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Dear Chump Lady, What if they never really had sex?

Hi Chump Lady,

My husband and I are 28 years old and have two small children. We’ve been married since we were 20 and he’s always had problems with “needing” attention from other women. The first time he cheated we had only been married a year. He claims that he only made out with her, and that he felt horrible after the fact. I stayed married to him and forgave him. I assumed that it was a one-time mistake and that he learned his lesson.

Fast forward to soon after the birth of our first child. We were horribly stressed because of financial issues and he started trying to find casual connections on Craigslist. He’s a nerd and his social skills aren’t the greatest. He wasn’t able to seal the deal, so to speak, and he apologized all over the place. Granted, it took him 3 months to fully cut off contact with all the women, but he seemed to be on board with our marriage after that. Last Friday, I found out he’s been meeting a female friend for lunch and lying to me about it. They chat online all the time. She’s engaged, but in an open relationship with her fiancé. (Lovely, right?!)

I confronted him and he accused me of trying to keep him from having friends. I truly have no problem with him having friends, hanging out with groups of men and women, etc. I do have a problem with where this relationship was heading and his lying. Over the years I’ve really encouraged him to make friends and have tried to help him learn how to better interface with others. He seems to be using his new-found social prowess to undermine our marriage. He told me that we didn’t have a “connection” like he has with this woman. I was devastated. I’ve been there for him. I work full time, cook dinner, make sure we have sex frequently (never enough, though), and otherwise try to show him that he’s loved.

Here’s my question: WTF do I do? He hasn’t full-on cheated since we were much younger, but I think it’s only a matter of time. He lies frequently and seems to resent any infringement on his ability to do whatever he wants whenever he wants. He tried to blame me for the fact that he lied about going out with this girl alone. The blame shifting really twists me up in knots because I really do love this man. I’ve told him that I understand if he’s not happy and wants out of the marriage. He cries and says he loves me and wants to stay with me. The next minute, he’s cold as ice again. I refuse to waste another decade of my life with this man only to have him discard me like a piece of trash when I’m nearing 40. Do you think this is doomed or am I being overly sensitive?

Thanks again!


Dear Katie,

You’re not “overly sensitive” — he is blatantly disrespecting you! So I guess that puts me in the “doomed” camp.

I know you want to see hope here and you “really do love this man,” but you’re not giving me any evidence of his remorse. Apparently it lasts for entire MINUTES before he is “cold as ice again.” But he cries and tells you he wants to stay. Well, of course he does. We call that “cake.” He’s quite content to have you work full time, raise his kids, have sex with him, and try harder to please him. He’ll enjoy all that, thank you very much, and he’d also like — oh, NO, excuse me — he NEEDS the attention of other women too. We call that ego kibbles. It is Good To Be King.

This is a shit deal for you, Katie. From where I sit you have absolutely nothing to work with. Your forgiving him — and “assuming” it was a one-time mistake (chump mistake there) — resulted in his lasting gratitude.  That is, if gratitude is expressed in Craigslist ads and shady co-worker lunches. He’s playing you. And no offense, because we’re all chumps here, but apparently it’s not that hard because you allowed him THREE months to “cut contact” with MULTIPLE women. And he’s feeding you lines like he only made out with her, couldn’t seal the deal, and the co-worker is in an “open” relationship.

Bull shit.

Katie — he’s had sex. He’s sealed the deal. And his purported lack of social skills hasn’t kept his dick in his pants. This guy is a serial cheater. But… but.. but! He SAYS otherwise! Of course he does. He likes this arrangement. Best you stay in the dark. When he gets sloppy, or you get suspicious, he shuts you up with preposterous lies that you’re desperate to believe because you’ve invested deeply in a life with him and you’ve got small children. Awesome for him. Your fear, your willingness to believe fairy stories, keeps you stuck and keeps him in cake.

Look, I could tell you I only ate one cookie. I really NEED cookies (and I do, chumps, I do. Mad respect for those of you who can kick gluten, fat, and sugar — but they bring me joy). But let’s say I told you I only had that one cookie. That thing you saw me eating? That was a rice cake. Yeah, they make them to look like cookies now. My pants don’t fit. I’ve got powdered sugar on my lips. And when you check the pantry, I have a giant supply of cookies. Which I just look at. And stroke sometimes. Because I “need” to. But I never eat them. Okay, I TRIED to eat one, once, but it made me gag. I couldn’t finish it. I fed it to the dog.

You might say… Tracy? It looks like you’re eating cookies. More than one cookie. Like, cookies are a big part of your life.

Really Katie? Really? How DARE you insinuate that I eat cookies! Yeah, so my pants don’t fit — but that’s because I have some hormonal bloating and Banana Republic changed the cut of their Martin fit trousers. Pants have NOTHING TO DO WITH COOKIES! God, you’re so dumb. Everyone KNOWS pants and cookies are entirely different things. Sold in separate departments at the store. I pity you. I was enjoying a RICE CAKE, and I added a little powdered sugar. Does that make me a CRIMINAL? Gee, must be nice to be someone who can get by on just wheat bran and root vegetables.  I already gave up cookies, but now, NO, you want to police my rice cake consumption too? Where does it stop with you, Katie? Can a person have a snack cake without you making a federal case about it?  YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.

(Yeah, I can mindfuck with the best of them. Learned from a master…)

Does this kind of crazy talk sound familiar? He’s gas lighting you. Since you asked WTF do I do? I’ll tell you — leave him. It only gets worse from here if you invest more. He has shown you who he IS, (over and over) and now it’s time to believe him. I know it’s scary with two little kids, but people leave bad marriages every day. They recover and get better lives. And the kids recover too. Stick with this asshole, who is flagrantly disrespecting you, and you will model dysfunction to your children. Don’t live on false hope (and I don’t know how you even manufacture that, this guy’s actions say Not One Bit Sorry). Be brave and get out. Lots of good chumps have gone on ahead of you and survived. You will too. What you’re living right now is the nightmare. It gets better when you wake up and end it.

(((Big hugs)))

Ask Chump Lady

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  • I agree that your husband likely has cheated. I’d tell him you need him to take a polygraph and then ask him whether he’s engaged in any sexual contact with anyone else during your marriage. If he refuses, or he takes the test and fails, your path is very clear.

    • Tell him you want a postnup with an infidelity clause. See how fast his “sorry” lasts.

  • Oh Sweet Jesus – that cookie analogy was the best thing I have ready in a LONG time. I was giggling (in my cubicle) the whole time I read it. And it just got better and better! Tracy… you are fantastic!

    Hi Katie… I’m so sorry you are in this situation. I get it. You want to believe the things he says. You are invested in him and your relationship. But you KNOW… just like we all have KNOWN… that the shit they spew when we get suspicious is exactly that… SHIT. It is him trying to throw something at you, so you don’t pay attention to what is actually going on. One verse I read on Chump Lady that I repeat over and over to myself…

    He has shown you who he is… believe him.

    I heard the “I need the attention” bit. I heard the “you don’t want me to have any friends” bit. I heard the “she just understands me better, we have a strong connection” bit. I heard the “we don’t have sex enough” bit. I even heard the “I love you so much I want to stay” bit. It was all excuses and mind games to keep me twisted up and not look at his behavior. And his behavior is what matters. Your husband’s behavior shows you exactly what his priorities are… and your well being is not any part of it. And that sucks. And I’m sorry.

    You and your kiddos deserve so much better than this baby-man. You deserve a life where you don’t have to worry about what or who he is doing at any given moment. A life without mind games. A life of mutual respect. And you won’t find any of that if you stay married to this ridiculous excuse for a man. I promise you that…

    We are all here for you! Keep us posted!

  • I’m with Tracy. Give him a post nup stating he cheats again and you get most of the marital assets. I bet you’ll get a “you don’t trust me” instead of a “of course, I’ll do anything to make this better.”

    The only appropriate response to the “don’t trust me” by the way, is a “duh!”

    • Very intelligent, “nerdy,” guys can be some of the most difficult men to catch in the act of infidelity; mine could keep all his lies straight. I found that my STBX felt like he missed out on being with other women when he was young, so he felt entitled to cheat after he became a “big” doctor. The OW would play with his mind,( because he was so inexperienced with female games) he would come home and be incredibly sweet to me, then the next day,( after the OW and he would “make up),” he would be as cold as ice. Please learn from we Chumps, get a private detective, find out the truth, get a great divorce attorney, then BELIEVE he is a Cheater, and free yourself.

      • Same here, getmeout. STBX and I also met on the young side, so he felt like he never got to sow his wild oats (which I find hilarious… he had plenty of time before he met me but was the nerdy type who couldn’t attract any of the babes he felt entitled to). Mine was also the nerdy type who disguised his A brilliantly. Although he relied on my trust for it to work, I can only remember one time when I thought he was out later than was typical. Mine was never really cold, though, which made it all the more imperative for me to leave him. He was clearly enjoying the cake.

  • Meh. I wouldn’t bother with a post nup. Depending on how slick his game is, he may go right ahead and sign one for you without a fuss, then use that false security it gives you to keep on enjoying the ho-cakes on parade.

    After multiple times of catching my STBX serial cheater I got a post nup. He signed no problem, “he loved me”, “we’re going to always be together anyway”, “I’ll do anything to make you happy again”. Blech. Words. Words are cheap, whether they come out of their lying lips or if they’re written on a piece of paper.

    Actions are golden. While my STBXH had said and signed that he would be good…he continued to be bad. And that post nup after all the shit hit the fan? Not worth the cash it took to get it done. He fought it, and it would cost me more money than it is worth to go to court and fight to have it enforced as is. And besides, the money he promised to give me in the post nup no longer exists…because while I was wrapping myself in the cozy security of that piece of paper, he was out spending money here and there with his ho-cakes.

    I say all that to say, don’t get bogged down in all those useless details. You know the facts. He likes to eat cookies. Lots of Craigslist flavored cookies, with “just a friend” sprinkles. Do you want to continue to be married to someone like that?

  • Oh dear… He felt “terrible” REALLY????????? Again, he feels terrible that he’s gotten caught. And honey, sorry to have to be the bearer of (more) bad news, but the others beat me to it… YES, he’s had sex. I’m so sorry, but he’s totally full of shit! My h told me the exact same thing and he’s also a computer nerd. He thought his dumb computer phobic wife (NOT anymore! haha) would never find out. He also said that it was JUST chat. (I found out six years later that it was not JUST chat, and chat is also not cool and I also found out that I’m pretty durn good with puters, myself! uh oh…I finally left him.)

    There is no JUST. He’s pulling the wool over your entire head. I’m really sorry honey. computer nerd SUCKS! he wants you because he WANTS to look normal. He can’t bear the thought of not being able to hold onto his woman and all the rest that CL and the others said. The man you love is not real, honey. Its all a carefully crafted act meant to demean and confuse. grrrr… He’s playing you like a fiddle. Please don’t let him.

    Tracy… the more I read you, the more I’m convinced that we were separated at birth… (even though you’re at least a decade younger than me. lol)

    • “…He can’t bear the thought of not being able to hold onto his woman…”

      Very good point. He doesn’t care about loosing you as a person, he cares about loose his wife, one of his status symbols and someone who makes his life easier. Sorry, you don’t matter to him at all.

      • So true! They’ll get away with what they can and lie to cover up the rest. That’s just what they do. It’s true, they don’t want to lose you…but that’s because they don’t like to LOSE.

        • Absolutely. And divorcing these narcissistic womanizers = they don’t want to lose in court either. Leave your “nice” behind there and as CL tells us “bring your mighty”.

  • reading some of the other comments. I wouldn’t waste my time or money on polygraphs (what the fuck for??? just more and more humiliation, IMO) or therapy ( for HIM, that is.) No post nups… nuttin. just get in, get on and get out! This is all a big game for him and nothing but more and more trauma and anguish for you. I wish it weren’t so, but it clearly is the way it is.
    Honey, I am looking far into the future for you, because I know what its like to be in the thick of it and paralyzed with crippling fear. This guy is very sick AND slick. He’s not going to make a turn around here. The dudes who are into the computer thing— many, many women are so addicted their brains have atrophied. Even IF they stop… there’s the ol’ euphoric recall. Its an escalating disease and he sounds pretty far gone already. You’re only 40 now… wait until he’s 60. No, please don’t wait. Please make your plan and for the sake of the kids too. Sex addicts make lousy parents. They leave their shit laying around. They’re depraved perverts and do things like walk around with their fly open. and worse. a LOT worse, if you get my drift.

    • YOu wrote what I was about to write. polygraphs? Detectives? Fuck that. File and split assets. Let him live wiht the consequences of being a cheating dickhead. You’re young, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. You’ll survive and so will your kids.

      It will suck, no doubt but it will suck relatively short term. If you stay with him the suckitude will go on for a lifetime…or until he meets someone who is, in his mind, ‘better’ than you and he dumps you. Like when you’re 40 or 50.

      Get out and don’t look back. Have more love for yourself than for him.

      • I agree with Nord and speak from experience. I learned my STBXH was having an affair the DAY we were married that carried through my pregnancy with our first child–I found that out about a decade after the fact and it is the one affair he copped to (at the time.) I tried to make it work, I told him the only thing I wanted from him was honesty and to never play me for a fool again and then, almost thirty years later, I find that he never did stop and it wasn’t just affairs but also on-line porn and strip clubs and explicit texting and messaging with many, many other women (he too claimed it didn’t involve sex but I absolutely know it did)… so here I am now, 58 years old and counting and wondering why the heck didn’t I get out of that sham of a marriage when I found out about the first affair. The best years of my life were spent catering to that psycho-narcissist and now my future doesn’t stretch too far ahead. So speaking as your possible future self, run NOW! Don’t wait, don’t believe his lies, get out and get a new life going with people who speak the truth and value you for who you are. Run!

  • sorry. quick reading. Just saw the 40 and forgot that you had already said that you’re still in your 20s. OMG! You could easily be my daughter! no question about it. please… make your plan and run for the hills with precious kids in tow. ((hugs))

  • It seems like figuring out what he did/when he did it is irrelevant. The writer does not appear to be very happy with the relationship. From your letter, it seems like it’s time to move on. The particulars of the real estate he may have covered would not appear to matter.

    At least as far as I can tell from this one letter. Doesn’t sound like a marriage that’s going well or is likely to improve.

  • If whether or not they had sex “is irrelevant,” what’s the point of this website? If you really believe that, you shouldn’t see much of a difference between emotional affairs and physical affairs, or marriages that end due to boredom as opposed to infidelity. You divorce your spouse because they disrespect you by coming home late against your wishes, regardless of whether they were out late at a swingers’ party or a Doctors’ Without Borders fundraiser.

    Having. Sex. Matters. Whether cheating happened is a really important piece of information you should have, if it can be reasonably had, before deciding whether to divorce. It matters emotionally, and in many states it matters financially. Does that mean detectives and years of limbo? Of course not. A polygraph can be arranged in less time than a trip to the dentist. And if the reaction to a polygraph invitation is anything other than eager acceptance, you don’t even need the test to know what happened.

    I agree that this guy likely *has* cheated. But more knowledge is a good thing, especially where the time, money, and emotional investment is required is minimal, and especially where kids are involved.

    • We had a discussion on this once I believe. There was a post asking Tracy to define cheating. In the comments there was a debate about emotional affairs vs. physical affairs. If I recall correctly, though you can go check, the consensus seemed to be anything that robs the marriage of intimacy. If that’s having sex with another person, or investing all of one’s energy into sustaining a different relationship.

    • The day I ask my spouse to take a polygraph is the day I will know I’ve lost my mind. No way am I willing to play warden to anyone. If I’m actually ASKING FOR A POLYGRAPH the marriage/relationship has already sailed.

      I honestly can’t imagine asking anyone to do that and I can’t imagine anyone agreeing.

      • I agree that asking for a polygraph is horrible, but not as horrible as leaving marriage “because of” infidelity that didn’t occur. And that’s especially true of you made that wrong decision after you consciously chose to ignore important evidence. Especially where your wrong decision deprives your kids of an intact home.

        If infidelity is “irrelevant,” the spouse who is leaving should just say, “I’m ending the marriage because I don’t trust my spouse.” Or, “because I don’t like my spouse.” Or whatever. But they shouldn’t blame it on infidelity, which I took to be implied in the original inquiry. If a person blames the end of their marriage on infidelity, but chooses to forego making a minimal effort that would give them more information about whether infidelity occurred, it’s disingenuous.

        Also, FWIW, since I am married to a chump, I would absolutely agree to taking a polygraph at any time, just as I would never use a password on any computer, phone, or bank account that I didn’t give my spouse. People get triggery, and its a very cheap and easy way to accommodate some of the baggage with which infidelity saddles us.

        • Nomar, While I do understand and respect your views and feelings I have to say that I largely disagree with most of the assertions you made. We are not falsely accusing anyone of anything and we don’t need a lie detector test to understand that this guy is lying through his not very sorry teeth. He’s already told Katie everything she needs to know. But unfortunately, and I used to do this too, we are still operating with the premise that most people are good, but lets pay closer attention to what he is saying. (I feel that statement about paying attention to what he does and not what he says is not valid)

          He has a CONNECTION with this other woman? Why would he even SAY such a thing? to his wife??? That is humiliating if not downright cruel.

          He sucks.

          He is first crying, begging for her to stay and then goes cold as ice? He lies to her face and then blames HER for HIS lying? please, please, please!!! Oh, he’s guilty alright. He’s guilty and very sick. He has no love in his heart for anyone but himself and he will do and say whatever he needs to, to not lose his patsy. uhh… I meant, wife.

          The bravest, strongest thing my mother did was to divorce my sicko father. Please do not assume that leaving a dysfunctional family “intact” is what’s in the children’s best interest. I can assure you that the kids will be fine. They are extremely resilient and there are no rewards for martyrdom. In addition, cheating, lying, mindfucking parents often do other creepy things. Think not? My mom’s a shrink and she told me that one out of five of us walking the planet is a victim of incest. I wouldn’t wanna bet on that pony… nosireee.

          This man is sick. He’s SHOWING us over and over and over through his actions AND words that he’s sick.. Even IF he hasn’t had sex (and I would bet on that pony that he has!) he’s a fuckin’ dishonorable creep. That is why I advised her to get out.

          But the bottom line for me and what I also hear from Katie is that the trust is gone and when the trust is gone, so is the marriage.
          Its very tough. A man could give his wife all the passwords she could ever want and still keep some secret accounts/cell phones/post office boxes/credit cards. Why it goes on and on and on…
          but a lie detector test in order to “feel” safe? I think that’s a disgusting notion. This is supposed to be the person you trust more than any other individual on the face of the earth and they have to take a lie detector test? I cannot even begin to fathom such an idea and I do not know of anyone who’s done it who didn’t end up finding out horrible, horrible things and ended up leaving, anyway.

          We never know the whole story. never. If we did, we wouldn’t even be discussing this at all. Yes, its that bad.

          • Laurel and Nord am in complete agreement with you on the polygraph issue.

            The very fact that you have to ask a husband to take a polygraph test is complete anethema to what a marriage is supposed to be.

            And tests can be beaten ESP by these cheaters because thhey rarely think they are evil, they believe they are good people who haven’t got what they deserve(my X , he of serial cheating, hooker visits, a massage aficionado wants to open up a school and mentor young children once he retires !!!!!)

            And no person, cheat or no cheat, after being subjected to a polygraph test by a spouse can remain in a healthy relationship no matter how much he may want to have a trophy wife.These people have unresolved anger issues, faulty processing mandate coping mechanisms , they would never be able to process being asked to take a test in a healthy manner.

            It’s a complete contrarion position.Only an honest and spouse with empathy would be able to take a request for a polygraph test in his stride, but then a healthy person wouldn’t need a test.

    • I agree. Not knowing for sure waas hard on me. I needed the certainty that she cheated vs that i was merely unhappy.

      • I think in your heart, you did know for sure, Arnold. She sucks and a test showing that she DEFINITELY sucks just makes the entire situation even suckier. Its just more and more humiliation, IMO. I think it goes back to CLs premise that we must trust ourselves. We must trust that they suck. Ya know… if it quacks like a duck… (or a dick in my case) :[

        In addition, the test is expensive. If a good friend of yours told you that he was taking his wife in for a lie detector test… what would you say to him? what would you think? The point is… it doesn’t fix anything. and as Sanity said somewhere here, it is not 100% foolproof. It just can’t possibly tell you everything you need to know.

        Everything you need to know lies inside your heart. The fact that its conflicted is extremely understandable, but the point is that you are miserable for a reason and the reason as I see it is that your wife checked out of the marriage and not only that, she did it on the sly and that is reason enough to say, “I’m done.” You already know that she’s had some sort of inappropriate behavior. For me, actually, it was the ex fuck buddy he used as a confidant that totally did me in. SHE was the one who knew EVERYTHING.
        And he felt absolutely no compunction about discussing intimate parts of MY body with these women.
        I found it on email. At the time, I believed (because he said so) that it was just cyber sex, etc.

        again, there is no “just.”

        I wish I had just walked out then and there. It took me 6.5 years.

    • Nomar,

      Sorry if I offended you. Didn’t mean to.

      In this instance, the person seems very unhappy, and that should be sufficient to make a decision to move on. I was only referring to this case. My only point was that you don’t have to have an instance of cheating to need to leave. In this case. This does not mean that I necessarily subscribe to the other beliefs you attribute to me.

  • I heard the same song and dance from my ex-cheater.

    He never did admit to anything I didn’t already know about.

    Cheaters like that love to keep secrets and tell different stories to different people.

    All I can say though, is don’t listen to what he says, look at what he does and where he spends *his* money. That is your best clue as to where his priorities lie.

    • A favorite expression of mine is that actions speak louder than words, and right now his actions are screaming so loud that Im suprised you can even hear what he’s saying. My STBX talks a great game, its just that matching his behavior to what he says seems to be too difficult for him.

      Don’t listen to what he says, watch what he does.

  • Katie, reading your posting is like reading the story of my own life right now. As the months roll by and I pull more and more details from my H I realize this was so much more than I imagined. Right now he says he has “broken up” with her (how sophmoric from a 50+ yr old man) because he is tired of seeing me cry.As CL pointed out not much empathy there. And I don’t believe him. I feel for you honey 2 young children and a shit for a husband. If you haven’t seen a lawyer yet please go and just get some information about what you have to do and what you are entitled to. It doesn’t commit you to action but knowledge is power. Don’t tell him you are going. Collect any and all financial info and keep it off premise. Check his credit score. Don’t tell him what you are doing. Don’t believe a word he says.

  • Katie,of course he has had sex with his co worker.Otherwise, why the heck would he even know that she is in a open relationship with her fiancé.

    Open relationship doesn’t mean you are free to have lunch with a co worker of the opposite sex, it means you are free to have sex with anyone.

    That your husband knows this, and to top it repaeats it to you, is his subconscious telling you he isn’t doing anything wrong by banging an engaged female.The fact that you guys don’t have an open marriage of course is of no consequence to him.

    This is how cheaters are. In the midst of all the cheating and deceit he is yet trying to tell himself and you that he is an honorable man.

    Total fuck wits.

  • All,

    I don’t want to minimize cheating, but I would think that if a marriage comes down to polygraphing your spouse, your trust level is done, zapped, fritzed, burned up and out. Even if the polygraph came back that confirmed that your spouse didn’t slide over the line (and polygraphs are not 100 percent), I’d be inclined to think that such a marriage might have other issues that are severe enough to justify, for example, at least a trial separation. Maybe the suspect partner does not “slip over the line” but then does other things/plays other mind games that are inappropriate? I don’t know. In any case, if it gets to the polygraph, you have traveled a long way from the altar, and it sounds pretty hopeless.

    In the end, I think we chumps then have to ask ourselves if trust is sufficient. I write as “Chump son,” so cheating is not an issue (since I argued that I was “chumped” by my father a few posts back, chumped as in verbally abused). What struck me in reading this outstanding site was how the dynamics of narcissist-to-chump relationships are really quite similar. I had a “D-Day” with my father very similar to the d-days people describe here. In fact, I actually wound up “divorcing” him. Not cutting off all contact, but bringing a definitive end to his verbal abuse (which was quite subtle and masked as insignificant). This is in no way designed to take away from the bottom-line focus of this website. But I think it’s brilliance is that it really can apply to more situations than the one initially described. Broken boundaries, broken trust, verbal abuse: Chumps get hit by them from more sides than bad spouses.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d make an argument for my visiting and commenting based on the broad usefulness of this site. I also have friends who’ve been “chumped” in the classic sense, and they’ve become readers and, in one case, a contributor. In fact, in the case of Skater Girl, the dissolution of her marriage to a man who was once one of my best friends (I was Best Man) at the wedding was a classic case of narc-husband/outstanding caretaker and mother spouse. What was interesting for me, however, is that in supporting Skater Girl, I actually learned a lot about my father. (My parents never divorced. Was one of those old fashioned marriages where that was simply not thought of as possible.) I actually heard Skater Girl telling me things that her then STBX would say that were EXACTLY, almost word for word, the things my father would say. This clued me in to how unoriginal these narcissists are. (I’m talking about male narcissists here because that’s this experience. I’m not sure what the cliches female narcs might use. My research is limited.) When Skater Girl’s husband would complain constantly about work, it reminded me of my father. When SG’s husband showed “hobbyholism,” i.e. an excessive interest in hobbies, it reminded me of my father, etc. etc. Finally, in a strange way, I also realized that I, like SG, was a kind of hyper-tolerant, instinctively supportive friend to her STBX. Our friendship drained away and when he ran off with a younger woman, I decided to support the best of him, his former wife and his children. So, you see, these experiences and cases blend together, and CL gives us a space/chance to sort them out.

    So, my point is that you can learn a lot from this site.

    My final thought is this, and this, too, resembles the experiences of a lot of spouses on CL’s site. I wonder how my former friend (SG’s ex) once seemed to be so much better a person. I know that I’m not the only former male friend of his who feels this way. I wonder: narcissists are surely part born, but sometimes I think they are part “made” too. As this former friend of mine became more successful (he is a physician), he became crazier. I read recently in the Washington Post about a special program for doctors at Vanderbilt University. It’s essentially “Miss Manners” for physicians who are becoming so awful to their techs and staffs that the hospitals have to send them to learn how to be collegial. So, while I think narcissists are narcissists, I did find myself scratching my head about this one former friend’s decline into narcissism. My guess is that the bad seed was there all along, but circumstance and choice also play a role.

    Anyway. Two more cents from Chump Son. CL, keep up the good work.

  • 1) He DID sleep with her/someone/more than one person.

    2) His attitude shows he doesnt care and doesnt intend to change. Leaving is the only option.

    3) Postnups arent worth the paper they are written on.

    Best of luck to you

  • Dear Katie, please don’t believe his lies. My ex h came to me in tears that he needed me, only wanted me, blah and wanted sex. I did not want it since I was sure he’d had sex with the OW despite his lies to the contrary. But that day he broke me down, I so loved him, I so wanted to believe, so I did believe him when he said he’d been unable to have sex with her. He said he couldn’t go through with it because of me. He gave me an STI that day, I have to live with it the rest of my life. Just another lie to him, he didn’t care. Learn from my mistake, a cheater will only tell you what you know for sure, and often even if you have proof they will still deny it’s true.

    That “just friends” line? all you have to do is ask to meet the “friend”, you’ll be told some reason that is not possible, you don’t keep “friends” secret from your spouse.

  • Visit www. Cannot Be
    If any “other woman” thinks the cheating man will leave his “old lady” they are
    Enjoy what you can while you can… have the great sex, dinners , trips… but never let him get caught.
    This is something you must take to your grave.
    Don’t ever worry about me or a smart “paramour”. I don’t want you husband… he is
    a LIAR & A CHEAT !
    XO That “evil other woman”

  • The thing about a poly is that it’s unreliable. Guaranteed unreliable. Trust me.

    Besides, forget about it. This guy is knee-deep in this. Katie needs no poly.

  • I agree. And what a poly says, to me is this: I don’t trust you. I don’t trust that you’re telling me the truth and I need to know the truth, so I’m going to force it out of you. (maybe).
    Why on earth anyone would want to live like this is beyond me. But let’s even say for arguments sake that the poly is accurate and the tester finds out that darling hubsand is lying. oh dear.

    “Mrs. Laurel, I’m sorry to inform you, but your husband is a lying asshole.” (we already KNEW that.) Thank you for using our services, that’ll be $700. (sucker–hehe)

    Now, that you are much poorer and are privy to the truth (for real, since you don’t trust yourself, either)… what are you going to do next?

    send him to his room?

    • A really good sociopath or a really good narc can beat a poly. And somebody with moral fiber, who is scared shitless at the mere thought of a poly or the circumstances surrounding the damn thing? Probably will come back as eith inconclusive or a fail.

      So trust your gut for crissake. If the circumstantial evidence adds up and the relationship stinks, there ya go. Or, come here and write a “Dear Chump Lady” letter, and let CL figure it out for you if you are too foggy to figure it out for yourself.

      I just remembered something.. again. I remember how badly I wanted that concrete evidence when I got that first inkling. Damn! I hated that feeling!

  • Oh, I know… I believed fucktard when he said that it was “only” chat. But that brings me to something that maybe CL could start?

    “Cheater Speak”

    in other words, the phrases and words that come frothing out of the mouth of a slimy lying, cheating snake. These are the words that will clue us into the fact that we have a bonafide cheater on our hands.

    Here are some simple and common gems that I’ve observed and these words have never failed to indicate that the perp is NOT on the up and up.

    “it was ONLY a COUPLE”

    (there is NO “only”)
    (there is NO “couple” — unless he left out the word hundred as in a couple HUNDRED.

    “oh, it was just once.”

    (there is NO “once”)
    (and there’s NO “just”)


    (there is NO “friend”)

    so, if you hear the following words, ONLY, JUST, ONCE, COUPLE, FRIEND…

    Anyone want to add to this list? (I think I’ll add this to the forum.)

    you already have all the information you need to know. The details
    are NOT something you want to know, especially, if he’s a serial online predator. And furthermore, you will never have the ENTIRE truth. You will never know the entire story. never… no matter how many fucked up tests you subject yourself to. Yes, you. you are also subjecting yourself to something that can only provoke more anxiety and pain. Guaranteed. I so wish I didn’t have some of the details that I have because they are now branded on my brain for the rest of my life.

    innocent people have NOTHING to hide. Liars minimize, deflect, excuse… etc. Or, they sweet-talk or shut down entirely. These are the signs to look for. This IS a case when I think it is very wise to pay attention to what he SAYS, not just what he does. (I dislike that phrase anyway. I think one should pay attention to both what he does AND says because you need both to get the full picture. Just my observation.)

    So, instead of that soul-sucking lie detector test, please take the $700 you were going to spend on the lie detector humiliation and take YOURSELF to a FULL DAY at a spa for the WORKS! That is a much, MUCH better use of the cash, and you’ll actually have something positive to show for it!

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