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Types of Affair Partners

And while we’re on the subject of mistresses… (In case anyone missed it, a discussion on HuffPo live yesterday on the subject with me bleating objections a lot here…) intrepid chump GreenGirl has sent this handy list to identify what sort of affair partner — mistress or mister-ess — you might be dealing with. What flavor of fuck up did you have?

Green Girl’s Field Guide to APs:

1. The unknowing
Has no idea that the man/woman they are sleeping with is married. Believes the cheater to be single, widowed, or divorced and feels horrified/sick/angry/heartbroken when they learn the truth. Will react similar to a betrayed spouse (anger, disbelief, grief, etc.)

2. The professional
Doesn’t care if the client is married, just cares about being paid. Ranges from text messages/phone calls, to web videos, to “professional scolding,” to physical sex. They are not interested in the cheater as a person and not likely to take the cheater in if the betrayed spouse has kicked them unless they believe there’s profit in it. Often a different person “off the clock.”

3. The work spouse
Has close emotional intimacy with the cheater, but doesn’t believe that it’s really cheating because nothing physical happened. May feel guilty or worries that they are on a slippery slope into a physical affair, but never crosses the line. May fantasize about how wonderful a marriage with their “work spouse” would be, but rarely takes any steps toward divorce.

4. The savior
Believes that the spouse of the cheater is really a horrible person and wishes to save or fix their affair partner. Will seek out cheaters who are needy or portray themselves as a victim. Will try to make up for the shortcomings they believe the Betrayed Spouse has. Similar to Rielle Hunter, these affair partners will try to justify affair by claiming that the Betrayed Spouse “wasn’t an angel,” was neglectful, was cold and sexless, drove the cheater to find someone else, that the marriage was already over, etc. Wants to marry the cheater.

5. The self-destructive
Runs from one bad relationship to another; abusive, already married, drug addict, etc. Uses their string of destructive relationships to play the martyr or deal with personal demons. Blind to the pain they cause other people or believe their own pain is greater. Currently incapable of sustaining a healthy relationship.

6. The enlightened ones
Have affairs with multiple married people spread out over years. Attempt to convince people that they are evolved and will dismiss anyone disagreeing with them as angry or bitter. To deluded with their own reality to acknowledge the pain of other people. Instead reinvents reality and other people’s emotions to fit with their view of the world. Quickly defensive but pretends to be indulgent of “unevolved” people. Rarely interested in marriage.

7. The competition
They see themselves in competition with the betrayed spouse. (Spouse may or may not know there’s a competition happening.) Wants to “win” the cheater to prove themselves as better. Will continue to pursue the cheater not wanting to loose. May marry the cheater, but always looking for a new conquest.

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  • Definitely the SAVIOR
    She had the nerve to place a sign on the post outside of my BUSINESS (yes, really) that said “Danger Drama Queen Ahead”. Man I was pissed…

    • MM Burned.

      What a bitch. Makes me have visions of spray painting WHORE on her car in BIG letters.

      • Though I would just love to do that…. unfortunately I have to play out in a more subtle way.
        Gee – and now they’re finally moving into the house my X and I shared. Up until now (he had to pay for it though I moved out in Nov) he just couldn;t move in because it was just too EMOTIONALLY HARD FOR HIM…. Sent me 4 emails trying to ellicit a response to that. Go figure.
        Blah blah – we’re having to pay for 4 houses… boo hoo.
        Just who caused that you spineless narcissististic sociopath? Not me.

        • MM Burned, I already wanna beat the hell outta your ex, aka SNS.

          4 emails? Did he think you didn’t get the FIRST one? Ugh.

          Too bad he has to pay for 4 houses. Sounds like a personal problem to me.

          Subtle is good too…remember revenge/karma is dish best served cold. Just remember that!

          • Love that … very cold.
            HE trumps himself daily…
            bitches about our 15yo girl not wanting to be with him because I “poisoned” her too… but when asked if he wants to do as little as ONE transport a week – {well, no, she’s not nice to him so it’s not pleasant} Poor him.
            WTF! since when is a 15 year old girl pleasant all the time!!! Try REARING her to be an adult for a minute you self-serving prick!

            • MM Burned, love that it is all about him…and how he acts like a 3-year-old:

              ‘Waah, waah, she (your daughter) won’t play nice with me, waah, waah, waah!’

              WTF? She is 15—-that is ALREADY tough, add an incredibly selfish daddy and a home situation that has exploded and you got a major situation 24/7 on your hands. Oh forgot, he doesn’t want to get HIS hands dirty with that. He lives in Pleasantville and your daughter should treat him like it’s 1954 and pretend all the unpleasantness does not exist. What a guy! Moron.

        • Hahaha…I get that shit from the ex–he can’t stand to be around the home because it ‘brings back bad memories’, meaning on dday I went kind of mental and he can’t deal with memories of that ‘horrific argument’ at all. God, these people are such douches. And why would the AP want to move into the home you shared with your spouse? I’ve never gotten that. It’s so weird. All those vibes floating about and your DNA on everything. Bizarre.

  • Hmmmm…..

    In my case, the AP of my STBX was also cheating on her husband and left him for my cheater. So I imagine them both feeling as though they are each other’s saviors. Rescuing each other from the horrible torture, drudgery and total lack of appreciation of their individual spouses and children. They weren’t looking to cheat, they just “found” each other.

    • Yeah
      He said he was “just helping a friend out of a bad marriage”
      Thank goodness – he helped me out of MINE too!

    • Yuppers, same in mine too…the AP was married. AND she got pregnant from her first husband before marrying him too….same as with my dumbass ex. Oldest trick in the book. She did say that both their children were ‘planned’. Would have been nice if he had ‘planned’ to divorce me prior to having said children with her. Honestly, the shit they sell!

    • Same here, jazz, except STBX and the OW were both deliberately looking to cheat and sought each other out on Trashly Madison (thanks to whomever posted that nickname recently). How pathetic that they were looking for “saviors” on a cheaters’ site.

    • Sounds like Richard the Brave and his “everything.” They just found happiness together…2000 miles apart. Nothing says “I don’t want the responsibility of love and commitment like falling in love with someone half way across the country.

  • I agree that nothing healthy is going on with any of these, but I identify with the Savior. Also the one that I think has the biggest fantasy footing and likelihood of leading to a second marriage.

  • “Rescuer”, variant on the “Savior”
    Always kind, saves lost kittens, saintly even. Sympathetic to the cheaters “loneliness”, but must be wheedled into the physical affair because you know, she’s such a good person. Tries to help him deal with his dysfunctional wife, evinces pity for her. Is so helpless without the cheater, she really needs her white knight (unlike the wife). Lamenting to the cheater that it is they who are “soul mates” and how, if only they’d met sooner it would have been rainbows and puppy dog tails.

      • Oh – XH said this exactly in the first rounds of counseling he bothered to attend:
        “Well, with OW – I got to help her out of a bad relationship with her boyfriend, and she *needs* me because this is her first professional job (as she was tending bar before becoming a “professional” paralegal), so to OW, I feel like I’m a knight on a white horse. BB deserves her white knight, too — but now I feel like I’m just an asshole in tin foil around BB.”

        This may have been the most honest statement he’s ever made.

        • Barrister Belle, I got the ‘you didn’t need me anymore’ line and I guess AP did.

          ‘Asshole in tin foil’—yes, they do have moments of perfect clarity, don’t they?

        • An asshole in tinfoil… Now there’s an image I would like to see CL immortalize in a drawing!

          What started the downward spiral in my marriage was when I needed a white knight and h wasn’t up to the task, because our problems were real and required work. Her problems were so much easier to solve. He just had to tell her what to do and what to say, and she went along with it.

          • Thanks Guys,
            The asshole in tinfoil remark first made me laugh, then almost feel sorry for him, then quicksilver snapped me out of it because that’s alot like my story. When push came to shove it was just too much work! He couldn’t even spare me the time to pretend to really care…it really HAD to be all about him….

        • I got “You don’t need meanymore,” too. All midlife crisis script. I remember telling him that, “She makes you feel like a hero, but I remind you of who you really are. And you’re a coward.” So, off he ran.
          He’s right–I don’t need him. I never want to need a man–don’t want to be a burden. I want to yearn for my man, because he inspires me, even if by being ordinarily kind and masculine and smart–stuff like that. I want to be my man’s best friend–someone he can count on to lift him up, like he lifts me up. I’m afraid my ex knew he couldn’t be that guy, so he left for someone needy. Even if she is an alcoholic without a long career, and even though he’s…begrudging. Maybe she inspires him to be finally generous. Hm.


        • Blech…sounds very similar to my situation. Final OW was in her first job, she started telling ex that she was unhappy, he started telling her he was unhappy and they ‘found’ each other. Oddly, no one seemed unhappy (of course, I didn’t know he was a serial cheater at that point) but they needed some sort of excuse.

    • Gahhh! Final OW played hard to get…sort of. Sure she was sending naked pictures of herself and in contact 24/7 but she was living with her boyfriend and just couldn’t decide what to do, dang it. You know, a prick tease. Stupid ex saw this as true love because his penis was aching for her and she would only play, not fully engage.

  • 8. Stupid, in denial thinking that she is attractive, smart, charming, intellectual. Believes his pathological lies about her beauty and charm. Doe NOT know he is only after her money.

  • Great list, great topic. Can I submit 2 additional types for peer review? Granted, I way over-thought this in my untangling days.

    1. The Infidel – S/he prefers married targets because they are low-commitment. They want to keep secrets. They’re not ALWAYS around. It’s easy to keep the pipeline full of them even if each one thinks they’re the only one. They’re so easy to walk away from.

    2. The Confrontationist – S/he actually takes pleasure in the drama and outrage of the conflict. Sick bastards.

    • oooh yes! The CONFRONTATIONIST! Good one. Yup, the AP in my sitch was a morph of this as well! Sick bastards indeed!

    • I knew a woman once who was “the Infidel”. She only dated attached guys (married or in a relationship) because she said she just wanted sex. But it was a crock. She almost always ended up getting hurt in the end because the guy wouldn’t leave his girlfriend/wife. I think, deep down, she had low self-estem (she had other issues including bulemia) and she wasn’t very good at keeping friends, either. Me and my other friends in our circle didn’t approve of her relationship choices. She was a shitty friend in her own right, and eventually we all stopped friending her for our own reasons. Now that I’ve been chumped, I wouldn’t have wanted to be friends with her at all, but back then I just found it puzzling and disturbing, until I realized her lack of character applied to her girl-friendships, too. Shocking, eh?

      • “Now that I’ve been chumped, I wouldn’t have wanted to be friends with her at all, but back then I just found it puzzling and disturbing, until I realized her lack of character applied to her girl-friendships, too.”

        A great insight and one I hope the producers of “Mistresses” will look at.

    • Yep, add number two to the long list that is current OW. She and ex love the drama. I think it makes them feel like Romeo and Julliet.

  • The AP in my situation was a combo of the Savior and Competition. I was portrayed as cold, materialistic. The AP had the nerve to say I was in a ‘loveless’ marriage (for 13 years, yah right). She wanted to land him and boy did she ever.

    She actually had the gall to show up at my house one night while we were getting divorced on the pretext of picking up the lawnmower. WTF? I was like: take it, I don’t care about it. She was delusional. Apparently my ex made me out to the Satan (what a shocker!). It was then that I told her that I could care less about her and my then-husband. I told her that had I known about her earlier and the fact that she had his kid, then I would have divorced him immediately. I told her that he never mentioned it, he kept saying he wanted to come back, blah, blah, blah. She looked at me like a deer in the headlights. She did not have a freaking clue!

    I told her her was her problem now and good luck with that.

    This was a major clue in regarding their relationship. Apparently she is extremely jealous of me. Not all is serene in paradise.

    Last year, when my ex was late on the student loan we are both on, I sent him an email asking him what the deal was…next thing I know, I am getting an email for HER telling me to mind my own business and that I needed to leave her ‘precious husband’ alone. Seriously, I threw up in my mouth a little. She went on and on and said that I ‘disgusted’ her. Really? I had to laugh out loud on that one. It was another clue in to their relationship: she is insecure and he is a dickless wonder who lets his wife deal with HIS shit.

    perhaps it is wrong of me to find such glee in it, but honestly, after all the tears I shed, and the times I compared myself to HER in my despair thinking she was a reincarnation of Jessica Alba, I feel like a little glee is warranted!

    • I think you deserve a humanitarian medal for not exploiting her insecurity just for fun Valentine! It sounds as if you could really work them both over with just a few carefully crafted emails.

      • Hearth, yes I really thought of jacking with her especially because, well, it would be SO EASY to do. Honestly though, I didn’t want to stoop to their level and propagate the drama they both love. Call me crazy!

    • Cowardice seems to be prominent among cheaters. Yes, as you point out–“dicklessness.” We should probably get that added to the DSM list of official diagnoses.

    • Boy your situation and mine are similar! My ex hasn’t married the whore yet though I suspect it’s coming soon. She does everything for him, works for him too (the day he hired her was the day I knew we were pretty over). She spent a good part of a year cyber stalking me but doesn’t anymore. She was lost, so was he and she made sure to land him. He made sure to lie his ass off about me to her and even kept sleeping w me while they were together (while I was chumping to try and get him back — no more). She’s been fed a pile of lies but she’s a liar and deserves him. Pathetic.

  • My husband’s AP was a self-destructive savior, but I believe she loved the drama. Ugh.

    Right after dday, I felt like the AP was in competition with me. She wanted to see if my husband would leave me, for her. She was testing his “love”. Once I found out about the affair, I was hit by tsunami of pain and didn’t want this piece-of-work-OW to steal my life away from me, my husband and adorable children. The fact that she had been f*ing my husband behind my back and now was going to get to share my kids, too……yes, I felt the competition and didn’t want this OW to “win”. I knew he would hook up with some other slut in the future, but I didn’t want my kids to be around *this* one. Not. this. one.

    In hindsight, I should have just let her have him! There was never any competition to begin with, and certainly no prize, just a lying, cheating excuse of a husband/father. It’s amazing how differently I see the situation almost a year later, as opposed to the days right after dday. As painful as it was, though, I think I had to go through the pick-me-dance, sort of like the stages of grief.

    • I agree DLU. You can read and read but you just have to go through some of this stuff for yourself. I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to lose to this particular idiot. Ugh.

      • I am mildly going through that now. I don’t want my H. He is currently banging 2 woman. One, though, is the main OW. I don’t want her to “win”. eye roll. I know, I can say it til I’m blue in the face…win what? He is ALREADY cheating on her, now BEGGING me to move home. But I don’t want HER to win. Damn ego.

    • Agree that you have to go through all the shit to see what you really had on your hands. I didn’t want final OW to ‘win’ because it grossed me out that she would be around my kids. Well, 18months later she’s around my kids, they mock her continually, the ex is hateful as always, they’re desperately trying to keep the high drama going and I just laugh because while I may be a poor little church mouse I am happy and my life improves every day.

  • Dear Jessica-not,

    So, lovely to hear from you. I trust that this finds you well.
    Per our agreement, please tell Precious to cough up the money for our joint student loan. I would be ever so grateful for your help. thank you.



    That IS laughable. What a stooopid cow! She’s projecting, obviously and it sounds like a match made in hell. good riddance! they clearly deserve each other!

    • Laurel, see that is what I think TOO. I really do think they are a PERFECT match for one another. May they live to be married one hundred years to each other!

  • STBX: “Yeah, I’ll take a number 4 with a Coke.”

    I have no idea how much he demonized me (though we definitely NEVER had sex, which I’m confident was one of his whines), but she definitely demonized her BS (who was technically a mad hatter, I guess) and was looking for my STBX to save her. They are getting married and pretending to live happily ever after, so I guess that the OW best fits the qualities of a four.

    • Moving On, yes, I believe the same of the AP in my sitch too. She was also married at the time the affair began, then she left her BS for my X. Nice.

  • Okay Kelly, you’re up. Where does the googly-eyed, mannish OW fit in? Do we need a new category called the Circus Freak?

  • I think I have a mix of about 5 of them that are listed here 4, 5, 7 and the confrontationalist. The OW and my x coordinated their divorces to within 5 weeks of each other, were engaged 6 weeks after the papers were signed and remarried at the 6 month mark. Add to that wonderful bit of orchestrating the OW, her phones calls to the police, my employer, and my landlord to continue to wreak havoc in my life……..I think that needs it’s own classification… PSYCHO…..

    …………but they are married now and living happily ever after having fixed every problem that apparently I caused……………..

    • Awwww BubblestheJellyfish, they’re still human excrement and your better off even if it looks like they’re happy. Their brand of evil won’t lie dormant forever.

      • I can hope, but so tired of the charade…..and WHY WON’T THEY LEAVE ME ALONE…..cant they go play in their own mess?

  • H kept saying the OW and I were the same age. Her fb profile pic is so cute. I was devastated. Not until later did I find out that photo was decades old. Finally found one taken when they were in a motel room. What a skank! Way too long claws for fingernails, overweight, way over the top black eye make up. BUT she had money. Here is what she got, a broke, mentally ill, impotent 67 year old and her husband and family who will never trust her again and she will never see, hear or touch my h again. When I walk out, I will be the ONLY winner. Free at last!

  • Hey CL,

    I think you left off EVIL, or what I call Spider Woman. The ow in my case was wealthy, married with 2 children, had a good career, large home, etc., but went after my ex. Have I mentioned that she is a family and marriage counselor? Yeah, she took extreme pleasure in knowing exactly the kind of pain and destruction she was causing me and my family. That was part of the allure for her. A female cake eater coupled with a sadistic streak. Pure evil.

    The fact that she targeted my ex in no way gives him any kind of pass. He went willingly down that path, the schmuck.

    • Firepainter, Wow! “The ow in my case was wealthy, married with 2 children, had a good career, large home, etc., ” This is my story too. She and her h have been married since she was 19. She is now 65. My h was broke (or so he told me) and he was after her money. When I found all the emails and texts, I figured out she was trying to buy him. I told him that and also that he would be owned by her, under her thumb and control for the rest of his life. He said he eventually figured that out. That was when he was trying to back out of cheating and she wouldn’t leave him alone. He royally screwed up. He doesn’t have me, doesn’t have her, no one.

  • Don’t know if the OW was a #1 or a #4, and have to confess to being tempted to find out – by letting her know a few home truths about the ex and what our relationship was actually like. Including some choice things he said about her, and the fact that 8 months after I turfed his ass, he was back insisting we talk about how to reconcile.

    But just in case she’s another narcissistic or sociopath, and would enjoy the drama, I have had no contact w/her (as well as as little as possible w/the ex, except about the kids/money), and save my revenge fantasies for my data stick, and here!

    In any case, whether she is naive, stupid or PD, I GET my revenge; she has to deal with him now!

  • My WH’s AP is the one and only “damsell in distress” – turning my STBX into acute savior mode. She is also married and terribly opressed, such a pitiable little defenseless woman… right, it took me no time to figure out who is calling all the shots, with my husband and hers! I wonder how long it will take my STBX to figure that out…

    Het husband doesn’t know yet, but I need my ducks in a row before I blow up things at their end. Sorry, not for me, but for my two precious children. She is a strategic mastermind, enjoying the tightrope between AP and husband. The ones that truly need saving are our children. 🙁

    But back to the point: if both AP’s are in a committed relationship, for every savior there should be someone who needs/wants/proclaims to need saving.

  • The Savior, for sure. Maybe a little Competition thrown in for good measure. Actually gave the idiot advice on how to raise OUR kids, as apparently she’s done an amazing job on her one and only ( who never seems to come and visit her – very busy). Now that I think about it, there’s a tincture of Professional there too. Always seemed to be in arrears on mortgage/life insurance/car payments, needing a little ‘loan’ to tide her over. As my Mom would say, they are well met.

    • The OW – who BTW is a sad barren woman – had the nerve once to suggest how I should raise MY child (that my EX basically abandoned). Glad she’s such an expert. They deserve each other. GO away. Be happy. Leave me alone. Quit trying to poison my name in the community – everyone knows what happened. You two look like imbiciles.

  • My Ex’s whore is both the savior and the competitor. Does that means she’s Doubly disgusting????

  • Oh My
    Do I have to call the Whores professional if they only get paid in crack? I mean how professional is that? How can they do taxes? I’m confused….or stupid. Or blind. Or all three?

    • Oh thank you, Toni. I don’t know how I’d get through this if I couldn’t laugh at the absurdity.

      • Unfortunately it’s the truth, he is WAY too cheap to pay for a professional, although that’s probably the only way he would have gotten his (or my) money’s worth!

  • I’m not sure where my WW’s AP fits. I don’t think he’s a savior as I don’t think my wife portrays me as a bad person. He (AP) is married, about 15 years older than me, very successful. On the surface, he is kind and giving and does a lot of charity work. He pursued my wife intensely but hasn’t given any indication of a leaving his own wife or wanting to marry my wife. I don’t think I am in his mental world, so he’s not a competitor. My wife and he are wrapped up in a fantasy cake world, both getting together when they can, non-stop secret email communication, with no concrete action towards leaving their current marriages. They are more addicted to each other and planning a fantasy future together and enjoying the tragedy and drama of them having met while married to others. But they just no that at some point, they will be together forever! Sigh! How beautiful and tragic.

    • I really can spell: “But they just know that at some point, they will be together forever! Sigh! How beautiful and tragic.”

      • Yes – mine posted on FB (in his ignorance thinking he was on a private message) the he was “with his true love of 36 years” Of course our then 14 year old daughter saw it. Nice move asshole. As well what does that say for not only his committment to our 18 year marriage but also his prior 20 year marriage to his ex-before-me.

        Which begs the question – what the hell was I doing with this jerk??? Ahh life’s lessons. Oh yeah – we’re all “family friends” I designed her uncle’s house, her brother worked for me, her dad was our lawyer, more, more, we were all considered :family:

        How f’ing poignant.

        So happy the STBX and OW can now enjoy each other’s company as they figure out how to buy themselves out of the two marriages they destroyed.

        He said eariler on that “he wanted to stay married because it made him feel secure”.

    • Maybe another category. The Fantasy Builder. Believes themselves to be the main character in a book or movie. Takes pleasure in dreaming of the one day they and the cheater will have once they are together. Enjoys the sneaking around and planning more than the actual affair. Similar to a young girl who plans her wedding day complete with white horses, doves, and a incredible dress but pays little attention to the groom. Completely unbothered with things like cost or practicality because it’s a fantasy.

      • I like that one since it fits my case – “The Fantasy Builder”. I think fantasy builders are also high on the ego-kibbles and entitlement scale. They deserve their fantasy that their spouse is not providing (and even if the spouse did provide it, they would reject it since it would come with icky things like bills and house cleaning and raising children.)

      • I like this one. The ex most definitely sees himself as some romantic hero who ‘got the girl’ and is riding that white horse hard. He’s a total fantasist.

      • Same here. Started as the unknowing for about a month when he was away for several weeks. Then I found out and informed all parties. From there it was all tears and eternal love. Fantasy before and after….I think I mentioned that I am friends with technology, so could closely follow how it all developed… I keep kicking myself in the ass, why didn’t I take the opportunity to kick hubby out. Now I am stuck with him until his next “fun” experience. Pretty sure one will follow sooner or later. Don’t know why still wait for more reasons to leave. I am financially independent and kids just graduated out of the teenage years. Could it be the 23 years of marriage that I have invested that I do not want to part with. I guess I have to take the sunk cost at some point and refocus efforts on the future, my future

  • The OW in my case seems like a mixture. I think she started as a work spouse, as the two of them worked together, and in IT, overtime is the norm, not the exception. At the same time, she’s also self-destructive. She has had a series of affairs with married men, and leaves two failed marriages behind her. She says, and I have no reason to disbelieve her, that she has been the victim of domestic abuse. Whatever. It’s clear that she’s not able to have a stable, healthy relationship. That said, she also sees herself in competition with me. I remember intercepting a text where she was talking about a previous year in which she came over to our house, and how I had apparently sat between OW and STBX because I could “sense” how much STBX wanted her. Weird. I remember sitting next to my husband because that’s where I’ve typically sat? She also sees herself as his savior, since, as she posted on his FB page, she’s been such a good influence on his life. That was the post that I told STBX was inappropriate, and she’s blocked me ever since. However, he sees her as a Damsel in Distress, since he knows that she’s had what he calls a “rough life” and what I call a string of bad decisions from whose consequences she has learned little, if anything.

    Mostly, though, I have decided that it’s not worth it to figure her out. She’s wrong for sleeping with a married man, and he’s a total fucking asshole for having an affair in the first place, especially since he knew that this woman was a walking disaster. He will be completely screwed if he decides to break off the affair, too, since he used to be her boss.

    • ours sounds very similar! The combination and the fact that we both came up with the term “damsel in distress” to describe them.

      I think a damsel in distress is catnip to a narcissist. My ex didn’t think I appreciated him enough and then he’s got this poor chick over here with the pathetic sad life and mean husband. SHE would appreciate him. In fact, she has already told him he is much “better” than her current/former husband/boyfriend. It also helps that he is her superior at work so she is used to being bossed around by him. And he is used to telling her what to do and her doing it. I definitely think my ex would prefer an employee at home to an actual equal partner.

  • I guess reading this list makes me realize I don’t know her primary motivation because I believe she’s a combo of many.

    7 – the competition. Found out from her husband after Dday that she told him back when she first started working for my husband that “she could get him to leave his wife if she wanted to”. Nice. BTW, who says that shit to their own husband?

    5 – self destructive. She and her husband had volatile relationship. She totally loves to play the martyr. Would this be considered the “damsel in distress” as well? Because then my husband got to be HER savior.

    4 – savior. We all know I just didn’t appreciate my husband enough. If she were ME she would have blah blah blah…

    Which leads me to #3… maybe the biggest… other than the current definition does not include sex. And also includes feelings of guilt, which I don’t believe the OW had.

    But I truly believe she fantasized about being married to my husband, believed he was her best friend. They literally worked side by side all day everyday. He was the big boss, young(ish), good looking, high income.

    Actually, that is pretty close to just being an outright gold-digger. Only she also probably imagined some “feelings” as well.

    To summarize, I think she is the damsel in distress that wanted my husband to take her away from her shitty life. And who would also have gotten immense enjoyment from “beating” me at the same time.

    But in the end, she settled for such pathetically small scraps from him and is still *just* the assistant (maybe still with benefits). Can’t wait until he gets a real girlfriend… I hope the assistant FLIPS OUT! 🙂

    • Gold-digger? Then maybe she has hints of the professional as well. Only in it for the money.

      • ah ha! Maybe that is then how she started out but then probably began to imagine (or maybe actually feel, who knows?) some feelings for him along the way.

        • I think that ours are similar, aE. OW is definitely a Damsel in distress in her appeal, but she’s also more than a little bit of a gold-digger, as a real part of her distress is financial. STBX makes really good money when you look at the state’s average income, but he’s got lousy fiscal discipline. So does she.

          But you know, in the end, it doesn’t matter because they both suck!

  • One of my favorites is that OW ostensibly left her husband because he wasn’t good with his money.
    I guess my STBX forgot to tell her we had to remortgage our house to pay his income taxes, and that he NOW has not only another sizable tax lien, but also has sizable cash calls in from his real estate partners that he can’t pay.
    I guess he forgot to tell her… maybe slipped his mind.
    Now tell me how someone in that position can take 11 – yes 11 – vacations in 2012. that doesn’t count weekends away…
    Livin’ big – and she’ll get just what she deserves.
    BTW the OW’S STBX has no debts.

    • Heh…current OW doesn’t know about some financial fuckery I just found out Ex is up to. Hahahahaa…I’m not telling her, either. 🙂

  • you forgot one.
    9. the bait and switch( aka the sucker)
    where she thinks she is getting someone with lots of money, who can take her out to dinner, is free to spend weekends with her, spoil her, in a world without mortgages, job obligation, teenagers and stupid family member (his). and when the deal is done, I come in and switch the goods outs. now she is stuck with someone sad, whining, pissed, broke, in deep debt with no money handling skills, someone who used her to escape life, old and enable to get it up like he use to. children who think he is a doucebag which makes her the vagina. sorry lemon laws don’t apply to cheaters.

    hope this counts. if it didn’t it felt good writing it.

    • I think these are the chicks with serious Daddy issues. When I was 35, a 55 yr old dude was a stone cold turnoff, and if one flirted with me I considered him a perv and a pest. That has to be some serious fantasy they’re operating under to get past the grossness.

        • yeah, gross.

          Those men end up extremely lonely, since they’ve pissed off the women their age AND their own daughters.

          • That is EXACTLY what my h is facing. I don’t want to be here, daughter avoids him like the plague. His sister hasn’t time for him. There is no one else, because he spent almost two years staying away from his friends to be with OW. Now he has no one, Totally alone in this world at 67.

            • Mine gave the social climbing slut that baby she wanted, knowing better but probably thinking that would bond them together into his retirement years. Well, if that’s true, what about the two he had with me? The cognitive dissonance of it all just gets to me. What was he thinking? And what with? Way to go, genius.

              A teenage boy for comfort in your 70’s? Not hardly.

        • Anna I LOVE it…I think I have a touch of that one as well…………i have to wonder when the newly found Happy marriage will start to fall apart….Did I mention that he has put on about 40 lbs since he got married to OW…i don’t even recognize him anymore…

  • My ex was emotionally and probably physically involved with his work spouse. She was a former grad student, married, and had worked her way up to second in command in his office. Very high position for a person her age to attain. Before he fell in love with this woman, he was very attached to his previous work spouse. She was divorced and he traveled around the country with her all the time. He came home once when I had young children at home and announced that he and the former work spouse had practiced their presentation in her hotel room. Nice.

  • Interesting and fun to try to come up with a taxonomy of cheaters (for some reason it puts me in the mind of the “Garbage Pail Kids” stickers from the 1980s); however, I would caution against making too much of this exercise because I fear it plays into the narratives that cheaters push as to ***why*** they cheat. For instance, she cheated because she was “self-destructive,” or he cheated because he was pursued by a “professional” mistress, or WTF-ever.

    Cheaters cheat because they ***choose*** to cheat. Period. Whatever their species, all cheaters belong to the genus Selfish-era. Just wouldn’t want that point lost amid the list-making.

    • Yes! I was thinking of Garbage Pail Kids, too. All of the disgusting graphics. When I was a few days into dday, I loathed the OW’s face and a Garbage Pail Kid would have described her very well, at the moment. Kind of a like a really gross Picture of Dorian Gray.

    • You are right nomar, because there is no excuse.

      What strikes me though is how cheaters are so much alike. No matter how unbelievably my h has behaved or how stupid his words are, there are chumps who got the exact same bs. Knowing this immunizes me against his mindfuckery, because I can now see it for what it is.

      • Definitely more alike than different. And that’s not to say it isn’t amusing and therapeutic for chumps to compare notes. To find someone who was chumped in a manner very similar to your is a *very* healing thing, like a recent amputee getting to meet another amputee a few years down the line in the healing process, who demonstrates that there is hope.

        But my take on this taxonomy of cheaters (be they our spouses or their affair partners–usually someone else’s spouse) is that their “stories” aren’t in the end really of much consequence, since they are generally constructed of lies. The difference is comparable to the difference between one 8-year-old who falsely claims his dog ate his homework, and another who blames it on his llama or dragon.

  • Mine was half savior and half competition. Showed up at my divorce (it was HER big day, ya know), dressed as nice as she knew how, hair, makeup, the works. According to my ex she was there to support him. Gag.

    He suggested we go to the bank afterward to fix the financial stuff. I pointed at her and said, “I am not going ANYWHERE with THAT”.

  • My STBX is a combination of self-destructive, serial cheater, and a sociopath of some sort. The only information I have on the OW comes from other corrections officers who work with her and STBX . When the affair was exposed at work…WOW…I had several officers call me and a couple even came to my house to fill me in on what kind of person my husband really was. (serial cheater and outrageous liar) They all HATED her, and had tons of horror stories about working with her. (the only thing STBX did not lie to me about was “Everyone at work hates her” and “She has no friends”) I think she is a combo. Competition. She exposed the affair by calling our home and hanging up on me and the kids, singing on our voicemail. Savior. “If I was married to you….” Self-destructive. Affairs with other married men, cheating in her previous marriage, and almost getting fired for inappropriate relations with inmates. They are BOTH fantasy builders that is for sure. Thank you GreenGirl!

  • Chump Lady, how do I send you my story? I’m on your site and can’t figure out how I send you a Dear Chump Lady question?

  • What favor of f*ck up was my ex? If forced to categorize, I’d go with:

    30% Liar
    25% Idiot
    20% Parasite
    10 % Whore
    10% Joke
    5% Blobfish (It’s real–do a Google image search)

  • Figure this out. I didn’t invest much time on APs. My ex lived two lives. Dr. Jekyll was a respected family-oriented gentleman. Mr. Hyde was his numerous affairs, married (mostly carefully chosen based on”neediness” of the person), divorcees and aged singles .
    He acted as “savior” to those needing to have empathy. To such gals, he would portray that I was a demon. The chemistry worked well. Both didn’t want or have to lose their respective marriages but found solace in each other’s company. Hey, but wait…there were professionals. My ex had reached a position in Industry, which he didn’t deserve at all (thanks to me being his friend and guide in this. And I really bore a lot…thinking I did all work for my husband, my life partner). So, I found out that he was very clear with a few of his ladies staff/ others in business deals that he wanted sex from them as well. And lo. Such women exist in such great numbers!!! Yes, he got some of their husbands placed in good places as well…in a way these guys were the brokers for their wives :p Just wait, there were more types…there were self destructive types (with all kinds of issues) and the emancipated ones too…did I mention that he is very good looking and a casanova character as well…
    So, the last time he declared that he was abandoning me and my son (12 yrs), I was more than happy inside. I had my own life to rebuild. I had a son, who had reached his very crucial years. I had no time to waste any more. He was surprised (probably) at how easy I was with his abandonment of us (I had tried R many times before…so he thought…might be again…u never know). Then, he said what if he wanted to stay back. I sweetly asked him to go saying…”See honey…now that you’ve decided to go…you go. I am tired of running after all these A, B, C (real names). Every time I saw something I ran to chase them away. In the process, it looked to the onlookers like I have become some kind of “lesbian” running after these ladies (laugh!!!). I really don’t want to do that anymore. You go. Figure yourself and these ladies out. We’ll see later…how we will work through separation and divorce issues. At the moment, your bags are packed. You’ve put so much effort since morning in packing these up. So, now be rational. You should leave.”
    He was dumbfounded. I must say, I had my day! I have nothing for his APs. They should together eat their shit sandwiches. Its been 2 yrs of no contact. I am doing very fine with my kid, my career and my social work. Thank you.

    • Wow. Good for you anudi! Did you transition from chasing OW to “You go” gradually or were you maybe as surprised to hear yourself as he?

    • When you’ve had enough, that’s it, the love light goes off like a light switch. Love this, “You go. Figure yourself and these ladies out. We’ll see later…how we will work through separation and divorce issues. At the moment, your bags are packed. You’ve put so much effort since morning in packing these up. So, now be rational. You should leave.”
      He was dumbfounded. I must say, I had my day! Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Well HearthBuilder…I think it was in progression. First time, his extra-maritial happened 5 yrs earlier. We reconciled after he disclosed all his email/ ph numbers and I chased away OW, who was married, had a child etc. (which I said I will ruin by telling her hubby).

        But, I somehow was clear from my value-system “Once a cheater, can reform…It gets repeated,..always a cheater”. So, the next time it happened, I was down/ out/ but under a lot of social pressure to reconcile…I did. But, I kept my eyes open, did some sleuthing, engaged in social work (something I yearned for but never had time earlier), put my career back in order (I had taken a break to pursue PhD) and empowered my growing son (eg. my hubby slapped him. He came running to me. I said that he should ask an explanation. My son was generally scared. But I reassured him that I was working in the other room. If he would hit again, I would come in. My son went in and asked…my ex must’ve understood that the tables have turned!; Similarly, I taught my son some basics of independence too eg. how to use public transport to and fro from school and not depend on his father’s driver etc.). I was subtle but stern while doing all these.
        Also, when I got clear evidences of his continuing physical relationships with a number of females, then the second part of emotional dissociation was easier. I have not used those evidences, but I have silenced that dedicated woman inside me, who was saying all the time: “he is not so bad…he loves us…its just some “fuck up” that he has gone through, some psychological disturbance”…etc.etc.
        Just when these things were happening, he announced abandonment. I was happy but showed very subtle sadness (you can say manipulative…but sometimes being manipulative is a need…I needed to save myself and my son). His ego was satisfied that he was the one who was leaving. But, the whole thing would have fallen apart, had he stayed. So, I said with as much sadness as I could pretend…yo go honey, I am tired of all this….and the rest is history!!!

        • It’s a good story, thanks for sharing. The love light is definitely out for me (I can’t even see the bulb anymore) yet here I sit in limbo. I tell myself I just need a little more time to clear my head so that I don’t make any more mistakes than necessary; but am I just paralyzed by fear? It’s clearly my move. Protect the rook or take the queen? I don’t know. The status quo works in her favor. Ugh. Down day today.

          • Hi HearthBuilder,
            I am with you in your sorrow. Believe me, it is not easy…not for anybody. Unless you go through this limbo or status quo phase (howsoever dark or long or even vacillating) you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And also, no two people have the same context. Therefore, they have to do different things to come out of this state. If you wish to share what is your context and what do you want to say by “Protect the rook or take the queen”, probably it will be easier for others to understand and help you get out.
            For example, some things that were my problems became my source of strength, later. But, I had to work through them. Like say I am from Indian context. I was under immense social pressure to reconcile…I accepted the social verdict and gained a legitimacy. But, while my heart was bleeding, my mind was in a state of limbo, I still had my values clear. Slowly, I gained ground. My ex continued to commit mistakes and more mistakes. I highlighted those to the social actors, who pressured me into reconcilliation…people came in, help arrived…slowly, steadily I started rebuilding my strengths and covering up my weaknesses. My son, who is a stakeholder in all this, needed to be protected. So, I had long philosophical discussions with him (he is interested in mythology, history etc. and I use childlike conversations with him to get across two points to him. 1) He needed to be empowered so that nobody could take advantage of him 2) Love is a great feeling, a great gift, a great force. But, it still needn’t be blind. One should question, reason and weigh. Only then accept things. Even if those come from his parents). I think I was quite successful with him. On margins, I saw therapist for both of us, without letting my ex know.
            I mentioned social work. If I can point out to one thing that really did wonders, it was this. When you see, an illeterate girl in her twenties with a small child thrown on the road by their in-laws and abused by miscreants…you learn that 1) it is destiny. U didn’t do anything to cause it. 2) there are more unfortunate beings. 3) that giving is the best way to heal and last but not the least 4) there are laws and enforcement agencies to protect you. You need to understand what you need to do in your context.
            I hope I am striking some point with you. You, and you alone can save yourself. Life is really worth living with all its miseries 🙂 Don’t ever give up. U’ll find a way out!

            • Wow anudi, I need to read his a few more times. I think I’m philosophically a little behind but I can see there is much wisdom in your words. I don’t mean to speak in riddles; but my thoughts are so unclear it just comes out that way. I sometimes read what I have written and just go “What?” After I wrote that it was my move I was thinking of chess. My rook/queen comment was really to say “Am I stalling (playing not to lose) when I should be playing to win?”

          • Hang in there HB! Everyone has their down days…it’s natural. You are processing A LOT. You are making life decisions. Take your time.

            Hugs to you!


              • True Tony & Valentine. Even after you are out of it, you’ll have your down days sometimes. The frequency and intensity will diminish. And slowly, very slowly indeed, you’ll come out of this wretched condition HearthBuilder…At the moment, just be kind to urself and take baby-steps. Hugs 🙂

  • Work spouse/savior here too. They worked together for 13 years so I got to know her at summer picnics and xmas parties. I actually thought she was funny and smart until I read some of her schmoopie love letters. Gag me with a pitchfork!

  • Since I am a “controlling, emasculating bitch”, I guess my ex’s OW is a savior. He had to be saved from the likes of me!

    I guess I would also add the category “high school sweetheart soulmate” since she knew my ex in high school. Funny thing, though, I dated him for two years in high school and all through college. I thought I was the high school sweetheart. Maybe I was too absorbed in being a controlling bitch to figure that out! 🙂

  • The ex-h NPD spent his time and money with #2s on he lined up on five continents. That way he could guarantee a fresh narcissistic supply was waiting for him wherever he went–as long as he paid for it. Yep, pay extra (plus the Viagra pills at $25 a pop) and you can get the “girlfriend experience,” or GFE for those in the know, for the week. This entitles you to a whore 1/3 of your age who will hang on your every word, be your eye candy at expensive dinners and tell you what a great “lover” you are. The kicker? He thinks they REALLY feel that way about him and that they aren’t acting!

    • Convincing yourself that prostitutes really admire and desire you … only a narc could manage that! That’s gotta be the most pathetic thing on the planet. Nwrain, you deserve so much better, just on the stupidity factor!

  • How about #8: The Damsel:

    This is the type of person that has had SUUUuuuuuUUUUch a HHHARRRRD LIIIIIIIIEEEEEFFFFFE that they honestly think they deserve your spouse as a reward for all their ssssuuuuuuuffffering. Most of their suffering is actually self-inflicted as a result of their own shitty decision-making. They like to play the Who’s-Life-is-Worse game, a game that no sane person wants to win. They honestly believe that the cheater is their “true love” and they buy into all that bs about affairs being romantic, they love to quote contrived garbage from books like The Great Gatsby, even though they probably haven’t actually read or seen the things they are quoting and take said quotes out of context. The women of this type often think they are Rose from Titanic, when they are more like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction (but that would be an insult to the fabulous actress…) The male types think they are Romeo from Romeo and Juliet, but they are more like that skeezy dude you find in the darkest corner of the local porn shop. (They likely haven’t actually read R&J, or he did and completely missed the point.)

    My ex had a lot of AP’s, but the one I caught him with was like this ^^

  • Hmmm….none of them were unaware, several were work related (including current OW), several were competitive hoes (including current one), one was the savior (currrent one)….but we need the friends of the betrayed who banged the cheating spouse category, I think. I have a couple of those as well.

  • What happened to my comment suggesting “cuntless” as the female equivalent of “dickless”?

    • If anyone uses the C word, I am deleting it if I see it. Or if my spam filter doesn’t get to it first. I find that word hugely offensive, and yeah, even about cheaters, I don’t care.

      For the record, I’m not a fan of castration comments either. I’l leave them up in the case of the Castro brothers, but even that is pushing the envelop for me. My blog, my rules.

  • The Fantasy Builder…….THIS!!! I can’t know for sure that the OW fits in any of the stated categories. The STBX and the OW fit this. All the texts between them professed eachother as the love of their life. The would be together forever. They had never felt this way about anyone before. The OW, upon sleeping with my STBX for the first time (in a hotel, classy) wrote “I love you” on the hotel stationery, which he kept and which I now have. This only after two months of being together.

    I don’t have the luxury of the OW being a downgrade. From what I know through my investigating, she seems ok and she is very pretty. And while it hurts terribly that we had 20 great years (out of 22ish – in divorce process now) and what he would tel her made it sound like those weren’t great years, I can take comfort that all the while telling her they were going to be together forever, he didn’t make a single move to initiate divorcing me or do anything to create a life with her.

    Of course life was going to be better between the two of them! That is until they started living in real life with bills, stresses, etc. All the stuff you don’t have when your relationship only consists of going out on the weekends.

  • OMG, if only I’d found your site 8 months ago how different my life would have been!

    After six months of being lied to I finally had enough and invited my husband and his AP to coffee. I looked her in the eye for a full 5 seconds, then turned to my husband and told him he’d better hope she was worth it. Then I walked off. Man it felt good.

    What came next was the best bit though – she sent me a friend request on Facebook because “she had things to say to me” hahaha!

    Whenever I get down on myself and fall into negative thinking about ways she is better than me, I just remind myself that she is a lying, cheating, sorry excuse of a woman and I am better than her in every way that matters because I would never do what she has done.

    • Wow Saz it sounds like you figured it out pretty well on your own. You’ll find a lot of good, kind, and compassionate people here who can be a big help when you get down on yourself.

  • Is it possible for one person to be 3 different types in one? I believe she is The Savior, Self-Destructive AND Competition. Sex addict husband and I separated, he had sex with her, moved her in and continued trying to pursue me as well. I found out and she tried telling me he didn’t love me and that I should just leave him. Makes herself out to be better than me and acts like she doesn’t talk badly about him when I know for a fact that she has. If she talks crap about her friends she WILL talk crap about you too. She isn’t a savior at all. She sees me as competition now that my husband and I have decided to try to work things out and she will fight tooth and nail for his attention. She is self-destructive in the way that she has ruined relationships in order to be with him. She is dumb fat and ugly.

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