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Dear Chump Lady, The OW wants to “be me”

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband and I have been married for 24 years. We both have been very happy until recently.  
We met a young lady through our neighbor who needed work and we needed a job done.  She came over several times to help me with a multimedia project.  One day I asked my husband to please work with her because I needed to leave for a few hours for an appointment.  When I returned home I sensed a change in the atmosphere.  A week later, she and I had a moment alone, and she looked at me like she was going to cry. I didn’t give it much attention and directed her to our work.
We got through the day and I felt bad for not being available, so I offered to take her out next week to a dance class and spend some time as an older sister in her corner instead of our work day.  As we drove to the dance class, she told me that she was attracted to my husband. That day I sensed something weird, she said after I left, she had burst into tears and he held her to comfort her. This isn’t unusual. My husband is a loving and nurturing man. He wouldn’t deny anyone his compassion and for this I love him.  What DID bother me was she then said she found his hug very sexually exciting and she had to tell him. Then he told her he found her hug sexually exciting too! This is where I get PISSED OFF!  

He then tried to comfort her by letting her know that not everything is as it seems when she said we had a perfect marriage.  She told me, “He wants you to be more like me.” (She’s 27, I’m 56) and she “has sex all the time because that is what 27 year olds do!”  She told him all kinds of things that she’s telling me, like she could cure any disease or deformity with plenty of sex. She had a heart to heart with him and she knew all about my private life and sex habits, which are normal for our age and longevity of marriage. Still I felt invaded. We are not into open affairs. I had thought we are always attentive to each others needs and if I’m not feeling it, I will still help him lovingly with some satisfaction. 
According to them nothing happened. When I asked why he wouldn’t tell me about this, my husband said he hoped that things would just mellow out between them. I’m hurt by that and that this unbalanced girl thinks she is now the answer to all our problems — and it was she who alerted me to this situation. I think she ratted him out BEFORE anything could happen but now I wonder ………if he will be in this situation again. His father had a long cheating relationship while married to my mother-in-law. He was a prick. I keep telling myself that nothing happened…..
Today we get along well. He adores me and is happy for the home I keep, health I maintain for him and myself and is singing my praises daily. We still make love more than I want to and less than he’d like to. He acknowledges his mistake in befriending an unbalanced girl who really did try to sway him to her court. Last month she wrote me a long crazy letter of apology and acknowledged her attraction to him, she still has it and wants to be our friends again! I don’t want her in my life.
My question if there is one is this….Am I nuts for still wondering about the two of them? My husband thinks it’s nice she apologized. I’m not sure.  She has since moved two blocks away and has had a baby with the guy who took her in when she screwed around on her previous man.  This situation with us happened between these two men of hers. She doesn’t have much wealth and has admitted to still having a strong attraction to my husband.  In her letter she said she wanted to “be” me instead of “be like me” — her words. In May will make it two years since all this came down. I was getting better until I received her letter last month.  
One good thing  (but boy it hurt) about all of this was that I used to think we had the perfect relationship for the longest time.  Now I know that the only thing I can count on is my own truth and feelings. She is very close by and involving herself in our neighbors lives to the point that I will see her even though I don’t want to.  
Any words of wisdom Chump Lady?

Dear Francine,

Uh, PODs? U-haul? A horde of villagers with pitchforks? No chance you could get her and her menage-a-neighborhood to move?

Just a thought. Really the problem here isn’t her — it’s your husband. No matter how many unbalanced, multimedia skilled, batshit crazy young women you live next to, the man should have boundaries. He doesn’t. Big red flag, he has put his need for kibbles — the attraction of this other woman and the ego kibbles she gives — over your sense of security. Why is that? Best case, he’s got a bad case of fucked up priorities. He values the attention and desire to think well of this nutter above your well-being. Worst case? Yeah, he’s having an affair with her.

What would put me in the affair camp? Him talking trash about your marriage to her. Him discussing your sex life (or his perceived lack thereof) with her. Him defending her as rather harmless. His secrecy about the relationship until Ms. Unbalanced reached out to you. His minimizing his emotional betrayal of you as just “befriending” a young woman. (The KISA [knight in shining armor] crap). His inability to stop the relationship because he thought it would just “mellow out.”

I’m assuming you didn’t get any counseling about this? Because it just reads like cake and rug sweeping to me. I don’t know if they did the deed, but I would imagine that any loony tune who waxes on about “curing deformities” with sex would probably want to have a go with the AARP set. I heal the sick and raise the dead! The lame begin to walk! Talk about a narcissistic nut job.

Her letter, I would guess, has two purposes — one to throw you off with her “apology” — but also to unnerve your husband and amp up the excitement. She’s clearly trying to fuck with your head with her “friends” routine. The line that she wants to “be” you  is creeptacular. I would read that as “I’m already fucking your husband, now I’d like the rest of the package.” It would be tempting to dismiss everything she’s told you as the ravings of a lunatic EXCEPT for your husband’s behavior — which is really shady. A man with boundaries would put distance there politely at first and then fucking draw the LINE. He’s not doing that. Makes me wonder why.
And then she conveniently, coincidentally moves two blocks away with a baby? I might have a chat with the baby daddies. (And how do you know about them? Two years of no contact with this woman would make me think you wouldn’t know about the revolving door of her love life.) Worst, worst, worst scenario occurs to me now that the baby is your husband’s and she’s circling around ready to fill your shoes and “be” you. Sorry — had to put it out there.

This whole thing stinks to high heaven and you are NOT crazy for wondering. I think you need to go into investigative mode — cell phone, bank records, email snooping, VAR. There’s more to this story. I’m sure the chumplings will weigh in with advice of their own. I don’t think he’s going to confess to you — I think you have to watch and monitor, or confront and get righteously angry and demand total transparency. I would advise against talking to Ms. Wingnut, as she just wants to fuck with your head.

I’m sorry Francine, time to gather more information. Report back and let us know how you’re doing.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I agree that the biggest problem here is your husband’s very durable indifference to the pain his actions are causing. It’s very hard to patch things up with someone who refuses to acknowledge any real problem with their behavior, especially because that lack of understanding/empathy means the problem is likely to recur.

    It’s possible there’s no actual affair here, but grown ups rarely endure this kind of marital static for side-dish platonic hugs. Implausible like spouses who claim they spent several hours in that co-worker’s hotel room simply “comforting” her about some personal problems. That’s just not usually the way grown-ups behave.

    When you hear the clip-clop of hooves outside your window, you can reasonably assume it’s a horse, not a zebra. Will he take a polygraph? If not, you have your answer.

    • I agree, Francine, your husband is the problem.

      Can you afford to hire a private investigator. If so, that is the absolute best way to nail a cheater.

      Had I done that early on, I would have filed for divorce sooner.

      Also, my first thought, and I am definitely jaded, is your husband hired this woman because they were already having sex, and he wanted her close by.

      This woman told you as a way to get you to dump him.

      It is a possibility that the baby is your husbands.

      So, perhaps you can visit her and ask to see the baby or buy a gift and then snip or some of his hair or bring a cotton swab to swab out his mouth and keep it sterile so that you can do a DNA test to see if the hair or swab matches your husbands DNA.

      The DNA test will help in court.

  • Good Advice from the Chump Lady. It really could be nothing but trust YOUR intuition. No contact in 2 years and now she moves close to you. She wants your husband. I think a frank talk with him is in order. Some men are clueless (I really believe that Chump Lady) They can so fall for ego kibbles. My husband did when he ran into an old girlfriend at a funeral. She kept calling and when I objected he told me how she just needed a friend Blah Blah Blah. Then she asked him for money. End of relationship!

    • Janet I’m with you up to the point at which Mr. Clueless gets a letter from the nut saying to his wife “I’m attracted to your husband, I want to be you.” And he doesn’t SHUT THAT SHIT DOWN. No, he dresses it up as “how nice, she is apologizing.”

      A good man would be offended and think of his wife.

  • Time for the both of you to confront the nut either in person or in writing that the both of you sign.
    Time to keep your radar up re: husband’s activities. I’d check his emails, phone records, messages, etc. he was a part of bringing this on your relationship and he needs to be accountable to you.

  • CL is correct. It’s time to do some more homework. Any husband who starts criticizing his wife and discussing his sex life is displaying overt passive aggression and that is’ key’ that there is something more going on. When I read your story I thought about John Edwards and then Arnold Schwarzenegger. . ish. . . . I would say that you ‘might’ want to examine your finances carefully and see if perhaps your husband is somehow siphoning or funneling money to her? Two blocks away is VERY close to your home. I’d be thinking about contacting a private detective to your husband during his ‘windows of opportunity. I’d even see if he could get photos of the baby at say a playground or off of this gal’s facebook page just to see if their is ANY resemblance to your husband. Don’t put off doing any homework. Otherwise it will just cause unfair gut churning for you. I hope that CL and I are wrong but you have reason to be wary.

  • Start keeping track of all the money right now, regardless. You get ALL passwords to all bank accounts, a copy of his paychecks so you can match that amount with all deposits. Go back 2+ years, check the retirement accounts. Run a credit check on both of you.

    Do not panic. Do not tip your hand if you find something. You need time to gather evidence, particularly if you do NOT live in a no-fault state. You need time to think and to plan your next steps. You might need to start setting aside a little cash reserve for you–a little cash back here and there at the supermarket, just like a cheater. Two can play.


  • Francine – under what circumstances would YOU discuss these kinds of sexual shannanigans with someone else’s husband? And, then, give him a big “sexy” hug? Can you imagine that scenario for yourself? How and why would that occur? My X was always discussing the sex life of the OW with her – he had no boundaries and she had no boundaries…… and now, well, the rest is history. That no boundary shit is a MAJOR problem. Guys in their late 50’s are a funny breed….. he needs to shut that stuff down and all the hemmming and hawing….. sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings…. time to start some serious investigations.

  • Agree! Gather information now. The off hand comment, a small excuse or absence viewed from a new perspective could take on new meaning. I never suspected a thing but now his behaviors and words float up to my consciousness and trigger an Aha! moments.

  • To the OP: find out what’s going on and also, please respect yourself and what is good for you. Your husband is not respecting you and you need to put your foot down. I’m sorry this is happening, by the way.

    As far as OW wanting our lives. Yes, I think that happens. Even as I type this the kids are with STBX and OW. OW is in her mid-20s and seems to be auditioning for the mother role, although she is apparently more like the nanny. I do think she saw our lovely home, the money, the travel, the adventures we had over the years and thought, even if subconsciously, that she wanted that for herself. Well, now she’s got it, except there isn’t any money left, the kids resent her, STBX’s career is stalled, he lives in a crap flat, the adventures are over because he can’t make a big move due to the kids and she gets to deal with two teenagers.

    Funny, I thought I loved my life and now I look back and I’m not sure I did. Or maybe now I just see there’s a better life for me. Honestly, if the hubby in the original letter wants to take on a lunatic 20-seomthing? Let him. And then enjoy watching it play out. 🙂

  • My sense is that often the OP really has no effing clue when kind of life the betrayed spouse truly has. What they want is the fictionalized version of life with the cheater that the cheater has spun for them.

    Reviewing communications between my cheating ex-wife and her last affair partner, she clearly led him to believe she was sweeter, more affectionate, more sexual, more committed to keeping a nice home, and earned more money than was actually the case. And, from talking to the OM’s wife, he led my ex-wife to believe he was more playful, more engaged with his children, and less prone to sudden rages than he is. I think that kind of mutual deception is an essential part of the infidelity kibble distribution mechanism.

    • So true.

      The affair partners are in an fairy land bubble.’

      My STBX also pretended to be wealthier than he was to impress her. She like that.

      After waking up to reality I told STBX that his OW wouldn’t put up with him for five minutes if she actually had to live my life with him.

      I am a person who pulls my weight. I cook and clean and always equally shared responsibilities with my STBX.

      OW was a pampered poodle who never worked, did not cook or clean, had a nanny and spent her days at a spa or shopping. Her evenings too were her own because she went out with the girls and on girl’s trips….(ahem or maybe boy’s trips)

      She would put up with my life for about…….oh let me see………………a half a day.

    • Very true, Nomar. STBX actually cooks these days, gets his ass out of bed and makes breakfast, cleans, does laundry…none of which he did the whole time I was with him, other than the odd hoovering or meal here and there.

      This is the sort of stuff that leads us BS to think that the new person has changed them into a sparkly version of awesomeness…but it’s an act and it’s one they can’t keep up forever. I just wish he’d hurry up and crack because it will be fun to see it all go down in flames. Then he can be with whomever he wants as I won’t have any resentment towards some random woman…I just don’t like the hobag who banged my husband getting time with my kids.

  • This letter left me with an awful feeling in my stomach. There is all kinds of weird manipulation going on here, both by the OW and the husband, IMHO. I agree with the previous posters about what to do. She needs to investigate and to protect herself.

    I also agree with nomar. The OPs have no clue what sort of life they think they’re getting with our cheater exes. Everything is always sparkly and fun at the beginning, and there is no “perfect relationship.” I also like the phrase, “infidelity kibble distribution mechanism.” It sounds like something you’d bring to the Infidelity Science Fair.

  • Chump Lady letters like this make me embarassed to be a man.

    The OW as she’s described in the letter is flat-out fucking CREEPY! I don’t care how hot she is. How a husband could be so insecure and so lacking in self-worth that he could crave ego kibbles from a woman who’s so clearly batshit insane is beyond me. Sounds like one hell of a Daddy Complex to boot.

    Hugs ARE a bit of a turn-on…when you’re 12! Is this woman an ex-Mennonite (not that there’s anything wrong with that)? Couple that with the crying at the drop of a hat and I think it’s safe to say that the OW has a serious cehmical imbalance, and not much mature life experience.

    If your husband is going to throw away a marriage for an unstable girl who’s barely been alive for as long as you two have been married, I’d say let him go and let him see what crazy is.

    Guarantee that you’ll have a schadenfreud-alicious time!

    • Agreed Chris, the OW is a nutter. I don’t think the husband here wants to throw away his marriage for Ms. Batshit Insane — he wants cake. I would guess the OW is amping things up, moving close by, sending the letter, to get more attention from the hubby — threatening his cake supply.

      Yeah, it’s a lot of different kinds of fucked up. I don’t think Francine would chuck her husband unless she knew for sure he was cheating (and maybe not even then?) He’s gaslighting her now and disrespecting her.

    • Chris;

      I agree, with the easy tears equaling a psychological disorder.

      Couple that with her lack of boundaries regarding both people and personal information she shares, the fact that she gets too close to people too soon, The emotional swings. I would guess she has borderline personality disorder.

  • I’m sorry Francine. It is a horrible feeling when your instincts tell you something is not right, but your heart doesn’t want to believe the person you love would harm you like that. I think you should trust your instincts and Look for evidence, hire a PI and confide in a friend who may SEE more than you do. The OW in my case works with me and my STBX.She began weaving her web, until she caught her fly. She felt empowered to make me feel uncomfortable even though I hadn’t found out officially they were having an affair by talking about me negatively to others, commenting on how my “poor husband” to her work buddies. My instincts knew, my heart did not want to believe. He denied it at least 4 times, and I even said her name. He had to get caught to admit it, and even then he “tried” to make it work with me during the 5 months of counceling, still cheating and lying to me. It’s not fun to go through a divorce and the pain is emence, but the pain of not knowing eats at your soul, and unlike divorce you can’t move forward. You are stuck in an eternal limbo, and there no one to talk to. It’s awful!!! Hang in there and confide in a friend.

  • 1/ don’t communicate with husband. Just carry on if life is normal
    2/ get his phone and check email and messages. If there are any send them to yourself and then delete that they were sent. Check for another hidden phone. Does he leave phone out for everyone to see. If not big red flag
    3/ get on her FB page. These young Sheila’s are plain dumb when it comes to FB and tell their life story
    4/ journal everything
    5/ mayb VAR, or software in phone but you need to know what you are doing
    6/ after three months if there is nothing there leave it and confront husband with YOUR RULES AND WHAT YOU EXPECT IN RELATIONSHIP. The consequences are that you will kick his arse
    I get the personality thing about your husband in that he cares about people and supports them. Some have good intentions.
    Good luck. You need to be very strong and remain calm. I was as calm as a cucumber until I knew it was al over then I let her know in writing the destruction she had caused our family. May well spoken to a brick wall because they don’t care. They are in Disneyland.

    • To be honest, the whole VAR thing creeps me out. Check phones and such and you’ll get what you need. And just bloody ask him what’s going on. Flat out, no holds barred. And leave if he’s screwing her.

        • I had to use VAR as a last resort. Everything else was in lockdown. I will say VAR made what I did not want to believe REAL. Hearing his lies to the OW from his own mouth, it was much harder to block out the reality of what was really happening because it was so overt and blatant. It made it easier for me to leave because I had something tangible to ground my decision. And after doing some more research, I solidified what I already knew… A scumbag who wanted an endless supply of cake.

          • So sorry to hear that Rose. It is so hard to face the reality and hear or read their tripe. They are just desperate.
            However it is important to get the facts. So many to obtain any proof and are left to ponder which makes moving on more challenging.
            I,agile how small he feels now that he knows you have the undeniable proof

      • Nord:

        A lot of these MEN AND WOMEN can lie so damned convincingly.

        If you go to the cheaters sites, they talk about what to do when caught. The advice is to lie and deny, deny deny.

        One of the emails I saw between STBX and OW in which my husband mentioned I was on to him, she wrote back, DENY, DENY, DENY! I will.

        • Sara so right about living. They look you in the eye and don’t flinch. How do they do that. They are supposed to be your best friend! Maybe intially we the honest ones just don’t see it. We TRUST.
          But when we discover the truth we then never believe anything. If my ex said it was raining outside I would need to go outside and check for myself. How incredibly sad

          • Baci:

            I don’t think you or I or anyone here will understand how they look us in the eye and lie so well.

            I just couldn’t do that to someone I loved……ever, and most likely can any other hurt spouse here.

        • Yes, they will lie through their teeth to keep up the game as long as possible. My ex even went so far as to show me letters and emails confirming their breakup. All of it was a pack of lies and made me hang on a few months longer than I should of. Its sad, but the trust is gone. He destroyed it, now its up to him to gain it back. Its heartbreaking to be thrown under the bus like that. I feel for you because we all have been there. This forum is a great place to get support.

  • I have a friend who is an OW. Her first long term boyfriend was a drug addict. Her second was a man who was emotionally and verbally abusive. He would tell her what she was supposed to wear, when she was aloud to have friends over, how long she could talk on the phone, etc.

    After getting out of those relationships along comes a man who treats her well: buys her nice things, takes her nice places, tells her she’s beautiful… and married. B ut he needs her to save him because his relationship with his wife is so cold and the only reason he has stayed so long is because of the kids and she understands being trapped in a bad relationship, she’s giving him the strength he needs to move on. You get the idea.

    My friend certainly has blame to shoulder, but the man who was married, sensed vulnerability, and moved it, has more blame to take. This looks like a similar case. The girl is clearly not mentally well and at the first meeting was desperate in regards to work and dependent on the kindness of you and your husband. If she was trying to drive you off with her original confession or honestly felt guilty only you can decide. But your husband wasn’t the one who tipped you off. Ultimately I don’t think the OW matters as much. If she moves to Osaka tomorrow, your husband could find another desperate, unbalanced girl the day after, and she might not have been the first. Your husband’s lines seem very well rehearsed. I’d look at what he’s been doing since you knew her, then look back at possible relationships with women he’s helped.

    • Green Girl…
      Your friend needs to work on herself and make better choices. HE is only making her life worse but she doesn’t see it. She ABSOLUTELY has blame to shoulder, but she needs to work on her self esteem. It must be challenging for you to be friends with someone who is making these bad decisions. Help her to understand how the consequences of her actions will hurt other people.

      • Trust me, trying to help J make better life choices has been a headache since late high school. A mutual friend and I have been working on her relationships one after another to our exhaustion.

        I’m engaged and last time we spoke J mentioned she was planning to bring the married man as her plus one. I said no, she said that it wasn’t her fault the wife treated him so badly and the marriage was over long before she came along. I told her I agreed in part because if she hadn’t come along he would have found some other girl to put out instead. She was not happy I didn’t believe in the specialness of their relationship and said she won’t talk to me until I’m willing to be more open minded and understanding. We haven’t spoken in three months.

        Our friend and my fellow interventionist finds it too much work after the last two to deal with this relationship and so is planning to just wait for the inevitable failure and pick up the pieces then. She gives me updates and it currently sounds like the pick-me dance is going on. I meanwhile have discovered Chump Lady and am getting a very clear picture of what kind of relationship my friend is in. I really wish I could contact the wife, but I honestly don’t even have her name much less her number. As it is I forwarded the link to the Chump Lady page in hopes something would get through to J. Doubtful, but at this point she’s an adult and can make her own decisions – however destructive they are.

        And yes self esteem is an issue here. I’ve known her since we were children so I know what her home was like. Not that she’s willing to acknowledge the problems there either. The fact that she’s finally checked herself in for depression gives me hope that the underlying issues will finally be dealt with and the symptoms, like her bad taste in men, will go away.

  • Lots of good advice here. I agree that it’s important to gather data–aka snoop around. Check the bank statements. Run a credit check. Peruse the cell phone logs while he’s in the shower, check instant messages, voice mails (and deleted voice mail), etc. Don’t tip your hand until you have real evidence of an affair. Additionally, snooping around may indicate that he’s not carrying on an affair with Creepy Girl, which should give you some peace of mind.

    But I also agree with others that it shouldn’t give you a lot of peace of mind. Clearly there are underlying relationship issues at work, and if you can deal with those before cheating, then your long-term chances are better. A really good therapist should be able to help you two uncover the underlying relationship dynamics. If he isn’t interested, then that tells you something.

    Talk to a family practice lawyer about your concerns, that you may be considering a divorce, and that you want to know your legal position and options. Even if you don’t exercise your options, knowing them is important.

    Your husband sounds as if he loves to be the knight in shining armor. Rescuing people feeds him ego kibble. It’s not bad to want to help people, but it’s bad to cross certain boundaries. If he’s crossing boundaries that make you feel uncomfortable, then that’s another real concern. You’d have to decide if it’s worth it to you to put up with someone who has no boundaries.

  • I love what KB said about knights in shining armour trying to rescue people and ego kibbles because it is so true and things can get so out of hand when it goes down. The problem is it can look so innocent and the spouse who objects can look like a bitch. The fact this husband can’t see that this is disrespectful to his wife is just so wrong and is kind of keeping it secret. I still say to Francine to trust your instincts. Is he still in contact with her?

  • Dear Francine… Your letter sounds so cool, so focused, so calm. But you might be afraid. We’ve all been there. Do the best you can. Try not to let fear affect your ability to care for yourself. Do what you have to do, and stay in touch.

    “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
    ~ Nelson Mandela

  • “His father had a long cheating relationship while married to my m-i-l.” THE FATHER GIVES PERMISSION TO THE SON. My husband’s father cheated and his mother did nothing about it. My Soon-To-Be-X (STBX) cheated all throughout his 50’s on me. He is 55. He is the helpful kind of guy, like your husband. He “helped” lots of mixed-up women in their 20’s, while trying to maintain the appearance of a perfect marriage.

    You are in big trouble here. Big Trouble. I wonder how many other women your husband has helped. If I were betting, I’d bet he’s had sex with this wack-job 20 something.

    “I keep telling myself that nothing happened.” Stop telling yourself this. You are in denial. Denial will not help you at all. You are sweeping your husband’s emotional abuse of you under a rug. This woman sounds like a sexual addict. All kinds of broken relationships. Interested in a man in his 50’s. Really? Really? A twenty something interested in a 50’s something man? She’s after his money. Period. You must confront this, even if you cannot find a stitch of financial evidence. Sex is happening almost certainly. He will get deeper and deeper into this fantasy world. They are both in a fantasy world called sexual addiction.

    “He thinks it’s nice she apologized.” Your husband is one more sick 50 something. Start digging for what’s going on. What a mess!

        • I’m jsut a few years younger than you, Baci, and for awhile I felt like I was just too old to start a new life. Well, you know what? I’m not and neither are you. Look at it this way: here’s your chance to live your life exactly as you want and perhaps have always dreamed of doing. She’s going to be lonely and miserable eventually because you know that two cheaters are going to be unhappy, even if they stay together.

          Don’t give up!

          • Just amazing how many of these husbands that go after younger woman are in their 50’s. I know you can’t blame a mid life crisis on cheating Its a CHOICE. But something must happen to a man at this age because so many turn their lives upside done in doing so fuck theirs and other families. I was going to get a bumper sticker made up because in my case CSM behaviour has effected two families I know of. Every time they cheat they effect 4 adults and numerous children

            ( insert real name ) FUCKS FAMILES

  • It’s very important to obtain accurate proof that an affair ( any type) actually exists.
    You must have proof otherwise due to the length of marriage and if the spouse wants to eat cake they will have you believe you are nuts. There must be proof not just accusations.
    Ok based on what you know it looks bad but gain proof and you know for certain you can make informed decisions.
    I once had a girlfriend whose previous relationship was with a man 20 years her senior. He flew her around the world on a private jet. It was ALL about the money

  • Francine am so sorry.

    Most of us here could be having a 20 something daughter.this girl is definitely unbalanced but had it been our daughter wouldn’t we be holding this 55 plus old man for sucking her into this.?????

    My two bit..he is not only having sex but is in some sort of a relationship.the baby most probably is his and hence he has set tthem up closer there another guy in her life..believe it only if you know it for a fact Francine.if it’s only on the basis of what your h has told you please verify since he would have said it so that you don’t doubt anything.what better way to put your fears at rest but by telling you that she is with some other guy.

  • The reason the girl appears to be so whacked out is because he has driven her to it.Of course, she has to be lacing in a lot of things to be sucked into this in the first place but the h has played a very large role in this.

    The girl writing a letter such as this???…the h has cried on her shoulder how miserable he is in his marriage..what an fore the wife is and how he wishes he had a wife like her.and this nutcase young chump believes him .she believes that he cannot get a divorce because he is scared of his wife and hence she takes matters in her own hands.

    Ergo…” I want to be you , but not like you”.

    She wants to be the wife but not a wife like the one shenthinks Francine is.

    And how does she know what type of a wife Francine is???

    From the sob stories the h has told her.

    Not his first time either, I am sure.

    Just that this time he landed a nuttier one.

    • Sanity, I think you’re absolutely right. Cheaters make you nuts with their lies and bullshit stories. She’s young, probably thinks this is her knight in shining armour and is going crazy trying to figure it all out.

  • Francine – I am sorry you are in this mess.
    And mess it certainly is. You are in serious trouble.
    My ex also told his other women (yes, that’s a plural) that our happy marriage was not all it appeared to be. All the while being the affectionate, ‘devoted and adoring’ husband and father. My kids and I still can’t believe how he could lie so convincingly about being so ‘happy’ at home as a husband and father if he wasn’t really so happily married. He told my adult kids after the divorce that our marriage was not as perfect as it seemed. What utter bullshit!
    And the previous comments of Lie, lie, lie, Deny, deny, deny are so absolutely and utterly true!!! In fact, the one affair that I initially found out about (she invited herself to our annual family camping vacation with his help) and confronted him and his OW about, had that theme – they both lied and denied everything. Then, I confronted her again and told her that he had told me about certain ‘meetings’ that they had had – I lied – he didn’t own up – but by then I had put two and two together and told her he told me about it. She fell for it and she was furious. She called him later and yelled at him – she was just screaming away at him when he denied that he told me about their tete-a-tetes – he had to hold the phone away from his ear and her words were: “You told me to lie, lie lie, deny deny deny!!!!!! Yes….You are afucking liar!!!!” Jeez….

    Francine, something is very, very wrong here. The fact that he kept it secret from you and she was the one to tell you about it. The terribly wrong fact that he actually told her about your private and sexual life. You have every right to feel invaded. He betrayed you by telling her business that should only be between the two of you.
    Something is wrong with the man’s boundaries.
    You say that `to then comfort her he told her all was not as it appears to be in the perfect marriage.`He needs to comfort her by telling her at your expense! To comfort her! Francine, something is so wrong here I can feel it in the pit of my stomach.
    Take the advice of the chumplings on this site – and above all, respect your instincts . They`re screaming at you.
    (I tried to stuff my inner voice down because he turned it all back onto me `- 2 years later I couldn`t stifle it anymore and then the shit hit the fan because I investigated and found out that there was 31 years of lies, lies, lies. Jeez….. ) Yes, all was not as it appeared to be…… on his side, not on mine and my ability as a good, loving wife as that statement infers.
    Secondly, respect yourself by leaving if there is more to it – and I hate to tell you this but I think CL is right – the baby, her moving closer etc. There`s more to it than he wants you to know. If, when you do some investigation – and yes, you have to do more investigation Francine! – all the chumplings are absolutely right – and you find out that something more has been going on over the lies and denials, then start putting some money away from the grocery budget etc. You`re going to need it. Don`t let on. Be as cool as you possibly can be. Then leave and start over.
    Even after all the years together.
    My ex and I had been together for 31 very happy years together, 27 of them married, the remainder we lived together before we were married. We turned a lot of pages together, started new chapters together – including moving to a different country together with our children (as in different hemispheres – Jeez it`s cold in Canada when you come from a sunny, temperate country in the Southern Hemisphere!) Despite that, I am glad I had the sense of self to leave him.
    Through that, I taught my children that I respected myself enough. The past 6 years have been so fucking lonely and so hard – no family besides my two adult children in this country and in this hemisphere, but the fact was, that I was dying inside once I found out some of his lies and deceptions. I left and he was shocked. I still don`t know all the truth. It drove me crazy at one stage, but now, I`m just indifferent to it. I was no longer of use to him once I left and he met someone the next week, she slept in our house that week-end and he filed for divorce within 4 months of my leaving because he had `found love and companship`. Jeez…….
    6 years later, life is good and though it took me that long to mourn and grieve, I am now happily dating a really great man. We have fabulous chemistry, he is honest, kind and extremely funny. I am 55.
    The data on living a life immersed in stress and the resultant disease and ill-health link is coming to light – living with someone who wilfully, knowingly betrays and lies to you and you not being able to trust them is a form of suicide. You die inside, slowly.
    Leave if and when it comes to light. Even after all those years together Francine.
    I am so sorry you find yourself in this mess – he created this mess with that batshit wingnut – and to try and sweep it under the rug and not recognize and acknowledge your feelings and the invasion of your privacy – it`s insulting.
    And not loving.
    And just plain not right.

    • This is absolutely it. It will suck, it will be hard, at times you will feel like you just can’t do it…but do it anyway. No one deserves to live a life of lies and eventually you will come out the other side and you will be fine. Changed, definitely, but a better person with a good life.

  • What do you want Francine? Do you want to keep this marriage? It sounds to me like you are getting advice from posters on how to proceed to end it, but not a lot of advice on how to proceed to improve it.

    Since you mentioned twice in your article that you and your husband have very different sexual needs, perhaps you should address that. Seek out a therapist who specializes in sexual issues and make an effort to deal with this yourself. It surely couldn’t hurt. Even if this marriage ends.

    There are many places on the web where men (mostly men) are telling painful stories of marriages that have become sexless, and women who make no effort to rectify that. The lack of intimacy in the relationship that denying sex to a partner creates, is devastating. Your husband’s confession of your sexual life to this young women may have been coming from a place of great pain in him. While not wanting to make excuses for cheating spouses, certainly this issue caused many of the sad stories discussed in these pages. Not to address this issue in your marriage is crazy.

    So, do your investigation. Get the facts. But as sex advice columnist Dan Savage says, be good, giving and game in your sex life with your husband. It’s a lot easier for 50 something husbands to draw the line with 20 something women when they have no illusions about the dangers of putting intimacy with their loving wives at risk. But he has to be feeling that intimacy with you.

    • Oh, this is gonna get good!

      I only wish I was as articulate at Chump Lady and the others who are about to answer your post.

      Nowhere did Francine say that she doesn’t have sex and an intimate relationship with her husband; in fact, she said the opposite.

      Your feigned concern is nothing but recycled cliche, and meant to make the victim feel guilty for being betrayed. Shame on you.

      But getting to all the poor, poor men telling painful stories, do you ever read about how many of them are willing to take their own responsibility for the lack of intimacy in their sexless marriages? How many men gave up on hygiene, dressing well, looking good, helping around the house, working at being charming and exuding happiness? How many of these guys act like helpless children in old men’s bodies? That’s not attractive, you know. It takes two to make a sexless marriage. How many of these men have wives who are cheating on them, and whom they should leave?

      For the sake of argument, let’s say the poor spurned men are undeserving of being “cut off.” Cheating is never an acceptable solution. Real men would take responsibility for their happiness and end the marriage honorably, rather than risk humiliation and disease.

      Nice try, but your condescension won’t work here.

      “Your husband’s confession of your sexual life to this young women may have been coming from a place of great pain in him.” Or, his confession is an embellished lie coming from a place of great entitlement in him, coming from total lack of concern for his family, from an inability to make mature and thoughtful choices in life that will lead to real happiness.

      Truth is, none of us know what is happening in this situation. But it is extremely offensive and damaging for you to try to make Francine responsible for her husband’s infidelity–however far it’s gone.

      • Excellent response, Stephanie, although I think Range Rover has a point. Both of you can be right at the same damn time. Life is just that gray sometimes.

      • Tossing in Dan Savage’s name to add glitter on your lack of moral character isn’t going to do it here, Rangerover. It’s still shit. Yes, Mr. Savage thinks monogamy is more difficult to achieve than most admit, he says you have to be honest and talk to your partner if you are unhappy.

    • RangeRover,

      No one should have to live in a sexless marriage, I agree. But I don’t think that’s what Francine is writing about, although she did say her husband would like to have more sex than she has with him, she also says a lot of the time she takes care of his needs, because that’s what loving people do.

      The problem with entitlement (and cheating is entitlement) is that her husband may think — hey, My Needs Are Not Being Met and give himself permission to get it elsewhere. I think we’re both agreed (I hope so), that this is wrong.

      A 50+ woman should not be expected to compete with a batshit crazy, oversexed, inappropriate 20 something. No amount of “sexless marriage” makes that right. Her husband needs to have boundaries, something he is sorely lacking. It’s an emotional betrayal of their marriage for him to complain about their sex life to this wing nut. If he’s that unhappy, he needs to insist on therapy, or more romantic weekends away, or whatever.

      But often the “what makes the cheater happy” is an ever-moving goal post. Francine’s husband (if he is cheating) may now be of the opinion, that what he prefers is Cake — the comforts of his long marriage, and a piece of batshit crazy young ass on the side.

      Healthy marriages work these things out. Affairs still come down to entitlement.

      Also, men of a certain age aren’t exactly all that and a bag of chips in the sack. High blood pressure meds, ED pills — not every woman’s dream, RR. And I don’t see Francine seeking a bit of strange.

    • So if he had problems why not suggest counseling instead of taking advantage of a girl three decades his senior?

    • I wondered how long it would take before the Blame the BS tribe would arrive here.

      Welcome oh mighty Talks with Bullshit!

    • Range Rover:

      Oh please about blaming the women for a lack of intimacy. Lack of intimacy is NEVER ONE PERSON’S FAULT.

      Please read the book “passionate marriage” It explains why intimacy goes out the window in a long term marriage, sometimes, and it isn’t ONLY one person’s fault.

      BTW, there are men here too who were cheated on by horney wives. And, I have friends whose husbands have erectile dysfunction, yet they don’t cheat.

      This type of blame is right out of the dark ages.

      This man likely co created the lack of intimacy and then did nothing about it and possibly even pushed his wife further away, in order to justify eating cake.

      A long term marriage should be about more than sex.

      So please spare us the lecture on how a woman should be hot and ready for some 50 something guy that totally ignores her so he can make her feel disinterested in sex, and then nags her for a quickie, which only pushes her further away, so he can justify cheating.

      Again, read Passionate Marriage, the pysch pro who wrote it, btw, is a man.

      And, woman do the same thing as the men when they are cheaters by nature.

      The OW in my STBX’s case, was only in her 30s yet she complained that her husband was boring in bed and she hid from him so he wouldn’t bother her for sex.

      Yet, she was going to male strip clubs for lap dances from men, and spreading her legs for anyone who would treat her to dinner.

  • Amen Stephanie! It isn’t about sex. I had sex with my STBX 1-2 times/day for 10 years he still had to get a little side dish on the side. It’s about the deception that makes it fun for them. Francine needs to be smart and be brave. No blame should be forced on her!

  • Men & Sex Boy OH Boy the lies they will tell. I will give no personal details. It will suffice to say it is one of the many lines they use when trying to reel in the OW
    1. She’s a bitch 2. She doesn’t understand me 3. Our love life sucks. I was the OW many many years ago with a man who was the love of my life. A real cake eater who even pursued after I married (in my defense this was the 70’s ) And I have heard it over and over again from men in conversations. And I knew the wives and knew it NOT to be true. FYI the other great lie: She took me to the bank in the divorce.
    Let me tell you RR after 20+ years of marriage sex isn’t so hot from my side of the sheets either. No romance, poor foreplay etc… But it is a way to connect and be close so… a new 20 something will do wonders for an erection

    • Janet:

      Just feel it is important to point out that these OWs are not innocent victims.

      They are willing and aggressive partners in cake eating.

      I read the Emails to my STBX from the OW.

      She sent the first one and was actually goading him about having too much self control initially as far as diving right into her as they got to know each other.

      She was telling mega lies to her husband and complaining about things that the poor husband could not change, such as his body type, and even complaining about things such as him working too much, something a lot of normal women would think is a good thing.

      BTW, he was home often enough to watch their kids while she went out on supposed girl’s nights out that were really dates, with mostly well heeled older men who spent money on her and took her to five star hotels to boff her.

      In one email, she was whining about going to a hotel she didn’t consider very nice and demanded to be taken to a more expensive one of her choosing.

      I do think a 50 something male should be older and wiser, but by engaging these young OWs they are fools, not necessarily using them. Some of the OWs actually use these older foolish cake eating men and the OWs sense of self esteem comes from having a married man desire them.

      The OW in my case was nothing less than a sexual predator. She was addicted to porn and spent a lot of time and male strip clubs.

      In fact her first email was filled with sex talk. What normal woman starts talking about her sex toys in the first few emails to a man they are interested in?

      Well, a horney OW who is out looking for some strange while her hubby stays home with their four kids, that’s who.

      • There are different types of cheaters, different types of Chumps, and different kinds of side dishes. Chump Lady did an article about what goes through the mind of an OW. They range from the sociopaths that you encountered to those just as deceived as the betrayed spouse.

        • I agree green girl that occassionally an OW may be the victim of a con man.

          But IMO, many OWS that fit the con scenario, were also conning themselves.

          They didn’t bother to check if the guy was really single.

          And, dating a separated man is always a dumb Idea. It puts the them in the position of being the “transitional ” relationship, and we all know those never last.

          I think it is a very rare OW that was truly innocent.

          Most have their head in the sand or up their butt, take your pick.

  • My husband would sense my dissatisfaction with his aloofness/lack of connection and would suggest that we do couples therapy. Only an complete jerk would not agree to trying if her husband wanted to go to therapy with her! Then in couples therapy, he hid his affaires, lied about his intentions to recommit. I would come out of therapy more and more angry each week, but with no idea why. In session he agreed to do recommiting “homework” but then wanted sex only as a 4 o’clock rape. Eventually he admitted to having no empathy and said that probably nothing I ever did or would do would help. Never in session or out of session, did he admit to any affairs (2 of which were going on at the time) or his secret lives. No closure on this relationship. He just told me not to take any of this personally.

  • Fuck you Range Rover.

    I didn’t want to have sex with my husband and didn’t. Why? Because he killed the intimacy in our relationship with lies and totally inappropriate behavior.

    He then, just as you described, used that against me and had an affair. Go blow smoke up your own ass somewhere else. It is amazing how easily you type of people believe your own lies.

    Did I mention… Fuck. Off.

    • Well said, Falene.

      It’s an easy rationalization these people give. What is ignored by these people are the other variables that make for a positive sexual relationship. Do you think there might be built up resentment because your partner is such an asshole who will never work with you to resolve conflict, hides behind walls, manipulates you by preying on your deepest fears, refuses to apologize, accuses you of not supporting him because you disagree, the years he’s spent making you the sick one in the relationship? What about that’s he’s fucking awful in bed? Rushes but refuses to slow down, won’t read any books, won’t discuss doing things differently because “no else has ever complained,” thinks all women can orgasm during intercourse (“Everyone else I’ve been with has been able to do it that way.”) and jumps out of bed as soon as the five minutes is up.

      Now why in the world would any of that make me want to jump in bed with him? He was fucking lousy in bed and wouldn’t do shit about it.

      There’s more to the story, Range Rover.

  • Dear Chump Lady and Bloggers,

    Thank you all for the great feedback! I listened to all of it and took it to heart. Your response to my dilema helped me in many ways. I thought I needed to follow up and let you know how things stand today.

    Well seeing how I handle all the finances for our businesses, pay the bills and am the tech savvy one in this duo, I know what goes in and out of the banks and where it goes. My hubby is the hard worker but needs staff to be the success he is. I trust my instincts and so believe that there was an “almost” incident but nothing happened thanks to the OW’s uncensored disclosure almost 2 years ago. When I wrote to you Chump Lady, I had just received a letter from the OW asking if we could resume our “friendship” while admitting that she still like my husbands emotional support and connection. I had just put the whole ordeal behind me when her letter came to me (via the neighbor!) I’m happy i wrote to you because someone (few of you) said that it was his responsibility to “shut that shit down!” I had the strength to tell him that he created the mess, he should write to her and end it once and for all!

    He was so happy to do so! He wrote a letter, showed it to me and it made me smile ear to ear! It was kind, strong, didn’t mince words and in the end wished her and her new family well and to please leave us alone! I was so glad to hear and read this from him! I folded it up, stuck it in the envelope with her letter and it’s somewhere on my desk. I figured sending it would be too empowering for her. If ever she needs to hear it i will share it then but for now i hope we don’t run into her. Occasionally i come across them but have stopped reading them and will just smile and put it somewhere else. He has been good as gold to me and has said he never wants to hurt me again like that. I believe him and am very happy these days.

    He knows that he can have all of his fantasies whenever he wants and to please tell me first. I will leave in a split second and let him have them. He knows that i am stronger and have visited the possibility of life on my own and am ready and able. The amazing thing is we’re getting along better now than in a long time. I could bore you with details but i just wanted to say thank you Chump Lady and all of your followers. You have helped me so much and given me such strength with your words and convictions. I won’t forget any of you and pray that you all find happiness within and with your partners. I was a lucky girl this time around and you are in part some of my success. Thanks again,


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