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.
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.