subsidizer.
    Male cheaters seem to have their own version of this, as well.
    I think these days, many people view their vows as temporary, and all bets are off in someone they percieve as superior comes along.
    Why not just change the vows so they are conditional?

  • OMG – Everybody!!! 45 days in….. I just GOT it (I’m emabarrassed to say!!!) in my gut. Their CHARACTER is defective, the WIRING is BAD!! When the situation presents itself, that WIRING KICKS IN. That’s why its hopeless and you can never take them back!! I could never figure out why the stuff Mike said only made me feel really bad and confused – now I. GET. IT. I actually put on make-up, picked up the house a little and washed the dishes. I feel like I’ve been let out of a cage.

    • “Their CHARACTER is defective, the WIRING is BAD!! When the situation presents itself, that WIRING KICKS IN. That’s why its hopeless and you can never take them back!! ”

      You got it right on!

      Don’t you feel relief that it really and truly is not you? That there is absolutely nothing under the sun that you could have ever done to fix it or him? Now you don’t even have to take it personally. He would have done the very same to any woman in your position. It has nothing to do with you, it’s him and his undeveloped soul.

      In his next relationship, it will start off all sunshine and rainbows. He’ll make the sad face and spout off how he’s “learned from his mistakes”, and now can be “a better man” for her. But one day, he’ll have a shitty boss, or he’ll lose his keys, or he’ll have a tummy ache and then boom, he’ll have to soothe his undeveloped soul with something. That something will usually take the form of some other woman’s crotch.

      Rejoice in your clarity, and FTG!

      • I get it – I get it! Wow. Exactly. Its so obvious – why it takes so long and why does it have to be so painful to see the obvious I don’t know. Its still I process I guess. That article….. is almost unbearable – the only thing she didn’t say was now, she’s found her “soulmate schmoopie”.

  • And the friends, they’re just kind of fading to black of their own accord. To confront them would ruin the friendship anyway so I guess its time to just let it happen. Its not like they can hear what I would say anyway.

  • “But she lowers the narcissist boom in the last sentence: ‘I don’t regret what I did; as a result of the divorce, my ex gave me the biggest gift of all — I finally got to find my happiness from within.'”

    Thank you, CL. I immediately called bullshit when I saw that line. There is no way anyone can find happiness when they bring nothing but misery to someone else’s life. Or to put it a more sardonic way: “I’m glad you found happiness at the expense of mine.”

    A few other points:

    “Our relationship fell into a day-to-day routine, lacking excitement and passion.”

    — I FUCKING HATE when people say that! Aren’t the best relationships usually the most boring? That, to me, is a sign of domestic bliss. Yes, it’s important to go out on dates and keep the “spark”, but there’s also nothing wrong with spending Friday nights on the couch in sweats eating pizza and binging a CSI marathon. That to me shows a couple that is comfortable in not only their own skin but with each other.

    I also never understood how cheating ex’s can complain about the lack of a “spark” when they know damn well that it takes TWO to keep the flame lit. TWO! How exactly is such a feat possible when one person is home and the other is out cheating? It’s like they’re setting their own relationships up to fail. I just can’t wrap my head around such self-defeating behavior. Almost like: “You need a ride to the hospital? Okay, one sec. Gonna go slash my tires first.”

    “I couldn’t find the words to tell him that I no longer found him sexually attractive.”

    –Don’t buy it for a second. This reeks of self-absorption and rationalizing. She’s also re-invoking the lack of “spark”, this time between the sheets. Again, how does a couple keep the flame lit when one person is sleeping in someone else’s bed.

    To me, “I don’t find you attractive anymore” is just a sinister way for the cheater to put himself/herself on a pedestal and look down on their poor, poor, fatass ex’s. “Dude, when I married her she looked like Megan Fox! Now she looks like Rosie O’Donnell I can’t hit that anymore!” (…So he goes a picks up a bartender who looks like Megan Fox. Problem solved, right?) This just smacks of immaturity and selfishness.

    True love is cherishing your spouse even if she doesn’t have the same body she did in college or cherishing him even if the top of his head resembles a cul-de-sac.

    “I realize now that I didn’t have the maturity or the tools needed to live with the problems that my ex-husband and I had at the time.” —- And like a true addict, she chose as a solution something that only created MORE problems! Congrats! You destroyed your own marriage with your passive-aggression!

    Oh and this one’s a gem too: “I didn’t know how to manage the dynamic nor manage my thoughts about them either.” — “Manage the dynamic?” What the FUCK does that even imply, other than the author repeating shit that her therapist told her?

    As for her finding herself, good for her. I hope she found that she was a lying, passive-aggressive cheater who destroyed a loving marriage and a “caring” and “generous” (her words) ex-husband’s heart and for what…a moment of clarity? Meanwhile she loves a bitter divorce and a heartbroken ex in her wake (and the affair partner probably forgot about her years ago).

    Let’s see how enlightened she is when some piggish guy turns around and does the EXACT same thing to her. The ex-hubby probably won’t be there to see it, but somebody will.

    And that day will have the ex’s name written all over it. 🙂

      • “I didn’t know how to manage the dynamic nor manage my thoughts about them either.”

        Wait: I think maybe “the dynamic” is her nickname for her ladybits. The way “The Situation” on the *Jersey Shore* nicknamed his abs.

    • I totally hate that stuff about lacking excitement, etc too! My STBX and I would say we were so glad our lives were drama-free… I guess he just didn’t mean it. Now that I think about it… usually drama the drama he was telling me about involved his assistant and future f*ckbuddy. Then he goes and brings trashy bullshit into my life. Ugh.

      • OMG – the drama is something else isn’t it? No words for it, drama for the sake of drama – it’s still difficult for me to get my arms around the personality disordered lens – kinda like trying to figure out a new species of bacteria – to be sure and avoid it.

        • Many of us actually had that used against us. One rationale my ex gave for her serial cheating was, “You were so independent. You didn’t NEED all of me.”

          Great. She cheats and cheats to the extent she gives very little of herself to the marriage, and when I adapt and make do with less and less from her, THAT gets used as a reason to cheat on me.

          Talk about pretzel logic. As Kelly Bundy used to say, “The mind wobbles!”

          • ooohh – STBX told me that one, too. “I feel like you don’t need me for anything. You’re perfect, you do everything, my parents love you more than they love me, and no matter what bad things come across your path – you always seem to get through them successfully. I wish you had a drinking problem or SOMETHING so I wouldn’t look like such a jackass next to you.”

            So many of my positive attributes that were initially SO attractive to him (independent, competent, financially secure, intelligent, great career, motivated, positive outlook, giving to others, etc.) – each and every one was eventually twisted and contorted to be used against me as a rationalization for his infidelity. During our few years of marriage, I doted on him & supported him through several of his “career changes” and months when he was totally unemployed; I was his eternal cheerleader, rooting him on in every endeavor. The times when I needed him though – he bailed. I REALLY needed him after the sudden loss of my mother in car accident – and he wanted to go out of town for a sporting event and asked our friends whether they thought it was a good idea for him to do so. The answer they all gave him was a resounding NO. (The mind wobbles, indeed.)

            Ah, but he felt so *needed* by the dingbat OW: she needed her paycheck from him, to be “rescued from her bad relationship with her boyfriend”, to learn how to work in a professional (hah) office after years of working at hole in the wall bars, etc.

            Oh – but at least he has “always loved” me and continues to say he will “never stop loving me.” Oh goody.

        • Bede:

          My STBX (he’s holding up the divorce) used to brag to his friends about what a low maintanence wife I was.

          Then he goes sniffing after a spoiled parasitic women who married a rich man she didn’t love, and spends all his money on cloths, spas, girl vacations, supposed girl’s nights outs, which were likely sexcapade nights, and who had a made and a nanny.

          Then he had the nerve to tell me how well dressed she always looked. Sure she did she came to him after shopping at bloomies all day and spending the afternoon get her hair dyed and styled at the spa.

          What an insult

          • Yes, I got the “you don’t need me.” Also got the “she’s so amazing because she spends all her time with meeeeeeeee” you know, while I was working (she didn’t) and taking care of the children he abandoned (she has no kids). “She’s so adventurous and she does amazing things” you know, while someone else pays for it all, since she has zero responsibility. Oh, the admiration he has for her.

            What an insult.

            Except if he had a brain in his head, he’d realize how foolish he is, and his words would come back to bite him. He’d accept the shame he brought to himself by being such a short-sighted ass.

      • In some cases, AE, and I think this applies mainly to the cakeeaters, they do like the lack of drama. But they also like the drama.

        I think also, the fact that they get caught and then the drama shifts from their affair to their marriage is another big turn on for them. Ultimately, they like control. So they are controlling the secret, controlling the affair partner, controlling the BS through deception and then, when things go bonkers at home, they figure out how to get all that under control again. It is exciting while it is a challenge. When the BS settles back down and things come back under control…watch out.

        That’s when the cakeeaters go looking to stir up some batter.

        • Barrister Belle said: “So many of my positive attributes that were initially SO attractive to him (independent, competent, financially secure, intelligent, great career, motivated, positive outlook, giving to others, etc.) – each and every one was eventually twisted and contorted to be used against me as a rationalization for his infidelity. During our few years of marriage, I doted on him & supported him through several of his “career changes” and months when he was totally unemployed; I was his eternal cheerleader, rooting him on in every endeavor. The times when I needed him though – he bailed. I REALLY needed him after the sudden loss of my mother in car accident – and he wanted to go out of town for a sporting event and asked our friends whether they thought it was a good idea for him to do so. The answer they all gave him was a resounding NO. (The mind wobbles, indeed.) ”

          It sounds as if we have led parallel lives, Barrister Belle.

          Except my dad had just died when my STBX decided to cheat, and yes, all the things he loved about me, and mine were all exactly similar to yours, he suddenly claimed annoyed him.

          I understand that this type of turnaround is fairly common in a long term marriage….the things we love may turn to things we hate after years of marriage.

          Still, not everyone chooses to cheat. They work it through or divorce or see a counselor to learn to communicate.

  • Excellent post, Chris. I love the way you describe this woman’s weird gibberish as spouting something her therapist said.
    I swear, there is some common deal with cheaters where they are drawn to this type of whacked way of talking/writing. It’s , clearly, a method they use to make themselves sound more thoughtful/evolved. And, when you stop to really look at what they are saying, it , usually, makes zero sense. Just a string of weird phrases with obscure words or whatever.

    • Thank you, Arnold.

      Look we’re all human. We all fuck up and sometimes and we break a few hearts along the way.

      I don’t mind this Oprah-inspired “What did your failed marriage teach you?” introspection. It at least shows she has SOMEWHAT of a heart between her ribs and a brain between her ears.

      Here are the three key questions:

      1) Was it worth destroying a marriage AND someone else’s heart just to “find yourself”?

      2) How can you say, in so many words: “I regret the actions but I don’t regret the outcome” when they were YOUR actions? That’s akin to saying: “I totally regret running a stop sign and hitting that old lady, confining her to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. But hey at least she’s not dead!! And neither am I!” *phew*

      And most importantly:

      3) Did you REALLY have to put yourself and your ex through ALL OF THIS misery and heartbreak JUST to have this little moment of clarity?

      All of the life lessons she spouted could’ve easily been realized through introspection, therapy, counseling and self-help DURING the marriage and WITHOUT her stepping outside of it.

      To sum up: She lied, cheated, destroyed her marriage, destroyed her ex’s heart, destroyed her own heart…and the lessons she took from the trainwreck SHE CAUSED are….

      a. “It’s important to keep the communication channels open.”
      b. “I now realize that passion outside of the relationship was only ever going to be short lived, which in this case it was.”
      c. “What I now realize is that our beliefs about how we see ourselves can lead us to do some crazy things.”
      d. “I understand now that running away from myself was not the answer and that I am responsible for my own happiness and fulfillment.”

      Call me a snob, but I always thought all that shit was common sense.

      Either she’s using self-help babble to hide her true pain and guilt, or she’s about as clueless as a lung cancer patient screaming at the oncologist, “What the fuck do you MEAN cigarettes are bad for you?!?!”


      • She not only uses self help babble, she writes it. I linked to her site below.

        Looking at it solidifies my opinion that this woman is a flaming personality disorder. It’s not enough to cheat and get dumped, she wants to profit off of it. We should all learn from her example of how to get over it (seriously, she WRITES this) “quickly” and “painlessly.”

      • Chris: “she’s about as clueless as a lung cancer patient screaming at the oncologist, “What the fuck do you MEAN cigarettes are bad for you?!?!”

        LOL! Yep, that’s my STBX right there. He was shocked (SHOCKED!!!) that I refused to take him back and didn’t want to reconcile with him after I discovered his 10 YEARS of spending $2K a month on hookers. How could I not want him back??? Not only has he proven himself a complete immoral pervert, but also delusional and dumb as a stick! What a catch! Sign me up for 10 more years, this time with my eyes open!! Not to mention he DOES have cul-de-sac hair! 🙂

    • Arnold.

      While reading about NPD I came across an article that discussed the “word salad” they often use when communicating.

      So, this cheater’s words, support the profile an of NPD.

  • Not that I should link to her, but if you want a laugh

    The woman is a (cough) “cul de sac of hair” and then some. I gotta say she doesn’t look like the average Fredericks of Hollywood home wrecker. She looks like a Mennonite dairy farmer at the local Grange potluck. (No offense to the good women of Lancaster County, Pa.)

    Darling, you lost lusty feelings for your ex-husband? Uh, you’re not exactly a vision of loveliness.

    Download a free chapter of her book and learn — A pro-active approach to free you from your past in a quick and painless fashion!

    Getting over being a remorseless cheater is QUICK and PAINLESS! Yeah, because you never felt the remorse to begin with!

    • “Building on her own experiences, she decided to get professionally trained in neuro-linguistic programming, matrix re-imprinting and The Demartini Method – a very powerful tool that balances out perceptions all of which are recognized by their own professional bodies so that she could support women to heal their hearts.”

      Whatever that means….

      Well at least she’s not cheating anymore! The stilted phrasing of this (probably self-written) corporate bio suggests she’s too immersed in D-grade, new-age self-help books to even leave the house at all!

      Best part: “By the age of 30 she had gone through the motions of almost taking her life twice, abusing drugs and alchohol as well as suffering from an eating disorder.”

      Suicidal, drinking and using…funny how none of this was mentioned in the HuffPost piece! All I got was: “Golly Gee, I just wasn’t turned on by him anymore! I had to cheat! Poor me!” No mention of at all of HER shit. And she wonders why the marriage had “problems”, as she called them?

      So she closed her legs and traded the drugs and booze for self-help books. Good for her. But it doesn’t mean she’s a better person…especially since she ripped her ex-hubby’s heart right out of his chest, then turned around and called the shattered heart a “gift” from him!


      • She’s got the same dead creepy eyes that my ex has. Narcissist eyes I call them. They always looks kind of wonky.

        Why would I buy a book about getting over an ex from someone who never had to get over her’s?

    • ” She looks like a Mennonite dairy farmer at the local Grange potluck. ”

      OMG. You were reading my mind.

      Am I going to hell in a handbasket because the first thing I did when I saw her picture was to let slip a little laugh? That was very “mean girl” of me.

      She just reinforces everything a BS eventually finds out to be true:

      It was never, ever about the BS.

      It has absolutely nothing to do with looks, or spark, or sexiness.

      Cheaters like this never truly change.

      Cheaters like this are the most mind boggling selfish creatures to walk the earth.

    • Wow, Marina Pearson is one homely chick.

      She will be getting hers soon, when her next husband or boyfriend loses interest in her.

      Couldn’t happen to a more delusional gal.

      Personally, I think she’s so hung up on writing about “Goodby my Ex” because she knows she blew it with a loyal spouse.

      Obviously she is far from moving past it, but she is in denial about that just as she is in denial about having learned a lesson from her cheating and finding her inner happiness.

      I know I am being mean and rude, but oh well. Some things have to be said.

  • She’s a dreadful writer and her book sounds like a mediocre (at best) rip off of Natalie Lue’s Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. Natalie is a much better writer and far more insightful on the reasons she chose to be an other woman and all the emotional hangups that put her in that position (and a variety of other inappropriate relationships with men who devalued her because she devalued herself).

    This author, whoever she is, could never appeal to a betrayed spouse. She’s too glib and way too superficial in her self-assessment, I think. And besides, BSs aren’t really keen to give cheaters the benefit of the doubt. Nor should we. Will she stop a cheater from cheating? Doubt it. People have to live their lives and learn from their own mistakes. We don’t learn well from the mistakes of others. We rarely learn well from our own mistakes, actually. It is hard to break habitual patterns. Of course that’s what karma is about. We repeat it until we learn the lesson it is trying to teach us and clear it. BSs — our lesson may be “don’t spackle”. That was my lesson. Cheaters — who the heck knows what their lesson is? Not my problem to figure that out.

    However, the thing I wonder, reading the responses at HuffPo and here: Why do people keep saying that she’s “ruined” her xH’s life or “destroyed” him? Because, no she didn’t. She doesn’t have that power, unless he gives it to her. If he’s a whole and emotionally healthy person, he too has moved on. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of the Chump Lady mantra: Leave a cheater, gain a life? He got mixed up with a woman who was not worthy of his goodness and not only could not appreciate him, but actively did something really crappy to him. She also did horrible things to herself in the process. I mean, her karma was that she was a cheater (probably still is one). That’s a terrible karma to have.

    But doesn’t he have a choice too? He can become catatonic, curl up in a ball and keep mumbling about what a shit she was for doing that to him and how his life is unfair and wallow in his own regret for getting involved with her in the first place. Or, he can grieve the injustice, stop focusing on her and what she did, and learn more about himself in the process. I mean, I get being sad at first, that’s absolutely normal. And angry and all the rest. That’s grief. But if at last your sadness or anger or rage or denial or whatever stage you stall in is the defining element to your personality, then Jesus Christ, the cheater really HAS chumpified you.

    I mean, I was cheated on, but my gosh, I’m not “destroyed”, because, you know, Fuck HIM. He can’t destroy me. He can’t even fucking slow me down. Unless I allow him to. I am still a good person, I still have value and worth. I engaged in a relationship with someone who did not share my values. But that’s reflective of him, not me. As soon as I realized that we were incompatible, I ended the relationship — I think that speaks well of me, actually.

    That author is a nitwit and obviously has some real entitlement issues that obviously go along with being ego-driven (and she should SERIOUSLY rethink that photograph she has on her web page), but I have more faith in her exHusband. I prefer to imagine he is much more like Chump Lady or others of us who have moved onward and upward in spite of the infidelity (or maybe because of it). I prefer to project self confidence onto him rather than insecurity.

    Is that wholly unrealistic?

    • Nice Kristina. I see myself in some of your words. Recovery is a great thing, innit? You mention Karma? I have thought about that too. I guess I don’t see it as a real thing – like that cosmic hand that grabs your shoulder, spins you around and says; “why you little…”

      I see it more along the lines of getting older, gaining perspective and looking back. If we are spared, we will all get to that point. We’ll realize that we don’t have much time left. How will we feel then when we see all the lost chances in our lives when we could have been kind… Good. Understanding. Compassionate. Selfless. Outward looking…

      But instead, we did what we did. I was riffing in an earlier comment about feeling blessed to have sucked in my own way and not my XW’s. That is a point I come back to again and again, and it fits each time like a favorite old flannel shirt. I wish it was different, but it is what it is. It’s funny how things that help – help, even if they are not the sweetest thoughts in your bag. Heh. “I have sucked… Thank you Lord”

      • Thanks Bede.

        Karma. I agree with you — it is not a cosmic hand or a bus or any kind of “divine retribution”. That’s just a total misreading of the concept using a Judeo/Christian ethic as a lens. I cringe when I read “honk honk, the karma bus got the Other Woman” or “Karma is a bitch and she caught up with my ex…” That is so wrong-headed. I mean, it feels good to be snarky and rejoice in others’ misery when those people have had a hand in hurting us, but it is really just projection.

        Right now, I’m living my karma. We are all living our karma. It is all just about lessons. You either learn your lesson and clear that karma so as to move on to face the NEXT karma or you relive the lessons. And the only way to clear the karma is to look within and address yourself. I could have spent a ton of time analyzing my ex and trying to figure out what FOO issues drove him to be who he was so I could understand why he did what he did to me. My analyst directed me away from that path, because it just keeps me grounded in my ex and does me no good. My ex, that relationship, that was MY karma. I needed to fix what was going on with me so as to clear and move on to a new path. And when I did the digging, I found I had had similar relationships before, because I was the same mindset moving on from one relationship to the next. No one cheated on me before — or at least I didn’t catch them — but I was previously in other co-dependent relationships. With an abusive guy, with friends who were weird and needy and engulfing, etc. etc. That kind of dynamic was my karma until I changed ME.

        If I don’t change what it is in me that attracts me to that kind of situation, I will repeat it. Who knows what that will look like the next time? Maybe not a cheater, maybe a faithful alcoholic. Until I break the cycle in me, it will repeat. The best example I can give for this are the BSs who go on to cheat. They weren’t “forced” to cheat because they had been betrayed previously. They were acting out their karma. They did not have enough self awareness to dig into what of their neuroses locked them into a relationship with a cheater. But something hooked them. And so for a while they were co-dependent spacklers. Then they became co-dependent passive aggressives who were acting out in a different way than before.

        I don’t hate them for it, I do think that they are ignorant, though. Because an explosion like the discovery of a betrayal — that’s a HUGE opportunity to heal yourself. But so many people, sadly, don’t take that opportunity. It is just another fulcrum that levers them deeper into their co-dependence.

        But Bede, to your point — yes. I am not perfect, I co-created the marriage that I had and instead of leaving him when I knew I should — because it was a wholly unfulfilling situation for me — I hung in there and co-dependently tied myself into knots trying to be what I thought would make him validate me (Super hostess, spotless house, mom of the year, career woman, flawless face, tight figure). But I wasn’t doing that because I wanted to, I was doing that because I thought it would make him like me more. If I had done what would have made me happy — leave him; or if he had done what would have made HIM happy — leave me, we would not have gotten to where we were. Instead I pleased (or tried to) and he ended up cheating.

        It could easily have gone the other way.

        • Like you suggested in a previous reply to me Kristina, I have to force myself to stop trying to figure out the “why” of the cheater in order to figure out myself vis a vis the behavior of someone who has betrayed me and has basically left the stage.

          In the past, I’ve done the “humiliating dance of pick me” in a way that when I look back, it is absolutely confounding to me. It went on and on – this time, as the details emerged, it took me a week and I went NC. I was pretty proud of myself but it was (and still is at times) very very difficult. And Mike, as it turns out, was pretty manipulative in a way I didn’t anticipate. But, in moments of clarity, I feel like I transcended a bit this time around. All the paths were going to be painful so, I CHOSE MY PAIN – As my younger sister said, somewhere in me I had a “steel spine” that took over and started running the show.

          Also, per your suggestion, when I think about him, I force myself to ask what I want from my own life. It takes the form of a list…… first of all, I’m surprised that I can actually articulate the things I want….. because while I was with him I was sure that I was so blissfully happy that I DIDN’T want anything more – turns out, on my list, being in a relationship doesn’t even make the top 10 or even the top 20. I was surprised……

        • Kristina

          I agree, most people don’t understand karma.

          Sometimes it is retribution for something bad, or maybe even good that someone did in this life or a past life (apparently we can experience retributive Karma withing the same lifetime)

          Other times it is life lesson Karma. In other words our spouses were put in our paths to teach us to learn some type of lesson.

          That lesson may be to stop being a chump or to be more independent or to learn to be LESS trustful of others, etc.

        • Arnold:

          You are probably right about karma. It’s not provable so why bother believing it.

          I bet the world is just a random tangle of nonsense.

  • Yeah, I was far from destroyed or ruined. Life is very good, now.
    But, I think what folks were trying to point out(although they clearly overdid it) is that this was no small trauma to the guy and she is a really abusive a-hole.
    WTF are those things she claims to have studied? Sounds like bullshit to me.

  • Why I cheated on my spouse, the condensed, Reader’s Digest version:

    Because all I care about is what I want in the present moment.

    The end! (And you don’t even have to buy my useless book!)

  • about a year or two after our divorce my xw called me and said she had been “born again” and she was soo sorry for what she had done.a few years after that she came to see me with tears in her eyes confessing that she had cheated on me with so and so and so and so and so and so.(i only knew about one of them)i was filled with compassion for her and tryd to give her a i see that was all just a MINDFUCK!!…… best thing you can do is go and maintain NO CONTACT!!
    Empathy is not just something you can grow like periwinkle flowers .
    P.T. Barnum said “there is a sucker born every minute”…. sucker is just another word for chump….

    now shes a religious fanatic and her pastors wife divorced him .he was caught spending thousands of dollars buying womens clothes and his wife and daughter never received them

  • My first XW, a serial cheater who once braged about the body of the man she had bedded that night, did the same thing:fake tears, apology, said she loved me etc.
    When she asked for a hug, I recoiled. She is a fucking venomous piece of shit.

  • Shit or get off the pot, you can’t have it both ways. If you want to cheat, get a divorce first. I hope the husband finds someone more worthy than this slime bucket. She can rationalize all she wants, but SHE is the one who did wrong. Happiness from within, my ass. How does this shallow creature live with herself?

  • Karma, codpendence, all sounds like a lot of new age gibberish to me. Newsflash: there are dishonest a-holes in the world. Some prosper, some do not.
    Codependence? What an overused, nebulous concept. People stay with abusive a-holes for lots of reasons; kids, mortgages, fear. I think fear is the main one. When you have finally had your fill, reached your limit, you will get out. Some people mask who they are while courting you. You find out after you are married and that is not, necessarily, your fault. These folks are good at fooling others. It is not a crime to have been taken in.

    • Arnold:

      Thanks, for reminding us all of that though.

      You are right, it’s not a crime to be taken in by a con man, and it’s not a crime to love someone enough to trust that they won’t make a fool of you……at least until they do.

  • She writes four paragraphs about her personal angst, and then switches to journalese and quotes a dubious “study.”

    That reminds me of two things: 1) my first XW, 2) my middle school classmates who had no original ideas and wrote essays full of copied platitudes and no narrative.

    Nobody who writes about her pain from the heart would switch ideas that way, however sophomoric her writing skills. That’s when I called bull.

    That’s also when I called bull on my first XW, she was always full of tears and platitudes, until her real feelings showed through. It’s actually scary to see someone switch instantly from full-on tears and pity playing into a raging anger junkie.

    • Agreed. I know exactly that flip switch you’re talking about. I’ve seen it, it’s scary, and you don’t forget it. My ex was just like that. Rage/charm/self pity — from zero to 60. It’s the calling card of the disordered wing nut.

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