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Dear Chump Lady, Any perspective for the other person?

Hi Chump Lady,

I have enjoyed reading your site, especially to find out more about narcissistic personalities.

I am single and I have been in an affair with a married woman for more than 3 years.  It would be interesting to read your analysis of the “3rd person” perspective. We are usually woman (I am a bit unusual, as well as stupid). We also get caught up in the endless cycle of neediness, lack of commitment, dishonesty, and intimacy avoidance. We also need help to get out of these relationships and the advice on “how to leave a cheater” applies just as much to us.

Thanks for listening.


Dear W,

Well W, at least you admit you’re stupid. That’s a start. If the advice you find on Chump Lady helps you get out of an affair, get your head screwed on straight (therapy, W, lots of therapy), and pointed in the direction of healthier future relationships — great. I truly mean that. If our stories here help cheaters not cheat, that is all to the good.

But W, you aren’t my intended audience and you’re never going to be. Sorry.

Your “chumpdom” is not the betrayed spouse’s chumpdom. And the surest way to piss off a betrayed spouse is to make it morally equivalent. You walked with your eyes wide open into the chasm of fuckupedness. You chose to involve yourself with a married woman. Real chumps don’t choose. This shit is inflicted on us. We’re duped. We’re tra-la-la-ing down the garden path of commitment, marriage, children, and real estate when BAM! the infidelity piano falls from the sky and flattens us.

We didn’t sign up. YOU did. That makes us very different.

Chumps are not actively hurting someone with their choices. They’re being hurt by other people’s choices — people like you, W, and your narcissist affair partner.

Now, I’ll agree with you that narcissists charm, flatter, and do their sparkly shit with affair partners just like they do spouses — absolutely! This is how cake is maintained. And they also want their affair partners to do the humiliating dance of “pick me!” — hey, the longer you dance, the more cake. But if you want me to feel sorry for you? Nope. Not gonna happen. You’re not a victim here. I know it must feel very unfair, the machinations and manipulations, the lack of attention from your married friend — but you’re a willing participant, and you must step away from the crazy.

I tell chumps this after they’ve discovered infidelity — okay, now you KNOW who this person is. Get away! And chumps have deep, powerful interests in remaining stuck — children, shared history, finances — considerations you don’t share. Your essential dilemma is you need a new person to fuck. One that’s single.

That’s very fixable — finding a single person to fuck. Getting your head together about why you would choose this dead-end, destructive relationship? That’s much harder work — work you should be devoting yourself to. (Self esteem, entitlement issues, your own narcissism…) I’d start with telling the husband and ending the affair. Followed up with some serious ass therapy. Everyone deserves a healthy, happy, reciprocal relationship. Even self-referencing “stupid” cheaters like you. But go earn it. Do right by the chump in your story and step away from his wife.

Best of luck.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • This. Is. Perfect. I needed this cold water dunking myself. I’ve considered myself a chump. Although it’s really very obvious that anyone who is the OW or OM isn’t a chump. In my head, I’ve made the claim, “If I had known who he really is, I never would’ve gotten involved with him emotionally” but I did know. There were several signs in the beginning that were red warning flags.

    There really only is one giant red flag that matters. They are MARRIED. This means off limits. That’s it. If a person is married and you become involved with them emotionally or physically it’s your choice.

    You want to believe they’re unhappy, trapped, but they need you and you make yourself available to be at their beck and call, it’s your choice.

    You want to believe you’re their true love, their soul mate, the one they’re really meant to be with, it’s your choice to believe that.

    But if any of that were true, they wouldn’t be married to someone else, they would be with you.

    You made the choice to get involved with this person. Now make the choice to get yourself uninvolved. In the words of the wise Yoda – “Do or do not. There is no try”
    or Nike, “Just Do It”

    There are no steps to ending an affair or as you said, “how to leave a cheater” it doesn’t apply in the same way as being married to one. You aren’t leaving a cheater, you were never really with them in the first place.

      • I agree with Chump lady.

        If the cheater was in love with their OW or OM, and if they really felt they were their one and only soulmate, they would promptly initiate a divorce, no matter how much the divorce would cost them.

        They don’t because they want cake, and they lack integrity.

        Both my ex husband and his OW did NOT want to divorce their loyal spouses.

        In fact some of the emails sent to me described how the OW would “wig” if her unsuspecting husband found out because she would lose her “nice liestyle”.

        • Thanks Sara8 – I wholeheartedly agree with CL and you on that one too! I mean how pathetic it is for the OW or OM to have their AP show up bags in hand because the BS kicked their ass out! You got them by default. How romantic! Bet that romance ends quick now that your stuck with the loser. Isn’t there a saying about that? Something like once you get the guy you’re no longer the OW somebody else is?

          This actually struck a memory for me. He told me a story of a friend of his. Also a principal who had an affair with a teacher. Both were married.

          Her H found out and called the school. He was fired. He left his wife, let her have everything, she divorced her H and they are now married. He said, “I asked him are you happy? He said, I guess but I didn’t want it to happen that way” Well of course the bastard didn’t want it to! How inconvenient to lose your job and all! Poor guy!

  • I’d also like to add that if you would like to heal from being in a relationship with someone you believe is NPD or a sociopath etc. there are many excellent online resources that focus on that issue alone. In my case I have a pattern of relationships with these types. Family, friendships and romantic relationships.

    You might want to look into that area specifically as well as seek therapy. But you won’t be able to look at yourself or your life clearly until you eliminate this person from your life completely.

  • If you really want to sleep with a married woman, head to a swingers website. There are couples looking for other couples or single men or single women to hook up with. You have this option. It is available to you. Leave behind the tangle of lies and have fun there.

  • I guess if anything, perhaps this gives YOU a look at the perspective of us chumps, “W.” I think sometimes OPs keep themselves sheltered from thinking about or observing the pain that they and the cheating spouse are inflicting. Here you can plainly see that even though your intentions may not be to hurt to your affair partner’s spouse, your actions are indeed doing just that. We are thinking, feeling, loving human beings – not just some mean, neglectful, unappreciative balls with chains.

  • Narcissism at its finest: Go to a website designed to support betrayeds, as an OW or OM, and start looking for support. Nice, not surprising,, I guess.

  • Nice.

    I’m going to apologize in advance for this entire post:

    W, you are slime. It starts with sleeping with a married person. But the cherry on the slime is you go to a forum specifically intended to support YOUR victim (yes, you are hurting this person as surely as if you were holding them down and helping someone rape them) and asking those people who have been destroyed by people just like you and your piece of ass on the side, and asking us to feel sorry for you.

    You are not the victim here. You are a slimeball, but you are not a victim. You made these choices. The chumps who are harmed by people who think its okay to sleep with someone else’s spouse were not allowed to make that choice. You made that choice FOR them–that is a control tactic, and you have NO right to make those choices for other people.

    If I sound angry & bitter, this was a nerve that did not need to be hit. Generally I am not bitter, though when I let myself think about my ex-husband’s cruelties, I do tend to get angry.

    He also played the victim card on a regular basis. W, grow up and grow a pair. If you are too much of a pussy to get your own woman, stop poaching on other people’s. As GG said, there are plenty of people interested in swinging out there. Competely open and aboveboard. That you would choose to sleep with someone in a committed relationship and help them shit all over their commitments, rather than one of those swinging relationships, makes me believe you get off on the fuckedupedness, rather than on sex.

    And that is sick and twisted, no matter who you are doing it with. For the sake of any children you might father, get some serious therapy now, so you don’t raise a son who thinks its okay to do this to his wife, or raise a daughter who goes looking for a husband who will do this to her, etc. Your actions destroy families, and the first one it will destroy is your own.

    I started off targeting the response to W. But the fact of the matter is, these statements are true of ALL cakeeaters. You are all slimeballs.

    • Blue eyes and bruises:

      I would like to second your post.

      Exactly, this person is not a victim, this OP is a perpetrator.

  • W
    I’m repeating all the posts you will read on this site so ill give you some advice from the heart. I’m living it.
    Does the married women have children?
    If she does you are destroying their lives. Not for today of a month. Forever. When they find out and mate trust me the chances of getting caught are high they will never never never ever form a proper relationship with you. You fuck families and they don’t want to know you.
    The married woman.
    If its for the sex good for you. But you are three years into this so I’ll assume you two are further down the track than just sex. You mate are in shit street right now you just don’t know what number. The longer you stay in shit street the harder this is going to get.
    Do you really want to be with a woman that cheats on her husband . If she tells you she’s unhappy and degrades her husband then why hasn’t she left him.
    At the moment she is cake eating. When this blows up and she leaves to be with you she will become like a leach. You will be her life support system. You will have to meet every one of her needs. Every single one of them. You better hope her husband doesn’t find out.
    He can tell your family , boss, friends , your competitors if you are in business., your church. In other words if you are prepared to walk stark naked down high street with loud speakers everywhere telling the world what an arsehole you have been then keep fucking her.
    I reckon though simply because you are here and written then you have had a holly shit moment and realised that you better start preparing to end this affair.
    If children are involved STOP. It’s that simple. STOP
    If no children then you need to analyse what you want from this relationship and talk honestly with the woman. Don’t forget she can’t be trusted. Don’t forget she has difficulty making commitments so even if you agree on a plan shes unreliable.
    W my ex wife is your married woman. She has destroyed so many relationships and lost some of the trust if her children and their friends. It’s simply not worth it.
    I thought she was the most trustworthy person in the world, loving, beautiful, full of integrity, passionate, giving, honest , and caring woman. I was wrong.
    Her life now is a mess. It’s full of contradictions , uncertainity, mistrust, fear and sadness.
    Go away ,find a quiet place and really think of the word consequence. Apply it to every thought and be really honest with yourself.
    Brother there are easier ways out there to achieve a loving and caring relationship

    • Dear CL,

      I am a recently divorced chump. My husband of 7 years leaved me for another woman . We have a six year old. I did nt want the divorce at the beginning. I am starting to heal now, after 9 months post DDay. Problem is I kind of became the OW ! I have a f..buddy type of relationship with a very younger man who happens to have a long term relationship with a girl of his age. Sometimes I feel terrible. But he helped me overcome my disgust for men. I wanted to end it but he wouldn’t leave. What do you think about it from a moral point of view? I AM going to leave him, just not yet. I know I healed much faster from my ex’s betrayal because of him. But I know I became like him haven’t I? Your site and this boy helped me overcome my chumpness.

      • Anna, you don’t feel so “terrible” that you haven’t ended it. How we act shows how we really think. You think your “need” of him as ego booster supersedes whatever commitment he made to his girlfriend. As you’ve been betrayed, you should have a special understanding of exactly how fucked up this is. Just because you’re wobbly and vulnerable from divorce doesn’t give you carte blanche to screw around and self medicate with other people.

        He’s taken. BAD choice. Time to make HEALTHY choices. Don’t date anyone until you get your head on straight. He’s NOT a good person, he’s a cheater. Exactly what you just got out of. You don’t “win” by being the OW. You lose. There’s this whole brave new world out there of relationships that aren’t cheater, OW, chump. That’s what you need to aim for — but be alone for awhile first. I think you need some down time from drama.

      • Didn’t we have a whole discussion on “what kind of chump becomes a cheater?”

        You slept with him to prove to yourself that you were desirable because your self esteem was hurt when you were cheated on. You kicked one unhealthy relationship and picked up another. You no longer have a cocaine problem, good. But controlling your cravings by replacing it with weed is not good. Go cold turkey and break yourself of your habit.

        • I know he is not a good person beside his young age. I know he is a cheater and I feel sad for his gf who I have a feeling he is going to marry. At the beginning it was just curiosity . How does it feel to be at the other side? Well it doesn’t feel good. You sometimes feel as a whore. I am going to end it. Any ideas if I can turn it to something helpful for this young boy? Although I just see him heading for disaster …

          • He’ll only be cured if he wants to be. Tell his poor girlfriend, give her all the proof, then block his number and walk away.

          • “How does it feel to be at the other side? Well it doesn’t feel good. You sometimes feel as a whore.”
            Anna, you feel as a whore because you are acting like a whore. End it ASAP. Tell this slimeball cheater’s girlfriend. Do not use the young boy terminology to excuse his asshole behavior. Save the girlfriend from a future with a complete tool. Tell her who he really is. And please get some good therapy. After being cheated on, how the HELL could you take it upon yourself to inflict that pain on someone else? Get healthy and for the love of Pete, do the right thing. By the girlfriend and for yourself.

          • Anna:

            Please don’t allow your cheating husband to allow you to feel like a whore.

            There are plenty of single men. Go forth and find one. You deserve a good man, not a cheater.

  • As LoT says, the only thing you need to know about a married person is that they’re MARRIED. That means there’s a huge “Private Property: No Trespassing” sign around their neck. Read the sign. Go the other direction. There are plenty of good, decent, single people out there–even single people in their 40s, 50s, 60s–even older! Some are widowed, others divorced. And if you really want to be in a relationship with a married person, but not be married to that person, yes, go to the swingers’ sites. There are people who want to be in more open relationships.

    I’m not one of those, and as everyone else here has said, this is not the place for OP to whine about how they’re trapped in a relationship with a liar and a cheat. No. You’re not trapped. There is absolutely nothing to bind you to that relationship. You don’t have kids. You’ve not given up a career or relegated yourself to lower-paid jobs so that you have time to take care of the house, your family. You don’t have a joint mortgage. If you break with your affair partner, you don’t face the loss of your automobile, retirement security.

    Are you emotionally tied? Then as CL says, there’s therapy. Get it. Some people are attracted to married people. My STBXH’s AP is one of those women. He’s not her first, and he won’t be her last.

    If she’s really unhappy in her marriage, then she needs to get a divorce. Stay away from her until she does. That means no contact.

    My STBXH’s OW regularly whines about how he treats her badly, how they’re soulmates, how he’s married to the wrong woman, etc. Of all those things, she’s right about two. Yes, he treats her badly, but that’s also because he treats her as he treats me. She complains he’s too busy for her. Well, he’s also too busy for me!

    He’s also married to the wrong woman. Why? Because the right woman would be okay with his cheating. I’m not. And every day, as I grow more confident in my future, I realize that it’s just going to be better without him.

    Look, the statistics show that cheating spouses don’t leave their marriages. This means that the OP is always playing second fiddle to the cake-eating cheater–just as the betrayed spouse is also playing second fiddle. If you’re involved with someone willing to cheat on their spouse, you bet that you’re not going to get a fair shake from them.

    You’re not going to get a lot of sympathy from those of us who are Betrayed Spouses. We didn’t ask for infidelity. We didn’t choose it. It was foisted upon us by narcissists who say they’re unfulfilled, that something’s missing, that we don’t understand.

    One day, I discovered that my STBXH was sending pictures of his genitals to the OW. Sexting, don’t you know. That night, he wanted me to give him a foot rub. His feet hurt terribly, and only I could help him.

    You bet I don’t understand.

    But that’s just because of the complete fuckedupness of the cheater.

    • I learned a lot. I learned how he is hiding not to protect his gf from hurt but to protect himself from the trouble. I learned how is it possible to be with someone in bed and yet answer the phone when your gf is calling! Call it an experiment. I am not proud of it. But it took me to another level . To come to see how EASY it is when the other person trusts you . Sad isn’t it? Now beat me out of it please!

      • Anna I was you just last year. My ex cheated and threw away three years to run off with a guy he had known for three weeks (yes, weeks). I was DEVASTATED beyond all comprehension.

        Sounds like you’re in the same boat I was in: 1) Self-worth in the toilet; 2) Totally numb to anybody else’s pain or problems except your own.

        In the midst of my self-destruction I sought out attention from any guy who would make me feel wanted in all the ways my ex made me feel unwanted. One or two of them had boyfriends.

        Did I give a shit? Nooo! Like you, I was in”Fuck It!” mode. The idea is: “Fuck it! The OP didn’t give a shit about MY relationship! Why should I give a shit about anybody else’s?”

        That’s what really going on here, isn’t it? Not only are you desperate for a painkiller of ANY kind (you’ve already copped to having a totally understandable disgust for men), you also wanted to see what it was like to be on the other side of the fence. You wanted to be a badass just like the woman your ex left you for, right?

        You’re only hurting yourself. You say you care about your taken bf, but you can’t help him. And you certainly can’t change him. THAT is probably the most twisted thing you could’ve said.

        You could block his number tomorrow and cut off ALL contact tomorrow. What do you think he’s going to do? Pine for you? Realize how much he truly loves his gf? Doubtful. If I know cheaters, he’s just going to replace you and find another side-piece. THAT’S what you mean to him.

        I understand what you’re going through but believe me when I tell you that you cannot even begin to heal as long as you’re hurting yourself like this. Yes, you’re single and can do whatever you want. But think of his gf. You’ve BEEN her. How did it feel to be her? How many nights did you lie awake with those nightmarish images of your husband being intimate with another woman behind your back, especially after you learned the truth?

        Most importantly, why in the world would you want to inflict what was done to you on someone else’s relationship?

        And I don’t care how your fuck-buddy feels about all of this. Trust me. I’ve heard all the excuses. If you think straight men are callous about cheating, you should meet a few cheating gay men if you wanna see how heartless men can REALLY be about how much they hurt their partners.

        It’s one thing to have a drunken one-night stand. Quite another to blatantly say: “Oh we’re in an open relationship!” or “He’s probably cheating too!” or worse, “I don’t give a shit if he finds out!”

        THAT’S what I’ve encountered since my “divorce”, and as much as I hated myself (having blamed myself for everything my ex did), I loved myself enough to NOT go further down that self-destructive path. So I handed over my “Side Piece” card turned inward to begin my healing.

        That’s your best bet. Ditch the cheating fuck-buddy and find yourself a mature, loving relationship. As much as you want to help him, and as many problems as he may have, you’re not his solution. You’re a solution that’s only causing more problems.

        You can’t undo what you’ve done to his relationship any more than I can undo what I’ve done. But love yourself enough to walk away.

        Focus on your own problems. I know you’re afraid of true commitment because the last time you had it, you got burned. So you created this puzzle for yourself that you can never solve, whereby you attach yourself to taken men. Call it getting half-pregnant, call it drinking borrowed water.

        But you have to call a thing a thing. One thing I learned from going down that path that the word “whore” doesn’t just refer to people who have sex for money. In the midst of my post-breakup heartache, I became the very thing that helped destroy the relationship in the first place.

        So I walked away from it. I cut my ties with the cheaters and walked away. You should too.

        P.S. — If you want a fuck-buddy, then go out and get a SINGLE fuck-buddy! Jesus, do you know many emotionally stunted grown men PRAY for women like you to come down the pike? Men who want nothing but NSA sex? There’s MILLIONS of them in all shapes and sizes from ages 18-65! They’re not in relationships because they don’t want to be in relationships. I’m sure they’ll be able to satisfy whatever sexual needs you may have.

  • Something about replying to cheater scum here on CL… Feels like they get off on it, kinda like a rapist representing themselves, and calling the victim to the stand… I got plenty to say to POS W; I’ll just keep that fuel away from the engine of narcissism.

    • Revenge…it’s twisted. I wish I could get revenge on him and not some innocent victim. Jay, you are wright. But show me a way of REAL revenge .

      • Anna,

        Try living well and not giving a shit what the guy who hurt you thinks of your choices.

        That’s REAL revenge. This,–screwing up someone else’s relationship because yours didn’t work out, so suddenly the rules are different for you? That logic is no different than the logic ALL CHEATERS use to justify their own behavior.

        I would say you are better than this, but obviously, YOU have decided you are not better than this.

        So decide that in the future –starting now, that you are going to be better than participating in someone else’s passive aggressive abuse of their partner.

  • W – You obviously know that what you are doing is dead wrong or you wouldn’t be lurking on CL’s site. But, I am not giving you a pass for playing the victim card. You are playing with innocent people’s lives. When you are found out, and you will be, the human wreckage will be unfathomable. Just ask anyone here.

    Even if she leaves to be with you, your relationship will be nothing more than 2 cheaters looking over their shoulders to see who betrays the other first. Sounds like a blast. I know I, and all the other chumps on this site, deserve much better. You, on the other hand…

  • W or OW or OM—your involvement with a married person is an acceptance that your married f&ckbuddy is having sex with his legal spouse.
    Why would anyone give you more when you already agreed to the crappy terms? That was never the deal on the table, even when you decide you have feelings for the married person, them shhtooping you for so long doesn’t mean they like your company or are developing feelings for you. Married f.buddy owes you nothing, not even more time for shtooping. Why you decided to be involved with someone who will never be faithful ( as they are married to someone else) is your issue. Deciding to have feelings and wanting ” more” from someone married to someone else was never part of they offered you. They offered you the role of a side piece…until another side piece comes along (one less demanding than you).

  • W
    Really dude??? You came here playing the victim card?? Please. Give me a break. You got involved with a married woman KNOWING she was married. And you expected a happily ever after??? Man up. You are a big boy that made a series of selfish, stupid decisions and you must now deal with the consequences…. And yes, they suck. Cut the affair. Now. She sucks and she is using you. And you continue to allow her to do so. You will not receive empathy or sympathy from me. You helped destroy another person’s life, her husband, by your shit behavior and shattered the lives of a family. Their children. Always. And their stability and security has been blown to smithereens because of her…. And you!!! You deserve a swift kick in the ass and a 2X4 of reality to the head.
    Get healthy W and learn from your series of gruesome, selfish choices. You are not a chump. You knew full well what you were getting into. And you sit there now sobbing and looking for a shoulder to cry on. The only people I empathize with and my heart goes out to is her husband and any children they might have. You??? I am PO’d you had the nerve to come to the site and act like a victim. That makes me mad. Really mad!!

  • I like the “lack of commitment” in W’s post?
    Would you like to get engaged while they are still married to someone else who knows nothing about you?
    Would you like them to romantically suggest a vow that you will be their only side piece?
    Will you forever celebrate that “proposal”, every year, with romance?
    and tell your friends and family members that your married x proposed ‘something’? What does an invite like that look like?
    What kind of commitment can that person give you? Do you want to hear words so you can feel you won some pick me contest, this time?

  • Anna you say you want to help this young boy of yours.

    Sweetie , know one thing, you have created the problem in the first place and now you want to help him about it.

    You are not a part of the solution , you are the whole fucking problem.

    When I found that the separation and divorce filings shown to me by the X were fake I walked out , went NC and then went online on forums to understand and heal myself.

    I didn’t go around talking to the betrayed asking for their help in getting out from a relationship with the X who was married(that he duped me is not the wife’s fault)

    I can’t go running to a betrayed person expecting their help and understanding.

    The people here are gems, they are ,nonetheless, trying to help you out.

    The least you can do is not rub salt in other people’s wounds.

    And it’s very simple, i got duped and lured ( that Why I got duped is a gap in me which I have filled up )…but once I knew that why would I need help to get out.yes , I would need help to heal once I get out be use the craving the feelings don’t stop on their’s a huge uphill task.

    But you need help to get out of a relationship with a person who is committed elsewhere? Sorry I don’t /won’t buy that.

    And to come to people who have been so gravely hurt to help you ,sheesh, thats a lack of empathy , at its pinnacle.

  • W
    Do you really need advice on how to get out of this affair? You just walk away. Simple as that. You do NOT have the connection to this married woman that her husband has. Not even close.

    You can be certain that anything and everything this woman has told you about her marriage is a lie. Come on, what is she going to say W? My husband is essentially a sweet, loving, loyal man, and we have a decent marriage. I am a self-centered, emotionally-stunted, attention-whore. I am a bottomless pit, it will never be enough for me. You wanna have a go with my needy ass?

    Why do you assume that this married woman would ever be anymore than a two-faced liar with you? After 3 years of deceiving and backstabbing her own husband! Let me guess, the relationship the two of you have is…special.

  • W. I’m sorry but I do not understand your question at all. You’re not married. You’re not financially dependent in any way and you don’t have children or even a lengthy history. You don’t have a child with special needs. (I do, and its anything but sexy) You don’t even have a REAL relationship. You have crumbs. Just some fucking crumbs and from the sounds of it, they’re pretty moldy crumbs. So what is it exactly that you are having so much trouble walking away from? She sounds like a needy, neurotic piece of crap. Aside from hurting her husband, why are you so willing to throw your entire life away? for what? There are no happy endings here. So, I’m sorry, but “how to leave a cheater” in the context of this blog does not apply to you at all and obviously, you won’t find much in the way of sympathy here. good luck!

  • I apologize to all the betrayed spouses for some of the posts I’ve made.

    I can see now, that several times I was coming from a place of, “I share in your pain” “I was duped too” and how very wrong that was. None of you asked to be deceived, manipulated, hurt and to have your lives destroyed and faced with the hard task of rebuilding a new one.

    “W” – You’ve only lost 3 years of your life so far, actually you’ve given up 3 years of your life willingly. Some of the the betrayed on here have lost 20-30 years of their lives they can never get back. No doubt this would cause pain that can feel unbearable at times. I hope you will take time to consider what that would be like if it happened to you.

    I’m sorry it took a post like this to make me more aware of how inappropriate posting here as the OW or OM can be.

    • I hope in no way did you feel my comment LoT was aimed at you. You, like other WS that post helpful, not self-centered feel sorry for me shit, I respect and learn from… In a way for you perhaps, it’s a form of penance and redemption?

      I also appreciate, and know you “get” how absolutely destructive any form of infidelity is. Put me in the split the difference camp of years I’ll never get back at 23, and my future looks bleak by virtue of sacrifices I made, so *our* future would be bright… Nothing, NOTHING I have ever experienced in life (I make Forrest Gump’s life and experiences look boring) has been more painful, bewildering, and sad than discovering my STBX infidelity. NOTHING EVEN COMES CLOSE!

      You get how it truly does ruin lives and families, it kills the future you thought you had and worked so hard for, and how people just like me, would have rather died on D-day, than go through it. Even with the best of help and support, the BS is now a disoriented, self doubting, dazed shell of themselves, and our futures at times look sad, lonely and gray. Sure, in time I think many of us will get our spring and mojo back, but I miss, and will never have again that naive, innocent, simple ability to absolutely trust another with my heart 100%… Maybe that’s good; just the same I miss the old me in so many ways, and how this emotional raping changes me forever.

      As for you LoT, I do wish you well along your difficult journey. To apply it to one of my favorite movies/movie quotes:

      “The path to salvation is narrow, and as difficult to walk as the razors edge”

      Here’s to you walking that path LoT, and by contributing here in the way that you do, dulls the razor a bit.

      • Jay,

        You really hit the nail on the head.

        I think one of my favorite movies is Under the Tuscan Sun. In it, there’s a line by Diane Lane that sums it up perfectly:

        The most surprising thing about divorce is it doesn’t actually kill you, like a bullet to the heart or a headon car wreck. It should. When someone you’ve promised to cherish till death do you part says ‘I never loved you’ it should kill you instantly. You shouldn’t have to wake up day after day after something like that, trying to understand how in the world you didn’t know. The light just never went on. I must have known, of course, but I was too scared to see the truth. Fear just makes you so stupid. Love is blind. Everybody has that saying because its true everywhere.

        I love that quote because it sums up the whole experience of infidelity and divorce perfectly. People throw stones at you: How could you not have known? Everyone knew. What they’re really saying is, “How could you be so stupid?” and they are saying it from the comfort and security of their own “perfect” marriages. If I had a nickle for every patronizing platitude people got offended when I didn’t gush gratitude for, I’d be able to pay my ex husband’s debt in full. All $11K racked up on girlfriends and shit.

        Ironically, Andy also said he loved Under the Tuscan Sun. Wonder what he thinks of the movie now?

        • I think I’m lucky in that nearly everyone I know, with the exception of STBX’s enabling family, has said to me when I say ‘how could I not have known?’ that I was a trusting, loving person and who would even think that someone could cheat for years while playing the happy family man. Thank God my friends get it. If they didn’t I think I’d have lost my mind.

      • Hey J,

        I too could give Forrest a run for his money experience wise, and you could not be more right. I am reading an interesting book right now called Puzzling People by Thomas Sheridan (between reading blog posts and forums) I may have heard about it here even…anyway my X passes ALL of the criteria for a sociopath, actually several of my X’s do….God it is scary out there…..With all this reading I feel like I’m trading one addiction for another, but at least you all are supportive….Thanks

  • Thank you for that, Lasso.
    I have never felt that you’ve been here to seek our sympathy or approval even. You have always been here with eyes much more wide open than W.

    • Thanks LoT. I do agree with rL that you do not come here seeking sympathy and understand that devestating aftermath cheating brings upon families. Good luck to you and yours.

    • Lasso:

      I agree with Rlouise.

      You don’t give the impression of gloating. You give the impression of having learned a really painful lesson.

      I enjoy reading your posts.

  • The basic issue here is transparency. There is a post above that says that there are swingers websites looking for participants. Well, then go there, if that’s what you want. Do you want an open marriage? Well, then ask your spouse. And divorce him/her if that’s not what he/she wants. I agree that it is weird that this person writes here looking for help. I think CL did a great job in answering in a restrained yet guiding way. But the bottom line in transparency and not sneaking around. Just have the guts to be open about what you want and do. The narcissistic types rightfully excoriated here don’t do that. In fact, I think they like the deception. It’s the smartass element that goes with bad behavior.


  • Just continuing the above, I have a question for CL.

    One of the ways that Narcissists suck in us chumps is that they make us feel special, like we are admitted to their secret club. We chumps (and I’m a chump son not a chumped spouse, but the principles in dealing with n-folk are the same) get sucked into a fake aristocracy. The n-folk make us feel special, then, once we are captured, they make you feel like dirt. I think we should think about n-folk recognition skills and try to pass those on. Let’s make being an n-person something obvious and something un-cool.

    • David.
      You aare a chump son. I have two sons 13 and nearly 17 who are ok with mum but really grappling with their relationship with mum and new man. Over weekend he was at her house for three straight days and she said if you want to come over then you had to meet him. They didn’t go and feel she is putting him before them.
      Do you get on with op. what is relationship like with your parents.

      Thanks and welcome

  • W
    In reading your post, I see absolutely not remorse for the pain you are causing your girlfriend’s spouse and family. How about instead of ending things because it is better for you be a better person ad end things because it is the right thing to do for others involved.

  • Hi David,
    This is what I’ve ascertained and what to look for after years of finding myself drawn (yuck) to them. Not any longer. I will never fall prey to one of these soul sucking creatures ever again! I’m much stronger now and getting stronger every day!

    so here goes. (I am also talking about male narcs since I have a lot more experience with them. Females probably share some characteristics, but since I’m not into gurls, I wouldn’t really know)

    N’s don’t exactly where a t-shirt saying. BEWARE, I’M A DANGEROUS ASSHOLE!!! Far from it, they are very suave, charming and cunning. THAT is how they extract their narc supply. But, they never come off as at all arrogant. (in the beginning). They are (if men) quite gentlemanly, even elegant, attentive, S E X Y. (heavy-lidded-you-are-the hottest-thing-I’ve-ever-seen-undressing bedroom eyes) and then they come on like gang busters like we are the ONE love that they have been waiting their entire lifetime for! Interestingly, later on, we find that were number 135 in a string of “soul-mates.” LOL Oh… these predatory creatures sure know how to capture their prey. But then comes the intermittent reinforcement… crumbs followed by famine and/or the frog thrown in the cool water with the heat, ever so slowly turned up until. oops. we’re done par-boiled.
    Narcs turn even the most sane amongst into the craziest of the crazies. They prey on the weak and vulnerable (easier to manipulate; the true givers, care-taking, lovely, sensitive types. They give just enough to keep us strung along, but also to frustrate the livin’ begeeezzzuzzz out of us. Fun, ain’t it?

    So, how does one know? pretty simple now that I’ve got the hang of it. Simply they are too good to be true. They are the ANSWER (not) to all of our prayers. They are ever at the ready and make us feel SAFE. (eeewww) However, as you know, we are anything but safe in the presence of one of these unfortunate creatures.

    The sad thing David, is that these subhumans cannot SEE their fuckedupness! It is EVERYONE ELSE who is fucked up in a cruel, heartless stormy world of their own making. Try to show them REALITY? Rip off their facade? (the mask). and look out. You will have a raging, obsessive narc who will not stop until he has destroyed you in some fashion or other.

    He wants your soul.

    for he has none of his own.

    get A-way!!!

    its a one ticket straight into the bowels of hell.

    and when he’s tired of you which could happen at any moment. He changes his numbers. Blocks your calls. no warning. no good bye.

    you are only as useful to him as last week’s grocery coupons.

    my best,


    • This pretty much sums it up. Before I really knew about narcs I was saying to STBX things about his mask being ripped off, how I didn’t understand this uncontrollable rage of his over night (because I told people about his cheating), that his charm was all an act, etc. Then my therapist talked about narcs and bingo. They are truly vile creatures.

    • Laurel, you described it perfectly.

      That is exactly what Andy did to me. People are like, ‘why aren’t you over it already?’ and I’m going: ‘Over what? His last threatening email was less than 30 days ago.’ And we are 8+ months divorced now.

      This weekend, he switched his focus from me to my mother. My mother was using his passive aggressive bullshit mind fuck against me. Feeding him information that he has been using against me.

      Its shocking and heartbreaking.

      • For me it was (and still is) like dealing with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The smooth doctor reels you in. Mr. Hyde rears his ugly head when you no longer please him. But Dr. Jekyll returns to keep you from staying too angry, or doing or saying anything that would not serve his best interests.

  • Laurel, your words are chilling and hit me to the core. Like many here, I’ve lived it. If I had known how hellish it was to be, I don’t know if I’d have been strong enough to crawl as far away from the bomb blast as I have.

  • Bullseye Laurel,
    I ran into a mutual “friend” of ours last night and despite my having made it clear from the beginning I don’t care to hear about the ex he said a couple of things to me, nasty comments my X is spreading and I just exploded and now I’m back to square 1 in my mind. So NOW I’m going NC with the friend too. God I hate life right now, reading your words helped tho’ because you described him to a T.

  • Good comments.

    Baci, I wasn’t clear about my use of the term “Chump Son.” I am not the product of a divorce. I invented the term Chump Son a while back to describe my relationship with my father, which was very undermining and difficult until, basically, I drew a strong line with him after years of of his saying upsetting things to me (and, I guess, enjoying doing that). My point was that you can get “chumped” in a variety of relationships. I don’t want this website to lose its focus, but chumpers can be parents, bosses, pseudo-friends, etc. No harm done, but I think I wasn’t maybe clear about what I meant by the term.

    Laurel, you really have hit it on the head. If it’s too perfect, then it probably is too perfect to be real. In fact, these n-folks put a lot of energy into image. They look good, plan perfect weddings, propose at the right moments, get heavily involved with the kids when the kids are little, show off the kids, etc. etc. I think these folks very detachment from emotion makes them good at manipulating emotions. And if you are Don Juan before you are married, those are skills you could deploy (sadly, with folks other than your spouse) after marriage. The n-people are very seductive at many levels. Often, they are quite successful. One pattern with such men is always complaining about how hard they work. Often, they don’t want to have to work or they love their work, and then complain about having to do it. One other sign I see in such guys is “hobby-holism,” i.e. an addiction to their hobbies. Golf, hunting, etc. displace family time and “time with the kids” really means that the kids play Robin to my Batman while I practice my hobby.

    Bit by bit, I’m trying to come up with a vocabulary for these n-behaviors, so there can be an early warning system. Since love is often blind, I doubt we can prevent all cases of n’s chumping chumps from happening, but we can reduce the time chumps waste on n-people.

    One other thing, the n-people look really interesting. But, in fact, they aren’t really all that interesting. Often, we chumps get sucked into thinking that our n-spouse or n-parent is unique, is so individual, is suffering from this hard job, etc. In fact, if you read some books on narcissism it is amazing how patterned they are. I can recall watching a female friend of mine divorce her n-high-paid-professional husband, and she would tell me things he said. They were almost EXACTLY the same words my father used to use when I was a kid. The typical thing was a complaint about how hard he had to work to support everyone, something that makes kids feel guilty for —- being kids! (Hey, I didn’t decide to be born!) This resentment of support duties (rather than enjoyment of family) is another sign.

    Finally, Laurel, I’d say a sign is hyper-involvement with kids when they are little (and plastic, and forgiving). This is the clone-obsession. N-parents see their kids as clones or little sidekicks. When the kids get older and hit adolescence (developing their own interests, identity), the n-parent (in my case, the n-father) is totally perplexed, flummoxed, has no idea what to do. Hence the resentment: Why do I have to work to support you when you don’t follow me!

    Laurel, a good series of books to read on this (a metaphor) is the first three volumes of Dean Koontz’s “Frankenstein.” Koontz writes techno-horror-thrillers, so you have to like that kind of book. Even so, he models narcissism perfectly.

    Thanks for responding, Laurel!

  • I don’t know if anyone is still reading this thread, but I wonder in our talks about affair partners, where prostitutes fit into the picture. A spouse sleeping with a hooker is cheating, but is the person putting out for money as bad as other affair partners? He/she likely has no desire to break up the family, compete with the husband/wife, or give the cheater free room and board if the BS gives the old heave-ho. Nothing as ridiculous as jogging around the block in a sports bra. They likely neither know nor care if the person they’re having sex with is married so long as there’s cash in hand.

    So are they just as bad as other AP?

    • A hooker is not an affair partner.

      They are exactly what they sound like: someone who performs sexual acts in exchange for money.

      It is a friggin’ job to a prostitute.

      Anyone who thinks their prostitute “loves” them and is faithful to them should probably get their head examined.

    • I think it’s just as bad. Maybe it’s worse. This is my opinion why I felt stabbed in the heart when I found out my now ex was using prostitutes:
      1. He has daughters and granddaughters. Would he want that life for any of them? No, they were received the best educations available.
      2. According to articles I have read, many prostitutes suffere from earlier sexual abuse. He’s taking advantage of the emotional damage they’ve endured.
      3. These women have limited choices in life. He’s taking advantage of their disadvantages.
      4. He lied to himself that it wasn’t as bad as an affair partner because he didn’t get emotionally involved. (Hmm…then why were you sending her money and gifts?)
      5. It is an objectification of women. They are a body to be purchased for his pleasure. I don’t think humans should be treated that way.
      6. Human trafficking of women for the sex trade. It’s slavery in some instances.
      7. Sexually transmitted diseases. If he’s fucking a prostitute, he’s exposed to more exponentially than a woman he met at work. I know he got chlamydia once after we had separated. I got HPV and precancerous cells. You can’t prove that one though.
      8. I don’t want someone who deludes himself so he can continue to devalue women. He once told me that prostitution and mistresses were the norm in the 1800s. Gee, I think we can expect humans to evolve. There’s a lot that people did in the 1800s that we have decided is inhumane, immoral and just plain wrong.
      9. It lead to even more objectification of me. Sex wasn’t any better after he opened that Pandora’s box. In fact, my sexuality is one of the areas that I feel was most damaged and I have to work the hardest to accept that I’m okay and there’s nothing wrong with my body. (He had a perfectly lovely wife with a perfectly nice body.) Some days I don’t think I’ll ever be able to overcome it. Other days I think, “Gawd damn it! He’s not going to take my sense of self away! Fucker!!”
      10. The wife (me) ends up feeling used. Sex with me wasn’t anything more than getting his needs met. That’s not love. An evolved person doesn’t do that.

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