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Dear Chump Lady, Should I tell his wife?

Dear Chump Lady,

I found out that my boyfriend of 2.5 years, had actually being seeing his wife the whole time we were together, despite them having broken up 6 months before we even started dating.

We worked together, were friends. He cheated on the wife with a colleague (not me) and broke up with the wife to be with the colleague, who promptly dumped him. He moved in with a mutual friend and as we were in a group of friends at work that were all close, the truth came out. He felt terrible for cheating on her, but the relationship wasn’t working. He lived with a friend and she moved in with her mother.

A few months after that we started dating. I had no reason to believe he wasn’t with her, I mean he told us all they had broken up, he wasn’t living with her. So we started to date, it got serious. We spent at least half the week together. Again I had no reason to believe they were together, as far as I was aware they never saw each other.

Fast forward a few years, including us doing long distance while he worked in Canada for 6 months. He came back to our country, but instead of moving in with me as planned, he went to live with his parents till he found a job. I found that plausible, I own my own house and was not in a financial position to support him without a contribution. He led me to believe that the moment he got a permanent job he would move in with me.

Then he couldn’t get a job, times are tough and he works in importing so that seemed plausible. I know he lived with his parents, again I had no reason at all to believe there was anything going on.

Yes in retrospect there were warning signs, they were texting, he had seen her a few times. She had happened to be away overseas at the same time he was away for work. However he always gave a plausible reason and being a chump I believe it. He loved me right? Why can’t he be friends with the ex. She has a sick mother and he wanted to support her. Why would I have a problem with that?

When did finally get a job a year later, it was in a city 1.5 hours away. But that was fine, we would stay together, he would find a flat in between so we wouldn’t be that far from each other.

5 weeks before the move he started acting weird, sure he still came over a few nights a week, but he only stayed the night twice in 5 weeks. He was short with me, we were fighting. I felt like I had to beg to spend time with him. But again he still told me he loved me. He wanted this to work. I was the one for him and no there was nothing emotional or physical going on with the wife.

So he moved, I asked him to send me his new address, he always put me off, saying he couldn’t remember, he told me he had a flatmate (a male). We always talked a lot, then suddenly he was strangely unavailable to talk in the evenings (we would talk most nights before going to sleep). Women’s intuition kicked in. I did some snooping, things I am not proud of and discovered he had moved into his new flat with his wife.

When confronted his excuse was, her mother is moving to a care home in this area, she needs to be close to her and needed place to stay quickly and there was a room available here. We are just flatmates and have separate rooms. It’s you I want to be with. She knows about us, I told her I was seeing someone. It’s only temporary, I won’t be living with her forever.

Prior to this moment I was so blindly unaware to what was going on around me I was shocked to discover that I was the OW. I, who thought I had done my due diligence on his relationship status, I who had done nothing but love and support him. I was the OW, just what I needed to add to this crushing blow that the man I loved was apparently leading a double life.

So now It’s been 4 weeks. I am still so angry, I keep going over and over all the suspicious behaviour and hating myself for always believing him.

I bet he told her all the same lies he told me, I am confident she is completely in the dark about me.

Plus I feel bad for her. So here I am one chump feeling sorry for another chump.

Do I tell her? I so badly want to but my means for telling her are purely revenge. Why should he be living in happiness, messing with people heads and leading them on? He deserves to lose us both. If she is so special to him that he kept her believing and hoping over the last 2.5 years that there was still a chance for them then isn’t the ultimate revenge to take that away from him?

All that is stopping me is his backlash. He’s not violent but he will hate me and I did some dodgy things in order to uncover the truth. What if he uses that against me?

I should add that this man in 36, he’s no kid.

I just don’t know what to do, but revenge just seems so sweet a thought right now. Plus I have so much evidence to back up anything I would say to her.

Thanks,

Victoria

Dear Victoria,

Who cares if he hates you? He’s out of your life forever, RIGHT? Surely your motivation for telling the wife isn’t — oh, she will dump him, he will see the errors of his ways and after much groveling and make up sex, come back to me?

Do you really see her as a fellow chump? Do you truly feel bad for her? Because if you do, you should never have bought the ridiculous notion that because “the relationship wasn’t working” it was okay for him to cheat on her.

Now you’re wearing the chump shoes, how does that feel? Hey, your relationship “wasn’t working” — was it okay for him to lead his double life?

Oh, but it was working? Despite his dodgy absences, he told you he loved you. Yeah, same story with his wife, I’m sure.

So, should you throw the molotov cocktail into his happy home and tell? Yes, you should. Not for revenge, but because that woman deserves to know what’s been going on in her life all these years. She deserves the truth.

You tell (showing evidence) and then you let go of the consequences. She may very well stay with him. She may dump him. You don’t control that — and it doesn’t matter anyway, because you’re going to be totally no contact with this idiot FOREVER, okay? It’s not like you’ll be getting status updates on his life. The point is to cut him out of your life. As I said, who cares how he takes the news?

It may be you’re craving contact, so you’ll take drama if it means some attention from him. Please be clear that he sucks. He’s no prize. She didn’t win.

I’m sorry you wasted several years on this shit head. Here’s some lessons going forward — improve that “due diligence.” Here are two important clues to his character you missed — 1) he cheated on his wife with a colleague of yours. You KNEW he was a cheater. Period. Oh, he “felt awful” but hey, it wasn’t working, what could he do?

Oh, have some integrity and divorce her honestly. Not shack up with his co-worker.  Red flags don’t come much bigger than that, Victoria. Dude was a cheater. You knew it, thought you were special (common mistake), and went for it any way. Big mistake.

Next clue missed? 2) Throughout this letter, you refer to this woman as his WIFE. You say they “broke up” but she’s never referred to as his “ex-wife.” A married man who won’t seek a divorce is NOT boyfriend material. They don’t get much more unavailable than that. Okay, he wasn’t always living with her, but then again, he might’ve been, at least part of the time. Or toggling between multiple places. It’s what these freaks do.

Anyway, point is — you invested a lot in a man who showed poor character from the start and was unavailable — emotionally, physically (the long distance), and status-wise.

We can be indignant and say how much your boyfriend sucked — (He sucks. Epically.) — cheaters suck. But the bigger question going forward, so you don’t make this mistake again is — why did you accept so little? Why did you invest in such a person? There are other more worthy investments out there this marginally employed man. He isn’t worth the gum stuck on your shoe. He’s not “happy.” He’s a hologram. He nothing to anyone. Insofar he’s in that woman’s life, he makes her miserable. Then happy with his lame ass promises and “love”. And then miserable with his absences and dodgy excuses. She’s so “special” that he’s gaslighted her for 2.5 years?

You miss that? You want to be her? I wouldn’t. Tell her the truth and let her liberate herself. You liberate yourself too. Be more discerning, hold yourself to a higher standard going forward. Don’t accept part-time quasi-love crap. Don’t date the cheater guy again, Victoria. Tell the wife, and close this chapter of your life for good.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Not much time to write but one thing stuck out for me: why do so many of us worry about pissing off the cheater? Are we so used to pleasing them that the idea of them being displeased freaks us out? I worried for a bit that I would piss of the ex…and then I stopped caring, which means he is now generally pissed all the time.

    The sun didn’t come out today? Must be that bitch Nord’s fault! He misplaced his keys? Nord caused this! His shit actually stank today? Nord planned it that way?

    Honestly, the dude is a cheater, Victoria. Do as CL says: do the right thing and then let go of the consequences. He gets pissed? Who gives a shit. Why are you worrying about him being pissed when really you should be absolutely infuriated right now!

    • We are (were, depends on the case) worried to piss off the cheater because a small part of our chump-selves did not want to burn that bridge.

      When I was kicking the ex-bf out of my flat he kept yelling ‘don’t you meddle’, ‘don’t contact her’, ‘don’t ruin things for me’, ‘I will never speak to you again if you do’

      Well I contacted the OW (because she deserved to know, plus he has got an STD) and yes, he got angry, his exact words were “I told you not to meddle, how rightfully aggravated you are, but you just don’t meddle, ever!”

      To which I responded, simply: “I told you not to cheat”

      But worry not! They never keep their promise of never speak to one, like any other promise they make. Mine is contacting me calling me sexy and all – just ignoring his texts.

      Bottomline:

      She deserves to know – tell her.

      • Mine did the same when I spoke with my cheating wife’s AP’s parents. In her words to me. “You made it WORSE for me”

        • My XW claimed I had ” shortened her mom’s life by ten years” by telling her folks.
          Well, her mom is alive and well and her parents invite me to dinner and on vacations all the time. I go over for coffee and they tell me their daughter is a pathological liar and that i am so much better off without her.

          • My Inlaws told me after I told them of their daughter’s affair that they couldn’t have picked a better son Inlaw if they’d had the chance. I see them all the time and we get together for christmas, thanksgiving birthdays etc…

              • Yes and as a bonus, it pisses her off, big time. They also told her the OM could never set foot on their property. XW and OM were at each other’s throats.

    • Nord, that is a really good question, and one I really need to answer myself. I’m STILL very hesitant to do anything that might piss off my ex. Part of that is because I am scared of him and do believe he would harm me if he thought he could 100% get away with it. He’s totally unbalanced. But part of it is, as you wrote, I became accustomed to trying to please him and walking on eggshells. I was so frightened of losing his love (not that I ever had it to begin with) that I would swallow down my feelings so as not to bother or anger him. I guess it became a habit I still haven’t broken, because I’m still doing it and we’ve been divorced over 1.5 years.

      And yet, as you said, he STILL hates me and blames me for everything, so really, what’s the difference? I no longer have any regular contact with him, but if I did, who cares if he gets pissed off?

      As for Victoria……. the wife presumably knows her husband is a cheater. Many of us here knew about the cheating, but still kept following that unicorn of reconciliation, fervently hoping he would “change”. Probably that’s the case with the wife. Send her a letter, and be done with it.

      • Glad, I totally get what you’re saying. It’s like we were trained to not piss them off because oh no! they might take their love away or something. Fuck them. I stopped worrying about pissing him off when I realised that no matter what I do he’s going to blame me, rage at me, hate on me and remain one bitter asshole.

        Example: yesterday he got in an argument on the phone with one of the kids. I had no idea what was going on. Guess what – he hung up on the kid to send me a text telling me it was my fault the kids was furious with him.

        So fuck it. Let them be pissed. In fact, if he’s pissing me off I figure fair’s fair and he might as well have an actual reason to be pissed. I’m bored with all this asshole behaviour and will just do what I think is right, carry on and if he’s unhappy with it? Touch shit.

        • Nord,
          This is probably something I shouldbe diecting to CL but since the shoe kinda fits on this post…
          I used to be afraid of pissing him off, I got over that a long time ago plus I have a temper too. My main problem is that I took care of him, covered up, supported, etc. till I found out the truth that now that he’s doing really badly I feel really really sorry for him. I know it’s stupid but I can’t stop feeling this way. I’ve talked it over in therapy and am waiting for my therapist toget back into town but I don’t understand why I can’t stand up for myself. It’s the same thing with my job but in that case I need the money but they take total advantage of me too. How oh How can I stop seeing myself as only Chump material?

          • if you mean in your job, it depends on what your job is. If you are good at it and it’s in demand and your current management treats you like shit then shine up your resume and put it out there. Hell, if you are in a profession where you can post a resume, even if it’s not in high demand, put it up. Even if you are too afraid to actually take a different job right now, just doing this and having ppl call you and then actually doing some interviews will give you the confidence to maybe change that up. hugs Toni

            • Thank You DDW, Ireally appreciate your comment and I know what’s holding me back, and you are SO right. Hell I didn’t think I’d survive the break up and I did…so my mind is set this will have to be my new goal…working somewhere where people appreciate me, just have to start investigating because at this job I have benefits… Anyway, Thank You! XO I wish I knew your e-mail!

      • Glad, I know I had to fight against this eerie fear, what would he do to me? What could he do to me? I’d lived 25 years believing he loved me, and it was all a terrible lie. And to lie like that meant he was very disordered. To do what he did was so pathological. What else was he capable of? Trying to take the children? Making false allegations? Breaking into the house? Killing me? I did not understand what he was, what our relationship had been, I was completely unnerved and actually scared. So I wanted to grasp for the man I thought I had known and loved for all that time, just to comfort myself that he was there. He really wasn’t, but I kept trying.

        And then a part of me really just wanted the pitiful crumbs of attention or kindness he might yet throw my way (pathetic isn’t it). I didn’t want to lose what little bit of a connection or regard I thought I still had from him.

        Once I realized what I was doing (a macabre version of the pick-me dance), I was able to see it for what it was and stop it. I never would have realized it but I found CL and all my wonderful chumps about 8 months after D-Day, and it lead me to NC and super-accelerated my recovery.

    • Some people because they could be seriously hurt or even killed by an unbalanced mind. Some people have kids with the cheater and don’t want the children hurt any more than they are. Some times the papers haven’t been signed and playing to the cheater will make things easier for them.

  • CL hits on the head of the nail again!
    Unlike many chumps here, Victoria, you chose to miss much bigger red flags! You chose to be a co-narcissist. “Hey, that didn’t work out between them…but I (or we) can make it!” It was a bad investment from the start. We know how it feels! We can sympathize with you, and also learn a lesson from your story to not fall for any such “broken-up with wife” case, if we ever date again.
    On the question of whether you should tell it to his wife: well if you have means, why don’t you tell to the entire world? I mean, that would save a lot of fellows like you to spoil their time on him. I’d doubt that his wife already knows, and has decided to eat the shit sandwich. But, telling for the sake of humanity is good. Underlying is the understanding that you move out of it. That is the promise you make to yourself.

    • How do you legally break up with your spouse?
      This guy went from cheating on his wife, moving in with a “friend” and starting another affair (Victoria) faster than one can blink.
      V–you chose this and are no chump. And stop the drama of how you got “info” ..it is only about your affair with him, not whether he did x on day y with her the same day he told you he loved you, etc. all she needs to hear from you is the dates of your affair.
      “He deserves to lose us both”-no, -you need to stop the kibbles and “move on” no contact and work on yourself so that you don’t get involved with someone you meet as a cheater and liar.
      Maybe she does know something about you from him and they were dating others as a break from the marriage–their marriage is none of your business. Just make sure she knows you had an affair with her husband.
      This letter really got me angry…I felt like I was being asked to read all the crap the AP believed when the truth was hurting my eyes.

      • I also think that being worried right now about his reaction is about losing him (for real because she “hurt him”) and not being his final choice. Understandable while you still have feelings for someone, but that is why one needs to go no contact.

        • That’s why it’s also important to trust that he sucks. Because Victoria? This guy sucks. Dump him, go NC, don’t worry about his reaction to anything. Get pissed enough to value yourself. He’s an asshole cheater.

  • As always, you’re right CL. The wife deserves to know. Anyone in that position deserves to know. And not for revenge.

    Victoria, chances are the wife most likely won’t be shocked. Cheaters cheat. It’s unlikely he’s new at this. Why did their marriage suck? Chances are he’s cheated before, and she’s aware of what an a’hole he is.
    By telling her everything, it might be the catalyst to free her from this jerk. Because chances are he’ll be doing all the NPD mind games to keep her trapped in their toxic marriage.

  • I don’t want to sound pious here but, why were you dating a married man anyway? If he lied to you and said he was divorced I would understand it. The article doesn’t express it that way. If you knew he was still married then you were part of the problem not part of the solution and you got what you deserved. As far as telling his wife, I would say yes.

    In the future don’t date married men.

    • I don’t get that either, why would anyone knowingly date someone who is married and has shown they have no problem screwing around? It sounds like telling the wife is seen as a way to get him back by pissing the wife off enough to kick him to the curb for good rather than ” the right thing to do”.

    • That’s a good point, but to explain in our country you have to be separated and living apart from a person for 2 years before you can file for divorce. He had already been separated for 6 months, he was going to file for divorce when the 2 years was up.
      In my mind I was not dating a married man, I was dating a man who was separated who was going to file for divorce after 2 years

      • This is why I tempered my response. Two years is a long time to put a relationship on hold. It is also a very long time for dragging out the divorce process. I understand that the people who put obstacles in the way of divorce are well-meaning, but they’re also not living the hell of limbo.

        Divorce really sucks in the sense that you have to disentangle your life from your Soon To Be Ex-spouse’s life. There’s a lot of financial stuff to negotiate, and of course if there are children, you have to figure out custody. Really, the old adage “it’s cheaper to keep her” is true. Normal people who still basically like each other (but otherwise drive each other crazy) would rather work on their problems than go through the breakup.

        And that’s where the problem starts. Cheaters are not normal people. They’ve no interest in breaking up, since they like themselves better than they like anyone else. From the position of self-interest, they dislike divorce, since divorce would deprive them of a stable kibble supply. They also dislike reconciliation, mostly because they see no need to repair a relationship with their spouse.

        Even if your particular cheater is not a personality disorder, the person who cheats has strong narcissistic tendencies. They’re saying to themselves, “oh yes, it’s wrong that I’m cheating on my spouse, but I’m entitled to do so because I’m unhappy.” In fact, if they were so unhappy, they’d be better off either to work on the issues (therapy works!) or file for divorce.

        I just googled the New Zealand divorce process. It looks as if the key thing is to live apart for 2 years. It’s possible to live together for a grand total of 3 months within the 2 year time frame, but to live together longer sounds as if it resets the clock. You don’t need a legal separation agreement. You can simply agree to separate, and then live apart for 2 years. I think this process assumes a degree of flexibility for reconciliation purposes, but the lack of oversight is disastrous for abuse cases–and infidelity, more and more, is seen as a form of spousal abuse.

        I think you have a right to be angry at your cheater. You’ve been chumped, too. The 6 months that he was supposedly in Canada, which was also when she was overseas, too. This reset the clock.

        The upshot is that he’s not separating from his wife. He has zero desire to separate. You are definitely the OW and you did not plan to be cast in this role. You entered into the relationship in good faith.

        However, this is why I caution against getting involved with anyone who is still married, regardless of separation status. I do think that requiring such a long time is unfair, as I think that it puts good people’s lives in limbo while allowing cheaters and other abusers a free rein. As a result of the unreasonableness of these kinds of laws, you’ll see a lot of disagreement as to whether dating a separated individual counts as cheating.

        But you were definitely chumped by the cheater.

        I would recommend therapy for you. Go NC with him. When you get to the point where you no longer would touch him with a ten-meter pole, then let his wife know that he cheated with you and when, and let her know that he claimed that he was in the process of separation. Then let it go.

      • Those same rules apply in Pennsylvania. Unacceptable…I’m sorry. The theory is a cool off period to reconcile. Again, he’s married so use better judgment next time.

      • Key words…”IN MY MIND”. You wanted to believe what you wanted to believe so it suited you and only you. Married but soon to be divorced is STILL MARRIED. Plus, he was getting a divorce with a history of cheating. Just admit it! You thought you were different. People could respect that more than you going on here crying “poor me”. And admit this too while you’re at it, the only reason you want the wife to know about you is for revenge on him. You don’t care about the wife at all. You want to feel like you mattered in a situation in which you did not.

    • Thank you. This letter was so hard to read. Why oh why do people keep dating married men (women). You don’t break up from a marriage…you get divorced and until the legal paper work is done and a judge says the marriage is dissolved…your with a married person. PERIOD.

      • and to clarify, he was legally separated, as I said below, assets split, as good as divorced. By all means google it so you can see how the divorce system works over here
        Decide to split
        File for legal separation, file with lawers and both parties sign
        after 2 years, file for divorce thought the courts
        1 months after – divorce issued
        That’s how it works in New Zealand, I know because I am divorced and have been through it all myself prior to being chumped

        • I agree Victoria. I keep reiterating here that context matters!

          The big red flag that you missed was that he cheated on his wife with your coworker (or friend). Then on your way, you also discovered his being unavailable. This was the second red flag. Final one is that he is a cake eater. He wants to keep the cake (his wife) and eat it too (you). He is disordered wing nut to be able to do such a thing. You will need to rectify your picker for the next time.

          Regarding getting back at him. Question here is: Can you win against a disordered? Well, you can’t. Therefore, you shouldn’t be involved. So, NC. You have only two options: 1) keep playing the rigged game. Fallout is that as time passes, you’ll be invested more and more…2) quit playing the rigged game. Practically, that is the only logical-rational thing to do. He is no prize. Let his wife keep him. If it is not his wife, he would find another sucker. How does it matter, anyways? We have too many co-dependents/ co-disordered in the game. You are not one. So, you quit. Find an equal and reciprocal relation and invest in that.

          Should you tell his wife or others. For humanity sake, yes! For any other reason, no!

  • Victoria,
    Listen to CL and do tell his wife, his on and off wife, his wife he keeps on ice in case another relationship doesn’t work out, a wife he treats like shit.
    And celebrate that you are not the wife….a chump, yes, but you dodged a few bullets there and learned a very important chump lesson.
    Thankfully he never moved in with you….he’s already 1.5 hours away and you didn’t marry him!!!
    But definitely have serious evidence for his wife.
    Print out Chump Lady’s response to you and keep it in your purse for when you feel weak or disappointed.

    • Right! O God forbid these Narcs don’t have a human toy to play with for (gasp) 2 years !! So, Victoria, sorry but you were the understudy, the stand-in, in case he couldn’t sucessfully hoover his wife back in. He couldn’t be alone, ya know? Then he’d have to work on himself and get better at living a real life. V, this is your chance to learn, and grow, and move on. Single guys only! Ok?

  • Sorry, I do not feel bad for Victoria at all. He was MARRIED the whole time. His WIFE. If you date someone who cheats on his wife you will be with a CHEATER. You are no different. My STBX’s AP who happens to be 20 years younger than he is has a board on Pinterest titled “Someday” with all engagement rings and wedding gowns on it. She knows about me and my 5 year old son. She is an immature idiot. If you marry a man who cheated on his wife you will be married to a man that cheats on his wife. Victoria, it sucks, but you got what you deserved.

    • Agree. I did not believe the ” I didn’t know” this and that and the I “had no reason to question” this and that. She did it willingly and now that it didn’t work…..

    • I agree.

      This letter felt very OW-ish to me. She was part of his circle long enough to watch him cheat on his wife with OW #1 and then she took her turn. She jumped in with both feet when she know his marriage was troubled and she even knew the reason why (OW#1). She knew he was not divorced. Yeah he lied to her. But she know without a doubt the one fact that mattered he was still married.

      Seems to me she’s now just mad because she wasted a couple years waiting for the marriage to a cheater unicorn to fart in her general direction.

    • Ew about your stbx’s co-cheater. Just ew.

      There is something so weird about celebrating the wedding that comes out of destroying someone else’s happiness.

  • I agree with Nord’s comment regarding worrying about pissing off the cheater – what is it about us that this is such a big deal? Unwittingly, I think that I worried about it as part of the “pick me dance” – he WOULD see the error of his way, realize what he was missing and ask to start over again – miraculously, the douchebag would be who/what I thought he was and all would be healed.
    Also, I hated the thought that I would be cast as the evil, mean Ex-Wife and that everything would be blamed at my door. The unfairness of it drove me crazy.
    Sounds ridiculous and totally illogical now, but there you have it.

    Another Aha moment I had on this site was the simple statement CL made in a previous post – letting go of the consequences. I left our long-term marriage at D-Day #2. The fact that he moved on the very next week-end and filed for divorce within 4 months as he was getting engaged “because I left the relationship” just added to my disbelief, shock and grief. It was suddenly all my fault and the blame was all on my door – I left. The fact that he had been cheating for 3 decades was lost on him. It was all suddenly my fault and he had “found love and companionship”. (I thought we had been extremely loving, good companions our entire marriage.)
    Letting go of the consequences of liberating myself was a long, hard, big lesson for me.
    The Aha moment was quite comical actually. Now, instead of marking the date of my discovering the truth with sadness, I celebrate it. I recognize my courage. And I am grateful that I found out and that I wasn’t kept in the dark being chumped for the next 30 years of my life.
    Victoria, his wife needs to know. What she does is out of your control and none of your business. Go No Contact. Get rid of that douchebag for good.

    • I played it on the safe side till the divorce was final. Other than that, I don’t exactly walk on eggshells with my ex, but since we still have kids that means I do have to deal with him. In that regard, I don’t go out of my way to piss off the ex but for the most part I limit any contact with him to the minimum. At one point after he’d moved out, I did get proof that he was already cheating on the final OW with his first ex wife (Im ex wife #2) and debated on sending it to the OW. In the end I did not, because since she was and OW and knew damn well that he was married when they hooked up she should have already knows he was a liar and a cheater. But the other reason I didn’t send her the proof was that the way I go this proof was probably illegal so I didn’t want to open myself up to that repercussion.

    • Yeah, I got blamed for ‘ruining decades of good memories’. I spluttered and defended myself for awhile then realised that this was not just more blameshifting but downright fucking rude to lay that crap at my feet. That was one of the turning points for me, the fact that no matter what he had done or did now I was somehow always going to be to blame.

      So I might as well be me, say what I need to say and let him react in whatever way he reacts. Not my business and not my problem. Enough of carefully avoiding riling his precious little feelings. He doesn’t seem to have worried about mine much so why should I worry about his.

  • Seems youlack standing to object, Victoria. You , actively, participated in this with a married man.
    My Xw’s AP had something similar happen to him. Within a year or so of their moving in together, she was cheating on him. What is it with folks who get involved with married people or known cheaters? Are they so naive, or NPD themselves, that they cannot see what they are doing? And, it seems really strange, complete lack of empathy and insight, to copmplain about the cheater, when you are one, yourself.

      • So, so true!! If I had a nickel for every woman mine hooked using the “woe is me, my marriage sucks because my wife is so awful…” line. All while I was arranging MC appointments, begging for some connection, missing out on years of sex due to his “issues.” The primary issue was his serial cheating and emotional abuse.

        He will never, ever change. No one will be special enough.

        • GIO,
          your post is perfect – I was just about to put that same link up :). There are some people posting how Victoria “should have known”, that old post is a reminder that manipulators are very good at what they do.

        • Yeah, I read all sorts of emails and chat sessions where he was telling young women that he hadn’t had love in so long, blah blah blah. Whatever, dude.

          • I used to hear that crap all the time before I was married, but from women. The guy was always an sob ;~) I never heard any of them take any responsiblity for their share of it. I finally wised up after being told the other side of the story about one of them and being warned off from having anything to do with her by people who had known them both. These cheater do put on one hell of a show.

          • One married guy acquaintance was actually pretty charming until he started trying to weasel my sympathy by telling me that he and his wife “hadn’t been intimate in years.” TMI and not my problem to solve, Buster. I really had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “that’s what they make hookers for!”

      • I love that one. I come across it every once in awhile and laugh. Final OW thinks she will change him and that she is ‘special’. Sure she does. That’s why she keeps him on a very short leash.

        • While I put the blame squarely on STBX, I know that his OW has a history of being an OW. She tells him that their relationship is special, that she’s the one.

          I thought he really bought into this until I read an email exchange in which she gave him the ultimatum of her or me. He replied that he doesn’t respond to threats. Wow.

          If they last until our divorce is finalized, I think they’ll need short leashes for each other!

    • I agree with this! The poor AP awww…now they look for sympathy. It reminds me of a story I heard that a drug dealer got robbed of his drugs and they called the police for help. You play you pay. And now Victoria and every other AP who gets screwed over cries the blues. Anyone who is not 100% DIVORCED is not available no matter what they say. One thing these people refuse to believe is that while you’re fooling around with you they are also cheating on you WITH THEIR SPOUSE!! A cheater is a cheater! Have some dignity and respect for yourself and others.

    • I think the ones that do have major self image issues themselves, or just can’t seem to be on their own…anyone who smiles at them will do. But then once that “Love is Blind ” chemical/hormone mix kicks in, it’s like heroin…

  • A little Chump math:

    History of cheating + failure to divorce betrayed wife + history of unemployment + unexplained absences + abrupt manner + 36-year-old-man living at parents’ house = LOSER x 1,000

    If you want to tell his wife, Victoria, go ahead. But then direct all your energies to fixing your picker.

    • “Direct all your energies to fixing your picker.” – THIS

      Don’t date married men and don’t date cheaters. But especially, don’t date married men with a history of cheating. They will not change for you.

      • THIS!!!

        The fact is that people who cheat are happy to cheat. Cheating means having cake and kibbles. Cheating means having people do the “pick me” dance. Cheating means feeling powerful, smart, and cleverer than the chumps you’re cheating on.

        Cheaters are never really sorry–except for when they’re caught. They’ll tell their next chump that they were sorry, but then they’ll blameshift (“the relationship wasn’t working out” or “we have a loveless/sexless/joyless marriage”). You have no idea how surprising it is to us Chumplings to discover that the “relationship isn’t working out” or that we’re not interested in sex anymore.

        Victoria, you have been chumped, but you’ve not been Chumped. Being Chumped means you’re in an agreed-upon mutually monogamous relationship and your partner decides to break that agreement without telling you. Being chumped means that you thought your boyfriend was going to file for divorce when all he wanted was another side piece.

        Sure, go tell the wife. Maybe you feel a bit of revenge while doing so, but remember that she’s a victim here. Tell her that you were chumped, but she’s been Chumped. Then walk away.

        He’s cheated not once, but twice that you know of. He’s a loser. Cut that line and toss him back into the ocean.

        Then learn to recognize which guys are the keepers.

        • Shortly after dday, I read an email from OW to my ex. She wrote how she didn’t entirely believe his claims that our marriage was terrible, mistake, no passion, basically over with, blah blah blah. She wrote how she felt so guilty about being a homewrecker. Despite that, she continued to fuck him for months, and apparently eventually did ditch her husband and is back with my ex now.

          Anyway, all cheaters spew the bullshit about how terrible their marriages are, and OW/OM lick it up, even if they don’t really believe it to be true. Seriously, what else is the cheater going to say? “My marriage is great, but I just feel entitled to have a little piece of strange on the side”? Anyone who balls a cheater, knowing that person is married, regardless of the crap about how their marriage is sexless/basically over/spouse doesn’t love them/blah blah blah, deserves whatever they get as far as I’m concerned.

          • Glad–first she boinked him because he was unhappy, then because she “was so deep in”—-even when APs know the truth, they can’t bother with it. Which makes your point about how cheaters should just say “boink me ‘cuz I feel entitled” dead on as the APs would do it for no reason….the reasons they hear from the cheater are just pretexts in case they get called on their behavior.

            • Final OW got involved with ex because ‘he was unhappy’ and apparently it was her job to cheer him up. Thank goodness she did because now she gets to be the one he’s unhappy with and who doesn’t give him enough attention or affection and the one who just doesn’t make him feel like a special bunny 24/7…which is what she’ll be hearing at some point when she discovers he’s been stepping out.

      • Exactly, Red. Girls, Women, Ladies: Stop Being Low Hanging Fruit!!

        Sweet Baby Cheeses, is the thought of a life ALONE, living your integrity so terrifying that you willingly make yourself available to these free roaming parasites?

        Get a dog. Move back home and take care of your aging (insert relative here). Join the Peace Corp. Go on a church mission. ANYTHING but spinning your wheels in these abusive, exploitative relationships that take you NOWHERE.

        • Thank you Chumpalicious! So true! Is there any way you can have your wise words tattooed to my forehead and onto the inside of my eyelids for when I forget?

        • Well said.Chumpalicious. I’ve been on quite a few dates now and you know what? While they’ve all been nice enough guys most are looking for that immediate ‘spark’ and don’t seem interested in making any real effort beyond paying for dinner. So good luck to them. I want someone who is willing to step it up for me and actually get to know me and all my wonderful (and not so wonderful) qualities.

          I’ve come to realise that despite Ex’s assessment of me (I can get pissy and grumpy sometimes and this is apparently a terrible, terrible thing) I’m actually quite a good person, fun to hang out with and generally alright.

          It’s such a relief to not have this feeling that if I’m not perfect I WILL BE JUDGED. I had no idea I felt that way until the spell of Ex was lifted.

  • If you are afraid to piss off the person, examine it, because it may be your intuition warning you that he or she will harm you. Emotional abuse that engenders fear can become physical abuse in the blink of an eye. I found that out the hard way when I told my ex we were divorcing.

    If you examine the fear and it turns out you are only afraid he won’t want you anymore, you go NC and you do what is right, you give the wife the info and the evidence so he can’t smoke her again.

    Victoria, you said some of the evidence was gotten by dodgy means. If what you mean is that you did something illegal to get it, and the guy is vindictive, you could find yourself in a world of hurt far beyond what you have now.

  • Victoria,
    I haven’t been here in a while. Mine was also a boyfriend, and its all well documented with CL starting back in November of 2012 where CL used her Universal Bullshit Translator to untangle the last email of his I allowed to get through. I wanted revenge too. Really badly. I also felt like I had all the ammunition as well.

    I wanted to expose him – like “THERE ASSHOLE, TAKE THAT” HaHaHa – I fixed you!!! (and now you’ll come back to me…….)

    You cannot possibly sort thru your conflicted feelings for this guy – and in case you don’t get this, you’re in real trouble here and there is only ONE SURE PATH at this point. Be honest with yourself and recognize that your capacity to be honest with yourself is incredibly compromised right now.

    Step away from the crazy, go completely NC, block all the points of access he has to you – create a predictable and sure environment for yourself. The only reason you want to contact her is so he’ll see the error of his ways and come back to you – that is your fantasy. I know that one. It is completely backwards and illogical. And its not how things work……

    Walk Away. Let Go. Now. They are adults, they can sort out their own lives, their own karma – it sounds like they’ve been at this dance for a while and everybody’s time will come. But, at the moment, you need to save yourself. I think you know that at some level you knew everything all along and you were strung out on hopium. Feeling chosen is very addictive. Be honest with yourself, you were not coming from a place of integrity and at some level you know that. Time to get clean.

    I agree, she deserves to know but sorting thru your own impulses right now is impossible and at this point any kind of attention from him is good attention – the flip side of this is if and when it doesn’t blow them up and he never speaks to you again, you keep yourself in a state of agonizing anticipation – it is the worst place to be. It is emotional paralysis.

    My recommendation is, don’t go there, I didn’t and a year out, I’m really glad I didn’t. I can’t believe I couldn’t see that impulse for what it was – sending up a flare of last gasp hope in a very very dark universe. It was absurd.

    Step away from the crazy and focus on you.

  • Look, I understand that a lot of us get triggered with various things, however, I’m not sure why I’m hearing all of this vitriol against Victoria because I sincerely believe that she IS a chump and that she BELIEVED that he was no longer with his wife— that they were divorced and that he was free to pursue other relationships. She bought it hook, line and stinker. (yes, stinker) I also believe that her BF and his wife, NEVER broke up, NEVER had any serious “problems” as he indicated. This guy is good. He gets off on pulling the wool over as many pretty heads as he can manage. He feeds the same “I love you crap to ALL WOMEN– This is what they do… (to wife) “big work project, hun and I’ll be on the road for a few days…I love you so much. You’re AMAZING! God, I’m such a lucky man! I’ll call you as often as I can. Please let me know how your mom is doing. muah!!!– call me if there’s anything you need. muah!!!

    Meanwhile, he was with Victoria the entire time. To a point, it WAS perfectly plausible, but I would say that point ended a while back. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was even yet another OW somewhere (hey maybe 2 or 3 others)— maybe in Canada. Who knows? This guy is a disgusting sociopathic freak and there are plenty of them on here.

    I do think that Victoria needs to see a counselor to understand what lead her to accept this relationship that had more holes in it than Swiss Cheese. Part of it may have been naivete but part of it is a lack of self-esteem, I believe.

    I agree with CL, wholeheartedly. Yes, tell the wife. She deserves to know. Tell her the absolute truth. Do not editorialize. Don’t follow up. Don’t check on her. Block HIM. no contact. Change your email, your phone number and if possible, move. I mean it. Disappear completely out of his life! and hers. I do so hope she kicks his fucked up ass to the curb, but I doubt it… she’s so drunk on the kool-aid, she won’t even know where the door is.

    • Hey Laurel,

      IMO, I think the reason why you’re hearing the vitriol directed toward Victoria is that she already knew him to be a cheater, she was already aware that he cheated on his wife with a co-worker, so she was aware of his poor character when she consented to become involved with him. Nothing indicates how old Victoria is or anything about her prior history before becoming involved with this baboon’s shit-encrusted ass passing himself off as a human being, however, her behavior indicates that she apparently thought she was “different” or “more special” than his wife or the OTHER other woman. I’m sure he set it up that way.

      I will not blame Chumps for being chumps, being a ranking member of the Royal Order of Chumps myself, and I don’t know all of the bullshit he may have spoon-fed Victoria, but she had already been given a preview of coming attractions into the movie this guy was producing and she consented to a starring role in it. Nowhere in her letter does she say that she believed him to be divorced or that he was divorced. What it appears she DIDN’T know was that he was involved in a cake eating contest and she was one of the cakes. She thought she was THE cake and the other cakes had been dumped or were on their way to the trash can. No matter what he told her he was GONNA do, he hadn’t done it and he was still married. She consented to have a relationship with a married man.

      In making a choice, Victoria made a poor choice. She needs to examine why she decided to make that choice and, if she’s interested, fix that.

      Victoria,

      This guy is a flaming turd straight out of Satan’s ass. You are well rid of him. If you want to tell his wife in order to allow his wife to have the information which she needs to make an informed choice about whether or not she wants to remain his wife, I say go for it. I’d like to have had that choice. If, on the other hand, you want to inform his wife because you want company in your misery and you want to punish him, that would be you looking at making another poor choice. That would be you thinking only of how YOU feel and what YOU want. That’s not a good look. Examine what you hope to accomplish by telling his wife and then do what you feel you need to do.

      Whatever happens, this guy SUCKS monkey balls and everyone, except those that enjoy the taste and smell of monkey balls, needs to be as far away from him as possible.

      • “This guy is a flaming turd straight out of Satan’s ass. ”

        OMG, this is possibly the best description EVER! Chump Princess, I love this! LOL, this is what should be written under every picture of my ex.

        • Send me a few of them and I will help you write it because GIO, if there was a picture of a flaming turd coming out of Satan’s ass, it would have your ex’s name under it.

        • This guy is a flaming turd straight out of Satan’s ass.

          Best one I’ve heard in ages. Tucking that one away for future use.

      • I agree with you CP. There are some things we don’t know… she did believe as did everyone else in their office that he and his wife were through; their marriage was over and that they were no longer a couple or living together. And that break up had happened six months before he and she started dating. Did she know that were still legally married? It would appear that she assumed they were divorced, but again, that’s not clear from the letter.

        Did she use poor judgment? YES, absolutely and she admits it and says that she’s angry with herself for being such an idiot. I would rather give her the benefit of the doubt rather than damn her. She’s obviously young and/or extremely naive and I’m sure that he did a great job of keeping her on the hook. She made a mistake and she’s remorseful and angry with herself. I see no need to string her up, although I certainly can understand how triggering this letter could be for some of us.

        The point of her letter was should she tell the wife?

        Yes, absolutely. But then she needs to disappear, get some therapy and stay away from that loser!

      • “this baboon’s shit-encrusted ass passing himself off as a human being”

        I cannot tell you how hard I am laughing right now…

      • “This guy is a flaming turd straight out of Satan’s ass”

        Omg laughing even harder, tears are running down my face 🙂

    • Ah..
      yes…
      Vic could tell the wife… but she may not BELIEVE her.
      If the “W” didn’t see it. or catch him, she will probably dismiss this as a woman who wants “her man ” !
      The wife will think , who the hell are you to intrude on her life ?
      It is done of your business…. but I do understand wanting some type of closure.
      Why not contact her friends , her parents ?
      I doubt she will ever believe a woman who has a vested interest in the situation.

      • I’m not sure it matters whether the wife believes her or not. I may not have believed anyone if they had told me what my ex had been up to but it would have planted a seed. And sometimes that’s all that’s needed, because that seed will blossom in the future and hopefully the wife will have the good sense to get out when it does.

  • Victoria – You are not a chump, you are a mistress!

    I think your getting what you deserve and maybe I should be more sympathetic but you were with a married man, what the hell did you think was going to happen?? This man was fucking his way through the office and you got in line!

    He was legally married this whole time and you were okay with that!!! You need some therapy, stat! Any person who is okay being in a relationship with a married person has serious issues and I’m perplexed how you kept yourself ‘oblivious’ to his wife, who he was still married to, and still seeing. You really thought they ‘broke up’ and even though he was gone all the time from you that he never, ever went to see his wife?

    The wife deserves to know, because frankly, she is the most important party in this whole disaster, not you! My gut says your hoping they ‘break up’ and he runs back to you. He will do that… but then he will go back to her, back to you, back to her, back to you. You will never, ever win this! He does not care about you at all! The sooner you choke that down, the sooner you can look for an available man.

    Give her the information and then get the hell out of their lives, you don’t belong there, it’s between a husband and a wife, and neither of these people are you.

    • Thank you, Gina.
      Someone who f**ks a married person is a co-cheater.
      No “if’s,” “and’s,” “but’s,” or rationalizations.

      ***”He felt terrible for cheating on her, but the relationship wasn’t working.” ***
      Give me a break.
      A pig in lipstick is still a pig.

      That having been said, the wife needs to know. She has her health to see to… since his penis (and God knows what other body parts) has been in every available hole short of the Laurentian Abyss.

        • Yeah, that’s the part that always makes me shake my head. Ex will still say things like ‘the marriage was crumbling’ and ‘it just wasn’t working’. Well, I didn’t know any of this because I didn’t know he was screwing other women, sexting with other women, generally chasing after other women and living a whole different life outside the home. So in a sense he’s probably right, but I had no idea.

  • Victoria, on the surface you sound like a duped mistress, the type of person that’s usually deserving of the benefit of the doubt. For instance, your letter doesn’t specify if your ex was legally separated from his wife during your relationship. That would help your case, as I don’t think sleeping with a separated married man counts as adultery.

    Unfortunately, all you say in your letter is that he “broke up” with his wife, which doesn’t specify anything. Was he legally separated/divorced or not? You can’t not know. You were with him for almost three years. Freshly divorced men usually have divorce papers laying around and complain about alimony payments. Was he legally free from his marriage or not?

    The rest of your letter paints your ex as a typical Class-A fuck-up, going from job to job, house-to-house, and woman to woman. Unfortunately, your letter also suggests that you were either turning a blind eye to a classic case of a double-life or even chumpier than the average chump. There’s simply too much in your letter that’s inconsistent and strains credibility…even by chump standards.

    Anyway, it’s all over now, and thankfully you were spared even more Chumpdom by not marrying this fickle weirdo. I say tell the wife and move on with your life. And next time ask the KEY questions before you get into a serious relationship with someone. Yes, he was old enough to know better, but so were you.

  • I agree with both the people who are saying you’re not a chump, you’re a mistress, and the people who are saying that you got fooled.

    Because it’s both true.

    1) You knew he was married, you knew he was a cheater. You were fully aware that he had cheated on his wife with a work collegue. You knew that. You also knew that he and his wife were still married. So you did, completely aware, enter a relationship with a married man. That’s YOUR fault. You did that to YOURSELF. You thought you were special, and you aren’t. Neither was the first woman he cheated with, and neither will be the NEXT woman he cheats with. Because there will be others after you. Hell, there were probably others simultaneous to you. So bottom line here: You were not special. You knew he was a cheater and now you’re shocked that he cheated. To the rest of us, the real Chumps, this is no surprise. It’s just fact. Cheaters cheat, honey. Don’t want to get hurt? Don’ enter a relationship with a married man. Don’t enter a relationship with a known cheater.

    2) All that stuff he told you? Being in Canada? Having job-finding issues? It was all bullshit. Seriously. I’m willing to put money down that he was never in Canada. He was probably with his wife. Or another OW. I’m also willing to bet that he was never having job-search issues. I’m betting someone else was footing his bill and he just liked it. I’m willing to bet that nothing he ever said to you was truthful. You think you had no reason to believe he was lying? Well I have no reason to believe he was telling the truth. And seriously? Neither do you. You did have reasons to not believe him, you just didn’t see them or chose to ignore them.

    A lot of Chumps got chumped because they didn’t see warning signs, myself included. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Going forward for you keep this in mind. If a guy has mysterious absences, bouts of being distant, or suddenly needs to leave the country for “work,” for a long period of time, chances are he’s a liar.

    Also going forward for you, stop thinking that you’re special. Know that when a man is married, or was married and cheated on his wife, that he is NOT relationship material. You won’t change him. No one will. Remember that and it will help you fix your picker.

    3) YES. You SHOULD tell he wife. She has no idea you exist, I guarantee it. If he’s cheated before, it’s likely she’s either unaware of that too (and he’s just told you she is), or she believes she’s in reconciliation. Either way, he’s lied to her and she needs to know.

    If you truly feel bad about this situation, you won’t just merely tell her, you will tell her and then walk away. Go NO CONTACT with both him and her. Get out of it entirely. Don’t check up on him, don’t accept emails or text messages or phone calls from him, don’t snoop around to find out what she’s doing or did. Tell her and go NC. If you want to tell her because you truly, honestly feel badly for her and want her to have the truth, that is what you will do.

    But if you’re telling her for your own revenge agains him, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Don’t do it because you want to get back at him. The other Chumps are right when they say that’s a bad road to go down. Because it’s not rooted in true selfless concern for the betrayed spouse. Doing it for your own revenge is doing it because you want to “fix” him. You want to make him see his error and come groveling back. Again, don’t do that because it won’t happen because again, you’re not special.

    So concluding this long post: You are both perpetrator and victim. You knew he was married and a cheater, which is YOUR fault, but you also were actually under the impression that he was separated. Tell the wife, fix your picker, and realize that you NO ONE can change people like him.

  • Thrre years with him and she knew he had already cheated before? No way was Victoria an innocent in this. No way is that anything like being an unsuspecting spouse or legit girllfriend. Just seen too many of these OW/OM’s to buy that. They are just as fucked up as the cheater and, hopefully, will not reproduce and water down the gene pool.

  • As I have said on this site months ago, because of my love for my Father, and the confusion it was causing in my mind with my now X’s cheating, my Dad was a famous ( no joke) womanizer. My oldest brother is 77 hand my youngest brother is 27 and there are more than 11 kids in between. Many Mom’s…I was often stuck in the middle, he’s passed since and when I called my last Stepmom when all this hit me (which led to CL.. Yea!) sobbing and said “how in the world did you do it?” She said – It was my choice, I knew so I couldn’t complain” ……..kind of sums it up.

  • “Do I tell her? I so badly want to but my means for telling her are purely revenge. Why should he be living in happiness, messing with people heads and leading them on? He deserves to lose us both. If she is so special to him that he kept her believing and hoping over the last 2.5 years that there was still a chance for them then isn’t the ultimate revenge to take that away from him?”

    I read the letter over again and this really stood out. Spurned mistress out to get revenge. I’m not sure how the guy told Victoria he “broke up” with his wife (marriage “break ups” are normally called divorces and require a judges signature) but Victoria knew fully well the guy was a cheater. It seems to me her anger is that she wasn’t as “special” as she thought she was, and she wants revenge. She even indicates there is something wrong with the guy thinking HIS WIFE is special. Bunny boiler.

    After re-reading this, I think it is very ugly. Victoria claims she wants revenge, but what I see is an OW who is spurned and is going to take action that she actually hopes will get the guy back. I’d almost bet money, if this guy dumps the wife (or pretends to) and comes back, Victoria will be waiting with open arms.

  • Sad but this gal is clearly an OW. As already pointed out, it’s unclear if Victoria was told that he was absolutely divorced, separated or what? Because as someone else noted, if he said he was indeed separated and actively working on a divorce -that’s different. But of course that presents the issue of why are you still not divorced after 3 years – so I don’t think that was her understanding. But really – none of that matters. The single most important and clearly stated details is SHE KNEW HE WAS A CHEATER! And subsequently thought herself to be better than all the other women, surely that wouldn’t happen to me. He won’t cheat on me. The simple fact remains is that cheating is not a way to deal with any problems, real or perceived – it is too destructive. She knew this was the way he dealt with the “problems” in his marriage. Two huge red flags. So even if she totally was positive that he was separated or divorced, she knew he was a cheater who used cheating to take care of whatever issues he deemed problematic. She chose to be with someone who took the pussy way out. So I don’t feel all that badly for her. Sorry.

  • I should clarify that he was legally separated. In our country you have to be legally separated for 2 years before you can file for divorce.
    You know what, I was stupid to get involved with a man who had cheated before.
    Do I have low self esteem – I never thought I did but obviously I do.
    He seemed so genuinely sorry to have cheated I truly believed he was so regretful he would never do it again.
    I was not friends with him or new about the affair while it was going on. When we became friends it had all come out that he had been cheating. 6 months after that we started dating.
    I’m sorry to all the people above who say I am the mistress and OW and that I had an affair with a married man – he was legally separated. In our country a legal separation means assets split, separate lives. That is the point he was at when we started dating.

    • Hi Victoria,
      Thank you for clarifying that. Understandably that a lot of people got triggered and it brings out the worst in them. Other people can read into your letter what they will, but my assumption in reading your letter was that he HAD taken steps to end the marriage. I know that you are also in pain and have learned a tough lesson. How can we know the stove is hot until we’ve gotten burned? I’ve certainly made plenty of mistakes in my 57 years. I just try not to make the same mistake twice. :] I wish you all thing good going forward… but yeah… tell the wife and then disappear. my best, L

      • Thanks Laurel, Its going to take a long time to move on from this. I certainly have learned my lesson and the hard way. I will think over telling the wife. a lot of people have pointed out that anger is not a good motivation to do so.
        Right now I feel like my life is ruined, do I want to ruin hers to? Maybe she does know he’s a cheater, but I doubt it, he is such a good liar. I mean he had me fooled.
        It amazes me how easily the lies fell off his tongue

        • Victoria,
          I assume that you’re in your 20s or 30s? Even so. Your life is not ruined. The man you were involved with is a sociopath. You are not alone.

          Telling someone the truth… even an ugly truth is not ruining their life. its giving them a chance to make an informed decision. How many of us… myself included… went merrily along our way… not suspecting thing.

          god damn it, I WISH someone— even one of his fuckbuddies or that slutty confidant in Israel who fucks her shrink would’ve clued me in. But no… His dirty not-so-little secret isn’t yours to keep! Don’t you know? Do you have any idea how many other OW there are and have been, even while he was stringing you along? Was he really in Canada for six months? I doubt it very much. He’s a pathological liar. He’s one sick cookie!

          Do not tell her in anger. Tell her in truth. For the truth is light and love. These kinds of secrets are evil and dark. Yes, you are angry and hurt deeply. But think of many of us who’ve invested DECADES in these idiots and have had homes and families— children… and a lifetime of memories… and it was all a sham.

          Keep moving forward with your precious life. Don’t stay stuck in the muck. Don’t let him have that power over you. I believe in karma. oh yeah… he’ll get his… one day. xo

        • No, your life is not ruined. Take a look at this blog title. Life with a cheater is hell. It’s accepting second or even third best.

          There is more life ahead of you than behind you. You can get the therapy you need to help you make better relationship choices in the future. You can get to “meh.” Living well is the best revenge because you won’t care about your cheater. Instead, you’ll have a better life, one that’s free to focus on you and one that’s free to find someone who values you for yourself, not you as a side piece.

          You’re with a serial cheater. Not only is he cheating on you and his wife, he’s probably got some other woman in there, too. The man is a toxic waste dump. Go read the information about the Narcissistic Personality Disorder types. They never get better, and they’ll make your life hell.

          Tell the wife. Her life won’t be ruined knowing, and in a way it’s ruined by her not knowing. Most of us Chumps do wish that people would have told us, even if we retreated into denial.

      • I’m telling you the wife will not believe her. The wife wants to be in the marriage, she will be in denial, unless he thinks by telling all he will be forgiven.
        If it makes you feel better, Victoria, tell.
        Be prepared for any back lash that will come your way.
        Even with hard proof.. some women just won’t believe. I truly doubt she will leave him, and when that happens will it make you feel worst ? Some women are desperate to hold on to a man. Even a sorry POS Man !

        Laurel… you’re 57 ? Go GIRL !!!!

        • yes’m 57! Its the dancing, hair dye and 20 years of screaming at my children. lol

          I agree that the wife will most likely spackle like mad and won’t budge a bit, but you never know. I think its best to tell her and then NO contact. Block wherever possible. IF he persists… call the cops to tell them he is harassing her.

        • I disagree, the wife may very well want to know. Because my ex is actually a BAD liar and quite transparent, I knew he was cheating practically before he was, both times. But a lot of cheaters are very good liars, and I’ve known several people who were VERY upset that other people knew and no one said anything.

          I say TELL. What she does w/that is up to her, but at least you will have done the right thing by her, and not collaborated in his BS, as he’s counting on your doing. Then never have anything to do with either of them again.

          Good luck fixing your picker, Victoria. Sometimes we do have to get burned in order to learn, but what a painful lesson!

          • I agree here. I’ll never forgive the large number of people who knew and bought into the lies my ex was telling. Not a single one came forward to say “Do you know what your husband is up to?”

          • IDK… I have that crazy friend/ aquaintance that knows all the gory details , yet still stays b/c she “loves him more than anyone in the world !” P U K E !

    • Victoria, I’m not sure you do have low self esteem. We all can believe someone if they are telling us they really fucked up and won’t ever do that again. And we don’t normally sit back asking ourselves if the person saying that is rationalizing or making excuses while he’s being so “sincere”. And with a new relationship it’s hard to know someone is lying. What I think you need to do is look at your boundaries, how you set them, why and how you enforce them. The way you relate your relationship with this guy it sounds like you just did anything he wished, didn’t get your own needs met and brushed aside your own intuition to be in a relationship with him. I’m sorry you got so beat on over your letter. I think it’s because there is a language barrier and most people didn’t see your early post explaining how divorce works in your country.

      Bottom line, I think you are a trusting chump who believed the guy was divorcing and I’m kinda pissed at some of the comments that say you should have known that if he cheated on his wife he would cheat on you. We all like to believe in redemption, and sometimes it actually works. I’m especially pissed at any chump who used this argument if they attempted reconciliation with their cheater.

      Did you give Victoria hell for believing the guy made a mistake and wouldn’t do it again? If you did, then you better damn well be one of those people who never tried to reconcile with their spouse, otherwise you are a hypocrite. It’s bullshit to say you gave your spouse a chance to prove himself and then crucify Victoria for believing the same shit you did. What’s the difference? She didn’t suffer for 10 or 20 years so she’s not worthy? Come on Chumps, this is not who we are.

      • Thank you, that means so much to me. Reading some of the above comments was really hard. I already feel like shit about this, I don’t need people telling me I am a bad person for believing a guy. I should have been more specific above how divorce works in my country though. I just didn’t realize its not the same in other parts of the world.

        • Some of this people are so harsh…
          hell you don’t know, what you don’t know !
          And some on this site speak of DDay # 2, # 3 getting an STD or the “H” getting the OW pregnant , yet they are just now divorcing.
          I think you came looking for comfort… and kinda got the shit kicked out of you.
          Sorry, some have no mercy .

      • Absolutely right, DDW, some of the comments were harsh, but hey let’s not judge those folks either. Also, Im not sure I agree that going out with a known cheater is exactly the same as forgiving and trying to reconcile with a husband of 10-20 years whom you have kids with. In fact, for me, it’s a totally different ballpark. But you’re absolutely right that everyone should have a shot at redemption. Thanks for reminding us of that. That said, a known serial cheater has already had many shots at redemption so no forgiveness for that, at least in my book…

  • Anyone see the premiere of CBS’ “We Are Men?” (originally called Ex-Men)

    http://www.cbs.com/shows/we-are-men/

    It’s a sitcom about 4 men weathering the breakup of their relationships. One involves a guy who is left at the altar by his bride for OM. All he can think about is getting back with her. But when he finally does, her sense of entitlement turns him off.

    So what does it have to do with this thread?

    Cheaters always put themselves first. Do not willingly date them, marry them, or become their f*ck buddies, because you cannot win. You’ll only waste time, money, and heartache.

      • It really is regrettable how the media subtly programs these expectations in people.

        Anybody remember The Waltons? Little House on the Prairie? Antiquated and archaic.

        So unrealistic to put anyone or anything ahead of ME ME ME.

  • Thanks for the clarification Victoria about the separation status. I can’t help but ask do you have absolute proof he was legally separated or did he just tell you that? The timing kind of looks like his time was up, about time to actually get divorced but if he’s still with the other wife then that was never going to happen. Make sense? But also unfortunately you are still an OW in the sense that he appears to have never truly left his wife. They clearly have an ongoing relationship all that time because you just don’t up and move in with the man you were separated from if you hadn’t been working on reconciliation in the first place. As a human being I feel bad for your hurt (even though I previously said I didn’t) because while I think you were chumped in the sense that YOU truly believed he had moved on from his wife, you did knowingly take up with someone that was known to cheat. But at the same time, if I were to meet my Future Ex today, knowing he had cheated on his partner of 20+ years, I could totally see myself doing the same thing. Why? Because he’s genuinely likeable and I wouldn’t have known the bad qualities. I wouldn’t autotmatically think that the wife was bad and that’s why he cheated. But I could totally see myself thinking I might be better than the last because he chose ME. All in all, it doesn’t appear that you were knowingly hurting anyone but yourself. It’s a horrible lesson to learn.

  • Thanks Chrissybob, no I never actually saw the documents that stated he was legally separated. I never thought to ask to see them, how stupid is that. I thought he was genuine, that he was a great guy who made a mistake. I believed him. Particularly because I felt his living situation backed up this claim of legal separation. I mean you don’t just move out of a marital home for no reason right?. If I knew then what I know now… well hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    Everyone at work loved him, he was a great guy. I fell for it hook, line and sinker.
    You are right that they clearly had an ongoing relationship while we were together, you don’t just move back in together. Thinking about this makes me sick. I am going over things over and over again, when did this start up again, was this going on the whole time? was he sleeping with us both?

    • I posted a response to above but I want to reiterate one thing;

      Did you give Victoria hell for believing the guy when he said he made a mistake by cheating, felt horrible and that he wouldn’t do it again? If you did, then you better damn well be one of those people who never tried to reconcile with their spouse, otherwise you are a hypocrite. It’s bullshit, most of chumps believe this same shit from our spouses and them a chance (or 4) to prove themselves. So you are going to crucify Victoria for believing the same shit every chump on this board did at least once? What’s the difference between her and you? Is it because she didn’t suffer for 10 or 20 years so she’s not worthy? Is it because she should somehow have had the foresight NO ONE who is chumped ever has? She spackled over the things that didn’t make sense but somehow she’s different because she somehow should have known he was lying about his divorce? Should she have been immune to the sparkles and the manipulation that none of us were immune to? I don’t think so.

      Come on Chumps, this is not who we are. For my part, welcome to Chumpville Victoria. May you never be Chumped again.

      • I stand by my above comments. Victoria did not make it clear she thought they were legally separated. Her wording of the ‘break up’ was very suspicious. I stand by my severe comments, although I recognize when someone wants help and I think everyone deserves a good life.

        We’ve all made mistakes, not including being a chump. I hope she follows the advice of everyone on here and tells the wife, and then moves on to improve hers.

      • Not sure where you got the impression that all of us tried reconciling. It was one strike and you are out, for me.
        But the New Zealand separation deal does soften things,a bit. I can see a distinction between naivety and just not giving a shit.
        Still, three years of being oblivious does seem hard to believe.

    • Victoria (and others)–I googled the New Zealand divorce process. It looks as if there’s no need to file anything to start the separation. If this is the case, then the lack of judicial oversight is astounding. The system is built on the belief that reconciling couples deserve a significant amount of flexibility in order to make things work. Unfortunately, it works against the victims in infidelity and abuse cases.

      In other words, lack of a separation agreement means simply that the courts didn’t have to get involved, not that the couple hasn’t agreed to separate. This is mana in the cheater’s heaven.

  • seriously? she didn’t say it the right way? She clarified what she meant on 9/16 at 5:45pm. And she did it a couple more times after that but I guess her original letter is suspect because she didn’t have the right words for you. Gina, the OW in my case knew my husband was married and I think yours did too, but I don’t think Victoria is that woman. We can only trust people are who they say they are here and help each other. If I’m wrong about Victoria then I’m wrong, I guess I’m always going to be a chump because I will trust a person until they show me I cannot.

    • No, I said I stood by my original comments by what her original letter said. I understand she clarified what she knew on 9/16 at 5:45 p.m. I completely understand why many of us took her letter as we did, my perception of the letter was obviously different than yours and I did not believe her use of words made it seem like she was a chump at all. Yes, it was b/c she didn’t say it the right way, saying they ‘broke up’ to me is different then they are ‘legally separated.’

      Again, I’ll say it seems like she wants help with this situation and I think she is getting it, good and bad.

      • Gina a lot if people right here in this country believe that seperation is broken up. And the truth is many people separate without doing it legally . However I have yet to meet anyone that dates a person that is separeted and go onto to be in a committed relationship. Most times the couples get back together leaving the other person devasted thinking they were leaving. Separation should be used to work on ones self. If you meet someone that is suppose to be separated and is using this time to date RUN because whether they reconcile with their spouse or its the law to separate for one or two years…there not being healthy and taking time.
        My husband and I were separated for 6 months in I’m thinking we will reconcile only to find out he was seeing 3nother women and promising them all that he was leaving me so try can be together. I found out and filed or a divorce. He refused to sign divorce papers. Before I can even get the paperwork filed with courts he moved in with the cash cow of the 3…an active female minister who is also a principle of a large school. She knows he’s married and only because I refuse to take him back he’s not here. Right now behind her back he sends text about making a mistake and how I should find him an apartment so he can heal and grow. I am the wife and I made a choice not to be a part of this circus. I didn’t sign up for ths circus and so I’m gone. I also think it is very different to want to reconcile and believe/trust a spouse someone you took vows with and your holding up your end with commitment with all your blinders on, than believe and trust someone who you already know had an affair with someone , left his wife for OW that caused his marriage to end.
        I wanted so bad to go to this woman’s church and out them both but now that I am moving into the place of how much my need to be loved, accepted, and validated by this man played a huge part…I decided not to. Ths anger rage and need or revenge can cloud you vision and keep you from healing. CL personally helped me get unstock by doing sonething so simpke that was keeping me connected…but i missed the obvious because i wasvso focused on them. Now I’m taking time tonwork on me because if you don’t you will keep replacing the same man just a different face or as CL says you’ll become catnip to the disordered and those who want to just f@ck.

        • My entire lfe I’ve been with the same kind of man, and then I married the biggest, serial cheating piece of shit out of all of them. I’ve learned so much from this site and a few others that I’m confident, when I’m ready, which I’m not yet, that I will do a much better job of choosing. I was a catnip to the disorded and to the ones who just wanted to fuck.

          Good for you for moving forward. It is so so hard to make that decision and stick to it.

      • Those of us who said negative things because we didn’t believe her original post would only be hypocrites if we did believe her original post, and still said those same negative things.

  • Victoria, I’m not going to judge or comment on your relationship with this guy. I am only writing from the perspective of a woman who was chumped. In fact, the person I mostly chumped was myself. I looked at my 20 year marriage as some sort of accomplishment, and allowed my husband to travel alone without me, believing it was perfectly fine because I perfectly trusted him. I was a stay at home mom living an enchanted life with my kids–until one day I received an email from a man who seemed to know a lot about my husband’s travels to another state. This guy was the chumped husband of my husband’s OW. I was shocked and devastated. The whole thing was an awakening for me, a rude one–because I eventually had to own up to seeing all the abusive treatment I had gotten from my husband over the years. The affair was just the crowning glory of it all.

    Yes, I now have my freedom, but I must tell you I still wish I could view life with those rose-colored glasses (I believe CL calls this “spackle”). Because I still hurt and I still haven’t found complete peace and happiness, I still wonder whether I should thank or revile OW’s husband for what he decided to do.

    I will also tell you that I believe he did it not for altruistic reasons, but because he wanted to reassert his possession of OW. He actually wrote me saying, “I need you to tell your husband to leave my wife alone.” Even in my shock and pain, I saw that as bullshit, and told him it wasn’t my job to do that.

    As far as I know OW and the husband are still married. I suspect they deserve each other. Sorry, CL, if that sounds resentful, and perhaps a bit petty, as I sometimes want to “kill the messenger.”

    • Jade,

      I wrestled with that for a long time before I contacted the OMs wife. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news. In my situation it helped because she was divorcing him for the affair and we created an alliance through our divorces. Without this the cheaters hold all the cards. It sucks that he used you because he chose to live in denial.

    • The guy was right to tell you and to try to bust up the affair. Even if he just wanted your POS husband away from his kids rather than retaining hisPOS wife.
      IMO, every betrayed parent should do everything in his/her power to keep OWs or OMs away from their kids.

      • I guess I am yet another who was triggered by this whole thread. I am amazed and dismayed at how I was able to deceive myself for so many years. Even my neighbors knew I had marriage troubles, because they easily heard my ex’s angry shouting. I really was a person who wanted to “forgive and forget” all his angry outbursts, his disrespect, and his selfishness–indeed, I had to work in therapy to even recall all the damage he had caused to my (and my children’s) psyche. Time will tell whether the OW’s husband did the right thing. Right now my daughters and I are struggling to feel happier, and it sure as hell doesn’t help that they have to go to him 1/3 of the time. The only benefit I see right now is that we don’t have to walk on eggshells around him 100% of the time.

        Even though the signs were there, I honestly didn’t suspect a thing. I wonder if I would be further on the road to healing if I had caught him, because at least I would be able to trust in my own perceptions. I don’t even have that.

  • This thread has triggered me.
    When someone knows the person they’re romantically involved with has cheated in the past and accept it as something unrelated to their relationship in the present.

    My ex-wife was a serial cheater and I’m agonizing as to whether to give her new fiancé the truth about her.

    Victoria’s situation leaves me feeling that the new fiancé will buy the past cheating as something irrelevant and if she cheated on me doesn’t mean she will cheat on him.

    Unfortunately, too many people pardon cheating if it’s not done to them. Sadly, that mindset makes for more chumps.

    • The guy in the letter told her it was a one time, he was so sorry, etc bullshit that cheaters always say. that is why so many here are saying to remember that “you are not special”. Cheaters are really good at blaming everything on the chump, we know that.

      • I had the same opportunity and really struggled with what to do, whether to tell OM. My counselor advised me not to. She said he most likely wouldn’t believe it, would think I was just bitter and jealous. Could end up backfiring and causing myself more pain. Even my son said to put my energy into creating a life for myself instead. Still think about anonymously dropping document I found on ex’s computer in the mail to OM sometimes, though.

  • At some point in time well prior to just 4 weeks ago when the “breakup” was finalized by him, this man apparently confirmed that he had indeed cheated on his wife and then tried to whitewash it by indicating that, “He felt terrible for cheating on her [wife], but the relationship wasn’t working.” In my book that would have been a red flag the size of a football field, and my cue to exit.

    Perhaps after having listened (professionally) to far too much self-justification on the part of people who are behaving very badly, perhaps my bullshit meter stays more finely tuned in my personal life, too. I judge people by what they do as opposed to what they say.

    Victoria, I hope this painful lesson helps you develop a better, “picker.”

  • I post here quite a bit and you take me at my word for what happened to me and I take you at yours. I am having a very bad PTSD day, lotsa triggers this week so I suppose I’m going to the mat for this LW because I see something wrong here and I have this issue with misplaced anger and justice and also with WTF upedness and hell it’s better than freaking out over myself when I hear a thump.

    So I try once more, I think what bothers me about the posts vilifying and tutting he LW is that you won’t take Victoria’s words for what happened, the point of CL’s blog is meh and getting a life. If you still focus on how horrible the AP is to the point that you can’t, even in this instance, realize the AP is as much a chump as you were then you are not getting to meh. You are still blaming some AP for what happened, when it was on your spouse. A knowing AP is ethically challenged but even then it’s not the AP that fucked you over, it’s your spouse. Victoria made some mistakes in her choices and she’s going to learn from them, she was accidentally the AP. She wasn’t the AP in your life, she isn’t the stand in for the AP in your life and that seems to be what you are making her. If that’s the case your meh is a long way off.

    The idea that how someone wrote in is suspect and so you are OK with vilifying them makes no sense. We all know sometimes people on the internet are not who they appear but if CL choose to blog this LW and answer her then I think she felt it was a true letter, honestly written. For all I or any of us know Victoria is a guy drinking beer in the basement and laughing at us. If so, oh well, it does me no harm and may help her if I take her at her word, so I do.

    The fact is, for all you know I’m some kind of total psycho sitting in my basement typing bullshit.

  • I’m not a guy drinking beer in a basement. I joined here for support. Some posts make me sorry I did
    I’m female, 36 years old and a professional.
    I’m smart and successful. its really fucking beaten me up that I fell for the shit he told me.
    Do you think I’m happy at 36 with no kids and desperate to start a family at the end of my biological clock that a man who was LEGALLY SEPARATED and told me he wanted a family with me, flushed my birth control pills down the toilet, talked about our future, actively tried to get pregnant with me, looked at prams with me, discussed our future as a family. Do you not all think how fucking hard this is for me to now find out he was stringing me along this whole time. While all that time I am getting less and less fertile.
    I’m sorry for everything anyone on this site went through. But I’m not the one that did that to you.

    • Wow, you’d be in a super mess if you had gotten pregnant. I wonder why you didn’t. Maybe the wife knows something.

      You should have integrated this post with your original post. By all means, tell the wife even if your motives aren’t pure. She’s the only one now in a position to dish out some consequences for his behavior, and I’m all for cheaters this egregious getting some consequences.

      You’ll have to excuse peoples skepticism here: a two year waiting period before you can have your divorce is unthinkable in the States.

    • Victoria, FWIW, I don’t think you’re a knowing or willing affair partner. I have dated while separated, and yes, while it usually means you’re still wobbly and not ready, it doesn’t always result in disaster either. I thought the state of Virginia was bad with waiting 1 year and 1 day before you could file, but New Zealand takes the biscuit. Two years is insane. (Think of all the damage a cheating, spending, wing nut spouse could do!) But point is — it is important to heal and work on that picker. I know you feel like an idiot now looking at the clues — we’ve all been there.

      The guy had some serious red flags, and you’re a lot wiser now going forward. So, lesson learned. Aside from his marital status — it just doesn’t sound like he was THERE for you. His employment was shaky, where he lived was shaky. He got angry when you pushed him on things you wanted. He told you a lot of things you wanted to hear, he zeroed in on your hopes and dreams — like having a baby — and used that to keep you hooked.

      It’s up to you, going forward, to weigh such promises against actions. It’s very hard to stuff hope down. At 36, it’s not too late to have a baby — either by yourself or with a future partner some day. But I know what it’s like to waste your fertility years on a douchebag. I also wanted another kid (married my ex at 38) and those years — that last window — was wasted on a cheater. But Victoria THANK GOD I didn’t have a kid with him. Thank GOD. It would’ve kept him in my life for 18 years. A nightmare many folks here are living. I know it doesn’t feel like a blessing now, but THANK GOD you didn’t have a kid with this disordered, horrible person.

      Thanks for posting on your thread and explaining your story more. You’re welcome here and best luck moving forward. ((Hugs))

    • Sad to say, that’s why I didn’t even bother to try to date during the whole separation, which dragged on for two years (after I spent two years trying to get together enough money even to leave). I figure any guy who would date me would always have in the back of his mind “she can always go back to her husband,” even though I was quite serious about wanting a divorce. Now that I’ve waited and am actually divorced (only two months ago), I have enough perspective to know that I have a lot of work to do before I can even consider dating. And at my age, it may just be too late to even bother. I don’t have enough time to mess around with men who need a lot of care (especially narcissists who never f*ing grew up)–I have my daughters to take care of.

      But there are plenty of people who have no problem dating someone who is separated. I know, because the women have been lining up for my ex. I think he is on GF #2 or #3 (he doesn’t tell my kids anything, just brings them home and has sleepovers with these women–and they are old enough to understand what he is doing).

      BTW in my state there is no such thing as legal separation. You are either married or you are divorced.

  • I should add I am not trying to win your sympathy by telling you this
    This is how it is. I was genuinely played, I am sorry If some of you cannot believe this but please remember I am a human being. I’m hurting as much as you were or still are. So please stop the hate

    • DDF and Others!

      I toe your line of supporting Victoria. She is an example of a chump. The other moot point is that there are important points she missed in her original letter, which she has clarified time and again.

      Since, Victoria was seeking support and directions (presumably a reason for being on this blog and writing), we should dole that out to her, just as we will do to anybody who has been chumped.

      I support you Victoria. At 36, female, no kids and divorced, is a difficult situation to be in. period. We are humans and we have our own needs for a family, kids, society and support. Most of the chumps here are also in the same position as you. Your life is a big lesson for many of us looking forward to dating again and restarting life with someone again. We should learn from you – What not to spackle over…what not to be vulnerable for. Therapy, good books, volunteer for social work, pets, friends, fuckbuddies, hobbies…whatever it takes, but 1) one has to fix one’s picker 2) give oneself time (a clear, rational, logical time for exploration, analysis, evaluation) before committing as BFs/GFs.

      That said, I wish you recover and recover fast. You heal. I send my prayers to your way. Then restart your quest for a good life. You are just 36 gal…CL was a third time lucky herself at 40. She was chumped by a serial cheater in her second marriage. She has often told that the two-timer took advantage of her vulnerability as a divorced single mother. She is so strong. She supports all of us here. She is an exemplar for you, Victoria (she is for all of us here!). There is a good life beyond this, Victoria. Heal. Then embark upon it. The worst is over. Now be on a look-out for a good fellow!

      Guys, I know CL belongs to States and a lot of chumps are from there too. But, I wish CL’s good work benefits a number of those in other contexts too. All of us are to benefit if we broaden the contexts here. Our endeavor should be to be inclusive!

    • I am not one of the haters. I believe you were genuinely played. Actually, I’m thankful for your post, because there’s something to learn from it. When determining someone’s relationship status, it’s “trust but verify.” There are so many cheaters and liars out there, I wonder if there are any honest people left.

  • Hi Victoria. I hear you, and some of the criticism has been disappointing. I’m in Australia and have a 1 year wait before I can divorce. I’n only 4 months out from leaving my wife, and the legal mess: custody of 2 children, and the huge property war has hardly begun. My STBX is a lawyer, so plans to play it for all it’s worth. My wife killed our marriage over 3 years ago with her third frolic of cheating physically, and then did the entire NPD song and dance: gas lighting, blame shifting, projecting the blame on me. I tolerated 2 craploads of false reconciliation, and then lived in limbo for more years until I could take no more, and left.

    My first point is, I’m well and truly past all feelings for her, and would consider a new relationship, although cautiously. Just because I’m still legally married to this women I despise and must remain so for at least 8 more months, just because some politician legislated it, should I live that time in misery, instead of moving on?

    Secondly, being a chump like we all were or are, comes in shades of grey. We’re trusting by nature, and don’t expect to be lied to and cheated on. We might have had our doubts, but I think sometimes what comes across in the written text, doesn’t fully portray the level of deceit.

    I can believe you were really fooled. I’ve read enough of these stories on other forums that I believe you’re being genuine.

    Stay strong.

  • “Secondly, being a chump like we all were or are, comes in shades of grey. We’re trusting by nature, and don’t expect to be lied to and cheated on. We might have had our doubts, but I think sometimes what comes across in the written text, doesn’t fully portray the level of deceit.”

    Just clarifying this paragraph, I just meant that it could be interpreted that you knew he was cheating on his wife, and went along with it. I think we all know it’s not that hard to be fooled by a lying cheat who has no morals. When we don’t think that way ourselves, and we trust, we’re easy prey.

  • “I’m not a guy drinking beer in a basement.”

    *** I don’t read criticism of you into datdamwuf’s post. To me the essence of his post was that readers should grant you the courtesy of taking what you write at face value. (Please correct me if I am wrong, dat.) That having been said, your original post was ambiguous until you began to clarify. But the original post was originally taken at face value.***

    “I joined here for support. Some posts make me sorry I did.”

    *** Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. It is the nature of online forums that not all posters are going to sugar coat their opinions. This does not, however, invalidate all of their observations or advice. Sometimes those who seem a bit harsh can serve as the reality check we need to take a good long look at ourselves and do some “me” work.***

    “I’m female, 36 years old and a professional.I’m smart and successful. its really fucking beaten me up that I fell for the shit he told me.”

    ***Of course you feel beaten up and “chumped.” But all of us get “chumped” in one way or another if we live long enough. Even professionals are sometimes fooled by clever and smooth talking manipulative people… narcs, and psychopaths. Stop beating yourself up and learn from your experience.***

    “Do you think I’m happy at 36 with no kids and desperate to start a family at the end of my biological clock”

    ***Desperation causes most of us not to be as discriminating as we should be and leads to poor choices. There is a life lesson here.***

    “… that a man who was LEGALLY SEPARATED and told me he wanted a family with me, flushed my birth control pills down the toilet….”

    ***Flushing those pills was a HIGHLY controlling and manipulative act…have the implications of your ALLOWING him to take charge of YOUR birth control completely sunk in yet?***

    “…talked about our future, actively tried to get pregnant with me, looked at prams with me, discussed our future as a family.”

    ***Again, LEGALLY SEPARATED is not the same status as SINGLE and AVAILABLE for marriage. Fortunately you did NOT become pregnant; and unless you were fully prepared both financially and emotionally for single motherhood, perhaps the appropriate reaction should be relief?***

    “Do you not all think how fucking hard this is for me to now find out he was stringing me along this whole time.”

    **Yes, we DO understand how “fucking” hard it is to be deceived, betrayed, and “strung along.” Contributors here would not have found the site, be posting here and trying to pay their experience forward if such had not happened to them. Some here were treated like you have been after 10, 20, 30 or more years of marriage. Their relationships HAD “worked” for many years…UNTIL their partner became involved in adultery, and “blame shifted” to the betrayed spouse as a means of not examining their own personal problems. People who cheat almost always mentally “rewrite” the history of the relationship and “monstrify” the betrayed partner. Psychologists call that “self-justification.” There is never a good REASON for cheating. There may be EXCUSES…but not good reasons.***

    “While all that time I am getting less and less fertile.”

    ***Have you internalized yet that “desperation” causes people to make poor choices?***

    “I’m sorry for everything anyone on this site went through. But I’m not the one that did that to you.”

    *** True. You did nothing to anyone here. But everyone here (despite the fact that they may come across to you as hardened) has something valuable to offer. The objective fact is that no matter how painful your experience, you dodged a bullet. I would like to believe that introspection and an objective examination of the FACTS of this sad story will illuminate for you that your willingness (albeit subconsciously) to be deceived was based in that very “desperation” that you described. So, the issue is: What about you are you going to change about you so that you don’t end up in another situation like it?***

    As with all online support groups, the best policy is to take what we need and leave the rest. The hard part is clearing one’s head enough to know what to take and what to leave.

    Consider this little story:

    A bird migrating South for the winter got caught in a blizzard. His wings froze and he crashed to the ground in a barnyard. As he was freezing to death on the ground, a cow came along and had a bowel movement that completely engulfed him. The steaming manure thawed him out, and he began to thrash around in an effort to get out of the pile. The barnyard cat noticed all the activity, investigated, pulled the bird out of the manure…and killed and ate him. The moral of this story is: Not everyone who “shits” on you is your enemy and not everyone who appears to pull you out of shit has your best interests at heart. Skeptical people often have good reason for being tough and realistic, and they can often offer solid advice …IF you can see past that tough demeanor.

  • Damn … so many hate filled bitter bitches on here.
    Why wallow in the “shit” that is now become too much a part of your lives ? Being on this site perpetuates the misery. Why not move on and try to be a better person , instead of a mean hateful bitch ? I know misery loves company… but there comes a time to seek help, to come to terms with reality and stop this abuse to a stranger. Most of you are doing exactly what you whine about having had done to you.
    Stop lashing out, I rather doubt any of you would say these things to Victorias face.
    This brings out the worst in most of you…. just shows how much you are NOT healing from this. For some of you…. I now understand why he cheated on you !

    • Victoria, as you can see by the comments here, some of us have spent decades with spouses who lied to us and cheated on us, made a mockery out of our life and our love, and then cast us aside sometimes after toying with us like a cat with a mouse. I only wish that 3 years in I knew then what I know now. This was an awful experience for you, but thank god that you found out, you are not married, no children with that ass-wipe, you can move on in all ways in your life. It hurts, but he did not have the chance to suck you dry. See this as a gift that god or fate gave you–to get away, and to find someone real and true. Please don’t waste it.

    • Not-so-smart Texan – Your message is hate-filled and bitchy.

      If you’ve never been cheated on, move on and don’t attack people who are suffering.

      If you’ve been cheated on and you’re over it, what are you doing here?

      If you’ve been a cheater, time to face up to the real effects of what you’ve done.

      Perhaps you are just a friend of Victoria’s and want to defend her. That’s understandable, but it really has nothing to do with why people – including Victoria – need a site like this to help them move on.

  • “For some of you…. I now understand why he cheated on you !” SAT – I truly hope you didn’t mean that. It goes against the entire philosophy of this site and is cruel.

  • Victoria – I so wish I was in your situation with less than 3 years invested and nothing to hold you connected to this person like kids or property. Don’t walk, run away from him. Forget about the wife or his other relationships. Why do you want to prolong the contact, the emotional investment, or any of the pain you feel

  • No one deserves to be cheated on, no matter what… but I do not see SAT’s message as hate filled and bitchy. Her points are valid. This is a support site and there have been some people on here who have been down-right nasty to someone who is HERE and rightfully so, looking for support and instead, she got kicked in the teeth by some of you. Smart ass is right. That smacks of bitterness and NOT moving on. And what exactly do you derive out of hurting this woman who clearly had her world turned upside down… by calling her names? If you are triggered, go get a cup of coffee… take a shower, call your shrink, take a break, but insulting and belittling Victoria was just plain wrong! And for that matter, its not very supportive to insult and attack— anyone on here for any reason! Flaming, its called. Please… that type of behavior is beneath us and its anything but, “meh.”

    As for divorced vs. “separated.” I am not divorced. I have not sought out a divorce and neither has my wasband. However, we are NOT reconciling. We have sold our home and separated all of our assets and are living separate lives. Each of us is free to seek out other relationships. Now, you and others may think that I’m a total idiot or misguided or whatever you want to think, however, I’m not asking you for your opinion and feel confident in my decision at this time. My reasons are quite sound as I need to remain legally married for the time being. I’ve sold my rings. I am available. I am not married to that man in my heart and soul. He is available to other people too.Hell, he has been for the last 12 years. I couldn’t take it any longer. I am feeling stronger and more like the old me more often than not, now and this site has aided in that healing.

  • Sometimes the truth hurts. Victoria chose to continue in a relationship with a self-identified adulterer and it blew up in her face. Does not matter what the man’s “excuses” were, he had cheated before, AND the single best predictor of future behavior is like past behavior.

    This is what I call a, “high-risk” relationship. When we gamble BIG we can lose BIG..and the “Casino” (metaphorically speaking) is always stacked to favor the “house” and not the “gambler.” It is not that I have no empathy for her for being “chumped.” Of course it hurts. But the flip side of the coin is, that she needs to get out of the pity party long enough to learn the “take away” from this brutal life lesson.

    Can’t make it any clearer than that, and if some on here consider the candid expression of what should be common sense to be “abusive”… as opposed to refusing to be an enabler… they the right to believe as they wish.

  • Even if some of Smart ass texan’s message was logical, the way it was phrased-not cool. Name calling, saying she could see why some were cheated on, (meaning they deserved it?) How is that helpful? And the remark about “whining” about what was done to us, that’s all we’re doing here? Whose side are you on, anyway?

  • Hi Gina,
    One thing I should have said at the beginning was the moment I discovered what had happened I walked immediately away from the relationship. No contact. cut him off completely. That was 4 weeks ago.
    My intention of the Dear Chump lady letter was merely to gain some opinions on whether it would be the right thing to do to tell his wife what had gone on. As I said above, sure I made some bad decisions (like dating a known cheater) but I took him at face value. I am confident he will have strung his wife along the way he strung me along. He didn’t live with her (I’m confident he lived where he said he did which is not with her) I’m so confident now that he must have strung her along with promises of reconciling, the way he strung me along saying we would have a baby, move in together and so on otherwise surely she would have moved on being that they broke up (or so I thought) 2.5 years ago.
    I feel stupid and humiliated for taking him at face value. Stupid for wasting those years on him. Angry and hurt that someone could treat me like that.
    Sorry to ramble, this still just really hurts.
    I haven’t told her yet. I don’t know what to say or how to say it but I do think she deserves to know.

      • I think if you want her to take you serious a phone call is in order. If your more comfortable with a letter give her the information as well as a phone number to contact you if she has questions. She may not believe you or even be nice to you. Your job is to give her the information and that is it, it’s up to her what she does with it.

        Even if she doesn’t believe you or doesn’t leave him, it’s hopefully one more ‘thing’ he’s done that will eventually lead her out of the marriage. I can tell you from experience, it takes a lot of ‘things’ for us chumps.

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