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If You’re Really Sorry, Cheaters? Let Me Help You

Writing this blog, I get dismissed frequently as being bitter and rather pessimistic in my outlook about cheaters. Hey, everyone makes mistakes, we’re only human, blah blah fuckity cliche blah. To the bitter comment, hey, I prefer to think of myself as lucid. And as to my dim view of cheaters — look at the evidence. I don’t see a lot of happily reconciled couples, and I don’t see a lot of reformed cheaters. If they’re out there, perhaps they’re quiet about it, enjoying a newfound humility, and keeping a low profile — if so, I wish them well.

But several “reformed” cheaters really seem to enjoy spilling their guts on HuffPo — and every time they do, I cringe and think, egads… this is not what sorry looks like. If this is regret, I’m Kim Kardashian. The cheater’s sorrow about fucking around is usually dressed up with some New Age hogswallop about forgiving themselves and Things Happen for a Reason. This recent one had the audacity to take credit for her ex-husband moving on and pairing up again with someone who’s a better match. Really? That’s like a drunk driver hitting your kid and saying, wow, thanks to them, you’ve discovered a new talent for public speaking at MADD rallies.

Cheaters, clearly you need help with this sorry thing. Here’s a primer to help you.

1. Make amends. Yes, sorry is as sorry does. It’s not enough to wring your hands and tell me you’ve “accepted” yourself. How about a postnup with an infidelity clause? Because really, only you control whether or not you fuck around again. If you want your chump to believe you and invest in your future together, why not put your money where your mouth is? Think that’s crass? Well, it’s a perfectly useless document if you don’t need it — and you’re not going to need it, right?

No reconciliation? How about a fair divorce settlement. Share custody. Waive alimony. Pay your betrayed partner’s legal bills. Financially reimburse them for what you spent on the affair. Don’t bad mouth them to the kids. Treat your betrayed partner with dignity. This would all go a long way towards conveying your apologies.

2. Admit you got something out of cheating and you enjoyed it. How many cheaters tell their spouse, oh, I didn’t enjoy the sex. Not really. Or moan on about how Difficult It All Was for them — the terrible burden of guilt! The judgments of others! Quit with the white lies and the self pity already. Just tell your chump the truth — Deceiving you didn’t bother me all that much. Not so much that I didn’t do it. Actually, I rather enjoyed it. Cheating was a set of choices I made to get things I wanted — sex, ego kibbles, flattery. I didn’t consider your welfare. I was staggeringly selfish. I risked your health. I risked our children’s home life. All because I wanted a bit of strange. I didn’t think you’d find out, and to me at the time, that seemed like a pretty good trade off.

Anything less than this is insulting your partner’s intelligence. We know it felt good, that’s why you did it and went back for more. If you didn’t confess, but were discovered, we assume you were going to continue. You don’t hate the affair so much as you hate the consequences. Being sorry is having the humility to face that you were a douchebag and say so.

3. Admit you weren’t “driven” to cheat.  All the “reasons” you give — sexless marriage, poor communication, controlling spouse, insufficient appreciation — are not reasons, they’re excuses. Look, I am actually inclined to believe you’re unhappy. That your marriage sucks. That the lack of sex is driving you mad. That your self esteem is shoddy. That your spouse is a controlling ogre who never lets you be you. Okay, so what are you doing with all that misery? If you didn’t end your marriage, then your actions are telling me it’s not all that bad. You’re getting something out of the arrangement. It’s time to find your guts and get therapy or end it honestly. Cheating is a crappy set of decisions based in entitlement. Infidelity doesn’t improve bad marriages. It makes them worse.

As for the rest of you — in pretty good relationships, but you just want more because monogamy is “unnatural”? You suck. You need to be single or arrange your open marriage preferences honestly. Stop eating cake at some chump’s expense.

You can’t blameshift and be sorry. Part of being sorry is taking ownership of your choices.

4. If you reconcile, put your grievances on the back burner. Your litany of complaints about your marital unhappiness now pale in comparison to the damage caused by the infidelity grenade you just detonated. You’ll have to take a number on this “I’m unhappy” thing and we’ll get back with you. Now there is a whole new mess to clean up that you made, which takes precedence over your grievances. If you want to show you’re sorry, begin from the humble position of transparency. Answer all of your partner’s questions about the affair. Be an open book. Account for your whereabouts. Your chump is going to be flinchy and not trust you for a long time, if ever — that’s on you. Humility in the face of that suckitude says sorry. Impatience, indifference, and “get over it” tells me you don’t get it.

5. Don’t waffle.  Now that it’s been discovered, why not do the right thing and be decisive? Commit wholly to your marriage (if your chump will have you, I’d advise them not to). Or divorce them fairly. (See item 1.) You can’t be sorry and expect your spouse to compete with your affair partner for your attention. Fence sitting is insulting — and still very much about you… which is how we got into this mess.

6. Shut the fuck up about forgiveness. Telling the world that you’ve forgiven yourself is grotesquely narcissistic. And irrelevant to the people you’ve hurt. And probably makes God sharpen His lightning bolts at your hubris (Hey, you nitwit, I believe I the Almighty dish out the forgiveness here — who made you God?) The only person whose forgiveness should matter to you is the person you hurt. And you’re not entitled to that. It’s on them. They may not forgive you, and you’ll just have to live with that. Just like they have to live with the fact that you cheated on them. Try earning some forgiveness. Which you can begin with by behaving as if you’re actually sorry.

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  • YES to all of these!!!!!!!!!! Particularly number 5. As bad as the build up to Dday was, it was even worse to have some half ass attempt at reconciliation while the cheating motherfucker went around making it obvious to everyone how miserable he was and how much he missed the AP. Seriously, he could have won an Oscar with the melodrama and I was a nervous wreck trying to be perfect, and pretty and sweet and nothing I would have done would have been good enough. What a mindfuck!!!!! If you are really sorry, you don’t put the betrayed spouse through the pick me dance.

    • I lasted 3 days doing that, then blew a gasket. We did have 3 nights of fantastic cooking on my part, though, so I suppose it was worth it. 🙂

      STBX has no remorse, not really. He’s just angry little boy who got consequences he didn’t like and has not changed one iota from the person he was before. Still lies, still does things without telling people until it’s a fait accompli, still is one entitled asshole.

      And this makes me laugh, because final OW thinks she’s got herself a prize and he is exactly the same man he was with me–and that man is an insecure serial cheater. :=)

    • pearl,
      you and me both. i did the same thing because i was told i was a mediocre wife. put up with that four months. then found out he was having an affair for 15 months. hope he gets served today.

  • Funny you wrote this today. STBX was feeling his oats today, it woudl seem, as he was sending me some nutty emails. BAsically he’s telling me that I’m having a pity party, which made me start laughing, as he is the angry one, he is the one who can’t speak civilly to me, he’s the one who badmouths me AND he is the one who is a serial cheater.

    He isn’t sorry at all–he’s just super pissed that I’m a bigmouth and have told loads of people exactly why we’re divorcing.

  • You’ve really nailed it CL. What a gift for clarity you have. Thanks again for being a bastion of sanity for all us chump out there.

  • Amen to all 6! I am so tired of the self-pity and victim position the cheater takes. Poor me!!! Wah!!! My bad marriage, my insecurity, my self-esteem issues, my unhappiness, my religious path I am on made me do it!!! Put your big boy/big girl pants on and take responsibility for your grotesque actions. No lame, half ass excuses. Man up and be accountable. And yes, sorry is as sorry does, not says. Well said Chump Lady, well said!!!!! Applause for you!

    • Thank you! You can give every reason in the book for why you cheat, but there are still consequences to actions and it was ultimately a choice to cultivate that. You don’t accidentally trip and fall into someone’s vagina. Spend energy making the current relationship better rather than tryIng to press the reset button wih someone else before you left. I have my own issues to deal with. I don’t want to deal with our issues together anymore. That wasn’t what I signed up for when I made my commitment. Oh, and it took over 2 years before he finally broke it off with her while he half assed try to woo me back. Told him I’m not the OW. I honestly think she got tired of being an option and left, just like I did. I’m sure the affair ran it’s course and the honeymoon magic wore off and the relationship was spoiled due to being long passed expiration. Problem is, I’d be another rebound from this affair. I love how he makes it seem like he was so valiant to finally cut it off for me. “I finally realized that I’d give her up just for that 1% chance with you.” Took him long enough, but I think she just got tired of his shit. Was heartbroken at first that it didn’t work out, like it was my fault, (guess it kind of was, lol,) but I’m far over ever going back. Just wanna bedone from the painful heartbreak hangover the marriage and affair brought. Never going back. Over it.

      • And, this is the 2nd time (that i know of) he left me for another. We didn’t have a kid or marriage the first time. His reason for claiming to want reconciliation again is because of the family. Yes, it hurts to have to take turns with kid but I feel it was a blessing in disguise. Maybe he really did learn the once you have kids with someone, you share a permanent special bond that doesn’t exist w any lover. Did he learn his lesson? I’m not sticking around to find out. He can focus on his relationship with his son.

  • Wonderful article once again, CL. But the premise reminds me of my 2 weeks in false reconcilliation, including an intense amazon chump phase during which I underlined passages for the cheater to read (to no avail) and bought her AUDIO CD versions of books when she wouldn’t open the paper copies I put on her night table (I thre them away with the shrink wrap intact the day I told her to move out ). When you find yourself giving someone a step-by-step guide to how to show care and concern for all their lack of care and concern, you know you’re through the co-dependence looking glass.

    I was lucky that my cheating ex was too lazy or too busy mooning over her soulmate schmoopie to even follow directions. Saved me from the operatic fake cheater apologies that keep so many chumps stuck.

    • And it goes without saying that this column will really only be of use to Chumps, who can use it to detect what is lacking in the pseudo-apologies of their cheating spouses. Most cheaters will be immune to this advice the way genital warts are immune to antibiotics.

      • “Most cheaters will be immune to this advice the way genital warts are immune to antibiotics.”

        Yeah, because they are viral; small, pathetic, almost alive forms of something without a heart or conscious, dead set to kill the host if possible once drained, unfeeling to the pain caused, and move on to the next victim where they will mutate just long enough to get the kibbles flowing. Wish we could wipe them out with Tamicheat.

        • When I Googled “How does a virus work?,” I found this:

          “Viruses are like tiny, vicious pirates that ATTACK AND HIJACK THE RESOURCES of healthy cells. Like all PARASITES , viruses cannot reproduce on their own, but depend upon living cells to reproduce themselves. Some scientists don’t consider viruses ‘living organisms’ because they can’t reproduce on their own and there DOESN’T SEEM TO BE ANY REASON FOR THEM TO EXIST. However, considering the AGGRESSIVE AND CREATIVE MANNER that viruses are able to mutate, this doesn’t seem to add up. Perhaps, the definition of ‘living’ needs to be re–evaluated and a purpose for viruses hasn’t yet been discovered. Viruses are covered with ‘arms’ that have STICKY FINGERS that attach to the cell wall. These connectors are called viral binding sites that have a sticky binding protein. It’s like the virus has Velcro fingers that GRAB the exterior of the cell and then SUPERGLUES ITSELF TO THE CELL until it can either inject or force itself through the cell wall. After invading the cell, viruses HIJACK THE OPERATING SYSTEMS of the cell.”

          Replace “virus” with “cheater,” and “cells” with “families,” and–VOILA! An explanation of “HOW SERIAL CHEATERS WORK.”

          • Yeah, my wife is a Bacteriophage (have always loved that word, and how they look ie, lunar landerish), and I’m sure ready to infect others.

          • In the first three – four months I called CSM a parasite. There was no other term that best described his behaviour.
            He’s still a parasite.

            • Yes yes and YES. When I gave my STBX the separation agreement to sign, he actually said he didn’t understand why I was in such a hurry to get a divorce. My answer: because he’s a parasite and I want him off of my back, once and for all. A tick just needs to latch on to a warm blood supply – doesn’t matter if it’s a prize-winning thoroughbred or a worthless jackass that’s not worth more than glue, either will do!

    • Nomar,

      I sent my STBXWW a pdf doc to her Kindle shortly after D-day, from a person who very eloquently wrote how it feels to have been ripped apart by cheater betrayal, and what you should, and should not do as a cheater to try and make it right… She angrily, begrudgingly read it, snorted, and haughtily smirked at portions that really put her in a snit (hysterical bonding bits), and her reply;

      “So it’s all about what you need, how about what I need”. Swear on a stack of bibles to Pluto that’s verbatim into the soul of a completely remorseless, non-empathy having “human”. Any attempt to have her see professional help to help explain why, was and I quote, “I’m not your fucking science project”.

      You would have been treated to opera; I got a front row seat and backstage passes at Shutter Island playhouse to witness scary, histrionic RAGE from a psychopath … I almost envy you.

      • Jay,

        Wow. Your ex sounds like one cold-hearted b*tch. Just plain mean and nasty.

        The snorting and snapping is probably worse than a cheater that has Better Things To Do. Overall, I got a realtively easy clean getaway. We owned two houses at the time I filed for divorce, so she could move out the day I called it quits and the divorce was final only about 4 months after I filed. Phew! When I hear about people who have to live apart for a year before a divorce is finalized, or who have to live with a cheater for months while the divorce is being litigated, I shudder.

        But I took my lumps pre-D-Day. 22 years of marriage to a serial cheater who had 3-6 or more sustained affairs (all with married men who all had kids) over at least the last 12 years of our marriage (and likely per my shrink the entire 22 years). Plus there were the paternaty tests (my sons ARE mine biologically), STD testing, financial disaster, humiliation in the small town where I live, my ex moving my youngest son 1,700 miles away to live with her and her affair partner (now Hubby No. 2 and I suspect Chump-In-Training), etc.

        But I am a classic “It Gets Better” story. Now 4 years out and extremely happily remarried to a wonderful woman with a new and healthy blended family. Every single aspect of my life is immeasurably better than it was five years ago. Every. Single. One.

        After D-Day, I so very much wanted an apology and effort at fixing my first marriage. Thank God we sometimes don’t get what we ask for!

        • It truly is unreal, sureal how she is post D-day. Kinda like a crazy “Two faces of Eve”, Ted Bundy hybrid, just without all the insufferable 50’s style speech patterns, and casual murder… Just angrier. Even my daughter will say to me how crazy mom seems, and I’ll just give her the stationary double palms up (kinda like the Pope, but his are moving up-n-down), crazy articulated eyebrows look of what can you do.

          I truly am in hell. I told her flat out, cheaters leave the home, not me, and she did for a few times, but always comes back; I guess because Romeo POS married co-cheater threw her under the bus, and left her hung out to dry…. {{{{POP}}}}, anyone hear that, yeah, sounds like fantasy bubble to me.

          I can’t force her to leave, she is pissed my daughter wants to stay at home, so on top of that, plus not wanting to pay for another pad, I’m living the in house separation blues. What is really funny, is she will constantly ask my daughter, “where did dad go, have you seen him?”, or tell her “she is sick of dad ignoring her, not doing things around the house, and acting awkward”. Hmm, pull the emergency stop on the kibble train express, and the well oiled cheater machine grinds to a halt. Boo-fucking-hoo, and I do take regular, week long get outa hell R&R to nocontactsville… Ahh, so that’s what easy to breathe feels like.

          It is so hard to see the shining city on the hill about now, and I hope so badly I am in your shoes someday soon, and fully embracing the philosophy and religion of “meh Nirvana.”….. UMMMMM.

          • Jay, I would agree that you truly ARE in hell. Is there anyway you can get her out of your house? Your daughter is 17 but she obviously needs some healing and having mom in the house cannot be good for her mental health at all.

            Perhaps if you can document all the animosity, sickness etc. and misery in your house- a court would be inclined to make her leave by court order. I know another place is expensive but your STBXW works, right? The court would likely make her leave to help your daughter move forward. How are your daughter’s grades? Does she break down crying frequently? This is all relevant and pertinent information.

            • Hope49,

              It’s a weird dance. Daughter tells me she is OK with mom around, but hates when we are both there because mom acts all sulky one second, sad the next, rage another, then blames it on the crappy in house separation dynamic. This is why I do the week long hiatuses from crazyville, and when home stay in the basement exercising, or my room doing whatever. I still fix homemade meals for her, help with homework, go out for treats, and all that other stuff before mom gets home. My daughter and I are wired very similarly, are empathic, and share a deep emotional connection that my wife despises, and comments on.

              What is happening now, is my daughter is planning on moving out of state to STBXWW moms house, setting up residency, and going to school there. It’s going to be her base of operations, and I’m willing to bet STBX will quit her job, and move back. Currently, she makes a-plenty of $$$ to support another place, and for whatever reason she still comes back. For now, I think/guess it is as it will be, and the D finalized in a few months. Only real problem is for me feeling in limbo; where do I go to look for work, stay or move, the PITA logistics of moving, and all the other crap.

              Glad you asked about her grades, as you obviously know by virtue of your work what a litmus test it can be to determine home happiness. At first after D-Day, they dropped a lot. Now she is doing a lot better, and this drop in grades aspect of my STBX affair really pissed me off, not to mention her SAT’s were not so great the first time, but better the second. She used to break down crying a lot, but has stopped, and I think it a combination of counseling, and sheer will to not let it break her… She knows and says mom did a terrible thing to us, we can’t change it, only go forward.

              So there you have it.

              • Well, I would hold on and not jump just yet and think about selling or moving. You know what? I think that you may end up with a boomerang situation quite possibly. Your daughter has a close relationship with you but she wants to go to school and her mom is going to be financing that in another state. Your daughter may forge ahead and all and become independent. . . but I think I’d wait and see until she completes her first year of college.

                Decisions by college students seem to get made in that first year. They either adjust well, embrace independence and enjoy the college challenge OR they leave the university deciding college is not for them or they transfer to another school when they get a handle on what it really is they need.

                Your daughter is probably ‘itching’ to test herself, get out into the world, and leave some bad memories of the drama behind. YET from all you have done for her I think she’s likely to become VERY homesick, will miss you and will think about transfering back to be closer to you. As such, with all this transition and not knowing what exactly to do I would suggest staying put for at least a year after she completes her university studies. I also think you’ll feel better about any decision you make for your future once you see that your daughter is steady on her feet and making progress in her goals.

          • I realize this is not a political forum, but, are you in state-mandated limbo? Do you live in one of those “family values” states where Big Brother knows what is best for you and has a zero-tolerance policy on YOU deciding the fate of your marriage?

            If so, that is SUCH bullshit.

            • Semi big brother state Stephanie. It’s 90 day minimum from file-to-final. God, I have no idea how people can live with those one, two year minimums! As was said here so well; must be states that fully embrace the reconciliation industrial complex (and church).

          • J, That sucks… I lived with my STBX for almost 3 months after I first kicked his ass out (back he came, of course) while we filed for separation and he got another place. Those months of limbo might have even been worse than the 6 months where I actually gave him a chance to do any of the 6 points CL lists above (but mostly I wanted #1) and he failed. I hope there is some light at the end of your tunnel… do you have any idea when she’ll be out?

            I think the bullshit they pull after Dday is almost as painful as finding out about the affair in the first place. Sure, it’s not like being smacked in the face like finding out initially about the betrayal. It’s more like Chinese water torture or something.

            • It is torture!! It’s their waffling about, trying to figure out if u and the family is more important than keeping their new toy.

              • Yes,
                And you are supposed to be supportive while they keep pointing out that you don’t measure up.

        • Isn’t it awful when your shrink says that if you know about X number of affairs there’s probably more. Mine told me that cheating is STBX’s hobby, that’s what he does. He has no other hobbies other than watching TV. So he flirts with loads of women and some of them take the bait. So gross to think this was most likely going on for most the marriage. Oh well, just decided I’m ready to date again. It’s been over a year since I kicked him out and although the D isn’t final I feel at peace and ready to go.

  • Hit the nail on the head. I wish your site had been around years ago. When my STBX and I reconciled many years ago, his remorse was more in the vein of “I’m sorry I hurt you, but it had to happen for both of us to grow spiritually and as individuals.” He never admitted to doing anything wrong. And of course he wouldn’t let me forget how much pain this all had caused him. I never heard the end of how he was driven to cheat because there were things he needed from a relationship that he just wasn’t getting from me. Yet, he would never agree to counseling, nor would he take the initiative to leave. I truly believe in hindsight that he was trying to get me to be the one to leave so he wasn’t percieved as the “bad guy.” He even made comments implying that I was pathetic for wanting to stay in the marriage because of how he had cheated on me. Did I have no sense of self respect?

    • My STBX did, however, revel in #2, CL. Boy did I hear how wonderful everthing was with OW and how she gave him everything he wasn’t getting from me. I had to hear how great the sex was and how wonderfully they communicated and how much more mature she was than I. And how great her family was (compared to mine.) Oh yes, it was torturous to him, but he couldn’t help it. He was swept off his feet. He didn’t see it coming. He couldn’t stop it. Yet, when he came crawling back after realizing that I was indeed the love of his life…I wanted to believe him. In spite of his lack of remorse.

      I think I win the co-dependent chump award.

      • “I think I win the co-dependent chump award.”

        I’ll arm wrassle ya fer it! Believe me, I’m THAT chumpion

  • Don’t worry guys. Everything’s ok.
    I’m going to receive a letter explaining everything. ” I owe it to you”.
    If someone tells me to get over it again……………

    Everyone says it won’t last this, orgy of chainsaws and hoses etc but she now has no options. She now must prove to her family and friends that all the trouble is worth it. How humiliating when it doesn’t work.

    Actions speak louder than words so let’s look at it.

    Provided most of child care, dinners, and shared house work. Fully committed to family and supporting wife’s career. Fully involved in kids sport and community. Loyal, integrity
    ” the perfect husband and father” ” why would I throw this away?”

    Chainsaw man
    Caught having two affairs by his wife. Left 12 and 16 year old daughters in another country to become CEO of major international company in Australia
    No friends apart from business mates. No family in Australia- all in NZ.
    Had 3 year affair.

    It’s a bit steep being replaced by CSM.
    It devalues all your love and commitment to family. BUT WAIT! Who devalues it. They do and through their ACTIONS their value system is floored!

    Fellow chumps we have all been undervalued but we have been rated by an agency with no credentials or authority. Bit like Standard and Poors in the US home loan scandal.

    I used to think reconciliation was the answer. I will be brave and look forward and not back. Family is far too important to change it due to an affair.

    Sorry seems to be the hardest word! It’s empty coming from a cheater

    Forgiveness. Fuck forgiveness. Forgive yourself and move on.

    No sometimes the right decision is to do nothing. Carry on but a piece of the puzzle is missing and lost. The puzzle is incomplete but there’s enough of it to see what it is.
    The piece that is missing doesn’t fit any more. Even if you find it, it will be chewed by the dog or left in the sun and discoloured. It just doesn’t fit.
    You can’t buy the missing piece. You have to buy a new puzzle so while you’re at it get one with more beauty, a stronger puzzle and for fucks sake don’t lose any of the pieces !

    • Sometimes I think people wait for reconciliation as a way to validate themselves. “See? She was WRONG!”

      I say you cut off the cancer and move on. I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t value me! I don’t want to be with such a flawed piece of self-centered shit. I don’t want my kids to see me as a pathetic door mat. I want to BE HAPPY and I can’t be happy with this weight around my fucking neck. So, buh-bye!

      Baci, you will be in a better life. Once you’ve moved on, and you’ve created a life wherein she is irrelevant, you will begin to shine again. People will know she is the weak and messed-up aimless person, and you are the strong and happy person who knows his values and lives by them. Turn away from her. Move in the opposite direction. Plan a new life. What do YOU want as a man and as a father?

      • That’s a fantastic question and I have been thinking about that which shows I want to move on and actually well on the road.
        As a father simple. Carry on what I’ve been doing for 16 years. I’ve stumbled and wobbled in the last year and the boys have witnessed it. It’s not like all of a sudden had to change much since she left our home.
        The boys are number one. This is their home and they share it with me. We respect each other and its really easy living together.
        I’m am really conscious of being their father and not becoming their best friend or relying on them.
        What I want as a man. Hard question. The dreams etc are shattered. Haven’t established too far into future. Just trying to survive into next week but sure the longer term needs careful thought. I don’t have any extended family but I have the most amazing friends. I’m very humbled by that

        • Start dreaming about what you want as a man–as if you were 18 again. Because your life expectancy, if you’re taking care of yourself, is a long one. You can go back to school, you can take a part time job in a totally different field. I’m in healthcare and thought about how fun it might be to work in a winery, or to finally learn Spanish. I want to travel–my sights are on Cuba or Singapore or Turkey. Hmm… Would some day like to move houses. Am looking forward to dating (kinda scary) once my youngest is off to college.

          How about you? I read a book about abandonment that recommends this exercise, which is actually really helpful. Imagine a scenario where you have unlimited amounts of cash–money is no object. Your wife is not in the picture–you are going to build your dream home in the setting of your choice. What does it look like? I think this helps because it puts the focus on what YOU want–YOU ONLY. You focus on YOU, not her. Try it. It’s fun. My dream home completely opened up onto a big patio overlooking blue water. There is a fucking koi pond INSIDE the house. Awesome! Breezes blowing the white curtains through the back patio doors… A huge kitchen counter overlooking the living area with giant plump couches…. Paradise.

          And there is a famous speaker here in the US (maybe Canada?) who has made a living on inspiring people to reinvent themselves. She asks–if failure were not possible, what would you do with your life? Now me, I would be a professional singer/athlete. Hahaha! Who speaks 5 foreign languages effortlessly. What about you, Baci? And why not check it out for real?

          I think it is important for your sons to see you carry on in a happy life. I don’t wan them believing that a woman can ruin their lives. Teach them that THEY control their own happiness. And if you find a great partner who accentuates your happiness because she is independently happy and loves you, then all the better. I think you’re going to find the cherry for your sundae, Baci. She can’t see you yet because you’re hiding, all turned inward.

          • And by the way–KUDOS for being the dad!!

            This is my most important job right now–I’m being a very good mom. I am SO happy about it. My kids are wonderful and make my job very easy and extremely rewarding. I will NEVER have to live with the regret of abandoning them. Could there be any WORSE feeling in the world, knowing that you intentionally walked away from your own children? No, there could not, not if you value your own children. Boy, that’s quite and “IF” statement, isn’t it?? Contrast that with the respect and adoration that shines on you. That’s pretty fucking enriching, isn’t it?

            Damn, it feels good to have values.

          • Stephanie, I love that!!! Thanks for posting about having positive dreams and goals for YOU!! After leaving a cheater, we must gain a life. What better way than to imagine the possibilities? Very inspiring!

            • Thank you Stephanie
              So many of you offer really constructive thought that motivates and stimulates positive thought while we drift into negativity about our situations.
              I have a business which is ticking along well.
              I have met a wonderful woman but am trying to be very cautious as its only really a few months since I properly detached. There is so much crap going on
              She is desperately trying to introduce him to the boys. Of course I get the blame that they refuse I meet him.
              I think some of it boils down to this.
              There is so much of this going on in society. This is how many other people live and why can’t the boys just get on with life. Why can’t Baci just get on with it. He’s all bitter and twisted.
              Chainsaw man is a good man! Look he probably is. I have spoken to dealers etc and they say he is charming and all that shit.
              But in the boys eyes he helped break up the family and over a long period of time while the boys were having a fun family time. It was like finding out there was a huge fire destroying your home while we all played outside for three years and we didn’t even realise there was a fire!
              All we can do is try to be the best mum and dad to our kids.

              • Baci, I’ll give you my two cents worth because you are a good guy and I don’t want anything bad to happen to you- you’ve put up with enough with the STBXW.

                I would REALLY hold off on a relationship with the new woman. First of all, you going through so much emotionally that it’s hard to see straight. You’ve been taken advantage of by STBXW, chewed up and spit out. I think we are ALL so vulnerable that what we need is NC and NC with dates, potential love interests for sometime. We’ve been kicked SO hard that anyone who is even a little nice to us seems like a life preserver- that may not be the case.

                Secondly, if STBXW is alleging that you won’t let the kids see chainsaw man then you need to be CAREFUL. If the boys know you are in any kind of new relationship thay may make a slip of the lip around their Mom and she may be relaying this to her divorce attorney. As such you may be vulnerable to attack by STBXW’s attorney with divorce proceedings in the works and he/she alleging that you can’t call the wife bad when you’re bringing new people into a relationship.

                Also, there ARE women who want to jump into relationships and rescue people drowning emotionally. Who wouldn’t like such a woman? Problem is they have issues that you may not get a clear picture on- you’re going through so much turmoil that you may just want to grab onto a life preserver (New partner) because you feel so sad and lonely.

                The loneliness and alienation that we all feel is so awful. It’s just hard to move forward sometimes day to day and I’m certainly feeling it. Yet I know I need TIME. Finish divorce proceedings first. Also, being ready for a relationship has to come from us- not any external pressures from a new relationship.

                Your boys and your relationship sounds great! How nice that you have an environment built around them and share the fun of soccer practice and time with their mates on the weekends. I suggest keeping it like that for awhile. If this new woman IS really special she won’t be jumping at anybody else. Take time to breathe, heal but don’t rush into anything.

          • Yes for the forst time in months have begun really thinking about the future. The immediate future holds much fear in divorce proceedings and property settlement and what will happen to everyone involved.
            I actually believe in the universe. If you are positive then good things just naturally happen. Work hard and a bit of good luck comes your way. Give and you get twice as much back. Three times more! Give give give.
            BTW we lived in Singapore. Not bad but you need a shit load of money. Great base for exploring Asia and great for young kids.
            The next mr Stephanie is going to be a very lucky man.
            Thank you for your love and support

            • Thank you Hope
              I’m being very careful. The boys are aware of her and my youngest has known her for two years at bbqs etc long before I ever knew she existed.
              Both my ex and I have these relationships that are very separate from the boys. The ex relationship is well and truly down the tracks. I have emails and text etc. they have known each other for over five years and been in a physical affair for three.
              I am fully aware of the rebound relationship.
              Adultery carries no weight down here. It’s irrelevant. What matters is where the boys want to live and the courts will listen to the boys if the parents can’t come to an agreement. The boys want to live in a shared situation which has been happening fir the last year. They are no ready fir new partners and the ex is making a grave mistake trying to push fir CSM to be accepted. She owns that though and is her problem.
              Our family doctor could never get his children to like his newAP. Just couldn’t get to base one. It’s just a consequence.
              The boys will make up their own minds and I will go with the flow.
              As for me I’m not ready for a full blown relationship. I’m too raw.

    • Well said Baci!

      ”the perfect husband and father” ” why would I throw this away?”

      Ever read the Scorpion and Fox fable?… If not, there lies your answer.

      • Sad aye that everyone drowns in this shit.

        You know she hasn’t answered that question yet” why would I throw it away?

        Reckon it will take a few years.

  • 7) Show some fucking initiative around the house. You never complained about back pain around OW, did you? Did you spend hours and hours playing on-line video games around the OW? How about you learn to clean a bathroom or to vacuum or to do some work in the yard all on your own like a fucking grownup. For once.
    8) Stop being such a fucking cheapskate. I never asked for extravagance and debt nor to live above our means, but if I want a cup of coffee AND the pastry, don’t pout, particularly when YOUR little hobby cost us THOUSANDS of dollars a month.
    9) How about for once you volunteer for us both to do something I like to do rather than always what you want to do?
    10) YOU tell our friends and your coworkers and the kids that you majorly fucked up and you will always live with the pain of hurting our family, but you are determined, without groveling and sniveling and self-pitying to be a fucking MAN with BALLS and initiative, one who truly LOVES his family.
    11) Bro–PLEASE get a sense of humor, seriously.

    • Yeah, where does their sense of humour go? STBX was a very funny guy but since he jumped on the hate train he has none at all. Take today. I haven’t had to talk to him much in the past month or so and out of the blue I get an email that was angry, hostile and just all sorts of ragey. I asked him to tone it down and made a joke. He went ballistic.

      I don’t get it. Isn’t he happy with OW? Isn’t everything turning out the way he wanted? :=)

      • Because you are just getting on with life and proven you don’t need him.

        Try and limit contact. It is so good for you. It’s hard. I went from a thick rope joining us to a thin rope to string to a fishing line. Now we have this tiny light weight casting line that could snap with just a tiny tug.

        I have been told that they get really pissed off when they can’t eat cake. It doesn’t feed their ego. They then gouge on each other. Sickening really

        • I don’t talk to him much at all, generally only practical kid or money stuff. He throws out emails every so often and tries to pick fights. I ignore or laugh at him. I wonder if there is something to the ‘Fuck you, bitch, why won’t you let me eat cake?’ thing.

          A few months into things I said, during an argument, ‘don’t try to keep this triangle going because I’ve already stepped out of it’. I didn’t know what I was talking about at the time but now, after loads of reading, yes, of course, he liked having the new girl and then me in the background as fallback girl and that’s around when he started getting really pissy. It’s also when I started telling the truth about what had happened, shutting the door to him forever. And the rage got really ragey after that and hasn’t let up much since.

          Whatever. He can go find a triangle somewhere else. I don’t expect it will be long.

          • Spot on again Nord. You cannot live in a triangle. Thats exactly what he wants. Triangles are extremely unhealthy and must be avoided at all cost.
            He wants to be friends wants a element of control. NC is the only way to protect yourself and move on. Our communication is strictly business. No meetings no verbal contact what so ever by choice on both sides.
            What will be interesting for me is ex is really bringing chainsaw man out in the open. She is desperate for the boys to meet him but thus far they refuse.
            I think they will just continue to see mum etc but if he is around will leave.
            We all have different dynamics going on in our situations. Your kids are younger so there are different challenges.
            It’s so bloody hard and I haven’t got there yet but just get on with it and live happy is the best revenge. Know that you still have integrity, a moral compass, self control, real love, honesty, and trust.

    • “but if I want a cup of coffee AND the pastry, don’t pout,”

      Oh no you di-int, The Danish that broke the financial camels back! Tee-hee, I can just see that widdle pouting cheater.

      • Seriously, Jay! And I work and have a 401k, the whole bit. He was begrudging BIG time. He valued thrift (except when it came to blowing shit-tons on his big dreams.) His mom was poor, and he felt that it was virtuous. Except that I went to school and chose a great job so I wouldn’t have to scrimp and sacrifice–still, I did not live extravagantly. And when I worked part time so our children would be secure and happy at home and I could take care of running the home, he would withhold support and tell me that it was “YOUR choice to only work part time.” So I made do, and watched helplessly as we shoveled tons of money into the furnace that was his dream vacation property (black hole of hard work and cash–all gone.) Now he is with a parasitic OW who is poor, and he is her HERO. He told me early on, nearly bragged, that she has simple needs (to match her laziness). The obvious implication being that she was low maintenance, not like I was, with all my WORKING and shit like that. Well, it’s likely that the little alcoholic is a borderline personality, so…. And that lovely blonde hair requires costly maintenance, so….

        What a mindfuck. Glad it’s over. I have a collection of inexpensive things he refused to buy for me. They mean a lot to me.

        • Geez, you have a great job, and a fucking Danish makes him pout? I can embrace thrift, but a Danish= Passive/Aggressiveness, and scorn? Nice P/A dig too about you compared to blondie… Peroxides only .69 at ALDI’s, so that should put him into thrift Heaven.

          I get the same “choice” crap from my STBX when she tries to spout off legaleze, hinting there will be no spousal support… “it was your choice to sit around, and not work, your choice.” She goes absolutely apeshit at the mere suggestion of touching her 401k, ya know, the one I managed to 426%… To bad, so sad cheater, how about some MF comps if you want to get all money grubbing for all the domestic work done?

        • Yes, well, STBX wanted me to stay home at a certain point so he could pursue his career. I agreed. Now he says how useless I am for not working and yes, he brags that OW has her own job and money. Of course she does. She is an infant at the beginning of her career with no real responsibilities in life other than making sure she makes it to work on time and feeds STBX enough kibbles to keep him from straying.

          It dead annoying, though, to be compared to someone nearly half my age who hasn’t actually lived her life yet.

    • Stephanie… when did you meet my STBX?

      That’s flippin’ spooky. They are cast from the same mold (and their insides are moldy). My STBX fits your points exactly.

  • I would only change one thing CL. In number 4 you refer to it as an infidelity grenade. I would change the word to Infidelity Thermonuclear Device that vaporized everything within a 20 year radius. Because after all, even us in unicorn land have to start over with a scorced earth and a cheater with the detonator in their hand.

    For what it’s worth my unicorn wife is 6 for 6 in all your categories and has committed to them for the rest of her life. Her words not mine.

    BTW forgivnesss means I give up the right to fuck you up as much as you fucked up me. Nothing more. If you need more? Then that is between you and god.

    • yeah, I like that your forgiveness basically just means no revenge. And since they had the affair first, revenge doesn’t really “work” anyway.

      I know one successfully (at least for the last year or so) reconciling couple… my only problem is that it seems like slowly over the past few months she’s started saying once in a while that “she can’t say for sure that she would never have cheated on her husband” like if the circumstances had been right or something. Do you think in order to reconcile you need to “understand” the circumstances and not claim to be more moral or to have more integrity or something? I don’t see why you can’t say, “no, I would have never ever have done that to you. But I am willing to move on and get past it as long as blah blah blah…”

    • If you have 6 out of 6 Dave, I think that’s the best you can do. If it’s still eating at you, IMO it’s okay to call it quits — even if you have an exceptionally remorseful spouse. That must make it very, very hard for you. In a way, many chumps are fortunate in that we are freed because our cheaters cannot manage one, let alone 6 of these things.

  • This is an EXCELLENT list. I wish that I had had this when DDay occurred. Granted, it was a dealbreaker for me, so anything mentioned about reconciliation wouldn’t have mattered, but it still says so much that I wanted to say to STBX but was just too overwhelmed to articulate. I would send it to him right now if I felt that it would make any difference, but at this point, it would just create drama, and I’m enjoying how we’re mostly NC these days. Even so… this is an excellent resource for people who are not yet separated, are considering R, or are working through divorce/separation and still have to deal with a cheater who is blubbering “I’m sorrys.” I would have loved to have thrust this under STBX’s face during one of his many “sorry” speeches and said, “If you’re really sorry, do EXACTLY what this says!”

  • In one of his texts to the OW, STBXH wrote that all of his family is dead. I wanted to add in, “hey, what about me?” OW has just turned 40 and has a daughter and granddaughter. STBXH got embroiled in their lives because he was fixated on OW’s bad luck streak with her daughter’s health during the pregnancy. It’s true that STBXH’s parents both died in the last few years, but 1) after you hit age 50, it’s likely that you will have the very sad burden of burying your parents, and 2) there’s therapy to help you with the grieving process.

    Sinking into a “life sucks, work sucks” depression and using the affair to escape life creates a whole other dimension of suckiness. Like what happens when your Betrayed Spouse finally confronts you with his/her knowledge of the affair. You thought you’d lost your family before? Well, let me tell you: you’re losing everything now.

    You want to make up to me and tell me that you really love me and don’t want to divorce? Well, here’s how it works. Forgiveness is something that you have to earn. I may not forgive you, even if I’m open to it. You have to break off with the AP. No contact. You need to go into therapy by yourself. You need to come to therapy with me. You need to sign a post-nup. Oh, and I need complete access to absolutely every computer or cell phone you own. If I find you have a new account, a new phone, or a new computer, then I will take that as a sign of another affair. See consequences of post-nup (and yes, those will all be mentioned in the post-nup). You need to repay everything you spent on the affair, even if you claim that you were helping the grandchild. You need to invest the time in our marriage that you invested in the affair. This means doing all those things with me, your spouse, that you claimed you never had time to do, yet you’re able to do with your affair partner. And as for sex? Yes, that’s great, but only after you are tested for STDs, and by the way, expect to be tested for STDs at regular intervals.

    If you aren’t willing to do any of this, then take a hike.

    • Many sulk at the mere suggestion of any of these… and there’s your answer.

      They’re so keen to “make it up” to you… until they’re actually called upon to make it up to you.

      • Mine kept saying he would do “absolutely anything” to make it up to me. I said it was impossible but that if he insisted on trying, perhaps he should delete the app he used to cheat.

        He refused.

  • But, but, but I said I was SORRY. Why don’t you just accepted it? Why should I put half the work into my marriage as I did in my affair? You’re soooooo bitter and unfair.

  • Holy smokes. The commenta at HuffPo are 95% scathing toward that inane writer. CL’s article is even cited.
    Must be having an impact, CL. Hope you get rich.

  • My crooked orbit got knocked more crooked today. He showed up at my door (new snazzy locks YAY!) and I let him in thinking he needed to pick up something (neatly boxed in back room) till he gets a place. He looks real real bad…unshaven, I think he may be sleeping in his truck. Just came to tell me he would pay me the $ he owes me tomorrow, and could he borrow $5 to eat? Go ahead and yell at me ya’ll……I know I deserve it. I gave him the $5 and asked him if he knew this was all his choice…he just nodded and slunk out. I was too astounded to say anything, just pointedly turned the deadbolt behind him. Then struggled with taking him back all day…I feel so sad, and so guilty…and he has never said “I’m Sorry…NOT ONCE. But I didn’t call him to rescue him, like I’m sure he thought I would, in a couple more hrs I can go to sleep….What a manipulating SOB. I called his Mom, who is convinced it’s because he turned 50 in October. But I turned 50 2 years ago…..But what the hell else could I DO? I feel like he’s my child after all this time…

    • Toni… you gave him $5 and he went away. If I could, I’d pay $5 a day to keep my X away! Okay, not really. But it sounds like you held up pretty well. You didn’t go chasing after him. I did that plenty of times when my X was moving out, asking if he was sure he should go… So very chumpish of me, I know. But you didn’t. You let him go, even though he put on his best “poor me” show. It is not your job to take care of him. It is your job to take care of you. And even though you might not see it now, getting him out of your life is how you take care of you!!!!!!!!!!

      • Dani,
        I know it’s stupid but I honestly would pay MUCH more for him to leave, but I need the $ more. Thank you for the kind words…….

  • My STBX actually threw a TANTRUM when I told him to stop seeing the OW. I was worried he was having a nervous breakdown – no, just a “but I want it!” tantrum, like a two-year-old. He “let” me do all the work of reconciliation while he kept contacting her. Oh, and he really wanted forgiveness. Yeah, and when was I supposed to do that? When I was busy being a mother to the kids, taking them to school/activities while he was busy planning when he could sneak away to screw her?

    Thank God he’s the OW’s problem now.

    • Really Really!
      The poor bum that needed $5 from me could be staying here till he can find a place but couldn’t stop riding around with her, in front of me! I didn’t even ask him to stop seeing her, just don’t make me crazy till you can get out and he only made it a couple of days…! And NOW I’m supposed to feel sorry? What an entitled bastard I created…no, HE created!

    • Yup,
      my situation to a T. I do all the hard work and he is upset cause he misses the OW and won’t do anything but sit around the house and sulk.

  • #6

    she said again and again that i need to forgive her(for abuse and cheating).i actually tryd to swallow that shit. i wish that i had told her to go fuck herself and gone NC.

    all six of them Chump Lady
    thank you once again

  • Someone else said it so I give them credit but how about a number 7: put at least half as much effort into the marriage as you did into screwing around.
    Oh and a number 8:
    Act like a big boy and suck up the fact that you miss the OW. Try to put a smile on your face and make your spouse feel like you are lucky to have them no matter how you feel

  • to be fair, witholding sex in a marriage while expecting fidelity is just as narcisstic as cheating. Just sayin’. Note, I think very, VERY few marriages with infidelity are actually sexless. Just sayin’ is all.

    I’ll throw out the gasp worthy elephant in the room tho. I think most women who cheat do it because their husband sucks in bed and they want some good hot sex or at least to see if it exists.

    There’s a lot of men out there offering up really horrible, terrible sex. Let’s admit it.

    • wendykh,

      Do u think or have u experienced “..most women who cheat do it because their husband sucks in bed and they want some good hot sex or at least to see if it exists” ???

      So, if u are a woman and get caught, you’ll lead to social castration of your husband by declaring (before whoever cares to listen) that what a rut of a man your spouse was! It is exactly the weapon that is used against chump-men, to keep them from interfering in cheating behavior. For chump-women, oh there are so many…!

      U started with “to be fair….”, what is “fair”? Please use the words you know.

      Wow…n then admitting that very few marriages are sexless….where are your reasons and logic and what are u trying to say?

      So, the reason to keep the side-dish going was to save yourself from terrible sex. Wasn’t a fair divorce a better option? Did u consider once, what about the chump’s investment in the marriage…what about the children of the marriage…what about other members like common social friends and your parents. Some men suck in bed…waah! Did u make an attempt to let them know they suck and there could be some alternative?

      Cheating in marriage is worse than killing your spouse and children! Cheating kills them many times over! Realize that and forget justifying cheating on flimsy grounds! Cheaters are no less than rapists, while the latter does it once, the cheater does it multiple times over! And then they watch the victims from the fence. It is the same sense of gratification by control that rapist achieves after his act. So, no justification, whatsoever, is giving you any human face. Cheaters are not humans!

      So, if you are a cheater don’t justify your cheating. If you’re contemplating to be one, please refrain!

    • What an insensitve, ignorant thing to say, Wendy.
      Most women these days fucked during courtship. If they did not like the quality, why marry the guy.
      My XWs sucked in that area(well, they did not really suck at all, actually).

    • Gee Wendy, you don’t seem sorry one bit. You’re not doing much to improve my opinion of cheaters or their apologists. Welcome to Chump Lady. You won’t find anyone here, alas, “gasping” at your insights.

    • Well, in my relationship, my husband and I had sex 1-2 times per day and that wasn’t enough to cure his savage beast… Now that he’s out of the house, she’s not enough sex for him either, he makes ploys to try to get me to sleep with him even now. It’s not fair to blame looks, lack of sex, boredom, ect. They are Cheaters plain and simple. They like the thrill of deception and that is what feeds their egos.

    • Most sexperts opine that if a marriage is sexless and not due to a health issue on one partner’s part than likely both people are contributing to the sexlessness of the marriage.

      Also, most studies show that people who cheat are rarely truly in an unhappy marriage.

      The cheater manufactures the unhappiness afterwards or rewrites the marital history in order to justify their sleazy behaviors and the fact that they were oh so willing to break their marriage vows because they were lusting after some strange.

      Also as has been said, if your are unhappy with your sex life than divorce is a kinder option, if counseling fails.

      Lastly, if you are unhappy with your sex life because the honeymoon sex wore off and now you find sex boring or routine, well I am sure your husband felt the same way, but chose to honor his marriage vows.

    • Withholding intentionally as a form of punishment is narcissistic. But it isn’t about one person is narcissistic and the other isn’t. We’re all narcissistic to a degree. Some are more pathological than others, some aren’t narcissistic enough!

      But if someone is withholding, it’s right there, in front of you, you know what’s going on and you make your choice in how to deal with it. I suppose going out and finding a guy/girl who is a great fuck is one such choice. Another choice would be to talk about it and tell them, “If this continues and you refuse to work with me to make it better, I can’t stay in this marriage” and don’t tell me people are financially trapped or trapped because of the kids. NO YOU’RE NOT. You picked the wrong person to marry for whatever reasons, so consider it sunk costs and free yourself. The kids will most certainly survive too.

      Having an affair, lying and deceiving, the betrayed spouse doesn’t know so they can’t make a decision on how to respond. Whether it’s to say, “Ok, go for it! Maybe I’ll have one too!” or “Get the fuck out of my life.”

      I said it before and I’ll say it again, give me overt narcissism any day of the week over covert.

  • Anudi, I’d say you pretty much nailed it ! My thoughts exactly. No one deserves having their marriage blown up by an affair. If the sex is boring- address your spouse and the issue and attempt to resolve it. If it’s that important to you and it can’t be resolved, then fairly let the spouse know how ‘crappy’ the sex is and let them know that you are willing to throw years of committment, kids, memories etc. under the bus for ‘exciting’ sex.

    If the sex is that bad then why is the cheater still married? That’s the BIG question. The answer is they are CAKE eaters- just as CL says.

  • For what it’s worth my wife and I had a very healthy sex life even after discovery but not since the whole thing came to the final ending.
    I think everyone is different. I have friends that are married that have had sex mayb twice a year. There’s a problem but they’re unsure to save it.
    My ex affair was a lot of fantasy and the sex was part of that but it was the emotional attachment and the ego.
    Sex to some is a dominant requirement. I try to look for a balance

  • In reference to some of the discussions about sex in marriage (or lack thereof)… In the later years of our marriage, our sex life dwindled to next to nothing. He would also tell me that he wasn’t sexually attracted to me at all. (really good for the self esteem) I figured out later it was because STBX was most likely getting it somewhere else, or was at least emotionally involved with OW so that he was not interested in sex with me. One of his complaints after this most recent DDay: “We never had sex. You never initiated sex.” Why the hell would I initiate sex with someone who proclaimed not to be sexually attracted to me? Yet, I stayed for the sake of our family and lived in hopes he would eventually come to his senses. Of course that never happened.

    This post, CL, also gave me a revelation of sorts. When STBX and I reconciled back in 1995, his approach was not one of remorse, regret, trying to make it up to me, trying to demonstrate his love for me or make the marriage stronger and work. It was more of coming back to see if he truly wanted to be with me. If the marriage was really worth saving. He was waiting for me to prove my worthiness to be his wife. Of requiring me to do the pick me dance.

    • Coming out of the fog but you just described why my “reconciliation” was such a mindfuck. It wasn’t him trying to win me back, it was me trying to prove that he should stay. I was in such a stupor I couldn’t articulate what was going on. But you nailed it, I wish i had the clarity to have said this in therapy and walked out the door

    • okay – I think I screwed up my abbreviations. I was thinking that D Day was discovery day . The revealing of the affair day. I guess it’s Divorce Day. Apologies for my naivete. Kat – I have not yet served papers. I’m next to broke, and still trying to figure out how to procede (loooonnnnnggg story.) But when I do, I’ll let you know how it goes!

  • I thought the article on HP was absolutely horrid. I was very relieved that the majority of comments called her out on being completely full of shit.

    During my EA I wasn’t able to compartmentalize very well. The cognitive dissonance I experienced was pretty intense, and I think this is why I told my H what was going on. I couldn’t tolerate it anymore.

    I had pretty much lost my marbles. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but the interaction most definitely was a ton of ego stroking fun. I knew I was participating in a fantasy to escape my reality. I didn’t want to just escape my marriage. I wanted to escape my entire life. I wanted to escape from myself! I mean I knew but I didn’t know. I much more aware of it now than I was then.

    The EA wasn’t because of my marriage or my H. It was entirely because of myself. It was a choice, (one of many very bad choices I’ve made in my life) because I thought it would fix something that was broken inside of me. The EA was one of many symptoms of a very dysfunctional life and person.

    I had to go through a TON of therapy to sort through my myriad of issues. It was not fun. It was painful and exhausting. I had to learn how to be an adult and be responsible for my actions. I had to let go of the blame game. Blaming others and blaming myself.

    I am not responsible for what others do to me, I am responsible for my own actions.

    I had to learn what healthy boundaries are, what my values are and to never compromise them for anyone, what true self esteem and self respect really are etc.

    Dr. Douche is an entirely different type of cheater than I was. He’s the serial kind, the kind many of you were married to. The kind that creates elaborate schemes, manipulates and twists things to suit his agenda and come out smelling like rose. Which is why he has cheated more than once and is still very married, why he had an affair at his school, with a subordinate and it was investigated, yet he’s still working there, probably got a slap on the wrist.

    I was very naive and had no idea there were people like this. That could do something like this for sport and simply not care about how it hurts others. How easily they get away with it. That people like this aren’t all that uncommon. Learning this was one of the most painful and disturbing things. Because really, you just never know when you could be dealing with one of these monsters. They are really that good.

    I think when you’ve experienced a person like this, you can’t be as open minded about things. You can’t try to see things from different angles. You have to have your BS meter on high alert.

    Where you once gave a benefit of the doubt or a second chance, you now have to say, “Fuck you, I’m done” the very first time you feel that little hit in your gut.

  • Loved it. Wanted to make a Valentine with the comments for the “Really Sorry Cheaters” along with the Valentine entitled “You Suck”

  • How about you fucking cheaters just DONT FUCKING CHEAT and end your current relationship before you pursue a new sexual partner?

    No, it’s all about you – isn’t it? Fucking selfish idiots.
    I hope all you people get cheated on, let’s see if you are concerned with if your spouse “forgives him/herself”…

    • Truth be told, they are afraid – scared shitless – of being alone. They have to have a backup plan before they leave. They need to put the blame on that “connection with the other person that they just couldn’t stop – it was too powerful.” What a sorry bunch.

      • Well put Andreas, well put! My POS cheater 10000000000% blames me for the entire affair, ALL OF IT! It is honestly freighting to witness what she has become, or should I say, dropped her psychopath juggling balls that now looking back, she half assesd kept aloft with updrafts of blind love from me. Big surprise I guess; her mom I come to find out was also “the OW”, so apple/tree kinda thing. I simply CAN NOT get over how skillful and cold her lying was and is, but when there are no emotions to twinge, I guess it is easy.

        r louise, you nailed it IMO. They make good and sure they get what they need, have all the time to detach and grow their fucked up cheaters paradise, then drop you like a shit filled flaming diaper. All we are left with is normal, human feelings of loss, blindsided, nuclear fallout, and cursed by emotional inertia that can keep us stuck, and rudderless. Yeah, it’s all our faults… FUCKING COWARDS!!!

  • Gee, my wife told me I am “like a woman” and, during a scrabble game spelled the word “penis”. She felt the need to use it in a sentnce, so I would not think it was a bluff word(right). Her choice of a sentence: “Penis, my husband has no penis.”
    Couple this type of thing with repeated dousings with freezing cold water when I showered or when I was dressed to go out, a lot of overture rejections and I guess my desire might have dwindled just a little.
    Yeah, I stop approaching my wife for sex. Can’t figure out why, though. 🙂

  • Well Arnold, what can I say. . . there are some women that equate ‘penis’ with ‘debonair’ NPD players like Chainsaw Man. So if ‘penis’ =s serial cheater, lied to his wife, abandoned his daughters in New Zealand so he could go to Australia, hook up with your ex-wife, ruin your family and cause harm to your boys by disrupting their lives, then okay- Chainsaw man is NOT a penis- but a real DICK.

    My definition of a ‘penis’: A good loyal family man who’s there in the good times and the bad. Who gives his all to his wife and family and those around him. He is true- the salt of the earth type. Because of these qualities, he is all this woman could ever want or hope for. I’ll take a ‘penis’ over a DICK anytime!

  • I was a cheater back in 2015.

    This is one of the best articles I have read. No nonsense and to the point and I intend to follow it to the letter. The comments are a very much needed slap in the face and leave me in no doubt of the pain I have caused. I will revisit this article regularly, especially if I ever find myself becoming complacent.

    It is very understandable that there is very little sympathy for cheaters here or very little hope that they really can turn it around and become good people again……but I am determined to be the exception.

    Many thanks for contributing this – know that it has made a difference to at lest one former cheater, Good luck to you all.

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