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I know I shouldn’t take the bait… HuffPo likes to keep things interesting, that’s their job — but Dr. Tammy Nelson AGAIN? AGAIN shilling the “New Monogamy”? Christ on a crutch! Just this week we had a nice article from another PhD nitwit telling us that “affairs make a marriage stronger.” I was glad to see that met with derision — but you gotta wonder, how many book sales? How much money is made off chumps by selling them snake oil?

Hey chumps! Let’s examine the affair and figure out how you “contributed” to your betrayal. That STD you’re sporting?  You “colluded” in that. Oh sure, you’re hurt. (You dummy, you should’ve KNOWN. In fact, I know at some level you KNEW…) But Dr. Tammy has just the thing for you — YOGA.

Chumps, you’re so good at contorting yourself into submissive positions — keep going! Pay no attention to his hooker habit! Just get a massage — because he sure as hell is. Don’t you deserve a “happy ending” too? I think you do. Get a pedicure too while you’re at it. Betrayal feels soooo much better after a day at the spa.

And after you get yourself all pretty, and let your cheater “communicate,” and share with you what drove them to this unfortunate act that you colluded in, why then you can “initiate erotic recovery”!  Judgmental, bitter people call this the “pick me” dance. But I call it working at a New Monogamy. Because let’s face it, “staying monogamous won’t be easy.” No sir! It takes practice! Okay, so hey your cheater has been practicing at monogamy for 17 years and hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet, but stick with ’em. They might be a slow learner.

Dr. Tammy has some more advice for you, when you’re in that really painful place, you know, before you find the right massage therapist. She says “Find an online group of helpful, nonjudgmental people to help support you right now.” Emphasis on nonjudgmental. Stay away from those angry people who lived this. Don’t listen to those crabby Patties who make judgments. That’s so final. It leads to decision making! Much better you stay muddled. Muddled people buy books. Hopium sells. Is your monogamy broken? I’ll sell you a new one.

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  • Well, Yoga might be very useful if you intend to turn yourself into a co-dependent human pretzel by trying to fix somebody else through your own contortions.

  • WTF is wromg with you, CL? Tammy is a relationship expert and international speaker. She is a sex therapist and a counselor.
    You better fall in line and start listening to her or you will wind up bitter and judgemental. You’ll ptobably lose some fllesibility, too, if you don’t start improving in your down dog position.

  • Hopium… haha! great word! I just love it when they say to stay away from those “judgmental” people who are so “angry.”

    hmmm… call me crazy, but didn’t they just make a judgment, themselves?

  • I let it go on only as long as it took me to get evidence/proof and then I blew the lid off of it. The first thing I did was to get rid of the OW permanently, by shipping evidence/proof to her husband. Never heard from her again. That took care of her. All h knew, was that he never heard from her again. Then, I didn’t just confront him, I clobbered him with all the details I had, which threw him in a spin which left him in a defense position and me on the offense. Lovely spot in which to play out my hand.

    Low and behold, he became quite ill and I must (I need the time to make a plan of attack and escape) take care of him. The hurt is over and I am spreading some of my own around. Nothing left but anger and resentment. Now, his best friend, who is alone in the world, is also very ill and in the hospital and I began helping him…did I mention he is quite wealthy. He is also no good. However, he is so appreciative of my giving him such good care he is giving me money, which I of course, keep in a safe hidy hole. I am just letting it multiply, while dwindling down h’s accounts while dutifully caring for him.

    Since there is no longer any emotional attachment, I simply treat it as a chore with benefits. I relish in the fact that soon, I will walk out with what I need to build a new life and they will both be alone, sick and miserable, all the while, they view me as so pitiful and they are so sorry for inconveniencing me. Oh, brother, give me a break.

      • Yoder,
        Be careful. During any divorce proceeding, you will have to produce records and account details. Putting cash in a hole is a dangerous way to go. You should talk to a professional before you make a plan like this.

        • Cash has no paper trail. By the way, I am one of those professionals you are talking about. I know every legal trick in the book and after becoming a chump, I decided I would never be one again.

  • Honestly, I just had to stop reading HuffPo… it was just getting too ridiculous! But thanks for the update that ensure that I’m not missing a damn thing.

  • So, according to the doctor/expert on sex and relationships, after Dday, I should have been exercising more, going out on “dates” with STBX, working on our “erotic recovery”, and making a new monogamy “agreement”.

    STBX cheats for ten years (unbeknownst to me) and he gets to have a fitter, more “understanding” and “agreeable” wife to go on dates with him and have weird sex with?


    That’s like telling someone who was raped “oh, you were just too attractive – better get to work and ugly yourself up so it won’t happen again.”

    Betrayed spouses are supposed to REWARD a cheater with dates and sex and a “new” agreement? What about “forsaking all others” – pretty clear, basic stuff from the original set of marriage vows many people take? How do you improve on that?

    I DID this stuff, out of sheer panic in an attempt to save my marriage (and not because of her book – her “steps” aren’t that much of a breakthrough). It didn’t work – the more I gave, the more STBX took. And he refused to end his affair, but sure liked the attention I was giving. Why would a cheater change when he/she can just sit back and wait for a frantic betrayed spouse to change?

    • “the more I gave, the more STBX took.”

      That is the light that has to go on.

  • While initiating the legal separation process (to end in divorce) was scary for me, nothing scared me more than how I felt when I thought about staying with STBX. I physically felt nauseated. I didn’t want to touch him, let alone stay with him as a roommate who helped him co-parent the children. My future seemed like a freefall into a dark abyss. I often left for work really early just to get out of the house, and when I came home, it was with an awful, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I can’t imagine contorting my life and sense of who I am to try and “win back” the very man who cheated on me. My STBX validates those feelings for me every day– he hasn’t once showed that is working to become a better person; his thinking becomes more disordered and selfish as time passes. At least if I’m away from him, I have a fighting chance at my own, healthy life and at being the healthy parent for our kids.

  • I feel rage when I hear that “how did YOU contribute to your husband’s having an affair” or “it takes two to end a marriage” kind of bullshit. My ex was fucking other men before he ever even met me, and by his OWN ADMISSION, fucked hundreds of men during our 20 year marriage. He hardly ever wanted to have sex with me (gosh, I wonder why) while I spent two decades desperately trying to figure out what was wrong and make the marriage work.

    He finally started having two affairs simultaneously with married women, threesomes and orgies with married couples, and dumped me.

    Yeah, I guess that was all my fault. Curiously, he says it was, and that all his sex with men was because he “didn’t feel enough passion” for me, so he had to stick his dick in any man available.

    The only blame I take for all of that is I should have paid attention to my gut when it told me something was really, really wrong with him. Instead, I hung on desperately. Sad. Life is better now without all that.

    • Geez, Glad, your STBX sounds a lot like mine. Same disordered, perverse shit going on here … except in our bedroom of course! Nope, I pretty much lived in a sexless marriage while he was out with shemales, interns, and hookers.

  • CL:
    Dr. Tammy Nelson is a wingnut who obviously has no clue what she is talking about.

  • I saw the article; didn’t read it. How I contributed to my husband’s affair? By being naive;excusing his bad behavior, supporting him,loving him,caring for him.

    • I agree with you Janet. That’s how I contributed as well. I was too busy doing everything to even think about anything else. He was too busy having an affair to think about us.

  • I don’t understand the part where we BS’s should have “known.” What does that mean? I asked my ex 3 different times point blank, “are you having an affair with ….., “and he denied it every time face to face until he was caught. Why? I was cake! I’m so sick of being made feel like I had a part of the deception. It was just him being greedy for his kibbles.

    • My Husband said “They were just friends” and didn’t see how all the texting between them was inappropriate. He felt entitled (thank you CL I am learning!) Well now it has come out how they have met etc… One time he even sent me a picture of the motel room (he was suppose to be leaving early for a fishing trip) and told me how nice it was. I was clueless. I even packed his bag!

      • I booked a hotel and packed the bags for one of STBX’s business trips. The night before I left I found out about current OW. While he was gone I found out he was meeting a former fuck buddy from a few years before in the hotel room I booked for him. He was cheating on me with a number of women…but it’s love with current OW. :=)

  • My husband said in a text after he tore our world apart with an affair that he was “sorry he destroyed everything”. And then he followed it up with “but I really don’t think you’ll ever be willing to admit that you have set any conditions in our marriage that caused it to fail and I don’t think that you have the capacity to think of yourself as anything less than without fault or perfect.” Hmmm, my conditions were that you be faithful to me and not a POS. Both conditions were not met. And I do think of myself as perfect…perfectly faithful, something that he would never understand.

  • They always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. We become too familiar not exciting enough. So sad.

  • Same shit, different book. “Just Friends” sent me down this bullshit path that prolonged my pain and in fact made things much worse in the end. I won’t read her book but I’m sure is goes like this; Treat the poor cheater with care, understand it’s so hard for them to give up their “friend”, they need to grieve their OW/OM, give them space. They may end up seeing the OW again after promising they won’t, forgive them, they are in pain. Then admit you both contributed to the bad marriage that led the poor cheater to cheat. Listen to the poor cheater tell you that you are 50% responsible for his/her cheating. Pretty soon you are THE problem and the cheater never would have done any of it if only you hadn’t been so awful. Fix yourself. OH, and wait, keep waiting and wasting your life, your marriage will survive, better, stronger, more loving…bullshit, here’s what is on those reconciliation forums regularly when you find out most of the people there have been trying to “rebuild” their marriage for years:

    Excuse, me? You’ve been on this (insert reconciliation forum name) for 3 years? And he’s still “going back to the OW”? Oh, I see, he’s grieving, obviously he’ll get over that one day when you are capable of being a better partner. Do you shave your legs every day and make sure you look nice? Have you learned to communicate better? Obviously if you could really talk to each other he wouldn’t still be fucking the OW. Maybe it’s time you do a 180, I mean if your serious. OH, you already did a 180 twice? Wow, you must be doing it wrong.

  • I shouldn’t say this, but I always have a sneaking suspicion that viewpoints like this (from Huff-Po) are held by one of two types of people: (1) a cake-eater who needs to justify in their own minds and to everyone else what they themselves have done, or (2) a BS who is desperately doing the “pick-me” dance while assuring one and all that the marriage IS better and the cheater IS being faithful (probably while dancing him/herself into psychotic exhaustion). I have never known one couple whose relationship was strengthened or improved by infidelity – in fact, I don’t know one that has survived it in the long term.

    • Same here– the three I know of for sure all ended in divorce; another one likely stayed together because the BH probably rugswept the WW’s A because of their kids (and he also has a very diminutive personality). I also have to wonder that for those who say they’ve done a successful R– how long does that last? I’ve read how some BSs who have supposedly been in successful R say that after several years, they just don’t want to be with the WS anymore, if even he/she has been the model of remorse and has done everything right in R.

  • My ex must have read Dr. Tammy. He tried to tell me I had responsibility for his affairs. I replied that I took my part of the responsibility for problems in our marriage, but I had NO accountability for his affair. I never once gave him any permission to put his pen*s in anyone else’s vag**a! That was all on him! He was not a fan of that response.

    Ha! I “contributed”? I “colluded”? I “need a massage” (well that one may be true!). What a bunch of nonsense.

    We tell our kids to make good choices. Cheaters need to own their bad choices and not blame anyone else!

    • Same here– I even pointed right at my STBX and said, “The A is ALL on YOU.” He didn’t like that response at all, which was very helpful– he kept showing me how D was the right path from the moment I confronted him.

  • When I discovered the affair …
    Step 1: I immediately took care of the kids. I realized rough waters were ahead so everyday I spent time with them, listening, laughing, learning, loving.
    Step 2: Communicate: after weeks of communication after confrontation, I discovered the affair was back on.
    Step 3: Date Night: During the “communication” phase, she rejected my requests for dates. I had to twist her arm to get her to go out with me on her birthday.
    Step 4: Address the reality: Apparently I tried too hard to me her needs to the point that she lost respect for me which rendered me unable to me her needs. Being fully engaged and committed to meeting one’s wife’s needs can have dangerous drawbacks.
    Step 5: A New Monogamy Agreement: I guess a public wedding in front of the State, church and 250 of your closest loved ones isn’t a sufficient monogamy agreement. The new monogamy agreement lasted all of a few weeks. Just more “untold damage” and “aftershocks” I suppose.
    Step 6: Initiate erotic recovery: “You must choose [monogamy] every day.” I can see the cheater thinking “oh, EVERY day? not just SOME days? Oh. Who knew?” What part of “affair” does Dr. Nelson not understand. I guess my erotic recovery began when I later discovered I may have had sex with my wife on the same day she had visited her lover. Ick.

    Upon initial discovery, I did fully invest in Step 4, as I had for the previous couple of years. I owned up to the ways I may have led to this situation. But still, she returned to the affair. I looked in the mirror so much that the mirror eventually said “stop looking in the mirror and go live your f’ing life!!”

    • Yes Buddy, I must admit the “New” Monogamy Agreement concept is hilarious. So,, we (meaning the ex) would have “agreed” to be faithful AGAIN…. but…. ummm….didn’t we do that before? And a lot more officially??

    • “You must choose [monogamy] every day.” OK, so this goes hand in hand with my ex’s alcoholism, you know “choose sobriety every day”. If it’s like AA then it’s OK if you can’t maintain monogamy/sobriety for a day, you can always start over, and over…because you are only hurting yourself, NOT.

      And Bobby, I’m so sorry about the sex in the same day with your ex. I know this pain, my ex coerced sex with me in a make up and I love only you, insistent to the point I gave in way. Turns out he went from her bed directly to mine and he gave me an STI that day. I had to work through that in EMDR therapy, it made me so sick when I realized the whole truth. It still makes me so very angry and disgusted but I guess it was a power trip for him.

    • Wow Buddy…I am happy to see more men post, ( HI ARNOLD!!;) ) because it just opens the floodgates for me that there ARE good people out there. I am at this point in my life
      Pretty much done with even the thought of another relationship..but it must (or at least I think) be tough for men to share with us that you hurt and love too! Arnold has been my (male) hero here, glad to see he he has company.
      CL brings out thebest!!! Xo

      • Tons of betrayed guys over at TAM(where I have been banned, repeatedly).
        And, on SI, the Betrayed Men thread forum in one of the forums is excellent for guys(really smart, funny ,betrayed guys there((Banned from SI, Too)) ). I also recommend Shrink4men(pretty dried up lately, though), Marc Rudov, Shari Schreiber, and menwhoareabused, for the guys dealing with disordered women(and mot cheaters are disordered, IMO).

        • Arnold, thanks for the references. I will check out TAM. I tried the SI Betrayed Men thread but had trouble finding pertinent information as that thread wanders into the land of computer gaming, and gaming and the like. It should probably be its own forum category. And is SI searchable?

          tip – you can always search a web site that doesn’t have a Search feature using google by appending “site:address” e.g. “narcissism” to do a google search of narcissism on only (and did you notice my manipulate behavior of asking if SI is searchable and then providing a solution to my question? no doubt this played a direct role me not meeting my wife’s need and her having to betray me).

          ps: i changed by name from Buddy to BuddyF to distinguish it more from the poster of the name Bud.

      • Hi, Toni,
        I think women tend to be more comfortable sharing in social media. I have found CL to be a life-affirming part of my daily routine, though I do not post often. I suspect that there are a good number who both read and identify with the blog.

          • There are a ton of men BSs. For some reason, fewer gravitate to Si than TAM.
            I cannot remember the last time I was in a rgroup of guys where at least one other guy had been through it. It is rampant throughout both genders(maybe women cheat a little more, but not significantly)

    • Proving that no matter how hard you tried or how committed you were, the cheating had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with you…it is on the cheater and their sick behavior. I love the Mirror personification! It took me at least 3 years after the split to realize that I was free, not responsible and could go live a much better life! Thank you for your post.

  • I must have missed something. New Monogamy Agreement? I thought my marriage vows “forsaking all others” covered that one pretty well.

  • Working on your marriage is distinctly different than working on your marriage AND working through your spouses infidelity at the same time. What bothers me about this persons “advice” is that it’s from a perspective that the cheated on is put on equal footing as the cheater. If my husband and I were going to try and repair our marriage after his cheating, you bet your ass the onus is on him to go above and beyond because I may not have done everything right, but no matter how bleak things got – I didn’t cheat! I stayed true to the promises we made. He did not. It would be on him to prove to me over and over he actually was genuine about reconciliation. In my case, he was unwilling to put in the effort to try and do everything humanly possible before calling it quits. Instead he announced he no longer wanted to be married, refused to do any counseling and proceeded to have a 9 month long affair. Instead of ending the marriage, he simply tortured me and made no efforts to leave. I could have worked through my feelings on the marriage ending. But instead he had to chose the hardest possible route to end this and make a hard situation unbearable. So if we actually wanted to attempt to make it all work after that, you bet your ass I’d expect 1000% effort above and beyond my own.

  • Isn’t Dr. Tammy the one that cheated on her husband and then he went and cheated on her? I guess that’s the kind of arrangement that goes into your “New Monogamy Agreement”.

    • No, really? I don’t know who ANY of these people are but I see a great big reality show in the works. 🙁

    • No. That was some other woman, who, BTW, looks exactly like a transvestite( I found some interviews of her on the web. A hideous creature with man hands.)

    • Moda…
      Revision…. Kiss my “fine behind”.
      “Red ass ” conjures of the image of a pain in the ass….
      may as well give yourself a complement !

  • Any partner (male or female) that freezes their partner out in the bedroom, refusing to talk about it, deserves every affair their partner engages in. Whine and cry about them getting a divorce first, but for many the “betrayal” of an affair is the first step to a divorce. That’s the first step to them finding out that they are still sexually attractive to someone. My friend had an affair after 3 years of no sex with his wife after she “decided” sex wasn’t important to her. He dragged her to counseling, she apparently thought it was “normal” and “wasn’t a big deal” that she had no desire. He should just shut up and deal with being involuntarily celibate.

    The counselor though she was nuttier than a jar of peanut butter. Was he ugly? Not a model, but he was relatively lean and muscular with a runner’s BMI. Intelligent? At least a hair above average. Perfect? No. He was a bit of a packrat. You know the type, he has jars for unused screws, keeps the packaging until the warranty runs out, et al.

    He’ll never get married again. He hangs out with a female friend, they met after he started divorce proceedings. She had (relatively) the same problem he had: her hubby considered sex with her a “chore” and she’ll never get married again either.

    • fuck your bullshit, my ex cheater cut off sex with me and I stayed because he said he had issues. yeah he had issues. and when he cheated he said one reason was no sex, yeah, the only reason was because he didn’t want sex with me. your friend is an asshole, you don’t cheat because you aren’t having sex, if that’s your deal breaker, you leave the marriage honorably and find someone else. that’s just the usual lame excuse that is usually a complete lie anyway.

      • Joseph: Cheating is never justified. Plain and simple. End of story.
        I agree with you that your friend not having sex in his marriage for three years is horrible. Who knows reasons why. If she was not dealing with any physical, mental, emotional sickness/limitations then he should have left before cheating occurred. Cheating on spouse/partner is disgusting behavior and completely unacceptable.

    • Bullshit, Joseph. You friend had a choice. It’s called “divorce”. The affair is not the first step. Getting out of the marriage is. He didn’t have to prove to himself that he was sexually attractive to someone else first. So, bullshit.

      You can’t pretend to know everything about their relationship. You have no way of knowing what lead up to her decision to shut him out. That isn’t something that a person does for no good reason. Don’t act like you know. You don’t.

      Shut. Up.

    • guess that counselor really sucked if they went in due to his wife refusing to have sex and nothing came out of it other than him going on to have an affair. Seems like if the counseling completely failed to improve their sex life the next step should have been divorce.

    • Yeah, right. Every cheater gives the bullshit story of how their “wife just refused to have sex with me”, is “frigid”, “doesn’t understand me” and the famous, “we’re just roommates, we’re only staying together for the kids.”

      I suspect Joseph is one and the same as his “friend” and is just making the usual excuses for his lying, cheating ways.

      • Bet you are 100% correct on that one, GIO! Cheater’s like Joseph’s friend is a dime a dozen. Pigs!

      • My STBX pretty much quit having sex with me (except for nights when he was having trouble falling asleep – about once every 3 months.) Also told me many times that he wasn’t sexually attracted to me, might as well be gay for how much he was NOT attracted to me….. Oh, and had a close female “friend” for several years. – So now I’m positive the so-called close friend was closer than he professed. And she wasn’t even the OW for whom he presently left me.

        Then after D Day he whined that we never had sex and blamed me for never initiating.

        • Absofuckinglutely. They just switch the gender. “My husband doesn’t understand me.” “My husband is a workaholic and never home.” “My husband doesn’t want to have sex with me.” “We never have sex, we’re just roommates staying together for the kids.” Women cheaters are just as much lying sacks of shit as men.

    • One who withholds physical affection does not deserve to be cheated on. Still, I believe that withholding sex from one’s spouse is a form of betrayal or abuse. I am of the school that sex is an essential ingredient in a marriage. Obviously, Joseph’s friend’s strategy of boinking another woman was not going to elicit a sexual response in his wife, so it was a selfish, indulgent, passive aggressive act of self-pity that his wife did not deserve. As of now, I think his decision to not marry again is wise. Using an affair as a means to instigate a divorce is not just cowardly, it is extremely cruel and aggressive.

    • My husband had ED after he started taking meds for his HBP. Did I miss sex; yes. Did I understand the problem; yes. Did I pressure him to talk to his MD; no. Did I have an affair; no. Either patner witholding sex in a marriage is grounds for divorce ( it’s called irreconciable differences) And that is what an honorable person would do if the problem was that big a deal to them.

    • If they went to counseling and the wife thought it was normal. He could’ve countered that he felt rejected undesirable and unloved and if things didn’t change, he was going to have to look elsewhere. Then, she could have countered with, “alright” or, “NO, please don’t do that!” To which he could’ve replied, well, I love you, but if you won’t let me have a sex life and then we can’t have a sex life and its very important to me, then we are going to have to part ways.

      This is about HONEST AND OPEN COMMUNICATION! He took matters into his own hands and LIED.

      For me, more than anything, its the betrayal and breach of trust that has hurt me the most. And its not just his affairs. He has repeatedly let his family bully me, and just stands there and does absolutely nothing.

    • Dude, BMI? Srsly? If you think this has anything to do with the problems in your friends’ marriage, you have a lot to learn about marriage.

      And BTW, NO ONE DESERVES to be cheated on. No. One. Ever. A profoundly un-insightful thing to say. Unhappy? Then leave, as is your right. The “first step in divorce proceedings” is calling a divorce attorney, not f*cking some skank behind the back of the person you swore to love and cherish forever. Jeez.

    • Sounds to me like “Joseph” is the friend, and found out his BS discovered CL.

  • Dr. Shammy is a real laughable twit. I did not read the article as her perspective on marriage after infidelity is way off base and completely moronic.
    Hmm. Cheating occurs because we evil betrayed spouses drive them to cheat?
    Wrong. Bad marriages, bad relationships do not cause or drive a cheater to cheat. The cheater CHOOSES to. Actively PARTICIPATES in lying, deceiving, manipulating and abusing the spouse/partner to maintain affair. If anything, the betrayed spouse should NEVER EVER take responsibility or the shame of the cheater’s actions in having an affair/s. That is entirely in them.
    Cheaters cheat in good marriages and bad marriages. Long term and short term. Gay and straight marriages/relationships. To beautiful men and women. Interracial marriages/relationships. Etc. Bottom line? The accountability falls on the cheater in R. Other issues should be dealt with AFTER this nuclear aftermath is tended to. No way should the BS play pick me!, let the cheater grieve, give him/her space. Despicable advice Shammy. The cheater needs to man up and help the BS through the abuse and PTSD the BS is experiencing if R is the real deal just to being the marriage/relationship back to zero. Build trust, intimacy, respect, etc. from there. If that is even possible.
    Chumps do not EVER take responsibility for cheater’s affair/s. That bullcrap is on the cheater.
    You Dr. Shammy are a crock. New Monogamy indeed!

  • I was laughing when I read the article on HuffPo. IMO all it does is prolong the agony of a lopsided relationship where chumps cannot find any lasting joy or peace. It messes with your mind, body and spirit. I WILL NOT GO THERE AGAIN!!!

    • Some days Huffpo is just not worth the trouble… Dr. Tammy schilling her ridiculous book…. Guy with an eel in his butt… What is this, National Enquirer??

  • Thanks, CL, for another great article. And let me just say, I am sick and tired of the word “nonjudgmental” being thrown around like it is some great thing that we should all aspire to. Sure, it is good to be nonjudgmental about basic personal characteristics like skin color, religion, gender, etc. But when we are talking about choices and behaviors that a person Chooses, then hell yeah we should be judging. Our society has a code of laws for a reason.

    And Personally, I think cheating is criminal. It is an intentional act, there are identifiable victims, and studies show that emotional pain triggers the brain and hurts us in the exact same way as physical pain. So damn straight, if someone commits murder, robs a bank, or cheats on his/her spouse, you bet Im going to judge. “Extenuating circumstances” do not point a gun at someone’s head and make them do something wrong. Divorce is always an option. And yes, some people make such bad choices that society really needs to protect itself from them and/or punish them. Rule of Law and respect for others are what make us a civilized society and keep us from descending into “Lord of the Flies” mayhem.

  • So a woman wrote in on Hax chat about her husband cheating on her, Hax’s answer was really convoluted so I submitted a reply about the LW’s question ref how much she should blame herself (that she should not), to my surprise Hax posted it. The chat is here: and you can read it by searching on cheating. Below are the relevant bits, I tried to put this on the forums instead but it’s not posting (CL if you end up with it twice that’s why).

    The LW & Hax response:

    My husband of 28 years is (reluctantly) moving home to his widowed mom’s house. I found out he’s been having an affair for 2 1/2 yrs with a married woman who we’ve both known for 35 years. Our adult-age kids still live at home and are very angry with him. They can’t wait for him to leave as they have other festering resentments against him. I don’t know how I feel about him anymore. He doesn’t want to leave and has sobbed heartfelt apologies to me but says it’s really none of the kids business what happens between the two of us and that they shouldn’t influence my feelings here. On the flip side, he admitted to me and the kids when we were all arguing that he’d still be having the affair if he hadn’t been caught since she fills a need in him that I never have. My son blew up at him and told him to get the *!*# out of the house. He left for a few hours and has kept a low profile since. He says he’ll be gone this weekend but he hopes we’ll get back together as he truly loves me. I’m just numb and exhausted. I’ve been with him for 38 years and feel a loyalty to the relationship but I’m looking forward to some time alone. For some reason I feel guilty that he’s hurting so much and the kids want nothing to do with him. We were in counseling a month prior to him getting caught where I feel like he lied by omission the entire time. How do I know what I’m to blame for and how to feel?
    – April 11, 2013 3:31 PM Permalink
    I’m sorry, this sounds like a big fat painful mess.

    There is logic to be had here, and, like a stair rail in a dark basement, it can lead you up and out if you can find it.

    First, think about his most damaging statement: “he admitted to me and the kids when we were all arguing that he’d still be having the affair if he hadn’t been caught since she fills a need in him that I never have.” Yes, it’s a smoking gun, but if you take the hurt feelings away, it’s the biggest duh in the history of love. No one ever gets every need satisfied by a single relationship. I have zero doubt, and neither should you, that if the planets aligned you could stumble across someone who clearly provided some emotional nutrient missing from your diet from the entirety of your marriage.

    And while you might pull yourself back from the brink of an affair, it’s not hard to imagine that you’d imagine your way right to the brink, because that’s what human emotions do. They become powerful-to-the-point-of-consuming motivators to get that missing thing.

    Sympathy is so often the last thing you can imagine feeling for someone who just took a hammer to your comfort zone, but, wow, what a powerful example to your kids if you could say to them: “Your father did a rotten thing and I’m angry, but not so angry that I’ve forgotten he’s human. Of course there was something missing from our marriage; every marriage is missing something. Do I wish he hadn’t had an affair to find that missing thing? Obviously. But he did, and I owe it to myself most of all not to forget that he has been a good father, a good friend and a good husband for almost all of our time together. I will continue with this separation but I will not vilify him, and I hope you all can see your way to some kind of peace with the whole person your father is, and not just what he has done lately.”
    – April 12, 2013 12:56 PM
    The point of all of this would not be to launch your career as your unfaithful husband’s publicist, but to start the process of putting the smaller issues to rest–angry children, sobbing husband, the business of whose business your marriage is, even your loyalty to the relationship. Taking a position and indicating it’s one that’s not open to family debate will allow you to concentrate on settling into a new daily routine, and awaiting clarity. It will come, I’m sure of it, once you’ve removed yourself from the role of manager of everyone else’s outrage and tears.

    My response:

    I experienced similar with my (now ex) husband, not wanting to leave, heartfelt sobs and blaming me for his infidelity, even going to marriage therapy at his request and the entire time he was TALKING this talk, he was WALKING to the affair partner. She is not to blame for his cheating, he needs to own that. And she is allowed to feel the pain of betrayal and feel some sympathy for herself.
    – April 12, 2013 1:07 PM Permalink
    Yes, thank you, I forgot to address the part of her question about blaming herself.

    – April 12, 2013 2:14 PM

    • I just read Hax’s reply here to my husband and he got up to say “I have to go throw up now…”

      Fucking REALLY? Carolyn Hax is utterly tone deaf on the subject of infidelity — and very sympathetic to cheaters. I’m glad you got a small plug in there for the chump, don’t blame yourself — but THIS self-serving shit??? WTF???

      “Your father did a rotten thing and I’m angry, but not so angry that I’ve forgotten he’s human. Of course there was something missing from our marriage; every marriage is missing something. Do I wish he hadn’t had an affair to find that missing thing? Obviously. But he did, and I owe it to myself most of all not to forget that he has been a good father, a good friend and a good husband for almost all of our time together. I will continue with this separation but I will not vilify him, and I hope you all can see your way to some kind of peace with the whole person your father is, and not just what he has done lately.”

      Should we congratulate Jerry Sandusky on his coaching and all the nice things he did for disadvantaged youth?

      IMO betrayal — a TWO and a HALF year affair (total double life and cake eating) eclipses his other qualities. She’s telling that chump to LIE to her kids. He is NOT her “good friend.” Or a “good husband.” Close only counts in horseshoes? Hey, he didn’t cheat for “most” of the time! He admits he would’ve kept cheating if he hadn’t been caught! And Hax completely buys this crap that something was “missing” and that something has to be found. Oh BULLSHIT.

      The woman can’t write. And she has no moral sense.

      • Hey, maybe she’s a cheater herself? Sure sounds like it when she says that no one person can satisfy all of her “needs.” (she says it to mean all people)

        what “needs?”

        No other person can satisfy ANY of my needs. Only I can do that. My only need that I require of other people is respect. Respect covers a lot of territory. You can’t lie to someone and be respectful of them. You can’t cheat and be respectful.

        So, when she says that she “needs” people it comes across to me as she needs to USE other people for different things. Needy people are users.

        she’s just downright dangerous and scary.

        • CL, I had to tone down the submission or I knew she wouldn’t post it at all – did the best I could. But yeah, I was so pissed reading her response my first submit to her I had to erase.

  • I haven’t read Dr. Tammy’s book yet, but I plan to. But I did read the reviews on Amazon. One in particular stood out. It was written by Linda MacDonald, who wrote that she is a therapist (25 years) and that she routinely counsels clients who are dealing with infidelity. She read the book to see if it would be helpful to her clients. She concluded that it wasn’t and that it would be traumatizing to betrayed spouses. Apparently, the “new monogamy” that Dr. Tammy says people can “negotiate” (????) is not very monogamous at all. Ms MacDonald says that there was practically no mention of true monogamy in the book, but plenty of info on negotiating open marriage agreements. I’d advise all chumps who have read Dr. Tammy’s blogs to go read the reviews of her book.

    I don’t have a beef with people who freely choose alternative lifestyles. To each his/her own. But, the thought that a cheater asks for sexual hall passes when in counseling with their broken hearted betrayed spouse is just too much for me. It’s insensitive and cruel. The timing is coercive.

    If the good Doctor encourages such craziness, she’s irresponsible at best. I’m thinking its worse than that.

    Personally, I think Dr. Tammy is probably into alternative lifestyles herself, and so she has little understanding how a person who truly values monogamy feels. I could be wrong. But I really don’t think she understands the horror of infidelity and what it does to people are betrayed.

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