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A letter from a child of a cheater — Don’t stay together

I got this letter sent to me after my last Huffington Post essay. Posting it to get your thoughts and provoke discussion. I did write back to E, saying try to have some compassion for your dad, being cheated on makes some people do crazy things from grief, but he wrote back to say that what his dad did for revenge (unspecified) was pretty dreadful, and his point was that in the toxic marriage, the kids got overlooked, and bad things were modeled to them. Anyway, it’s a sad reminder that staying together for the kids can result in fucked up relationship issues later in life. — CL 


I got linked to your site from Huffington Post and although I’ve never cheated or been cheated on, the psychology of cheating has been fascinating for me in terms of watching a trainwreck mostly because of my personal experience as a spectator. I am hoping to share my story with you. To tell you the truth, I was a child watching my parents’ marriage disintegrate partly due to accusations of cheating and I think I have deep-seated psychological issues in terms of relationships and intimacy because of what I witnessed firsthand. There are other issues that were more related to how fucked up my parents are and were but I digress. 

I agree with your basic philosophy– that no matter what the betrayed spouse did or does, it is still the cheater who is wrong. This is something I say even when the people in question are my parents. This is what I could tell based on what I witnessed, information I gathered from my sister, as well as logical deductions based on events that later happened.

My parents’ marriage was failing due to a number of factors. I really can’t pinpoint exactly what since I don’t know but the first clue we (my sister and I) had that there was something really wrong that was going on other than the usual drama was when my dad was playing back the tapes. He’d jury-rigged a tape recorder to record my mom’s phone conversations, which we could tell because we heard the touchtone of the numbers being pressed and he was fast forwarding past anything that seemed like a normal conversation and only listening closely to conversations where my mom was talking to a man. My dad was so focused on listening to the results of his evidence gathering that he hadn’t even realized that his elementary school age children were in the same room watching him listen to the results of his wiretap on our mother.

I won’t go into my dad’s psychology– needless to say, he didn’t let go and he went absolutely crazy in reaction to his suspicions of my mom’s affair. I’m not sure how he confronted my mom about her affair but we did witness the aftermath of that confrontation where she kept professing innocence and he kept reacting in anger and frustration until he ended up looking like the villain in the piece.

Looking back, it makes my mom seem even more manipulative and sociopathic because my sister told me years later that my mom had confessed that she had been with the other man and even gave a time period. What made it worse was that the fights made clear that the other man was my father’s best friend and in the long dragging drama that ensued before it culminated in a divorce that my father filed for, it was worse that my parents both started playing with us like we were game pieces in their tug of war. It was screwed up and I really wish that my dad wasn’t so fucked up that he couldn’t just let it go before doing all sorts of messed up stuff to get revenge that were clearly wrong and I really wish that my mom wasn’t so fucked up that she twisted everything in knots.

I had my mom tell me that my dad didn’t really want us when she first got pregnant (I personally think she got pregnant as an attempt to save the marriage because in her mind, that was better than divorcing), implying that he didn’t really love us, and then for her to tell us that the divorce dragged out for so long only because she stayed for us, implying she was the one that really loved us. What I took from those revelations (which really shouldn’t be told to a child you profess to love because you’re hurting them simply for your own ego) is that in a screwed up way, my sisters and I were to blame for all the misery being inflicted by the emotional fallout of the unhappy marriage, cheating drama, and reconciliation tug of war that was being played out in front of us. To be frank, I’d wished my mom could have just aborted us if it would have saved everyone from all this unhappiness and I was rooting for my mom to leave the multiple times she made a show of leaving. I remember once she had a big suitcase just center stage of the living room hallway being slowly filled with all of her stuff. I had seen her obvious misery in the marriage so to encourage her, I gave her a pack of playing cards (one of our favorite pastimes were to play cards) with a written note of “I love you” to encourage her to leave. But somehow she took that as a sign to stay so when she told us she only stayed in the marriage for so long because of us children, it just made me feel guilty that something I meant to encourage her only prolonged the unhappiness. 

I will say though that the story of my parents’ marriage was really convoluted and my mother definitely victimized my father with her cheating but his response in reaction also victimized her and it was just wrong. So, to add to the pieces of advice that I’d like to give against normal convention:

1) Do not reconcile or attempt to reconcile when cheating has occurred. It means things have broken and it will never be mended.

2) Do not use the excuse of staying together for the kids. That is unfair to the kids and is blaming them for your issues. It is on you that the marriage failed, whether or not cheating did occur.

3) Just let go. In the long run, everyone would be happier. The sooner you realize it, the happier you will be. The only ones unhappy will be ineffectual and overpaid psychologists.

4) If you need to explain it to your kids, be upfront. Don’t rationalize something or editorialize. I know it’s easier said than done but I know it would’ve been so much easier for me growing up grappling with the moral implications of what I’d seen rather than coming to the conclusion any sane adult would’ve come to about my parents’ actions only after being mentally and emotionally tortured by them. Just communicate with them– neither my mom the cheater or my dad the betrayed spouse ever communicated anything so all I had to go on were what I saw and heard and that was the worst because nothing was sanitized.

5) For betrayed spouses with kids, kill off your emotions and pour all your power into your logic cells. Yes, you were wronged but don’t do things that would fuck it up even worse for yourself or for your kids. 

So, that’s my story. I’m not really giving all of the details simply because that’s beyond my comfort level but I wanted to share a different perspective with you since I obviously can’t talk from the Cheater or Betrayed Spouse point of view. Thanks for taking the time to read this.



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  • That’s a sad story. I’m sorry his mother is such a douche and although his father may have gone nuts I hope he comes to a point where he can start to understand the horrible pain a betrayed spouse feels when finding out they’ve been lied to and cheated on. It is truly horrible and I know that I screwed up a lot in teh first few months, mainly because I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown.

    Kid, please cut your dad some slack. Unless he physically went after your mother then he probably was lashing out in a vain attempt to alleviate his pain. It doesn’t excuse whatever he did but maybe it helps put it in perspective. I cannot begin to explain how deep the pain is for the betrayed spouse in these situations.

    • Agreed I’m the betrayed spouse and I’m thrilled my divorce is final in February. 2018 my 50 th birthday! This man I once called my beloved husband has gutted me and our kids to our very cores. I will forget but I will NEVER forgive! I’m dating again and it feels good!????

  • That story makes a lot of sense. A good friend whose father was the cheater told me the same thing shortly after DDay– she wished her parents had gotten a D because their messed-up dynamic really screwed her up. I was glad that I talked to her because that stuck with me when I thought about “staying for the children.” I’m glad that I didn’t, and I appreciate that E took the time to share his/her story. I think that more BSs who think that staying for the children is valiant and noble need to give it more thought.

  • Of course the Dad did crazy things after being deceived by his wife, and learning that his wife and best friend were having an affair. A double betrayal. Unless someone has experienced I am not sure they can understand the emotional devastation of a double betrayal. The paranoia, the distrust…

    I don’t see how an adult could blame the father for his anger in retrospect. Maybe at the time, of the vengeful anger and as a child, but not as an adult.

    As for the mother, if she loved her children at all, instead of diverting her energy to another man, even if unhappy in the marriage, she could have diverted her energies to her children, and really been a super mom.

    No marriage is perfect and I bet this person’s dad was long suffering with woman who so lacked integrity that she didn’t hesitated to have and affair with his best friend. Blame her for not leaving the marriage, instead of turning herself into a lowlife cheater.

    Affairs take a lot of time and energy away from the husband and kids.

    But I do agree with the final analysis which is to divorce the cheater.

    • Agreed 200% I was married 21 years and we were common law for 3 so as the courts see it a 24 year marriage. It started off as just a great friendship but HIS family especially his mother never accepted me and it was INLAW trouble from day 1 and it only progressed as the kids came, her controlling ways, nastiness and he had a troubled childhood but I ignored all the warning signs! Then once he turned 50 all hell broke loose he got nasty, belligerent, blaming me for everything and having affairs! It destroyed what was left of our marriage and the family! He even went so far in his cruelty and mental manipulation to brag that he hadn’t even been protecting himself I was done, I served him immediately divorce papers! Hardest thing I have ever done but I know God loves me and he wants me to be with a man whose respectful!????

    • I agree as well.
      Was in a 26 year relationship, 20 of those years married.
      Complex situation but she was up north sleeping with another man living off my income. She asked my 12 year old child to lie for her and that same child read some very private text messages from her to him that he should of never been exposed to. I spent the next months or more talking him about this and sending him to a therapist. I was paying all her rent and utilities up there and I thought time apart may heal and reset. I was so wrong. She said she needed more money, I sent it, and she gave that money her special friend. It was the lying, manipulation and sneakiness of it all that haunts me today. While giving the other person money she was also telling the kids there was not enough money for Christmas when she had my credit card to purchase almost anything needed for the kid. She waited for 1 day past 6 months before looking at divorce just to force a custody issue on the child. She doesn’t do much him either. We do a lot together, a whole lot. She is a changed person.
      Now, the real thing causing more pain is the family court system and how honest hard working folks like myself is punished for working hard. No life for many years for me. Just family and work because that was my role. Now skewered for having ambition and work ethic. She refuses to work full time for the last 8 years. Always claims some excuse. Now my kids all know, but it was more her lying and indiscretion that caused it. If she would have been up front I would have helped deflect this from my 12 year old but she blew that, not me. Still in this nightmare.. Pray for all please…

      • It’s great to hear from a dad God bless I know Adultery sucks and it destroys families for NOTHING! Some cheap romp in the sack it’s grosse! The kids and pets pay the ultimate price! The tramps both men and women need to GROW UP!

  • I think this young man needs to cut his dad slack, as well.
    Sure, in theory, with all the desensitization we get about the relatively innocuous nature of cheating, it seems to folks that a betrayed should be capable of controlling his or her emotions better.
    But, the fact of ther matter is that most therapists consider this the most severe form of emotional abuse. And, that is just in the typical scenario. Throw in the best friend/double betrayal deal, and a betrqyed is dealing with more pain, humiliation, confusion, trauma etc than the son probably understands.
    People who have not been through this simply do not get the level of trauma. So, they feel that they would have reacted differently. probably, most of us have experienced the ignorance out there about this.
    Look, this woman set all this in motion. She was abusive to her entire family. The responnsibility lays with her.
    Also, what some kids think is ” revenge” is , actuially, merely an attempt to get the truth. Cheaters, like this woman, torture their spouses with gaslighting stc, making them doubt their sanity.
    It’s time for this young man to re-evaluate his dad’s trauma and his understandable reaction. Sure, there are some super-evolved types,I suppose, whp handle this perfectly. But, they re very rare. For mere mortal, abuse suh as this is going to really screw them up and they will react out of pain,etc.
    Cut the dad some slack. he was betrayed by his wife and his best friend. Now, he is being hurt again by an adult child’s lack of understanding.
    Look , the victim here was the husband. The kids saw a less than ideal reaction(maybe) , but, maybe, in some fashion, it is good for them to see where cheating leads. It is good to be cautious in romance and intimacy. So, the resultant hesitancy in these areas may benefit the kids in the long run.

    • You know, it’s so hard to absorb that someone who convinced you that they were trustworthy and “committed” is gaslighting you or just plain LYING. Over the years, I was aware of being a buffer between x and our children. Liars have a self indulgent agenda as priority even as they try to get away with compromising any integrity we have.
      When the first(?) affair came out, many moons ago, I just couldn’t believe the abyss that opened up. I stayed in a much undermined position but tried to limit the damage to the children. I lived with that FEAR of our vulnerability a bit too much. I can’t judge that craziness that can come over you like a visit from the holy spirit! I remember that weird laugh when I found “proof” of his lies. You can’t fathom how devious that sort of person is and the fact that they get away with it. Scary adult emotions are terrifying to a child but ma should have taken a bit of responsibility about stirring up shit. “Oops, I set the house on fire and dad is going crazy with a bucket of water, silly dad!” Cow!
      I’m slowly coming back to myself which is my price for not leaving over 20 years ago. Endless bits of sorting out the mess he dumped me with whilst he walks away clean.
      All the wishful thinking in the world doesn’t make me the leading lady in “Hope Floats” but there’s a kind of something about.

      • Sorry, I know it’s about your mother but sometimes cheating, children and betrayal are a volatile cocktail. Cheaters know that consequences will happen at some point but don’t care. I was moved by Victoria Coren’s article about her father when she writes:
        Married to my mother for 44 years, he remained certain that she was the most beautiful, fascinating woman in the world – and that his children were the most brilliant.
        I think, if I had murdered somebody, he would have found a way to be proud of my methods. It was all to do with his own self-image, and the sort of man he wanted to be.
        He once told a friend that he would never have an affair ‘because I would not want my children’s mother to be the sort of woman whose husband would be unfaithful to her’.

        Valuing what you have is key. Having an affair demeans the other person however we spin it. It’s cruel. Likewise, I think that children shouldn’t have a mother who is unfaithful to her husband. Works both ways. Good luck and healing, E.

        • ‘because I would not want my children’s mother to be the sort of woman whose husband would be unfaithful to her’.

          THAT is love.

          • I was that man and it got me nowhere. Was told the perfect husband, lover, father and she took off like the wind in the trees

          • For BAci: sorry you were that kind of man and she didn’t appreciate it. I was that kind of woman and my serial cheating STBX didn’t give a crap either. I think they just take it as their due and don’t think they need to step up and be the same kind of person or something. Sad, but we’ll find the kind of partner we need once we emerge from this clusterfuck fully.

  • I agree with all of the above comments, but it is also a great reminder:
    Children see and hear more than they need to; and more than they can understand. The burden of a parent is to keep OUR problems as far away from our kids as possible.
    Sometimes there is nothing harder…especially in the dark days. But it is important.

  • What a great reminder that cheating affects more than just the betrayed spouse.
    I do think kids can get overlooked in situations like this. When you feel so much pain, its hard to focus on anyone else’s.
    I remember when my separation happened, my son was furious with my ex. He didn’t want to have to spend time with him. I found myself in the uncomfortable position of defending my ex to my kids when they got too angry with him. In my own anger, all I wanted was for him to suffer, but I also realized that making him suffer would hurt my kids.
    I didn’t go down the ‘scorched earth’ path of divorce, but it sure was tempting!

  • My kids have probably heard and/or been told a bit too much but I’ve talked about this a lot with my therapist. They are not aware that he’s a serial cheater – although the older one is pretty sure there’s more to the story – but they’re aware he cheated and that he is threatening to leave me homeless. How? Because he’s told them this and I was forced into the position of saying, yes, your dad does not think he should have to support me while I find work.

    The whole thing sucks for the kids and this makes me more furious than anything else, because they didn’t deserve to have all of this worry and pain and fear and doubt. STBX is a man child and sadly the kids are starting to see this.

    For the writer of the letter I say again: please try to understand the enormous pain your father was in when this all went down. My STBX also messed around with my best friend, along with a bunch of others, including a woman I worked with. To have him go into MY life for his kicks was such an enormous betrayal I can’t begin to describe it. People I should have been able to count on to be there for me were not there because they’d been fucking my husband. So I lost not just my husband and my family and everything I knew, I lost several other people who were important in my life. You cannot imagine how the repeated body blows feel.

  • I hate to say the same thing everyone else is saying but I too think the father needs to be cut some slack. As much as I tried to keep it together for my kids sake, I was in an inhumane level of pain that no amount of therapy or tranquilizers could put a dent into. Until u are there u simply can’t fathom. Also, I have no doubt that there were all sorts of cover ups, gas lighting and mindfucks going on that you have no idea Was he a great dad maybe not but maybe he did as best as he could. I tried hard as hell for my kids but there were a few instances where I know I was out of my mind

    • NOPE SORRY cheaters will never be cut any slack! I was a faithful loving wife thrown to the wolves I will never forgive! Moving on YES but cut some slack, lol NEVER

  • Problem is the kid has not been through this. So, he has no real idea what it is like for the dad. TV, media etc all give a very unrealistic picture of what it is really like.

    • Excellent point, Arnold.

      In the media they always seem to portray cheaters as noble in going after their soulmate, and they always seem to portray the loyal spouse as obnoxious or defective in some way.

      And at the end, when the two cheaters ride their high horse happily into the sunset, they never address the sadness and pain or bewilderment of the loyal spouse.

      I can’t even stomach movies in which the cheaters and cheating is romanticized.

      And you are also right, if the kid hasn’t experienced cheating he won’t understand his dad’s pain, due to the power and skill of Hollywood to romanticize affairs and cheaters.

      Prior to being the loyal spouse who was the victim of marital infidelity, I, too, often watched those movies and the cheating was romanticized so much, I found often my self hoping the two cheaters would marry.

      There is one movie that I find objectively addresses the issue, it’s call “The Freebie” and it runs on the Sundance channel, now and then.

  • I’m going to slightly disagree with the “cut the dad more slack” mindset. Was he hurt oh more definitely, but this wasn’t a surprise to him. He set up wire taps, he knew what he was looking for. If you know what’s going down, have your kids go visit a friend or something. He couldn’t have stopped her mind games, but anyone whose focus is on their kids, should send them out of the room instead of using them in a tug of war.

    • Should kids be out in a tug of war? Never. But I think what everyone is trying to say is that when you are in so much pain it is difficult to do the absolute best you can do. Also when the mindfuck is constant it is hard to shield kids

    • I think it sounds like he’s angry with his dad for how he behaved in the aftermath, meaning the weeks and months following. We all know that when you’re trying to figure it out you’re focused and not really thinking beyond catching the cheater. Once it hits and reality smacks you in the head I think, for me at least, you go into a massive tailspin and lose control.

      I won’t judge the dad, as it’s difficult to predict how things play out when you’re dealing with the day to day aftermath.

    • Agreed mine also tries to use the kids in a tug a war, 53 year old teenager it’s so pathetic!????

  • I understand the dark impulse towards revenge. Didn’t go there, but I get the darkness. I don’t know what the guy did or how it relates to any other fuckupedness there, whatever that kid’s family life, it’s not healthy.

    But I was struck reading this, just how emotionally incestuous infidelity can be for children. The mother sounds like a major mindfuck, wanting the children to be caught up in her drama, and I’m leaving your father the Bad, Bad man now theater. Just like the betrayed spouse is gaslighted, so are the kids. Mom’s a “good” person, the “victim” here. I’m sure it takes them a very long time (if ever) to shed such a mindfuck. That dynamic has probably been going on a long time, longer than the cheating, probably.

    The dad should’ve gotten the hell away much earlier. It is an example of how damaging it is to keep engaging with a cheater, and how essential “meh” is to your personal safety and mental well-being, and your kids’.

    • This letter also leaves no doubt that you don’t just cheat on your spouse. Your behavior affects everyone.

    • Yeah, seriously! The dad should have walked out! Back in the day when this occurred, it was probably easier, at least financially, for a man to leave than it was for a woman to leave. Especially if he was NOT in a no-fault state and had evidence of cruelty and infidelity.
      I don’t know what the dad did, but I’m going to take the (then) kid’s word for it that it was horrid and a burden on the kids.
      I guess I have the benefit of forum support and support from friends and lots of other real world examples, but I am one who does not feel the dad should be cut a bunch of slack. I think the kid in this situation is wise enough to know the difference between expressions of grief (expected and understandable) versus obsessive wheel-spinning that flings shit everywhere.
      I have seen what protracted outward bitterness does to kids AND the betrayed spouse and that relationship and it isn’t pretty. It’s not something I want in my life, so I have to choose my actions and my attitude carefully. I do believe it is a choice to SOME extent–depression is the devil, and I suppose the father in this case may have had a severe case. Yeah, and so does my ex–doesn’t excuse the damaging behavior.

      In the end, it is the kids who suffer the most. Cheating leaves a painful legacy, doesn’t it?

    • Agreed 200% mine even tried to take the kids and I had supervised visits two days a week, very expensive and used his new girlfriend he barely knows as my replacement! I got arrested for approaching them at my own house and was forced to attain a lawyer I can barely afford! Luckily yesterday Dec. 8, 2017 I was aquitted on all charges thank God!????

  • I agree with GreenGirl… this “child” can only look at this situation from their own perspective and I don’t think he needs to cut his dad some slack. I think that the hurt he experienced from watching the shenanigans of his parents as they navigate through the mess is real. Kids see and hear everything. And after DDay it is so easy to allow the cheating to consume every part of you, at least for a while. BUT… that is why Chump Lady is so very important. To normalize what we BS’s are feeling and to give us an outlet, so we don’t forget what is really important… MOVING ON. Putting our time and effort into ourselves and our children… that IS important. Revenge will only feel good for a minute, if that. I’m sure E’s dad looks back on his actions and regrets some of them. We all do. E makes a lot of great points and I am very thankful he chose to write in.

    • Yes, but, if this happened in the distant past, pre-internet, there were probably very few suppot vehicles available to this poor guy. His friend and wife had decimated him, essentially, cuckolded him and gaslit him , humiliating.
      Maybe i am wired differently, as before the internet, when my first wife cheated serially nad would brag to me about the boodies of the guys w she was with, I still held it all in and kept my kids out of it. I was so alone and had no one to talk to about it, in my shame and humiliation.
      But, I can certainly understand someone losing it enough to act as this dad(unless the “revenge’ was really egergious((and, on that note, what is the purpose of not divulging the alleged “revenge” on an anonymous site. I think that says something about the reliablity of the allegation, the lack of specificity when you have complete anonymity))

      • Not to mention, ARnold, there was no DNA testing back then, or at least not an affordable test, so, the poor guy’s mind was probably spinning and checking dates, and he still didn’t get answers.

        For example if the best friend was always a best friend or a best man at the wedding. It’s always questionable who fathered the kid, because we all know the truth cheaters admit to is always ONLY the tip of the iceberg.

  • I seriously doubt the kids suffer anymore than the betrayed spouse. Maybe they have some issues, but ,seriously, the betrayed suffers much more IMO.
    I fully disclosed to my kids, without editorializing. And, I have done nothing for revenge. Yet some feel even disclosing the truth to kids is abusive.
    Kids can be caught in the middle etc. and that is niot ideal or right. But, I think you are wrong, Stepahnie, in saying they suffer the most.
    Of course pain/damage cannot be quantified, so maybe it is moot. But, there is a tendency, I think, to forget that the betrayed is a human being desrving of evey bit as much sympathy and respect as the kids.
    This kid, probably, knew the tip of the iceberg in terms of what his dad was facing. Now, as an adult, perhaps he should be expected to have a little more understanding.

    • Except in theory an adult has better control of their emotions, can understand the world better, and just has more experience. For example child bursting out crying over not winning a game is understandable, an adult doing the same thing is an over reaction. A kid hits another kid on the playground and they get a telling off in the principle’s office. An adult doing that to another adult gets a police report. There are different consequences because we recognize adults and children are at different places in their emotional development.

      Too children are at the mercy of their parents. The cheater can play all sorts of cruel mind games, but unless the cheater has the BS chained up in the basement, they can leave. Emotionally, financially, mentally, in can be very hard, but they have that ability. A child can’t check themselves into a hotel room or throw the cheater out. They have much less power, much less understanding, and no choice but to suffer while the adults work things out.

      Maybe instead of defending the dad we can take this as a lesson how to minimize the pain done to children?

      • Yeah, but if a betrayed “just leaves” , especially a guy, he may lose his chance at custody.

      • Green girl u should know that infidelity is not a child game……… Occupied spouse know consequences he/she will face if she get caught…….. I think u haven’t faced this condition…….. Betrayed spouse going nuts is natural as it is the worst betrayal of all kinds………. So he should be the one who needs more care and support

  • Without specifics, it is hard to evaluate the dad’s behavior. What form did his “revenge” take. It would be helpful to knw. And, how accurate is the child’s perception of what took place. One wonders how reliable it is. There are two sides to this, I expect.

    • Agreed, and then there is the issue of post infidelity PTSD.

      This is a real consequence of the trauma of infidelity, and only recently being recognized by psych pros. A double betryal is even worse.

      Personally, based on this son’s article, the mother sounds like the manipulative controlling one who tried to convince the kids the dad was the ogre.

      Maybe the Dad did protect the kids by not revealing the extent of the mother’s deceit and betrayal or betrayals.

      But mom likely got custody and the fulltime ear of both kids.

      As a nine- year- old child I had a friend whose mother was always badmouthing the husband. You know what, he always treated me and our group of friend’s well, and my friend’s mother was the one we all considered the lunatic.

      We came to this conclusion all on our own, because the father never said one bad thing about the lunatic mother.

      • I*m careful with those assumptions, mainly because my STBX is the proverbial nice guy. Everyone thinks he’s such a great guy and were so shocked that he cheated and even more shocked to hear he was a serial cheater.

        I was a bit crazy in the first few months as I was shocked as well. Truly and deeply shocked. And a lot of people serached around for ‘answers’ as to why he was this way because they didn’t want to change their view of him. He keeps playing the nice guy and portraying me at the nutter.

        It’s not always as it appears on the surface, is what I’m saying.

        • Hi Nord:

          The key word is “portraying.”

          Your ex is likely badmouthing you and PORTRAYING YOU as the nutter, but not to worry, because this often backfires.

          Providing just the fact ma’am such as saying the truth that the divorce was due to marital infidelity and I was truly shocked because I trusted him so and saw him as such a good guy, is not the same as saying he is evil or a perverted sleazebag.

          I never say that to mutual friends.

          Now what I say on message boards anonymously is totally different. LOL.

          • I may have editorialised in the first few months but now I save it for close friends and boards. I just say ‘this is what happened, yes, you know x, y and z OW that he fucked, yes, he lied to me for years’. There really isn’t any need to say anything else as haring that is all people need to know to figure out that he’s a sleaze.

            Funnily enough a few people still have the ‘what was wrong with the marriage’ attitude and although it used to piss me off I now just walk away from that kind of talk and leave it.

          • Nord

            Women still have the “what was wrong with the marriage attitude” because it offers them a false security blanket.

            The security blanket is use to cloak themselves from the fear that their spouse can and may cheat too.

            Hence, if they believe our husband’s cheated because we were not good wives, they can convince themselves that they are and/or by being a “good” wife they can control their lives and protect themselves from being the victim of a cheater.

            One woman wrote that she had to rationalize that perhaps her husband was the type to cheat and she just couldn’t see It because she loved him.

            She told a friend, “I thought he was the last guy who was the cheater type. but I must have had on rose colored glasses.”

            The friend responded: “no you didn’t, you are accurate, he is the last guy I would expect to cheat on his wife and yes, your marriage seems like one of the good ones.”

        • Agreed Sara8 I have the same situation my ex husband cuts me down constantly but I have learned through counseling to never mention him around the kids and never a bad word it works!????

  • I come from a land down under.
    My stbxw has had an affair for the last three years with a customer ( MD of a Swedish orange chainsaw company).
    Four days before she was due to leave for the New York Marathon I received a letter at home saying she was taking her lover to New York. She denied this and made passionate love to me every minute before departure.
    On her return a month later her phone went off while she was in the shower ” I have just arrived at the airport and can’t wait to be in your arms. I love you with all my heart! ”
    I phoned the number and identified the OM.
    Subsequently we agreed not to tell our two sons ( 12 and 15) but began reconciliation saying mum and dad were having some issues but there was no third party.
    My wife moved out into a bloody expensive apartment and we spoke often. Two months later I see the OM in the supermarket and call my wife who denies he is coming over. I finish the shopping and drive by and sure enough his car is in the driveway.
    I sit done with my boys and tell them your mum is seeing another man. My eldest son cuts in and tells me his name and the company he works for. My son had been intercepting emails and text while plating games on mums phone for the last 18 months. She told him it was spam. Now my boys know the truth. And so they should.
    I wrote to OM father, the fellow runners that travelled to NY ( who didn’t know what was going on. The previous letter was signed anonymous and my wife accused one of the runners and on return to Australia was unwelcomed back in the group.
    I have been told not to bad mouth mum but I tell the boys what I think of the OM. I spoke with his separated wife and she told me everything about NY otherwise I may never have known. The boys now know the whole story. They love their mother and visit regularly although the eldest is somewhat reserved. A year later they refuse to meet OM and I of course get blamed. I get blamed for everything g now because she wants everyone to get over it and move on. She continues to see him daily and they sleep together often.
    I got access to her iPhone and have copies of email and text exchange. I did my homework.
    The boys have been sensational through pout this whole pitiful episode and have a fantastic network of friends that have been supportive.
    The OM doesn’t care that he has caused so much destruction. He just wants his trophy wife and he has her. What an empty shallow lonely existence they will live. It’s not his first time so I fear for my wife but she is in fog and a total mindfuck over him. There is no saving her. At least she has her boys who have been mature enough to support her and stand by her. If only she realised how much I encourage them to support her. They owe the OM jack shit
    Love this site. Thank you. It’s been a lifesaver.
    BTW I have a restraining order for all the emails I sent ( nothing physical) and its horrible to deal with it, court etc but I wanted to tell the truth. My boys appreciate an honest parent.

    • That’s the way to handle it. Honestly and with their best interests in mind.

    • I think it is sad when a relationship between minor children and their parents is reduced to “visiting” as opposed to “living with.” But that’s another consequence of cheating, and the offending parent really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the consequences to anyone else.

      My ex complains bitterly that his relationship with the boys is strained, and asked me to fix it for him. When I pointed out that “you hurt them” he attempts to gloss over the obvious cause of his discontent as if his actions should have no consequences. It is appalling but not surprising, I guess, that your ex wife would complain about the lack of respect your sons have for the piece of shit she fucks.

      The cheaters are delusional and absolutely self-absorbed and leave a path of destruction to which they make themselves oblivious.

      • I get blamed because STBX has a crap relationship with the kids. Any time there is drama (which is usually perpetuated by STBX) it’s always somehow my fault. I get ‘you’re running a hate factory over there’ and, when he hasn’t seen them for a couple of weeks due to his own choices ‘oh, right, Nord, this plays right into your plans to make me the bad guy’. It’s hilarious is a sick sort of way how he can twist ANYTHING to be my fault. The fact that our home is not selling has nothing to do with the market falling, it has to do with my attitude or something. Must be all those ‘bad vibes’ I spread around before a showing.

    • Baci, how come this wife isn’t your ex-wife? Have you filed for divorce? If not, you’re enabling some serious cake there. I hope you are extracting yourself from this mess and getting some legal help. I’d hate for her to take those kids to New York. She’s already managed to get a restraining order on you.

      Support her? Stand by her? IMO, realize that their relationship with their mom is THEIRS to work out. Not yours. She lost all rights and privileges for you to manage the children’s relationship with her when she left you for Mr. Chainsaw. You aren’t getting the mother’s day bouquet or making them remember her birthday, or encouraging them to support her fragile psyche. No. You just make sure they get their court appointed visitation, you do your best not to bad mouth her (truth with no editorializing if you must discuss the break up), you let them know it is OKAY with you for them to have a relationship with her, no divided loyalties.

      And then stand back and let them figure it out in their own time that mom is a cheating, narcissistic, loon. It’s slopping out all over, they can’t help but notice.

      You take care of YOU.

      • We can’t divorce so quickly like you guys. Have to wait 12 months which in my case has just passed. We have both initiated property settlement and then one will file divorce. I have had no contact for 64 days. It’s hard but ill get there. She wants cake. One of my therapist showed me months ago that wife and I cannot even be friends even though she wants that. It will make it easier on everyone introducing kids etc to OM however it’s years down the track if ever.
        Mr chainsaw. Funny I used to call him CHAINSAW MAN ( CSM). I worried he would have me for defamation but now I use his name. Chainsaw man is more interested in selling chainsaws and fucking my wife than anything else. He’s a lonely fucker with all his family residing in New Zealand. He only has work mates here. I have been heavily involved with the boys rugby league and none of the boys friends patents want anything to do with him if he shows up. It’s been just on a year since d day and he can’t even meet the boys because they simply don’t wan to meet him.
        Thank you for your love and support. Means a lot to us chumps.

        • WHAT?

          It will make it easier on everyone to introduce OM to the kids?


          Tell your cake-eating wife and the slimeball to feck off. You don’t owe them anything that “will make it easier.” If your kids don’t want to meet the OM, they don’t have to.

    • I think you did the right thing telling your boys as they are obviously not stupid. I think you need to realise, though, that it’s not your job to ‘save’ her or do anything else for her. She’s a selfish woman. I’m not judging, mind you, because I’ve been there myself. My STBX is seeing his young OW and makes the kids spend time with her, something that has caused many arguemnts between him and the kids. This is, of course, somehow my fault. It’s all my fault just as your wife says it’s all your fault.

      Keep it together, be a great dad, don’t beat yourself up if you screw up here and there–but make sure you have an open, honest dialogue with your kids so that when you do screw up they feel free to talk to you about it. That’s saved me and my kids: when they think I’m doing or saying things that they don’t like (as far as the situation with their father) they tell me and we talk it through. Best thing I ever did was allow that as they feel more in control and are not bottling things up.

      • Nord, I have been told introducing kids to OM/OW too soon ends in total disaster. Your ex sounds like he his doing all the wrong things maybe desperate for acceptance by the kids of the OW or maybe to piss you off. The kids will resent her if he is not carefull. My ex tried to introduce chainsaw man last Saturday night and my youngest locked himself in the bedroom and then took off to a friends house. The cheaters blame us for everything so they don’t have to face reality

        • STBX tried to introduce her two months after I kicked him out and kept at it. His whole thing was definitely to piss me off. I actually tried ot make it easier, for the sake of the kids, contacting her and saying that perhaps we should meet and discuss how to make this go smoothly. She rejected my offer and STBX said (ery dramatically) ‘YOU’LL NEVER MEET HER!!!’

          The kids have now met her and that means she is ALWAYS with STBX when he’s with the kids. They’re pissed and just yesterday the older one had had enough and told STBX he doesn’t want to meet her again. We’ll see how this works out. I am staying out of it but am quite sure I’ll get the blame.

          The thing that worries my kids the most is that STBX will get her pregnant. She’s in her 20’s and I assume she’ll want children at some point. My kids are freaking out at the thought of him having a second family. My older one says it would feel like the final slap in the face. I don’t even know how to respond to that. I just hate seeing their ongoing pain and STBX’s inability to accept that he’s the cause of it and that he has done irreparable harm to their sense of safety and security. And all for some cheap fucks.

      • You’re so right Nord. The exes family wanted everything kept silent ( they previously kept family secrets that later blew up).
        Stay honest with your kids and they will trust you. Let the stbx destroy his own relationship with the kids. It’s hard because we need to compensate often

        • OMG the thought for your kids to have a step sibling. Focus on the kids they will need you more than ever. Your relationship will be so strong while the stbx lose connection with our children. It’s so sad to see children effected by this crap

        • Yes, my inlaws are full of secrets that I’ve kept to myself for years. It scares them because they know how much I’m aware of and now, because I’m being honest about STBX they seem to think I’ll spill on them. I won’t, as I just think they’re enabling asses but people are figuring things out on their own. They’re lonely people and they’ve brought it on themselves.

          I compensate and am happy to do so. I love my kids and no big night out is more important than making sure they’re ok. STBX doesn’t see things that way. He got pissed one night because he forgot he had them and it interfered with his workout. Not kidding. Totally blew up because he was going to miss his session.

  • I disclosed to my kids, as well, but there are some things they will never know about.

    For example, they will never know about my humiliation when waiting in line at the lab for STD testing, and being recognized by the lab tech as “X’s MOM! Heyyy, how’s it going, X’s mom?!” They will never know the worry I had about financial security. They might not know my loneliness, but on the other hand, if they are home alone while I am at work, they might understand a bit. They don’t know all the shitty things their father said to me, nor the shitty way he treated me, but on the other hand, they aren’t privy to the verbal castration I served my ex as he was walking out the door to be with the love of his life. They don’t know the OW posted a picture of their father on her FB page and how painful that was for me–MY husband on some skank’s social media site–“lookit what I have!” They don’t know about all the text messages xH and the twat sent each other, nor the content. They don’t know about the debt their father ran up after he left.

    In some ways, I think it’s good to protect them from all the nasty details of the truth, but on the other hand, they do need to know that shitty behavior has consequences, that I didn’t throw the bastard out for no reason–that would be abusive for them to not know the truth.

    But, I made a commitment to try to spare my kids from a lot of the pain their father flung our way, and I’ve reaped the rewards from that from day 1. I have a warm and loving and mutually respectful relationship with my kids. Their father has a creepy and awkward relationship with them, and it is veiled in lies and repulsive mystery.

    Perhaps it’s not fair to compare my pain with my children’s pain, but I never would have wished this betrayal on them. I only wanted the best for my kids, and that would have been a loving, two-parent role model family, not the stress of knowing their father is a jack-ass, and having to juggle holidays, and feeling like they owe their father some of their time, and worrying about me or even their lost father, of having to tell people, “No, my parents are divorced.” Of worrying that they might one day repeat their father’s mistakes. Of going to bed every fucking night wondering what in the hell happened. Of trying to make sense of nonsense. It sucks for them. I will move on, but they will always have to bear the pain of coming from a “broken” family. And I hate that.

    • There is no right or wrong on this disclosure deal, Stephanie. I hate it when fellow betrayeds start criticizing each other for how they handled things. We are the victims of these jerks and I have a tendency to stand up for a fellow like this dad. My way was right for me. I toilld the kids quite a bot without getting graphic. And, they still love their mom, make honor roll. and love me a lot.
      In my first marriage, I kept it all to myself. And, my second son is now a heroin addict with Hep C. So, maybe the failure to disclose was the wrong path.
      In reality, I doubt it had much to do with his choices, but, I could make a stretching case that if the second set of kids, who were told, turned out so well, and the children of the first marriage who were not told had problems, that non-disclosure had was the wrong choice.
      I’d still like toi hear the specifics of the alleged revenge before making a judgement.

      • Agreed, Arnold–the specifics would be instructive. We do need to support each other, sometimes with tough love. 🙂

        Sorry about your son. That hurts. I blame his fucked-up selfish mother. They hurt their children in untold ways.

        • Arnold mate sorry about your son too. It makes the shit some of us are going through irrelevant when have to deal with your son. You sound like the loving Dad who is just there for him and loves him and sometimes that all you can be.

  • That’s the hardest part of this – losing the family dynamic. The OM just wants the ex jumping up and down on his lap. He left a 12 and 14 year old in another country and sends them monthly cheques. Thank god they have a sensational mother.
    It’s just selfish thoughtless behaviour. My wife and OM now live the high life probably a lot on his expense account. However it’s empty and my sons won’t participate in their lonely sad existence. I feel for my wife because ironically she cares and loves her sons. It’s so fucked up

    • Not enough to not cheat on their father. There are a lot of honest ways out of a relationship Baci. You’re a good guy, but don’t feel bad for your wife. She CHOSE this fuckupedness at the expense of her kids. She’s not a poor sausage.

      The OM, btw, what a douchebag… I feel bad for all the kids in this story.

      • His youngest daughter is in drug rehab. It’s very very sad. I only hope that it wasn’t his abandonment a few years back. These things can happen to any kid. She is just so lucky to have a loving mother. Just like all the BS on here you’ve all found some inner strength that you didn’t think you had and been stoic and ton of strength for the kids.

        • Well, Baci, this OM sounds like a selfish irresponsible jerk, and you know what, in the end he will likely cheat on your wife too.

          He abandoned is kids, why would he think twice about abandoning a cheating woman.

          • This old goat is going to get cheated on , I bet. Baci’s wife is fully capable of that.
            Baci, it may not feel like it now, but you got rid of a cancerous tumor.
            FWIW, this happened to me once before, when I was in my early 40’s and, seriously, a hetero guy finds himself in realtively high demand at that stage of lilife.
            I imagine that holds little interest for you at this stage, but keep it in mind.

  • His wife may feel for him, as well, Baci, and think your wife is the devil incarnate. Bottom line is that they both engaged in the exact same behavior. So, disitinguishing between them may not be accurate. Your view of your wife may be clouded , as his wife’s view of him may be.
    I believe cheaters may care and love their kids. Just not as much as they care and love themselves(and orgasms).

    • His wife doesn’t think my wife broke up there marriage but I think my wife was close to it. His wife claims she caught him having two affairs in New Zealand. He’s just a fucked up individual who just cares about himself. Comes across all charming etc. I exposed him even on the companies Facebook page- nothing threatening just the truth. Cheaters hate the truth mate

      • Cheaters hate the truth, mate.

        Ain’t that the truth.

        My ex hides the OW except from me. His child support checks are addressed with her home address–that’s his banking permanent address.

        And the angriest he ever got in all this? It was when I pointed out the truth–he’s a scumbag liar.

        • Oh, and, by the way, I did recently tell my children the truth, that their father still has a relationship with the woman he left us for. Because he portrays himself as the poor, lonely, misunderstood father who just works so hard for his children, allllllll alone in the world, banished from his family.

          I just pointed out that, while he is probably ashamed of his actions, true enough, he also still has that woman in his life. When asked how I know, I told my son about the address on the child support check. No editorializing, just a brief reality check.

          Their father continues to live a lie.

        • Cockroaches hate sunlight! I followed the advise on many sites and exposed exposed exposed all in 48 hours- result got slapped with an order for intimidation- all for telling the bloody truth. She just carries on if nothing happened but of course the fantasy diminishes and they now have to face reality. Reality is such a bitch!
          You know my wife and OM met his daughters in Sydney 6 months before d day and told the daughters that we had been separated for 18 months- MATE that fucking hurt more than anything when I found that out!

        • Yes, STeph, they hate the truth and that’s why they tend to hate us. STBX absolutely hates me for telling the truth about what happened. I mean HATES me. I just think ‘you dumb, sorry bastard…you cheated for years, I finally found out and somehow I’m the bad guy for not going along with the stories you were trying to sell? Fuck right off’. They are all seemingly delusional.

      • Baci, your wife ran off with a serial cheater? Yikes. My STBX is a serial cheater, the current OW is aware of this, but apparently buys the old ‘we were not happy for years and the marriage was crumbling and if you just keep feeding me enough kibbles to keep me happy I’ll never cheat on you’. Sadly, he cheated on the woman before he met me and every one before that. He’s just a cheater. He’ll be ‘good’ for awhile, I think, but old dogs don’t learn new tricks.

        I am going to whip up a big old batch of popcorn when it all comes crashing down. Yes, I will enjoy watching her figure out just what she signed on for.

    • Yeah, agreed, Arnold. I don’t actually believe these cowards love their children, and I bristle when I hear that they do.

      Love is not expressed by tearing your family apart, by lying bald-faced to your children, by walking out on their daily lives. That is NOT love. And I call bullshit on people who claim that someone can act so destructively, but “love” anyway.

      I call bullshit on my ex, his mother and my parents who claim that he “loves” them. But I don’t argue, and I would NEVER say it to my kids. My actions and their father’s actions will speak for themselves. It isn’t that my children aren’t lovable, you see, it is that their father is incapable of true love. He is lost, with his head up his own asshole. If it makes him feel better to SAY he loves, then so be it. It might make my children feel better, as well. But we all know who and what he values–he left a family for an alcoholic who flattered him, he left responsibility for lack of responsibility. He traded respect for dishonor. Ah, the price of freedom. It is a burden, I have no doubt.

      • In Baci’s case, it’s particularly egregious, the mother MOVED OUT and left them! For the OM!

        Really hard to spackle that into a heart-shaped Valentine.

        • Now, let’s not get all sexist. Any cheating men do the same and it is no less egregious.
          But, giving you the benefir of the doubt, CL, I presume you meant any parent, male or femal , moving out is egregious. But, that is fairly common place.

      • So true Stephanie that love is not expressed by tearing your family apart. Cheaters are in cloud coocoo land. If I showed you the pathetic email exchange between these two you would swear they are 16 year olds. OM is 13 years older and I seriously think he is fucked up. But he runs a international company so must have some brains somewhere.
        These people don’t care about their families. They care about their careers and ability to fine dine and travel

        • Hope he lays in a big supply of Viagra. 13 years older and with a woman who has already demonstrated that she has zero loyalty. This poor schmuck is in for a rude awakening when he cannot get it up.

        • Baci, I too read the exchanges between them and it was seriously like reading two hormonal teenagers. It’s not surprising on OW’s end, of course, because she’s barely out of diapers, but STBX is a middle aged man. He seems to think that cooing at one another via text 400 times a day constitutes love. To him, the day to day reality of a maturing family is dull and boring and too much responsibility and not enough googly eyed stuff. Fair enough but then he rarely made any attempts to bring on the googly eyed stuff once the kids came. he simply went a fucked other people and had massive flirtations with women online.

          It’s hard because I don’t want my kids to think that the first rush of when you meet someone is what love is. That’s infatuation. Love is the longterm stuff, getting through things with each other and being there for each other no matter what. Which I did – and let me tell you there were some major things we had to get through as a couple and as a family – but he didn’t value that, to his detriment, I think.

          • Nord our stories are so similar only that my ex went for an older man. It’s nothing but an ego trip for your ex and my OM.
            My ex wants the Free time to play. The family stuff doesn’t matter to them. They want the selfish freedom. The kids know what’s important and that’s what matters

      • I agree. My kids have less access to their dad(me, I think), because their mom needed to chase orgasms. Not terribly loving.

    • Mate she will stick with him like shit to a blanket. It’s the money and prestige. She thinks the boys will be all happy families but it is what it is. If you behave like chainsaw man and ex did there are consequences. You can’t undo the past. Everyone keeps telling me it gets better but there is too much drama like court etc to clear out first. Thank god for my two amazing sons. They are just getting on with life playing sport and hitting the beach.

      • Baci, I lived in Oz a few years ago and reading that makes me wish this had happened when we lived there. At least then we’d have all the distractions of the nice life Oz offers. Where are you located?

        • On the Central Coast just north of Sydney. Paradise. I go to boot camp training on the beach. We live a block from the beach. Been here 18 years and don’t want to lose it. The ex and OM are coming after it. Fight on. The boys want to stay with me but if I lose the house need to stay in same area. Want little to do with chainsaw man so going to be a challenge

          • I lived in the Northern Beaches, up the road from Manly. Beautiful place. Wish I had stayed longer–the kids loved Nippers, etc.

  • I confronted him on d day mate. Stood four feet back from his front door with my arms folded and said we should talk while my wife was upstairs informing him I knew the truth. iWeb he declined I just steered at him for ten seconds and he shit himself. He isn’t a runner. He’s a pathetic businessman, unfit but with the sea side beach pad supplied by the company and the expense account. I just have to stay strong.
    Karma will deal with him.
    Thanks for the offer though. Keep hitting those balls. Best therapy.

  • Post divorce it gets better, faster. Pre-divorce, you are still stressed way too much to feel light at the end.

    • Arnold–

      Thanks for your insight and presence here. We chump husbands are not well represented so I pay attention when you have comments and advice to give.

      I recognize you from another support site. You were the one that suggested that my situation was similar to the “Light in the Piazza”.

      That site has very little traffic anymore so it’s good to see you here. Thanks again for all you do.

      • Yes, I remember you, RJ. can’t recall which site, but it may have been that “Couplesin trouble” site, one of the few from which I have not been banned 🙂

  • Dear chump lady why do I feel so guilty for wanting a divorce from my cheating husdend.

    • I feel the same. Is it because we feel sorry for the them and its easy to blame or focus on OM/OW. we haven’t detached enough. We chumps are suppose to just turn on our heel and go bush( take off across country ) and rub as fast as we can. BUT we have responsibilities to our homes and children while the cheaters enjoy their hour in sunshine fantasy. It won’t last ! But it hurts like hell in the meantime.

      • Time to RIP off the bandaid, clutch the wound in pain for a second, and then get up and move on.

        You Aussies are good at that sort of thing.


          • Hahah! Right!

            Listen to Arnold–it will get easier. You won’t miss your wife. You’ll one day see her for the unloving woman she is. You’ll remember all the times she treated you like shit, and you’ll realize you’re better off without her. There are a lot of us nice, loyal (not bad-looking) women out there, whose husbands left us because we’re pretty a-ok, actually.

            You’ll be right.

      • @ Baci. I try so hard to stay mad at him but find that it takes a lot of energy to keep it up. We fight and he just wears me out with the long debates over who is to blame for his cheating. After a few hours I just want him to shutt up so I can get a moments peace. I was raised on guilt. My grandmother raised me and she was a expert at guilting people. She controlled me with guilt my whole childhood, until I was about 22 years old, and just broke lose by moving out on my own. She was still able to use it on me but the distance made it easier for me to make my own decidions. He is very good at using the things I have told him in confidence about my life agents me. Making me feel as if I am a idiot in need of his guidance. For years I believed the things he said about me not being the type of woman that I should be to keep a man from cheating. Even now that I understand that it would not matter if I was Martha steward or Sussi home maker, he still to this day uses the I don’t do the things nessisary to make him happy bit. The crazy shit about it is that deep down (eventhou i would never admit it to him) my ass still lets it get to me.

        • And don’t even bother getting into who is to blame for his cheating. He is, end of and that’s all you need to say to him. If he wants to argue don’t engage, let him piss into the wind with his insanity.

        • Time to do some work on your self esteem and low entitlement issues, Tiny. I did it and it really helped. Now, I can act like a complete prick when necessary.

      • I sometimes feel guilty as well, mainly because I see what this has done to the kids. And yes, I feel slightly sorry for him because he has done something that can’t be undone, no matter what and it’s caused a lot of pain for a lot of people, including himself.

    • I don’t know Tiny. You need to love yourself more. He’s not giving a flip about YOU, so why do you care about him? Read up on codependency.

      • I have read the codependency article. I can see how that could be the case for me, but the thing that gets me is I fully am aware of the fact that he is playing head games. I even call him on them when he throws the at me. I just can’t make myself take the steps to get out. I always Soften up and give in. It’s to the point were people are asking what the hell is wrong with me. I am asking myself WTF is up. Am I one of those people that say they want out but really they like to be screwed over. I think about this 24/7 . I feel like I am obsessed with his cheating.

        • Tiny I thought this shit only happened down under but its worldwide! I’m in the same head space as you so I know it’s time consuming frustrating and just plain madness. There are many thoughts that I use. One I’m not Robin Crusoe. I have to be there for my boys and remain strong ( but I must say remaining calm about OM is a huge challenge. Try and read the Bruce Fisher book about rebuilding after a relationship fails. It’s about building blocks and following a path that isn’t easy but its all about you. We all wish this shot didn’t happen but we must look after ourselves holistically so that we are ready for the future and whoever walks into our lives. Thinking about it 24/7 is part of the journey but its not the destination. Also try and a lot times of the day to think about it and other times do something else but don’t think about the Cheater. Give them an hour a day. That’s all they deserve. It’s hard and easy to say but it’s the only way out of this shit fight. Good luck

          • Baci thanks for the advice. It’s nice to know that I am not the only person that is struggling to get my head right. I find it hard to talk to most of my friends about it now. They are all talked out. They are so over it. I will look that book up. I can use all the help I can get. Once agin thank you for your input, and good luck to you too. You sound like you are on the right track and have what it takes to get we’re you want to be. (Tiny)

          • I struggle a lot as well trying to not think about things. I’m one year and a bit from dday/kicking him out and it’s still quite hard. I’m not a basket case anymore but I still think about all of this FAR too much. I think the kids do as well, but it’s hard for them not to when the OW is shoved in their face all the time. The living, breathing evidence of their father’s idiocy is right there trying to play nice happy familes with them on a regular basis and it enrages them at times, because they miss their family, they hate that their father and I can’t talk, they hate that their whole worlds have been turned upside down and they have to deal with all this shit simply because their dad wanted to fuck around.

          • And Tiny, my friends are talked out as well a lot of the times. Thank god for CL and a couple of dear friends who let me vent when I need to.

  • From Stephanie’s earlier reply–” I will move on, but they will always have to bear the pain of coming from a “broken” family. And I hate that.”

    The pain of betrayal is excruciating. I’ve screamed and wept and wanted to hurt myself from the agony. Even worse is seeing your child suffer. However, children’s pain comes before the parents’. E.’s father and mother’s obligation was to their children–not to their dysfunction and both were moral agents capable of making reasoned choices about the care they showed their children. Yes, spousal betrayal is nearly unbearable, yet E and his sister needed at least one secure nurturing parent to protect them from stress and trauma they weren’t ready to handle. Extreme and persistent stress has long-term effects on the cognitive functioning and emotional and physical health of a child, but those who who have at least one parent to protect them, as much as possible, from unnecessary emotional injury can still thrive and develop character and resiliency. That parent doesn’t even have to do a perfect job of it as long as there are lots of hugs, listening, and the child is still the child and not the protector, confidant or strength of the family’s remnants.
    I’m sorry for E understand his disappointment with his father yet few of us escape the flaws of one or more of our parents. He sounds like he’s explored the causes and effects of his parents’ drama and failings and is a thoughtful soul despite his parents’ failings. I get the sense that the next generation in his family will make wiser choices than the last. Best wishes to him.

  • Btw, from what I can see most cheaters don’t stay because of the children. They stay because the don’t have a sure thing to move in to lined up yet. Usually when all their ducks are in a row they take off regardless and in spite of the kids

    • My ex was in the middle of lining up all the ducks but I fucked the ducks right up with exposure. Game over. Now I’m no longer an option. When that happens I in her eyes became the husband from hell. Thankfully most friends see my track record. You don’t all of a sudden become attentive to the kids needs- its a life long commitment. In my case I spent more time with boys to assist ex build her career. Now that’s come back and bitten me on the bum as she has run off with the managing director of the company next door to her work. It’s all about the power and prestige 5 star life etc. it’s empty but these cheaters love the fantasy. Family isn’t important to them.
      No more cake for ex.

  • My sisters and I always felt bad for my Mom. She deserved so much better than my father but I’m sure she hung in because of us and the misquided notion that that is what you did. He was a serial cheater. One of his girlfriends tried to kill him by running him over with a car. Another time he bought home the dog of another because he couldn’t stand how she took care of it (it was a very good dog and lived with us for years) We sort of knew what was going on but never were sure. We all were glad when he moved out although they did not formally divorce for years after that. None of us has ever been really close to my father and rarely speak of him since he past. We all miss our Mother every day.

  • My mom cheated on my dad several times. I was with her most of the time, while she was cheating. I was told to keep it quiet. My dad has been hurting a long time. They are still together. I just wish he could get up the courage to leave and save some happiness for his life. 🙁

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