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Healing from Infidelity as Competitive Sport

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As nice is it is getting new readers to Chump Lady each time I’m published on Huffington Post, I have to say I’m getting pretty sick of the “Schorn” as “scorn” puns (a woman scorned, get it?), and invective that because I write about infidelity and do not write charming fluff about having friendly dinner parties with my ex, this can only mean I Have Not Moved On, I’m fat, angry, bitter, liberal, puritanical — and my hair is messy.

This was for an article essentially saying be indifferent to cheaters! Be meh! Imagine what they’d say if I said, sure, light them all on a funeral pyre and push them off into the drink? Didn’t go there. It was an article about staying classy. But okay, fine. Whatever. Haters gotta hate.

But what really chaps my ass are the folks who take every discussion about cheating as an opportunity to flaunt their moral superiority. How are they better than you? Oh, in every way. They claim to not ever have ANY ugly feelings, ever. And if an ugly feeling were to rear its inconvenient, ugly little head, they would smother that sucker with an embroidered pillow. (I imagine the pillow is embroidered with New Testament Bible verses,  or Norman Vincent Peale quotes.)

I don’t understand all this hostility. I don’t do anger. All anger is toxic. I feel sorry for you. I hope you can move on some day and not be consumed by bitterness. I don’t wish anyone ill! Let go! Haven’t you forgiven yet? You really must forgive. MUST. If you don’t forgive, weasels come in the night and steal your soul, and your bowels will shrivel, and your genitals shrink, and no one will ever love you again and you’ll die alone. Yes, you and your anger. Alone. Forever. For eternity.

Okay, that’s not a real comment — but this one is!

I don’t know we have to consider this advice “revenge” — we move on for our own good, not so the person who cheated on us sees us being awesome and we take pleasure in it bothering him/her. Who cares if it bothers him/her or not? We’re done, kaput, finis; nothing to see here folks, move along.
I also don’t believe in wishing for anyone to “nosedive.” He’s still my kids’ dad, and if he nosedives my kids will suffer. He’s actually become a much better man and father, and that pleases me more than seeing him nosedive (another upside of forgiveness). People do learn from their mistakes, and they often can become better people after an affair or other bad deed. Not everyone, obviously, but many. I’d rather encourage that than take pleasure in the nosedive.

Her embroidered pillow says “I don’t do schadenfreude.” It’s a matching set with the one that says “Because I’m better than you.”

Oh fuck off.

I created Chump Lady as a no bullshit oasis in a sea of this kind of shaming nonsense. The internet is full of it. What, you haven’t “affair proofed” your marriage, you loser? Did you give up on reconciliation? Never got a chance? Are you a quitter? A quitter with a bad attitude? Maybe that’s why they cheated on you. Maybe you should examine the ways you are accountable for that, and let go of the anger. 

No. Here at Chump Lady we say — fuck ’em. Go ahead and have ugly feelings because you were cheated on — I give you permission. Be real — feel it, speak it, shout the truth at it — and move forward when you feel good and ready. And if the schadenfreude feels right? Do it! If it doesn’t? Don’t.

This is not a competition.

 

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Yep. The whole “rise above it” expectation is vomit-inducing. Do I behave civilly toward him and follow our legal separation agreement to the letter of the law? Yes. Do I keep my snarky comments and angry feelings away from my children so that I don’t negatively influence them? Yes.

    Do I also hope that he will end up old and alone, wishing that he had never screwed his life up as much as he did? HELL YES. I’m not going to wait around for it to happen or base my happiness on that outcome, but sorry– I’m a human being whose life was ripped out from under her, flipped upside down, and given a big, nasty shake. He’s a douchebag. We are not friends. We will never enter an enlightened state of buddydom. I don’t want his OW within five miles of me. She and I will not go get mani-pedis together. I will not welcome her at family events or school functions. Hell, I don’t welcome him at those either– I politely tolerate him because of my kids.

    We live in a culture that blames the BS for the A because he/she is fat/old/sexless/boring/stupid/frumpy/bitter/whatever. The media also makes As look exciting and as though they are all about fate, unicorns, and destiny. “They were meant to be… if only that fat/old/sexless/boring/stupid/frumpy/bitter/whatever BS weren’t around! They’re being denied true love!”

    Right. “Meh” is all I’ve got for him, and that’s the enlightened state I live in.

    I don’t like liars. I don’t like manipulators. Period.

      • I agree CL:

        I would be more inclined to hear what this unaware chumpling had to say, if she simply mentioned that she appears to be married to one of the rare cheaters who is actually remorseful, worked on the marriage and is working on being a better person.

        Believe it or not, I do think in rare cases a cheater is remorseful, they did something immature and then when hit with the consequences they got counseling and reformed themselves.

        But that is not what this Unaware chumpling from Huffpro is saying….., she is INSISTING that anyone who doesn’t forgive is less than a good person.

        Her entire post says to me that she is living in denial and whistling in the dark as a way to allay her own fears that her husband will once again crave cake.

        Here’s what I have to say to people who give me the forgiveness lecture………..I say………MEH!

  • I love what you do, Chump Lady. LOVE it. I was on my way to figuring this all out on my own, but finding your blog helped me right myself in record time. YOU and your common sense and your clarity and your “fucks” saved me from months, if not years, of waffling and pain and heartache and “Pick me!” For every hater that just wants to start shit on the internet there are countless people (like me!) who value the wisdom you’re sharing and hang on your every word. The truth in your message is healing and that’s why we can’t get enough of it. So scroll passed the Holier-Than-Thous and the haters and keep spreading the gospel of “Meh.”

  • I think that forgiveness, the way these articles describe it, is not a good idea for most people. To get over pain, folks have to acknowledge it. A while back, I suggested “cold forgiveness” as an alternative. From what I know, if you are dealing with a narcissist (and I think most folks writing into this blog are dealing with that kind of person), forgiveness is really wasted. They are predatory. That’s their nature. So recognize it. Give yourself the right to be angry, which you deserve. And move on to the indifference that they deserve. The forgiveness-industrial-complex (I’m adapting this from an earlier comment by another person, whom I can’t remember) is always pushing this. It’s a bad idea. See human nature for what it is, and teach your children the kind of n-person recognition skills that will keep them out of trouble. Sure, stay dignified, but let yourself also get mad. Then you will get over it. I think pushing forgiveness is a bad idea. There really are some not-nice people out there, and understanding that and giving those folks the indifference they deserve is important. For most folks, I think, getting mad will help them get to that indifference, to the sublime “meh” that signifies that you figured them out and that their hold over you is broken.

    • I agree that forgiveness is wasted on a narcissist. My ex’s sense of entitlement is infinite. I hear from others that she experiences regret, though it is not clear whether it is to me for her behavior or to herself for being inconvenienced by the fallout, as she has not bothered to direct this “experience of regret” to me.

      But my past experience in being indulgent was that it was never appreciated in any way. It just became the new baseline.

      • My guess is ‘inconvenienced by the fallout’. STBX has some weird version of regret, the one that involves loss of part of his income and fury at having to support me while I get on my feet (I was a SAHM and the implications of that were discussed by us at length when we made that decision). The regret seems always to be how their actions impact them; they simply don’t like consequences and it infuriates them that they’re forced to face them.

        • SAHM-hood was very convenient for him Nord. Kept you vulnerable and ensured him cake for life. Until you messed up his plans, you bad, bad woman. No cake? No support! I’m sure that’s how that idiot sees it.

          • Oh, I’m absolutely sure that’s how he sees it. How dare I throw him out and make him still live up to his responsibilities! I am evil personified.

    • “To get over pain, folks have to acknowledge it.”

      Exactly right, David. I’m not arguing for staying in the pain, or wallowing, but absolutely for feeling it, talking it out, processing it, and getting righteously pissed if that’s what it takes.

      I think a lot of this Get Over It or Die mentality is because of others’ lack of compassion. Your distress makes me very uncomfortable, get over it!

      • It’s hard to get over the injury you’ve suffered people insist on denying it’s existence. Can you imagine if ER doctors treated gut-shot patients the way some of these I-Bought-a-Ph.d-In-Sexology-So-Call-Me-Doctor “healers” treat chumps?

        “Oh, I don’t do bleeding. All bleeding is toxic. I feel sorry for you. I hope you can move on some day and not be consumed by your bleeding. Your problem is you won’t let go of being shot! Haven’t you stopped bleeding yet? You really must stop bleeding. It is ESSENTIAL.”

        • “Your problem is you won’t let go of being shot! Haven’t you stopped bleeding yet? You really must stop bleeding. It is ESSENTIAL.”

          Thats the attitude i hear from a lot of people.i even heard it from my xw(for years), and now i hear it from my teenage son.Fuck that! . i was physically and verbally abused and cheated on and that left me emotionally wounded and i have a right to feel pain.
          im not bitter but im resentfull that my kindness was taken advantage of and im disgusted with myself for not having known better..

  • I don’t trust people who claim they never get angry. Either they’re lying, or they are big-time conflict avoiders and refuse to confront deciding between right and wrong. They frequently find themselves in shitty situations, but hey! They’re not MAD!

    Whatever.

    I think people who are “friends” with cheaters don’t value themselves and they don’t value friendship. They’ll be “friends” with literally anybody. Or, barring that, best case scenario is that they are exaggerating the depth of friendship they have with a cheater. Or they are getting something sick from that relationship. In any event, I don’t envy or admire them. I have considered the idea of being a friend to or with my ex and the OW, and have made a conscious and well-thought choice against it.

    Before I was cheated on, I might have admired people who claim to be friends with the cheaters, or those who “forgive” and have “let go of the anger.” Not any more. I especially don’t give a fuuuuuuck what people who’ve never been cheated on think they know. I used to be just like them. Now I know. True, they may be better pickers than I was–I’ll give them that. But as for how I should have “cheat-proofed” my marriage, or how I should behave or what I should do after the fact? I care what they think they know. They don’t know. But I know, and I am stronger and more enlightened. I’m proud of myself. And I don’t like cheaters.

    • My family doctor ran off with a jazz singer. He thought he had found Utopia!
      The ex and his kids just plain told him to fuck off. He then realised what a mistake he made and the relationship ended.
      He then had a few girlfriends and the kids told him to hold on to the current one. They now all get on like a house on fire spend Xmas together.
      Being friends is achievable but not with the cheating OM OR OW. It’s achievable with someone your ex meets and the relationship begins as relationships should – not from a prospective of cheating. As far as becoming friends with the ex this is years down the track from d day if ever. It’s your choice. They made a decision to cheat and leave a marriage- you get to decide how it ends.
      They want to be friends because they are desperate for acceptance and forgiveness. It must be fuckin cold and lonely out there in the arms of a cheating fuck buddy!

    • People who say they don’t get angry are like people who say they don’t fart: just wait for the enormous blow up one day.

    • Anybody else finding, though, that it’s a bit like divorce? His friends, her friends… and events you used to go to as a couple? down the drain. Some of my super-chump friends invited me (and me alone) to their annual Xmas party–the wife’s mother had been chumped big time when my friend was a kid so she totally *got it*. But a lot of my ‘couple friends’ are stymied. They don’t really want to have anything to do with him (I think), so I lose out too. Or maybe they think my chumpitude is contagious, the way people used to think cancer was contagious (true fact.).

      I tend to think they deserve a ‘wevs’ as compared to a ‘meh’, but it can get a bit lonely…..

      • yep… though I am going through the divorce so can’t tell if the problem is the divorce itself or the circumstances of the divorce… probably both. But it’s also lonely just cause I’m used to SOMEBODY (even a narcissistic a-hole) being around and now he isn’t. I’ve lost just a few friends due to the “contagion” factor (I think), and I’ve lost all two of his friends 🙂 Also, because I spent years wrapped up in him and not developing friendships, I didn’t have TONS to begin with… especially ones that live nearby. However, some of the friendships I do have have actually been strengthened mainly because I actually have put some time and effort into them. It doesn’t make me feel great that it took something like this to realize the importance of friendships.

  • I’ve done all the emails trying to convince how fucking stupid she is to run off with this CEO, calm, no kids as they live in New Zealand), luxury apartment , international travel bla bla fuckin bla. I made three phones calls calling her a stupid bitch etc etc ( and she made one to me with language I quiet frankly didn’t think was in her.
    During the marriage she was the centre of my universe( her words not mine). Thought she was family focused. WRONG. selfish and thoughtless.
    The best analogy I’ve seen is Chump lady’s ” throw me down the stairs” comparing cheating to a feeling that we all understand. Well if you throw me down the stairs then invite me back up and fuck my brains out then throw me down the stairs and hurt me even more, then invite me back up and fuck my brains out like never before and throw me down again and break some bones. Then I am done. NOTE IT TAKES US MEN A FEW TIMES TO LEARN SOME TOUGH LESSONS IN LIFE!
    I now have defined boundaries, won’t talk with the in laws because I don’t want to make small talk as if nothing has happened. I want to remember the good times and draw a line in the sand. I’ve been replaced so if he’s so fuckin good you don’t need me in your life anyway. I don’t see him taking you to doctors, dropping in to keep you company, keeping you better informed as to what your grandchildren are up to, doing jobs for you.
    I am trying to be civil with the ex ( really trying) but that is it. Yesterday left boxes in carport for her with wedding photos and anniversary cards and birthday cards she gave me over 20 years. Every one of them. They mean absolutely jack shit now.
    I’m convinced some in the media have their own agenda and some are cheaters themselves so they are fucked up anyway.
    I don’t understand cancer because I’ve never had it. I don’t understand child birth because I’m yet to give birth. So you guys in the media who have never been cheated on at least have some respect for the betrayed. Can’t wait to see ex react when she is cheated on. Only then she will know how it feels. However in saying that I wish her to be healthy for my boys as I believe it’s important to have two good parents.
    I can understand recovering from a ONS or a brief EA but when it’s blatant fuck me over stuff over a long period and they just keep going with it, there is only on answer:

    SEX AND TRAVEL- FUCK OFF!

    • Thanks again, Chumplady and the rest. Felt so lonely today but the posts and replies were reminders I’m not alone. Someday I hope to look back on this hell with a shake of my head at the wonder if surviving and being on the other side.

      • Hang in there Duoed… It really goes get better. And when everyone was tell me that, I just couldn’t see it. But now, I know. Right around the corner, is the life you were meant to have, without the cheater. (((HUGS)))

  • CL to be ” scorned” by people such as these is the best compliment I can ever think of receiving.

    To be thought of as someone my married scumbag of a cheater ( he of a faked separation and faked divorce filings) thought he “loved ” is my biggest point of anger.

    How dare he think I would be ok with a relationship with a married man( his answer to that question of mine was a screaming bawling one…” don’t you understand how much I love you and knew I would lose you if you knew my wife was not consenting to the divorce and that’s why I had to lie to you about everything..can’t you understand the stress I went thru about lying so much because I can’t dream of a life without you”)

    How dare he think I was the type who would be ok with keeping the most important relationship of my life a secret and conduct it in a shady and secretive manner, permanently?

    How dare he think that I was the type to be happy with relationship where I got crumbs?

    How dare he think I would be ok with a relationship where I would be satisfying only partial needs of a man?

    How dare he think I was the sort of a person who would be ok with harming another family?

    How dare he think that I was the sort of a person who gained happiness at the expense of another person?

    How dare he think that I would want to build a home by destroying another home?

    How dare he think that I would be ok with him sleeping with as many women that agreed to do so?

    How dare he think that I would be ok to be with a man whose only criteria of sleeping with a woman was her availability?

    How dare he think I would be ok with a man who has sex with a hooker?

    how dare he think I was the type to want to be in relationship that was so crowded?

    How dare he think I would want to be in a group that included his wife , his one night stands, his chat room pick ups, his colleagues, his wife’s friends, and HOOKERS ?

    How dare he think that after finding out everything I yet should be with him because he thinks love should be unconditional?

    How dare he think that I was the sort of a person who , after all this, should yet be friends with him because what we had between us is ” something very very unique and unheard of “?

    How dare he ever thought I was the sort of a person who he “loved”?

    How I wish He had “scorned” me.

    CL , tell these stupid fucking idiots that to be “loved” by people such as these is the biggest sorrow of ones life and to be “scorned” by them is the best compliment and gift anyone can ever bestow on you.

    Bloody morons.

  • Stephanie , the only way these people can ever get love is if someone believes in the stupid and imaginary concept of unconditional love.

    When he talked about unconditional love I told him that the only people who ask for that type of love are the ones who have nothing to offer.I told him you can lay down as many conditions with me because I know I would meet every condition required for a healthy relationship.

    I mean , being honest , being loving, being truthful , being compassionate are not even to be termed as conditions.this iall is just given. But try explaining this to these psychopathic morons.

    He still wants to keep the occasional text , phone call thing

    I just cant understand how he could think any sane woman would agree to this.

    But then when I saw his phone nils I saw that though some of his old affairs had ended these women were in touch with him.Unbelievable.

    My last message to him was…

    WHEN SOMEONE TRETS YOU LIKEAN OPTION HELP THEM NARROW THEIR CHOICES BY REMOVING YOURSELF FROM THE EQUATION.

    Hope he realizes now that not all women are as fucked up in their heads as the ones he is used to.

    • Yes, I find it quite amazing how many women were willing to fuck my husband, knowing he was married, be set aside for a bit, and then they’d pick up it later on…sometimes years later.

      Really? Do they enjoy being a sidepiece? Or do they think they’re just incredibly sophisticated and it’s fun to screw a hot married guy while his wife and kids are clueless? My mind boggles when I think about this stuff, the number of women who screwed him, including several of my ‘friends’. One of them was a very close friend and was one of the first people I called when I started to find out what was going on. Then I found out about her fling with him. And she, to this day, cannot believe I didn’t accept her apology and shut her out of my life. I am now ‘psycho’ because I sent her a couple of very angry, nasty, hate-filled emails. I think she should consider herself lucky that I didn’t go after her with mroe than some angry words. She was my FRIEND and she fucked my husband! And then came to my house and accepted my hospitality, sitting at dinners with my family, my children, after doing this.

      I can’t, to this day, understand how anyone could do something like that. And the kicker? She felt she handled it well and STBX told her she was a good person and a good friend to me because when they met after they fucked they had a long talk and decided to not go any further. Actually, she decided that after he was sending her messages to get together again.

      Incredible.

      • Nord, you and the many others here on this site who have been betrayed by not only your ex-wife /ex-spouse but your ‘friend’ absolutely blows my mind. I cannot believe that people can be this evil and that you had to suffer a DOUBLE betrayal. These are the Super toxic NPD types in my opinion. They think it’s a great game to be your ‘friend’, gain your confidence etc. but be bedding your spouse at the same time. The only consolation is that these people I believe are so toxic that their lives will fast implode on them. Just you watch- Karma is going to be a REAL Bitch, huh?

  • The longer you go having no contact with him, the stronger and more sane you will grow. He will eventually have ZERO influence over you. You will be repulsed by who he chooses to be. You will know you deserve better.

  • hey guys thank you soo much chump lady for this site. think u are my therapist online. i have a different story of which i hope your readers will take the time to hear me out. i am a dr and started working in a new hospital. i worked closely with another dr who was married. we were good friends and i didnt fear anything cos i knew he was married and theres boundries. Guess being friends he said he needed to tell me soemething. told me he was seeing someone for the last 5 years. it was just a relief and escape and just sex. mind you he was married for 2years. also told me that his ex gf in college left him cos she found out that he was seeing 3 other people at the same time. they apparently found out about each ther and told her. i remember thinking “what the fuck?? but i still thort maybe he was young etc.anyway as time went on we grew closer and the staff nurses use to always talk about another nusre he was seeing and another women who use to send flowers to him at the hospital. mind u he was dating his wife 6 years prior to them marrying. anway i asked him and he said he was lonely .what the hell??i have no idea how i developed feelings for him. he was soo persistant an dnext thing i kknow i was seeing him. he would say hes not happy etc etc. i would alsways ask whats going on?i canot waste years of my life on this. please just leave me to move on if u are happy . no he would persist and pesist and say how he needs me and wants me and he always thort love escaped him amd i am his one true love>i would tell him i cannot do this to ur wife. to another inncocent person.please but it like i was talking to fresh air. he would even want to meet me on his anniversary of which he didnt know i knew but i coulndt. take me to his home when his wife was away visiting her folks. ii felt awful.i became a liar and hated it. he was calm as ever. anway this went on for 5 years. he would say sex with her is boring and not satisfying and often was not fun for him. i slowly with time realized this guy is an absoloute liar. besieds that i was fightening my own feelings of guilt and what type of a person i was to do this to another person. i tried so many times to leave him but he would manipulate and call and say he cant sleep etc conn amd deceive. he would say im bi polar and i shud just enjoy myself and i think too much and i ruined the fun and enjoyment. the last starw was in june he sent me a mess to say “i need to tell u something, i know u gona be upset but i just found out gona have a kid. he planned the whole thing for years. then said anway got a pt,if u dont wana talk to me i understand. i didnt reply at all. nc since then. his wife was 5 months preg so he lied_he didnt just find out. apart from that during that time to now he has mess and tried to communicate by asking how am i? and am i ever gona speak to him and why am i being so stubborn and he really misses me and my voice and my smile. and he is amazed at how much will powere i have to not ever speak to him. and it woul just be easier if i told him. like wat the hell

    anyway i feel awful to have hurt another poor women.i wish i cud tell her but i think she would be devastated. i was crushed when i found out they preg but realized thank god that was my ticket getting away from him.

    ur opinions please
    thank u for not judging me

    • You feel awful to have hurt another woman, but you had a five year affair with him? Apparently you didn’t feel awful enough, Wendy. But you’re drawing the line at a baby? Okay, well everyone has their deal breakers I suppose.

      Look, this is a hard crowd to ask not to judge you. You weren’t duped. You knew he was married, that he was a cad and a player. He told you this. And you say you have “no idea” how you had feelings for him and it “just happened.”

      Part of getting over this is accepting responsibility for your part in it. OWNING it. Get some therapy and figure out how to enforce boundaries, and listen to your gut (which was screaming at you), and how to live authentically. And tell the wife. She deserves to know, especially as she has a child with him. He’s a doctor, she’ll get a nice settlement and child support. Don’t let her waste her life, or at least give her the choice to waste it. Least you can do for fucking her husband for five years.

    • wendy…
      I agree with Nord. Please use paragraphs and better grammmar/spelling. Head CL’s words. You are accountable for your decisions and actions. Learn why you would make so many bad choices and make changes. Don’t repeat this horrible and destructive pattern of behavior. This site is not the best place for sympathy.

    • If you have an M.D., with these writing skills, remind me to never visit your clinic. There is no way someone who writes like this, both grammatically and substantively, could have gained entry inot colloege, let alone med school.
      I know, most doctors are not as bright as attorneys. But, this type of drop off is just not credible.

      • Really?is that how you spell college??and its into not inot.maybe you should check your spelling before you decide to throw stones at someone else mr attorney!

      • Imma telling youse guys, the ho-bag in my chump story was an OB/GYN who had clearly done it before.

        So she was clearly smart enough to become a lady-parts surgeon, but none too bright otherwise. Kind of the living definition of maze-bright….in other respects? Dumber than a stump, and the morals of a, a, a? what has bad morals? I know! a cheater.

      • Arnold, they have really lowered their standards for doctors these days.

        There are all sorts of programs for less than bright people, and even supposedly recovered drug addicts, to become doctors. Some of the programs are government funded.

        It is very sad.

        I do feel sorry for this lady, but I do NOT believe she was an unwilling dupe.

        She likely has issues and needs help.

          • While Stephanie may not be receptive, I would suggest you avoid hetero relationships, Wendy, so as not to dilute the gene pool too badly.

          • Wendy:

            You are a doctor, you must have taken a basic psych course. Hence you knew you would get “JUDGED” when posting your post here among a bunch of people who were former victims of cheaters.

            How could an educated women get involved with that married ass clown cheating doctor?

            You already knew he was a ‘ho.

            Also, weren’t you afraid you might catch some nasty STD off the ass clown married cheating doctor ‘ho beau.

            Come on girl!

            The first rule of good fiction is it has to be PLAUSIBLE.

          • Yeah, an MD who has no fear of STD’s from a known cheater.
            Say, you wouldn’t have a bridge for sale, would you?

    • Wendy isn’t a troll, I don’t think. I think Wendy is a real other woman, who really isn’t repentant (not judging, just saying) who is looking here hoping that she will be told to tell the wife the truth (of course she wants to tell the wife probably in hopes that the wife will kick him to the curb and he’ll come around to her).

      Wendy, she’s not going to kick him out. Better, if you’re really out of your affair, that you just let it go and move on. No doubt, once the baby is born and all the rest, he’ll come back to you for a little more on-the-side action. Men who have cheated once ALWAYS go back looking for their other women (or they go looking for new other women). But anyone deserves better than that, so I hope you don’t rise up to the bait.

        • Arnold, I don’t care what she claims to do for a living, I’m just focused on the part where she’s an other woman who is saying this:

          anyway i feel awful to have hurt another poor women.i wish i cud tell her but i think she would be devastated.

          There is the meat of why Wendy is here. Whoever she is, whatever she really does for a living — I’m not interested. 🙂

      • Kristina:

        I kicked my STBX out and he still didn’t want his side dish as the main course.

        That is what is so sad about the OWs. They don’t mind being side dish. The even relish (pardon the pun) being a side dish, at least initially, ’cause in their minds it means they lured a married man away from his wife, and to the OW it’s such an ego boosting conquest.

        But than when OM dumps them for a new OW, their minds no longer relish being a tasty but already been chewed and discarded side dish.

        • Sara8, the reality is, most wives don’t kick the cheater out. Most stay with him. Most WANT to reconcile, at least at first. Even though you did kick him out eventually, don’t I remember reading that you actually did try to reconcile at first until he showed himself to be a complete nitwit (well done, you, by the way!!)?

          My point is, this Wendy wants to be told to tell the wife because she’s hopeful that the dude will get kicked out (which he won’t) so that he comes back to her (which, as you correctly point out, he might not even if he does get kicked out).

          Wendy, go seek “breaking up the marriage” strategy at one of the other woman forums. There are tons out there.

          • Kristina:

            I agree with you.

            Most women or men don’t initially kick out a cheating husband or cheating wife in a long term marriage. They first go into shock, and then hopefully wake up whether or not the spouse continues to screw up.

            The OW’s husband also took her back for a while when in shock, but when the shock wore off, he was crazed and filed. He won’t even talk to her. He kicked her out and had his attorneys handle everything.

            My only point is that EVEN IF THE cheater gets kicked out, they typically don’t want anything more than the OW as a side dish. They don’t want her as the main course.

            I think about 3 percent of cheaters marry their affair partners.

            But I agree totally, this lady wants to tell the wife because she is hopelessly hoping that the guy will then want her as his main course.

            I’m telling her that he most likely won’t.

            Cheaters typically only want cake and relish…..you know kinda’ like eating junk food instead of health food.

            You can’t live on junk food forever, because we all have a survival instinct and eventually start eating something healthy.

            OWs are kibbles. My vet used to call kibbles, junk food and forbid me to feed them to my dog stating they were like cheeze doodles and would kill the dog, eventually.

        • exactly what happened to me… kicked STBX out because he wouldn’t fire his AP, and she’s still working for him. Possibly still trying to fuck him, maybe sometimes succeeding in doing it. But she is still “just his assistant”. He’s referred to her as that several times, and I do believe it. She might “assist” him in areas that are completely unprofessional, but there is no way he thinks she is his equal. If my husband thought he was better than me, then I know for a fact he believes he’s better than her. Or am I just projecting? 🙂

          Either way, he’s not REALLY with her – no dates, etc. And eventually I’m sure he’ll meet someone that he is willing to be seen publicly with. And I gotta say, I do hope when he does it results in some kind of ridiculous drama at work when the OW finally finally realizes how shitty she’s been treated. He sense of self-worth is much lower than mine and she is an idiot, but at some point even she’s gotta figure it out.

          • Another Erica:

            I agree. Cheater don’t want the affair partner full time. Full time makes it too ral and takes all the sleaze out of it.

            The sleaze of cheating is part of the fun for the cheaters. If it’s a real relationship, the sleaze is gone, and so is the fun.

    • Your grammar and typing skills need work but you were probably overwhelmed as you poured out your story. OH Yes tell the wife she is stuck with a serial cheater. She may already know but at least you will come clean. We all learn from our mistakes; never ever go out with a married man!
      As for judging you LADY YOU CAME TO THE WRONG FORUM MOST OF US HAVE BEEN FUCKED OVER BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU

    • Hi Wendy.
      I completely agree with Chump Lady regarding your situation. You clearly already knew he was a scumbag. A cheat. A liar. A user. A manipulator. A true narcissist. Yet, you made the active choice to get involved with this jackass KNOWING he was married AND screwing other women as well. You taking an active role in the cheating is deplorable and despicable. Based on his LONG history of treating women like shit, why would he treat YOU any differently????
      Please for your well-being, love yourself enough to walk away and stay away from this loser and any loser that does not value the meaning of the words “respect” and “commitment”. Establish boundaries for yourself. Stop giving away your power to another person. All of us chumps at ChumpLady have been deeply traumatized and affected by cheaters. We are all on a journey toward healing. And it is a rough road. Some never recover. Since you are an OW, we do not sympathize with your stupid choices… You ordered the shit sandwich, you eat it.. Does it taste like shit??? Of course it does. It’s shit. And so are the consequences. For everyone involved. For the people who have been betrayed??? A true and brutal injustice because we took NO ACTIVE role and we and our children are hit the hardest. Take responsibility.
      My hope for you is that you work on yourself emotionally and mentally so you get healthy. Hold out for a man–a real man– that will reciprocate the healthy love you give. Learn from this horrible experience and walk the moral, charactered path. It will serve you, and most importantly, others well someday. The first step is to tell his wife the truth. NOT for you, for her. She has been married to a monster and does not even know it!!!

      • Thank you so much rose for ur advice.I really appreciate it.it is something I completely regret and am totally repentant.believe it or not I tried so many times to end it-he would never ever leave me alone.always messing with my mind.but u are so ritee-i take full responsibilty for my part in this.I was always so remorseful.but I honestly feel that telling the wife would be too traumatic for her.if God wants her to find out she will rite?like how I eventually saw him for who he really is.I have never spoken to this ass again even tho he has tried numerous times to contact me.u are rite-i value myself.

        • Of course it is going to be traumatic for her!!!!!! You were banging HER husband for five years!
          God has no part in this, Wendy. You do. It is not His job to deal with the consequences iof your actions. This poor woman’s husband robbed the bank and you drove the getaway car… You took an active role in committing the crime, you take an active role in paying for the crime that you are responsible for. You definitely need to make amends.
          Be prepared for the con man to turn it all on you. Be prepared for the wife to despise you with every fiber of her being. Yet, she needs to know. It is HER RIGHT.
          Cheaters will mindfuck to get what they want. Mindfuck spouse/SO, mindfuck OP. that is why I say establish these boundaries for yourself. When I found out my husband was in a three year affair, I went into SEVERE state of shock. Thankfully I loved myself and valued myself and my daughter too much to be emotionally abused with his lies, cheating, and sickness any longer. I gave him time to reconcile. All in vain as he continued to stuff his fat face with cake. So I chose me and daughter. His wife must know the truth so she can make an informed decision for herself and her unborn child. It isn’t about you and your feelings. Only hers.
          You mentioned you eventually saw who him for he is… Take ownership. You knew what he was all about BEFORE you had the five year crap affair. And you STILL went for the creep. His wife???? No clue whatsoever. Cheaters should not be enabled. Ever. They will continue to cheat, lie, and steal from their families because they deal with no consequences. Time to pay the piper pal. Same goes for you.
          Do what is right by his wife. Let her know the truth. And move on with your life, in a healthy direction. Away from any married person. Good luck Wendy.

          • I feel soo terrible.the guilt is unbearable and no I never ever want to get him away from his wife so that he can be with me.I’m genuinely sincere in saying I’m truly sorry.truly.he also strung me along always saying he is unhappy.he is leaving his sitiation but u rite he’s a con man and I entertained his bullshit.please give me a break.I’m the only ow who has come on repenting so much and am soo unterly sorry.people sometimes make bad choices but they deserve forgiveness if they admit there mistake and go forward on the rite path.

          • Well, then call his wife and make restitution. Maybe pay for her counseling and meds etc. pay for a cruise or a Harley. make some tangible restitution.
            What good does it do his wife that you feel guilty?

        • Someone not leaving you alone is not an excuse. You’re not 12 and it’s not all that hard to just keep repeating ‘please stay out of my life’ if he contacts you. Grow up, grow a pair, stand your ground. If you actually want to.

          As far as the wife, tell her. It’s very simple: she deserves to know. What she does with that knowledge is not your business.

      • Can we, really, make a meaningful distinction between Wendy and her married man? If he is a monster, isn’t she, as well?

        • Wendy,
          Forgiveness is something that it is not always possible to give. Being sorry does nothing to erase the horrible damage you’ve created. Some hurts run too deep. If forgiveness is given, it is up to the person to choose to do so. And not in the ways the offender wants it. It could be in the form of cold indifference. That should not determine whether or not you finally walk the charactered path. There is a difference between “feeling guilty” term for being crippled with self pity. And having true remorse to better yourself and make amends for a tragic situation that you participated in for quite a long time. The former is still about you. The latter is about changing yourself to become a person of depth of character. It is not too late.
          Everything he told you is all part of the unoriginal cheater’s play book. You think he never had sex with his wife for the 5 years he was using you? Hello!!!!!! That is all part if the mindfucking, Wendy. He will tell you whatever it takes to keep you in his pocket.
          I agree w Arnold. Feeling guilty does NOTHING to help his wife. Take a proactive.role in making amends, will.
          Make a promise to yourself to do right by others always. You won’t regret it.

          • Wendy:

            Arnold makes a few excellent points.

            Make restitution to this women as he suggested.

            The bottom line is you KNEW THIS MAN WAS MARRIED, and you knew he had a reputation as a cheater.

            Yet, you still got involved with him. He wasn’t playing you. You knew who he was. He was a cheater.

            The minute a married man asks a woman on a date or a married woman goes on a date the affair partner knows they are dealing with a cheater and hurting the cheaters spouse. It’s a no brainer…..or er maybe that’s the problem the brains aren’t involved in affairs.

            This cheater never played you. He immediately showed you his true colors. The poor wife was the one he was playing because she likely thought he was a good, loyal, honorable man.

            With that said, I do commend you for expressing your remorse. The problem is as Chump lady said, you need to own your responsibility in hurting the wife, before your regret and remorse sounds authentic.

            You are blaming the OM. He was wrong, but so were you.

            And as far as not taking vows as the husband did…..well, do we need to take vows to feel responsible for the pain we have inflicted on an innocent party?

            No we don’t and making restitution is one way to prove you are willing to inflict some pain on your wallet in order to try to help heal the emotional pain you inflicted on an loyal but clueless wife.

        • Well, actually, he’s the one who made the vow to the wife. Now, I know, the other person is a jerk for having an affair, but really, the one who needs to make resitution is the husband for cheating. He’s the one breaking the contract.

          I mean, can someone be held responsible for a contract being broken if they never signed the contract themselves? In other words, if I influenced someone to break a contract (not a marriage contract, but some other business contract), could I be held legally responsible for the contract being broken if I did not sign on the original contract? I honestly do not know the answer to that question.

          • We aren’t talking legal here we are talking ethical. Is Wendy a monster hard to say but does she hold some moral responsiblity. She knew he was married yet she willingly went along with his game.

          • Hi Kristina and Janet!
            I agree that the cheater broke the marital vows through and through. He is ultimately responsible for the betrayal(s).
            However in the moral and ethical sense the OP is also a responsible party (if they participate in the affair while knowing the other is taken/married… term for these OW/OM is partner poachers) and should hold themselves accountable as well if they are truly repentant. Make amends. Seek help to get emotionally and mentally healthy so the cycle breaks. Learn from mistakes made.

          • Yeah, you could, Kristina. I think it is either a tort, something like tortuous interference or contractual interference. Also the old “alienation of etc ” deal in some states or intentional infliction etc torts.
            But, in any case, do we, as humans, really need a contract in place in order to have an obligation to not hurt others/
            If the guy ahead of me drops his wallet, don’t Ihave some type of obligation to return it to him, morally? Or, can I pocket it, as I have no relationship with him?

        • Wendy –

          She probably will not forgive you… you didn’t care about her feelings when you were sleeping with her husband so why should she care about your feelings now?

          She will, however, feel much more betrayed by her husband than by you, because her husband is the one that she trusted to never betray her. So, she probably won’t blame you as much, but you might actually be easier for her to “hate” and she has even less reason to try to “forgive” you because you are not a part of her life. In general, at least in my case, I don’t really think about the OW that much at all. Her actions piss me off a lot less than those of my STBX husband. Thinking about her is not really even worth my time anymore. I guess I’m much more close to “meh” with her than my STBX. But then, I still have to have contact with him bc of the kids.

          If you choose to tell her, it will be better for her in the long run to know this about her husband, but don’t expect her to thank you for it. And don’t expect to have a clue about what she’s feeling or for her to ever feel sorry for you. You knew what you were doing, just like her husband did. And your “guilt” is nothing compared to the insane trauma she will be going through once she finds out, so to even really think about yourself in the situation is ridiculous. She’s the one that is pregnant with her cheating asshole husband’s baby. She’s the one that has been lied to and betrayed by the person she has devoted years to and trusted the most in the world.

          For you, I would say to get as far from this guy as possible, seek therapy to figure out how your morals got so jacked up and why you entered into this in the first place. Learn from it so you don’t do it again.

  • Stephanie, as usual, you have hit it on the head.
    When i started getting a feeling that everything was not right, i started questioning him.

    After a while, he turned it around as if i was the one putting pressure on him to finalise the divorce.

    All that i was asking for was clarity that in case the divorce , which he told me was happening with mutual consent, was not possible then i should know beacause i would then want out.

    Stupid me, even went as far as telling him that even if he has changed his mind about the divorce, not to fear any reprisal from me , as in i wouldnt rat on him to his wife.I would just leave.
    But i had a right to know because i was through with being in limbo.

    His reaction to that…next morning he flew down to be with me..went down on his knees..read out marriage vows and gave me a ring to wear around my neck.Cried and howled and made me promise that i would never leave him.

    Afew more months down the line when there was delay in replying to my texts, my calls were not taken right away etc etc i again asked him.He said his teenage daughter had now decided to come live with him.EVen then when i questioned him sensing something was off he gradually made it out as if i was resentful of his daughter and was annoyed at him because his daughters presence was constraining us.

    That was an absolute lie but everytime i questioned him he brought his daughter into the equation and guilted me so much that i hesitated questioning him.

    CL, you talk about how these fuckers pit the wife and the women against each other in a pick me dance..this fuckhead didnt dare to do that with me vis a vis his wife because he knew i never ever felt competitive aginst other women,but did it with his daughter because he knew my soft spot as a parent and how i always had and would put a child’s interest ahead of mine.
    I eventually had to get into his mailbox to get to the truth.

    I investigated him thoroughly and while i was googling him his daughters name came up on the google page with her facebook account.If you might have observed in the URL your e mail id is shown.His teenage daughter had “cuteass” as her id.

    I was shocked beyond words and when i confronted him with all his gory details i brought to his attention this e mail id (at the beginning of our relationship he had told me he wanted me to raise his daughter because his wife was a lousy mother..yeah yeah..i used to think of his daughter as mine).

    Guess what , he turns around and blames me for the email id ..i asked him how so..he tells me i must have used some male id to entrap his daughter and get her into chatting and influenced her to make that id..yeah , GO FIGURE.

    He held me ..me who has never ever met his daughter..responsible for all tghe midnight texting , midnight calls to 5 or 6 boys that his daugher was doing.

    The same daughter, with whom , at the beginning of our relationship , he had asked me to communicate as him using his mail id.

    I had refused point blank that will not do that.He requested me, saying he wanted me to talk about life and various other things with his daughter since he hated what her mother was doing to her.

    I of course plainly refused.

    Beyond insanity , this.

    Hence my screen name, post NC.

    • Sanity Regained

      When your cheater behave in this way” “His reaction to that…next morning he flew down to be with me..went down on his knees..read out marriage vows and gave me a ring to wear around my neck.Cried and howled and made me promise that i would never leave him.”

      You should have put on your runnin’ shoes an run like the wind.

      Well, okay, you got conned, but next time you know better.

      • Sara you are absolutely right, that he was a world class con artist is not the issue here.

        The issue is how I let myself get conned.

        I hold two higher degrees , have made it into a national honors list, highly reputed in my work, make an hefty amount of money, known to be very perceptive sharp rational and balanced and here I got taken in by the age old pre historic commonest con..the divorcing my wife bullshit.

        I am well past and over him ,took me a while to wrap my head around what I discovered and what he had portrayed himself to be but I am.

        Yet am online and here because I am trying to find and plug in my weakness. I realized that these pyschologists are of not much help..nowhere near what .
        CL and the rest of you have done for me.

        My doc wanted to put me on anti depressants etc etc since then I was on the verge of a breakdown and traumatized and in shock but what I needed was truth and being told it as it is.

        I get it here and listening to you guys brings into focus all my weaknesses .

        This site heals and strengthens.

        Thanks Sara and nord and steph and Arnold and all if you here.

        CL , you are amazing and I owe you one.

        God Bless

        • SR, you are so right. There is so much crap out there. All we want is the truth. Sometimes it’s hard to find. It wasn’t until months later and I got proper access to my ex iPhone that I viewed all the emails and text messages. Dead set I can show an email showing how sorry she is and I love you and don’t know what I’m doing and then 5 minutes later an email to HIM saying darling I love you beyond words and you are my future.
          The truth sets us free. I feel for those that don’t always find the truth because they are left to ponder. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you have. If you truely love someone and respect them you expect it in return.
          And some of the most intelligent and people you think have integrity like our exes turn out to be the dumbest most stupid people we have ever met. Good luck.

        • Sanity Regained:

          The most intelligent person in the world can not compete with the craftiness of a sociopath or a psychopath, and most con men fit into that category.

          You are intelligent, Sanity regained, but you are not a socio or psychopath and thus you just can not think the way these people do.

          I was conned by my own husband. I could never lie to him the way he lied to me.

          In fact, I really can’t lie very well at all. My face gets red, I fidget, I look down. I hate telling a lie, unless it’s a white lie like oh yes, that new hair cut looks really good on you. I am good at white lies that preserve someone’s feelings or dignity but I can’t lie about my own actions.

          My mother used to tease me about that saying she knew instantly when I was telling a fib, but my brothers, it took her a while longer to figure them out because they were better at telling fibs.

          Anyway, my point is you likely don’t lie so you have difficulty believing someone you chose to love, can lie to you so easily

          • That is true, Sara. Life without a conscience would be very easy. I could walk through my office and, easily, steal purses and wallets. Nothing smart about it. We all forgo alltypes of dishonest opportunities every day.
            Sociopaths are no brighter than the average person. They just are not constrained by a conscience and have no hesitation in availing themselves of what is available to all of us.

  • I actually pinned something to the top of my FB wall because I was so irritated and frustrated with the “grow from love” bullshit crowd.

    When someone can explain to me what –exactly–I’m supposed to learn, what exactly is edifying about getting my ribs cracked or my mind fucked during sex— then we can open a genuine conversation about forgiveness.

    Personally, I have no intention of ever forgiving the fucker. He’s a piece of shit. He actually believes he’s a werewolf. He actually believes its okay to use this belief to threaten to kill people.

    The mind fuck is legendary.

    Mental Health professionals have told me Lifetime would have to redact my story to make it believable.

    Forgive him? No.

    Pity him? Absolutely. Save him? Fuck him. He’s a grown man, under the terms of the law. Let him save himself.

    • Yeah, my therapist has shaken her head in amazement more times than I can count as my story has unfolded. She pegged him as an N fairly quickly and even though she saw it clearly she also cannot believe some of the stuff he has done…and continues to do. And this is a woman who has been treating patients for 25 years. Scary when we shock the professionals, eh?

      • Both marriage counselors privately encouraged me to leave him.

        Yes, there were multiple marriage counselors. The first one kept calling his bullshit, so he decided they weren’t clicking.

        The second one used to be his individual therapist—P gave full disclosure up front.

        He also encouraged me to get out.

        My personal therapist B has told me if I filed police reports when these events were occurring, no guardian ad litem on the planet would agree to joint custody, even if I was willing.

        But because of the mind fuck, I’m stuck parallel parenting—which the mediator has flat out told my “Andy” is the best he’s going to get in this lifetime. And he’s the one who insisted on mediation.

        It was kinda beautiful.

  • Who writes your headlines, CL? While you certainly don’t hold back in terms of holding cheaters accountable for their narcissistic bullshit, the actual action steps listed in the piece were far from revenge-driven.

    When people think of “How to Get Revenge on a Cheater”, as stated in the HuffPost headline, they usually think of one (or both) of the following:

    1) Breaking, Smashing, Destroying: As heard in the Carrie Underwood song “Before He Cheats”.

    2) $pend! $pend! $pend: As heard in the Blu Cantrell song “Hit ‘Em Up Style”. You basically take the cheater’s credit cards and go buck wild.

    But the action steps in your article were far more grounded in “meh” than anything even remotely resembling vengeance. Indifference, Living Well and No Contact are adult ways of healing from a relationship destroyed by cheating.

    HuffPost Commenters seem to have skipped the actual article and commented based on the headline. Or they simply don’t want to hear that It’s Over and Move On. I get it. So many of us have been caught in that pattern of trying to Fix It and Re-Fix It.
    Who writes your headlines, CL? While you certainly don’t hold back in terms of holding cheaters accountable for their narcissistic bullshit, the actual action steps listed in the piece were far from revenge-driven.

    When people think of “How to Get Revenge on a Cheater”, as stated in the HuffPost headline, they usually think of one (or both) of the following:

    1) Breaking, Smashing, Destroying: As heard in the Carrie Underwood song “Before He Cheats”.

    2) $pend! $pend! $pend: As heard in the Blu Cantrell song “Hit ‘Em Up Style”. You basically take the cheater’s credit cards and go buck wild.

    But the action steps in your article were far more grounded in “meh” than anything even remotely resembling vengeance. Indifference, Living Well and No Contact are adult ways of healing from a relationship destroyed by cheating.

    HuffPost Commenters seem to have skipped the actual article and commented based on the headline. Or they simply don’t want to hear that It’s Over and Move On. I get it. So many of us have been caught in that pattern of trying to Fix It and Re-Fix It.

    • Wooops! Looks like I double posted within a double comment!

      Gotta love Monday mornings! Go ahead and delete this one, CL. The comment as it was originally intended is below.. :-p

  • Who writes your headlines, CL? While you certainly don’t hold back in terms of holding cheaters accountable for their narcissistic bullshit, the actual action steps listed in the piece were far from revenge-driven.

    When people think of “How to Get Revenge on a Cheater”, as stated in the HuffPost headline, they usually think of one (or both) of the following:

    1) Breaking, Smashing, Destroying: As heard in the Carrie Underwood song “Before He Cheats”.

    2) $pend! $pend! $pend: As heard in the Blu Cantrell song “Hit ‘Em Up Style”. You basically take the cheater’s credit cards and go buck wild.

    But the action steps in your article were far more grounded in “meh” than anything even remotely resembling vengeance. Indifference, Living Well and No Contact are adult ways of healing from a relationship destroyed by cheating.

    HuffPost Commenters seem to have skipped the actual article and commented based on the headline. Or they simply don’t want to hear that It’s Over and Move On. I get it. So many of us have been caught in that pattern of trying to Fix It and Re-Fix It.

  • I think that it boils down to people not really understanding who they are and/or believing in their own choices. These people, who get frantic and want to repeat over and over: “It is only through forgiveness that you can really move on…” after reading Tracy’s articles, seem very insecure to me.

    Look, if you’re happy with the way that you’re healing, if you are happy with the person you are, if you are truly self aware, then you don’t have to self-define AGAINST anyone else’s position. Do you know what I mean? If I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, I don’t have to try to convince others to do things my way or try to be clever clever and point out to others why they are wrong and I’m right. I just do things my way and not worry about it. Also, I don’t get offended if I see someone giving advice that maybe does not gel with my stance. Or, probably more correctly, I may get offended but I don’t feel compelled to go in and say: “No no no, you’re wrong!! You (and everyone else) really should do things MY way.”

    Because all that means to me is that I’m looking for company in my position, which means I’m looking for others to bolster it, which means I’m not really all that comfortable with my position and I’m seeking rationalization/justification for what I’m doing.

    CL, anytime you see someone take some kind of hard-line stance of “there must be something wrong with you, especially your hair, if you are giving THAT kind of advice” just know that they are people who aren’t quite sure that they are doing the right thing in their own life. Actually, hahaha, they are probably seeing their shadow in your words (Jungian shadow, I mean) and they are rebelling against the stuff they repress in themselves. In other words: they only WISH they could show their anger/emotion/disgust the way you can, but they fear being as fruit forward with it as you are. So they attack your hairstyle.

    That’s not self-hood, that’s an ego-driven mess of a person who is toeing some line that they think must be maintained in order to be “good” boys and girls.

    And for what it is worth — I really do kind of fall down on the side of: transcendence comes not from forgivness but from forgetting. There’s “meh” of course. But “meh” is still a reaction to the thought of the hurt (whatever kind of hurt it is — betrayal, heartbreak, a bad relationship with a parent, whatever). Forgetting is where it is at, man. I don’t want to even have the thought that elicits “meh”. haha. But of course “meh” is better, in my mind, than blind rage and fantasies of revenge or whatever. However, I do recognize that the way to get to “meh” and eventually the bliss of a spotless mind is sometimes right through the valley of rage. So: rage on, those of you on that portion of the path!! Do what you need to do to be happy and healthy.

  • ABOUT GETTING ANGRY. AS A WOMAN MOST OF US HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO BE GOOD AND NOT GET MAD. IN MY OWN CASE GETTING MAD USUALLY MEANT HE HAD GOTTEN THE UPPER HAND. I HAVE TO THANK CHUMP LADY FOR SORT OF NUDGING MY ANGRY TO THE SURFACE. I HAVE BEEN SNARKY TO HIM WHEN APPROPRIATE; LINING UP MY DUCKS SO WHEN I GET GOOD AND READY HE WON’T KNOW WHAT HIT HIM. AND I WON’T FEEL BAD IF HE RUINS THE LIFE WE HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO ACHIEVE. BOO HOO!! TOO FUCKING BAD!

    • Janet:

      You are doing the right thing. Take your time, get your ducks all lined up perfectly and ready to go, then you got a running start in your take off.

      Blind side him, with your well thought out departure, just like his cheating blind sided you.

  • CHUMP LADY, I LIKE YOUR HAIR. MINE IS PERFECTLY STRAIGHT AND EVEN AFTER MOUSSE AND BLOW DRYING ETC… IT STILL HAS NO STYLE. I WANT CURLY FRIZZY HAIR!

  • You know, I have to say, this posting has brought a lot of strange eggs out of the woodwork, hasn’t it?

    Entertaining reading on a Monday.

  • You know, the “you have to forgive to move on/heal” crowd sucks. There I said it. Talk about prolonging the healing process. I listened to this bullshit on SI (especially one person on the LTA forum) thump their chest about forgiving and needing to forgive. They would stand up on their virual (internet) soapbox and proclaim forgivness is the only way to heal from this horrific act our cheating spouces played upon us…. They were fucking wrong. What is worse is they proclaimed this particularly evil kind of fucked up from the position of having been healed themselves. Thus they had credibility. Now 3.5 years later I am of the opinion that states “are you fucking kidding me?” I let myself get duped by theses fuckers and sabotaged my own healing. I didn’t start healing until I let my anger roll, embraced it and figuered it out. Because I’m still in R with my Unicorn wife It is different in the way I show it. That said however, if I happen to be on the ice during one of my hockey games my opponent may not be so fortunate .

  • This is my first post. Chump lady, your site is so refreshing. I am tired of being told that the most painful thing that ever happened to me is “no big deal”.

    As far as forgiveness goes, I ate numerous s*** sandwiches while trying to hang on to my marriage. Should I be “civilized” and be “friends” with my ex so I can give him more ego kibbles and eat EVEN MORE s*** sandwiches? No thanks!!!

    With friends like my ex, I don’t need enemies!

    • Wendy,
      You made these terrible choices willingly and with full knowledge, the wife deserves to know what a horrible, cheating, ass-hole she married! His comments about their marriage reflect his self centered, narcistic attitude, you and he have engaged in betrayals to her on so many levels–you knew what you were getting involved with and you moved forward, I see you blameshifting him for manipulating you–but you knew all along what he was.

      Wendy you are guilty of betraying your own sex by not staying away from this situation– good God, have some backbone, when you know you are doing something wrong, something that will be damaging to another person, take ownership and say NO. You are responsible for letting all of this happen his sick, depraved lunacy to commit serial adultery throughout their relationship was not a warning flag it was a MAC TRUCK bearing down and you and yet you engaged with him in this and the ultimate insult and contempt for their marriage by boinking in the wife’s home and defiling their marriage bed!

      To being to take the right course of behavior you must tell the wife. She deserves to know all of his betrayals so she can make her own choices based on the truth. It is far better for her to find out the truth and leave her husband before the baby comes into the world so that separated parents is the norm for the child, rather than later finding out after devoting years of her life to this bottom feeding walking std neanderthal.

      To being to make amends you must disclose…everything! It will be devastating for her, but I in her place (and my story is not so different from the wife’s) would rather know as soon as possible before spending years dutifully supporting a wayward spouse….and wasting years of my youth on a man and marriage that was all an illusion. Believe me, it was far worse to find out years later than had I found out prior to bringing children into the world; spending decades in a marriage that all of my energies were focused on for a lifetime commitment–only to find out the commitment was one-sided.

      • I too was in a marriage that I was fully committed to and my STBX was a serial cheater. Although I wish I had found out years ago and didn’t waste my youth and throw away my career for him I AM glad I finally know, because now, no matter what happens, I’m no longer with a man who thinks it’s perfectly ok to screw around with impunity and simply does not understand – or refuses to understand – the unbelievable shock it gave me when I found out and that yes, I thought it was wrong.

        Wendy, you’ve done wrong. Make it right. Tell the wife and then get yourself into therapy to find out why you would allow yourself to not only knowingly accept such a loser into your life but why you would hurt another woman and a family this way.

        I had no idea my husband was a serial cheater. If I had known I would have walked years ago. You knew yet you continued with him. No excuse such as ‘he just wouldn’t leave me alone’ absolves you of your responsibility. You’re a grownup and thus must take ownership of your choices and actions. Good luck.

  • Arnold,

    I know, when I get worked up about what I read my logic for sentence structure flies out the window. I guess I will remain more level headed when cheaters start having to pay some type of sin tax to society.

  • I don’t know about anyone else but I would do whatever the f*ck i needed to do if it meant that I could heal and move on with my life. But the reality is that there is no magic pill that cures everyone. For some people, it may be anger, for some it may be forgiveness and for others it may be eating bananas on wednesdays. Bottom line is that if you have been cheated on, you know how shitty it feels and so you should make anyone feel worse about how they choose to proceed by being judgmental.

    • Pearl,

      I think most of us are responding to those who preach forgiveness regardless of the circumstances.

      There’s some really shitty shaming in some of the online communitites:

      “You have to forgive the broken bones. You have to forgive the sexual abuse. You’re always going to be angry and bitter and alone and when you die you’ll be eaten by your 30-something cats if you don’t forgive. ”

      I can only speak to my experience, but some of the shit people do really, really should not be forgiven. I’ve even had a court mediator in a VERY pro-father’s rights state tell my ex that he needs to accept we are parallel parenting for years.

      I’m not angry that my husband decided he was entitled to have online affairs and start dating when our daughter was 6 MONTHS old. I’m angry that he decided it was okay to deceive me and steal from me until our daughter was 6 YEARS old before he decided to tell the truth.

      I’m angry that he still puts all of the blame on me even though he’s the one who refused to put the truth on the table and talk to me for 5 YEARS. I’m angry that he exposed me to STDs and got pissy at me for wanting him to get tested even though he wanted to come back home. I’m angry that he threatened to kill himself where our 6 year old could hear him–repeatedly–over the course of a summer.

      I’m angry that my daughter still clings to me in fear after spending a week with her father.

      I’m not angry that he felt entitled to have multiple girlfriends in our bed. I’m angry he didn’t do me the courtsey of letting me decide if I wanted an open marriage or an open divorce.

      When someone explains to me exactly what is edifying about the experience of getting bones broken during sex, then I’ll start thinking about forgiveness. Until then, the online shaming community can take a flying leap for all I care.

      • I think you and I are on the same page but I am not as articulate. My point was people who preach “forgiveness” know how shitty it is to be cheated on. Knowing that they shouldn’t point fingers at someone who can’t or won’t for whatever reason. I say do what makes you feel better. The operative word being “you”. No one can tell u what you need to do to get on with your life

  • Yes, it really pisses folks off when these cheaters are remorsless. Who the hell forgives someone who is not sorry? Makes no sense to me.
    Where on erht did they come up with these strange ideas about anger consuming one etc. There is no factual basis for that. I am happy as a clam, but still hate my XWs.It is not a problem at all, and is rather fun. My kids are fine. My life is good. All that stuff.
    I have no idea where these folks get these strange ideas.

    • Arnold, you have struck on something here. The thing is, these people are remorseless, many of them, even the ones who say they are sorry, etc. So ultimately, they do not care whether they are forgiven or not. Likewise, though it may niggle at their egos to think that someone despises them and wishes them ill, they ultimately do not really care about that either because at least they are still the center of someone’s attention. They are a waste of time, in any capacity. It is just so much better to put the focus on oneself and moving forward, with or without forgiveness, it really doesnt matter, because that is where the investment in that time and energy really pays off.

      • I agree, completely. I just live my life, Kristina. But, I do have tucked away in the back of my mind, unbeknownst to the cheaters, a willingness to exact revenge if the opportunity presents itself.
        I don’t ruminate about it , and it is well removed from my daily thoughts. But, say for example, I happened upon my XW having capsized a boat, drowning etc., I might just go on my merry way and not lift a finger to help her. Nothing illegal about it.
        I know, that sounds perverse, heartless etc. It may well be(actually probable) that I could not bring myself to act this way. But, maybe something a little less consequential, not sure what.
        Maybe having told my kids about what she did was enough.

  • Hi, my first time commenting on CL’s site. I appear to be one of the few BS’s who is experiencing a true reconciliation. My H of 39 years decided to get some ‘strange’ on the side several years ago. No emotions involved, just some sex (and tickling) on the side. I discovered his affair by viewing a downloaded video of him and his fuckbuddy having sex and tickling. He had posted it on the ‘tickling’ website.

    I confronted him that same evening. He sent off an email to the OW, and has been NC for over 16 months now. He also went cold turkey on visiting any porn sites. He answered all my questions and we’ve even delved into ‘why’ this happened. We’ve agreed that we definitely needed more communication in our marriage. He traveled a lot for business (which gave him opportunities), but he said he would rather have me with him. I realized that I have a husband who really does want to do things WITH me, so now I go on trips with him. He is semi-retired so we are finding more things to do together – bowling, paint-by number painting, puzzles, hiking etc. We really are each other’s best friend.

    He is truly repentant and every time something comes up that ‘triggers’ me, we talk about it and he again tells me how sorry he is to have hurt me.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I had an affair myself 32 years ago. My husband found out, I quit my job the next day (affair was with my co-manager) and never spoke with AP again. This was back in the Ann Landers period of “Confess it, (no details), forgive it, and never speak of it again.”

    It is possible to pick up the pieces and go on, but both persons have to really want it. I was too hard-headed to throw away 38 years if he was truly willing to do the work required to mend our marriage. So far it’s been worth it.

    • Well if it works for you, I’m happy for you. You probably have a much more forgiving disposition as (doing the math) it seems you cheated first 32 years ago into that 38 year relationship? Or maybe not? Do you think this was your husband’s first rodeo, as a guy who travels a lot for work and is “out there” enough to post a video? In any case, if you both want it and he’s repentant, more power to you.

      Many people here don’t get repentance, or they get fake repentance and more cheating. Or just callous indifference. There’s just not a lot to work with.

      Welcome to CL momcat!

      • CL, I thought the same thing: Not this guy’s first go around; especially if he’s posting videos about it. That’s no newbie to the world of cheating.

        But it sounds like Momcat is happy enough to play mumsy and follow her husband around on his business trips in order to help him maintain those tricky boundaries in the face of endless opportunity. The post-infidelity is such a wonderful opportunity to do more for the people who have betrayed us.

        • Kristina:

          I am thinking this guy posted the video because he was a serial revenge affair cheater who wanted to get caught in order to show his cheating wife that he too can get some strange any time he wants it.

          But I am not as cynical as you. I am thinking that maybe now the husband and she can both get along, if they both watch each other’s boundaries.

          She is doing more for him, and he is doing more for her.

          So, it might work.

          I have heard of a handful of relationships actually improving immensely after the loyal spouse had a revenge affair.

          I really do think that being the victim of a cheater is the only way for a cheating spouse to understand the pain, the doubt and the paranoia it instills in the spouse.

          I wasn’t ready to become a cheater though to show my cheater how painful it was.

          But I do think in some cases it may work out well.

          • Sara I see what you’re saying. I’m sure he did want to get caught. He sounds like an exhibitionist. A ticklish one, at that!

            I personally don’t think that a revenge affair evens out the balance sheet. I think it is just an additional signal that the couple is living in a horrible karmic cycle that they should get the heck out of.

            You said: “I am thinking that maybe now the husband and she can both get along, if they both watch each other’s boundaries.” I don’t know, as I’m reading that it seems to me to be a not-great way to live, frankly. It would definitely not be for me, though maybe it works for others. The thing is, it is not my job to police another adult person’s boundaries. It is up to me to look after my own boundaries and trust that the person I’m involved with can manage his own. Because really, if someone came at me and tried to control me by telling me how I should police my boundaries, or tried to “help” me maintain my boundaries by checking in on me, that would be insufferable. I can’t stand that kind of codependency. If a man I’m with can’t trust himself, or I can’t trust him, to do behave respectfully of our relationship and of himself, then I’ll pass and let someone else mother him.

            Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you meant by “watching each other’s boundaries…”, though. I’m speed reading at work, so forgive me if I have misinterpreted.

            I guess I just have faith in the fact that there are other adults in the world who are able to look after themselves without me checking in to make sure they are behaving in a trustworthy way.

            With respect to revenge affairs: I think they are just as bad as original affairs. It is a lowering of one’s self-value just the same as the original cheater lowered his/her self-value by cheating. Cheating is a cowardly act and shows poor coping skills.

            But, you know, you are right. I know of a number of women who have been in long-term love affairs with men who are also cheating on their spouses, and these cheating women are former BSs and they feel absolutely entitled to have the affair and they do it because it makes their bad marriages tolerable to them, plus they feel very little guilt about it because the spouse they are cheating on cheated on them first. Err…. okay, that’s some fuzzy logic right there. But whatev. That’s a very real thing that is happening . I think those people ought to divorce, but of course they are staying together for all kinds of reasons, mostly money and “the kids”.

          • Kristina’s quote: “Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you meant by “watching each other’s boundaries…”, though. I’m speed reading at work, so forgive me if I have misinterpreted.”

            Yes I think you are. But not to worry, I am okay with that and like your posts.

            I agree with your opinions in concept. I mean seriously why should we have to tell someone that being alone with another person of the opposite sex is wrong. They should just know, right?

            Still, there are studies regarding “mate guarding” that suggest that suspicious, mildly possessive spouses are cheated on far less often than trusting easy going spouses.

            By boundaries I mean no more boy’s or girl’s night’s out, no more boy’s or girl’s only trips.

            I do think these BNO’s and GNO’s are shortsighted because it at the very least presents the opportunity for a one night stand and a one nighter is just as bad as an ongoing affair to my mind.

            I realize now I was far too easy going with my STBX. He was living like a single guy while I was living like a married woman.

            Someone mentioned at another site that boys/girl’s nights out and trips are a recipe for, at the very least, creating an emotional disconnectedness from each other.

            In retrospect, I agree too. I mean I used to think like you…..trust and it’s not worth it if I can’t trust…….but marriages need some boundaries, and the ones I mentioned are the boundaries I think need to be respected in a marriage.

            I mean seriously once you are out of your teens or 20s, why would a person even want to go out with just the boy’s or the girl’s, why not bring the spouse?

            For may part, I was never interested in going out or away without my spouse because I often got hit on, if I did, and it was somewhat annoying.

          • I’m surprised my husband didn’t just tell me to go and have one. I’ll bet he would have been fine with it if it meant we stayed together and he got to keep his money and kids.

            But what kind of fucked up existence would it be to be in a marriage where we would be doing that to each other? I could never live that way.

      • You are correct about this not being his ‘first rodeo’. He experimented a couple of times with one or two guys with tying each other up and tickling each other. Only mutual hand jobs with the other men. He also met 2 other women for tickling and sex before starting a long-term PA in 2011. He has been into tickling for a long time and followed videos and photos on a website for years. I think he finally just wanted to experience it on his own and he was too embarrassed to share his fetish with me. That’s part of the communication problem I referred to. Turns out I rather enjoy the tying up and tickling, although I don’t get as turned on as he.

        I really don’t think he had revenge on his mind, although it’s possible. Speaking as someone who had an affair, I can tell you that you just don’t think – PERIOD. Your conscience kicks in when you think too much about what you’re doing, and that’s no fun.

        Rather than thinking about our being together as “watching each other’s boundaries”, I think we’re both considering it time spent on improving our marriage and enjoying , really enjoying, being with the other person. There’s got to be many reasons we’ve lasted for 39 years, and not just financial or because of children. We truly do love each other. He proposed to me 18 days after we met, and we married a year and a half later. We didn’t have our daughters until we had been married over 12 years. We were both very hands-on parents – Girl Scouts, PTA, soccer, dance, etc, and we attended almost all their events together.

        The couple of years leading up to his long-term PA were rather rough. We made a cross-country move, I was in full-blown menopause, and he began having mild E-D which we both never acknowledged. I rejected his sexual advances because I was afraid he’s have erection problems again, and he felt that rejection, keenly. After D-day I screwed up my courage and told him to go see the doctor. Ah, Cialis, better living through chemistry.

        Thanks to everyone for their comments. I enjoy reading these posts. They help me know where I’ve been and where I’m going.

        Momcat

    • Momcat:

      I am really happy for you.

      I just want to remind you though that your husband affair or affairs were revenge affairs.

      IMO, a revenge affair is less painful because it is expected.

      Pyschologists say that a revenge affair is universally the first thought that pop into a betrayed spouses mind, because likely they have always had plenty of opportunity to get some exciting strange, but turned it down out of respect for the spouse.

      But I agree with CL and Kristina, I would really be surprised if this is his first rodeo given the fact that he was so shameless about posting on line.

    • Well, your having cheated and being accepted back into the marriage does change the analysis a lot. Essentially, you opened this door and had it coming, IMO.
      But, don’t you feel your H is a bit weird having posted the video on a website. He sounds a bit depraved.

      • Arnold – I guess I was lucky he waited over 25 years to have his revenge affair. I don’t consider posting the video as too depraved – no names or identities revealed. He has basically gone cold-turkey off the porn sites. He realized that was NOT the person he wanted to be. It was hard for me to trust again at first, but I decided I didn’t want to play I-spy for the rest of my life. I have quit checking up on his computer and am going for all-out trust in him again. If he could do it for me 32 years ago, I owe him the same.

        • Well, looks like the playing field is even , now, momcat. So, maybe you guys can be honest with each other from here on out.
          I really do not get the tickling, vidoe posting deal , replete with same sex handjobs. No judgement. Just seems a little bit out there.

        • MomCat5200

          I wish you well.

          Some people do reconcile and recover and the marriage is good, again.

          I am wishing that for you

  • Well, I’m new here but, I’m glad I found this site. My cake eater STBX wife duped me big. I love you but I’m not IN love with you bullshit. After 20 years of marriage, 4 kids. She runs around with 4 guys in 3 years. The last dumbass cheated on his wife who I befriended. Nice lady with moxy. My wifes father was supposed to be a devout Catholic who we found out had a 10 year affair and a lovechild. Infidelity is all over their family. They really have the cake eater lingo down pat in her family. I Almost bought into it but, then I left and blew her mind. Just waiting for my check when the divorce is over.

    Thanks,
    Chump Lady

    • You know, Tennis, I was just thinking to myself this morning that STBX’s entire family is like a nest of cheaters: him, his parents (they were the result of an affair) and his sister, whose current partner was living with another woman when she met – and fucked – him. It’s how they operate: always looking for something new and it seems if that something new is attached, all the better. Sick, eh?

      • Yes, my first wife’s parents were both cheaters. The Mom was doing a minister at a Big Lutheran Church here in MN. Decades later , the dad, a prominent surgeon, was caught doing the wife of the Swedish Ambassador to the US.
        I think my XW took note . Once , when she was single, she started fucking a guy that was here from Austria, on assignment to Control Data. She had no hesitation about introoducing him to her parents, and disclosing that he was married. She saw nothing wrong with it.
        Her dad’s sister was fucking her dog groomer behind her H’s back. Lots of cheating in the family.

        • I think I depends. My sister in laws husband was a serial cheater ad left his third wife for her mother. Seeing his dad’s behavior and its aftermath, he has vowed to be the opposite and really works hard at his marriage

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