Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, What’s inside the mind of the OW?


Dear Chump Lady,

You have done such a wonderful job describing the cheater. Can you please give me insight into the mind of the other woman? It boggles my mind how a woman, who has kids of her own, can get involved with a married man with three kids? And when the affair was discovered and we were supposedly trying to reconcile, the OW would drop her kids off at school and then “exercise” by walking around my block with her shirt rolled up?

I don’t get it. Please help me understand.



Dear Pearl,

Well, perhaps the poor dear can only get her Vitamin D intake by exposing her pasty midsection? That’s such a bizarre detail! You want me to hazard a guess as to what’s in her head? How about: “LOOK AT ME! My postpartum tummy is firm and unblemished! Behold! And lust me!” … Or pity me as an attention whore. It’s all good. I’ll take whatever ego kibbles I can get, even if it means lapping the neighborhood half-naked.

I don’t know, Pearl. Sounds like a mindfuck to me. She’s hoping you notice. And you noticed.

But I think your question is what are other women thinking that allows them to screw married men? Well, Pearl, I don’t think Ms. Midriff is thinking of you at all except as an obstacle to her happiness. You’re not in her world. Which is more than can be said for your husband. He’s not thinking of you at all either, and he lives with you! A pretty astounding mental trick when you think about it.

I have to confess that I haven’t made such a big study of Other Women. Some chumps hang out on OW forums to figure out what makes them tick. I didn’t do that. The major OW in my story was bipolar, and she’d been an OW through all three of my ex’s marriages. It’s a special kind of fucked up, for sure. That was a skein I wasn’t particularly interested in unraveling.

I would say though, that I don’t think all OW tick in the same way. At one end of the spectrum are unwitting OWs. They’ve been duped too. At the other end of the spectrum are the disordered nuts who get their sick jollies from competing with the wife and having the guy show his ultimate devotion by chucking what is supposedly dearest to him — his family — to “win” her.

Some thoughts…

1. They think the man is available. I know, duh, he’s NOT available. But from their perspective, he is because he is pursuing them, or is open to their advances. Neither of them have any boundaries. They take his interest as a green light to proceed. And the cheater is usually floating all sorts of bullshit, that he’s separated, or he lives chastely with his wife as a “roommate,” or she has a wasting illness that prevents her from performing her wifely duties. Whatever bullshit they spin, the OW wants to believe it. That’s how all conmen con — we want to believe in what they’re selling. (i.e., he’s available and I’m special.)

2. They don’t know. Similarly to #1, there are OW who simply don’t know they are OW. Maybe they met the guy on and he represented himself as single. Thing is, this should be a short-term affliction of cluelessness. Eventually the scheduling conflicts and cell phone secrecy, it has got to dawn on them he’s married. Now, I’ve read OW turning that around on chumps — hey, I didn’t know, how come YOU didn’t know he was cheating? Well, it’s a fair point, except that the guy is married to you. Being with you is where he is supposed to be. It shouldn’t be on your radar that your husband is cheating, whereas if you’re in the dating trenches, it should be on your radar that the guy isn’t acting available.

Once an OW clues in? She should get the hell out and tell the wife. But a lot of them seem to succumb to the Humiliating Dance of “Pick Me” and stick with the affair, at least for awhile. They’re hooked on the sparkly, rainbow kibbles. And unpredictable supply creates demand and fucks up your head, as we know.

3. They’re think they’re edgy and sophisticated. Today’s HuffPo piece is illustrative of this kind of wingnut. Maybe they freebased too much Sex and the City, but OW like this seem convinced that they’re central in some romantic drama that lesser mortals cannot understand. They speak in breathy, Harlequin romance speak, convinced their cliches are profound. From that HuffPo piece by (I kid you not) someone named “Whiskey Tortoise:

The secrecy and the heartache we shared have long given way to thrilling memories.

Whiskey Tortoise is fitting really for this sort of OW. Synonymous for inebriated reptile, which you’d have to be to write something so patently stupid. (No offense to tortoises, who I’m sure are very nice as cold-blooded creatures go. Unlike OW.)

4. It’s a sick competition. At the end of the spectrum, you have the real sickos who get off on competing with the wife and kids. Regular affair kibbles are not enough. No easy, breezy fuck on the side for them. No, they require supreme sacrifice and total allegiance. They want the guy to give up something significant to demonstrate fealty to her — his wife and kids. It’s a competition and she must win it.

My husband’s ex was one of these sociopaths. She was a serial cheater and only screwed married men with kids. According to her former business partners, one of the guys showed up with an INFANT on his hip at their workplace one day, as she bragged about their affair. She did eventually (after she was discovered and divorced) get one of the OM to leave his wife and small kids for her.

All I can say about people like this is they’re disordered. Completely without empathy. All cheating involves narcissism, but what is so telling about these sickos is the wife isn’t a theoretical construct to them. Some distant background noise, a nagging presence. No, the wife is someone who must be eliminated from the arena. Humiliated. Conquered. I think these OW are very aware of what they are doing and why. Part of the pleasure is mindfucking the wife. This may be the sort of person you’re dealing with, I’m so sorry.

All I can advise you is let her have him. Worst karma you could inflict on your cheating husband would be to let him live with her. People like this destroy every life they touch. It’s what sociopaths do best.


Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I am thinking it would be feeding into the frenzy and pointless… I did contact the OW through text this past summer. She was an acquaintance. I told her I knew. I asked her how could she do such a thing to a child and help to rip away her stability and security esp since her children went through the pain of divorce? I asked her if she slept well at night? No response of course. What can she say? She is a piece of shit, why would she care about my daughter and her well-being?
    I have opted not to care. Whether or not hasbeend and her are “together” or not is not my concern. They deserve each other. The insecurities that arise from that “union” is mind-boggling. Every time one of them walks out the door or sends/ takes a call, text– the other will always be wondering if it is possible the other is cheating… Why? Because both already did for three + years… He was cheating in her with me (how could other person wait around for years knowing “their” man us going home to his wife and family rvery night? How desperate is this woman? And insecure???) No trust, loyalty, respect.. Horrendous people. Sickening.

    • I confronted the OW. However, she is a complete sociopath and it did nothing but confirm that. She looked at me and said “what do want me to say.” I promptly called her a few choice words. Told her her actions hurt my kids and everything you would expect i would have said. She didn’t say a word and shortly thereafter began her exercise routine around my house.
      I say confront away if it makes you feel better. Ir made me feel better because it confirmed her lack of character and showed her i probably was not who she imagined (coincidentally, I was dressed to the nines for work and full make up-I looked pretty good if I do say so myself). It did not however do anything to dissuade her behavior and may have actually fueled it.

      • Pearl, she will always be threatened by you. And rightly so! That is why she was running by your house..
        Good for you that you confronted her. I do believe it is important to let these people know who you are and that you are not some distant being from planet Futon.. Take a firm stand… But most impotantly, tell the cheater husband to piss off… And get half if everything! Good luck to you Pearl!!!

      • Thinking about it. I do agree that it fuels the fire and can be pointless… If you decide to stay with the cheater.. Otherwise, I am thinking if it brings more power to you to let her know who you are and that you know she is a piece of shit… Then I am all for that..
        When I texted OW, I was trying for R…. Looking back, I don’t know if I fed into the frenzy as she might have enjoyed the kibbles I fed her, but I felt better. I think BS’s should at the very least take a firm stand with the cheater… ALL IN or I am out.. STBX was not all in so I said I am out… Best decision I ever made..

    • Confronting OW/OM? Waste of time and breath. It’s just another way of doing the “pick me!” dance for the cheater. “You stay away from my man!” or “Please, I have children to consider, please get out of our lives.” Any version thereof registers with the OW/OM as “I matter. I am powerful. I upset you.” And bonus! Raises their hopes that you’ll leave and they can have Mr. Special all to themselves.

      Many of us wobble here, especially in the beginning. But I think “meh” is important with OW/OM too. If not them, it’d be someone else. No one is really special to these folks. Just distance yourself from the crazy. Step away.

      • I actually told her she could have him. But everything else I told her took the wind out of her sails. I did it for me as I had to speak my mind. I have run into her in public many times since. I just hold me head high and pretty much ignore her

        • I get it. I had a few parting zingers myself. Told she was “always a fuckbuddy, never a bride.” Or when she called me a whore, I said “That’s MRS. Whore to you.”

          Still… it’s wrestling with a pig. You get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

        • I told the final OW he was all hers as well, after I told her about the serial cheating I discovered. She seems to think she is special, of course, and maybe she is. But she’s still got a man ho on her hands so good luck to her.

    • Me too, I hope CL doesn’t mind if we borrow her phraseology.

      BTW: I just notice the cartoon of the OW. So perfect.

      But the problem with asking about what goes on inside the mind of the OW is that it assumes the OW actually has a mind.

      IMO, the inside of their cranium and between the ears is totally devoid of grey matter.

      The brains of OWs are likely just above their spinal cords, at that back base of th skull, where the reptilian brain resides.

      The OWs reflexive behaviors are similar to those of a croc’ or a ‘gator, too. When anything touches the mouth of a croc’ or ‘gator, it reflexively swings open.

      Well with the OW if a stray man, anyone other than the husband, looks at them, their legs reflexively swing open.

      It’s……well a no brainer for them. LOL.

      Am I being too mean and evil.

  • I KNOW! That huffpo piece was the most self-serving piece of crap that I have EVER seen published. Is what the drunk turtle wrote was helpful? NOPE.
    Useful? NOPE.
    How about just a window into how totally screwed up she is. What a douchecanoe.
    Anyone who thinks that she is edgy is crazy. Crazy people unite!
    Reading the drunk turtle’s article is 5 minutes that I can never have back…

  • Hey Whiskey Turtle– lay off the crack pipe.. Not only are you slow but most definitely stupid and desperate! Seek some serious mental help, gain self-respect and worth and maybe, just maybe you can pass yourself off as a halfwit human being… Imagine that!!!

  • STBX’s current OW is very, very young and thinks she has ‘won’. Well, what she’s won is an angry, middle aged serial cheater who is most likely a narcissist. She also gets the added bonus of his N family (particularly his mother), who will try to control everything in her life…and he will go along with mummy and daddy because they don’t do conflict.

    The OW thing they’re special because they got a married guy. If the marriage actually breaks up they REALLY think they’re special and that their magical selves are so wonderful that the man HAD to leave to be with their awesomeness.

    Funnily enough I kicked STBX and filed for divorce, so she got him by default. Hell, he was going to MC with me for months until I finally said no more. She’s aware he’s a serial cheater (but seems to think it’s because he was waiting to me her specialness) and really, all she’s got is a guy who is a known longtime cheater who is swiftly getting older, who has jacked up his career to an extent and who is extraordinarily bitter towards me, his soon to be ex wife.

    It’s all win-win for me, ultimately.

  • Oh, and I contacted OW. First, when I found out (not my finest moment) and then, a few months later, when she was pushing to meet the kids–who were absolutely freaking out.

    STBX told me at one point that ‘you will NEVER meet her!!!’ (insert panic voice), despite the fact that she now spends time with my kids. Then again, his mother was the OW and didn’t meet the first wife for years and years, despite telling anyone who would listen that she ‘raised the kids from the first marriage’, which would have been a neat trick since they lived in another country.

    Someone tell me how I got tangled up with these fuckheads and didn’t run like mad?

    • Count your lucky stars you are FREE of your loser wasband’s cowardice and bull crap!!! His 25 year old mistress just picked up a lot of baggage.. Lucky her!!
      And as far as your kids, NO ONE and I mean NO ONE can EVER take YOUR place as their mother in their minds, hearts, and souls. You are their soft place to fall, their support, love, and caring. Their loyalty lies with you.
      My story? STBX’s mistress is almost 45… With three kids 12, 10, and 8! Hasbeend is 29! Our sweet daughter is 7. I am 34. He went for a person 15 years his senior. Crazy. To each his own I guess!!

      • Your 29 year old husband is with a 45 year old? Maybe we could have the STBX’s switch and the middle aged ones can hook up while the young ‘uns can hook up.

        And I know, no one can replace me to my kids…but her being near them chaps my ass anyway. :)= I’ll survive.

        • Also, I’m happy to be free of him, although it’s still hard at times, particularly financially. I am a SAHM and still haven’t found much work in my field, which I haven’t worked in in a very long time. Grrr….

          2013 is the year I kick ass and take no prisoners.

        • Bahahaha! It wouldn’t really make a difference now would it? They are all psychos…
          It will freak me out if that scum partner poacher has anything to do with my beautiful daughter.
          As her mommy, and I am a very good one, I will always be her soft place to fall. I just don’t know if scumbag is ready to be stepdad. Not sure if their togetherness will be a long lasting thing. For my daughter’s sake, I pray hard it won’t.

          • OW in my case, being fresh from uni, seems to be taking the ‘friendly nanny’ approach, while STBX looks on fondly. WE’e actually had nannies older than her. It’s….weird.

  • Good article CL

    I think you hit on all the possible headcase variables for a why a married women with children will neglect her kids and own loyal spouse to fuck a married man.

    The OW, in my case, was definitely in competition with the wives of the men she fucked and her goal was to get them to leave the wives. She had issues with her father and her mother was unavailable. So my guess is she hated mommy for being unavailable.

    She was only attracted to well off older men, exactly her father’s age.

    The fact that none of her former affair partners did marry her after dday or even continued to see her eluded her meager intellectual grasp and still does.

    In one email she wined that she didn’t know what the wife of of one of her former affair partners had that she didn’t except that maybe she was slimmer. LOL.

    She definitely also was into conquering and humiliating the wives and was in competition them because she gossiped about all her affairs to anyone who would listen.

    Based on her emails, she also thought she was edgy, seductive and oh so attractive because she could find married men to fuck her. And, most women were just not in her league from that perspective.

    By all accounts, however, the reality is that she was a pudgy bottle blond with snout rather than a nose who upon initial contact with married men made it embarrassingly clear that she was an easy lay.

    She was really good at slinging the ego kibbles, at her affair partners, while thoroughly trashing her own faithful husband, and she did speak romance novel speak like a pro.

    If they were immediately interested she pursued and pursued talking about sex clubs and lap dances and her sex toys, until she lured them into the “no fool like an old fool” scenario……Not an excuse for the men, but just an example of her methods.

    In the end though she only humiliated herself and when word got out of her numerous affairs, one with good family friend, she had to leave the church she socialized at due to ostracism from members there, both men and women.

    • Please ignore the missing words and typos, My contact were blurry and couldn’t see the board clearly. …..arrrrrrghhhhh!

  • “No fool like an old fool.”

    Love it.

    Gonna use it a lot.

    I will never speak to xH’s OW. She IS a piece of shit unworthy of my time. She and I do not speak the same language. The words all sound the same but have totally different meaning. We are from two different worlds. She has no shame, does not believe in the sanctity of the family, happily hurts children and old fools.

    And, just the same, I only rarely and briefly ever speak to my ex, never in public, only by informative e-mail. I have nothing to say to him. I thought we had the same values; clearly we do not.

    I believe xH is ashamed of OW, as he never mentions her any more, the kids don’t see her or hear of her. I believe he is hiding her in order to make himself look innocent and tortured.

    But that sparkly piece of shit he’s fucking? The one who reminds him of his mother? I want nothing to do with her ever. Those two deserve each other.

  • My FIL had an OW for years. I felt sorry for her, as well as for my MIL. The OW truly loved my FIL. He treated her like dirt by not divorcing my MIL, and by not marrying her when my MIL died. She clearly worshipped my FIL. She saw him as an honorable man, kind, and funny. He borrowed money from her that he never repaid, and by not marrying her, he cut her off from his pension and Social Security. My MIL, I think, banked on her ability to outlive her cheater, but lost. Both women deserved better.

    My STBX has hooked up with a more predatory woman. Right now, my STBX is cooling on the affair. Apparently I’ve been making it more difficult for them to get together, and he’s been telling her that they need to cut it off. She disagrees, telling him they’re soul mates, that he’ll never have a woman like her again (one would hope not!). She wants him full-time, but he says that as much as he’d like that, his situation is not one where he can do so (guess he’ll be surprised by the divorce). By all accounts, and from what I’ve read, she’s a combination between the OW who thinks 1) the man is available (and yeah, he fucked her), 2) she’s edgy and sophisticated (her bar-hopping behavior is acceptable in a 21-year-old, less so in a 40-year-old), and 3) she’s in a sick competition with me. Her combination of pick-me dancing along with cake and ego kibbles shows she is 100% fucked up.

    However, her mental state really isn’t the issue. A normal man would look at her, realize that she’s on the prowl for a sugar daddy, and either fuck her and be done with it or stay the hell away because she’s all sorts of bad news. The real issue is that my STBXH decided to fuck her for whatever reason. He can’t undo that. He can’t unbreak his marriage vows. He can’t repair what he broke, and right now, he doesn’t even know just how much he destroyed that part of his life that allows him to cope with a dysfunctionally stressful job.

    She is what she is, but he is the one who should have said no.

    • The OW in my situation is an old girl friend of his. Separated and living with her aged parents I know she sees my husband as a way out. He is reasonably good looking and has a very good job. He doesn’t see it, I know he thinks he is “rescuing” her. Too bad that when we divorce he won’t have 1/2 as much as he has now and he will lose my income which helps support him in the lifestle he is accustom to.

  • Hey, did anyone else notice that HuffPo teased the “Mistress Reveals All” story on the Divorce page with a picture that appears to show an alien on an autopsy table?

    Very apt choice, that.

  • I live vicariously through the ow ex husband. He divorced her and now appears very happy with a woman who is younger thinner more accomplished and a local celebrity. He took his new girlfriend and his kids on vacation recently and posted photos. They looked very happy

    • Living well is always the best revenge. I know a great guy, very handsome and successful, who was cheated on by his wife (two kids). They reconciled and within a couple of years she cheated again. He divorced her. Had a horrible few years then got himself together, met a wonderful woman, got married and had a new baby. The Ex-wife recently came to him to see if they had a chance to ‘work things out’. He laughed in her face.

        • Don’t give up. I have another friend whose husband ran off with some dips hit. She was devastated. Seven years later she’s got a great relationship, her kids are amazing, she is sort of friends with her ex and he’s been through 4 or 5 women since the divorce. He’s cheated on every single one of them, including the original OW. :=)

      • Nord:

        I am so glad he laughed in her face.

        Sometimes you hear about some guy that is so flattered by the ego kibble of the cheater begging to come back after two years of cheating, that they do take them back like fools.

        • NO way…he went through hell and it took him a number of years to recover, so when he did and found a new life there was no way he was going backwards. He’s very happy these days. The ex-wife? Not so much. :=)

          • Glad to hear he’s happy, Nord.

            I have no doubt he is either.

            As for those who leave their spouse for an affair partner…..all the studies and reports indicate the cheaters rarely fair as well. Their new relationship hits the skids as soon as real life intrudes.

      • same- last troll had a boyfriend- he contacted me to say he was sorry about what had happened. Caused great upset to troll and dickhead when they found out we were together.?And then she found out about all of the other special trolls?

  • My situation might be slightly different– “internet love” vs. reconnecting with an ex, sleeping with a co-worker, etc.– so it was easier for me to view the OW with more detachment. She has, and always will be, a warm body. STBX could’ve found anyone as insecure and messed up as she is on the internet to have an A with. My situation was similar to the LW’s in the sense that the OW in my situation is also M with children (and a SAHM at that), but when STBX told me a little bit about her shortly after DDay, I realized how much he did “affair down.” She sounds like she has a lot of mental and emotional problems. With eyes open now, I feel that my STBX also has a lot of problems, so I was quite happy to wash my hands of him and leave him to her. Even if they eventually get married and stay together forever, I can’t feel jealous because I wouldn’t want to be involved with STBX, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be her.

    The biggest emotions I struggle with are resentment and anger, and that’s because I was not only cheated ON, but I also feel that I was cheated OUT of a life that I could have shared with someone else. If anything, OW should have come along ten years earlier so that I could have truly been freed from my prison. Instead, I have to share child-rearing with that douchebag for at least another 14 years. That’s what pisses me off the most– I gave my 20s and most of my 30s to him, and instead of being with a partner whom I can plan retirement with and enjoy more free time with now that the kids are getting older, I get to carry the load by myself and maybe never find a relationship since I have too much baggage (almost 40, three kids).

    Whew. Needed to vent there. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

    • Yeah, the resentment is killer. I gave up 20 years and now I don’t have the life I worked so hard for and one that he unilaterally decided to jack up with his dick.

      The only reason I don’t want them to stay together is that I don’t want her to have what I worked for. Oh, and I don’t want to have to see her for the rest of my life.

      • yeah, the only reason I don’t want them together is because I don’t want to see her, or more importantly, for my kids to see her. Or for her to have any influence over them.

    • MO – sometimes I feel the same thing… that I was cheated out of a life that I could have spent with someone else who would have never done this to me. And yep, I’ll be stuck co-parenting with this guy now for 16 years to life 🙂

      But when I go there with my thoughts I then think about that if I hadn’t been with him, my kids wouldn’t be here. Yes, I probably would have had kids, but they’d be different kids. These guys I currently have would not have walked the earth. So, I believe that is the reason I was with him. So that is why I will be glad that I was with him even if it means I had to go through this shit. And actually this shit is making me stronger and a better person as well.

      • That’s true, aE. I try to think of it that way as well. I love my kids and can’t imagine them any other way. I suppose that having to deal with STBX is the price I have to pay for great kids, and if that’s the case, then I’ll gladly pay it. It’s not my kids that I regret at all– honestly, it’s the sadness I feel when I think about how this might be it in terms of having a relationship.

        • Don’t look at it as ‘this might be it’. If and when you’re open to another relationship you’ll probably find it, but don’t rush, don’t get desperate and don’t panic. Make you the best you possible and the world will open up to you.

          One thing I’ve learned during this, particularly after I started to crawl out from under the pain, was that I cut myself off a lot from people when I was with STBX, particularly the last few years.

          After dday, I started contacting people I used to know, contacted people I thought were interesting, met people at seminars, amped up seeing friends, threw a couple of parties….just really got out there. You know what happened? My whole social life has changed. I have reconnected with old friends, made quite a few new ones, lost a few in the process, have many more invites to things, a couple of people have come into my life who have become incredibly important to me and I value them enormously…so it’s all good if you let it be good. Hell, New Years Eve was spent with a woman I used to work with that I was casually friendly with, her sister whom I met a few months ago and hit it off with enormously well, a couple of other people I’d never met before…and I had an absolute blast–probably too much fun, actually, if you know what I mean.

          I figure that when I’m ready for a new relationship I’ll attract what I need. I’ve been flirted with a bit and haven’t even noticed (the kids point it out) – the reason I think I’ve been flirted with is because I’ve opened up so much.

          So just work on enjoying life, being around people who bring joy and happiness into your life, back away from those who drain you or make you dwell on the negative. That’s another lesson I learned: SSTBX and his family are always sitting around judging and criticising and they attract similar people. I got sucked into it and was probably not fun to be around. Now the old, old me is surfacing and people are totally responding. Why? Because I’m actually a lot of fun, intelligent, and kind of cool to be around.

          (By the way, I’m thinking about asking STBX at some point how to approach this ‘new relationship’ thing since he never actually stopped dating. Hahaha)

          • that’s good advice! I need to work harder at expanding my friendships… have also reconnected with some old friends, but I also need some new, local friends. I seriously barely know any divorced/single people here so I don’t have many people to hang out with because they are all at home with their young, intact, families.

            And I still find myself hiding a bit like I’m ashamed of what happened to me and of being divorced (or in the middle of a divorce). It’s the casual acquaintances that I met over the past couple years (since being a SAHM) that I find myself wanting to avoid. Not the ones that became good friends. I shouldn’t be feeling that at all, I know. But part of me does want to move someplace new where I can just start over completely fresh. Where I don’t have to tell people that knew me as married that now I’m divorced. I’m not sure if part of my problem is that I live in a small town so I feel like I’m always going to run into these people that I don’t really want to see (small town ain’t gonna help when it does come to new relationships either). But another part of me thinks I should “stick it out” here and it’s better for the kids to be close to their dad. Besides the fact that what’s good for the kids is good for me, being close also means he can help with them more. But I also want to do what’s best for me, even if it could be construed as “running away”. I’m here for the next 1.5 years at least since I’m going back to school so I won’t be making any changes yet. But up until just the last few weeks I was not considering moving at all. Now I am, and I’m feeling kinda guilty about it I guess.

        • I don’t think it will be ‘it’ either. Yeah, we’ve all got baggage now. It definitely won’t be as easy as finding relationships in your 20’s. Hell, I’ve been with my STBX since I was 19! Even the prospect of “dating” kinda terrifies me…. can’t I just go to a frat party and hook up and after that we hang out/date? That’s how it worked the last time I was out there. Now I have to have awkward conversation with an almost total stranger while we size each other up? Sounds painful.

          But there’s gotta be a few decent ones out there… look at how well CL did! She’ll have to tell us how she met him sometime!

          • I’m slightly terrified of dating as well. Early on I went on a couple of dates and they were hilariously disastrous, so I stopped and started focusing on myself.

            As far as friends, I’ve met some amazing people and consider myself very lucky to have done so.

            EMbarrassment? I had that right up until I started telling people the truth about what I found out and the embarrassment suddenly shifted to where it belongs: onto him. I didn’t cheat, I didn’t lie or deceive, I was just a normal wife and mother who was not perfect (yes, I can admit that) and who was in a marriage that was based on a lot of lies, except I didn’t know it and was frustrated by things I couldn’t understand. Well, now I understand, I tell the truth (not gory details, just basic ‘I discovered him cheating and when I checked further discovered he’d been cheating for many years) and the funny thing is that once people get over the ‘oh my god, that is shocking’ thing they’re pretty supportive.

            Tell the truth about what happened, admit that you weren’t perfect but cheating is a deal breaker…and then move on and rebuild your life. It will happen. Not the life you thought you had or maybe even the one you wanted but it will be ok.

  • I know my OW isn’t #1 or #2, and she’s too white trash to be #3… so guess she must be #4. I do know she once told her own family and husband a LONG time ago that she could get my husband to leave me if she wanted to. Nice. And ha to her! My husband would never have left me! That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have continued to fuck around on me, but he would have never left. It wouldn’t have been in his best interest. I did the leaving, and now even though she is going through her own divorce due to this and other reasons, I’m pretty sure my STBX won’t marry her. He still might continue to fuck her once in a while if he’s even stupider than I think he is, but she is of more use to him as an assistant. Plus, now he can get his kibbles from whoever he wants… why would he settle just for her? I do kinda hope she gets pissed about that and causes some drama at work over it, but it hasn’t happened yet 🙂

    I also think the OW (at least married ones) are in it to get their ego kibbles as well. By feeling superior to the wife, commiserating with the AP on their crappy spouses, etc. Maybe mine liked being with the head honcho at work who made more money than her husband. In my case I believe she also wanted to kind of “get back” at her husband because they did have a tumultuous home life and he did hit her once. They went to therapy after that incident (and she came out of that with a bipolar and ADD diagnosis) and it seems a few months later she was fucking my husband. By the way, I spoke to the husband after the affair came out and the hitting incident came up. At first he started to justify it and then almost immediately he said something like “no, there’s no excuse for me doing that to her”. That one sentence is better than anything my husband has ever said about the cheating.

    But yeah, I really don’t care that much about her. It’s my husband that should have shown me and his family loyalty. It’s him that I cared about being a decent person.

    • Oh yes, the commiserating about their partners. STBX actually told one of my kids that he and current OW became friends, started telling each other how unhappy they were in their relationships and then started to like each other. Funnily enough, while that was going on, me and STBX were talking about how great our life was and making loads of plans for the future.

      Well, we’ll see how it works out. She’s turning into a dutiful housewife at 25 and he’s sitting back, lapping it up.

      • he told your kids that?!? Fucked up.

        My OW’s husband told me how she would talk about how I apparently never did anything around the house, that my husband did ALL the cooking and cleaning. I’m a SAHM. Complete bullshit. My STBX would have stories from the OW all the time about how her husband barely works, drinks, blah blah blah. I guess I should have had more of a problem with such an obvious boundary being crossed (her complaining about her husband), but it never occurred to me that he would complain about me to her. Live and learn.

        I met her husband once and remember thinking he didn’t seem that bad. Like I was expecting a monster or something. And when I spoke to him on the phone after the affair he also seemed okay. So, basically they were both lying about both of us the whole time.

        • Yes, he told my kid that, a couple of months after I kicked him out. He was gagging for teh kids to ‘get over it’ and accept her and was doing a big sell about how great she was.

  • I Love your site CL. I’ve been reading for 2 days!

    My husband started his affair with a young woman from the local quicky mart, 24 years his junior with a one year old child from a previous bf, in March. I suspected something and was able to prove it over the summer. I kicked him out in October and filed for divorce. They are now living together.

    One of the things I wanted to comment on is the romanticizing of the affair. I was convinced at first that the OW wore only matching bras and panties from Victoria Secret, they stayed up all night sharing about their deepest secrets, they went on exotic trips etc etc. The life they have together is perfect. How could I ever compete with someone so young and wonderful!

    The other day my sister and I were in a town about 20 miles aways and stopped at Target to pick up something while we where going by. Out comes my husband looking like a scruffy mess wih her pushing her screaming kid in a stroller. She looked like a slob and was obviously mad at him for something, shaking her finger at him. He had that glorious expression on his face I know all to well, the vacant get me the hell out of here expression. I realized he obviously won’t be seen with her in our town and couldn’t stop laughing at the site of my 53 yo husband being towed around by his fat sloppy gf.

    We laughed and waved and he flipped us the finger. So mature, lol.

    Anyway she was a total drama queen and loved the thought of the intrigue of an older married man with money. I think she was a competitor and had to win him too. Well, she won! What a prize.

  • Perhaps I can shed some light on the mindset of these OWs, as both my XWs(serial cheaters) were OWs before i met them(and, I knew about it. What an idiot).
    In any case, they were dissimilar in terms of sophistication and intellect, but they had many common characterisitics9and, ironically, they hated each other).
    I think both are disordered, NPD or BPD, or a combo platter. Each is incredibly entitled and lacks empathy, although the brighter one is better at fooling people(which makes her more dangerous).
    Neither of these women feel/felt any remorse or regret over having broken up marriages. Thye were driven, as CL points out, by a combination of competetiveness(to feed their insecurity about themselves) and entitlement(neither woul feel badly about stepping on people to get what she wants).
    It became apparent to me the both had masked their true selves during courtship, although, in retrospect, certain red falgs were staring me in the face and I stupidly and egoistically ignored them.
    It , really, is not all that complicated, once you accept that there are a fair number of very disordered people out there who have completely different values than a non-cheater. The sky in their world is not blue. Up is down and down is up etc.
    Richard Skerrit gives a nice analogy about how their minds seem to function and how confusing it is for a non to deal with them.
    He says , imagine a typewriter keyboard that is miswired. When you typ O, K appears, When you type X, Z appears. This is what happens in their minds.
    When we see ” married” we see ‘Unavailable, verboten, wrong etc”. when they see it it comes out ” available, win it, pursue” etc.
    This is just the way they are and for a non-disordered person to understand it is impossible. You just accept that it is real and act accordingly(avoid them like the plague).

    • Thanks, arnold for offering that helpful insight.

      It’s true, too. When single I always looked at a married man and saw “off limits”, “taken”.

      When married, the idea of sneaking around behind my husband’s back was totally repulsive to me.

  • Interesting discussion.

    I think many of us chumps, in moments of self-loathing/blame, tend to view ourselves as the Jennifer Anistons whose Brad Pitt ex’s ran off with the proverbial Angelina Jolies of the world (agreeable-looking-girl-next-door loses hubby to irresistably gorgeous and sexually magnetic goddess of cinema).

    By the time the affair plays out, and our runaway train relationships/marriages go off the track, we tend to blame ourselves for not being able to keep our spouses, while losing their physical and emotional attractions to someone sooo much better than us. THIS is what triggers the Pick Me Dances, spackling, as we try to get the runaway train back on the very same tracks it already careened off of.

    But that’s only our low self-worth talking, post-trainwreck. Yes, it doesn’t help our already shattered emotional state if we’re a Size 7 and asshole hubby runs off with a Size 2, but I think we tend to put even the Affair Partners on a pedestal, as much as we hate the sound of their name.

    Anyawy, I believe the question was “What’s Inside the Mind of OW?”

    What I’ve found is that the “third person”, and I’ve known quite a few on both sides of the fence, are more often than not deeply, deeply troubled with lots of unresolved trauma and no real sense of how grown-up relationships operate. These are people who tend to latch on to whatever they can get, whether the person is married, unmarried, formerly or about-to-be incarcerated, or the resulting relationships turns out to be trashy and self-destructive.

    Anybody seen 16 and Pregnant? Anybody notice how the bulk of the episodes revolve around some bright-eyed high school ingenue who’s all “Omgg I can’t wait for my babyy!” while they pre-shop for clothes, formula, diapers, etc. Meanwhile, Baby Daddy is a complete and utter scab-encrusted dirtbag, usually unemployed and usually crawling out of drug-and-alcohol-soaked parties on a nightly basis.

    Yet Princess Mom-To-Be has stars in her eyes, insists to herself that the love betwen her and Baby Daddy Dirtbag is a fairytale romance and once the baby comes the new family is gonna live happily ever after in Grandmom’s Basement.

    It’s really the same thing with most OM/OW. Now, am I saying all affair partners are as hopelessly naive as a high school girls? Of course not, even if the intellectual capacity is about the same. But the false narratives that the cheat partners construct in their heads are similar to the 16 & Pregnant crowd in that they usually are completely devoid of facts and utterly divorced from reality.

    We often ask ourselves: “How does AP sleep at night/function in this new relationship knowing that he/she broke up a FAMILY?” Well, they don’t think like that. First of all, more often than not cheat partners come from similarly broken families. They’ve already numbed themsleves to their own fucked-up families. Why would they care about ours?

    Secondly, the facts of how their relationship started (on cheating, deceit and heartbreak) don’t usually fit with the fairytale narrative they’ve constructed in their heads, so they simply block it out, just as Princess 16 and Pregnant blocks out that Baby Daddy is utterly useless.

    It’s really no different than any other fuck-up in the world who conventiently turns a blind eye to his/her own fuckupedness, be it drugs, alcohol, dysfunction, con games, etc.

    The key point, to me, is the the following, where CL really hits the nail on the head:

    “4. It’s a sick competition. At the end of the spectrum, you have the real sickos who get off on competing with the wife and kids. Regular affair kibbles are not enough. No easy, breezy fuck on the side for them. No, they require supreme sacrifice and total allegiance. They want the guy to give up something significant to demonstrate fealty to her — his wife and kids. It’s a competition and she must win it.”

    Dead on! What I’ve also noticed is that it’s not just the Betrayed Spouse doing the Pick-Me Dance. The Affair Parnter is doing it as well, hence the AP in the letter above doing morning jogs while dressed like Madonna in the “Like A Virgin” video!

    What’s even MORE twisted is that even when the Betrayed Spouse drops out, gives up, and leaves the Cheating Ex to their Cheating Partner and their Fuckupedness, the Pick Me Dance never really stops.

    Think about it! You think the Cheating Partner really “won”, just like that? I’ve seen this so many times, where the Affair Partner STILL competes for the Cheating Ex’s attention, even though the Betrayed Spouse has long since vanished. They’re still going above and beyond and over-the-top, barely masking their own deep-rooted insecurities as the Other Person, trying to pass off their deceit-ridden “relationship” as the fairytale romance they’ve pictured in their heads.

    Why? Beacuse you’ve got two fucked-up people with a relationship that started on cheating and lies. You think either one of them truly trusts the other? It’s a Fuckup Wrapped In A Riddle, not to mention the fact that nothing spells Fairytale Romance like two insecure, emotionally fucked individuals who had to break more than a few hearts JUST so they could be together.

    But it’s only just begun. We know our ex’s better than anyone, and deep down we all know that it’s only a matter of time before the Affair Partner gets to see what “fuckupedness” reallllly is….that’s a schadenfreuda-licious topic for another time. :-p

    • Totally agree that there are issues with the OP. The current OW in my case had her father leave her mother for another woman and there was much drama. She ended up doing a year exchange in high school to get away from it. Nine years later she was banging my husband behind her live-in partner’s back. And because of this she ‘understood’ the pain my children were going through.

      I remember listening to this crap thinking ‘so you saw your mother go through this, you went through this and now you’re helping to put another famly through it’. My therapist said ‘well, she’s got to win daddy back, don’t you see?’ And I saw: my middle aged husband was her daddy replacement. She finally won over the OW who jacked up her family.

      Crazy shit but it doesn’t matter as she’s just the latest, it turned out, in a long string of women, so it will be interesting when she’s on the other side and figures out he’s playing around, as it appears he already is, at least emotionally. Sad to say it only makes me laugh.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You hit the nail in the head regarding putting he affair partner on a pedestal and the self esteem issues tha accompany that. I also appreciate your insight into the ow mind. It may have helped more than a lot of $ in therapy

  • OMG… for some reason when I pulled this up this morning, the cartoon wasn’t up yet. But holy shit… I just spit out my lunch when it popped up just now. LOVE IT!!!!

      • Pearl, I must have been channeling her for you. This is what popped into my head. Dani, it wasn’t there this a.m., because I didn’t draw it until a few hours later! Glad you like it.

        • Seriously, not only did you get the hair color and style right but that is her exact body!!! I may frame this just to keep a smile on my face

  • Dear CL,

    As soon as I read Whiskey Tortoise, I came here, knowing, JUST KNOWING that you would react to her. I think you characterized her perfectly as one of those pseudo-impassioned, pseudo-intellectual types who flouts boring conventional morality because she has sensibilities so elevated from the rest of us. Well done! “Breathy, Harlequin romance….” says it all.

    Thanks, CL.

  • I should add, I don’t think all OW are disordered. Fucked up with Issues, yes. But I don’t think every one of them is a sociopath, as I hope I explained. Frankly, I think some just have really low self esteem and think being a side dish fuck is the best they can do with a limited applicant pool. Sadly, one of my dear friends was an OW once. No one approved, it was awkward as hell. She finally dumped him. But this same friend was an absolute GOD SENT when I left my cheater. Could not have done it without her, literally. She’s also the only one who saw through him when we were dating.

    As unforgiving as I am about cheaters, I wanted to add this. I’d put her in the #1 camp, she wanted to believe his bullshit and thought he was available. She learned the hard way, I think, that he really was just after sex and not much else.

    • Fucked up with issues, disordered, what the fuck ever….tomato/tomatoe. I acknowledge that AP’s are likely successful in some other aspects of life, but the fact is anyone who willingly took part in causing emotional trauma in my life is not deserving of my thoughts or energy. I’m certainly not giving her the benefit of the doubt, nor do I give a fuck if she is a best friend to the homeless, baby skunks or whatthefuckever. No excuses. No explanations required.

      The OW in my case will never ever be addressed by me. Speaking to her would acknowledge that she counts in my life, which she does not. I will not stoke the fires of drama. I did however hand her Fucktard on a platter, jobless, homeless and with a wrecked Jaguar. On second thought, maybe a thank you card is in order. Nah….

  • I have a friend who is an OW. She has chronically bad taste in men and her choices to date have been a junkie and a man who emotionally and mentally abused her. When a man can along who told her nice things and bought her things she became convinced she was in love.

    Con men target the vulnerable.

    • They really do. This is why I feel slightly sorry for current OW. The other flings he had were smart enough to just bang him and move on, with some flirting in the aftermath. This young thing thinks she’s in love and is desperate to make it work. He’s lapping it up like a puppy dog but will eventually cheat on her as well. I recognise a bit of young me in her and it makes me sort of sad because she’s going to waste her youth on him and be shocked to find out what he’s really like, along with what his family is really like.

      She was vulnerable and boy did he swoop in to get his kibbles. He’s a narc, by the way, no doubt about it.

      • I wonder sometime how much of the “other woman” mythos was created by the cheater. “She succeeded me!” “He swept me away!” Yeah, but you went for them. While there are definitely people out there with the mind set, “I’ve got to win him/her away from her/his husband/wife” I feel like many cheaters either sought these types of people out, or made up the whole seduction bit it move blame away from themselves and make sure the BS knew that someone else desired them that much. Cue pick me dance.

        • Yes, he told me that she would send him texts saying ‘I wanted to kiss you when we were in the elevator’ (theywork together) and this was what he needed, someone who really ‘connected’ with him.

          I sat there looking at him thinking ‘but I’m not at work with you and when you get home the kids are arguing, I’m making dinner, the laundry needs to be folded, you plop in front of the telly….wait a sec, after 20 years I’m not giving you a quickie behind the bathroom door while dinner burns? Golly, no wonder you had to screw anything with a pulse.

          It’s sort of like they’re addicted to that silly, fun stage of when you first meet, the rush of excitement…well, I love that stuff as well but also know in a long marriage it sometimes needs to be planned and possibly even worked on. STBX said, with a straight face, marriage shouldn’t be work, it should just happen.

          Yes, I married a manchile.

          • Yes, Nord, they are addicted to the silly fun stage and totally lack empathy for anyone else’s needs.

            As someone else on this site pointed out, didn’t these cheaters think that perhaps the faithful spouse needed and would have liked to nibble on some ego kibbles, too. But they did not, because they have integrity.

            I have not friends that are OWs, When I met someone who was, I avoide them, thereafter, no matter how much they wanted to be friends.

            Their behavior just seemed so wrong to me, and typically these married OWs, had nice reliable faithful husbands.

          • yep, my husband had unrealistic expectations like your scenario with the burning dinner. And yes, what about my needs? I’ll admit, I actually didn’t consciously realize things that I was missing (too busy with life and kids I guess) until maybe toward the very end where he was in the affair and probably it did become more noticeable. I remember noticing that literally the only time he showed me affection, like put his arm around me, anything, was when family was around or when we’d go out with friends… which wasn’t very often. And if the only time he’s doing that is when others are around, it’s clearly just for show. To look like the “happy couple”. But even before the end, there was little affection other than as a preamble for sex. And most of the time there wasn’t even much then.

    • She has more than just bad taste. She lacks integrity and empathy if she can be an OW.
      I know, we like our friends who do this. But, the reality is that they are behaving like monsters.
      Let’s see, who behaves like a monster? Oh, yeah, monsters do.

      • Marrried 12 years to my first wife. Very little sex, as she , constantly rebuffed me. I thought I was doing things all wrong, not evolved enough, not “meeting her needs” etc. I tried everything, tried to change who i was.I was really pretty physically attractive, i think, back then.
        What a waste of my youth. I was “up” for sex with no effort, multiple times etc. All that was squandered, while she fucked other guys to her heart’s content.
        Now,almost 60, it’s Viagra/Cialis time. Pisses me off, all the stolen time, all the lost sexual experiences.WTF, i was/am a nicer guy than my wife and better looking. Yet, she has had many time the non-selfinduced orgasms than me.
        Weird to look at it that way, eh? we get to the end of our lives and, at the Pearly gates, St Peter tallies the orgasms with others.” Well, Arnold, you have a grand total of about 50. Andrea, i’ll be right back with my abacus.”

  • The OW in my case is both an OB/GYN and a complete skank. Given, my husbastard was hot and ready for it when she came on to him, on Facebook (wherethehell else?). But really, here’s a woman making north of 1/2 million dollars a year (really!) looks cheap as cheap could possibly be, and is a racist to boot….. I feel for her patients who may come to her with relationship troubles, really I do. Dear FSM, can you imagine what kind of advice she’d give?

    As best I can figure, the two of them engaged in a mutual narcissistic tango of “you’re wonderful”, “no, you’re still hot” [she said she had a crush on him in HS–he actually didn’t remember her at all.] Talk about ego-kibbles–I should have bought stock in Purina. If only I’d known, of course. hah.

    When they finally met up..envisage big violin section here…at their high school reunion, yes, they actually fucked. She invited him to her room, begging him to do her. The idiot, of course, was eager to oblige. Wowee. Hannah Arendt was certainly right about the banality of evil.

    But the kicker is that when I sent her an email or two (ok, or three) telling her to get the fuck out of my life, and that she was a crap excuse for a human being, and also that she was a total hypocrite blathering on about how “Christian” she was…she took out a restraining order against me. In another state whence I had never been.

    And then promptly dropped the feller in midst of it all–so you can see how deeply attached she was to him. As in, not at all.

    Just like one of those lab experiments, the minute the kibbles stopped flowing, she stopped pushing the lever. One of her last texts [you can recover a few days from Verizon] said “Oh no. My fault again.” Given that her marriage had broken up: cheating; her current ‘finance’ was cheating on her–for which she made up by cheating with my husband… thanks, lady….. I’ll bet dollars to donuts that she makes a habit of it.

    She just lives in Cheaterville. It’s like one of those Amusement Park mirror houses where everything is distorted–they don’t see things the way people with intact senses of integrity, respect (for self and others); honestly, decency and all that good stuff, do.


    • I have been competing with the Ow for so long that it’s gotten to the point that I don’t know who is more fucked up in the head, her or me. He has been cheating with her almost as long as we have been together. I am ashamed to say that over the years they have built a family together of 5 children right under my nose. And like a fool each time I take him back with the Desperate hope that he will stop sleeping with her and be a real husbend to me. I know that I have some selfesteem, and abandonment issues that are deep seeded from childhood that have crippled me to the point of not being able to make a move to accept what is happening to around me and move on. The Ow has told me herself that she considers me as the other woman. She feels that she is more entitled to him then I am because we never had children together. I already had 4 when we met and he had 3 with two other women. I had my tubes tied and he told me he didn’t want to have more children. So combining our family seamed like a good idea at the time. However, he met this OW and the children started to come every 3 years like clock work. There have been meny confrontations between us. This woman is relentless she would come to my house to drop the children off knock on my door like she belonged. Pulls in my drive and honks the horn. She post pics of her with my husbend with the kids like on Facebook saying things that make it seam like they are one happy family. It drives me nuts. She always needs help to put things together, or hang stuff up. And he runs like hell to do what she needs. But I am the one that hangs curtains and put together tables and dressers at our house. I just have gotten to the point that I feel pushed out. It is way too crowded for me. In my home and in my head. The more I get into it with her the worse I feel. It does nothing but hurt me more. So now I say nothing.

      • good gravy!…I’m not involved with that dirty business at all… hope I didn’t leave that impression.

        The skank is history, and the husbastard is on serious probation, I am all about me, and ready to walk at any time. Just working on figuring my best choices, such as they are.

        I would advise to *so* not stay in anything with some other party involved. nonononono.

        You are worth so much more than that.

        • Vera, I was directing my run, run! to Tiny, who posted on your thread. I know when you view from a phone it’s hard to tell the comment order. Vera, you seem to have your head screwed on straight. An OBGYN OW… wow. I guess it could be any profession, that just strikes me as weird.

      • OMG Seriously Tiny, get out while you can!
        You say you have no kids with him, that’s a good thing!
        Let that OW ‘win’ him, he’s not the catamaran or the trip to Hawaii, he’s the stack of shoe polish. He’s not worth it!

  • All day I kept thinking about the perky OW with her bare midriff, “working out” in plain view of the wife. And I thought, horrified–“Why isn’t she just embarrassed and humiliated to behave in a way that is so blatantly predatory??” I would be deeply ashamed of myself when I realized that people hated me for being SUCH a twat.

    And then I realized that these OW are often loners who have no empathy and no interpersonal relational skills and that’s why they behave like they do. They don’t care that good people are mortified by their behavior, they only want what they want, and often enough they find weak men and so they get what they think they want.

    Just, ick.

    A normal man would be aghast if someone offered a woman like that to him. He would know to steer clear of such a disordered woman, would NEVER trade his family for such a clusterfuck, but not my ex. He just dove right in and was quite pleased with himself. What a fucking idiot!

    Well, the good news is, we have a choice in this country to get the fuck away from a mess like that. I mean, jeeeez.

    • The majority of cheaters are twisted and have no shame.

      There may be a handful who are normal but went through a rough patch and now realize what dickwads they made of themselves by dropping their integrity and their pantaloons to savor some strange, and then really really try hard to save their marriage.

      But these types of cheaters are few and far between.

      • I’d limit this to folks who have ONS, drunkenly or something.
        I feel it is virtually impossible for a caring , empathetic person to continue an affair for any lenght of time. It just rquires too much lying and cruelty. A normal individual , simply, would waste away with guilt. Not long term cheaters or the serial types, however.

        • I think that’s accurate, Arnold.

          A one off can be a result of too much drinking and loss of frontal lobe control, and I can believe that it would be only about sex.

          An ongoing affair takes planning and requires all manner of deception to pull off.

      • I do believe I have one of those rare beasts on my hands. To be honest, I am confounded about what to do , at the moment. The Clash song is my life anthem, with our the “you gotta let me know” lyric. Seriously, I don’t think I a have a serial cheater–but, a cheater at all. wtf? I mean, right? what’s left?

        And here’s a question that I chomp on a lot– why does he want to stay….after he already “left” once. I’m certainly not taking care of him at all anymore. I’m still here because I haven’t decided on my next steps, but I am actively in decision-making mode, and this is easier for me.

        Him? weird.

        I mean, is it possible to have a kind of neurotic break, do something as heinous as cheat, and then become human again?

        • Wouldn’t say it’s IMPOSSIBLE, just unlikely 🙂

          I thought my husband was one of those people, gave him about 6 months to show me, but all he did was let me down. AGAIN. I believe that how he acted after D Day was about as bad a betrayal as the cheating itself. I thought he would do whatever I asked to win me back, prove he loved me and his family, etc. But he wasn’t willing to do a damn thing. He talked the talk but wouldn’t do ANYTHING to walk the walk. And, more importantly, he was also talking the talk to her at the same time as well. (telling me, yes, I’ll fire her… telling her, no, no, nobody is going to have to lose their job)

          It’s really difficult to say without some specifics, but I would say you need to pay attention to his ACTIONS not his words. Cheaters lie their asses off. And even if you aren’t “taking care of him” anymore there are a lot of reasons why staying together is easier/better for him too, just like it is for you right now. Sure, take some time to think about it I guess. It is a BIG decision. Talk to a therapist. All I know is don’t just forget that it happened and move on. Don’t just let him off the hook.

          I knew when it was finally time for it to be over. When he wasn’t willing to do what I needed in order to work on reconciling, in addition to completely betraying me, I realized staying with him would kill my soul, destroy my sense of self worth. And that’s when I kicked him out. So, I did actually give my STBX a chance and he blew it. And he obviously didn’t deserve that chance, but in my case at least, I had to try.

        • It may be possible, Vera:

          You need to stay until you decide he is truly remorseful. You need to follow your own counsel.

          The neurotic break your talk of may be a mid life crisis. If he stopped the affair on his own and outed himself that counts, to the good, too.

          But only you can determine if he was always faithful and this break was the fist one.

          With my STBX, now that I am clued in, I can see that he was likely cheating our entire marriage.

          I was never the snoopy type and very trusting, but I found secret bank accounts and credit cards going back years, and he was always taking out big cash withdrawals.

          Couple that with Boy’s night’s out and men’s trips, and well I know I gotta’ have a serial cheater on my hands.

          Also when outed my cheater lied and lied and lied, until I showed him the evidence.

          Then he minimized by claiming it was just a fling, when it was obviously not a fling, and then when that didn’t work, he blameshifted, and rewrote the marital history.

        • My H was one of these weird beasts. He was true-blue for 18 years then had a midlife crisis…not the quaint type where he buys a car and gets a new hairstyle but the kind that results in a complete meltdown of his identity, coping skills & perceptions of the world…I tell you it was UGLY.

          He had a single affair…it was not a drunken moment that he repented from, it was a 6 month odyssey where he REALLY thought he was “in love” for the first time in his life. OW lived very far so their relationship was more emotional than physical but they did have a few rondez-vous on business trips. His OW was young and pretty and single and successful and she wanted to have babies with him…that seemed so romantic – I was so busy raising the kids we already had (and trying to cope with his shit) that I was NOT willing to have more and his insanity saw THAT as a reason to consider OW as a better mate.

          I offered him a divorce the day I learned of the A but he waffled and said he didnt want it. He went 5 weeks of NC with OW and got partially detoxed til he saw her and it sent him into “decision mode” again. Im now ashamed at how thoroughly I played the “pick me” game..the woman I am now would NOT have done that.

          He lived away (far away) for 18 months (not with OW and not dating) to recover his brains and morals and priorities. I kept the home fires burning (and lived as a still-married person) and kept his spot for him if he wanted to return.

          Reconciliation was VERY hard…admitting the magnitude of the pain he inflicted on me was something he was incapable of and the pain of that was 80% as bad as when he inflicted it in the first place.

          He never cheated again in fact I think he was the least likely person to decide to have another A which is good because I had decided firmly that I would NEVER go through that with him again…if he cheated (or raged) again, he was out for good with his shit in the yard and he knew it.

          7 years after his affair, 5 years after returning home, he died suddenly in our home. He had the burial of a man of dignity and good reputation and Im glad he got that and Im glad we were together when he died.

          That midlife meltdown was some freaking hard shit…I honestly would have preferred to have been beat up by thugs or have a horrible disease, but I didnt get to pick my cross.

          • You are a far far better person then I am for never telling anyone after he moved out.

            I at first told no one during our nine month false reconciliation. But after his continued shenanigans, all bets were off about keeping his dirty little secret.

            He truly didn’t want anyone to know, and after our false reconciliation, and to my mind that was just to darn bad.

            Affairs flourish in secrecy. And, it’s the secrecy that give others permission to have affairs, IMO.

            My STBX always presents himself as an honorable and good guy. Why shouldn’t others he deals with know that he isn’t and honorable good guy.

            I feel like I am doing them a favor by letting them know the real man they are interacting with.

          • S8,

            I didnt go “full martyr” when he moved out. I told enough people to create a reality-based support system for myself and I personally didnt like keeping any of it quiet (I live my life on my sleeve – dont hide anything) but I did because I recognized that if I told everyone, it would make any possible rebuilding so difficult that he might decide it was too big to even try. I think in the long run, I handled it well…my parents never knew…our kids werent told the ugly details (sons figured out much of it as they became adults) he was spared public humiliation.

            HOWEVER, I had made a firm decision that if he had made the move to be WITH OW then I was going to go all “scorched earth” on them…I was going to tell any and everyone that their relationship started in adultery. In my head, I daydreamed of the Christmas letter I would have sent to all his friends had he left for OW. It would have curled peoples hair when they read it. My retaliation would have been swift and remarkable and unmistakable.

            I was a WONDERFUL wife, I would have been a hellish bitch of an exwife.

          • That mid life stuff is brutal, my X normally found it impossible to lie about anything, but when she hit 45 things changed. We’d been together 24 years when over the space of about a year my wife became someone neither me or the kids recognized anymore. She was entering peri menopause, became a bit moody and withdrawn at times, I’d ask her about it and she’d say she was just tired/ hormones etc…but I didn’t think much else was going on, as our sex life was still quite good.

            It finally came to a point I was not going to be put off anymore, that if she was feeling that bad we should get an appointment and get her checked out by our doctor. I sent the kids out for the evening and sat her down, told her we were going to talk this out because I sensed something was wrong . In a matter of seconds it was like she had been wearing a mask that suddenly fell off , she looked at me with loathing and I knew. I felt like I’d been gutted, I was informed she “wanted out” and “hadn’t been happy for a while” and there was “no one else”… three days later she moved out with basically the clothes on her back and her computer.

            She left everything behind, including the two kids, for as it turns out some guy she met playing a online video game. She tried to hide him , but an email was sent by mistake to my 19 year old daughter exposed the whole thing. She saw him on weekends for over 13 months and just moved in with him just last month.

            I refused to do the whole “Pick Me” dance, I’ve been basically as non contact as possible since the bomb drop except for email about the kids and legal issues. As for the OM, he’s fat, make really good money, has no kids and offers her a lifestyle of a 20 year old with no responsibilities. No matter how hard you try, there is no figuring this stuff out, but after all the soul searching and blame you try to pin on yourself you realized nothing you could have done could have prevented it, you didin’t cuae it and it’s all on them. Living well IS the best revenge.

  • That is exactly why I wrote in. I simply could not wrap my head around this behavior. My friend keeps telling me that the OW simply doesn’t’ think she did anything wrong or anything she should be ashamed of. And I just can’t wrap my head around that layer of fuckupedness. My MIL, god bless her, told her son that if the OW was willing to do something so fucked up and such a blatant “Fuck you” to me, then she had it in her to do something equally fucked up to his kids.
    In any event, I try very hard to move on and find happiness for me and my kids and hope that one day this is all a very distant memory.
    P.S. Her behavior is equally bizarre since I am in better shape than she is. I ran into the ow at a local 5K run not that long ago and wound up placing second for my age group while she wound up coming in hundreds of places behind.

    • But, Pearl, men who abandon their families for OW are not looking to be paired with awesomeness, they are ball-less cowards who like being paired up with someone who, by comparison, and by unctuous flattery, make the walk-away coward FEEL or SEEM better than they really are. They don’t want to work for their reputation, or try to attain happiness, they just want it to happen to them. In walks some twat, and, VOILA! Instant respect, with no effort whatsoever. Idn’t it grand!?

      • Steph:

        I feel sorry for the twat when she finally sees the real him and comes down from her affair high.

        Well, she may think she got the prize, but LOL,,,………NOT……….likely.

        • I don’t feel sorry for her at all. She wanted “her man” regardless of what she had to do and whom she had to trample to get him. She will deserve whatever she gets

          • Pearl

            I don’t really feel sorry for her either. I was just being sardonic.

            I hope she gets EVERYTHING SHE DESERVES, and most likely she will get even more than she bargained for.

  • Firstly, I adore the concept of this blog and the discussions going on here.
    Secondly, whilst I see that the support network and discussion is a part of the healing process I’m not sure that anyone will ever know what is in the minds of others be they cheaters or not.

    My story.

    At the tender age of 21 I met a considerably older man with whom I fell in love. At the time I considered myself bright, attractive and hopeless. I ticked all of the dysfunctional boxes one could ever dread. I’d dropped out of university, had my heart broken by a man of a similar age and I was a loose canon.
    So when a charming, older and wealthy man showed a marked interest in me I was flattered. He told me he was divorced but had two children whom he saw regularly. He also told me that he had recently had his heart broken by his ex girlfriend, who he started seeing after his divorce. There was a long story about how terrible the girlfriend had been, how she had taken all of his expensive furniture, regularly asked him for money and was still doing so. I could relate to the heartbreak. Did I take his advances seriously? Did I heck! Yet somehow, I ended up dating him and then living with him for three years.
    It wasn’t until I moved in with him that he decided it was time I should meet both his ex girlfriend and his ‘ex’ wife. Then the truth came out. He wasn’t divorced at all, in fact he was legally separated and the reason he was legally separated was because the ex girlfriend turned out the be the OW.
    I’m many things but stupid isn’t one of them. When I found this out I was livid, outraged even. But when I confronted him, asking him why he hadn’t been honest with me from the word ‘go’, he told me that he was ashamed of what had happened and that he liked me so much that he didn’t want me to think badly of him and that he was worried he would lose me if he’d revealed his murky past. I was never trustful of him from that point on wards. Yet he seemed to work much harder at the relationship after this revelation.
    In turn, I did also and my trust was restored little by little. Until…
    He suddenly had to spend hours in the local wine bars for ‘business meetings’. At the time this was a perfectly viable thing for him to do, he was a business man, his clients needed to be schmoozed and I accepted the story.
    One day he didn’t take his laptop with him. It turned out that he needed it so he called me and I took it to him.
    It was upon entering the wine bar that I noticed A LOT of women loitering around the bar. Many of them I had seen around and knew to be either single, divorced or in shaky relationships with men they deemed to be ‘not wealthy enough’. He knew them too.
    I didn’t think much of it until I ventured into the winebar for a coffee with my friend. I didn’t know he would be in there that day as I was under the impression that he would be at his offices.
    Well, there he was eating lunch with two of his business associates and two very attractive blondes. At first he looked startled when he saw me and then he visibly shook himself and settled his expression into one of polite indifference.
    I went over to the table and said, ‘Hi.’
    He said hi and introduced me not as his girlfriend or partner but simply by my name. The youngest of the blondes looked between to two of us expectantly but when he didn’t offer any more information I think she took this to mean that I was another of the ‘single bar props.’
    After that day she was in our life… continuously! She’d text him in the early hours, call him to ask him to meet her and when I asked him what was going on he would say that she was having trouble with her boyfriend. When I questioned him as to why he needed to be involved in the relationship he would say that the boyfriend was one of his business associates and he had been dragged into the middle of things.
    Then he had to take a weekend ‘business’ trip to Monaco. I decided to snoop and what I found was by no means conclusive but it was enough to make me want to leave then and there. I found photos of her on his laptop. Not only were there ‘sexy’ pictures but also photos of her in restaurants, bars, hotels, parks etc. only her in the pictures staring loving at the camera lense.
    When I confronted him with my evidence he tried to tell me he was helping her with a modelling portfolio and the worst part is that I believed him! I actually thought I was turning into a bunny boiler. Even when I found some of her lingerie in among his washing on his return from Monaco I had to look at it four times before I believed it was really there.
    It was at this point in proceedings that I made the biggest, yet most character building, mistake of my life. I engaged in the pick me dance… for a year and a half. However, I didn’t need to read anything to eventually realise the futility of what I was doing.
    So then I opted for revenge. Did I do this by leaving him and doing well? No.
    What I actually did was attempt to play him at his own game. I joined a dating site and started ‘dating’. I began to view him as my flatmate and justified my actions by rationalizing my own cheating as not cheating at all.
    I went through a string of men, some I saw for a month or so others I only saw once or twice. This was a massively stupid thing for me to do because half of the men I met turned out to be married. I promptly severed all contact with those ones. The other half became suspicious when I wouldn’t take them back to my place for dinner or drinks.
    Initially it felt good because ‘my man’ was so wrapped up in his OW that he didn’t notice my absences for around 3 months. When he did notice he really noticed and he was outraged. Why wasn’t I coming home? Why wasn’t I getting upset when she was in our home having a cosy glass of wine with him? Why didn’t I care that he was taking her out to dinner? Why wasn’t I bothered when he’d payed for her and his daughter to go shopping together? Why, why, why wasn’t I responding to anything he was doing with her? This was what he wanted to know. The more I ignored it the more ‘in your face’ it got and the more he’d try to get a reaction from me. It become like a game to me, the men I was cheating with were my protection from him and her.
    eventually he changed tactics. He cut her out of his life entirely and then tried to win my sympathy, telling me how she had used him for money, taken advantage of him and had tried to seduce him. (She didn’t try, she succeeded because I once watched her hanging all over him in a bar through the window whilst they thought I had gone to the toilet… I’d actually nipped outside for a cigarette and saw the whole sordid routine of quick snog and grope before she (me) gets back)
    Still I did not respond. He ‘let’ me continue my own cheating (he knew… I found he had been through my computer and emails which I hadn’t bothered to delete,) until he felt there had been sufficient time of him being faithful for him to be righteously outraged. He promptly confronted me, reinstated the OW along with four others and used my own cheating against me in an attempt to put me back in my place and make me feel so bad about myself that I then felt I deserved to be cheated on.
    I quit my affairs realizing that I would never be able to meet anyone else, fall in love and have a functional relationship whilst I was embroiled in what ever it was I’d found myself chained to. (erm, dur?)
    I left him. Yet as it turned out I was completely in love with him. I hated the things he’d done but did I hate him as a person? No. I loved his person.
    I ended up trying again to have a relationship with him. For a little while it worked. I didn’t resent him for his cheating because I cheated also. Fair was fair and what was good for him was good for me… I conveniently forgot to remind myself that that wasn’t what I wanted. What I’d wanted was a secure and committed relationship with the man I loved. It took me until the age of 25 to realise that that would never, ever happen with the man I had been sharing a bed with for three years. Even when I went back for a second round I knew he was still seeing other women. When I worked out that I was seeing him and didn’t care anymore whether he saw other women or not I knew it was time to get out and take a good long look at who I had become. I wanted to care and I should care what, or rather who, my partner was ‘doing’. The whole experience hardened me.
    During the years after leaving him I have overlooked a number of perfectly decent men because I simply couldn’t believe a word any of them said. Being cheated on and then cheating on the cheater to become a cheater myself shot my trust to pieces. I’d rather remain single and not looking than expose anyone else to my issues. Therapy has helped.
    But what is in the mind of the OW? I don’t know. I do know that I didn’t seem to be a ‘real’ person to the other women in my story. Even his ex wife thought of me as ‘another other woman’ because she still saw him, after everything he’d done, as hers. As did his ex girlfriend, as did the blonde model and as did I. He belonged to all of us and none of us.
    Did karma come back to bite him on the arse? Nope, he is a multi millionaire even in this financial climate, his daughter worships him and there is a queue of hopeful women in his area each one of them thinking they will be the one to tame him and give him what so many before them could not. Which would be… who knows? Some kind of super Kibble perhaps?

    • Wow. I will say that the best thing you did for yourself is leave the highly dysfunctional so-called relationship. I hope you continue to get the help and support you need to get yourself healthy. You have been through hell and back 1) because you gave your power away. 2) you did not value and love yourself. 3) you did not establish any boundaries as to what is and what is not acceptable in how you treat other people and yourself.
      My hope for you is that you really do some soul searching and get some mental clarity so you can find contentment and confidence within you. This so-called man does not love you. You do not love him. That is not love, but some very unhealthy attachment that grew from insecurity and weakness.
      When you reach the place that you have self-worth, love, respect, and esteem, you will be a person that knows she is worthy of real love and will not tolerate anything less than the best.
      Being cheated on is the worst pain. For that I am so sorry. But then to become that person that fully took part in hurting other families in the process is unconscionable.
      I hope you find your way toward healing and strength. Cut that parasite out of your life for good.
      You have much to live for and do not worry about what he is doing. His lifestyle will catch up with him eventually. Focus on you. Good luck Ouroboros.

  • My ex barely hid what he was doing with the most recent whore. She is really stupid. Telling this loser that she “loved” him. How can you love someone you don’t know? All she really knew of this underachieving, immoral, lying, sneaky loser is that he is an adulterer with no moral compass and cannot be trusted. She has shit in her eyes though so she is blinded. However, like all OW, she thought she is special. “She” will be the one to keep him faithful after she “wins” him with a bunch of sexual tricks and flattery.

    What a dumb bitch! The minute I found out about them, he dropped her (he said) like a bad habit. The women who participate in these illicit affairs kill me. Their rationale ‘ “You weren’t taking care of your man” or “He’s the one with the commitment, not me.” Really? As long as these stupid whores eat the shit they’re served ‘My wife doesn’t fill-in-the-blank” or “Woe is me, she doesn’t understand me” cheating will not stop. Men cannot cheat by themselves. Some don’t care about the men and are only looking to get laid but they’re just a bad as the home wreckers who constantly try to break up the marriage although the men set this ball in motion!

    These stupid cunts are too dumb to realize that if a real (not a selfish, irresponsible, immoral, unrepentant man child) man was really, really unhappy he would leave his wife. Not sneak around with a scurvy dirty ass simple minded whore. If you buy a bed with a wonky spring on the left side and this is the side you prefer to sleep on, are you going to keep it and only sleep on the right side when doing this leaves you tired and unfulfilled? NO! The salesman promised the best sleep of your life when you bought it – he made promises that are not being fulfilled? Do you keep the bed and continue to be miserable or do you fix it, THROW IT OUT OR RETURN IT FOR ONE THAT MEETS YOUR NEEDS? An ADULT goes with the latter option!

    Finally, what these filthy whores don’t get is that if he cheats with you, he will cheat on you! Who in their right mind starts out a relationship with a scum bag cheater and thinks they have a match made in heaven? This kind of douchebaggery shows the character of both parties – he is scum and so is she! My divorce will be final soon. He hasn’t stopped begging. Matters not. He will not make a fool of me again.

  • My point, sorry I went on a rant is the men are full of shit and the women are stupid. The men are only looking for easy sex from stupid weak women. They are narcissists and can hone in on desperate easy women like a lion on a gazelle.

    • – KayEeElle,

      I can understand the anger. However, if the one thing the BS’s have in common with the OW is the cheating man then calling the OW whores doesn’t really say a lot for the BS does it? Because at the end of the day, there must be something in both the BS and the OW which the man found either attractive or weak/easy to manipulate.

      In my case I accept that I was vulnerable because I was young and yes, I was weak. However, at no point was I an OW, an easy lay or a whore. I didn’t accept money for sexual favors. I paid my way and sometimes even his when he went through a difficult financial time due to having a financially dependent (legally separated) wife and two dependent children. I was the mug who got involved with him after his affair and marriage break up. I gave him the benefit of the doubt because I considered myself to be a nice, descent person and believed that everybody made mistakes. I’m not such a nice person now!
      I was also very clear about what I expected from an adult relationship. I laid my boundaries but they were gradually eroded along with my self confidence and self worth which was when I began to seek a new relationship and in the process of doing so became a cheat because I didn’t tell him that we were over. It just was not financially viable for me to do that at the time because I was financially tied to the situation.

      Whilst there are clear cut instances of OW being whores, evil predatory women who want to win somebody else’s husband (it is my belief that the ex who split my ex’s marriage up was such a woman) there are cases which are not so clear cut. Ironically, I found out a few years ago that the marriage wrecker is now happily married to her first love and has a baby with him. Apparently she went on the rampage after he moved abroad to work and then when he returned they rekindled what they had before and married.

  • Love this! I confronted my husband and his very married OW in a hotel room. This “piece of ummmm…. Work” tried to convince me that they were just friends and had not done the “horizontal Mambo”, but were just “talking” at 3:00 a.m.! The red flags went off as I watched her act so calm and cool and never raised her voice or broke a sweat! Can you say SOCIOPATH? I have the feeling this wasn’t her first time being confronted by an angry wife! Don’t care now anyways cause she can have him! And now HE can chase her around and break into her hotel rooms! Ha! Ha!

  • >