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Dear Chump Lady, Why are cheaters so brazen?

cheater_outDear Chumplady,

Why are cheaters so brazen?


Dear Lori

Because we are such chumps.

Really, can you imagine anyone cheating on Vladimir Putin? Couldn’t happen. He’d have every room bugged, every phone wire tapped, and the Other Man would be trailed by the KGB and slowly poisoned by radioactive isotopes during his next overseas vacation.

If you want to go through life like Vladimir Putin, chance are you won’t get chumped. Don’t put your heart out there, don’t trust anyone, and spend your life spying on your friends and enemies. What you term brazenness is really laziness. It’s easy to fool someone who trusts you. Brazenness would be cheating on Vladimir Putin and spray painting “I fucked your old lady” on the Kremlin sidewalks. Cheaters aren’t brazen — they are duplicitous. Their “brazenness” is predicated on the love of a chump.

As I say on Chump Lady, a big part of the high of cheating is the deceit. It’s no fun unless it’s a secret. Living a secret life, I suppose is brazen. That’s what makes it fun for them — ooh, I’m so edgy. I’m getting away with something! You aren’t the boss of me! Nannernannerbooboo!

Over time cheaters get sloppy. Maybe that’s because they need more of a high wire act to keep the high going. Maybe it’s because they’re lazy and they get so used to you being a clueless chump that getting away with it is their normal. At some point, the house of cards falls down. And that’s when they’re going to appeal to your chumpiness, to trust them. Either they’ll gaslight you into doubting the evidence (don’t you trust what I tell you?), or they’ll make up some bullshit about how they loved you all along and are just confused right now.

That’s when the “brazenness” gets exposed as entitlement. What? You aren’t going to keep this sweet cake gig going?

Funny how not brazen they are after exposure, with pleas not to tell the children or ruin their reputation, or tell the affair partner’s spouse. Suddenly it’s all about caution and rectitude and not doing anything rash. Funny how not brazen they are when you stop being a chump.

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  • “can you imagine anyone cheating on Vladimir Putin”

    This is why I ADORE you!! Only CL could bring it to the immediate and clear point.

    Thanks for your never-ending brilliance. I remain your biggest fan!!

    • Yeah, hard to see Ol’ Vladimir waiting for a traitor to “come out of the fog” and decide to recommit to Mother Russia. Or buying books off about patriotism and begging the traitor to please, please read them, or at least the parts he thoughtfully underlined. Or offering unconvincing explanations to the Politboro about how the traitor has been under a lot of stress at work lately and will come around if only he’s given some space.

      • [“nomar January 18, 2013 at 10:51 am

        Yeah, hard to see Ol’ Vladimir waiting for a traitor to “come out of the fog” and decide to recommit to Mother Russia. Or buying books off about patriotism and begging the traitor to please, please read them, or at least the parts he thoughtfully underlined. Or offering unconvincing explanations to the Politboro about how the traitor has been under a lot of stress at work lately and will come around if only he’s given some space.”]

        Yep, that’s why nobody mindfuck Putin, because you know they would soon be tasting radio isotopes in their vodka.

  • how true. i knock the pedestal from under him everytime. X gives people BS lines of ” we grew apart” etc. you should see their faces when i tell them that we are divorcing cause he was caught having an affair with a 30 year old from mexico. what’s even sadder than X’s lying to everyone is that they lie to themselves? heartbreaking when you see the lightbulb in your grown children’s eyes go out when they realize that someone important to them ( thier father) was not real and that if he lied to me, about loving me that he lied to them too.

    • Yes, I’ve seen that look. Just a few days ago I was talking to two old friends of ours and they said it took them a year to really face that he had lied to them as well as to me and everyone else and they just felt munipulated and like fools. They were meeting him for one last drink to tell them what they thought of his actions, his treatment of me and how awful a liar they think he is. I said I wanted nothing to do with it and didn’t want to hear about it but I do have to say that it felt good to hear that people get it, people see him for the liar he is and the way he plays with people’s feelings and hearts.

      • its good that people believe you and are willing to say something, most don’t want to get involved so they just drift away. there is a whole church here that has fallen for his version of events. oh well, that’s life. to me friends/family that don’t want to choose can go, as they aren’t worth worrying about. as a bonus you also lose the stupid inlaws you always hated anyway. did you find this too?

        • I was quite close to my inlaws but in the end they naturally chose their son, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was the badmouthing of me, as if me telling the truth was proof of my ‘crazy’. That’s the part I can’t forgive.

  • Yeah, I got the ‘ruined my rep’, ‘I don’t want the kids to think I’ve been screwing around all over the place’ and I ‘ruined everything’ by exposing the affairs.

    Oddly, he ruined his own rep, if the kids find out their dad was screwing around for years that’s his issue, as it’s the truth, and no, I didn’t ruin anything by exposing, he ruined it all by fucking anything with a pulse.

    • Nord and everyone who posted:

      Yes, me too. My STBX is and was embarrassed about others finding out.

      That just proves that they know what they are doing is wrong on so many levels and treacherous, and even that knowledge did not stop them.

      I have to wonder, did an orgasm really mean all that much to them?

      Were the ego kibbles from a known serial cheater and ‘ho, so important to my STBX that he would risk his up until then scrupulously honest reputation in the community for them…..How mindless.

      • Yes, STBX is furious, which is simply him being embarrassed for being found out as a massive serial cheater…and one who willfully allowed me to make life-altering decisions over the years that left me in a very bad situation…and he was cheating the whole time.

    • Yes it’s his/her reputation, not the marriage that the two of you built, that’s really important. Part of the reason these people got married was reputation. Having an open marriage would raise eyebrows. Being a “player” give people an impression different than the impression one gets from a person with two kids and a dog.

    • Yes, along with how I “ruined his reputation” because “its his private business”, he also says I’m to blame for “breaking up the marriage” because I was the one who filed for divorce.

  • Nord, we need to get the info out there. Most of the cheaters I know have really invested in smearing their betrayed spouse.
    For men, it is often the “controlling or abusive or emotionally neglectful claim”. For women, it seems that it is the “no sex, got fat, too much invested in the kids claim”.
    I know for a fact that both my XWs claimed I was a monster.

    • STBX likes to tell me that ‘people think you’re crazy’. I usually ignore him but if I do respond I remind him of several things:

      1. Most who haven’t spoken with me have no idea he’s a serial cheater and actually fucked my friends.

      2. He likes to portray me as crazy rather than own up to his own batshit insanity.

      3. He said the same thing about the girl before me (whom he cheated on) and the girl before that and the girl before that. As I like to say: same script, different players.

      I jsut tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

      • What a psycho slime ball of a “man”!!!!!!! I am so sorry Nord. Cheaters are really aliens disguised as human beings… They have no heart. No soul. It is mind boggling how they are so removed from humanity and empathy. They truly disgust me.

      • If I’m so crazy and such an arsehole why does she want me to care for our children over 80% of the time? Oh that’s right so she can go and sip lattes and run half marathons all over the place and not invoice her boys in her selfish pursuits.
        Daddy day care here – how can we help?

        • Yeah, Baci, I asked STBX that in the weeks and months following Dday, when he was painting me as crazy and unstable and ‘using’t the kids (he never explained how but whatever, it must have sounded good ot just say that). But I have the most of the time and he is off having ‘fun’. Whatever, I like family life and I adore my kids. Just had a fabulous morning and afternoon with them and you know what? He will never have them crawl into bed on a Saturday morning to cuddle and talk every again, but I will. So screw him…he lost so much.

  • Yeah my cheater blamed me for him becoming a “bad person”.

    I had to repeatedly tell him he didn’t become bad just coz I found out and brought the muck in the open, he was bad ab initio, bad when he committed those acts.

    But in his fucked up mind it was I who was smearing him.

    The same way he thought I was smearing his daughter when I drew his attention to the fact that his daughter was using “cuteass”as her mail id.

    He accused me of maligning him first and then his daughter.

    Inspite of believing all this about me he didnt want to let me go.fact that his da

    • Hahaha…god, they really are dumbasses, aren’t they? Mine said I smeared him /ruined his rep, then got pissed when I refused to go along with the bullshit his parents were trying to sell. How dare I!!!

      • Same here. He was FURIOUS when the truth came out. So were his parents. His mother had sat me down right after the affair came to light. She said that they have done a lot for me, and because it was such a huge embarrassment to them (my STBX inlaws) and to show respect for them, they do not want it this to get out. Really???? I began with you are fooling yourself if you think this will never get out. I told her if she was talking about wanting respect she was barking up the wrong tree! I have always respected that family and did as much as I could in the time I was married to that fucker to show how much I loved them and appreciated them. They had always said they loved me like a daughter. Dropped me like a hot potato when I did not comply. 1) HE was the one that cheated! HE was the one that didn’t respect anyone! His wife. His daughter. His mother. His father. He was the one to drag the family name in the mud. He ruined his reputation, NOT ME!!!! HE CHOSE to be a CHEATER, LIAR, and THIEF for a long time! it caught up to him. It is not my job to protect his ass. He did nothing to protect mine. He put our family in harm’s way. 2) Be sure to knock on other woman’s door too. Did she show any respect to anyone???? Yet in that day, and many other days thereafter, I saw where their value system and my value system differ. They are more worried about their image. And protect the cheater at all costs. In my value system? If you don’t want others to know the truth: DON’T DO IT!!!! And that is when I knew why he is such a monster. Mommy and Daddy will always change his poopy diapers and enable him to continue this atrocious, disgusting behavior. His mother is the Queen of Spackle.. Makes me sick!

        • Rose:

          You are right. Your cheater was the one who was disrespectful and who visited shame on his family name, not you.

          Also, the ass clown exposed you to possibly deadly STDs like Hep C and HIV.

          He’s the one they should be angry at, not you.

        • Christ, Rose, subtract a few of the less important details and your story with STBX’s family is nearly identical to mine. His family was telling for months that I was ‘like a daughter’ to them after dday. Then I started telling the absolute truth, they got furious and went into ‘protect family image’ mode. Unbelievable, isn’t it? He disrespects his wife and children for years yet his parents see me as the bad guy….FOR BEING TRUTHFUL. Fucking moral-free assholes.

    • Sanity:

      How do we malign someone by telling the truth of who they are or what they did.

      That’s not maligning, it’s simply being honest.

      A smear campaign, in order to be smearing, has to tell lies.

      How do you smear a cheater by telling someone he/she cheated?

      Yep, boggles the mind.

  • “Radioactive isotopes…”

    HA HA HA! CL, you need to write for SNL or a sitcom. You have a great way with words– you cut to the quick with such humor.

    I hope that my going for a D so quickly took all the fun out of his A. Gee… it’s not a secret anymore. You want to go meet her for a quick bang in the backseat of the car, go for it! You’re not going to get caught, and you’re no longer being “naughty”; you’re just pathetic. A couple of middle-aged losers trying to recapture their lost youths. Sad.

    I have no idea if they’re still together, but if they are, “reality” should probably be creeping in within the next few months. I’m sure that their A would have been so much more fun if I had just wanted to play human punching bag a little bit longer– there could have been lots of sex from me in a desperate play to win him back, and he could have taken the A underground and still enjoyed sneaking off for their very exciting trysts.

    Now, they’re just two messed up people in a “relationship,” if you can even call it that. They’d better get to the hardware store and stock up on some spackle; they’re going to need it!

      • Oh no– I’m not saying you made something up. I just think that comparing that scenario to cheating is both funny and brilliant. 🙂

    • Yes, reality does seem to strike at some point. STBX now wants the kids even when it’s not his time with them, such as this coming weekend. I’m getting the feeling it’s not much fun with the young lady now that it’s ‘cook dinner, watch telly, sleep, wake up, cook, go to work, come home, cook dinner, watch telly….’ Kind of like he had with me except now the kids aren’t around most of the time, OW is young and easily bored and, well, the awesome me is no longer around. Poor sod.

      • Haha. The ex is bored already with the young bit of skirt and now wants his family back
        The new Nord has left the station and he wasn’t even on the train. He didn’t even have a ticket.
        Welcome to reality Pal. You made the wrong choice. Short term gain for long term pain
        I feel for your kids to have to go through this train smash Nord but it seems they are already losing interest in each other. There’s a lot more to life than sex
        My beautiful wonderful ex is now realising that the fucking world doesn’t revolve around her and all the shit( which I have in emails etc) from chainsaw man to her about his desire ( in other words ill say what ever it takes to fuck you tonight) to be with the boys is not going to happen. Meet consequence.

      • The Sad Fact, Nord, is that all the majority of people in long term marriages who leave their spouse for a fantasy- life affair partner, eventually end up regretting it.

        Psychiatrist have written reams about these people, both men and women. By the time they realize the OW or Om was only attractive because the two cheating ass-clowns lived in a fantasy world where reality never intruded to ruin their day.

        When that happens and they see all the affair partners faults, they almost ALWAYS want back in, but it typically too late, the traumatized spouse has moved on emotionally, and finally SEES THE CHEATER for who the really were.

        I have seen a few on TAM lamenting their plight complaining that the affair partner is too noisy to messy, too whatever and they want the quiet boring dependable spouse back.

        • I don’t think he wants me back particularly (I have, after all, ‘ruined his reputation’) but he does miss his family lie, no doubt. He actually watches the exact same shows I watch with them on netflix now. I’m not even kidding. We started watching a new show a couple of weeks ago and loved it. Now he wants to watch it with them. Weird.

          • Nord:

            Your ex will never admit to you that he misses you. They know they screwed up and don’t want to grovel.

            Usually they tell other people.

            Prior to being cheated on, I had a handful of acquaintances that were cheaters, and after the shiny newness of the affair partner wore off and they were officially divorced, they numerous times mentioned regretting the affair or affairs and being divorced.

            Of course it’s all about them though, because the regret is rooted in the fact that their post divorce life is less than spectacular.

    • So true, MO! So true. Soon after I kicked STBX out, suddenly the double life he’d been living lost its luster. During the affair, he was pompous & arrogant, even rude – saying how much work he had to do, he was soooo busy, he was doing sooo well and supposedly making sooo much money, and bought a flashy new sports car to tool around in with the OW. Of course, he was gaslighting me the whole time, and lying through his teeth to everyone.
      After I confronted him and kicked him out (and finally stopped doing the “pick me” dance), all the sparkly fun of the secret life seems to have dissipated. In a matter of months, he has run his business into the ground (got evicted from his office, the landlord’s suing him for back rent), burned his friendships with his life-long friends, flashy sports car got repossessed, and he’s done irreparable damage to his “professional” reputation (a few recent run ins with the police and disciplinary boards). Funny to see what happens when he’s left to his own devices and I wasn’t there with my spackle-skills!
      I got the terms that I wanted in the separation agreement. Per those terms, he’s free to live with whomever he wants – just like you said, MO – it’s no longer “naughty” and he can’t get caught.
      And now? He’s still with the OW – because now he needs her to support HIM. He’s always been a total snob (he’s from an”old money” family), so I know it is irritating the hell out of him to live in a dump of an apartment with their flea-market furniture, having to get by on HER minimum wage. He tells me how depressed he is, he doesn’t love her, he has no money, his parents are refusing to throw money at his problems (even though they could), his parents prefer me over him, and it’s all just so sad and he’ll “never be happy like he was when we were together.”
      For a while I really wanted to go after OW (gotta love my state for its “heartbalm” legal actions – where you can sue the OW directly for interfering w/ your marriage!) – but then I realized, hell – she’s getting the worst punishment of all by staying with STBX. He’ll drain that source of kibble, leaving her w/ no recourse, no career, and no money.
      Perhaps OW can find some coupons for all the spackle he requires.

      • Barrister Belle:

        His OW will get tired of supporting him and leave him, soon.

        My STBX also bought an expensive new car, we couldn’t afford, to impress the money hungry man-eating OW.

        At least he had the good sense to not marry her or to even continue the relationship with her.

        He knew the OW was waaaay too high maintenance, not a practical fool like me.

  • Yep, it’s amazing how often the cheaters end up mistaking our trust for their cleverness, our passion for their sex appeal, our loyalty for their specialness.

    IMO, healing often begins the first time we consider the cheater and think, “Not really so clever or sexy or special.” The moment of conception of “Meh.”

  • Did anyone/everyone watch the Lance and Oprah interview last night? You know what makes me absolutely crazy is that last little…. detail….. cheaterspeak…. they really are all the same. Did you notice he kept saying things like: “She got sued” “She got bullied” – as opposed to “I bullied her” “I sued her” – the way he said things, the tense was all wrong – this passive non-admission admission – bottom line is they simply can’t get to the truth – a small distinction I know…. but WTF.

    • Not all liars are cheaters…. But all cheaters are liars. I have never liked Lance Armstrong. And now???? Think he is one of the biggest losers of all time. Have you read any of his ex-wife’s books? She is a classy lady that got out from thevbad marriage from him and empowered herself. All while doing so with dignity. Inspirational woman. I wonder if he cheated on her too. Would surprise me if he didn’t after everything else.
      He will not have full admission. He refuses to take active responsibility.

      • Rose:

        Yes, lance Armstrong is a cheater.

        I read his autobiography and Lance Armstrong was boffing his PR person, and left his wife for that woman.

        I always thought Lance Armstrong was a sleazy scumbag.

        I am starting to wonder if he manufactured the brain cancer so that he could use chemo drugs that would obscure the fact that he was using performance enhancing drugs when tested.

        He has doctors friends who helped him obtain the performance enhancing drugs and since he’s big into paying people off to throw races and stuff, I am sure he would have no qualms about paying a doctor to claim he had cancer or to write phony script for performance enhancing drugs like roids, or human growth hormone or erythropoetin to enhance red blood cells to bolster oxygen uptake while racing.

        Then too maybe he did have brain cancer and when they cut the tumor out, they cut out the part of the brain that deals with empathy.

      • He’s still trying to shift blame. He’s a flaming narcissist and is only somewhat coming clean now because he was cornered by the truth.

        • Yup. The panel on “Morning Joe” (MSNBC) commented on some clips of the Oprah interview this morning: “um, can you say SOCIOPATH?” “Reminded me of the same responses I got when I interviewed Bernie Madoff” “It’s like his PR people have told him what to say, but it’s just coming across as totally cold and calculating. What do you say to the woman who sued, even though you knew she was telling the truth? Just ‘sorry’?!”

        • We only saw the interview for the first time down here last night. Narcissist is an understatement. It doesn’t matter what country but we seem to produce these stars that our kids look up to that turn out to be the exact opposite of what we expect.
          Like any form of cheating the damage lance has done o all the people around him, fellow competitors ( who finished second and who maybe were drug free) family friends etc is immeasurable. SAD SAD SAD!

  • The reason no ones fucks with Putin is if you do there are consequences. There is no thought of “what if I get caught?- YOU will be caught. There’s no second guessing.
    In most of our situations our pathetic scumbags didn’t think they would get caught and if they did we grovel for them to return to the warm nest of family.
    Cheaters think they live under a rock undetected but in reality we all live in a fish bowl.
    They simply think they won’t get caught. They think they are too clever and too intelligent and sneaky. They are soooo wrong!
    When I exposed I exposed to everyone and it destroyed the fantasy. Of course the ex paints me as the husband from hell and controlling.
    If I was so controlling please explain that after receiving a letter from an an anonymous writer four days before her and chainsaw man left for the New York marathon in 2011 I didn’t stop her from going. I trusted her even after receiving such a letter. What a chump I was with a capital C.

    When you expose, the cheaters face consequence. They hate it. But it’s important that they do. Consequence often carries with it responsibility. Responsibility to children, to parents and friends. Often the OM/OM have little consequence. That’s what I thought originally and thought this arsehole is going to take my boys on holiday and move into a modern home with everything. He even exchanged his car for a SUV ( Volvo of course) and I really thought I would lose my family. I couldn’t compete. I was wrong.
    Well one year down the track and the boys refuse to meet him. They know the truth and they chose not to meet him.
    Therefore exposure ruins the cheaters future relationships. How is chainsaw man ever going to play happy families. He can’t. He will always have one of Putins red laser dots on his forehead. Every time the boys or their friends meet or see him that red laser dot will be present. Does he care. Nah! He just wants to fuck my wife. Oh thank god for viagara!

    I never thought in a million years that my ex and chainsaw man would suffer. I only predicted blue sky’s for them. However consequence has caught up with them.
    I considered radioactive isotopes but I try to avoid stuff I don’t know much about.
    I was however about to employ 10 students with big banners outside the entry to his company telling the truth. (Their affair began because my wife supplied temp staff and recruited senior staff for his company.) That was going to be my isotopes. Real consequence. Real truth.
    I since have learnt the staff think it a big joke. Most now know the truth.
    I settled for posting the truth on the companies Facebook page.
    I also wrote to chainsaw mans father. He is a very well respected man worldwide in a charity organisation. I didn’t want me sons meeting him thinking that somehow this affair began as a legitimate relationship. It began on a foundation of lies and deceit. Good luck with that!
    If there were “PUTIN CONSEQUENCES” none of us would be going through this shit. Sure there would be separations and divorces but they would be heaps healthier and lot less drama.

    I also think from reading all your comments there is a consistent thread amongst you all:


    • Baci, I think you are absolutely correct.

      Without consequence, they will cheat again. So if you beg them to stay and you work on fixing them and reconciling, they will cheat again. Also, chances are, by the time you’ve caught them, it isn’t the first time they cheated, rather it is the first time they were caught.

      Additionally, I am wondering how many BSs married people who they knew cheated on a previous partner. The reason I ask this is because as I’ve been dating, it is absolutely astounding to me how many men admit that they cheated on their previous wives. They put it out there like: “Well, you know, the marriage was dead/dying/she didn’t understand me/I wasn’t getting laid etc. etc.” I listen to their stories and then I tell them about themselves and who they are and why they cheat. And then I end the date. But I mean, can you imagine?? Putting that out there, like: “I was a former cheater, but it was all my ex’s fault and I’m a changed man…now… and with a woman like you, Kristina, it would be soooo different.”

      Hahaha. Of COURSE it would! Snort. The thing is, it would not be different, but that’s a pretty sparkly/romantical thing to say to a person. Because it immediately casts you in the role of “better than what I had before…” or as some kind of savior “You….YOU could be the one to fix me….with you I will no longer need to cheat because you complete me.” haha.

      But oh man, that’s really a mindfuck. Cheaters cheat because that’s how they cope with being bored or sad or stressed. They look for the external validation that an affair provides. No one can fix that about a cheater, except for the cheater him or herself. And why would they bother to change? Either their betrayed partners forgive them and buy into the unicorn quest of reconcilation or the marriage ends and they go on to the next person where the balance sheet is set to even.

      • STBX definitely went for the new balance sheet. he even told me he wanted a clean slate, couldn’t deal with all the baggage once it became apparent that I wasn’t going to meekly keep quiet. OW knows he’s a serial cheat but seems to think that ‘their love is special’. Good luck to her. He’s apparently never been faithful in his life…something I only foundout after I kicked him out. Thanks to all those who knew this but neglected to tell me.

        • When the cheaters find out the truth about each other and the number of others they have fucked over its too late. Just like we didn’t want to believe our best friend could have done what they did. We don’t want to believe it and we hang in there until one day we realise ‘ meh’.
          It takes them years to realise what a mistake they have made and they blame and justify their new relationship anyway they can.

        • haha. Their love is special.

          Well, as I see it, anyone can say their love is “special”. It is all about the narrative we tell ourselves.

          I have a friend who married a guy who cheated on her before they were married. After a time apart, he came back to her (she’s a willing fallback girl) and preached about how he’d changed and I know she felt like she was somehow special, and that their love was special and would not be silenced by something so trivial as a drunken one-nighter. The upshot is: he cheated on her at least twice since they’ve been married. She is reconciling. Of course she kind of has to, in her mind, to prove that the narrative she tells herself about their relationship is true. Because she is not separate at all from that relationship — her identity is completely wrapped up in it.

          Lots of times I see BSs mocking the affair and calling it “lurve” and soulmate schmoopies and whatever else. But I would say that reconcilers are also buying into that same damn fantasy. Because how the hell can you love someone who betrayed you? That’s not love, that’s insanity and masochism and an utter lack of self esteem. They will never be a “former” betrayed spouse. As long as they stay married to the cheater they will always be someone who was betrayed and who accepted it.

      • Oh, you sit there and calmly tell them about themselves and why they cheat, and then you end the date?

        I am in awe.

        You are my hero today.

        You have more balls than a male cheater. Hahaha! Awesome!

          • CL, it wasn’t just one cheater date. It has been probably 4 cheater dates.

            On the other side of the equation are the male BSs. In fact, I do not believe that any marriage actually ends without some kind of infidelity invovled. I think the statistics are totally off.

            Now, that’s not to say that there are full-blown affairs that cause the end of the marriage, but I think that plenty of people see the end coming, for whatever reason — they are unhappy/lonely/starved for affection/whatever, and line up some other person (at the very least emotionally) before they leap into divorce. But it is staggering how many guys who are BSs say: “well, we separated and the next month she was living with a new guy and as soon as the divorce was final she got remarried.”

        • Oh Stephanie, I definitely do. I mean, cheaters deserve to know about themselves. And I’m not screaming at them or getting bonkers. I just usually ask them questions that lead them to admit the reality, which is that they are weak and ego-driven and have no concept of self awareness.

          The really remarkable thing: Many of these idiots then go on to call me and want to go out again. Because they feel as if I’ve really somehow drilled into their psyche and somehow I must be just what they need in their lives. It is just ridiculous. I say: “What you need in your life is a shrink and massive amounts of couch time. And what I need in my life is a decent and honest man who has his shit together.”


          • I really think we humans have no idea what pain is until we have felt it.
            The easiest analogy is child birth. Us blokes have no idea how it feels. No concept whatsoever.
            Cheaters will have no measure of the pain inflict until they experience it themselves.
            They are brazen because they simply think that this is painless. It’s not Physical pain( although sometimes it is- don’t go near Putins wife!).
            If you cheated and every time you did your BS was stabbed with a knife and blood flowed and you heard the gut reaching screams- you wouldn’t do it ( unless you worked for the KGB or was a complete heartless bastard or bitch!

          • Kristina:

            Some cheaters love a challenge. They all also want what they can’t have…..and when they get it, they don’t want it.

            But don’t fall for their gaslighting about you being their savior or their mommy. I am sure you won’t, but just sayin’.

            All cheaters want a mommy or daddy at home, and so they can go out a date their fantasy sex partner.

          • Yes, my xH kept following me around the house, “Are you going to divorce me? Are you still going to divorce me?” And when he announced his true love to me one fateful night, at no point was leaving me part of the plan.

            The plan was, we would all be friends. I would be home and be his laundry-folding, calendar-minding mommy, and he would be off fucking the blonde who actually bears a striking resemblance to his real mommy.

            Just…ew. No, thanks.

            Off you go! You want her? Off you go! Enjoy your new life!


          • Sara, I would never knowingly get involved with a cheater. It is just bizarre to me how upfront about it some of them are. Ridiculous.

      • Consequences don’t seem to have any effect on my ex. But that’s the hallmark of a sociopath, apparently. They don’t learn. I’m ex-wife #3, thanks to his serial cheating. Apparently there are others he’s fucked over since. (He told me his ex-wives cheated on him, hah! And now that’s what he says about me. Insanity.)

        I just think they’re cons. They’ll just keep conning until they die. It’s all they know how to do. Not all cheaters, IMO, but the super disordered freaks, absolutely.

        • I agree, CL, some cheaters but not all are sociopaths or psychopaths.

          Most are just self absorbed and selfish, though, IMO.

          I do think the OW in my situation was a sociopath, she was a serial cheater and crowed about it. She took pleasure in humiliating the spouses of her affair partners by broadcasting her conquests.

          During my false reconciliation and after the STBX dumped the OW, she put a tracker on our cars and followed us everywhere. She followed us together and separately.

          Her specialty was that she would flounce into restaurants where we were having dinner and smile at him flirtatiously. My STBX would scowl and ignore her.

          Still, of course, this made me think they went underground and I finally hired a detective.

          The report was that she was seeing someone else and not my STBX and the detective found the trackers on our cars.

          I was wondering how she always knew where we were, but thought my STBX was still seeing her and telling her. I thought the two of them were in on it.

          Still, even though she was having an affair with someone else, she would show up, breeze by brazenly and smile coquetishly at my STBX even though he was scowling and angry.

          She just wouldn’t give up and apparently, since she was still cheating, she hadn’t learned any lessons.

          Her stalking only stopped when I finally contacted her husband and he finally agreed to meet me to view the evidence.

          • I’m pretty sure my xH’s OW is BPD. And it’s so darned cute how xH insisted that she is special, that “she loves me for me” and “we were meant to be together.” Script! All script.

            Poor guy. Tch!

          • Steph:

            Thanks, I agree the stalker OW sounds like she may have histrionic personality disorder mixed in with some NPD.

            If you are right about the OW in your case being BPD then your husband will soon be devalued because BPDs idealize and then devalue the people they are in relationships with.

            It’s all part of their black and white thinking.

            But it seems a lot of men are attracted to the manipulations of a BPD women.

            It seems they are good at appearing to needto be rescued. They also are terrible with money and she will quickly empty his wallet.

          • No doubt, Sara. She’s a mid-lifer who never really worked much. And xH even lamented to me that he wasn’t sure how he was going to be able to support her. (She is still married to a man who now has his own girlfriend. Oh, the sleaze all around.) When I mocked him later about this–her lack of work ethic, lack of savings, no retirement plan (bar HIM–HE is her retirement plan, no doubt), he got very angry and defensive. “Are you saying she’s a deadbeat??!?” (Yep–but that’s your word, big guy) and he would project onto me, “You’re so entitlement-minded!” Her schtick is to be supported by men. And back when her FB page was not private, I couldn’t help but notice her anti-male “men are stupid” comments.

            I know of at least once that she got very drunk and hysterical when he tried to break it off with her–tip #1 that she is BPD. So, my xH, who revealed to me that she is an alcoholic, is not dealing with a SOBER alcoholic, either.

            Good luck, buddy!

            (I actually feel sorry for him. I really do. Not enough to sacrifice my own life, but, c’mon. That is just sad.)

      • My cheating ex was a serial cheater in his first marriage too. I was too stupid to recognize it as a enormous red flag. Of course, that wife was MEAN and CONTROLLING, he said, but you are so sweet, he said. Hmm..turns out after his cheating and the depth of it came to light, I contacted the first wife. She’d been waiting to hear from me and was so glad that I had gotten out. Their therapist had told her at the time that women in her situation with such a entrenched narcissist risk a break down or suicide.Her version was completely different than the one I had heard for 15 years–it wasn’t just once, it was several times that he had been caught and after he left, she said that people came out of the woodwork to tell her that he had tried to come on to them–coworkers, their accountant, friends.
        His type always has someone else to blame. She was mean. I was emotionally distant. I guess that’s when you decide to purchase the “girl friend experience” and believe the artificial intimacy the whore is giving you is the real thing.
        He actually told me that if I had given him the girlfriend experience we would still be married. Fucker. I am a real woman with a substantive career. I’m not a whore in Bucharest or Odessa with either limited options, a history of sexual abuse or just skanky.

        • Duped, I’ve also spoken to OM ex wife. They only just divorced but were separated for for years. My ex has known OM for over four years so who knows she may have contributed but I don’t think so.
          Anyway as I was saying OM ex told me on D Day that she caught OM having two affairs concurrently or over lapping( how the fuck do you manage that?)
          She asked me – Have you met him(OM)? No I haven’t but I know of him well because ex used to discuss business relationship all the time with me.
          Well she said when you met him or you’ll discover he is a womaniser and your ex will have to deal with that. Now my ex has to deal with that. Good luck Darling!
          The cheaters just paint an awful picture of us to justify their behaviour.
          BTW the OM wife(at the time) phoned a few days after D Day and asked me to convey a message to me ex. ” go near my youngest daughter and I’ll become the meanest fuckin woman she has met” and that’s following a long time.
          The cheaters get what they deserve. Treat your love ones like shit- what do you expect.
          I’d rather have a REAL woman any day. Stay strong

        • Oh my god, Duped, I had people telling me things for months after dday. I’m not even kidding. It was so scary because I think he thought he was mr smooth, keeping it all under wraps but people were aware and it’s what led to several career bumps for him. I mean, I had someone tell me, when I ran into them on the street, that he had cheated on me when I was pregnant! I nearly puked on the spot. I can’t even believe it to this day that anyone could be that much of a fuckface.

          And yes, it was my fault he cheated for years, mainly because he wasn’t getting 100% of my attention 100% of the time. It was the girlfriend before me who was the reason he cheated on her as well: she wasn’t ‘nice enough’ to him.

          And the girl before that? Who knows. But it turns out he’s a cheater all the way back to his first girlfriend (thanks to his childhood mates for telling me this!).

          But there is nothing worse than coming to terms with an affair and then being told, over time, about more and more affairs. It really stalls healing because you’re always waiting for yet another shoe to drop.

  • Baci, between you and me, mate, I am glad you have found a place to vent, and I agree that what you’ve been put through is HELL. I’m sorry you picked a soulless woman to be your wife.

    I do hope that you will get it all out here or with other sympathetic (and understanding) adults, and work your way toward serenity for YOUR sake and for the sake of your kids. I hope you find peace soon.

    Now, I will NEVER EVER say that you must FORGIVE your wife and her current scumbag, because as I’ve said here before, I don’t believe in forgiveness without restitution. And I’m not sure she’ll ever be in a place to do that. I think anger is healthy for a while. But I’m hoping we will see you transform to “meh.”

    I hope you’re having fun and joy with your kids, and showing them that you will be ok–better, that you will thrive and be happy, living according to your values and morals. I’m hoping that when you spend time with your kids, that you focus on everything that is wonderful, focus on learning, focus on silliness even in what might otherwise be mundane (folding your smalls with a pair of undies on your head?) Focus on everything that is NOT your wife. Don’t allow yourself to stew and plot to exact revenge–your revenge will be in living a good life, TRULY. The worst insult is not hate, but indifference. Don’t give your wife and the scumbag a common enemy. Just ignore them. This is how you will heal. Do find joy in living a good life, in overcoming tragedy. Because what happened to you and your children IS a tragedy, but you have a moral imperative to overcome it and find happiness. And I think you will.

    What plans can you make with your kids? A hike, a camping trip, cooking a gourmet meal together, going to a funny movie? What joy there is in being the dad! Your wife was the incubator, YOU are the loving parent who is making a difference in your kids’ lives. Be proud. Rest assured your memories will keep you warm. Hers will leave her cold. (Colder.)

    I am finding that the longer xH has been gone–nearly two years since he moved all his shit out of the family home (minus the shit I gladly found later and threw in boxes on the front porch)–the less and less relevant he is to my daily life, my thoughts of now, and my dreams of the future. And it’s so liberating. My kids and I laugh about our inside jokes, we make plans together, we eat together, and I support their ventures–all very good. I’m building a solid foundation on a new me, and it feels awesome. xH and OW have built a house of cards–not that it matters, really. I don’t care if I ever see or hear from him again. Nothing would make me happier. I don’t care to witness his pathetic failure–I guess I already have (though, to be fair, he DID score a blonde!) I just want to focus on the good, not the bad, take the black out of my heart. Meh. My kids and their friends are proud of me, because I am a calm and strong and funny woman who literally is winning at life. My kids RESPECT me, they don’t worry about how I am coping. I could not be who I am today if my focus was on being wronged. My focus is on being who I want to be. Who do YOU want to be, Baci? Are you the man you admire? Shed the parasite so you can grow strong.

    I just want you to be ok.

    You doing ok?

    • Thank you Stephanie.
      I’m ok now. Although D Day was 30th December 2011 the real d day was in late June when I realised there was no going back. In those first months I served cake- you know the cake with rich icing and strawberries.
      What makes it hard is we don’t necessary “pick” our wives or husbands. We fall in love with someone we think is our best friend who we trust implicably. In my case I never thought in a million years this would happen to our family or relationship. We were both experts at rug sweeping and non conflict. Could get angry or agitated with others but never each other.
      But then you discover the truth and as Jack Nicholson says the truth hurts.
      I’m six months into recovery. I spent months perusing these other sites looking for hope or some sort of explanation but there is none. Let it be.
      I am calmer now than I’ve been in 6 months. I still have her in the corner of my head and she is having trouble finding the way out.
      It is amazing how similar some stories are and one derives so much strength knowing we are not Robin Crusoe.
      I spend a huge amount of time with the boys. It’s holidays here now and there’s lots of swimming and the house is always full of their mates staying over. Business as usual.
      I do fear the future but its important that fear doesn’t become my master.
      Thank you for caring.
      If each of us can make another’s day a little brighter then great stuff.
      We are indebted to Chump Lady for this opportunity to communicate with like minded people.
      Thank you for you support and encouragement.

      • Yeh, I didn’t pick mine from a line-up. But I did allow myself to go along with and love a man who waved every red flag in my face, each of which I systematically ignored. I had goals in mind, to get married and be a mother, and I will always be thankful for the good times I had, and now I am thankful to have been released from a man who does not (never did?) love me. It was all worth it, though, to have loved and raised my children.

        Of course he is still in the corner of my head, maybe at the forefront way too often, and the way it all went down–even well before BD–will always hurt a little, but I carry on, proud and truly happy.

        I don’t fear the future. I am working on the now so that I will be ready for anything the future brings, and I do believe that by living well now, my future will bring good things and people, just as it always has (minus the error I made in picking my xH.)

        I did a lot of healing at a website started by and dedicated to people who intend to reconcile with their spouses, even though that was really not a realistic goal for me ever. I have made good friends there, actually. And I am ever so grateful to CL for bringing daily lessons–a new perspective to a lot of the insults I endured but really didn’t understand as well as before CL. I’m grateful for her bringing us all together.

        Though I hate when other people say it, it’s true–this crap really does make the strong even stronger, and in some ways I am actually enjoying the good parts of being cheated on–it’s made me more compassionate (but less tolerant of BS, really), made me more…hmmm…credible, interestingly. No longer am I a person who’s never had to endure something as hard as being abandoned and holding things together in the face of fear. Oh, I know, many have it WAY worse than I did, but still I have a new edge that I am proud of, actually, and I am proud of my grace. Baci–many will marvel at your grace and dignity! We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we do control our response. I have new friends and I’ve kept all my old friends. I’ve lost some people I don’t need in my life right now. I feel I’ve joined the ranks of those who’ve survived this sort of insult–I remember thinking, this happens to a LOT of people! It’s incredible! And if they can be ok, then I will be ok, too.

        Don’t fear the future, Baci. You’re a good egg, clearly. People like you can’t help but run into goodness.

        I do believe in Karma, inasmuch as we reap what we sow. (Hahahah!) Enjoy my little religious mash-up there.

        Count your blessings–you live in one of the best countries in the world, you have children who adore and respect you and who love having their friends over to your home–obviously your kids’ friends must think well of you, and that is such a compliment!

        You’ll be right, mate.

        I think your passion and pain is a good sign. At least you HAVE feelings, unlike your wife and her current scumbag. Rest assured your pain WILL give way to peace.

        • OMG! Grace and dignity. Sorry as CL. Says there have been some massive “wobbles”. There wasn’t much grace and dignity wobbling
          Wonderful friends have been such a support and the boys friends parents have been amazing.
          There must be three or four solo mothers( I hate that term) that came to me after D Day and told me their story some of which are mind boggling to believe but true. I never knew. Their kids stayed in our house since the age of 5 and I took them to virtually every sports event over the years and I never knew. The kids just got on with life. There’s a lesson there for all of us. And those mothers just picked up the pieces that were left and got on with it.
          Stephanie, why don’t we see the red flags. Is it blind trust and love? Is it we don’t want to confront it. In hindsight we see those red flags but I don’t dwell there.
          I appreciate that this happened when the boys were older and not 5 or 6 and I’m proud of the relationship I had up until d day even though the affair is now in its third year and who knows before. It doesn’t matter.
          I feel for you and others who have been in what can only be described as a nightmare. But you have strong resolve. You’re learning as we all are and hopefully when we see those red flags again we will properly deal with them.
          I lost my parents at a young age and people often ask how did you deal with that. I must say relatively easy compared to the current shit sandwich but we learn from life’s experiences and hopefully that knowledge makes us a better person able to contribute more to others.
          As for Karma, yes fully agree ying and yang. So true we reap what we sow!

          Just out of interest marriages are falling apart left right and centre over here for various reasons. Are you experiencing the same in your community.

        • Great post, Steph. It is important to take joy in what you have and in your kids and make life for them fun and good. Today I took my kids out for the day and we hust laughed and laughed at the silliest things and had the best time together. Now we’re relaxing, twiddling around and just feeling the love.

          It’s all I ask for, really, that we’re happy and loving one another.

  • Honestly I think most cheaters are or always were in a lot of pain. The narcissists learned from a very early age to hide it, but they have a very deep and insatiable emptiness within them that is very painful. They use people as drugs–many of them also medicate with alcohol, excessive spending, etc. They appear to be happy, but they are NOT. They never have known love. They race from temporary thrill to temporary thrill, leaving others in the wake of their unending frantic efforts to find peace they will never know.

    Steer clear of these people; they are toxic beyond belief. But they look so normal, they are so skilled at engaging, at reaching our vulnerabilities. And now we know better.

    But don’t believe they are happy. They are depressingly miserable. Probably for the rest of their lives. And that’s really sad.

    • Hm. I don’t think my ex does happy or sad. After I divorced her, she married the last AP, and I don’t think she’s miserable or elated. Actually, watching Lance Armstrong last night was a bit triggery because his admissions or horrible, hurtful actions were so devoid of genuine remorse or emotion. Zero ability to appreciate the harm he caused other people.

      I think sometimes we project our own values on cheaters. You or I couldn’t do these things and live with ourselves, so we think they must be miserable. And some likely are. But some cheaters, at least the ones bent in the direction of sociopathy, feel about the same all the time. In hindsight, it’s really quites scary, and I’m amazed I lived with it so long and thought her “well grounded” for it.

      • I watched the interview and I agree with you Nomar Zero remorse ( everybody else was) or emotions. this AM Good Morning America had an ex CIA agent reveiwing the interview through Lance’s body language. Very intertesting and tonight we get part 2

      • I jsut saw the whole interview and he said something about remorse: that he of course feels badly about being caught and everyone does and he feels remorse will come and it will grow. I sat there thinking ‘dude, you lied for years and you don’t yet feel remorse about it?’ And it really was all about him, him, him. I was disgusted, to be honest.

    • Another home run, CL. Yes, cheaters are brazen because they exploit our trust. My mother said where there’s no trust, there’s no marriage. Cheaters do what they do because we trust them and spackle over the parts of the relationship that start to crumble.

      And yes, Stephanie, I think that cheaters can be in a lot of pain. I am fairly certain that my STBX is in pain. He works long hours for a company run by people who’ve pretty much destroyed it. My STBX has always been prone to paranoia about work–and he’s a workaholic out of fear of being fired–but after his mother died, he stopped doing most of his hobbies and started doing work as his hobby. The OW was a staffer of his, had a hard luck story. I’m sure they spent a lot of time telling each other how shitty each other’s lives were.

      Right now, his affair is an on-again/off-again thing. He’s busy at work. She’s very high maintenance, who wants to know why he treats her so badly (i.e. doesn’t call or text constantly). She threatens to retreat and never talk to him again. He placates her. They have this embarrassingly juvenile sexting thing going on. It is all 100% fantasy. The real life OW drives him nuts. He hates that her house is so messy (he’s a clean freak). He hates the chaos.

      But he’s chosen the fantasy life with OW over real life with me. I know that he’ll want to reconcile after I confront him with what I know and tell him I want a divorce. He’ll plead that work drove him crazy. Lots of people have crazy work situations. They’re not cheating. He is. How can I trust him after ths? Answer: I can’t.

      So right now he thinks he’s all clever, but soon he’ll be eating shit sandwiches with the OW. I wonder if the fantasy will be working for him them.

      • I admire your cool-as-a-cucumber poise.

        You can’t make sense of how they choose. None of it makes sense. You go, “Wait, what? You’re choosing THAT over THIS??? I don’t get it.”

        All you can do is move on. You’re getting all your ducks in a row, you smart thing.

        • I’m not really “cool-as-a-cucumber,” but one useful thing my parents did was raise us to realize that we had both emotions and intellect, and while both need to be served, allowing emotions to overrule reason will generally get you into trouble. I definitely need therapy to deal with the emotional stuff. I’m angry, and I would love to deny what I’m seeing, but it’s there. I have access to his messages, and while I don’t need to see them to know he’s cheating, I need to see them to keep me from hiding in denial.

          Denial won’t get me anywhere. Anger will drive action, and action will lead to a better life without him.

    • Holy shit. Mine had all sorts of addictions to keep himself entertained. He neglected to mention them when we’d talk about our day over dinner. I found out after I opened a pile of credit card and bank statements after he left abruptly. It took my therapist convincing me I should open them. The alarming spending included evidence of gambling, porn subscriptions, gifts sent to Eastern European countries (there are sites that specialize in this, btw), outrageous hotel bills where he was supposedly working,, unbelievable amounts spent at restaurants ($500 at restaurant in Sydney, $700 in Vancouver…How does one spend that much unless you are trying to impress the “escort” you purchased for the night?). He didn’t have enough money coming in to cover it all so he was using business loans to make up the difference.
      What a giant hole he has to fill and all the while he was projecting on me his inability to be emotionally connected.
      Ahh…feels good to vent. Thank you!

  • Nomar you are so very right.the cheaters are not miserable at all.If they were they wouldn’t be doing that sort of thing at all.

    After I found out this shit about the x he played the victim card saying how miserable he is and how is life is a mess and how because of that he can’t sleep at night blah blah.

    And then what do I find a cowpoke of days late in his mailbox( he didn’t know I had the password to that one )…him connecting with a hooker he had previously had sex with.I kept wondering why suddenly this after a year or so and voilà 2 weeks later he travels to that city for work.So , since that work trip was likely to happen he was ensuring his hooker supply well in advance.

    And he cries to me that he is a soul in agony.

    And he the great Saint of the century kept telling me how he was counseling and mentoring a junior colleague on his womanizing, how that colleagues wife looked up to him to save her marriage etc etc.This was when I wasn’t aware of his double triple quadruple life.

    I never doubted or questioned any of this…I mean it concerned some guy in his office I never even knew so what’s there for me to think about?

    But with such stories what the X was doing is slowly and gradually building up a persona of himself without directly saying ” hey look I am a good man and I would never look at another woman”.There were myriad such instances and what it led to is me thinking and believing that he would never ever even look at another woman.

    They lie relentlessly about themselves and somewhere in their fucked up minds they start believing those lies.

    Post D day after I found out about his sham divorce , multiple affairs, hookers et al one day he tells me post retirement he plans to open up a school and would love to take up teaching and mentoring.I looked at him in sheer disbelief .He just didn’t get it and genuinely believed that he should be doing that.

    Do you call this being brazen or being stupid or what?

    Beyond comprehension, this.

    Some vital part in their brain is missing.

    • They are full of guilt and play the poor me card. They want cake and they want you to care but if you have moved on then they screwed. You have already moved on and all you can feel for them is sorrow

  • I also think they are so brazen because they live in the fantasy they create. Hubby invited mistress on trip with the boys and asked all of them to please keep it quiet. (Two, who are cheaters agreed) What he didn’t realize is that one of his friends wanted no part of this and wasn’t about to get into hot water with his wife by going along with this. long story short friend called his wife immediately and wife called me shorty after to express that she thought the behavior was disgusting and that neither her or her husband agreed with what mine was doing. That, dear readers, is how I found out about the affair.
    But my point is, he and the hussy thought is was perfectly acceptable to ask a friend (whose kids play with my kids and whose family has vacationed with mine) to keep such a secret, to think that person would not be upset with the situation, and hey cause problems in his marriage because who doesn’t want their husband on a boys trip with a woman who has no problem screwing married men.

    • lily, that’s pretty brazen, but it also shows the kind of fantasy world that the cheater’s living in. It’s a fantasy world of cake and kibbles. Of course they would think it acceptable to invite the OW on an outing with their buddies and expect their buddies to cover for them. After all, their friends exist to make their lives more comfortable, too.

    • Lily, that’s such a disturbing betrayal. I’m so sorry. I know this isn’t how the real world works, but you’d think a woman would have some empathy for another woman or at least feel shitty enough about her behavior to not show her face among people who knew you. His behavior is unconscionable.

      • I get you. One would expect a mother with kids to have some compunction at sleeping around with a married man with kids. Not the case here. And I agree with you, that she is shameless parading herself around in front of other people as a mistress. And again, at the time she was separated but she does have two kids. How she had the nerve to show her fact around a family friend, I don’t’ know. I have more self-respect for myself that to parade my side piece status around like that. But that is my point, I guess, he and she thinks she is so wonderful that it overcomes the gross behavior.

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