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Dear Chump Lady, My friend is an OW

Dear Chump Lady:

I first heard about your blog through a very close friend. Let’s call her “OWX3.” She is married and miserable. Has been, ever since I met her 6 years ago. She is now embarking on what is, I believe, her third extra-marital affair in the past year or so. All three with married men. To make matters worse, she is “friends” with all of the wives. In this most recent case, the wife is being treated for breast cancer. I know.

She first met this latest one through her sons’ elementary school. She befriended the wife first, after the wife told her that her husband had cheated on her while she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. They bonded over the horror, and candor. Then OWX3 started getting chummy with the husband, and you get the picture.

Should I continue to be friends with her?

When I discovered that my long-distance boyfriend of a few months was seeing other women behind my back (is there any other way?) she encouraged me to go “no contact” and trust that he sucks. Isn’t that a tad bit hypocritical?

At one time, she and I were very close. She supported me through my divorce. She has helped me in many ways.

So do I dump her as a friend? Try to talk some sense into her? Call her husband and drop a dime? (He is such a chump and has no idea.) Call the wife and tell her?

Please advise.


Dear Ex-Chump,

I have this friend. She poisons people. It’s not a serious thing, I mean, no one has died of liver failure yet. It’s just kind of a hobby. She’s been in a low place, hates her job, you know how it goes. Anyway, we hang out and I learned about her unusual past time. She poisons people with cookies. Or rice crispy treats, (depends on her mood). She doesn’t poison just anyone — she finds people who are throwing bake sales. Church groups. Girl scouts. Senior citizens. You know, people who really need cookies — and she donates her poison cookies.

People buy them, violently throw up a few hours later. She finds it hysterical.

I think it’s a little creepy. But maybe that’s just me. She’s been a really good friend to me. Should I tell people she’s poisoning them? Or keep being her friend and look the other way on her “hobby”?

Ex-Chump — did my little parable there connect the dots for you?

Yes, of COURSE you should dump her as a friend! She is a despicable person. I’m afraid you’ve given quite a bit of telling detail away in this letter, and as she reads here, she’ll know it’s you. Hey, OWX3 — trust that YOU suck! I write ABOUT sociopaths, I don’t write FOR them.

I think it’s fair to say, many or most of us have known people who’ve cheated. People we considered friends, maybe folks we’re still friends with. It’s one of those things that pre-infidelity you might roll with it. And believe the stupid shit like “she’s miserable in her marriage.” (Gee, she’s cheated three times in one year. I wonder why her marriage sucks?) And then there is life AFTER you’ve been chumped — when you have a lot less tolerance for people who casually deceive people for their sexual jollies.

It would be one thing if this was some embarrassing incident from her long ago past. If she were deeply mortified by her behavior, suffered consequences, and made amends. Hell, if she freaking knew it was wrong, even! That’s not the story — it’s going on right now. There’s some poor guy — and three women, one with CANCER, that she’s screwing over.

But what seriously creeps me out about your letter, that makes my disordered wing nut radar go to code red — is that she deliberately sought out a friendship with that woman with breast cancer. Pretended to be her confidante and THEN went and fucked her husband.

That shit is predatory. It’s incredibly sick. She’s seeking out people who really need friends, who in the case of that woman, are truly vulnerable, and she’s betraying them.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that you’re a chump and she’s your “friend.” Your pain and vulnerability make her feel important, and draw you closer to her. You let her comfort you when you were down. What makes you think you’re different from Ms. Breast Cancer? Don’t you think OWX3 said the same lines to her about her husband, that she said to you? “Trust that he sucks,” and “You deserve better.” Etc. If she could, she’d screw your ex too. You’re not a special exception.

This is what you know about her — she seeks out friendships with women whose husbands she then fucks. She does this for sport. Because she’s “unhappy.” Don’t kid yourself that she won’t be poisoning your cookies next.

So yes, you tell the husband. You tell the wives, especially the one with breast cancer. You let her suffer the consequences without any hand-holding from you. You cut her out of your life and go no contact.

This person isn’t your friend. She isn’t anyone’s friend. She’s a predator. And reading at Chump Lady to find the kind of sympathetic lingo to endear her to her chumpy victims is exactly the kind of thing a sociopath would do.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I would like to think that pre-cheating that i’d tell my friend that what they were doing was wrong and that I had no interest in being around someone who was being so deliberately evil. BUT now that i’m on the other side of that and know how damaging it all is I would have no problem telling those getting hurt as I had hoped someone would have done that for me and kicked my future ex’s ass for doing what he did instead of eating up all the details.

    • Why would anyone ever write you to ask this question? In my mind this person is just as wing nut as OWX3 if she can’t figure this shit out for herself. All she has to do is read a few of your posts to get an idea of what she should do.

  • CL,

    You laid it out straight, and I agree with you 100%.

    I think this OW is what Frank Pittman called a “spider woman.” She does it for sport. This is why she picks out married men…so she can “play” with them but remain essentially unavailable.

    If she wanted out of her marriage, she could make it happen on the up and up. She chooses not to do so. She wants to hurt other people while pretending to protect her own family.

    Yanno, when we stir sh*t long enough, we eventually get it all over us us; and it’s time for this predator to take a swim in the sewer.

    I’d drop her like a greased millstone, tell her husband, jump completely up the butt of the man who is married to your friend with breast cancer, and pretty generally “out” the whole situation.

    Sooner or later she is going contract and give someone a, “gift that keeps on giving.”

    Game Time!!!

  • I’d like to know the payback this relationship provides to ex-chump. Almost always, we get some sort of payback when we stay in relationships.

    • Uniquelyme, it might be what I talk about in my former friendship (posted below). This friend is probably very sparkly and great at playing the caring BFF role. Ex-Chump is going to have to see past the sparkle and let the knowledge of what her OFriend does to others really sink in (unless she’s lucky enough to have the OFriend dump her, which is what made the lightbulb turn on for me).

      • That makes sense, MovingOn. Ex-Chump definitely has to see past the sparkle and it may be tough considering that the “friend” is appearing supportive of her. Hopefully, Ex-Chump will dump her “friend” before Ex-Chump has a significant other that her “friend” will snatch when the opportunity is ripe.

  • CL,

    You may as well go back to school and get your PhD in psychology – you already possess the skills and insight. One of my children is a (excellent) psychologist, so I know of what I speak. Your response was so perfect and filled with such stunning clarity, I actually stopped saying “WHAT THE FUCK!” long enough to be able to appreciate and comprehend your razor sharp answer. Thank you for being you CL.


    When CL tells you that your friend is a “predator,” pay attention. She chooses a victim and grooms them – just like a pimp grooms a woman to be prostitute, just like a child molester seeks out and grooms his victims. Would a pimp or child molester be an acceptable “friend” to you?

    If cheating on her husband was just related to her supposed “misery” in her marriage, why hone in on the husbands of supposed “friends?” There are suddenly no single men who want to fuck a woman – married or otherwise? Befriending a woman with cancer then fucking her husband? What person in possession of even half a conscience does that? Please define what moral or ethical boundary she won’t cross. This woman is not a friend to anyone – she is a shit-covered she-beast from the deepest reaches of hell. She is so foul Satan doesn’t want her stinking up hell and is trying find a location to accommodate her level of rancidity.

    Should you tell her husband? You should take out a full page ad in the newspaper, put a bumper sticker on your car, buy space on billboards and on park benches, post flyers on trees in the neighborhood and in your local supermarkets and get someone to do sky-writing. HELL YES tell her husband – and everyone else within 1,000 mile radius! Can you get the news to report it?

    You need to get as far away from this woman as possible. She is using her relationship with you to create a veneer of respectability for herself. Trust me when I say any appearance of friendship she has shown you has been for her benefit. It has nothing to do with you or caring about you.

    Save yourself and then begin saving the other people around you – just like you would if Hannibal Lechter was loose in the neighborhood wearing a bib and sharpening his knives.

    • “she is a shit-covered she-beast from the deepest reaches of hell.”

      I’m pretty sure most of my neighbors must still hear me laughing, omg!!

      • I adore that description. And yes, this person is foul. Why would you want to pollute your life with a foul person? Should you ever find and trust a good man, what is to stop her from going after your relationship?

    • Too funny, CP — I thought about including sky writing in my answer! Or those propaganda bombs from World War II when they dropped thousands of pamphlets from the sky. Went with the poison cookie metaphor instead.

      When you go on one of your terrific rants — she’s so foul Satan doesn’t want her stinking up hell — and baboon’s asses, etc. I think of this Stephen Fry rant of a similar vein. Enjoy!

  • Ex-Chump,

    You see, here’s the thing. Sociopaths are really, really good at what they do. They are great at sucking people in. They are frequently charismatic, great at telling you what you want to hear, and are fantastic at acting like they are the friend that you can count on when you need someone to talk to at 3:00 am. And they might actually do that– be there for you, as sparkly as can be.

    As long as you are of use.

    I had a friend who, I later learned, became an OW. When we first met, we were instantly great friends. It felt like she understood everything I felt, had the same beliefs about everything I did, and on top of it all, she made me feel like a million dollars with her compliments. What a great gal, I thought. At the time, she had been experiencing some friction from others at work. I stepped in and helped her out. See how useful I was?

    Then, my life changed. I went away on maternity leave, and slowly but surely, she dropped out of my life. I was so hurt. What did I do? Why wasn’t she emailing me anymore? How does someone so close to you for several years just drop you for no apparent reason?

    Well, I was just too darn busy with my baby and new life as a mother, so she had to get her kibbles from somewhere else– from gals who were up for late-night martinis, not late-night breastfeeding sessions, as well as from a married man. I think she also knew that I would never tolerate that behavior. She wouldn’t be able to count on me to encourage her, praise her, or be excited for her. I would probably ask her annoying questions like, “What about your husband?” and “Why are you doing this?” So, she dropped out of my life, and it wasn’t until later that I learned what she was up to, and it came as no surprise to me that she no longer wanted to stay great friends. She made sure to befriend girls who encouraged her endless campaign of putting herself first, from constant girls’ nights out while her husband and daughter waited for her at home, to pursuing a hobby to stay close to the OM.

    When she finally reached out to try to rekindle our friendship, we had the most awkward meal ever. I felt like I was sitting with her evil twin except that it wasn’t a twin– she really was some kind of evil! After that day, I repeatedly rebuffed her offers to do something socially, and long story short, I had to do something blunt and obvious to show her that our friendship was over, which she didn’t much like. Still, there was no way that I could be friends with that thing, who was so obviously good at wearing whatever mask she thought I’d like to see. And why did she reach out to me? Gee, because she’d pretty much burned every bridge at work, and people were talking about her disgusting behavior with the OM. I’m back at work with her, but now everyone has her number. We’re polite, but no one is inviting her out to lunch or to do anything socially on the weekends.

    My point is, she is an awful person, but she doesn’t hold a candle to the OFriend in your life. I’m not sure sociopath covers whatever brand of messed up she is. But you might feel like you shouldn’t “dump” her because she’s great at the sparkles. She does things that make you feel like she’s still a great friend, cares about you, etc. I hate to say it, but I highly doubt it– she probably helped you with your trip fiasco because it was kibbles for her. “I’m SUCH a great and caring friend. Look at what I did for my buddy when she was in dire straits!” How much do you want to bet that she made sure to tell everyone the story about how she was there for you in such a horrid situation. The kibbles probably just kept on coming when she told that tale.

    So dump her. Don’t waste your time. Whatever face she presents to you is a false one– you can see what she does to others, and you need to distance yourself from that toxicity. Don’t fall for her sparkles, and do what you can to help others from being blinded by her sparkliness as well.

  • Ex Chump,
    You know the answer. I can’t even imagine living with myself while remaining friends with someone like that. This is not a game, this is real life, and real lives are being destroyed. And I’m sure “helping” you was a great surge of drama for her while she was figuring out what she could get out of it.
    Confession. Many years ago I dated a married man. I HAD NO CLUE! He lived 150 miles away and was introduced to me by a lifelong friend that I found out was his Brother-In-Law! It wasn’t exclusive, I only saw him occassionally, but the SECOND I found out that was it! Told them both off, and never spoke to either one of them again. Actually had them 86’d from the bar my family owned that I ran. Was I sad and hurt? You bet, but I know to this day it was nothing compared to what his wife felt….but I could live with myself….

  • I have a friend I have known and loved since kindergarten. We are 52. In graduate school, she was an OW. The cheating professor divorced and married her and they have been happily married for over 20 years.

    Believe me when I say, I would this woman a kidney if she needed one. But try as I may, I have never been able to regain the respect I had for her pre-affair/marriage to a cheater. It is harsh judgment and I’m not proud of myself. I love her, but think she participated in sleaze and scumbag choices. And he is and always will always be a tool who I will never like.

  • P.S. “And reading at Chump Lady to find the kind of sympathetic lingo to endear her to her chumpy victims is exactly the kind of thing a sociopath would do.”

    I believe the woman who wrote this question to Chump Lady may very well be a predator looking to rile everyone here. It is just too foolish a question for this forum.

    • Look, I have to work from an assumption that people are writing to me in sincerity. Who are we to judge? A lot of you guys have some pretty incredible tales of chumpdom, and don’t tell me there aren’t people who say, oh yeah, you should’ve known, I can’t believe you didn’t figure that out, or can’t believe that happened. Your cheater shows you staggering moral depravity and yet the chump wonders if they should sever the relationship. Ex-Chump isn’t alone in this.

      And FWIW, the letter was written from a work email address and the name and workplace check out as a real person.

      • I assume any tale, no matter how incredible, is true. That’s because I realize my own story is so ridiculous, it’s hard to believe I could have been chumped the way I was. I happen to also have a friend very similar to the one the letter writer here describes, so I have no problem believing it.

      • “Your cheater shows you staggering moral depravity and yet the chump wonders if they should sever the relationship.” – The freaken tie that binds us all!

      • When I tell people what I went through they find it hard to believe so no, I won’t automatically assume that this is a fake or an attempt to wind up readers. Hell, my ex did some things that were so outrageous and shocking that I STILL have a hard time believing it.

        • After my ex left he moved into the basement of his married coworker girlfriend’s parent’s house. Unless you’ve been a chump, you’d never believe this kind of crap actually happens!

  • My prose won’t match some of the wonderful invective already here, but I will say this. Many years ago, one of my sisters was in an abusive relationship. Her abuser was blackmailing her, saying that he had her signature on some documents from when she was in hospital, doped up on so much pain medication she didn’t know what was going on. About a year after she left him, the FBI came knocking on the door. She was scared shitless, and told the agents that he had these documents. The agents just laughed. They were interested in what she could tell them about his friends, people he dealt with, etc. It turned out he was a very bad man! They also told her that even if he’d been telling the truth, her signature on anything when she was under medication meant nothing.

    But the best was what the female agent said after my sister admitted that the man could be very charming, “And when he was being charming, he was being the most evil.”

    The same can be said of this OW.

  • I’d struggled to reconcile love and respect for a very close friend, who had been OW. She is a warm giving person that at one time had long-term relationship with a married man.

    She began an affair with her boss after divorcing her own husband after he impregnated a GF – so she knew the devastation first hand. She was the OW for 3 years before she broke it off because she finally figured out her AP was never leaving his wife. During the time of the affair, I told her that the affair was beyond her dignity, she would hurt someone else the way she’d been devastated, she was putting her career and professional reputation at serious risk, in the unlikely event the guy ever left his wife as he often proclaimed he would, she would have nothing but a lying, cheating bastard of her own again.

    Did we stop being friends? No. Was their strain? Yes – as I refused to hear about him or discuss him or commiserate with her about him. Eventually she broke things off and had to find another job.

    It’s been many years later and when it comes up, she expresses how much she loved this man but how much she debased herself hanging onto a cheater and liar, and going against her moral code.

    Was she wrong and selfish and shitty? Yeh. Does it make her an awful person? The boss-guy’s wife would most certainly have a right to think so. But I have to think that making a terrible selfish choice and owning the shittiness of it without repeating it, is different from being a predator.

    She knew I would not indulge or validate the relationship – and while it did put a longstanding deep friendship at risk – looking back it was probably the best thing I ever did as her friend.

    • marcie,

      She may not have repeated it, but it went on for 3 years! I can’t believe that somebody who has been devastated by infidelity could do that to somebody else. I’m glad she wised up even though it took her a lot longer than it should have.

      That being said, I also know that after suffering what we’ve been through you are vulnerable and she probably trusted that guy from before and I’m sure he exploited her and her vulnerabilities. I do think to be an OW you gotta have some kind of self-esteem issues to settle for such scraps. Clearly her husband did a number on her and she did not choose to heal in a healthy way for a long time. It’s good that you made her face up to what she was doing by not validating it or pretending it was okay.

  • I think this letter is fake, whether that’s true or not my only comment is;

    I don’t have flexible ethics, if I find someone I am friends with does have flexible ethics I loose them. The most important thing that keeps a society/culture intact is the reliance on the idea that people are honest and ethical, they adhere to their values even when it costs them or is difficult.

    Even the liar becomes upset when he/she is lied to because that makes it difficult to navigate decisions but the liar has a rationalization, zie flexes zies ethics so zie can live with zieself. Flexible ethics are evident when a person makes excuses for their behavior, when they say how awful it is someone else does X and then down the road they do X.

    But of course they are special, the circumstances are special, they aren’t bad people they are just stuck with bad choices. Translation; they don’t like the consequences of making the ethical choice they espouse, far easier to rationalize the choice to violate their ethical stance. Flexible ethics are a huge red flag.

  • Just to make it clear you are NOT a single mother of two. A single mother is a mother who was never married. You are a divorced mother of two.

    • Um, sorry Walter, but that is hogwash. A single mother is a mother who is taking care of her kids alone because the father is not in the picture. It does not matter whether they were never married, whether they were married and he bailed, or whatever. If the mom is alone and the dad is not helping with parenting, child support, etc, then she’s a single mom. Period.

      • I get confused by this… I thought “single” was just your current marital status, as in, not married. Available. I’d rather call myself single than divorced all the time. Because the further out I get from the divorce, the less I want it to define me.

        But my ex does contribute child support and sees the kids and I do think saying “single mother” implies the dad is not involved at all. So I don’t know what to call myself.

        Divorced mom, single mom, I guess they all have negative connotations to me. So I pretty much try to avoid describing myself in those terms whenever possible. I think people tend to describe themselves in those terms when they are using it as an excuse when they can’t do something that they perceive married people have an easier time doing. I really try to not make comments like that or even really think like that as much as possible. Which is hard sometimes because it is more difficult doing it alone. No matter how involved your ex spouse is, chances are it’s more difficult – having your own life, maintaining your own household, working, and parenting on your own. And married people just DON’T understand, but I don’t need them to feel sorry for me either.

    • Like one is a more desirable state than the other? Oh hey, at least you’re not one of THOSE single mothers…

      I was married to my son’s father. And I was also a single mother. Both while I was married to him — and after I divorced him.

      • Maybe it’s just semantics, I don’t know. I call myself a single mother because I AM single, my son lives with me 100% of the time and only sees his dad for occasional dinners and ex does not pay ordered support. I sure FEEL like a single mother. It might be correct that only a woman who was never married to the father is called a single mother, I don’t know. But what’s the difference? Both situations suck.

      • Same here. When the court ordered50/50 custody in my first divorce, I felt like Zi was getting a vacation.
        I missed my kids, but I was worn out being the overwhelmingly main caregiver.
        He’ll , I could do 50 percent standing on my head.

  • I have a friend from high school who carried on what I consider an emotional affair with a married father of four.

    She says that he told her what they always say, that the marriage was over already, he was sleeping on the couch, they were just growing apart. This is after the woman had two strokes that she fully recovered from. One of their children has special needs. But you know, he just wasn’t feelin’ it any more, so that makes it all ok. And my friend says she and he were just friends and talked all the time, and she said she wouldn’t have sex with him until he moved out, because, you know, my friend has principles.

    The way I see it, he betrayed his wife, leaving her to struggle financially, because he has the kids half time, and now she has to support a home for four kids on her own, since he moved out to live next door to my friend.

    My friend and her family, and every single one of our mutual friends see it this way: since she didn’t sleep with him until he moved out, it wasn’t cheating.

    Well, I don’t see it that way, and it will likely end our friendship. In truth, I don’t know the whole story, but it reeks to me. I feel a loyalty to the ex wife I don’t know. My friend has befriended their four kids and posts pictures of herself and the guy and all their kids having a BLAST!! on Facebook. I know if I were in the wife’s shoes, I’d be devastated that my ex was able to take my kids away from me half time and enjoy them with a woman who not-so-innocently played a role in the demise of my marriage, because she wanted my husband’s companionship for her own. I’m not sure I believe that they had no physical contact until he moved out, either.

    The whole thing just makes me sick.

    My friend recently posted about an incident in which the ex wife graciously invited my friend out to lunch with her and her children, because her children like my friend so much. And my friend’s friends on FB all commented on how wonderful it was to see a grown woman eat a shit sandwich and behave like a grownup, and isn’t it just sad that everyone doesn’t behave like that? I guess shit sandwiches are like brussels sprouts–grown ups eat them, you know. And everyone should just grow the hell up and eat shit sandwiches.

    I have not been asked why I don’t comment or “Like!” their FB pictures and stories, but I feel that if I am put on the spot I will have to be truthful–that I identify with and feel badly for the ex wife and her inevitable pain, that I cannot find myself happy for the walk-away husband and my friend. Their gain came at someone’s terrible loss–not to mention the devastation I feel for their children. For though the children smile in the FB pictures, and my friend is nice to them, I know they ache for their mother and for the family that they lost. I think I’ll just put it out there like that.

    I don’t need a friendship that makes me sad.

    • One of my sister’s close high school friends announced on Facebook that she and her husband were divorcing. Since I was going through the same thing and have known this woman for decades, I commiserated. Three weeks later, she posted pictures of herself with her new boyfriend and her kids. Appalled, I immediately unfriended her. The only people who end a long marriage one week and show off a new relationship three weeks later are cheaters.

      This woman has sent me a dozen friend requests to refriend her. I’ve ignored them. I don’t want her in my life.

      I encourage you to do the same, Stephanie. I know your friendship is closer than was mine with my sister’s friend, but you need to draw a line in the sand and let her know her behavior is unacceptable. Because you’re right – you don’t need a friendship that makes you sad.

  • Ex-Chump –

    We are who we associate with – don’t fool yourself that you are somehow “clean” because you happen not to be sleeping with these husbands. YOu are complicit in your silence to the injured parties and I do not believe that you are such a dim bulb in the ethical realm that you can’t figure out the reality of this predatory spawn. Tell, tell, tell and then tell her you told and walk away. I cannot imagine what this OWx3 has that would even have kept you as a friend this long – especially as person who’s been in the chump seat. But I’m telling you – you need to get out and get clean from the stink that clings to her and try to remember that there is a difference between right and wrong and if you wallow with pigs you will end up traveling from stye to slaughter right along with them. Wise up, get out and start associating with people who actually have a moral compass of worth.

  • Great answer, CL, and as the “wife with cancer”, I agree 100% that I’d want to know.

    Actually, this is almost exactly my story. A woman who was getting a divorce befriended me a few years ago. We werent as close as ex-chump and OWX3, but we were work friends and our young kids played together. Then suddenly I got very sick and was sent to a hospital in another city for several months. During that time, the friend began an affair with my husband. When I got out of the hospital, I was still very sick. The doctors said I would live but would be disabled for life. So friend/whore moved 3,000 miles away and invited my husband to go live with her. My husband left me and my 3 young children, and we divorced. My health is actually improving now that I am no longer living with an abusive, narcissistic, alcoholic, drug addict POS. Also, I have since learned that she is a sociopath and cheated on her ex, surprise, surprise. CL is right. Who else could be capable of something so heinous?

    Anyway, all this to say, I don’t care whether the betrayed spouse is sick and dying, has 10 young kids, is your worst enemy or whatever, she still deserves to know what is going on in her life and marriage. Who are we to decide what is best for other people, without their knowledge, i.e., would she be better off not knowing. Everyone deserves to make their own, fully-informed life decisions.

  • Ex-Chump,
    I think you already knew the answer when you wrote to CL, you just needed some confirmation.
    Meanwhile, think of this person….because she’s never been a friend, as this… some creature out of a Stephen King novel that is a shadow person attracted to pain and suffering, she shows up at car wrecks and dying peoples hospital beds (like the poor women with cancer), so the fact that she is STILL around you after your divorce means she still sees potential for sucking on your own personal pain. Your recent ex for example. She knows your picker needs adjusting….the proof is in that fact you still have her in your life….and she wants to be around for the fall out pain kibbles.
    And how do you know she didn’t have something to do with your recents ex’s behavior. Men know what she is and when they see you allow her to hang around they know you are ripe for their mind games.
    And be grateful you are only breaking up with a “friend” and not another husband.

  • When XH and I got married, his parents were still married but had been separated for several years. They both came to the wedding with OP. XMIL’s OM was married with 5 children, XFIL’s OW was divorced with a 1 daughter. My parents and extended family were all appalled, but kept quiet to keep the peace.

    As did I. I had never known my former inlaws as a couple. They were always with other people, even though they were still married. That was normal to me. The only thing I thought was strange was my mother asking me 5 minutes before I walked down the aisle whether I was sure I wanted to go through with it. “Because this is going to come back to haunt you in 20 years.” I laughed.

    I’m not laughing now.

    “Normalizing” affairs legitimizes the relationship – and all the damage they do. I tolerated being in the same sphere with his parents and their APs because I knew that had I refused, they would have encouraged XH to end our relationship. I didn’t want that. So I kept my mouth shut.

    Fast forward 20 years, and XH can’t understand why I object to his relationship with OW. After all, I was okay with his PARENTS’ AP – how is this different?

    We teach people how to treat us. If we refuse to tolerate this type of behavior, those who engage in it move out of our lives. For the better.

    Get rid of your “friend,” Ex-Chump, and tell all her victims about her activities. Spread the word far and wide. She’s a sexual predator, as dangerous to neighborhood children as a pedophile. She certainly does as much damage to their childhoods. Run her out of town, if you can. She has no place in decent society.

  • Actually I think the writer of this lette IS the OW. Maybe a former chump and she is disguised because she is ashamed to use her true identity . Am I wright ex- chump?
    You see I have become very suspicious these days!

    • Anna: No, not right. I am an ex-chump, though the cheater was a boyfriend, not a husband. While it still really hurt, I get how it’s not the same. We didn’t live together or share a family, etc.

  • Dear Ex-Chump
    Big deal, she was a good friend to you, do you not realize that until, she started screwing her husband, she was a good friend to the cancer victim as well. Wake up, do you for one second think she wouldn’t be capable of doing the same to you if it suited her? And you are also fooling yourself if you think she is telling you the truth about what is really going on in her life. She lied to a woman with cancer!!!!!!!! Clearly she has no boundaries, you an exception.
    And on another note, take a stand! You were cheated on, it sucked a big one, at this point you should have a zero tolerance policy for cheating by anyone. How would you like it if someone told you your spouse’s AP partner was a good friend? Yeah, that sure makes the cheating acceptable. Maybe if society took a harsher view of cheating, it wouldn’t be so prevalent and this board wouldn’t have so many stories.

  • I simply don’t understand the OW’s friends in my case. They are all married women with children so you would think at a minimum they would have some sort of empathy or maybe a there for the grace of god feeling. But no. They join her in “jogging” around my house after d-day, they stalk my instagram photos (and are so stupid that they alert me to their actions by inadvertently “liking” my photos and then deleting the like moments later), and stare at me (and not random looks here people we are talking full on stares throughout morning assembly) at my kids school in what i can only assume is a sick show of solidarity. So maybe the OW has been a good friend to them and that is how they justify their support of her and their actions but quite frankly they are just as gross as she is.

    • Pearl, I hate those bitches!

      I hope the OW goes after one of their husbands.

      That’s how much I hate them.

      Ok, I take it back. The kids, you know.

      Sickos. I hate them. We’re with you. Keep your chin up. Karma’s a bitch, too, and we’re all friends with her here.

      • Thanks Stepanie . I think they are terrible for their behavior but I kind of think the OW is lying to her friends as well. This reply also goes to Red as well who thought she was the only one with the stalking OW. As some of you might know I wrote in a long time ago about OW deciding to take up “jogging” past may house in the weeks following Dday and during the false reconciliation. I have just been keeping my head above water and pretty much oblivious to the fact that the OW was keeping tabs on me. By way of background spouse (or louse as i like to call him) moved out a year ago and has been seeing the OW but keeping it a secret from me, his family and some of his friends (seriously he took a one week trip to colorado and told his family and at least one friend he went alone-i have proof he went with OW but i digress). Well a few months ago, there must have been trouble brewing in paradise. I went to the local grocery store and found the OW parallel parked right behind my car and sitting in hers texting. The next day, her car was parked outside my gym at my usual work out time. And I kept seeing on the street all the time, to the point i though i was going to go looney or hallucinating. To top that off I kept getting strange “likes” on my instagram page for months (after my curiosity was piqued I discovered it was a relative of the OW). To make a long story short, the final straw was when I was sitting down having pizza with my kids and some friends and the OW strolled in with her kids, saw me and sat down as if nothing was amiss.
        Now, at this point, I told the ex, and also turned off the gps device on my phone, the one that lets your location be tracked. Lo and behold, I haven’t seen her since.
        Now, I may not be a genius but I totally think i was or am being stalked. (there were some other incidents involving my ex that also lead me to believe she was shadowing him as well but can’t even discuss those as my head hurts from thinking about it).
        The kicker to this long and tedious story is that I found out through a third party that she told my ex i was following her around town.

        • She sounds loony. It may also be that your ex was telling her lies and/or “cheating” on her and so she followed you to try to figure out what was going on.

          On the other hand, if she told ex you were following her, she may have said the same thing to her friends. Perhaps she has convinced them that you have threatened her or something weird. Or that you are now involved with your ex – possibly because he is in fact cheating on her with someone else.

          I can’t even begin to figure out why someone would want to follow the photos of someone their friend was mad at after their friend broke up the marriage.

          • It boggles the mind. All I know is that it makes me extremely happy that my pos ex and the looney lying stalker are together and not my problem. I personally decided to jump off the crazy train and would rather be alone than dealing with whatever issues they have going on.

      • For the ones that support the affair I sometimes hope that they’ll be cheated on so they get how horrible it is. But then I think that’s kind of mean and I shouldn’t wish that on people. And then I think fuck it, they suck and they deserve it. Then I go back to feeling a bit badly for having those thoughts.

        Today I hope they all get cheated on. I’ll probably feel differently tomorrow. 🙂

        • You know I don’t wish ill on very few people. Nothing physical anyways. But there is one particular duffs friend of the OW who treated this situation like she was watching general hospital reruns. Seriously, the whole thing was a funny joke to her. I always wonder how she would feel if it were her kids crying over their dad

    • Wow – I thought I was the only with OW stalking issues! Anonymous notes left in my mailbox, package at the front door when I leave to pick up the kids from school, at the back door when I come back. On two occasions, I had a set of high heel boot imprints in the freshly fallen snow coming from across the street, down my driveway, around to my kitchen door, and around the front to the dining room window. It was creepy.

      When I told XH that I thought is was OW – we were separated at the time – he said, “You’re lying.” I ended up calling the police. Wish I could have gotten it on camera –

      • I told the ex, i didn’t feel safe and was going to install cameras and he freaked and told instead he hired my electrician to light up my yard like las vegas. One day when he came to pick up kids, I asked him to go to neighbor’s to get son who was at a playdate. He did but only after sneaking out the back door and saying he didn’t want to go out the front door. WTF??? I can only imagine he thought he was being observed

        They totally know what their “soul mates” are up to–they just don’t care. I also think they love the drama and is just par for the course given their emotional immaturity (a relative who spoke to the ex told me he spoke with him and that his take on the situation is that of a sixteen year old) and don’t realize how creepy it is. Unfortunately, its is incredibly disturbing and makes it difficult to get any peace under these circumstances.

        • My ex and his soul mate got off on playing Boris and Natasha Badanoff with me. I was tracked, eavesdropped on and nanny cammed in my own house. If your ex is freaking out about installing cameras, you might consider that he’s already done it and doesn’t want them found.

          These people are seriously sick and don’t respect boundaries.

      • Red
        make sure you document everything. I don’t have enough to call the police. But I did tell some very trustworthy people as soon as these incidents occurred (reducing theses incidents to writing simultaneously will also render them admissible should something every need to go to court) so that i had a defense to her accusations. I also advised those same individuals that times that i went somewhere and left because I saw her car, again to protect myself from false accusations.

        • I had someone calling my house every day sometimes 2-5 x’s and hanging up. I could hear that someone was there but never said a word. I believe it was the Ow. This went on before Dday for quite a while and then after too. Then she called me once after ex and I separated looking for my daughter- she said she meant to dial my daughter’s cell but called my house by mistake. I don’t believe that… I think she was looking for a reaction. She wanted a confrontation so she could tell ex and also gloat! I just put the phone down and didn’t give her the satisfaction but talk about brazen! Her ex also cheated on her so to me she’s a chump who didn’t do the work and who’s paying the damage forward! To me she’s a pathetic mess who’s not worthy of my time or energy. Poor thing’s got herself another lying, cheating narc!

          • You can be sure it was OW. Same thing happened to another chump I know. She had just buried her mother after six months of caring for her – six months in which, unbeknownst to her, her husband felt ignored and entitled to seek company elsewhere – when she kept getting rings and hangups. The last one was someone calling “anonymously” to tell the woman her husband was having an affair with one of his grad students.

            It was OW. She was annoyed the cheater was taking so long to leave his wife, so she decided to speed things up a bit. It worked. That phone call ended a 29 year marriage. It also ended the affair.

        • This was at our martial home, before the divorce 2 years ago. As soon as OW got her PhD and left town, all the incidents stopped. Coincidence? Hardly!

          Her final farewell was to sneak onto my property in the middle of the night and puncture a tire on my car, which was sitting in the driveway. When I took it to the tire shop for replacement, the guy told me the tire had been struck at least three times with a sharp object before it was punctured. Um-hmm. Any guy with a screwdriver or knife would have managed it with one strike. But a woman? Maybe three.

          I never told XH – he wouldn’t have believed me anyway.

          • Something like this is just too much. People like that need a superior show of force and cunning.

            I know a girl who is a proficient outdoors woman. She both bow hunts and hunts with firearms. She was dating a guy who had previously broken up with a crazy, psycho girlfriend due to emotional and sometimes physical abuse of him. The ex-girlfriend started stalking her and keyed her truck on numerous occasions, trespassing on her property to do the vandalism. This girl took out a restraining order against the stalker; but she took things a step further. She caught the stalker in a busy public parking lot, confronted her and told her. “I have now made a legal case that you are potentially harmful to me. If I catch you on my property again (and I will be watching) I will shoot–and shoot to kill. We both know that this is self-defense. If you like living, you are through trying to terrorize me.” It was effective.

  • Thank you for all the support. To answer some questions, this situation is real, unfortunately. I might have been a chump, but I’m not a sick twist who would invent this story to entertain myself from the pain of the betrayed.

    I don’t think I have what it takes to tell all the involved parties what is going on, so does that make me a coward? There are kids involved. I don’t want to be in that. I do think I can distance myself from all this and let the universe take care of the rest.

    • I think at MINIMUM you need to be upfront with your “friend” and tell her that you think what she is doing is wrong and especially after what happened to you you can no longer be friends with her.

      Perhaps you can anonymously make her husband and the AP’s wife aware of what’s going on. Having children is not a reason they shouldn’t know (I have two kids, we’re much better off now). These affairs can only be poisoning their homelife… but the chumps have no idea why their homes are poisoned. They (and the children) probably just have a vague sense of unhappiness. I didn’t know how unhappy I was in my marriage until after he finally moved out. Then it was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. The affairs will come out eventually anyway, if not during this one, then the next one, or the one after that. The chumps deserve to find out as soon as possible. The longer they live with it the worse it will feel to find out, the harder their choices will be.

    • Ex-chump,
      Why does this story sound to me like one of our regular NPD stories about men / women we are in relationships with? the only component missing here is the sexual attraction.
      Sparkly- check, love-bombing-check, lack of empathy – check, pretend sympthy for you-check, deceipt-check, lying-check, etc. etc. should I go on?

      You’ve been chumped again, on a different level.

      Picker needs work, that’s my problem too. Time to recoginize them when you see ’em.

    • Ex-chump, you sound like a caring person. For that reason, you should find the courage to tell all the parties, because you do care. Having been the deathly ill chump-wife with 3 young kids, I can tell you that the cancer wife and the rest deserve to know. You shouldn’t get to make her decisions for her. SHE should get to decide what is best for her kids, not you. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but you are literally dealing with life and death here. As someone who has been in her shoes, I can tell you that it’s always “better to be slapped by the truth than kissed by a lie (Russian proverb).”.

    • Ex-chump — there were people who knew my (now) ex was cheating on me. They attended my WEDDING. (One was one of the OW.) You can damn well bet I wish they’d told me. “Letting the universe take care of it” cost me tens of thousands of dollars, a custody trial, a move, uprooting my child’s home, and making disastrous personal decisions based on false information. Devastating heartbreak was only part of it.

      I found out 6 months after the wedding, when the long term OW called me. After a move, a trial, spent money, etc.

      Golden rule — wouldn’t YOU want to know?

      You’re not hurting the children by telling. OW and the men are hurting those families, not you. You could stop this.

      I hope these women you write about aren’t your friends, because I’m sure they would feel betrayed that you knew and didn’t tell them. Look, it’s an absolutely dreadful position to be in, and you wouldn’t be in it, if your life hadn’t intersected with that toxic woman’s, but IMO, you have a moral obligation to say something, even if it’s anonymously.

      This isn’t the distant past, you’re not letting sleeping dogs lay — this is going on NOW. She’s preying on these family TODAY, this year, NOW.

      These people choose well. You were vulnerable, and leaned on her. She chose for chumpiness, for spackle, for someone who will keep her secrets. I would do exactly what she’s not expecting and tell. Then you can let go of the consequences and “let the universe take care of it.”

    • I think it’s normal to be afraid to tell people. It can backfire against you.

      As far as the kids are concerned, do you think people should stay with a cheating spouse for the sake of the kids? Because if you don’t think that, then it’s fair to tell the faithful spouse so they can make a decision based on reality. After all, the cheating spouse may be planning to leave or may leave at some point anyhow.

      I would hesitate in the case of the cancer victim. Now may not be the best time for her to find out or leave. I just don’t know there.

      • Ex-Chump,

        The fact that there are children involved is no reason not to tell. There are children involved in most of these fucked up from the floor up situations. If I had known early on that I was married to a narcissistic baboon’s ass from hell, it would have been better for me and my children. I could have moved on when I was MUCH younger and not be facing retirement age with the depressing prospect of dying on the job (instead of on a beach on an island while sipping a rum punch) because I won’t be able to afford to retire. My children could have had a much better life. I’m not saying that they had a bad life but it could have been better if one parent wasn’t being emotionally abused and tortured by other parent, and all that entailed.

        You don’t think the children already know something is wrong? The one thing I learned in all of this is that my children were more aware for a much longer time than I was that there was a problem with my STBX and the marriage. As they sometimes will remind me, “We told you Dad is crazy. You didn’t listen.”

        While I understand your trepidation, understand that the shit-covered, monkey-ass licking she-beast from the deepest part of hell (otherwise known as your “friend”) is depending on your continued silence. That’s why she feels so free confiding in you about her rancid-assed behavior. As someone above suggested, out her ass by telling everyone and anyone who will listen. Some people will not like it. Some people already suspect and will believe you and be happy you told. My grandmother told me you have a responsibility to do the right thing even when everyone else around you is doing the wrong thing.

        If you do the right thing, even if it is a rough road, you are always going to end up in the right place. Courage Ex-Chump. The gods are with you.

    • Ex-chump, sorry I didn’t believe the letter was real, after reading your comments here I do now. I guess I just could not understand how after being chumped, you would not only tolerate, but stay friends with the person you described in the letter. I guess I can see it better with your comments, you rationalize it because she supported you in difficult times.

      I second CL, I wish someone had told me when my ex hit on them years ago, it would have saved me a ton of heartache and money and health problems down the road. The nastiness of your “friend” bonding with a woman who was cheated on and then having an affair with the husband just blows me away. That is some cold shit, I can’t even say how nasty that is.

      • It is beyond belief, and I admit I was in some shock initially. I thought she wouldn’t really go through with it. That she couldn’t stoop that low. But turns out she can. I understand why people may have thought this letter was fake. The story is just too hard to comprehend. What woman does this to other women?

        By the way, I did introduce her to my boyfriend and he told me that he knew, immediately, that he could have gotten her into bed if he’d wanted to. He didn’t want to.

        After the first time she did this, I figured it was a massive moral lapse but that she knew it was wrong and was remorseful. Moral relativism, I guess. The second time, well, she was cavalier and I found the whole thing rather disgusting. But again, I rationalized it by saying that she was still a good friend to me, and this was not something she was doing to me so I should butt out. This time…the mind boggles. Doesn’t this sound like the progression of the classic chump? Forgive the first time, swallow hard the second, and eventually reach the breaking point?

        I am also very moved by those of you who said that she is friends with me for the kibbles. Upon further reflection, I do see that she may have stuck with me because she liked the drama. She liked being the one to be there in a crisis. She also enjoyed my unconditional support and understanding ear. (Having been unhappily married for years, I was a consistent source of support and understanding when she wanted to vent about her miserable marital situation.) It’s sad to lose a friend. It’s a lot sadder to lose a husband/marriage/home. I get that. My ex-husband didn’t cheat on me. He did a lot of other shitty things, but that wasn’t one of them. My heart breaks for all of you on here who have felt that pain.

        • yes, it does sound like natural progression for chumps and those who are abused, you get normalized to certain things, you rationalize and make excuses for the person. In the end hey hurt you and others. yeah, it’s like that

  • Ex-chump, you have a wonderful chance here to get rid of a bad energy in your life. I don’t mean to sound “new agey” on you but there is no other way I could best describe it. I suspect you are feeling more and more burdened by this pseudo friendship, otherwise you would not have written to CL. You have awareness now although you are not yet fully convinced because she continues to put up the act of being a good friend. You’re spackling and I really get it. Initially, the “break-up” will be difficult but once you get over that and get perspective, you will know that you did the right thing. And you will feel free and ready to move on to healthier friendships with other people. Get rid of her so you can have room for good, authentic people who will bring you up.

    • Uniquelyme: thank you for that. As many of you know firsthand, divorce can result in a massive social cost. I lost a lot of “friends” in my divorce, but OWX3 was not one of them. Perhaps for reasons sited by other commenters. For whatever reason, she stuck with me and I felt loyal as a result. At this point, though, i am seeing things differently. As another commenter said…my picker needs work.

  • Ex-Chump, I can relate to your story very well. I have a best friend; she’s been my friend for 15 years. She’s also my boss and without this job I couldn’t keep my home. She is also a serial cheater and an addict who goes for a long time sober and then falls back into her addiction. This is always when the affairs happen; I’m not sure which comes first, the affair, or the addiction. I suppose it doesn’t matter. When I found out my XH was cheating with my good friend, I cried on her shoulder, she basically supported me by still paying me when I physically couldn’t go to work. She ‘laid off’ my friend and never let her return to work. The OW was my friend/coworker. I found out down the road at that very time I was going through my shit; she was sleeping with one of her friend’s husbands. This was my friend’s third affair, that I know of.

    Going through the hell I went through with my XH, I started to realize how similar our relationship was to my marriage. My best friend and my husband were the EXACT same person! I really started to think about why I was with her and I realize now how much she manipulates me, buys me, goes to any cost to make sure I’m happy, she is also very thoughtful towards me. How could I have never realized this before?

    This woman is my boss; I have no choice but to stay connected to her. I’ve worked there 14 years and help manage the place. I just told a different friend of mine the other day, “Someday, when I have a good job (b/c I’m in school), and I don’t need this job; when I find out my best friend cheats again or does drugs again, b/c I know she will, I’m going to leave her and be done working there.”

    I will always love her, we’ve been through a lot together, but I will not put up with another affair or anymore drugs/alcohol. I would not have put up with it ever, except I worked for her, and I make way too much money there to walk away.

    None of this was any good advice obviously; I just wanted to say I understand; I’m in the same spot. I have really done some thinking about why all my other circle of friends are good, decent people, yet my XH and my best friend are both cheaters, liars, narcissists. Whatever reason I stayed with a serial cheater for so long, is the exact same reason I stayed with my best friend for so long.

    • And your self-awareness, Gina, is your gateway to freedom from these types of people. Brava to you for having the courage to look closely into why you have such kinds of relationships. Only through painful honesty can we finally see what we need to fix within ourselves so we allow only safe people in our lives. I believe it was the author Susan Elliott who said “when one door shuts, another one opens, but it’s hell in the hallway.” Letting go of relationships, romantic or otherwise, is very difficult.

    • yep. I’m pretty sure we’re not just a chump in our marriages. I had to end a friendship where I was the chump about 6 months ago… about a year after my ex moved out. She literally was not there for me,. She did okay for the first few months, but then must have gotten tired of me requiring so much attention. And this person was literally the first person I spoke to on Dday. Not my first phone call, my second… so 2nd best friend I guess you would say. If the way you rank friends is the order in which you called them after discovering your husband is banging his assistant 🙂

      And similarly to how I felt after my husband moved out, I also felt a weight lift off my shoulders when I was no longer speaking to her. Her phone calls always drained me. And whenever I would visit her and spend any significant amount of time with her I would always be seriously seriously irritated.

      Anyway, I’ve learned better how to spot selfish people and to set better boundaries for myself. I’ve learned to not always be the giver and that it’s okay to ask for favors from friends as well.

      • another Erica, ditto ditto ditto.

        She was THE person I called when I found the emails. He used my computer to email OW. He left his account open. When I found the emails, all I wanted was someone to sit and read every single one with me (I’m methodical that way). I just needed someone to hold me hand.

        Now my ex friend had always been a ball of anxiety, but when she told me she couldn’t because she was afraid he’d find out and accuse her of violation of privacy (remember, MY computer, OPEN email account) and she’d lose her law license (I’m a lawyer too), … that was just the icing on the cake. THIS was her primary thought as MY life was falling apart??? I was still in so much shock for months that we did continue to be friends, but within six months I cut her out of my life for good.

        Other friends are like, “You so should have called me! Those things would be printed out, highlighted, put in chronological order, bound, and put into the Library of Congress … along with copies shipped to everyone ex and his OW knew.”

  • Another Erica…you are on to something here. The way I engage in intimate relationships, and select those people with whom I am close, demands some investigating. Sounds like many of you have already done this hard work, and I admire that.

  • Ex-chump, it is hard work but so worth it. Persevere, look into yourself, seek out a great therapist who will challenge you if you haven’t already, and be unapologetic with your desires and needs. You (and all of us chumps here) deserve a life surrounded by people who truly love and support us.

  • I think this letter is fake. Who on God’s green earth would be friends with someone like that??? I think someone is pulling the CL’s leg….

  • Hi, I’ve come from the Amazon thread pages. We have a “Cheating” thread where we note books with cheating in them, because there are readers out there that just can not tolerate that in a book, and fair enough but there is no waring on these books. Just like there should be a warning on books where a child in the book dies etc. These are romance books we read.

    I’m computer literate, So I don’t know where I should put this. But I seem to have a problem with getting my thoughts out there. When I read a book with a cheating H/hero I 100% blame the hero, but I also blame the OW, I have noticed that a lot of these posters(women) do not seem to blame the OW, they think the blame should lay totally on the H/hero. Where I blame both, unless of course that the OW didn’t know the H was married.

    Is our society being too lenient on the OW, I have never been cheated on, but I have friends who have, one was going through cancer at the time.grrr I know the days are gone of the Scarlet letter but sometimes I wish they were tarred with the same brush as the husband. Not that the husband gets the type of stigma now a days either. I think there should be a wall of shame for husbands and there should be a wall of shame for OW. Just where has the morality gone these days.

    People just seem to do what they feel like, with no remorse or even forthought about the one they are supposed to love. Women are going out with married men irrespective of their married state or children at home.

    What I have found that a lot of cheating is done by the wife’s best friend, she has the inside to get to the husband. A lot of the time the bff see’s the life the wife/her friend has and wants it, she uses what she knows and steers the wife/friend away from the husband. What type of moral character do these people have – to me they have none. Just like in this letter above, she deliberately made friend with a woman whom has cancer to get to her husband, these people need to be outed. This woman keeps having affairs and I blame the husband too, but she is a serial OW, she continues to hurt other women and children. She needs tarring and feathering and put on the wall of shame.

    What is our world coming too? Even if we could use a wall of shame, it wouldn’t worry them, it wouldn’t shame them. Everyone is just so selfish these days. It used to be treat others how you would like to be treated.

    In heavy traffic my sister was coming home from work she saw a man standing over a young boy, hundred and hundreds of cars passed this, yet it was only my sister and another man whom turned around to go back to make sure this little boy was okay. My sister reported it to the police, but I think shame on all those other people who just drove past.

    Is that what as a society we have come to? Selfish.

    • LillianRose, I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m so tired of people absolving the OW/ OM. Just because they didn’t promise anything, it’s ok to knowingly devastate someone else, their family, and their entire world? Last time I checked, we all have a responsibility to consider others’ feelings and not just bumble through life, hurting and destroying other people because we never specifically promised them anything. I get that the cheater did all that plus break his wedding vows. But every single adult in our country (and maybe world) knows that marriage is a lifelong commitment to honor, respect, and be faithful to one’s spouse. Any OW knows that regardless of whatever truths/ untruths shes being fed by her cheater, she is violating a deeply personal, legal, social, religious, familial, financial, and institutional commitment between a husband and a wife and perhaps their children. Obviously, that’s why people keep affairs hidden, because they know that they’re wrong! Just like an accomplice to a murder is charged with the crime, so should the OW receive equal blame for an affair and the destruction it wreaks. Wish our society would recognize this and hold both parties accountable.

      • Sunshine,

        This is one response from posters to the OW –

        I think we agree for the most part. As far as the marriage itself goes, it’s definitely 100% the H. The OW’s selfishness should have no bearing on that marriage. The H let her in and made it so. He brought her into the marriage and he was the one that broke a marriage contract by dipping his wick where it didn’t belong. I think that she’s one without conscience, sure, but I don’t think she has a responsibility to the h or the institution of the h and H’s marriage. She wasn’t up on the altar (or swearing in front of a JP) professing to foresake all others. Blaming the OW is like me blaming McDonald’s as to why I’m so chubby. Sure, they make their fries so delicious and tempting, but if I didn’t open my mouth and bite, I wouldn’t gain the weight. LOL

        This is another –
        “Blaming the OW is like me blaming McDonald’s as to why I’m so chubby. Sure, they make their fries so delicious and tempting, but if I didn’t open my mouth and bite, I wouldn’t gain the weight. ”
        Excellent analogy. The word NO is not used often enough in all sorts of situations. 😉
        True, the OW is a female dog, but if the husband doesn’t take that dog hunting then there is NO problem…

        They had lots of posters agreeing with them. Why should the OW be excused for knowingly cause destruction to a family? Is this the norm that OW/OM get off free? That there isn’t even any social backlash, if they are not even frowned upon, no wonder there is an ever increasing amount of betrayals. Do the words “I’m having an affair with a married man” not carry the weight they used to? Do they not go to the heart of the character of such a person? I don’t think it does, I don’t think that people even think twice about it anymore. Does the person she tells even say how wrong that is? Does the person being told question her character or whether she wants to be friends with a person of no moral character? I don’t think so, and that is the shame. As a society we are too accepting of the morally wrong. We don’t make that stand.

  • I’m with the posters here that agree it is to the benefit of those who are being subjected to harm without their knowledge that they learn the truth. As you and all of us who post here know, the collateral damage of being a chump is the loss of people that, up until this all happened, you thought cared about you. But when family and friends start learning the truth (not what cheater tells them, but the actual truth), the reactions range from ultra supportive to complete disengagement. For those that are genuinely supportive, I am so thankful. For those who’ve disengaged, or fall somewhere else on the spectrum, e.g., “this didn’t just happen to you, it happened to us too”, although I understand that, it’s just a source of additional pain. Those that fall in the disengaged category are those that want to remain neutral – even though they know that this person cheated, lied, and essentially abused, etc. After experiencing some of this and radio silence from those who I thought cared about me, I posted the following to my Facebook page:

    Neutrality: Noble reason or cowardly excuse? If someone that you knew and cared about murdered someone, would you speak out against that act? What if that person raped or was a pedophile? Would you speak out then? At what point does an unprovoked, harmful act of aggression against a fellow human being become okay? I think one reason people commit bad acts today is that they infer the implied consent of a society that does not take a stand and tell them they’re wrong. Any one of us can choose action over neutrality and, in so doing, maybe prevent one more bad act from happening.

    Ex-chump, my sense is you’re over-thinking this. You know the right thing to do. Trust your gut. OWx3 is not your friend. She’s just a masterful manipulator. Cut her out of your life, you can do so much better. And along the way help some of the people she’s harmed by respecting them enough to be honest. As CL said, the Golden Rule applies here.

    • Love your post and your comment about neutrality, Nina. As Dr. King said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” And If we, the betrayed, don’t speak up against infidelity, who will?

  • Ex-chump,

    As another-Erica stated above, an anonymous letter would be appropriate here. A good friend did that for me on my STBXWs second paramour. At the time I believed all the BS that my STBXW told me. But looking back now this was my only true friend.

    By telling, you’re not the homewrecker, she is. Ignorance is not bliss in this situation.

  • I found out for sure by an anon letter, then ran into him the next day with a different woman anyway. But the letter certainly helped me get out and realize there was more than one OW. I may have tried to make it work with only one, but now there were 3 that I knew of because of the letter. I am forever grateful for it. The pain was horrendous, still hurts sometimes but the gaslighting etc. could have gone on for years…

  • CL:

    Your comment was interesting: “And reading at Chump Lady to find the kind of sympathetic lingo to endear her to her chumpy victims is exactly the kind of thing a sociopath would do.”

    It is a bit disturbing to think that folks might read this great website just to get tactical insights into how to manipulate chumps. It’s an ugly thought, but not one that is at all out of bounds. That takes the idea of trolling to new, almost espionage-type levels. That said, this site is, of course, a great thing and should continue. All this does for me is to underscore the fact that Chumps need to develop better defensive skills. The “Chump Jujitsu” includes narc recognition and the decisiveness to distance ourselves from people whose behavior truly is unacceptable. I think that the “friend” described here definitely is predatory-weird. (Befriending a cancer victim and then carrying on with her husband????? Huh?????) I’d want to keep my distance, a huge distance, from such people. Still, she is intelligent, which is worrisome. Heck, she may be reading this right now!

    But, in the end, I think Chump solidarity will triumph over any narc espionage.

    Carry on, CL!

  • CL is right. It’s just a matter if time before your friends screws you over too. Or literally screws your bf.

    On telling: I sure wish someone had told me I was being cheated on. I hope you’ll tell. But I also get why you would hesitate. You could tell anonymously or just make it quick and to the point. Even if it’s hard to tell you might feel a lot better afterward knowing that you clued in a fellOw beteayed spouse. Again I really wish someone would have spoken up in my case.

  • Here’s the tough part…The only person I actually know is her husband. Otherwise, it’s first names only, and I’ve not met these folks.

    • So, does her husband know she has been cheating on him Ex-chump? Cos if not, then start with him, you can flat tell him who the others are based on first names, I find it hard to believe he won’t know those names once you start. I mean this “friend” of yours is so blatant.

  • I’ve had a particularly crappy work day today. And I’m in the mood to unleash it.

    Dear OWX3,

    We know you’re reading this. I know you’re gonna see this. I mean seriously, what kind of sick, self-serving, poisonous sociopath tells women advice from CL and then fucks their husbands?

    Oh, you do. OWX3. You do.

    You probably don’t give two shits about what I have to say to you, considering I’m not going through a tough time and you can’t have sex with my husband (btw, my current husband is NOT the ex that cheated on me. So don’t even try to think to yourself that if you knew me you’d be able to get him in bed.)

    You are seriously the most poisonous of types of people. I don’t know how it is you manage to look at yourself in a mirror, let alone sleep at night. Maybe you just don’t have mirrors in your house.

    But I take that back about the part with how you sleep at night. Clearly you can’t unless it’s with someone’s husband that isn’t yours.

    And to add to that, If you’re so damn miserable in your own marriage (gee, I wonder why. Maybe it’s the stink from your cheating ass) then just frikkin’ divorce the guy. I mean, you and I both know you’re not going to quit fucking around on him. In fact I bet your husband treats you pretty well. I mean, that’s the way people like you want it, isn’t it?

    Shit, I doubt your marriage is really all that miserable actually. I bet you just say that to justify your cheating so you don’t have to feel like the shit coming out of Satan’s ass every day. C’mon, that’s cheater 101, chapter one, page one. Demonize the betrayed spouse so you don’t have to admit to being the scum of the earth, to yourself or others.

    But you, you take it just a few steps further. For fuck’s sake, Maleficent and Cruella DeVille could take a lesson from you. I’m sure Stalin’s taking notes from beyond the grave. The only other person I can think of who is so profoundly selfish and narcissistic as you are is MY cheater ex.

    And we all know that you’re going to play the martyr and defend yourself and try to control the narrative until the day you die. But you won’t stop sleeping with other women’s husbands.

    And as disgusting as that truth (yes, truth) is, I take comfort in the thought that one day, someday, maybe not soon, maybe next week, maybe next year, maybe ten years from now, dunno. You’ll run into the kind of betrayed spouse who goes right passed the high road and straight to a fist in your teeth.

    Or a boot…
    Or a bat…
    Or hell even a shotgun.

    And sure, that won’t be terribly mature, but I don’t care.

    Because you’ll deserve it.

    Every. Last. Bit.

    Jump up your own ass and die,


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