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Dear Chump Lady, How do you define cheating?

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Dear Chump Lady,

How does one define cheating? Obviously having sex with someone not your partner without your partner’s consent is infidelity. But on Huffpost I’ve read about “emotional infidelity” where a man or woman bonds with someone not his or her spouse, usually at work. On Dear Prudence and Dear Abby I’ve read letters from people writing in about their spouse looking at porn.

Is sending sexy or nude photos to someone not your spouse cheating? What about a night a Chippendales? Looking at porn sites or receiving playboy in the mail? Is watching a movie with sex cheating if the person is aroused? What about fantasizing about having sex with the main character of a bodice ripper or erotica? Is this something that spouses need to discuss before they get married, or do most people know instinctively?

Interested what you think,

GreenGirl

Dear GreenGirl,

Good question. I would say whatever your partner considers cheating is a problem for your relationship, whether that is porn, or sexting, or expressing a fondness for Kim Kardashian’s rear end. Yeah, discuss it. Everyone is entitled to their deal breakers, find out what they are, for sure.

That said, if you want my opinion — and it may be an unpopular one — I define cheating as having sex outside the relationship. Period. Getting upset about porn I don’t really understand, unless it’s so habitual and freaky as to interfere with regular life and intimacy. Fantasizing about a fictional character? I really don’t think healthy marriages are patrolled by the Thought Police. Sexting? Skype sex? Icky. Boundary crossing. Probably a prelude to a physical affair — but not IMO the same thing.

Emotional affairs — sharing intimate details about one’s life with someone outside the relationship, complaining about one’s sex life, etc., yes these are emotional betrayals and horribly inappropriate, but I don’t give them the same weight as having a physical affair, although they are terribly painful, I’m sure.

I am made very uncomfortable by the position taken on places like SI that it’s ALL cheating. It’s all the same. I think that is nonsense. This one-size-fits-all approach to infidelity is useful if you’re reconciling because you can just lump the whole mess together and not get into the messy details. He says it was an EA? Okay, maybe it was a PA, but I don’t have to know that, because hey, it’s all cheating. It’s also a way to minimize the reckless endangerment aspect of a physical affair — if porn is cheating and fucking around is cheating, it’s all just cheating, right?

There is rightly a lot of skepticism around degrees of cheating, because cheaters tend to only cop to what they think you know. So if you discovered an emotional affair, then yes, they’ll say it never got physical. And if you discovered sexting, they’ll insist it never went any further… until you gather evidence that it did. So there is a tendency to think in short hand about cheating — oh EA? We know what THAT really is because cheater’s lie!

But I would argue that people can be all kinds of inappropriate without being in a physical affair. Wondering what else is out there. Oogling women at strip clubs, perusing dating sites, having a workplace crush or “work spouse.” Having a friend or outside hobby that drains energy away from the relationship.

Yes, it could all be a prelude to a physical affair. It is a slippery slope, but there is a SLOPE that transverses towards a LINE. And to me, a lot of people teeter on the slippery slope, dance around the edges of it, contemplate the descent, and maybe even set up a squatter’s shack on its periphery —  but for whatever reason they do NOT cross that line. They don’t. And to me, that MATTERS.

To be embarrassed by your spouse, or even humiliated by their emotional affair, is a very different kettle of fish than being physically betrayed. To have a physical affair, there is plotting and planning and going through with it. It is crossing that line. Getting naked and intimate with someone is inherent with risks — STDs, pregnancy, and deeper intimacies, which I don’t think can be found on Skype chats. A physical affair exposes a chump to far greater lasting harm. A disease, a cancer risk, a child out of wedlock, a loss of income (if its prostitutes, or an expensive fuckbuddy adventure, or child support).

And it is the most intimate of betrayals. To pull it off — and do it time and time and time again — requires such a disconnect, such a lack of empathy and compassion for the betrayed partner — that to me it seems like a willful act of a aggression against the chump.

Now cheaters will say that they still loved you all the time, and I think that is bullshit. Or they may say that they were not thinking of you at all, which I do believe and I find creeptacular in its extreme narcissism. But it is the ability to have this darkness in yourself, that disconnect and entitlement, and physically ACT on it. And ENJOY it. And go back for seconds and thirds, that to me is the definition of cheating.

It’s not enough to think about it, or play act it — to cheat in my book, you have to do the deed. Fuck someone over. Not porn them over. Or inappropriately friend them over. FUCK them over.

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Ask Chump Lady

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  • Well, I know for a fact that my husband did not have sex with his AP but I most certainly call it infidelity and personally find it WAY more painful then if he had just had a one night stand.

    He and his long distance AP talked and texted like school children every day, every minute of the day for six months. They told each other they were soul mates and they loved each other, they had a plan to be together in 7yrs when the kids grew up. They plotted and met each other just once (each drove half distance so it wouldn’t take and entire day) and they held hands and kissed.

    Once found out, they both promised me NC and even though my husband swore on our children’s LIVES, he continued to contact her for 3 more weeks until I found out yet again.
    BTW: A year later my 13yr old daughter almost did die and is now disabled with a brain injury. We remain together (in separate rooms) because it takes two of us to care for her.

    So you say…that was not cheating? I’m 3 yrs out and still not over the pain. I must be a big wussy then I guess.

    • I’m not saying it isn’t betrayal, or painful. Emotional affairs ARE painful and are betrayals, but in my opinion (and it’s just mine and is stated as such) I don’t think it is the same as a physical affair.

      Which, btw, my reading of your story is. Adults do not say they love you, plot and conspire and MEET UP to “hold hands.” Bull shit. I think there is more to the story than you know, and that is why you are righteously pissed.

      The rest is bad enough as well. No one is saying you’re a wuss. But frankly, I do put you in a very different category of sufferer compared to a chump who spent 20 years with a serial cheater and discovered their life was a lie. Or a guy who had to check the paternity of his children — something that “holding hands” does not lead to.

      • Hi CL,

        Thanks for clarifying and I DO think that serial cheaters are in another league altogether.

        My cheater waited 23 years to cheat on me and it was an isolated incident. YES..I do still consider it cheating, because my husbands LOVE was what was most important to me NOT his dick. Do you disagree? Do you consider what happened to me not cheating just because he didn’t bump uglies with her?

        • Weim, if YOU consider it cheating and you have communicated it to your husband that way, then it’s cheating. Just like it would be if porn or sexting were your deal breakers. You get to articulate the deal breakers for your marriage. It should hurt your spouse to hurt you.

          But I have to say, I still don’t think you have the whole story, which is probably more than an EA. You know enough to know it’s pretty damn awful. It’s really like unlikely, however, that grown ups would invest that much time and I love you’s in each other and stop at hand holding. Chris really lays it out quite well in his post below. I’m so sorry. It’s ALL very painful for you, I’m sure.

        • It is my very strong sense as a middle-age, sexually active man that almost no middle-age, sexually active man would give his LOVE to a woman without first introducing her to his DICK. They’re kind of a package deal.

          • OK Nomar, I am now very open to the possibility that somehow some sort of sex (Skype sex or whatever or maybe even a VERY quick fuck) was had….and it still has no effect on me. I actually don’t find his dick all that special. His body is not what I loved…I loved what I thought he was as a person. Sex is quite frankly not really very special at all, it’s really no more special to me than kissing. I value emotional attachment much more than any physical connection.

          • Fair enough. I certainly understand that profound betrayal can occur even without sexual infidelity. I just think it’s important to have as much objectivity as possible when assessing the prospects of, and strategies for, reconciliation.

            Good luck with whatever path you choose!

    • Wein:

      Why do a doubt they drove all that distance just to hold hands and kiss…..two adults?

      IMO, an emotional affair is not the same as a physical affair. I could, it’s upsetting, but just complaining about your spouse is not an affair.

      The I love you part and planning to be together in seven years indicates they were planning to get physical and they likely did, and that is why you are so hurt and angry.

      Somewhere within you know that.

      If my STBX had only complained about me to the OW, it really would not have hurt as much as it would have annoyed me.

      It was the meeting for sex that hurt. It’s one thing to find a sympathetic ear of the opposite sex ant then just talk, and quite another to have sex with that friend.

      But therein lies the rub, most confidants of the opposite sex do turn into fuck buddies, sadly.

      I really think it’s impossible to have a close opposite sex friend, one with whom you confide personal issues.

      Still, I would not have been so hurt by finding that my STBX was simply complaining to another woman. I would have stopped it still, but I could have gotten past that.

      • Everyone has different deal breakers, and perhaps for Wein the “I love you” and the hand holding were the points of no return. But I agree with you Sara, that lesser offenses could be overcome. Everyone has different tolerance levels. Look, obviously people reconcile after physical affairs. I just think there is a descent towards crossing that line, and if you’re fortunate enough to intercept your relationship before it gets physical, you’ve got a better chance at recovery, IMO.

        • I think that, and this is just for me: I’d much rather have someone go and get laid — as in a one-nighter or whatever — than to develop deeply emotional attachments to someone else.

          The whole plotting to get away after the kids have grown, all of that “same time next year” stuff, that’s just as bad, or worse. That’s a value judgement, as in: “I love you more than I love this person I’m stuck spending my life with.” also, anyone who is staying in a relationship with me out of some kind of sense of obligation rather than because he loves me and wants to be with me, no thank you again. Go away.

          I tell you, I think that I would include emotional distancing as a form of infidelity as well; I would also include the withholding of physical affection as a form of infidelity. If you are with a partner who is behind walls all the time or not having sex with you, even though he or she is not TECHNICALLY having sex with someone else, he or she is still betraying the basic tenets of a marriage. It does not honor your partner if you shut them down emotionally and physically.

          • That’s an interesting perspective, Kristina. Hmm. It’s definitely a shitty thing to be on the receiving end of, I can tell you from my first marriage. But again, I would argue that as painful and craptacular as that is, NOT having sex is not exposing me to harms like STDs or a pregnant OW. Also, withholding sex is very in-your-face. You KNOW they aren’t having sex with you, whereas an affair requires duping the chump. You think you’re the only one, and surprise, you’re not.

            I agree, though, it does not honor your partner to shut them down emotionally or physically. I wonder if people who cheat because of actual sexless marriages then see themselves as having a sort of “revenge” affair? The whole thing is fucked up for sure.

          • Kristina:

            I again agree with you in concept.

            Still, if there is no actually sexual cheating involved or intent to meet for sex, than I think all those issue can be addressed and maybe fixed in counseling.

            Once the actual sexual infidelity happens, it really is a lot more traumatic for the hurt spouse and more difficult to get past.

            I understand than emotional connections are a betrayal, but I could move past that if it was a case of just meeting for lunch or drinks to bitch about the prospective spouses.

            But moving it into the sexual arena is what breaks the marriage vows.

            • I think men think of physical cheating/affairs as more damaging than emotional and women consider emotional affairs as much or more damaging than physical. Men cheat between their legs and women cheat between their ears. I am 5 years out of my H’s 2 yr EA with old HS “friend” and I am 100% sure it couldn’t hurt any more than it does. He’s to blame but had never heard of EA … Didn’t think it was cheating, just not telling about the lunches drinks texts calls etc… Thought no sex = no affair. I am positive divorced HS friend knew what she was doin but had nothing to lose. both affair types are wrong! I’ve been through a lot of pain and loss but nothing has ever hurt like this… And I’ve had 5 yrs to “get over it”!!!

          • I guess I’m not willing to sort out stuff like that in counseling.

            If a guy is willing to betray me, by bitching at me to a female friend with whom he is emotionally engaged, fuck him. Let him go and be with her.

      • I think it is possible to have a friend of the opposite sex to confide in. However I think it’s like walking a tightrope. Some people can do it really well, no wobbles, on their hands and blindfolded. Other people find it difficult, but manage. And then there are people who fall as they find it more difficult that it looks.

        • I would say it depends on what you’re confiding about. I do not think confiding in a friend of the opposite sex about your marriage and or sex life in the marriage is innocent. Its a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed, probably to get feelers out there and see if the other is interested or offended, and is likely a prelude to a physical affair.

      • SARA8,
        “Why do a doubt they drove all that distance just to hold hands and kiss…..two adults?”

        Because of the timeline, I know the date that they met…They would not have had much time and yes, I’m aware that a quick fuck does not take much time but really, that doesn’t matter to me. I really don’t care if he fucked her. I’ve seen pictures of her and she’s butt ugly, is 5yr younger than me but looks at least 5yrs older, has a goiter and scaly red patched skin due to a Thyroid condition and skin cancer so if he could get it up for that, more power to him.

        It’s the emotional investment and the lies that hurt the most, that and the fact that he was protective of her where he has NEVER been protective of me.

        • Weim, it is good that it doesn’t matter to you, because a grown adult man who drives hours to meet a woman with whom he’s in love and plotting the desertion of his wife after the kids have grown most certainly has fucked the other woman. But really, I’m with you, that’s not the problem — a one-time fuck in a backseat or whatever. Distasteful, sure. Desperate and sickening and life-threatening, absolutely. But it is just sex.

          The emotional stuff that underpinned all that, and the memories of which probably keeps him going through the long nights spent alone in his bed while you’re in your bed…THAT’S the stuff that really cuts to the bone. I’m sorry your stranded in that situation.

        • Wein Mom:

          I understand. I really do.

          Your situation sounds like more than an emotional affair because of the admitted to kiss, hand holding, and the protectiveness you mention and emails claiming he would leave you within a certain time frame.

          I am talking about some people who are divorcing simple because the spouse complained to a member of the opposite sex about the marriage, even without talking about their sex life.

          To me that’s similar to complaining about the ball and chain to a same sex buddy. It’s still wrong, but doesn’t break any marriage vows.

          It’s when the conversation gets too personal and divulges sexual complaints or other very private details that it walks the line of infidelity.

          As others have said complaining about very personal details shows a vulnerability that a predatory OW or OM sees as an opportunity and the complaining person is just as guilty because they WANT to show they are vulnerable. It’s like an invitation that says I am vulnerable, unhappy and MAYBE available. …..HIT ON ME. It shows the intent to cheat.

          As for the OW being less attractive than you. Studies show that most OWs are not as attractive as the wife. There are a lot of reasons why, but I don’t want to thread jack.

          • Wein Mom
            Most cheaters affair down from what I have gathered. Definitely in my story for sure! It is not about whether the OP is hotter, smarter than you. It is about how the cheater FEELS and is ADMIRED as well as easy ATTENTION.. All narcississtic bullshit. What does ChumpLady call that again? Ego Kibbles!
            Wein Mom, I agree with you that emotional affairs also constitute as cheating. Your spouse is being emotionally intimate with someone else that is only meant for you and YOU ALONE. My STBXH was caught in a full blown EA/PA three year affair. Everything about it was devestating and deplorable, but the fact he was emotionally invested in someone else, all while saying he loved me all that time makes me ill.
            I agree with the other chumps that there are strong indicators that he has acted on the physical aspect as well. And still could be involved.. Do some research. I am so sorry you are going through such a horrid situation.

    • WeimMom: Thank you for your honest and heartbreaking letter. Trust me. Your pain is felt from everybody who posts here. We’ve all been through it and we welcome you with open arms to share your story and your thoughts.

      But I hope you don’t mind, as is the protocal around here, if we share some of our thoughts with you.

      “Well, I know for a fact that my husband did not have sex with his AP but I most certainly call it infidelity and personally find it WAY more painful then if he had just had a one night stand.”

      –I totally get it. But what I think is hurting you the most, besides the fact that your husband blatantly cheated on you, is your denial about it.

      I’m CERTAINLY not casting judgment. I’m the fucking denial KING. My ex threw away three years for a guy he had known for three weeks. All the nights he didn’t come home, all the texts that went back and forth between them all day, every day for three weeks straight, and the fact that the cheat partner was at my apartment the next day once I vacated the place.

      Yet, when my ex looked me in the eyes and swore up and down that he didn’t cheat, I believed it. I was in denial, and now I know why I was in denial. Becuase I was still madly in love with him. I was the trainwreck survivor closing my eyes and pretending that the train was still on the tracks.

      THAT made the pain worse, and believe me when I tell you you’re only hurting yourself.

      My ex did finally come clean, but what hurt worse than the “revelations” (which I knew all along but chose to ignore) is the fact that I didn’t: a) See this coming; b) Protect myself emotionally from his choices and actions. I’m stronger than that. We all are. But alas, love is equally blind and blinding.

      Anyway, back to your story. Time to be blunt: Your hubby’s lying out his ass. No grown man goes through all of that trouble and drives all that distance to meet a woman he planned on leaving you for (his words)…just to kiss and hold hands.

      You didn’t share how old the other woman is or how far away she lives but it’s not even remotely believable that he’d carry on those incessant text conversations and go out of his way, behind your back, just to kiss and hold hands. Especially since he was already planning on an exit strategy.

      If I’ve learned anything in my dealing with these emotional trainwrecks, it’s that probably 99.9% of cheaters utilize the P&T formula: Privacy & Time. If a cheater has those two things, he/she will do whatever the fuck he/she desires. This is how marriages are destroyed, unplanned children are conceived, STD’s are spread, and hearts are broken.

      Remember when Ted Haggard, who was busted cheating on his wife with meth and a gay hooker? It was bad enough that Haggard denied the hotel liasons. The best lie came when he claimed: “I did buy the crystal meth. But then I just threw it away.”

      Right. You’re a well-known, charismatic evangelical leader with a congregration and you went through the trouble of locating a drug dealer, paid money for a cheap but still very illegal amphetamine…..only to change your mind and discard it.

      It’s a non-denial denial. You believe him because you don’t want to believe he cheated. He’s giving you the “I smoked pot but didn’t inhale” bullshit because he doesn’t want to: a) Face up to what he’s done; b) Deal with the consequences. I know exactly what you’re going through, but I think you’re only hurting yourself by believing him.

      I don’t know how your daughter’s tragic injury plays into the timeline, but the fact that your husband broke NC with the other woman speaks volumes. That’s so shitty and I’m so sorry you got betrayed even AFTER you caught him.

      Maya Angelou said: “When people show you who they are, believe them.” Sounds like you finally believe him if you’re keeping separate rooms.

      Do keep us posted and my thoughts are with you and your daughter.

        • Thank you Chris for the welcome. I got kicked off of SI so this is a place for me to come because I am still not over it I guess. Doesn’t help that I have to live like this on top of the pain of what my daughter is going through.

          It is very likely that he did have a physical affair with her at some point. It would make sense that he would try to take that to his grave because he would be protecting her since she is still with her husband and they are Mormons so sex would likely be the deal breaker for him and would end their marriage. Ironic that he hooks up with a Mormon tea partier….we are both left wing Dem’s and Athiest. LOL

          • Cheaters are not Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Wiccans… no matter what they profess. Committed cheaters worship only themselves. It doesn’t matter what your husband believes vs. the other woman believes – what matters is the willingness to betray.

          • Wien:

            The fact that the OW is exactly opposite of you is not unusual.

            Affairs are all about the new, the exciting, the forbidden, the strange.

            It’s all kind of alien and odd to me, because those factors don’t excite me in a marriage, they turn me off. I like companionate love. That’s real love to me and the other type is very adolescent and immature, to me.

  • Agree entirely with CL about this. And hope that people who are dealing with only EAs (which is, I’d guess, about 20 percent of those who THINK they are only dealing with EAs) don’t see it as a minimization of their pain.

    WeimMom: The evidence you provided us is that your H and the OW exchanged thousands of texts , exchanged “I love yous,” drove many hours to meet in person, kissed, planned to marry her at a specific point in the future, and that your husband now apparently accepts a celibate life with you (“separate rooms”). The most likely explanation of these facts is that they had (and might be continuing) a physical sexual affair. It doesn’t take much time. An hour or two every comple of months is plenty. I don’t think you can be “certain” there’s nothing physical unless he’s taken a polygraph. Has he? Have you asked? If he refuses, you have your answer.

    Sorry to convey this opinion, but most of us whose spouses had sexual affairs heard at first that the affair was only online or, upon finding out they’d met, were told it was only platonic. We also DESPERATELY wanted to believe it. That your husband swore on the lives of his children does not distinguish him. Addicts are liars, and many cheaters are in effect addicted to their extra-marital relationships.

    I pray you have the strength to deal with this awful mess and make healthy decisions for yourself and your family.

  • Weim, my story also went that way– they met online, only met in person twice, and at the second meeting, they kissed, and STBX pulled away because he “knew it was wrong.” Nothing had happened since.

    EXCEPT… that was all a lie. They did meet online, but they ALSO spent tons of time texting/online chatting/talking on his cellphone, met several times for unprotected sex, and he thought he was in love with her. That’s when I said I wanted a D.

    The first version that he gave me didn’t make me think D right away– I was planning on going for MC to see if we could work things out. He wasn’t the perfect husband, but he was an okay one, and we had three kids together. To my knowledge, he hadn’t done anything like this before, so I wanted to see if we could fix things before we called it quits (hence, my personal agreement with CL– I thought he hadn’t crossed the line into a physical relationship, so I thought we had something to salvage).

    I know that you’re in a difficult situation with your daughter’s injuries, and I’m very sorry for that, but just because you need help with her doesn’t mean that you need to stay with HIM. I also think that if you do some more digging, you’ll find out what your H and the OW did together, and that might make it easier for you to go meet with a lawyer and see what your rights are and how best you can take care of your daughter without staying in M purgatory to him.

  • Defining infidelity is a pretty exhausting exercise in futility. I think it is so individual. Even then we kill ourselves doing intellectual gymnastics. Once early on in our reconciliation process my unicorn wife was minimizing some of my pain. I spent waaay too much time on SI and the stupid forgiveness demons were killing me. I asked her to think of all the stuff she said, did, plotted, exposed, felt, with the Piece of Shit Other Man (POSOM) then asked how she would feel if I did the same thing with some bucktoothed skank with hairy knuckles. …..The silence was loud. She has never minimized anything again.

    Infidelity is well defined while at the same time it is not. What we are really trying to do is use the definition to quantify our pain.

    • I’m not interested in getting into a pissing contest as to who is in more pain. If it is behavior that hurts you, it hurts you and your spouse should quit doing it. Period.

      If your spouse could imagine how you felt, when you asked her, and she didn’t minimize again — I’d take that as a good sign. Tells me she’s not a narcissist, and that she can do empathy when confronted.

    • Hey Dave, I’d say you are lucky
      ” I asked her to think of all the stuff she said, did, plotted, exposed, felt, with the Piece of Shit Other Man (POSOM) then asked how she would feel if I did the same thing with some bucktoothed skank with hairy knuckles. …..The silence was loud. She has never minimized anything again.”

      I asked my husband the same thing only problem with him though is that he doesn’t do empathy and THAT more than anything is why he is in another room. We are business partners at this point. He needs me to bring in the money/health benefits and I need him because my daughter requires almost 24hr care and I would have to pay someone to do it if he didn’t. That is also why I cannot divorce him. Since he has essentially become a stay at home Dad I would also have to pay HIM if we divorced. Either way it’s a raw deal for a kid who has already had the rawest deal handed to her that you can possibly imagine.

      • So it sounds as if your POS husband is currently unemployed. He’s living rent-free, getting his food and medical paid for, and has free access to pretty much everything in return for being available to care for your daughter’s needs while you’re working.

        I would still contact a family practice attorney and also investigate social services in your area. Having to live with a cheater under your roof because you need him to care for your child while you bring home the money is its own special hell. If there is any option for you to dispense with his services while still being able to get nursing care for your child, then that would be better than your current situation which, as I said, sounds like hell.

  • I’m not sure if I agree. I can see that an intense emotional affair, which takes all the best of your spouse away from you and gives it to someone else, could be on par with a fuck. It’s all up to the individual, I think.

    • Agree, nord. I think deep emotional attachment to another person is actually very dangerous and also forms a crack in the trust that one feels towards one’s partner. I mean, after all, those people who have love affairs, whether they are physical or not, are betraying their spouses very deeply, sharing secrets and speaking badly about the spouse behind the spouse’s back. That’s a dreadful betrayal.

    • Nord:

      The operative words being intense and giving your best to someone else.

      I agree that Weinmom’s husband’s interactions were s in that category.

      And as CL said, everyone has their deal breakers and that’s okay. And CL said in her post that cheating is whatever the spouse deems it to be, but it’s still not the legal definition.

      In divorce court, without PROOF of penetration, the affair is not considered legal marital infidelity even in the states that are NOT no fault states.

  • Yeah I don’t know…. may get in trouble for saying this, but I think it is especially different when it comes to women. In my experience, women tend to be about the emotional connection as much if not more than the physical. My wife spent 2 years giving her heart to another man, putting all of her hopes, love, and emotion in him. Sex was just a manifestation of that emotional intimacy for her, and she probably could have taken it or left it.

    So does my wife sleeping with another mqn buf me? Heck yeah. Big time. But honestly not as much as her being “in love” with him and giving her whole heart and soul to him.

    Different strokes for different folks I guess!

    • That’s interesting. Usually I read it’s the other way around. Men are more concerned about the sex, and less about the emotional connection. They both suck, of course.

  • I may not know what an affair is but I’ll know it when I see it. But I surely do disagree with you Chump Lady about the definition. Physical betrayal one time no many times yes. Like WeimMom my first inkling was 320 text messages over a 3 day period. Who knows how long he had been befriending her on Facebook. A few overheard phone calls. I really don’t think they could have physically gotten together more than a 1/2 dozen times if that. It is the sheer emotional betrayal of this. He now thinks this old girlfriend is his great love (hadn’t dated in 30 years) I have beenwith him for 23! He loves her? She loves him? Please. It is so teenage. Emotional infidelity is just as painful and it is cheating.

    • It is painful — but if they got together a half dozen times that’s also a physical affair too, right? I’m skeptical that people profess “love” to people they haven’t slept with, but yes Janet, it all sucks big time.

      • No I agree. I’m pretty sure they have probably hooked up (not in denial just can’t figure out what is going on here and not trying to waste my time & energy figuring it out) They don’t seem to have much contact beyond the cell phone. if this was the great love of my life and the cat was out of the bag I would want to SEE him more. How am I ( the betrayed spouse) going to object if he wants to divorce me and marry her? I am not confronting him except for sniping at him occasionally. You can explain this by cake eating but he could be eating alot more cake. She is separated and living with parents as far as I know. So confusing.

  • The problem is the cheater’s penchant for lying and minimizing the betrayal until you think you are crazy. You never really know what you got, cause its your gut against their word. Your “proof” will be denied, you’ll be told you are crazy, it’s just a joke (usually combined with being told what a prude you are), or this piece of proof that you have is as far as it ever went. This is probably what leads people to stalk their spouses until they have indisputable proof of a physical affair. And people do want to believe they are crazy, because the alternative is that the person you trusted the most in this world has completely and totally fucking betrayed you. So I believe you should treat an EA like a physical affair because its likely that it is actually both and even if not an EA requires the lying and duplicity that is the worst part of a physical affair anyway, at least IMO.

    I’m actually surprised my husband did come clean w as much as he did as soon as he did. But then I guess I did find a pretty explicit text. Lucky me.

    • I agree with you Erica. The “Am I crazy to trust my instincts vs. believe my spouse” is EXACTLY why people follow/record/check email etc. It is to learn if your spouse lying to you constantly.
      FOR ME…finding out about the lying and the complete and utter lack of care for my feelings and our relationship was the most painful part of the affair.

  • All I know is that my XW’s had both going and, it really made me angry. I really was not sad, as they were bitches, NPDs.
    I got a “Get Out of Jail Card” and am happy about that. I really had very little pain, in retrospect. I despised them by the end, after years of abuse.

  • Hey, CL, I thought I would weigh in on this one.

    To me, I look at the “Is it betrayal” scale in terms of investment and what is being taken away from the marriage/exclusive relationship. A night at a strip club for a bachelor party? OK, that doesn’t get my hackles up. Porn? Only if it starts interfering with our intimate lives or it starts becoming a regular thing that is his substitute for intimacy in the marriage. I do think there are porn habits that nibble away at the primary relationship and THAT becomes a marital issue. It’s not porn in and of itself, it is what is being diverted (time, attention, intimacy, effort) from the primary relationship.

    Looking at things in that light, an EA–an intense, investment of time and effort into someone outside the marriage–is indeed an affair. Where does the time for all the texting, sexting, sending pictures of one’s genitalia come from? Very likely the marital relationship vs. work or one’s golf game. When one invests so much effort and energy outside the marriage, it cannot help but have a negative effect on the marriage. EAs, in my opinion, often lead to unfavorable comparisons of the spouse to the EA partner, who likely steps up their game, trims their nose hair, wears perfume and ensures they are attractive to the EA partner. They don’t invest that energy into the marriage, and that’s where the slippery slope becomes a Slip-N-Slide down a steep hill.

    In many cases, an EA is merely a PA that hasn’t had an opportunity to come to fruition.

    I do believe it is possible for people to have true friends of the opposite sex. There are those who don’t stray anywhere near the Slip-N-Slide. They just don’t. And then there are those who just don’t understand why it’s not cool to text Janine from the office 1000 times a month.

    A good marriage requires two partners who are vigilant about protecting their relationship against anything that might erode it, be it porn, an EA, substance abuse, a workaholic partner, etc. It’s more about defending what you have against all enemies, foreign and domestic, but more importantly, being able to identify those enemies and vanquish them together.

    The Cat Lady

    • Great post TCL! I like your analysis, that cheating can be measured by what it takes from the relationship. Although weirdly, that’s a bit triggery for me, because my ex-serial cheater used to like to say “Well, it didn’t take that much TIME!” As if, who am I to begrudge him a few hours here and there during the work week?

      Obviously not a conversation you have if you’re in a good marriage. (Which I am in now.)

    • Cat lady’s quote: “EAs, in my opinion, often lead to unfavorable comparisons of the spouse to the EA partner, who likely steps up their game, trims their nose hair, wears perfume and ensures they are attractive to the EA partner. They don’t invest that energy into the marriage, and that’s where the slippery slope becomes a Slip-N-Slide down a steep hill.”

      Exactly and an excellent post all the way around.

      An EA, if intense and time consuming as well as a PA are, as was mentioned in a infidelity book “a perennial second date.”

      The cheaters are always dressed up and in a good mood because they are like two teenagers on a perennial second date. Real life never intrudes.

      My STBX mentioned that his OW was always dressed up and looked perfect when they met, but he did catch her a few times with her husband and he even mentioned that she looked like hell.

      So, she got all dressed up for a her date with my STBX but looked like a slob for her own husband.

      It’s the affair fantasy bubble.

  • For me it was the emotional abandonment that hurt the most, the betrayal of knowing he was bonding with OW and giving her his time and adoration and money.

    But it was the fucking that finally gave me permission to leave, in the eyes of everyone else.

    He’d been in love with other women throughout the relationship, treated me like crap, spent shit tons of money on himself, etc. Not good. None of the other women he admired over the years, as far as I know, ever returned his creepy affection, until the BPD OW came along. Of course SHE’S his soul mate, not all the other soul mates. These were all reasons to want a life apart from him, but it wasn’t until I was apprised of the fucking that I could finally call it.

    Sure, it was the fucking that sent me to the lab for urine and blood tests, and I did worry he’d get the skank pregnant (only because it would mean fewer resources for my kids, and because it would bring another very unfortunate child into this world), but it was the abandonment that was the worst betrayal. It was the emotional affair that was the cheating.

    I’m with Kristina and Nord on this one.

    • Stephanie’s quote:
      [“For me it was the emotional abandonment that hurt the most, the betrayal of knowing he was bonding with OW and giving her his time and adoration and money.”]

      That was the worst part for me, too, stephanie, the bonding and sharing personal detials of our marriage and being the butt of their jokes.

      Still, those things don’t happen unless sex is involved or the intent to have sex is involved.

      As another male poster mentioned, here…..and I paraphrase……no man is going to text all night, spend money on, travel to see, bond with a woman unless they either have had sex or are planning to have sex.

      IMO, a person can have an opposite sex friend that he may confide in about some problem in a marriage but in a very general way, not a way that shares very personal details. I think it is rare and it takes a special type of person to set boundaries well with an opposite sex friend, but I have seen some that work.

      Still, that behavior is a slippery slope, but IMO, it’s not something to divorce over. It’s something to nip in the bud before it gets out of hand.

      I never did that, I gave my husband way too much personal freedom and I trusted that he was one of those people who could set proper boundaries with opposite sex friends.

      I thought allowing my STBX to have a lot of free time, would improve our marriage not destroy it.

      I don’t think this way anymore. I think opposite sex friendships should be stopped once someone marries. IMO, One of the people always seems to want more, and then the platonic friendship becomes a passionate friendship that becomes an emotional infidelity.

      • I’ve never believed that members of the opposite sex, similar in age, not close relatives, can have strictly platonic friendships.

        People look at me like I’m crazy when I say it, but I stand by that. One or more of the friends will become emotionally and physically attracted to the other one.

        I don’t find myself alone with married men, and I didn’t find myself alone with any men when I was married.

        • Stephanie

          I totally agree.

          There are actually studies to support your opinion. Men and women can NOT be platonic friends that meet alone, ever. There is always, according to studies, a sexual tension.

          I found this when I was single. Sometimes a man would claim to want to be my friend, but that was always a ploy for me to get to know them well enough to want to jump into bed with them.

          When, married, I, too, never had a male friend that I would meet alone…..ever.

          To my mind, it’s normal to be attracted to other people even when married and that is why never allowing yourself to be alone with another man when married was important to me.

          • For me I never had a problem alone with my male friends. I think a good test is this, “would I have any problem telling my spouse about this meeting?” If you answer “no” there’s a problem.

          • Yeah me too. Never had a problem seperating romance and friendship. But, outsiders would , often , assume something was going on.
            BTW, I did not have these friendships when married. Just did not want any confusion in that area.

          • I completely agree with you Sara8, men and women can’t be friends really. There is always some kind of attraction, even if it is unconscious.

            That’s another reason why I find SI to be kind of ironic, because here you are with a group of men and women who are sharing intimate details about their marriages and their feelings and all that. In my mind, that fosters a dangerous environment actually. Because of course it is all in public, at first, but then there’s that pesky PM function.

            Slippery slope. I wonder how many BSs padded the fall from their marriages as they moved towards divorce, with emotional attachments to fellow BSs they met on SI…

            • That’s kinda funny Kristina, because I know several couples who met on SI and are happily married after leaving cheaters. Although the relationship are frowned upon at SI and members aren’t supposed to talk about it on the boards. I also know several people who met through SI, dated for awhile and broke up. Sad, but no worse for wear. And one couple I know in particular, are really great folks, they just couldn’t do the long distance thing. No one was preying on anyone.

              Yes, people are vulnerable and it could get out of hand I suppose. New Beginnings used to be called “Dating” and it got a little Penthouse forum-y at times. But mostly I think such frankness and even flirtation is good. Chumps are trying to figure out the waters of dating life after divorce, and have intimate questions. I think they’re also keen to talk to the opposite sex and hear — They Aren’t All Jerks.

              Also — I am ALL for chumps meeting fellow chumps and dating chumps. If I could figure out a way to make a chump dating service, I would.

              • I’m not surprised to learn this, CL, and I’m not judging.

                I’m just saying I find it ironic that the ink barely dry on the divorce decree (or maybe the divorce decree is not even actually signed) and there are already emotional attachments forming elsewhere.

                It could be a bit: Pot, kettle, black, I suppose. But then timing, as they say, is everything.

                And honestly, I really don’t hold it against anyone for lining up a warm body before putting the last nail in the marriage coffin. The thing is, then don’t run around behind anyone’s back. If you are married and end up fancying someone else, then say: “hey look, I’ve met someone and I’m done here.” Lord knows, it happens. You just don’t have to be shady about it. And also, the ones being left — well if someone is saying: “I’m done here, let me get out of this marriage” for heaven’s sake let them go with some dignity. Don’t grab hold and beg them to stay. Or threaten them that if they leave you will destroy them with all the vengeance in the universe. haha. 🙂

                What would that dating site be like, though, I wonder? I think you might be on to something there!

  • My STBXWW will go to her grave with what she knows, and I don’t. She says it was never sexual; my gut and mouth say liar, so I go with 100% sex was part of the deal. What I do know from what she has told me, and the OPOS betrayed W has said, is as much depth of pain as I could ever imagine; confirming sex would just add breadth to the whole fucking mess.

    Having a W of 20+ years that you adored, sacrificed so much for, have beautiful children with, and loved with all your heart look at you and say “I don’t love you, and I’m interested in someone else” completely and utterly destroyed me, especially so as the weeks went on blaming me 100% for the affair, still maintained contact at work, and desire to deepen the relationship… The feeling of being so Goddamn replaceable by an enemy stranger, breaking of rock solid absolute trust, actively and willingly hurting two families w/o a trace of regret, and cast away like garbage is pain I did not know existed, or could exist. Sure, sex mind movies are terrible, but when I really look deeply at what I do know, her “giving” her heart away, the thing she most valued from me, and begged I never break of hers, was the most unkind cut of all and nothing short of emotional rape.

    All of us suffer in different ways as is clearly seen here, and I wish all that have been hurt, by whatever you deem hurtful, a bright hopeful future full of genuine love and peace.

    • You know Jay, I wonder if people like this have “hearts” to give? I would imagine the OM was of use to her, you were of use to her. And now you’re free of a user and trying to sort all that out. Painful stuff.

      Bright and happy future backatcha Jay!

  • I have to agree with CL on the absence of your wife’s heart, Jay. I do not think it possible for a non cluster B disordered person to act as she did. have you looked inot BPD , NPD or ASPD?

    • I agree, Arnold.

      Anything other than a drunken one night stand, involves such a sophisticated level of planning and deception that only a personality disordered person could successfully pull off.

      Most normal people could not lie so convincingly to a loved one. Nor, would they want to.

      Most normal people couldn’t have sex with their OW and OM and then come home and look their spouse in the eye and lie about there whereabouts.

    • Thanks CL and Arnold. Yes, I have come to the conclusion she may well have any/all of the conditions you mention… Of course when asked to go to any form of definitive diagnostic help, she flatly refuses, and says “I don’t see how it could help me.”, and when really pissed just post D-Day when I asked; “I’m not your fucking science project.”

      Her unreal level of non-empathy, non remorse (actually reveling in it), rage at any discovery by others of her affair, rage (physical rage too) directed to me talking about her affair, extremely hurtful things said to our child and myself post D-Day as manipulation and flat out cruelty, trickle truth, lies by omission, absolute blameshifting (yelling “if you were a better fucking husband, It would have never happened”, and that “she outgrew me/I’m holding her back”), continuing to want to deepen a relationship with a married person with kids, yet saying she knows it’s wrong really does make her seem heartless and deranged.

      There never was any form of, or real hope of reconciliation, as I filed for divorce. Funny, even this took on an outright tone of me “hurting” her, and how could I, cause she wanted to be “civil”, and sit down with me first to discuss $$$, PRIOR to her atty being involved… Yeah, anyone see a turnip truck? She had mentioned to my daughter for weeks about dad better find a lawyer, left a list out of her potential attorneys for me to see, etc… Boy the look on her face when I stone coldly out of the blue, gave her a packet of copies of what she would receive when served, and walked out… Yeah, didn’t think I’d do it, did you bitch. Came back after an hour or so, and daughter asks “why are you taking all of moms money”, and W says “it’s screw the bitch time.” Nice, scare the crap out of our child with lies!

      Mind you, I was a SAHD for years doing career suicide, but did work seasonal/odd jobs as they came up, and did until recently home based stock trading for college $$$, our retirement, spending $$$, and her 401k… Funny, now that she is a big-shot high powered exec, and made very wealthy from others sacrifice and hard work as well as her own, does she cry that somehow I’m screwing her… Because of basically the freezing of marital assets when I filed, I have been locked out of any trading, so I have been out of work for months, and it sucks!

      Way to go cheater, thanks for adding more misery and uncertainty to my life by virtue of the current circumstance. She uses this as leverage to my daughter, calling me a bum, a sponge, knowing full well the hatred my daughter feels about her cheating, daughter knowing and saying dad did the right thing, yet scared to death to rock moms world cause she “pays the bills”. How does she use this as leverage… When my daughter tells her how she feels about her cheating, gets pissed at her for whatever reason, to shut her up the sick POS W will say:

      “OK, you don’t like how I do things, or like who I am, fine, there’s your dad, ask him to support you, pay for your college, put a roof over your head.” Then will histrionically storm out to her luxury SUV and pout.

      WW knows this will terrify my daughter, knows that I have to “keep quiet” so as not to add fear/misery to daughters life by arguments, thus trying to have power over me. The stress my 17 y/o daughter has been asked to endure is unreal, especially for her senior year of high school, college selection stress, becoming a women, etc, and at least the therapist she is seeing has been helpful to her… Way to go again cheating heartless bitch, perfect timing for your selfish fucking self! These cheaters are batshit selfish crazy, they really are, and make up their own form of DSM fuckery!

  • I agree Sara8, you can not be “sane”, and have what I and others have had happen caused by these cheaters. As far as I know, my STBXWW affair was was over a year long, and the amount of lies, energy, deceit, and coldness needed to carry this out so well executed, and flat out lie to another persons face is staggering! In just one particular instance of cruel madness, she stood next to me as I booked her hotel for a corporate charity event, knowing full well the other POS cheater would be there. After the event, it was all smiles, how great it was, and how much I would have liked it had I gone, and maybe next time.

    Prior to D-Day, and even after, she would bring home corporate newspapers with her photo on the same page (separated by inches) as the other POS cheater for me to see… How fucking sick do you have to be?

    Even after a nearly violent confrontation at our home by the other cheaters wife, my WW found a way to blame me, saying I threw her under the bus in front of the BS… Well, if you mean by me saying to the BS I was sorry for the pain my wife has caused her and her kids, thus avoiding a punch to WW face, SORRY. It’s fucking unreal how they are NEVER TO BLAME, NEVER! They are absolutely fucking crazy!

    • Sorry Jay, that your wife put you through this.

      BTW: I think it is nice that you apologized for your wife’s behaviors, to the other betrayed spouse.

      I bet you did save your wife from facial plastic surgery by calming down the other betrayed spouse.

  • No other explanation for how you describe her, Jay : classic cluster B behavior. Don’t try to figure it out, its genesis, how she justifies it etc. Just accept it: she is fucked up and always has been.
    The infidelity research I have done has opened my eyes to the cluster B disordered, as well as a lot of the misandry in our society.

  • Thanks again Arnold and Sara.

    Glad you thought it was nice to apologize to the other BS Sara; WW was standing there, head looking at the ground, feeble words could barely exit her yap. The lady was effing hot (angry), and I really did think it could have gotten very scary, very quickly. I really did feel sorry for her, and this incident was so extremely humiliating, especially since our wonderful neighbors heard much of the commotion. Yeah, now I personally know a real OW.

    Yeah, I fully agree with your judgment Arnold, and at this point find little need for pathology, cure, or the “whys”… Her infamous “grow up and get over it” quote, told to me in the darkest hours post D-Day about how I should deal with her affair, pretty much pegged her demons,. Her complete lack of ownership, and self help will be her downfall someday I believe. D is a few months away if all goes well, and it should get real *interesting* as that time nears.

  • I’m just saying I find it ironic that the ink barely dry on the divorce decree (or maybe the divorce decree is not even actually signed) and there are already emotional attachments forming elsewhere.

    How healthy are those relationships? I know the first couple of tries out of the gate for me, I wasn’t the healthiest person, so I chose (surprise, surprise) equally unhealthy people.

    But . . . I grew. I didn’t run from the pain–I embraced it. I learned from it. I stayed alone after relationships ended trying to figure out what lesson I was supposed to get from this one.

    Personally, I don’t think another betrayed spouse is the answer. I’ve dated my share, and some are healed, some are not but will get there, and some never will be. I think you have to look at people as people, not as merely the sum of their experiences. My current significant other (of 2.5 years–yikes, how did that happen?) is not a betrayed spouse, an abused spouse or even a wayward spouse. He and his wife of many years separated and divorced after the kids had left home. VERY sad, but according to him, inevitable because there wasn’t a will to try and make it work. He spent the better part of 2 years alone, went to a “Men in Transition” support group at a local hospital and grew. Whatever happens to us as individuals down the road, he will be much better for all of that time he invested in growing.

    Find the lesson–find the lesson in your marriage, in your relationships that don’t work out, in your solitude and in your friendships (successful and not). Don’t leave a painful experience without growth and maturity.

    The Cat Lady

    • It’s a website called Surviving Infidelity. I tried to join but they accused me of being one of Chumplady’s group. It was very odd because it was around the time I joined this group. Paranoid?? How did they even know? Anyway…

        • Really, how is that done? How creepy.

          I don’t get the SI vendetta. It’s their world, they can ban whoever, but the Not A Friend of Our Site! diktat, and now rejecting anyone who LOOKS at Chump Lady? That’s some nutty paranoia.

          I don’t wish them ill. I credit SI with keeping me sane during the most nightmarish time in my life. The members there were wonderful. I could also argue the place kept me stuck with the pro-reconciliation fumes, but I’m guilty of being delusional of wanting R at first, like a lot of chumps.

          Anyway, SI does what it does, and I do what I do. I wish they’d put the axe down already. Nobody is plotting their overthrow. I don’t hate them. I asked to sever my membership after I got a vitriolic nastygram from DS for something I posted HERE at CL, that she claimed deeply offended one of their members. She apparently clings to some narrative that I’m mean to BSs and make fun of them — WTF? When I got the nastygram, I thanked DS for the site, for all the help I had received over the years, and said clearly it was time to sever our relationship, and politely asked to removed as a member. I did not match hate with hate.

          But apparently, they want to keep hating. What are you going do?

          • DS is psychotic. Best part of tha site is the Betrayed Men section on the I can Relate forum. Some of those guys are amazingly funny and smart. And, they are all for divorce, for the most part.
            I was banned for merely mentioning the name of Hillary Clinton in a non politcal post. They were gunning for me.
            Same with TAM. This “Almost Recovered” poster could not tolerate opposing views and he kept complaining about me, despite the fact that I was always respectful.
            You will find that, despite claims that all views are welcome if they are respectful, if you advocate divorce consistently, they will fiind some trumped up way to ban you.

          • CL

            It is creepy, CL. I am not sure exactly how it is done.

            I read how once, but it is very techie, techspeak, so it went in my eyes and through my brain and then whooooosh right out again, afterward.

            When you read how it’s done it does make sense as you read it. But you might get a headache unless you are into techno complexities.

            There is a way to request that sites not view your history in the tools section of Mozilla and other platforms, but it is only a request not a block and some administrators of some websites can follow the viewer and see the last few websites they visited.

            There myy be apps or progams that can block sites form following or viewing previously visited sites, that I am not aware of , that won’t ruin the viewing experience.

            Arthur:

            I always suspected it was “almost recovered” who kept reporting me for advocating divorce of a cheater rather than a loooooong possibly false reconciliation, because he/she always showed up on the threads that I posted on.

            Not quite sure though.

            I really don’t think I was rude to anyone in general although I did make rude references to cheaters in general and often called my Cheater, and his Ow, ‘ho’s and sex addicts.

            What, I am not allowed to be enraged by being cheating on? I am not allowed to call it as I see it regarding the oversexed, under attractive, stalking, OW in my life?

            Besides Amplexor, one of the moderators, insists that everyone must forgive, well then shouldn’t he forgive my rage and temporary malfunctioning of the executive inhibition control button in my frontal lobes, after being cheated on by the one person in life I trusted completely to not hurt me.

            The reconciliation rhetoric at TAM sounds like milksop coated in fairy dust with all their tiresome regurgitation of the one-eyed, one-eared, one horned purple unicorn of reconciliation babble.

            To TAM ….I say……..meh!

          • Yes…I just got banned too. I was on there for 3 frickin’ years, was always respectful as well. But…funny thing is they banned me right after I started visiting this site. Interesting isn’t it?

  • Weimar mom, appears the AP partner and your husband met online since you say they plotted to meet up and they gave met only once.

    This can’t be his first online involvement…he can’t be chatting on the net and the first woman he chats with and they fall in love and pledge to get together etc etc.

    Not fucking possible.

    There have to be plenty other women and only this one went this far..all others would be in various other stages .

    And as about no sex…NO WAY.

    • Sanity Regained,

      You are reading a lot into my situation and I can understand how that happens. The way my husbands affair started WAS rather innocent. I am the person who brought the stupid on line game they were playing into our lives. It was Pirates of the Caribbean On Line (POTCO) and is a Disney game so I thought it was safe. The very UN safe thing about POTCO is the chat feature. Disney tries to monitor and ban people if they do things like share phone numbers and the like, but clever people find ways around those things. So the affair began mostly though monitored chat, then it went to private chat and God knows what else.

      At 1st the whole family played the game. Then the kids lost interest and I did too because of the time required to get good at anything was just too much. Right about that time my husbands IT business started to experience a lul and he ended up with WAY too much time on his hands. He joined a guild and that’s how he met his cyber skank. The entire timeline of game intro, to AP meet up was about 6 months.

      I am certainly a chump but I’m not stupid. I hacked his computer and cyber sleuthed and saw the internet trail they left and could see that it was rather innocent at 1st, but could see where the slippery slope began and they started to get a little too close. It was about in early March of 2009 when I gave him the iphone he wanted so bad. From phone records, as soon as I gave him the phone he started texting her and the texts exploded from there to roughly 2000 per month for the next 2 1/2 months. There were also some phone calls, one lasting two hours while I was at home toiling away trying to prepare for a birthday party for our little girl. 🙁 It was also the phone records that blew his cover when he swore to me he had discontinued contact.

      Prior to this cyber affair my husband never used chat which is why I became suspicious of the game, because while he was playing he was constantly using chat and he hates to write so this was out of character. He also played the game night and day and the computer is right in our living room.

      While my dolt of a husband is a cheater he is no serial cheater by any means. This whole thing was completely out of character. It was like he went mad.

      Sorry for the long post but I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m an unsophisticated dolt.

    • TAM does have a decent contingent of “kick em to the curb” folks. I think the #’s of folks that are pro divorce has grown over there.
      Some shocking stories and a lot of betrayed men over there, many more men than on SI.
      I ridiculed Almost Recovered a bit, pulling his chain a lot and I got in trouble. I remember kidding about one poster who was touted as the poster boy for having reconciled with his cheater wife. He’d been absent for a few weeks and one of his fans inquired about him. I mentioned that he’s been gone since his revenge affair. Really pissed Almost Recovered off, I think.

      • They haven’t banned me yet and no PM’s. Lets see about tomorrow though. I haven’t said anything on that site that would be banning material. I spent most of my time today in betrayed-men though. Those guys are a scream and there is one guy who is spot on with everything he writes. He is straight and to_the_point with his insight. He is also like me, in a unicorn reconciliation. Betrayed-men is raw and full on truthful. Pretty much a male centric version of this blog. It’s full of locker-room stuff too so it’s not for the faint of heart.

        • Yeah, that “Wincing at the Light ” guy is great, really funny and smart. I recall he has 6 novels published. I really enjoy his stuff. Wish I was not banned so Icould participate with those guys. The admins do get on the men there, though. Need to walk a tightrope.

          • Hi Arnold,

            I always appreciated WAL’s posts as well as his WW, Wincing’s Sparkle, because she shares much about just how far her head was up her ass and both of them are really good writers.

          • Yeah, his wife is good, too. The thing that amazes me about her is just how monstrous she once was. I cannot get my brain around how anyone could act as she did for so long, and then appear normal later. I wonder if it is an act.
            I mean all of us have experienced limerance/lust etc in our lives. But, i cannot imagine a normal person letting those feelings override their core values to the extent she must have. Or, maybe she is faking.Maybe WAL is on the verge of some big success or something with his writing and she wants to be on the gravy train. Just cannot figure her out.

            • I must admit, I do not understand this admiration of WAL. He was married when he met Wincing’s Sparkle. He cheated on his first wife with her, then married her. She cheated on him, they began to reconcile, and then he had an online affair of his own, according to Sparkle’s profile. He might be eloquent as hell, but he only identifies himself as a betrayed spouse. If he had more remorse for what he himself has done, I might have more respect for him. As it is… I just don’t. But YMMV.

  • “to me it seems like a willful act of a aggression against the chump.”

    Agreed. In my case, I think my wife saw me subconsciously as her angry, controlling father (I wasn’t), and aggressively rebelled against me.

    To be fair, I likely also not-so-subconsciously saw my wife as my distant, needy, unhappy mother who needed “saving.”

    It was a ‘push-me-pull-you’ relationship straight out of Dr. Doolittle.

    People are complex, and I’m not much of a fan. That includes myself.

  • One thing I know… (if anyone is still reading this thread)

    You will never have the ENTIRE story. The cheater will ONLY tell you what he THINKS you need to know and no more. He will minimize and deny until the cows come home! Of course, you BELIEVE him because he’s your HUSBAND and you have built that foundation based on TRUST. The problem is that there’s quicksand under that so-called foundation… so maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon… you will have a sink hole of ginormous proportions when the bottom falls out.

    If he says it was ONLY online and not in person.

    BULLSHIT. 99.999% of the time.

    For me… betrayal, lies, sexting, emotional affairs, lusting after every woman he sees are all forms of cheating. Its a breach of my sacred trust.

    It was supposed to be HIM and ME against the world. Not him and every OTHER woman, and me relegated to last place.

    whatever. it all sucks.

    If the cheater had only put even 50% of the effort he did in procuring OTHER pussy, he would have an amazing marriage and a happy spouse.

    but he does not want a happy spouse or a happy marriage.

    He just wants to satisfy himself and the rest of his family be damned.

    • Yes Laurel I saw your post this AM and commented. This must be “This Sucks” week.
      and your right you will never know the whole truth. In my case on 1 hand I think the fact that he is doing this to our marriage is so tarnishing to his good guy image he can’t admit to it. So of course it is my fault because I am such a bitch and argue all the time (my tongue has permaent grooves from the number of times I have bitten it not to say something.) It has always been my wish that in some instant karmic sense he does marry a bitch and finds out what it is really like! Oh and get this he said to me “Oh me and the OW NEVER argue” Well buddy you aren’t living in a real world just texting.

  • boy I don’t knowwhere this old post came from this AM because it is sure relavent. My H affair was mostly emoitional and I thought over but this weekend there he was texting on the secret cell phone. When questioned he started to tell me about how poor OW was having such a hard time and she was a friend. Well I’ve been having a hard time too just in case you haven’t seen me spontaneous crying these last few months. Was a good time for some honest conversation and I got an earful and won’t bore you with the details. The affair is not over he doesn’t see anything wrong with that and even though we have been married for 23 years and he says he will always love me he has no desire to try and reconcil. Quess I will be contacting the lawyer for next step. Boy this is not how I saw my 60’s.

  • The experts say a woman is more crushed my an emotional affair than a physical one. For a man the reverse is true.

    After reading your comments is seems you feel the way most men do… I wish you could fully empathize with the pain other women and I have been through from our husband’s EA.

    As far as I am concerned having a best friend with someone of the opposite sex and excluding/hiding it from your spouse is a major betrayal. I did not marry for a penis, I married the whole package…any parts of which including financially can betray!

  • My husband’s initial lust with a woman usually leads to an EA. Then, he get’s his “mojo” worked up with talking to her, and then comes home and “finishes” with my body. I can always tell when he is lusting after another woman because he wants sex out of the blue and when we have had no interaction with each other whatsoever. He is not “present” during sex with me because he is thinking about whoever she is. Jesus calls lust adultery. My husband is mechanical and there is ZERO affection during the sex act…nothing but technique and the quest for orgasim. Often he does things he sees on porn, and upon awakening with a hard-on, he tries to finish his arousal with me while I still asleep.

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