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Dear Chump Lady, Maybe the OW is really “the one” and I’m not

Dear Chump Lady,

My husband told me in November about the affair he’s been having with a former (married-with-two-children) co-worker since September. The affair is emotional, except for one kiss they shared before a change in his career took us to the other side of the ocean from her. Since then, it’s been entirely online, as far as I know.

After my husband told me about the affair, I left him, only to take him back when he showed up on my parents’ doorstep two days later. After we spent a month trying to reconcile, I found out that the affair was still going on. Since then, my husband has all but stopped talking to me, and as far as I know (from reading the emails I initially discovered between the two of them, he is planning to build a life with this woman, whom he has known and has been friends with for approximately four years). I am done trying to save the marriage (as is he), and at this point am just focused on how to move past this.

The part I’m struggling with is accepting the fact that this wasn’t about sex, or some stupid fantasy fling, and it’s not about my husband being a narcissist, or about any of the personality-disorder, relationship-disorder things that affairs often seem to be associated with.

Instead, it just seems like my husband, who had had crushes on this woman for years, was given an opportunity to build a relationship with her and he took it. And it seems as though they might legitimately be in love.

He told me that once their relationship got going, he felt that a life with her was “fate.” Hard as I try, I don’t know how to get past the fact that even though I gave my husband everything—ten years together, three years of marriage, and our little boy—he has fallen in what seems to be legitimate love with this other woman (though I acknowledge that by building this relationship in the form of an affair, it was the worst possible way to build something healthy).

I don’t envy anyone who is dealing with a physical affair or with an insane cheating narcissist, but I also don’t know how to heal from the fact that my husband seems to have found someone he loves, respects, and admires, and it turns out that that person is not me.

How do I heal from the idea that I’m just not “the one” for the person who was “my one”?

Thanks for your help.


Dear Kate,

Please disabuse yourself of the notion that the OW is special and this is love. Your husband is a cake-eater. He’s not a special case. He can sit shoulder-to-shoulder with all the other personality disordered, narcissistic, cheating losers. He’s not a star-crossed lover who was Fated to Be with the OW. He’s not noble and the OW isn’t noble either. They’re plain, old boring banal cheaters.

But, but…. she’s The One!


Kate, you’re drinking the cheater Koolaid. That your husband and the OW are Compelled By Forces Much Bigger Than Themselves. Four years sneaking around and they only KISSED and he’s promising MARRIAGE? OMG. You believe this? Grown ups fuck. That’s what they do. Men don’t devote four years of attention to women they are not fucking or have not already fucked. He did not chastely fall in love with his crush object over Skype. He’s been having an affair.

And speaking of emotional affairs and Skype and an ocean between them, that IS “some stupid fantasy fling.” Key word: fantasy. She’s married with two kids. He’s married with one child. And they only thing they have is their clandestine life together, spent mostly in front of a computer screen. If that’s not a fantasy, World of Warcraft is real and I’m a druid shaman.

You want me to believe your husband isn’t a narcissist? He’s not disordered like all the other Bad Cheaters? No sir, he’s just a guy who’s spent FOUR years in an affair and THREE years married to you. (Do the math.) A man who made a commitment and a baby with you while he was in “love” with another woman? And now — that he’s moved you overseas and isolated you — he’d like to end the marriage and leave you with a small child, because of a KISS he once shared? He’s a liar. Oh sure, there is nothing disordered, selfish, or fucked up about him. (Rolling my eyes into the back of my head.)

Let’s next discuss how the OW is the special, anointed One. She’s so very special, that when you left him because of his affair, he begs you to come back and reconcile with him. Apparently, OW isn’t more powerful than CAKE. You take him back for a month and discover, hey, he’s still in his affair with her, promising her a life together, while he’s “reconciling” with you. CAKE.

Yes, she sounds really special. Kay Jewelers should make a diamond heart pendant for the sort of special occasion that says, “I like to fuck you, and fuck with your head, but I prefer to do it from the comfort of my marriage.” She must really know how cherished she is.

But now you’re done with him, so — hey! she’s the ONE. It’s really REAL!

Your husband is a piece of shit. He wants you to believe that he’s been “friends” with this woman for four years, but nothing happened back home except a “kiss.” And his “emotional affair” was only two months long — September – November. And based on this 8-week true meeting of the souls, he’s ready to chuck his relationship with you? Well, not really. He wants to stay married and eat cake. Except you discovered him eating cake. And since then, she’s the One True Love of His Life — and you’ll just have to understand that you were never as special as OW is to him.

Kate, I’m sorry. He’s been lying to you. Your whole marriage is based on a lie — and it doesn’t matter now. What matters is getting the hell away from him and stop buying his stupid, self serving narrative. You’ve got the same run-of-the-mill idiot cheater we all got — a weak, selfish, manipulative jerk. He’s not a special case.

So why would he want you to believe that he is?

Because then you’ll absolve him of his crimes and won’t judge his character. You’ll protect his image. And you’ll eat the shit sandwich that this is all nothing personal, you just aren’t The One.

Why would YOU want to believe this idiotic story?

Because if he’s a Good Man whose only crime is his heart wanted someone else, then you won’t feel like a chump. Like you were played by a character disordered asshole. You won’t have to connect the dots that he betrayed you with a lot more than a kiss, that your marriage was a farce, and that you were used. Instead, you were just Not Right for Each Other.

My advice to you is don’t stand in the way of this Great Love That Cannot Be Denied. Call the OW’s husband today and let him know immediately of this powerful force that grips his wife. Tell him to clear the way and let the two lovebirds be together. It’s FATE. And when fate calls we must all answer!

Fate is telling me you must call your divorce attorney. And stop believing in fairy tales. He’s not the “one” for you — and THANK GOD. He’s a cheater. Let him go.

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.
  • Dear Kate, I abhor laughing at anyone’s expense but I’m going to risk this one ( LOLLOLLOLLOLLOL)… Okay I’m done and I’m truly sorry.

    Have these two “love birds/match made in heaven/modern day Romeo and Juliet/ ” ever paid a bill together? Have they ever called a plumber together? Have they ever taken out the trash on a rainy night while together? Have they ever seen each other have the stomach flu?

    I think not.

    Listen to CL… He’s a boring, run of the mill, unoriginal, cheating piece of shit. And I have no words for her ( I think they would get censored anyway). Please tell me you have contacted her husband!!

    • Ditto what Bev said about dealing with the realities of relationship. Fate is going to look a lot different when he actually gets a hold of it.

      I’m sorry. It sucks to feel like you lost “your one”. I waited a long time to commit and when I did I committed heart and soul only to have my ex betray and hurt me worse than anyone else in my life ever has. The truth is it sounds like this man has a 12 year old’s sense of romance and love. And honestly he’s not worthy of yours if he was thinking this way about this woman for years and you’ve been married for three and he agreed to bring a child into this world with you. Many Hugs to you!

      • “I waited a long time to commit and when I did I committed heart and soul only to have my ex betray and hurt me worse than anyone else in my life ever has.”

        Me too, Kat.

  • “But now you’re done with him, so — hey! she’s the ONE. It’s really REAL!”

    CL, that hit a nerve…and is EXACTLY what happened to me! While we were off at a marriage counseling retreat (his idea) he was texting HER the whole time. Once I came home and found out what was really going on, I kicked him out (this was the second time he cheated and I wasn’t taking it any longer). Then, low and behold, she was the ONE! What would have happened had I not found out? Well, according to him, he would have stayed with me. Oh…lucky me! But, the fact is, she wasn’t the “one” until he had no other option. He either took her on, or was going to be alone, and we all know that was never going to happen.

    Honestly, I still struggle with her being “better” than me from time to time. They got married in November, live in a brand new house and play house with my kids. I have to keep reminding myself that she was only “better” once he was confronted and kicked to the curb. If he is her “knight in shining armor/prince charming”…the man she dreamed of marrying all her life…that’s pathetic. She’s no better than me…that’s like comparing apples to oranges. She is a lying, manipulative, scumbag (to matching his flaming turd of a personality). I on the other hand am honest, caring and compassionate. If he prefers someone as dysfunctional as her…and sees that as “better” or the “one”…then so be it. Good luck to both of them.

    • Sick of HER, the only way she’s “better” than you (to him) is because she’ll put up with a lying, cheating scumbag, and you won’t. He knows this, too, because I’m guessing he was “cheating” on her with you while at the marriage retreat, right? Surely she’s not so stupid that she thinks the guy wouldn’t have sex with his own wife while on a vacation to repair their marriage…! So THAT is why he is with her, because downgrading to her was the only way he could guarantee future cake. Take heart, Sick of HER, the fact that he’s with her actually means YOU’RE better!

      • Thank you sunshine. Actually…nothing ‘happened’ at that retreat. I think deep down I knew something was up and was already distancing myself from him. The irony though? While he was secretly with HER, he was also screwing his student. Yep…that’s right. Once I found out I made sure she was well aware of the fact that he was cheating on her too! Her response: if I ever contact her again she will get a restraining order against me. Ba-ha-ha! Does she not realize that now that she’s married to the fucktard that I will ALWAYS be around? 😉

        • OK, well then there you go. He wasn’t cheating with you, but he was cheating with some other whore. Same result. She’ll stay with him, you won’t. And that’s why he’s with her, cause she is a pathetic loser whore with no self respect, again not better than you!!! And kudos on sharing his cheating with her! Bet she’s really enjoying that shit sandwich lol. I need to figure out a way to do that… 😉

        • Yeah, they never seem to get that when there are kids involved we’re all stuck with each other for life, more or less. But at least I don’t have to be teh one who fucked the married guy while he was fucking other women (yep, she knows. I finally told her when she was being a twat at one point).

    • Sick of Her Chump, that’s pretty much the truth. My ex was not only seeing final OW (his true love) but was also seeing other side pieces at the same time. In fact, the night i found out he had made plans just hours earlier to hook up with a sometime sidepiece minutes after texting both me and final OW ‘I love you’. But final OW is ‘special’ and it’s ‘fate’. Sure it is.

      It took me a very, very long time to see the whole thing for what it was and it was only by reading and re-reading all his many texts, emails and messages with various OW that it finally got through to me, because he was trolling for ‘love’ with anyone who would talk to him. It would seem that the love we had, built on years and years of sharing our lives, was simply not that exciting, teenaged, heart fluttering thing he was desperate to find. And it never could be. After two decades it’s pretty hard to work up that kind of first blush of love stuff when we’ve seen each other through every single thing life could possibly throw at us.

      I loved that we had been through all that together. He saw it as baggage and a burden. His loss at the end of the day.

      • Nord. My STBXH sounds a lot like your x. . . . A serial cheater “trolling for love w/anyone who would talk to him.” One time he was cutting the grass w/this far off look in his eyes,very content,then suddenly a rock hit the storm door. He had the nerve to ask me what happened. Duuuuh! Thing is he’s feeling great and I feel like crap. I want to be where you are,Nord. Your comment “his loss at the end of the day.” Amen!

      • Yep: “It would seem that the love we had, built on years and years of sharing our lives, was simply not that exciting, teenaged, heart fluttering thing he was desperate to find.” My xh too, only we we married for much less time. I thought our marriage was like a pair of perfectly broken in jeans….he decided it wasn’t exciting.

      • It’s so funny that you say that. My ex actually told me that the “butterflies” should NEVER go away. That you should always feel like you did when you first met. I laughed in his face. 17 years and 2 kids later does not result in the same “butterfly” feeling…I don’t care who you are. I know deep down that she’s not the “one” as like I mentioned, it was only “fate” after I kicked him out and he had nowhere else to turn. But despite knowing this, I still struggle with the thoughts from time to time 🙁

        • And the stupidest part is, they’re not even actually looking for ‘love’ or ‘butterflies’ or the passionate craziness that can exist in the beginning of relationships. They’re looking for EGO KIBBLES!!!!! The passionate craziness does provide a lot of ego kibbles, but that’s coincidental for the narcs – that’s why they can be involved w/several people at once. When you’re madly crazily in that infatuation stage at the beginning of a relationship, you don’t even NOTICE there are other attractive people on the planet!

          And that’s why we would never be enough for them, no matter what we do, and why even super-beautiful, rich, incredibly talented celebrities get cheated on; more kibbles is always what they are looking for, and multiple people can always give more kibbles than one can.

    • BARF!!!! I totally get it. Mine is marrying his paramour in April. They play house with my kids too. TOTALLY get the “better” than feeling. He even told me once that he never thought a girl like her would like him. He USED to say that about me.

      However, I wish we could introduce these two charming couples! They would be besties in NO time!

  • “My advice to you is don’t stand in the way of this Great Love That Cannot Be Denied. Call the OW’s husband today and let him know immediately of this powerful force that grips his wife. Tell him to clear the way and let the two lovebirds be together. It’s FATE. And when fate calls we must all answer!”

    I laughed so hard at this. Its the perfect thing to do!

    I shouldn’t be amazed anymore at the mental gymnastics some people go through to justify their behavior, but I am. The ONE TRUE LOVE that isn’t you is such an old and tired excuse, I can’t believe it’s still being used so much!

    • Are there any excuses that aren’t shopworn cliches really?

      I don’t believe I have heard anything remotely original. There are about a half-dozen or so basic themes, and the dialogue is usually somewhat predictable.

      • Was just thinking more about this, and maybe I just need to travel more?

        Who knows? Maybe there’s some hunter-gatherers somewhere who have a different set of excuses?

        Maybe theirs are borrowed from campfire stories instead of cheesy movies, romance novels and adolescent pop songs?

        • “Who knows? Maybe there’s some hunter-gatherers somewhere who have a different set of excuses?”

          As in, “She doesn’t nag me about how I make fire.”
          “She has a bowl of fermented yak butter waiting for me when I return from the full-moon hunt.”
          “She keeps herself in shape so well that’s she’s sometimes mistaken for a sacrificial virgin.”

    • Exactly! CL is right. If this Great Love That Cannot Be Denied is Truly Fate, her husband and two kids will understand, right?

    • True love and fate just means they cannot and will not be responsible for themselves. Period.

      They aren’t “choosing” to cheat… they are just helpless and powerless to their shlongs. It’s natural, they can’t blind themselves to all those eager-beavers. They just can’t help themselves (actually, they help themselves perfectly well)

  • Chump Lady, you are a druid shaman of sorts.

    Sadly, Kate, your hubby is just a run of the mill, pedestrian cake-eater, trying to manage his image, trying to dump it on you and trying to make the emotional burden yours.

    Read this blog-all the articles to the right on the main page are the best starting point.

    And big hug. This sucks, but you don’t. Everyone’s 20-20 hindsight kicks in after a while, and you will feel stupid, then angry. This is a good thing (see previous post about rage).

    I truth, you have dodged a bullet. These wing nuts only get worse, and you might have ended up stuck with him your whole life.Look after yourself and your kid. Hubby may not have been real but you and your kid are, and so is your pain. If you can afford it, get both of you -you and the kid- into therapy. Do NOT buy the ‘I want to reconcile’ bromide, it is just another round of shit sandwiches.

    If gherapy costs too much, read up on narcissism, but do it judiciously. Lisa E Scott’s site is good, so if George Simon’s. Sam Vaknin, too, but with some major caveats- he sails under the guise of an altruistic narcissist, and there ain’t no such thing, but some of his parenting blogs have rung true for me.

    We gotcha, baby. Keep on keeping on, we are all pilgrims on the road to Meh.

    They suck. You don’t. Embroider that on your soul.

    with love,

    • My experience of with Sam Vaknin is different.

      I married (and divorced) an altruistic narcissist so I connect with him on that one. They are particularly lethal and a major mind fuck.

        • It’s an oxymoron is what I think!

          Altruistic: unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others (opposed to egoistic ).
          Narcissist: a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish.

        • That sounds like my kook too!
          EVERYONE thinks he’s so loving and helpful, but I’ve been on the receiving end of the Shark, cold as ice, all for me and none for you- attitudes.
          Is that what it is? A mindfuck supreme to live with.

          • Should have been clearer- some of Vaknin’s insights have been helpful, but his turgid prose style, and the fact that he has posted thousands of videos and essays belie his being a true altruist. There are some kernels of truth, but overall, he is in it for the kibbles. He is NOT a qualified therapist, and to be fair, doesn’t claim to be.

            Lisa Scott, and our own dear Chump Lady have been the most help.

            But yeah, Mr Fab did the Jekyll and Hyde thing, too. Hurt like hell. Perfectly pleasant and affectionate in public: sullen and silent in private.

            But now he and his schmoopie (the Downgrade) can happily drink themselves to death. Me and the kiddo are far far away. Still need to line up my ducks, but no self harm for DD for a month. That is a big something.

            • Have any of you been to Carrie “Lady With A Truck” Reimer’s website?


              She really hit rock bottom with a narcissist who did some crazy things.

              I found her site helpful and insightful.

              I’m dealing with a total piece of work myself. He has so many women lined up to screw that it’s not funny. One after another after another.

              He’s spent about $50k/year of our money on them… I know this because he was stupid enough to start itemizing things in a spreadsheet! Unbelievable!

              Anyway, check it out!

  • this ‘twu wuv’ has to factor this into their ‘fated’, ‘beautiful’ relationship:

    ‘If you marry a man who cheats on his wife, you’ll be married to a man who cheats on his wife’ (Ann Landers).

    And vice versa.

    Maybe, on top of needing you to buy into his narrative and ‘save his image’ he is spackling like a gud ‘un to buy into his own sparkly future with a cheater?

    Just a thought x

    • PS – choosing to begin an affair, even if they didn’t actually get around to doing the dirty (and I’m with CL here – 4 years? he’s not Sir Lancelot!) is cheating! At a particular point in time he CHOSE to let his imagination wander. Attraction starts in the mind – sure, pheromones play their part but that is as far as ‘fate’ has a hand in this story. And think about it – we all have pheromones – you wouldn’t be able to get on a subway train for all the humping bodies if pheromones were so all-powerful! x

  • OH DEAR Kate. Do you really think love between two random adults can be so much greater than love between two other adults that a parent would leave their CHILD? It’s not possible that he loves his OW that much more than you without him being disordered. It just simply isn’t possible. Not a possibility you should be considering. Nope, just like all the rest, he has a hole that simply cannot be filled by anyone. Or even any two at the same time probably. This would have happened if you and OW were exact clones.

  • Good grief..I am in a similar situation, and I feel the same way! November 8th would have been our 25th anniversary..we have been together for 26 years. 3 weeks ago I found out that he’s been having an affair with the same woman for 3 years, and plans on marrying her. I am about dead with shock and sadness! Obviously he checked out of the marriage 3 years ago..but I am supposed to stop loving him in an instant! The depths of his deception are sickening to me. He drives truck OTR and met the OW at one of the livestock stations in Oklahoma he hauls to. It started as a friendship..they would see each other once or twice a month..and it developed into full-blown LOVE from there. Once I found out, I called the OW, left a voicemail telling her who I was and she was seeing a married man. Lo and behold..he lied to HER as well for 3 years! He told her from day one that we were divorced. She has been through this before..and told me that from her end, she was done with him. She apologized about a gazillion times and said had she known, it would never have happened. She admitted to me that she loves him. Here’s the thing..he has had 2 different lives this whole time! He is part of HER family..her kid, grandkids, etc etc. Turns out he spent more time with her family then he did with me and my 3 kids! But he always had to WORK..but in truth, he was hauling livestock down to Oklahoma and spending time with her and her family. They were together usually twice a month for a few days. How the hell do you fall in love with that kind of relationship? I am sure they talked endlessly on the phone, while he was hauling to other places in America. He even told me and the kids he shut down his Facebook page, when in reality he BLOCKED us all so we couldn’t see the affair going on! He hid me from her; and her from me. All of his stupid truck driver friends knew, and had no problem with this. Who ARE these people? They don’t give a rat’s ass that he was screwing over his family? Another kicker..he would tell me that he had a “short” week and there’s wasn’t much money that came in, and I was left struggling to pay bills and make ends meet. Turns out..he was paying HER bills and giving HER gifts! And of course, he hasn’t given me gifts for any occasion for a few years, accept a few months ago, he gave me a card that was all about me being his soulmate! He has told me he wants to be with her..if she’ll have him back. He wants a divorce, and wants to continue their relationship. She has NOT talked to him since the whole thing blew up in his face. However, he has texted her several times and she has started responding, a word here, and word there. So it seems to me that she is giving in, and will soon be back in the relationship with her. How dumb is she? He cheated on her with me the whole time! Won’t she be suspicious from here on out? But they are so in loooovvveee. It conquers all, you know! He is a lovesick puppy, so sad that she hasn’t responded to him (until now it seems). The weird thing is..the whole time he was having the affair, he wanted sex more than ever! I thought it was usually the other way around..they want nothing to do with their wives? I am feeling the same way Kate is..I love him, still want him, and it makes me SICK to think of the 2 of them running off into the sunset happily ever after! And the movie that runs over and over in my mind..the 2 of them together, the things they did together and to each other. I just want to die! And he gets to be happy, while I am stuck here with all the responsibilities and heartache? Where the hell is the fairness in that? Kate..I feel your pain 100 percent. And I am open to any advice, too. Since I found this website a week ago, I have been all over every comment, too! Help me?

    • X told me our relationship was too much effort. He pulled the same kind of shenanigans as you’ve described. Poor mite ( dust mite) must have been bloody exhausted!

    • KATE: tell the husband. As soon as possible. I implore you. I found out on my own from a rumor a distant friend heard. Thank goodness she decided to tell me what she heard, even though it was difficult and she didn’t know how I would react. Her thought was, the truth is more important that what I thought of her. She wondered if our friendship would end, but decided that I had the right to know. I wish one of the dozens of people who knew firsthand (because they saw it) about my husband’s cheating would have told me a long time ago and allowed me the dignity of an honest life. This is it in a nutshell: “That which can be destroyed by truth should be.” That’s a powerful statement and 100% the way we should live.

      SANDY: Your story could be my story, just substitute POS cop instead of truck driver. Married 20 yrs…together 30yrs (high school sweetheart), 3 kids, husband had a 4yr affair… Double life. He paid her every bill, vacations for her and her son, etc to the tune of over $250,000 (cash) plus the credit cards he gave her (I’ve found an end of yr AmEx summary for one of the 4 years’ purchases…over $30,000 in ’08 alone. And that’s just one card). All the while, just like you, I thought we were broke. Forgive my language (is it just me or does this situation bring out the inner sailor in all of us? The eff word seems to be the perfect noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, conjunction, etc!), but what a motherfucker.

      Sandy, you are THREE WEEKS OUT. You are in shock. I was there. I thought I loved him still. Now since it’s been 2 years since DDay, I see I was grasping. Doing all the things CL warns us not to do. I was going to fix it. This is not ours to fix. We have to deal with what we’ve so unfairly been dealt. You have to focus on yourself and your kids. I am still reeling from all of it. Without this site and the people who post, I would not have come as far as I’ve come… But I’m still not there yet. I love what CL says about infidelity “cheating sucks, it hurts like a motherfucker, but it’s a huge opportunity for growth”… Yes it does and yes it is! Sandy, hold on, stay with us. Post and vent. You will see things more clearly as time goes on.

      Here us my advice to you. Start digging in your finances. I have saved my conscientious cheater husband’s check registers. It was so nice of him to write every expense down with her name or with something I could trace to her (rent, car payment, etc). That’s how I came up with the quarter of a million cash amount I’m estimating. And that’s a conservative estimation. I know what you’re all thinking… Wait, how can a cop have so much money?!? Well, where we live cops get paid a heck of a lot. Pair that with an incredible amount of overtime and voila, we were rolling in it, unbeknownst to me. Anyway, Sandy, get a copy of his credit report, etc… Anything to help you trace and account for money spent on the affair partner. Then look up misappropriation of marital assets and ask your attorney about it. Depending on your state’s divorce law, you may be entitled to half of what he spent on her (plus interest) if you can prove it. Most people don’t look into this because it’s probably not worth the hassle or the attny expense to try to get back a few Happy Meals and Motel 6 bills. But, if you can prove the amounts like I can prove, it’s worth checking into. DO NOT TELL YOUR HUSBAND WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Do all of this quietly.

      Stick with us Sandy…and Kate. And “let go or be dragged”… Another favorite.

      • I haven’t even begun to find the truth out when it comes to the money he spent on her. Hell he bought her a ring for Christmas and gave it to her TWO days before coming home to spend the holiday with the kids and I. And to leave me and the kids to struggle financially while he’s the big hero and pays HER bills and buys HER gifts..I just want to puke. I am doing a lot of research, getting ready to take all the info I can to an attorney. It’s so hard to unravel 26 years of life together!

        • Brace yourself girlfriend. It IS hard. And it DOES suck. And just when you are having a brave day, you’ll have a not-so-brave day. Keep moving. Do all your fact finding. Do you have a best friend you can confide in and ask for her help? I am “fortunate” that my BFF has gone through infidelity. She is my rock and sets me straight when I start to “feel sorry” my cheater… When I think maybe I shouldn’t pursue the money, maybe I should let it go. No way! He stole not only years from our family, but MONEY FROM MY CHILDREN!! That was their future he pissed away on her! Stay focused on you AND YOUR CHILDREN’S future. Find everything you can. It sucks, it hurts, but it’s validating. At least it was for me… I realized I wasn’t crazy, when for years, I thought I was. Gaslighting is a horribly abusive behavior. You are so raw right now…3 weeks from DDay. I pray for your strength and healing and remember, hold your cards close. Do not let on what you are doing. <>

          • I concur – find the money and take it. Ditch the guilt we women tend to feel. Forget about fair. Think you and your baby. If nothing else, he should feel your pain thru his pocketbook.

        • Creepy how these guys are all the same – I was married 10 years; an at-home mom with 2 pre-school kids…and his sister died (she really did) and his “mom had cancer” (she didn’t) and he needed to travel to be with his family. He was gone about six months of one year, and then he left us to be with the REAL reason for the travel – the OW he’d had since day 1 of our marriage. Yep, the whole double life – they had an apartment; he bought her a $80K car; trips/cruises…while I was couponing like mad and worrying about every penny. He financed most of it with credit cards I didn’t know about ($50K) and $$ he embezzeled from work.

          When the shit hit, he’d left us (with no way to contact him). Bill collectors, repo guys, prosecutor’s, FBI…good times. Oh, and the other woman – his “true love”? He also had at least one other OW – the local one traveled to Europe and confronted the European OW in the street. That would have been fun to see 🙂 So, his “true love” finally dumped him when she figured out he was still married to me, was cheating on her with at least one other OW, and had a 2nd child (he failed to mention). TRUST THAT HE SUCKS. It is so hard, but he’s still the same lying, cheating, loser, and is completely incapable of true love. But YOU’RE not – when the time is right, you can be happy again – with our without someone else…it just takes time. Hugs to you.

      • All of this is so true, especially the piece about Dissipation of Marital Assets. My STBX didn’t know about the law – I did. So while he was spending money on his church whore, I never said a word. When he balked at paying our child’s tuition, my attorney filed a Dissipation claim with the court and then filed a petition basically stating if he can spend this on the whore, he should be able to pay the tuition.

        These aluminum foil wrapped, navel-gazing, self-involved, self-absorbed flaming turds from Satan’s ass are not your friends. Don’t be fooled by that human appearance they co-opt when it serves their purpose. Any person who will lie to you and cheat on you, will steal from you and will steal from your children – they have been doing it all along.

        You deserve better than what you were given. Take it.

        • Wow! I thought I was the only one whose husband was doing stuff like that.

          Had a 16 year old Thai girlfriend. Bought her family a house in Thailand for $35k and has been paying her $1000/month since 2008 to have sex with him.

          The e-mails I found from her to him that would say things like, “I love you and love having sex with you and can’t wait to see you again… and by the way can you send me 5000 baht please, as soon as possible?” were so laughable.

          Then there was the spreadsheet where he itemized the $$ he spent on a 19 year old girlfriend to the tune of $50k. He bought her a car, a labiaplasty (because 19 year olds need that), paid her $400/week to have sex with him.

          What a loser? Doesn’t he feel like a complete fucktard that the only way he can get women to sleep with him is by PAYING them?

          I’ve itemized everything. I’m taking him to court. I’m demanding half of the probably $250k he has spent on these women in the past 5 years.

          If you can’t get closure and you have to deal with this shit, you can at least recoup some of your lost money!

          • Be sure to be checked for STDs. Women who take money for sex and plastic surgery on their genitals are not the faithful type. Thailand is a good place to get an STD.

    • Bloody hell, Sandy, sounds like your husband and his little Oklahoma flower have been watching Bridges of Madison County. I know you can’t turn the love off but please use your head. He was not only fucking around on you physically, he was fucking around emotionally and financially. Screw him. The reason he ‘wants’ her is because she’s playing the oldest game in the book: CHASE ME! SHOW ME I’M THE ONE! I WON’T TLAK TO YOU UNTIL YOU PROOOOVE HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ME!

      She may not even be doing it consciously but that’s basically what she’s doing. And he’s feeling all manly and wanting to have this ‘big’ romance so he’s falling right into line. Let them have one another. You sound smart and awesome and truly a nice person. Share that awesomeness with people who won’t actually go out of their way to hurt you.

      • Okay Nord..I will admit that I laughed out loud at your post..Bridges of Madison County it is, that’s for sure! And “little Oklahoma flower”..OMG LMAO!! I have to tell my family that one, they’ll get a kick out of it. I am so stupid, too. Since DDay he’s been texting me pretty much non-stop, and now that it seems they are talking again, I barely hear a peep out of him. And of course, she wants her “true love” back..who the hell wouldn’t, when he swoops in buying her gifts and paying her bills? And to her, I am sure he presents himself as the nicest, loving, romantic guy on the face of the earth. Never mind the fact that he has a wife and 3 kids back home, struggling every day now emotionally, financially, and every which way you can imagine. The only thing I can hope for is that once the 2 of them start to have REAL life together, they find out it’s not all a bed of roses. She can inherit his debt..his being on the road 90 percent of the time..and all of his lies. But I guess to’s all worth it, because true love will get them through everything! My luck would be..the whole other person he is with her will now be who he is forever, and they WILL be happy together. I never considered that she herself is playing the game of “chase me, I’m the one”. And of course I’m sure he’s texting her how much he loves her, that I (wife) have always been such a bitch and he was TRAPPED in our marriage for 25 years, and how much he promises that their life together will be the stuff out of a storybook. Tell me again..why do I want this man back?

        • Sandy, you think you want this man back because you were emotionally connected to him for all these years. Very normal to “want” him back. Please ask yourself, what do you honestly think your future with him will look like if you get back together? It will never be what it was. Maybe you’re thinking that the marriage will be stronger because of the affair. I can tell you, after going through three OWs, that’s a bunch of lies. You know what you will have with a cheater with zero remorse but wants his cake? More lies, more gaslighting, just more of the bad stuff, only now in stereo. In the meantime, you hone your skills as a marriage police, you spackle, you live a life that you never ever want to live. Been there, done that and no way I’m going back. When you start thinking that the pain will go away if he just comes back, the reality is that the pain will triple and be prolonged if he does. When you go into the fantasy mode, ask yourself if what you are telling yourself is really true. Fairy tales are for Disney movies, and that’s why they only last for less than two hours. I think most of us can predict what will happen next if that movie keeps going.

          • Summed up so well, uniquelyme!

            This is the thing you realize after awhile: The only thing more painful than having them not in your life anymore is having them back in your life!

            And the only other comment I’d have is you said there were 3 OWs. Well… there were 3 THAT YOU KNOW OF. If you dig, you’d probably find more.

            I kept finding more… and more… and more…

            The only good thing about that is that if you find enough you can’t help but realize what psychopaths they are, and you finally get your head out of your ass and are glad to be rid of them!

            It takes awhile, but you get to meh.

        • Sandy,

          My STBX’s church whore believes that they were always meant to be together, especially since she’s been after him for over 20 years. Now she has him. And what does she have? She has someone who cheats on his wife and balks at doing what he should do for his children. Now there’s a prize worth having.

          We Chumps tend to put too much value on our cheaters and not enough value on ourselves. Instead of focusing on what the OW/OM is getting (a liar and a cheat), we should be aware that the cheater is losing us – people who love and care deeply, who have character, morals and integrity. Those facts alone mean they never really deserved us and they were lucky to have us.

          Sandy, and all of my Fellow Chumps, it is not our loss, it is theirs. They Suck and We Don’t.

          • Chump Princess, excellently put.
            I agree 100% to your comments.
            Especially to the comments in the second paragraph.
            Yes, we are people who love, care deeply, have morals, integrity and character.
            But most of all it is their loss.

        • Oh, honey, you don’t really want him back. You absolutely want the man you thought he was–and the life you thought you had–back. But him? The cheating, lying, financially screwing you over fella he really is? Not so much.

          Hugs. You will get through this. I’m so sorry your marriage was a lie. Once you “trust that he sucks”, once you internalize that “he’s not a prize–he’s a sparkly, narkly, flaming dog turd” it gets easier.

        • Sandy,
          I have done all the wrong things and finally figured out that he just “sucks”!
          You DO NOT WANT HIM BACK!

          After 2 years since my D-day and all the lies, monies I have found that he has skimmed for years or spent on her or himself is disgusting. The secret phones, it’s sick to know there are so many husbands or STBXH out there who are so alike – Trust that he sucks.

          You deserve better and I think in your head you know that but I also know your big heart wants to try harder. Please trust they will not change.

          Get your ducks in a row without his knowledge and get a lawyer. Move on, as hard as it will be, it is the best thing to do. Been their, doing it and it scare’s the shit out of me but I know I will be better off.

    • Sandy, I’m sorry – it sucks. If you’ve been reading this site you know what to do. It might take you a while to do it if you have frozen up. The choices are pretty clear, you have to make the decision and then act. If you are leaving him, do it now before he gets over the “love” train. (jedi hugs)

    • “Obviously he checked out of the marriage 3 years ago..but I am supposed to stop loving him in an instant!” Isn’t this the truth Sandy. Mine checked out of our relationship at least a year and a half before I caught him. He had a head start on me. I did have anger right away but honestly most of the overwhelming emotions I dealt with in the beginning were due to the anguish and despair from not knowing what to do with the all of the love I had for him and the relationship. We were together 3 years. I can’t even begin to fathom 26. Now I’m about six months post D day and believe me that love is all gone.

      Hopefully you’ve read CL’s articles under Cheaters Decoded, Chumps Decoded and Featured Articles up in the top right hand side of the site. They’re super helpful and put things in perspective. In the meantime if you get stuck about what to do or still have that love that gets in the way pretend like the situation is happening to your best friend or daughter. And then think of what You would tell her to do. No doubt you’d tell her to get a lawyer and nail his ass to the wall. No doubt you’d advocate for her to think about her kids and self financially. No doubt you’d tell her she deserves better.

      • You know Kat, it’s funny.

        Early on, I had so many people who had been through similar things telling me that about 6 to 7 months after D-Day you finally start to feel like yourself for the first time in YEARS, and start to accept it’s over and you don’t want your cheater back.

        I think this IS the magic number. But only once you have hit an actual and real D-Day without any false starts. 6 months after that… things start to heal!

        • 6 months out, I got shingles!
          But I agree with the number. That’s when I relaxed and realized I would survive. My body let go of the stress, and then, boom.
          Actually, it was a very mild case, but I stressed for the 4-5 days before the doctor figure out what it was…. (Did not present as standard shingles)

          • Well I’m still pissed off a lot. Dealing with a lot of feelings of the unfairness of things. Between how I am getting screwed in the taxes and talking to my “no hope” …er I mean pragmatic divorce lawyer I feel like I’ve got shingles. But yeah…there’s no nostalgia left at all. I’m even starting to be able to listen to music again. That was one of the weirdest things about all of this. I’m a huge music buff and have tons of music in all different genres but literally have not been able to listen to music up until about this week. The fact that I’m pissy and want to listen to eminem I think is a good sign.

            • Kat – wow, the music thing!

              I couldn’t listen to music exH didn’t like while we were married – and he LOVED Celine Dion and %^$^ like that (probably “songs” of the OW…) so after he left, I brought out my old 80’s stuff and started listening to new things that I liked. Enjoy music again – such an awesome milestone 🙂

              • Thanks RDM. I figure it’s gonna be at least another six months before my sex drive returns to semi normal. At the moment the loss is more of a convenience than anything though. Who needs to be horny while going through pregnancy and divorce??!!

  • I am so sorry my previous post was so long..I was just pouring my heart out! I forgot to add that when I asked him when he planned on telling me since they want to get married, his answer was “I hadn’t figured that out yet. To be honest, I just hoped I’d never get caught.” WTF?

    • Sandy, there you have it: CAKE, in one sentence. It was probably the single most honest thing he’s ever said to you.

      That should kill any worries about “two wuv” right there.

      And any one who hasn’t heard that, it’s only because your cheater had a better filter. (Seriously, who says that out loud?)

      You will find lots of support and great advice in this community. *You* are the one who will come out of this with a shiny new life, strong and empowered. He doesn’t have the character to actually sustain a good life, just a sham, no matter who he’s with…

      • Yep. Most honest thing mine said to me when we were “reconciling” and I found out he wasn’t was, “I’m really sorry that you had to find out.”

        Uh huh. I’ll bet you are, you stupid Cake Eater!

    • OMG Sandy! You are married to a bigamist – emotionally definitely, perhaps planning to become in reality. So glad to hear you are both (as in the OW) now at least aware of it. So sorry to hear that you are both (as in the OW) caught up in the pick me dance. Keep reading this blog – direct her to it too, maybe? Kick that disordered POS to the kerb – WTF – you didn’t sign up for this – sounds like neither did she – wipe that smug, self-satisfied grin off his face and let him live in his f’ing truck!

      (massive hugs!) xx

      • What sucks is that it looks like she’s started talking to him..this, after she said on her end “she’s done with him”. She lasted 3 weeks before she gave in. WTF does she see in him that she would even consider going forward in their relationship? And I am still in the “what does he like more about her than me” stage, which really sucks. I seriously can’t come to terms with the idea of them living a wonderful life together. Where’s karma? He’s destroyed his wife and family, yet he gets to be with the “love” of his life? I keep saying “it’s not fair”, and “why did he do this to me” and I just can’t seem to move out of this hole I’m in. BTW I looked her up on FB and she looks like she’s been rode hard and put away..fake blonde hair, looks like she lives in a tanning booth because her skin is leather. And he wants that over me, the one who spent 26 years with him and had 3 children? I don’t get it. I really don’t.

        • Sandy, you know why you don’t get it? Because this is not about you. This is about your ex and, whether you can accept it or not, you cannot control his behavior. Everything always looks rosy in the beginning. Think of a brand new car – we’re thrilled when we get it, we show it off, it adds to our “happiness”. But then the car gets old. And then it’s just another car. It will be the same with the OW. They may stay together, appear happy but you never, ever know that is going on unless you’re a fly on the wall. Leave them be to their own misery and move on. They can be very unhappy but stay together because they want to prove the world wrong about them. Like the world cares. Another sign of dysfunction. You, in the meantime, have healed, fixed your picker and you will not care if you never find anyone else because you know that you would rather be alone than with a cheater. Don’t settle. You deserve the best.

        • I was going to say what uniquelyme already said, but let me put it concisely.

          He doesn’t like her better than you. He likes himself and himself only, and will go to great lengths to get himself whatever he needs to be happy, with no regard for anyone else at all.

          Does that make sense? It’s not about either of you. It’s only about him. In his mind. And he’ll just do whatever he has to in order to get whatever it is he wants that makes him happy.

          • You got it, JustSaying. And when he starts being unhappy Shaun ( and he will), he will be on the prowl again because he deserves to be happy. Collateral damage is inconsequential to a cheater.

        • Sandy, I didn’t date for 7 years after my divorce. When I finally did, I found a wonderful, cuddly, sweet, attentive man who turned out to be secretly married and also cheating on another girlfriend in California! The next guy I dated was an honest and demonstrably single man who also turned out to be an emotionally abusive narcissist. Having broken up with these raging turdsnacks, I still find myself sad sometimes and wondering, “Why aren’t I good enough? Why don’t they want meeeeeeeeeeee?” And then I have to ask myself, “Why do I want dishonest, cruel, disordered people to want me?” Turns out I don’t. And neither do you.

          If your raging turdsnack wants a fakebaked bottle blonde bimbo, let him have her, with your blessing. You are better than that, and you deserve to have GOOD people want you. This isn’t about you, it’s about the dishonest, cruel disordered person you have the misfortune to be involved with.

        • Sandy,

          He is that same lying, cheating bad guy with her as he is with you – she just doesn’t know/doesn’t care yet. He has not, and likely will never change. And, if he does change into a wonderful, remorseful, ethical guy, he sure won’t want her – a woman who helped him destroy his family after she knew the truth.

          It just takes time. I’ve felt so many of the very same emotions. I’m five years out from when exH left – and he has continued to lie, cheat, and be the very same loser with all the women since me – but it always seems to take a while for it to catch up with them.

          Keep living with integrity, and you will never have regrets. Hugs to you.

    • Sandy, my ex said something similar…and then got pissed when I kicked him out. Why? Because he really didn’t have any plans beyond ‘we’ll be together, baby…’ which was just a nice way to keep a secondary supply of kibbles on full alert while he kept his wife, his kids, his nice home and his various other side pieces rolling along.

      He didn’t count on me kicking him out and he didn’t count on me telling people telling the truth. He remains angry, two years later, and it is hilarious. Just the other day he said something about me ‘doing nothing to make things good between us’. I didn’t bother to respond but quite frankly, why would I want anything ‘good’ between us? I simply want nothing between us. He’s a dolt.

      • Hehe… Nord, mine actually had his lawyer write a letter to my lawyer claiming I was defaming him.

        Only his lawyer was at least smart enough not to use the word “defamation” because he knew that I had proof to back up everything I was telling people about him.

        My lawyer’s response to his? If there was a key on the computer keyboard that was just a big finger flipping someone off… that was my lawyer’s response. It was a good one.

        Never heard another word about it.

        But they really do get just a bit angry like little children when you start telling people the truth about them. How they LOOK to others is SO important, because if they start looking like dishonest, cheating psychopaths, it gets difficult to convince the general population that YOU are the crazy one!

        It’s so much fun to watch that happen to them though. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Why do cheaters use words such as “fate”, “soulmate”, “destiny”, to describe their unoriginal cliche, fell in luvrre, with a co-worker affair.

    Why is it “soul mates” are in great supply by the photo copy machine, water-cooler or three cubicles to the left, be considered destiny. It’s an insult to all the grand fairytales that true luvrre is reduced to such a level. Geez, no bloody battle with swords on horseback and a damsel in a tower in need of rescue.

    Listen up chumps, the Mecca of true love and the soulmate surplus is found at your place of work. But for it to be “real”, you must be married and have children in order for it to be destiny. Oh yeah…and those business trips….are fodder for the modern day Romeo and Juliet.

    Or…maybe, it’s just a bunch of lazy ass disordered cheaters who can’t be bothered to look further than an office or cubicle within ten feet from their desk to find that soulmate.

    • They use words like “fate”, “soulmate”, “destiny”, to describe their unoriginal cliche, as otherwise they would have to recognize that they are 100% responsible for their actions.
      “Fate” means they are not charater-disordered narcissists!
      “Fate” means they are the victims!
      Spare me.

      • Using “fate” “destiny” ” true love” allows the cheater to save face. Because if they announce that they are leaving because they sort of like their AP, then they look like the disordered character that they truly are – they don’t have to admit it to themselves or the world.

    • My ex called the OW his “perfect partner.” She’s also married with two young kids. In his journal he listed the people he loved:

      1. OW
      2. Our oldest son
      3. Our youngest son
      4. Her son
      5. Her daughter.

      For some weird reason her husband wasn’t on the list.

      This just blew me away that he “loved” her kids as his own. I hear they call my ex Uncle. My ex moved into the OW parent’s basement for awhile after he left me (poor sausage, I know he played me up as the mean wife to gain their sympathy).

      He emailed me the morning after he left a scripture that said “Lean not unto thine own understanding…” as if he had no control over the choices he was making. It was all God’s plan.

      Disordered much?

      • “In his journal he listed the people he loved:
        1. OW
        2. Our oldest son
        3. Our youngest son
        4. Her son
        5. Her daughter.
        For some weird reason her husband wasn’t on the list.”

        I couldn’t stop laughing at this, thank you for the laugh, and sorry if you’re not finding it all that funny right now, don’t know where you are in all this. I’m pretty meh after over 2.5 years since dday. I couldn’t believe my x’s concern for the OW’s 4 kids when I found out, yet he was throwing his own daughter under the bus. He told my daughter (who I told right away-I wasn’t going to protect him-she wants nothing to do with him now) and me that he wanted to be part of that nice family (like what were we?) I was the “mean, angry” wife too. LOL Dragged up how I was “mean” way early in the relationship when i tried to resolve issues by talking about them. Oh dear. LOL

        • Hoodwinked, I’m 2 yrs past d-day and every day is clearer than the one before. Actually the shenanigans my ex pulled are so amazing I laugh at other people’s reactions when I tell them. At the time it wasn’t very funny, though. Sad thing is I used to think so much of my professor ex. I used to think he was very intelligent.

          • Lyn, same here. Used to admire ex’s intellect and how he seemed to have overcome a disturbing upbringing, had great compassion and love for him. Have learned so much about the disordered on this site and am so thankful.

        • Hoodwinked!

          Oh! Waaaaahhhh! Boo hoo! I had to screw someone else because you were MEAN to me.

          Mine played that card on me too. Apparently our reconciliation didn’t work, because I was so angry about the affair and mean to him, when I should have just shut up and let him get back to eating cake.

          Give me a freaking break, loser! Go throw yourself under a bus!

          I’m only 6 months out from D-Day… but I’m over it. And we were together for 19 years!

          I’m just glad I never had kids with the prick!

          • JustSaying, I knew I’d never trust him again after I found out the betrayal though I suggested MC for the sake of my daughter. I was just done because though it’s the only betrayal I knew about and as far as I know an emotional affair (reconnected on FB 20 years after high school, so cliche) I knew about years of porn and he never quite giving up fantasy of this HS girl and I had had enough. If it had been anybody else I would have probably tried harder for reconciliation so am kind of glad now it was that bitch. He said no, too late for MC anyway, he was choosing the OW (who was leaving her husband and had 4 kids). He played it like her stbx was so bad and he had to rescue her, what was best for her kids, blah, blah-have since found out her ex was regarded a nice guy. Then when I kicked him out, the night before he left he actually asked tearfully “why didn’t you fight for me?” This confused, flabbergasted me at the time since I had been the only one trying to talk about problems for probably the first eight years, then was so disgusted by porn, gave up and concentrated on just being the best mother i could be for the next eight. I would have never broken up my daughter’s family. Now I understand how disordered people can be and how it’s all about them. I kept thinking, “is that all you’ve got? I could be “mean?” Oh and I’m the opposite physically as your OW, so “boring” to be with the same female object, must have variety. In spite of the porn I had loved him but we ended up getting pretty indifferent to each other as time went by. I just couldn’t get past that and the lack of emotional connection during intimacy, just go through the motions. He really didn’t care about me. I know that now. I was mama to him. I tried to talk about it early on and he was like, no, no I don’t feel like that. I have a mom. His mom was an alcoholic that was immature. I don’t believe he was nurtured properly as he grew up, but I’m way done trying to figure him out. It’s time for me now. My daughter and I have a nice life. Last year was particularly hard for her when he married the idiot but daughter is doing well now, understands her dad is disordered and is not as sad about not having a real dad as she was (though this will always be something in her life). It’s been hard to see her go through this. She was at an age when it happened that I knew I couldn’t lie to her. (There is no Santa Claus.)
            Thanks for listening, just felt like telling my story out.

            • Just want to clarify that daughter doesn’t know everything mentioned above. I do need to let her keep what she can about her dad without gory details. It just didn’t feel right to lie to her about why we were breaking up. I agonized about if I did the right thing for a long while because it was so hard for her. I tried to be as positive as I could about her dad but he kept pushing forward with his agenda to marry the other woman and expected daughter to have to deal with the four kids right away. His timeline was horrendous and nothing I said could slow him down.

        • I couldn’t believe my x’s concern for the OW’s 4 kids when I found out, yet he was throwing his own daughter under the bus.
          Same thing here!! He’s worried about her kids and grandkids more than his own kids! And what really pisses me off is the fact that he’s so much more worried about the OW’s feelings..not a rat’s ass about my feelings and the fact that my life of the last 26 years got yanked out from under me in 1 second. On Dday after I talked to the OW on the phone and he found out, he was pissed off at ME for ruining their relationship! And yet here I sat last night, watching NCIS, and burst into tears for absolutely no reason at all. And I bawled for a good hour! (Luckily my daughter wasn’t home). I try and try and try to remind myself of all the crappy things he’s done to me and the kids, yet I still grieve for him. Bawling my head off like a baby at rhyme or reason. It’s such a nightmare..I am so amazed that so many on this forum lived through it and are better off than they were before. I just feel like the pain will never end!

          • So sorry Sandy. It will end. You need to cry awhile but the day will come when you will be glad. Just believe it. I cried very bitter tears for a long while, developed a deep furrow between my brows. After the divorce it was more about my daughter and what she was being pushed to do, be around the skank who helped wreck her family. That seems to have ended now that she’s a teen and just saying no to going to her dad’s. Keep trusting that he sucks and is not the man you thought you knew. Like I did, you grieve the man you thought he was. Being nice people we give people the benefit of the doubt. Instead they are people that have learned to manipulate and they are very good at it. It is a shock to learn they are someone else. Mine also was so protective of the OW which made me feel like crap because he treated me without respect or dignity in the way he left. I felt like dirt to him, but I knew I wasn’t. I knew that he and she were messed up and it was a very bitter feeling to think that they were together and “happy” while oneself is alone after they behaved so badly. It will just be so shocking for awhile. I hope you have someone to talk with. I talked with my mother almost every day for a long while. It was before discovering this site, which has also been amazingly helpful, wish I had found it right away but I’m not sure it was even up when dday came. It helped to have someone say how shocked they were too, over and over, someone grounded, someone also angry for you. Though shocking, as others on here have said, it might be good to realize that it may be easier to be left by a person that there is something very wrong with than to be left by a “normal” person that one still loved and respected who just no longer loved you. Also, moving from the love you felt to not caring can’t happen overnight. I remember I kept thinking, “so this is how love turns to hate”. Then, quite a bit later, sorrow rather than anger and bitterness, which seemed to be the end of it, no more strong feelings for awhile now, maybe a bit of pity at this point, if anything. for the loser. An occasional twinge if I find myself dwelling on it. Just means to me I have to get back to thinking about me and my life again, not his. Take care, you are strong. You called the OW and confronted her which took guts. One doesn’t know what a wingnut like that will react like. I chickened out from telling OW’s husband because my ex seemed worried about what would happen. The OW’s husband was a huge man and I wondered if my ex would get hurt so I didn’t. I must have been drinking some weird kool-aid because I can’t believe now that I didn’t just try to blow OW’s and ex’s cover right away. Ended up the guy found out about a month after me.

            • Well it’s true..what I’ve been thinking..they are together as though nothing happened. After she swore to me she was done with him. He’s down in Oklahoma right now, as we speak, with her. Their love is splattered all over his Facebook page right now! It seriously makes me sick to my stomach reading their little lovey dovey posts. I am sure he lied to her and told her what a bitch I am and he was stuck in the marriage..blah blah blah. So now, even though she is 100 percent aware that he is married..they are together. Damn liars! And I sit back here all alone, struggling to take care of the kids, worried to death about finances, bawling like a baby that he did this, feeling so lonely and alone. I contacted an attorney today and meet with him in 2 weeks. In the meantime, he told me to play it cool, don’t let on that I know that he down there and they are back together, don’t shut off his cell phone (it’s in my name), and just act like I’m not doing a thing to get a divorce in progress. But OH MY GOSH it’s so hard right now! I just want to rip both of them a new asshole..they sit there and FLAUNT this in front of everyone, even though he’s still married! BTW I am not supposed to know because I am blocked from their FB pages..however, he’s too stupid to realize that I just had to use a co-workers FB page to see his. Guys..I am fuming right now! How does she want to be with someone who abandoned his wife and children, after cheating with her for 3 years? I’m so tired of seeing them talk about their “true love” and calling each other “honey” and “darling” and saying “love you”. I can honestly say that I don’t ever think I am going to get over this..I know so many have, but right now I still feel like I just want to crawl in a hole and die!

              • Alright ladies, just remember, he is not protective of the OW. He is protective of the shiny thing that reflects him back to himself. Sandy, you’re asking how this woman can be with him even knowing what he is? How they can talk about their true love and bs on facebook? It’s because he’s split. It’s not fair but right now you’re getting the REAL him with all of his faults and his baggage and she’s getting the fake sparkles him. He does not care about her kids he cares about his investment in a mirror. She’s getting the Jekyl and you’re getting the Hyde. I am so sorry for the pain you’re going through. Just remember…that eventually she gets that dark side too.

              • I am so sorry you are going through this. Trust those further down that path that you CAN survive – and it will get better in time.

                As far as the double life, it helped me to consider that my exH was like a character in a movie. You watch it, and fall completely in love with him – he’s so real – so believable. Then the movie ends. And the screen and the theater are dark. And you have to go home alone. Your husband is an actor. And the movie is over. He was never real – he was a great character in the movie that was your life. And it’s over.

                It was not wrong or stupid or crazy of you to love that “character” – but now you know he was never real. He was acting. You now get to walk out of that dark theater – in your own time – into the sunlight of REALITY. Some days it’s beautiful, and some days it’s really stormy and terrible – but it’s REAL. And it’s YOURS. Hugs to you.

          • Sandy your feelings are completely normal. It’s so hard to have rage/love duking it out inside your head. Somewhere I read “The biggest battles in divorce are fought in your mind” and AMEN to that! It’s like riding an emotional roller coaster for awhile but it will settle down. Be really good to yourself, eat well, try to get extra rest. Take care of yourself like you take care of your child. You are going through deep grief but it will end. For me it took about 6-7 months of constant crying and then one day I noticed I got through the day without tears. Those days started coming more often and then the crying stopped. Hang in there!

            • But how did you get through those helpless, hurt feelings, knowing that he just walked out on you and your kids after spending more than half of your lives together? I was up all night, crying and obsessing about how his dream is coming true. They are moving forward in their relationship, despite the fact that he abandoned us! Neither one of them gives a crap about the heartbreak and nightmare he left behind, without a second glance. And technically, we are STILL married. He has not served me with papers yet. I noticed on their FB pages that they both “liked” a jewelry store yesterday in the town she lives in. I guess that’s a sign that they intend to get married. So he can go from a 26 year relationship and life spent with me, to running straight into marriage with her? How? How is a person able to just do that, without any guilt or remorse? No sadness on his part..just the twinkly sparkly love they are experiencing in their own little heaven on earth. My guess is that she gave him an ultimatem..if you want me, you commit to me right now and get rid of the wife. And he was more than willing to jump into what looks to be an upcoming marriage to her? And this proves to me that she is nothing but a selfish bitch whore, who doesn’t give one thought to what he’s done to us, as long as SHE gets him and all of his wonderful traits..Mr. Hero, swooping in for 3 years paying her bills, buying her gifts, romancing the pants off her (literally). And he doesn’t care what he did! I think that’s one of the things that hurts me the most..the fact that he doesn’t care what he did to me and the kids, as long as he can have his soulmate and love of his life. My shattered heart means nothing to him, after all these years. Since he’s been down in Oklahoma with the bitch whore, he hasn’t called our 12 year old daughter ONCE this week. Yet he claims that he loves the kids, and will always be there for them. Oh really? Looks like his only focus is on the OW and their bright and shiny life together. Ladies..(and gents)..I do not know how I will get past this pain. It is with me every second of the day and night. And to see them flaunt their love all over Facebook without a care in the world about the kids and I literally made me throw up yesterday. I just don’t know how I can get through this! You all know this searing pain, and how it eats you up. He never even gave me a chance..he never even considered being with me instead of her. There is no waffling back and forth between her and I, she is the one, not me. I’m nothing to him!

              • You will come to know you are lucky you are not the one he’s choosing and you are lucky you won’t have to go through the trying to reconcile. He is disordered, that’s how he can do what he does. Keep reading up on the articles Chumplady has about that. It will appear “his dreams are coming true” but two liars will never be able to trust each other. I felt physically sick too when I found out about the betrayal. I also had no choice in what “they” decided was going to happen. It is a powerless position that they put you in. Still, you need to find your power. The best way to do that is to try to stop finding out what they are up to. Block their FB profiles. It only causes more pain. Think about yourself and what you can do at this point to watch out for your own interests, take care of your kids and start thinking about the concrete steps you will need to take to move forward on your own.

      • Wow. Ranking your loved ones. Your ex is a cold-blooded sociopath.

        Also, I think the basement is the natural environment for the cheater who has been called on his/her shit. After my cheating ex wife left town with her affair partner, they moved into his parents’ basement for several months.

        I can’t begin to imagine the emotional hell and overwhelming hopelessness a parent must feel when an adult son in his mid-30s moves into your basement with his much older affair-partner-turned-new-wife, sharing the basement with your two grandchildren every other weekend. #totalparentalfailure

      • My ex said the OW was perfect too. Of course, after being romantically interested in her and kissing her only about two weeks (mine also said they had not had sex) before he left me for her, I guess she did seem pretty perfect. I sure would be curious to know if she still is as perfect to him! 🙂

        • You know, I’m just reflecting on something from my own experience here.

          When I caught my ex having his affair with his 19 year old (he was 52 at the time), he said, “I was going to dump her anyway. I wasn’t interested anymore.”

          In reality, what I later found out is that she was getting back together with her much younger, really hot-bodied boyfriend.

          So him dumping her was his story to himself to make himself feel less rejected and shitty.

          I enjoyed discovering that.

    • Hahahaha…brilliant, PF! Every single one of ex’s sidepieces were from work or my social circle. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Lazy is right.

      • Yeah….cheaters are lazy. Soulmate expeditions that come within ten feet from their office desk or inner circle. It’s as though there’s a cheater handbook called “soul mates for dummies”.

        • Yep. Final OW was a few feet away. They got off on no one in the office knowing while they texted each other and messaged on FB and via email. So exciting! Little did she know that he was also texting and messaging with others at the same time! Well, she knows now but doesn’t want to believe it. Hahahaha…silly girl.

    • The OW posted pictures of her and my husband on Facebook, describing him as the man of her dreams. Funny, no mention of his wife and three kids, even though she was fully aware he was married well before they started canoodling.

  • Kate,

    Same story – different address. My ex told me ONLY after I’d caught him and forced the affair (also 4 years, BTW) with another teacher into the open that his involvement with her was “destiny.” What pissed me off most about that comment was I always used to tell anyone who would listen that his love with me was “destiny”…he’d taken my own words and applied it to his phys-ed whore. Keep in mind this is the same man who said (in the beginning) that he loved me, that I was his family and that he would always love and care for me and that he appreciated all I’d given him but his future was with her. But that if he were Mormon, he’d have kept us both (Oh boy – I’d have been kept as a sister-wife!) He also said he didn’t think he was a man who could ever be happy with just one woman over a lifetime (that one was later on as what remained of our communication started to unravel. )

    He’s a low life cheater – no more, no less. You will drive yourself INSANE (I know I did and occasionally still do) imagining that he has found BLISS with the OW and you were not so special to him after all. But it’s all for show, really.

    I just found out recently that my ex – now engaged – is planning a hugely expensive destination wedding/ honeymoon for them. I was – I’ll admit – very angry and jealous that he would plan such an exotic and huge outlay of cash for 10 days when I couldn’t get him even consider Hawaii on our 25th anniversary. But then it hit me – this is the guy who is just wrapped up Chapter 7 bankruptcy – has no property, no collateral, and has to give me a big chunk of his income forever. Think about that – he’s planning this extravagant trip and he’s bankrupt? Then who’s paying over $1k a night for this? She is. And that made me realize that karma does work. She’s paying the bills, indebting herself more, and he’s getting to play Richard Branson on an island in the Caribbean.

    When you look at the actual facts – you feel better. You will too as long as you quit thinking that you “weren’t enough” or “not the one” and that he has found bliss with her. He never will find bliss. He will ride her as long as it suits, and unless she outlives him, eventually one or the other will default back to their actual character and cheat. The old saying “once a cheater, always a cheater” is true. They don’t change. It’s only a matter of time.

    But don’t waste yours waiting for it to happen. Live your life – you are worth a million and there are people who will see that. Most of all – YOU need to see it. You are way better than what he offered. You deserved much more than him.

    • Char, thank you!!! You just summed up my story. This:

      “Think about that – he’s planning this extravagant trip and he’s bankrupt? Then who’s paying over $1k a night for this? She is. And that made me realize that karma does work. She’s paying the bills, indebting herself more, and he’s getting to play Richard Branson on an island in the Caribbean”

      My ex forced the sale of our home, refuses to pay for our kids’ activities, meanwhile going on multiple trips, planning an expensive wedding of his own, bought a new car, brand new house etc. etc. I get sooooo angry thinking of his ‘happy’ life while I struggle to make ends meet and live in my parent’s basement with my little girls. But reading what you wrote made perfect sense to me…SHE’S footing the bill (as he’s too broke for it to be any other way). I love this!!!! Thanks for the reminder!

      • Char and SoHC…the OW footing the bill. Odds are that’s going to be a point of contention for the “Happy Couple” in the future. At some point it’s going to cause a blowup. SoHC, I am so sorry you’re stuck in your parent’s basement. Living with parents again as an adult usually sucks.

        • Thanks Kat. It only sucks in terms of feeling like a failure (not being able to take care of my girls on my own at this point). My parents are great and really supportive, so that part is ok.

  • Oh yes… been there. Believed the whole “fate” thing, how they met on Facebook and one thing automatically led to another, true love even before the physical acts. And how he was torn all this time between me, his family and his now eternal flame for her. During the whole – false – reconciliation I ate up all these excuses, how he was sucked into this. She understood him, she nééded him (terrible husband of course, but couldn’t leave, because of their children). Our MC even confirmed this notion of him being deeply in love, impossible to think straight – hah, he was thinking straight all right, just not with his head!

    And then, little by little I started using my mind. Found out she was not his first “indiscretion”. Understood – thanks to this site! – that he was not sorry at all, until I found out. He was not torn by guilt and remorse. He was enjoying having the upper hand, international man of mystery, having loads of cake and feasting on it. For all these years he never even mentioned anything wrong in our marriage, never gave me a clue he was unhappy – because… he wasn’t! And any doubt would threaten the cake supply.

    She was/is a cheater just like him. But I admit, sometimes I think: maybe they will hang on to each other, just to prove their love. To show it was all worth it. And maybe they are better for another? All I know, he was not the one for *me*. Someone who can lie without a blink, steal from me, cheat on the precious time with our children… he doesn’t deserve me. Maybe he deserves her en she him, there will be a time when I’m beyond caring.

    Oh, I asked him just after Dday: have you ever even had a difference of opinion or a quarrel with her? He started saying yes, but ended in an anecdote of how she had damaged her car and how they should make up a story to dupe her husband. Guess I should have been there… :-S

    One thing I know for sure, these star crossed love birds will have a hell of a time setting up their love nest on two broken families, 4 hurt children and choosing the country they will live in will be the first test for them (we’re separated for almost a year now and no, they are still not together, not even in the same country).

  • Simply this from CL’s pick-me-dance post. The best and truest thing I’ve read here or anywhere:

    “The game is rigged. There is no winning bid. The cheater just wants the competition to go on indefinitely.”

    Yes. There is no winning bid, not for the spouse or the OW/OM. Cheating is their goal. Not a means to and end.

    • Oh yes, they really want the competition. My ex, more than two years later and more than a year of low to NC, still tries to suck me in and get me to engage, even if it’s for an argument. He hasn’t quite gotten it through his thick head that I don’t play that game anymore. But it’s getting there and that means he’s most likely back to his old tricks and will cheat sooner rather than later (if he hasn’t already). I wish I cared more than the little bit I do because this is going to prove to the kids, once and for all, that their dad is a douche.

      • See, maybe I’m lucky there.

        In addition to being a narcissist, mine seems to really be a big sex addict, and the girls have to be both as skanky as possible and at least 30 years younger than him, in order for him to be able to get it up.

        I don’t think he will ever come crawling back saying he wants me.

        He knows I’m on to him and we’re completely out of ego kibbles in JustSaying-land… permanently.

        So now he’s just anxious to get me out of his life ASAP. But he’s stuck with me IN THE SAME HOUSE until settlement.

        At first that was really hard, and he wouldn’t budge. He’s in the main bedroom, I’m in the pokey little bedroom. But I have stood my ground, and he’s starting to spend more and more time away from the house. Which suits me just fine! I’ve got the house and no idiot to make me want to vomit when I see him!

  • Kate,

    Big hugs to you. BTDT. Chumpdom sucks donkey balls.

    My cheating ex-wife was a lot like your cheating husband. While in counseling for one of her affairs, she disclosed an ongoing “emotional affair” with a married man who lived 2,000 miles away and she claimed she’d never met. Only knew from the Internet, she said. It was a pure attraction. They had a special bond.


    You know what’s coming, don’t you? I later discovered she’d lied about her travel and had flown to meet him and also he’d secretly come to our town. After I threw her out, she convinced the moron affair partner (also a long-time cake eater) to leave his wife and two small kids and marry her. They pitch that “Soul Mate” shit all the time. Hard. To anyone who’ll listen. Family, friends, the cashier at the grocery store, the lady renewing licenses at the DMV. Anyone who will listen. They are *relentless.*

    Some believe it. Some don’t. And I honestly don’t know whether my ex is happier than she was with me. But I wouldn’t believe anything those liars say. What I do know? She traded a faithful husband who did everything he could for her for a cheater who spends a LOT of time living on the internet. I know her kids (now, five years later, grown) still love her but are creeped out by her new living arrangement. And almost incidentally, I know her standard of living is far lower than it was with me as a result of her new hubby’s enormous alimony and child support payments and her own lack of impulse control (she sold the house she got in the divorce for a song so she could pocket the money within a week and high-tail it outta town). Typical. And hardly the stuff of story-book happy endings.

    Your husband traded a good wife for a whore-y nitwit. You lost an abusive fuck-knuckle of a spouse in the process. You will grieve the loss of the life you thought you had, but you will end up in a much better place, as I did. And the best part? What you have next has a chance to be real. And real beats dishonest every time.

    • Well said Nomar! I heard the whole “emotional affair” line too. I was even told that he could never be attracted to someone that looked “like her”, once caught. Guess he’s not picky after all since he married the “whore-y nitwit”. Love that!

      • LOL at “like her.” I got similar. Those fictional assurances in false reconciliation are hilarious in hindsight when the cheater ends up marrying the affair partner.

        You need a scorecard to keep track. Were you lying when you had an affair and told him he was special? Were you lying when you told our marriage counselor, “He’s clearly not my type?” Were you lying when you married him and told the kids he’s your soul mate?

      • Very well said Nomar. I got told by my idiot ex when I had heard that the OW had left her husband (4 weeks before my ex left, I didn’t know my ex was having an affair with her at the time) that they had split up, he said no wonder, she’s hard work and you would just have to pay for spray tans and make up being with her… well I guess that what he is doing now.

  • For the disordered cheater, “soulmate” simply means the person who is likeliest to take them in, provide kibble and believe their lies. If you wise up and stop providing these things, then lo and behold! the AP is suddenly their “true love soulmate.” Remember that a pathological liar is speaking the words, so they mean nothing. The disordered do not feel love, they are merely black holes of pathological need.

    I am sorry for the pain you are going through. It is a horrible experience. But CL is right. Your husband is lying, he is NOT a good person, and the OW is certainly no shining light of decency herself. I felt EXACTLY like you for a really long time, until it finally occurred to me that I am a MUCH better person than someone who lies, cheats, manipulates and hires a babysitter to watch her kids so she can fuck a married man in the backseat of his car.

      • To a serial cheater, I love you=I like the way you make ME feel. And that will continue as long as you don’t expect anything from me, call me on my bullshit or say no to any of my sexual needs no matter how degrading. So ditto what Patty said.

  • Ditto. Frankly, as I now tell my wise teen daughter who too has their number, they ARE two peas in a pod and they indeed SHOULD be together….forever or until next month….whichever their cheating, narc, selfish, childish ways compel.

    They DO deserve each other. YES, they are the ONES for each other. Let fate play out. I cannot think of two people who are better matched.

    Meanwhile, I’m outta there and well on my way to building a lovely, well lived life.

  • “You’ve got the same run-of-the-mill idiot cheater we all got — a weak, selfish, manipulative jerk. He’s not a special case.”
    Thanks CL

    And I thought mine WAS special…. after all, they were only ‘consoling’ each other after her husband died.


    • Oh, the more times you read these same stories they tell, the more it sticks.

      Gets easier and easier to see that the pattern is always the same.

      They are not special. They are not anything, except selfish, cheating assholes!

  • “Because if he’s a Good Man whose only crime is his heart wanted someone else, then you won’t feel like a chump. Like you were played by a character disordered asshole” THIS…all day long!!! This quote I think has helped me more than anything i’ve read here and this site has saved me a thousand times over! No one deserves to be left in the fashion that we were left. I have struggled with this. My now ex – we had 20 good years, until he decided he was done. We started out very young. I struggled with the fact that take all the affair stuff away, that the OW and my EX were actually very compatible. But then add all the affair stuff back in and he is a master manipulator and liar and she, while I know was duped in the beginning, clearly after months of no divorce updates chose to stay with someone clearly not divorcing. If he truly loved her and it was meant to be in any way, then he did not have to choose the most humiliating, disrespecful and damaging route to end the marriage (she broke it off with him so they’re not togeter that I can tell but I still struggle with the idea that they are) but he did, because he did not have the balls to leave the right way.

    • “I struggled with the fact that take all the affair stuff away, that the OW and my EX were actually very compatible. But then add all the affair stuff back in and he is a master manipulator and liar and she, while I know was duped in the beginning, clearly after months of no divorce updates chose to stay with someone clearly not divorcing”

      YES! Thank you, that’s the key. If it were fate, true deep love, something overwhelming and true, they would have been straight and honest from the start. They would have felt sorry, to break up a marriage, hurt people, children perhaps, but would have been moving forward to build a true and public relationship.

      Though it would have hurt, deeply, I would be much better of than now, questioning my sanity, history, ability to date and trust ever again.

      • Here’s what affair true love looks like. Mine came begging for forgiveness after a year. I said no and he went straight home to the OW. Wonder if he told her about his short visit? Everyone now, one guess allowed. No cheating (pun intended).

  • I SO wish I could attach pictures here. You would NOT believe it if you saw how Fugly the OW is!!! My 75 year old aunt gasped (loudly!!) in utter disbelief when she saw her picture. Then I would attach my picture too. I’m not even trying to be a snob but gawd almighty. You all would just die if you saw us side by side.

    My XH told me I was his second wife when we got married but I was really his FIFTH! I just don’t get Skank Woman thinking she got a good deal. But the truth, they both got jobs at Yale and bought a house on the ocean because FOR SURE this time it is the REAL DEAL!
    I really struggled with this too. As in, ‘How the hell is she BETTER than me??’ And how they are both so in love (don’t know if I believe this). He called me the other day wanting ‘phone sex’ from me. Ha! He just paid off my appliances so I hookered up. Haha~

    I just want to know WHAT kind of woman goes after a married man and breaks up marriages? For the fun of it? Because she can? And what does she think she get’s when she gets someone’s lying, cheating husband? I just can’t wrap my head around that one.

    • Giovanna please don’t give in to your ex’s requests for phone sex! CL has a great article about this somewhere, but the gist is that even though it might feel good to be screwing over the OW (pun intended) and prove that they are obviously not in love and he still wants you, it all comes down to the fact that you are giving him what he wants and he’s getting away with it. Let him cheat on her with someone else (cause you know he will). Don’t allow yourself to stay in the mix, because then you’re not able to move on. And no amount of appliances or anything else is worth it. The truth is that anyone who knowingly becomes an OW is a desperate, pathetic loser with no self-respect and who can’t get anyone better than a lying, cheating, married scumbag. Leave those two POSs to their karma.

    • I think some women like the sense of power they get from breaking up a marriage, like, wow, this man is SO attracted to me, SO in love with me, that he is willing to leave his wife and kids for ME! It’s a big ego boost to them.

      • Yes, that’s a VERY big part of it for the woman, especially if she’s younger.

        My ex’s little Girl Friday OW burrowed herself into the business finances (just helping out!) and practically did the divorce for the poor sausage. I can recognize when words are put in his mouth — he never was very original.

        Nothing like thinking you’re smarter and more savvy with your high school diploma than a woman with a graduate degree. Got news for her………

    • They don’t know the real man they’re dealing with. She’s a shiny distraction from real life at home where there are bills to pay, dirty dishes to wash and kids with runny noses to wipe.

      She gets all his good moods and charm…. while his family gets his anger and resentment because he can’t run around like a single guy …. because he just isn’t a single guy. He’ll pretend to be when it suits him though.

      It’s all make believe and “magical”. She doesn’t pick up his dirty socks or scrub the skid marks out of his shorts or pay the bills at home. In their little world, they are free of such distractions so it’s all fun fun fun!

    • Final OW in my case is usually referred to as ‘plain’, and that’s people being kind. I’ve seen her and wow, I was pretty shocked. Then again, the majority of his sidepieces aren’t much to look at. I may be middle aged but I’m a good middle aged and I can objectively say that I was damned cute in my younger years.

      It’s not about looks or anything else. People have been like ‘huh?’ when seeing OW or a picture of her, not realising it’s more about the smoke she was blowing up his ass while playing the ‘I feel so badly about all this’ card. The rest were just there to get laid, so I guess they were respectable whores of a sort, but this one played to win. Why? She’s got her own fucked up family dynamics that played into it. Yep, you guessed it: Daddy issues. Now the young lady has the middle aged guy she ‘won’ from his family. And now she also has a serial cheater who was cheating on me with her and numerous other women right up until the day I found out. And he’s still in touch with quite a few of them, if not outright fucking them. ha! I win!

  • Kate –
    I felt the same way you did (and sometimes I still do). So many other comments mirror how I felt/feel about this. I too heard the “all of a sudden” we were destined/we’ve been in love for the last 20 years/it was God’s will (yeah, I bet God loves two married people with young kids breaking His commandments)/we’ve had feelings our entire marriage… all hard to grasp/hear/believe. I got the “we only kissed” too until my girlfriend hit me in the head w/ reality and said just what CL said – ADULTS DON’T JUST KISS. I remember feeling sick at that because, well, um, I believed him.

    Our marriage was, sadly, not in a good state. I had asked him off/on the last few years if we were going to work on our marriage. I had some suspicions off/on the last couple of years. I finally confronted him a few MONTHS before he left to ask if he was cheating on me. His answer? NO OF COURSE NOT. I AM FLATTERED YOU WOULD THINK THAT OF ME. (Now I ask WTF kind of answer was that and that I should have hammered him on that, but…). It wasn’t until MONTHS later when I kept on his back that finally he and his Howorker were destined to be/soulmates/etc. Yet when it could have been at least a LITTLE less awful to end our marriage EARLIER, why not tell me they were soulmates then? So I think CL is right on on many points. (I just have to remember to listen to your advice myself! 🙂 ).

    Funny about the “compatibility” with the OW – when I asked my x2b about her his reply was “she reminds me a lot of you” (and talking to her ex, yeah, we are similar in a number of ways). But hey, she’s more laid back than I am. Yes, because she hasn’t lived with my passive aggressive narcissistic x2b! (Although she is VERY passive also as she and her husband never argued (per her ex), so she and my x2b may get along well – but perhaps cheat behind the spouses back because she doesn’t engage in ANY “disagreement” (the perfect stepford wife!).

    • Oh, well, if she’s more passive that’s perfect.

      These narcs love a good doormat.

      My ex’s mother is the biggest doormat ever. And she trained me well.

      When mine was in angry, resentful moods, she trained me to let it roll off me.

      Thanks, so much, you stupid doormat enabler of a narcissistic son!

      Anyway, yeah, they like passive. Passive is more likely to do the Pick Me dance much harder, and let them eat cake much much longer before getting up the nerve to call their bluff… if ever!

  • When my STBX called me at work to tell me that he was in love with someone else, he kept saying “I didn’t mean for this to happen, it just well…happened.”

    Right, of course not. Cupid just came down from the sky with his little arrows and struck you both in the back.

    Kate, their relationship will not last. I guarantee it. My STBX’s hot n’ heavy relationship lasted for one month. 30 days. He threw away 14 years with me, to be with a married woman with 3 young kids for 30 days. He claims he didn’t have sex with her either, but uh, yeah right. Don’t believe that for a second.

    But the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if they do skip off into the sunset together or not, the fact is your husband sucks, as does mine and all the other cheaters we talk about here.

    He sucks. You don’t.

    • I got the same thing. I’m sure a ton of us here did. When he said I didn’t mean for this to happen, I said really, you just accidentally did this, that , whatnot – and how is it that I never accidentally did any of those things. So you have feelings for someone else. OK! Then make sure that leaving the marriage is a) the right thing to do and b) do it as respectfully as possible. IT’s going to be hard no matter what but thanks a lot for heaping the extra bullshit on top of an already sad situation. Had my ex just left, I would have been devistated absolutely, but I wouldn’t have been obliterated, I know I could have made my way back to friendship because we truly were great friends for so long. But because he is weak and lacked the balls to just get out – he’s destroyed a good workign relationship for the sake of his son. I will be civil when dealing on child matters but he truly doesnt’ get that once I move out (alrady in process but will finally be sleeping in my own place next week) that it will be no contact. I told him no more “is the bacon still good” types of questions. …….and guess what I got on Sunday? Is the coffee still good…..He is in for a RUDE awakening when i’m finally out for good. I did everything.

      • yep, I got something along the lines of ‘I didn’t mean for this to happen’ but that disappeared when I uncovered the myriad other affairs. I also got tht is was ‘only a kiss’…until my one phone conversation with final OW, who admitted it was much, much more. Oh well, now she knows all his sneaking around tricks so he’ll have to either think up new ones or else she’ll just turn a blind eye.

        • Yeah, I had the classic situation where he would only admit to things once I had found them out.

          “I’ve always kept it offshore, I’ve never had a girlfriend here in (our hometown).” Until I found out that he had been meeting girls at hotels in our hometown as far back as 2004!

          I was getting things like, “It’s midlife crisis! I can’t remember things like I used to and it’s really hard on me feeling old and forgetful.” Oh… I guess you FORGOT about the photos you took of the hookers you were screwing in Thailand back in 2002? Would that be right? And stupidly left sitting on a hard disk on your desk at home. Smart move, idiot!

          Seriously, it is NEVER a MISTAKE. It is planned, premeditated, orchestrated, and only admitted to when they get caught. Even when they get caught, they will try and feel you out to find out HOW MUCH you know about what they’ve been up to and only admit to exactly as much as they think you know.

          But it’s good to dig and find out, because this is how you learn how insincere and what lying bastards they are!

      • LOL, when my divorce was finally FINAL my ex emailed saying COBRA had charged him for a month when he sent me money could he have it back. I responded “I am no longer responsible for you, your bills or your bullshit, ask COBRA for the money back, I’m giving you nothing”. He emailed back that I was petty, I emailed him that he was violating the PO. Done. All I ever was to my ex was someone to be his fucking mother.

        • Oh yeah, I was a replacement for his mother too… and actually a carer for his 80 year old mother, when she broke her ankle and he thought it was still OK to go off and fuck his whores in Thailand.

          Nice guy. Cared for nobody but himself.

  • Oh, yes the “awesome” other woman. She’s everything I’m not! Yup… like loyal, caring, compassionate…

    They are both pathetic a-holes. He’s a cheater cake-eater…. and she, the soul mate (barf), is a little skanky, moldy old piece of cake. Soul mate, indeed. Have at it and congratulations on finding each other.


  • Oops…..I accidentally put my email address where my name should have went. Chump Lady can you remove this please?

    And yest Sunshine you are completely right on all points and I wouldn’t have probably went along with it fakingly (is this a word? ha!) had he not been 3000 miles from me so there was no way nothing was really going to happen. I used to burn with hatred for both him and the OW but coming around to MEH quite well.

  • Kate,
    Hugs to you. It wil take time to get over that feeling… I still have them almost 2 yrs post DDay.

    I often feel the same way here at CL, as my ex was not the serial cheater, only sorta.

    I was told basically the marriage was over, he was unsure about working on it (23 yrs together, 18 married, two kids ).
    Then, 2 months later… He loves this woman I have never heard of, stopping socializing with her, but cannot deny his feelings, etc. Really, you can “love” someone you’ve had little contact with? BS.

    There’s more but i will spare everyome the details. Basically I was made to feel awful about myself. As for the OW, she is VERY similar to me in height, stature, educational experience, professional interests… She is just 12 years _younger_ than me.
    But, you know what, she was a cheater, too!
    They do not feel love.. It is lust at this point.
    They spent a year commuting since they lived in different states, and the first time they lived together for more than two weeks (that I am aware of), they were married, she had given birth to their “love child,” they were unemployed, and they lived with her parents.
    Now they moved overseas for employment, and my ex abandoned his children.

    Really, the odds for long on that relationship, given the cheating and the lack of personal responsibility (marriage was long over, etc).

    I do not believe there is such thing as “true love” or it was meant to be. That’s for folks who believe in fairy tales and do not understand the true meaning of love.
    The OW is not special.

    You deserve better.

    Jedi hugs.

  • Going to have to agree with both CL and everyone else. Your husband says you’re not special? Well, no, strictly speaking you aren’t. But guess what? NEITHER IS HE. NEITHER IS THE OW.

    You don’t want to be The One for someone like him. He’s no better than the rest of the morally bankrupt cheaters out there. He’s just trying to make you think It’s Bigger Than The Both of Them so he doesn’t have to face the reality that he’s done something truly selfish and mean to you. That he is, in fact, a narcissist asshole.

    Don’t internalize that. It may sound painful to hear that you’re not special, but that’s the key here: You’re not special so therefore this is NOT your responsibility nor is it your fault. This is how he is. This is how HE is.

    It also means that OW is not the magical Disney Princess dream he makes her out to be. Honey, he’s fucked her. Seriously. One magical kiss? Bullshit. That was probably a kiss on his cock, and not by the lips on her face. No one who begins 4-year relationship they throw away their marriage for with a single kiss and Skype-only. Stop believing that crap he’s feeding you. He wants you to think that this affair has been pure as the gold in the English crown jewels. No. I promise you that porn is cleaner than their relationship.

    The one thing that he HASN’T done with her is share reality. They haven’t been sick together. He hasn’t had to clean up her vomit when she gets a stomach virus. She hasn’t had to pick up his dirty laundry off the floor. She hasn’t had to deal with noxious farts coming from his ass after eating asparagus. They’ve never had to sit at home watching tv reruns because it’s shitty weather outside and neither wants to do anything. They have never had to deal with day-to-day mundaneness of LIFE. This is a fantastical relationship to them because IT IS a fantasy. It’s all the fun with none of the work. And that is literally not reality.

    And you need to be grounded in reality. Being grounded in reality is not a flaw. It’s being an adult. It’s being a mature adult. Fun is fun, but life is not fun 100% of the time and the ability to handle the balance between fun and life is what mature adults do. It’s what YOU should do. Accepting that life isn’t fun all the time is not a bad thing.

    Your husband and his Twu Wuv can’t handle reality, and that’s pathetic. It’s childish. It’s a goddamn Disney movie. Romantic Comedies could take a lesson. The minute that the flash and color wears off and REALITY sets in with these two, he will be off looking for his next Love That Was Meant To Be. He’ll abandon OW for her, and the cycle will repeat itself.

    Even if they stay together, who cares? Their relationship wasn’t born in honesty and open communication, and that will forever be a mark on it. Even if she really is meant for him, it doesn’t matter. Your marriage to him may be over, but you can honestly say to yourself that for you, it began genuinely. YOU were entering into a union with honest intentions and a relationship you could talk about plainly. Even if it’s “true love,” it’s not honest love. He can’t be honest about the beginnings of his relationship with her because he would have to risk ruining his good guy image. He CAN’T talk plainly about it.

    You’re a good woman Kate. Rid yourself of him.

  • This post could not have come at a better time for me. I’ve been really struggling with the OW being “the one” lately. My kids just returned from another sparkly and dazzling weekend with them, where they are spoiled rotten. Ex and OW have been to Asia, Hawaii and Europe on vacation in the last six months. My daughter informed me that they are looking to buy a home and are shopping for a convertible as well (she’s only 6).

    He is paying is paying me more than half his income right now for spousal and child support. I can only guess then, that she is footing the bill for their lavish lifestyle. Ex was very financially irresponsible throughout our marriage. As soon as I would get us on good financial footing, he would charge up a couple of credit cards behind my back. He’s a dishonest piece of shit and I can only imagine that OW will get sick of footing the bill someday.

    It’s still hard though, especially when he dumped all the responsibilities of the house and kids on me. I struggle so much and they seem to always be having a great time. I can’t wait to get to “meh”.

    • It seems so unfair that they get to ride off into the sunset together, attempt to buy the kids’ love, and go gallavanting all over the world together while you get to worry about a house payment and day to day child-rearing. Man, I struggle to maintain a household by myself while he and his little mistress moved in together immediately. They got her a new(er) car, took little trips, etc. and it seemed so unfair…. But I also knew I wasn’t going to go shack up with some dude just to make rent. Maybe she was willing to share her income so they could live a pretty life together…. but that gets old. There’s nothing the OW hates more than watching “her” man write that check every month. What’s he going to do when he comes to terms with finding out that he’s at her mercy? When she decides he’s old and boring and wants her own side dish, he’ll have to eat that shit sandwich or give up their good life. Karma’s a bitch sometimes!

    • When exH left, I was an at home mom with a 2 and 5 year old. The first year, our weekly grocery budget was $30 (I could only find a PT job). I heard through friends that he was driving a new Mercedes SUV, and had bought the OW an $80K car…with cash. That was hard. Telling a 5 year old that you can’t afford a box of popsicles was heart-breaking.

      Fast forward 5 years – he owes over $90K in child support, and claims to be indigent. I got several promotions (one TO THE DOLLAR the amount of child support he was supposed to pay – one of many miracles) and now can take good care of myself and the children. He owes everyone money – the IRS, us, several banks…and may yet lose his professional license for non-payment of support. IT WILL CATCH UP TO HIM/THEM. It may take awhile – maybe an entire lifetime. But it will. And by the time it does, you will have reached “meh” and not even care much, except to shake your head and sigh. And it will be worth it 🙂

  • Kate:

    No, it is not fate and no, they are not soulmates. In my case he was already living with OW (I did not know she had been at the time) and still contacting me and “missing me” and “will you show me your bits on the internet”, etc. She was the ONE but then he realised she was batshit crazy.

    Now with the most recent OW – he said he had fallen in love with her to which I replied “bullsh*t” needless to say a short while after, she was no longer the ONE, but also crazy and that I was the one that he couldn’t live with.

    Better get used to it!

    • Forgot to say, I did feel like you feel with that first OW (actually, she was the third, keep miss-counting), like she was the one and I wasn’t, and I was really suffering from it.

  • Agreed that the cliches are just mind-boggling. In STBX’s case, OW is a former staffer. Really, that water cooler must be THE place to meet the One and Only!

    Anyway, Kate, here’s the deal. Of course they fucked. A kiss? That’s it in four years? I bet that the travel plans included some half-way point meetings. You’d be surprised at how very little time is needed. They don’t call them quickies for nothing, you know.

    But that’s not really the point. I know if feels like the point, but whether they had sex, how much, when–none of that really matters.

    What really matters is that your husband truly is delusional. He buys into the fantasy. The fantasy is that they were Fated to be Lovers, but Fate drove them apart, and now Fate is driving them together again. They can’t help themselves!


    He has to say this to himself because almost anything else shifts the blame from Fate to his own choices. This means that he has to face the fact that he’s a Bad Man, a Liar, a Cheat, and that he married you while crossing his fingers behind his back.

    Trust that he sucks.

    In the meantime, you are reeling from shock. Get into some therapy with someone who is used to dealing with emotional abuse, because that’s what infidelity really is all about. Next, find a good lawyer, since you need one to protect you and your child. Third, talk to a divorce financial planner.

    Best of luck to you!

    • “Agreed that the cliches are just mind-boggling.”

      Oh! Oh! [raising hand insistently] I want to play the cheater cliché game!

      Excerpts from one of my cheating ex-wife’s affair partners to her the day after I found out about their “emotional affair” and emailed him asking him to leave my wife alone while we tried to heal our marriage (now 5 years post divorce):

      Again, this is True-Love Cheater writing to True-Love Cheater:

      “You are my alpha and my omega. You are my earth, my sky, my sun and my moon. With every fiber in my body, I love you . . . . My soul, my joy, is withering on the vine and I fear it will die without you . . . . When we met, you brought forth poetry where once there was only the shallow words of business. . . . I’m ready to put all my cards on the table. Cast my lot to the winds. I need to know for all eternity if our love was true or an illusion. I need to know. . . . Will you marry me?”

      You’d have thought she was having an affair with a seventh grader with a C average in English instead of a 35-year-old married father of two. These people are truly morons.

      • “You are my alpha and omega.” Really? Wow. I think the greek letter he was looking for was Delta. You are my low point.


      • I got about as far as “moon.” Couldn’t finish it. I knew the rest was going to be drivel. Ugh…I think I just puked up last night’s dinner and this morning’s breakfast.

        What IS it with these fucks?

      • I saw the “breasts like pomegranates” and “our love existed before time.” All this shows how deep and intellectual he must be, right? Oh, and he promised to write her a love letter per week. About a week later, she asks where her letter was. LOL! I no longer look. The computer switched over, but even though he has less security on his notebook, I no longer need validation that he sucks. 😉

        • Too bad about the love-letters-that-never-were. I’m sure the world has been deprived of great literature there. These morons aren’t very good at maintaining the over-heated romance, are they?

          After my ex-wife moved her affair partner into our former family home, she spent the better part of two years fuming at him to GIVE HER A DAMN RING. Which he didn’t do because he sat on his butt and stayed married to Wife No. 1 while I laughed my ass off. One Christmas, when she expected the ring to finally arrive, his gift to her instead was [drum roll please] a new copy of Windows OS for her computer. Because nothing says Soulmate Love like an operating system that “manages multiple open programs, documents, and browser windows easily with thumbnail and full-screen previews of open windows.” Too bad, so sad.

          Not very meh of me to chuckle at such things five years out. But it’s what I do instead of rage.

          • That’s so perfect. ROTFLMAO (and I don’t use that abbr. hardly ever).

            Sometimes getting what they think they want IS the karma!

            • “Sometimes getting what they think they want IS the karma!”

              MOST of the time getting what they think they want IS the karma.

              In my ex’s case, I think he just liked the excitement of having skanky sex with skanky girls at my expense. And now that he’s not “putting one over” on me, it’s no fun anymore.

              I’m in the house, and he’s rarely here anymore. I suspect that he is probably holed up in some hotel, paying some young girl in shoes or plastic surgery to come and shine his knob.

              As a friend suggested to me, now that he’s actually staying the whole night in the hotel, the girl probably isn’t very happy. She probably liked it better when she could get rid of his fat ass early and have her boyfriend over to the hotel after he was gone, so that she could have good sex with someone with a young, nice body, instead of some fat, old, desperate sex addict getting his disgusting fat smell all over her.

              I’m not making this up. I found e-mails on my ex’s computer early in the piece, where her boyfriend was begging her to come back to him, and she told him that she couldn’t because she needed a new car and labiaplasty surgery and laser hair removal and money for other expenses, and she was getting that from this old guy (my ex). She was really sorry she couldn’t be with him and his hot body, but she needed to keep entertaining her sugardaddy until she got what she wanted him to pay for.

              I wish I’d been a fly on the wall when my ex found that e-mail of hers. Imagine how he felt. He SO deserved it!

        • Hahaha. Supposedly chocolate gives you “in love” feelings too. It’s too bad cheaters can’t get fat off of that kind of talk. I’m sorry KB and Nomar. What shits.

      • That’s some heady shit. Oh! The Meaning of Life has been revealed to me!

        You can’t fight endorphins and natural opiates with Dr. Harvey! If I had to do it over again, I think I’d drag his ass out into the cow pasture and force feed him some magic mushrooms or give him some ecstasy or acid and leave him there for a day. If after that he can’t realize that the affair is all in his head, well, I saved myself all the time and energy that I truly did waste dealing with this business.

      • Nord,

        “. . . why would I want anything ‘good’ between us? I simply want nothing between us. He’s a dolt.”

        You crack me up!!!!

  • OMG!! I got the “we talked for 15 minutes, about you mostly(riggghttt) and then kissed one time and it was only 5 seconds, then he told her he wasn’t interested in her, after the kiss” (riigghhhtt) when they met after work, supposedly in a parking lot in a car, I couldn’t find the phone calls between the 2 of them, after 5 pm as he claimed, when they supposedly met in a parking lot, in certain month (January) I found many other calls between them at different hours, days months etc with their cell phones, so I tricked the married ho-worker and asked her about something, making her think the text was from him(long story) and she answered my question, one word “May” , soooooo I checked the calls for month of May. I found calls made to him after 5. Incoming call to his cell then he called that number back in 2 minutes and stayed on the phone for 2 minutes. His excuse/lie was he saw that she called and he called her back to say he wasn’t coming (riighhhttt) but she convinced him, he couldn’t see where she was parked (in January), then he asked “where are you?” so she said “you are looking right at me”, then he saw her, he parked and she got in his car.

    Here is the catch however, the phone number she called from and the one he called back is a landline, it turned out to be her land line house number and her hubby was out of town, her mom taking care of her boys…so much for their meeting at a parking lot, and one kiss… unless her dirt driveway at her house is considered a parking lot….

    • forgot to add, one kiss in 3 1/2 years..and I am the queen of England. The OW, the married ho-worker is still married happily with her husband, her husband have no idea. My scumbag cheating ex still looking for his next steady chump, I know now this OW wasn’t the only one and the pile of dog shit still claims that “I am his one true love” and he will always love me…whatever…

      • Sounds like the OW’s husband needs a little information, eh nicolette? I know I would always appreciate someone telling me if my partner is cheating. He’s a chump too, he deserves to know the truth …

        • KarenE,
          I just posted that question earlier, because of how much time passed, this is what I wrote;
          What should I do? My ex’s first OW/ho-worker is still happily married to her husband, after screwing my ex for over 3 years, including in their marital bed. But here is the thing, the last time they had sex, as far as I know was in March 2008 and we are in 2014. They have 2 boys and so much time passed by and I found about them 4 years ago along with others, while I was digging for more answers and being gaslighted by my asshole ex I didn’t say anything to anyone. One of my friends said let it go, since their fuckfest ended in 2008. The others, except one, was married too, it seems he was picking married women so they would keep his secret. I wish someone told me about everything (his family knew and covered for him) so I wouldn’t have wasted so many years on this loser but I still am not sure, if I should or not because they have kids and I heard the guy is a very hard working man so he can provide for his family, while this whore was complaining about her husband in every way, every day. I am so conflicted about this…

          • I would have wanted to know, wouldn’t you? No-one told me, I lost many precious years caring for someone who clearly was not worth it.

            That being said, I also waited until after (false) reconciliation to contact her husband, I was far too afraid of what chaos and fallout I would generate. That was a wrong call, I know now, but I was so intent on saving my marriage then…

            You might give missing information for a spouse that feels something is off. Or maybe he thinks you’re nuts and doesn’t believe you. But it’s the right thing to do, give him a choice.

  • “Yes, she sounds really special. Kay Jewelers should make a diamond heart pendant for the sort of special occasion that says, “I like to fuck you, and fuck with your head, but I prefer to do it from the comfort of my marriage.” She must really know how cherished she is.”

    I really want us to brainstorm designs for this pendant. I’m picturing a cubic zirconia-studded penis passing through a sterling silver heart loop, and then penetrating the ear of a head profile made of lead.

    • Oo! I can see the commercial now! The two Twu Wuv birds are in the OW’s house in the middle of a rainstorm and she flees into his armpit at the sound of thunder, and he presents her with the penis-pendant as he comforts her like a Knight In Shining Armor.

      (Anyone remember the dumbass jewelry commercial where this actually happened? I don’t even remember what jeweler it was for, but the woman gasped and hid her face in the man’s armpit at the sound of thunder. Shit you not.)

  • This sounds so familiar. 1 1/2 yrs ago my H reconnected with an old girlfriend on facebook and “it was bigger than both of them” Asked for a divorce but never got around to doing anything about it. Mostly an EA ( I really only think they saw each other about 4 times and after that nothing for a year up to today) but daily texting, some sexting. Very Sophmoric. I was ready to leave 2x but bigger stuff intervened but I sit here in 2014 ready to go. However the OW has dumped him ( got tired of waiting I guess) and now he is crying and carrying on everytime I say divorce. It is really quite sad and funny at the same time. But I tell you I wish I had listened to CL when she told me to dump his ass a year ago. Would have been so much easier.

    • Janet, get rid of the cheating asshole! otherwise you will blame yourself more down the road when you discover he has another side dish fuck! Mine cried like a bitch on his knees and said how sorry he was for everything and he never meant for any of this, he couldn’t live without me, he was dead inside and many other bullshit. All along he had more skanks he was cheating on me with, while declaring his undying love and how he wanted spend his life with me and grow old with me. He is such an asshole, he said he wanted to go get some flowers for me on valentines, as soon as he was out of the house he was calling some other skank on the phone. When questioned he claimed he thought that was his brothers number, his brothers number is on his contact list, not this number and when he calls his mom or him, he always scrolls down on his contact list then calls them, never puts the number manually, then he claimed he had no idea who’s number it was and he called the same number 4 days later, the one he had no idea who’s number that is, I went and got hold of cell phone logs, he has been calling this number for 2 years right after his other ho-worker quit and he never had this number in his contacts, and he still claimed he doesn’t know who’s number it belong to another OW and it was prepaid, and got disconnected within a week. All his skanks are/were homely and plain and he makes my skin crawl now when I think about all the times he touched me, after fucking these whores! His tears are fake!! don’t fall for it!!

  • I used to wonder this. I still wonder this from time to time. It is intuitive. The fact is he was duping her while he was duping me and everyone else, so she just bought the bullshit special.

    That may be the sole reason she is “The One.” She is willing to buy it hook, line, and sinker.

    Maybe they’ll make it. Maybe they won’t. It has nothing to do with you. He cannot admire her and respect her because he is utterly incapable of it. He could not even offer that to you, his wife.

    • “It has nothing to do with you. He cannot admire her and respect her because he is utterly incapable of it. He could not even offer that to you, his wife.” Dr, thanks for this today. I do believe it. But I need this antidote. While I am doing much better, at times I start to slip and obsess about my ex’s EA. He the cheater/louse/bum; she the widowed “good friend”. I said well , she’s such a good friend I’d love to meet her and make her a turkey sandwich–funny he never did set that up. I hold passionate Sicilian hate for her. She contributed to the blowup of a marriage. I hope she rots in hell. Maybe Orange is the New Black, but I’d rather not find out first hand. Here’s hoping the karma express comes soon and takes care of bizness.

  • 10 months in limbo and my cheater said to me: “You’re just afraid that me and my whore are really the 5% who make it.”

    Then why the hell did you MOVE BACK HOME? And furthermore, WHY DID I LET YOU?

    GO! Go be with your one true love! Why the f*ck do they make us throw their asses out? That’s what he wanted. To be thrown out. He fucks around and then wants the drama of his shit on the curb in bags. This… this I do not understand. Of course I’m not quite sure why I insist upon being “left.” I guess I figure, he LEFT ALREADY when he started screwing her, why can’t he go all the way?

    Oh yeah. Cake.

    • I let mine back in my house 6 months after shit hit the fan, felt bad for the asshole because he had no where to go and all his promises (lies). Not even ten days later he moved in, he was calling some other skank on valentines day while pretending to go get me flowers. It took me a while to get him out of my house and no 3rd time. I am so glad I don’t have to deal with his shit anymore! disgusting swine!!

    • Trying To Trust- He may be a Drama Queen. My X LOVES it when people are talking about what he’s up to, he’s the center of attention, and all eyes are on him! Oooooh, his life is so tragic and dramatic! Women are fighting! Neighbors are gossiping!
      It’s really disgusting, but some cheaters get their ego boost that way, so try not to get sucked into the game.

  • That was the thing that made me the craziest. One time I drove by their darling condo, stuccoed with red tiles, and I got sick and had a panic attack. I never did that again. I would obsess how this fugly woman got my husband. Honest to Dog, she is the homeliest woman I’ve ever seen and Fat to boot! When my daughter saw her picture she asked if it made me feel any worse that I got left for such a mutt. My daughter thought it would be horrible to be left for someone so ugly. People just shake their head because it makes no sense.

    This is the variety of serial cheater my XH was. He was madly in love until he wasn’t. Then he leaves his woman (whatever one he’s with at that moment) within 24 hours and moves in with the new one. It’s not a long term sneaking behind your back affair. From what I could tell from his emails (he forgot I had the password) they started playing footsie’s in December (we had just renewed our wedding vows in September as his insistence) and by February they were ‘Madly in Love’ and they ran off together. Hell, she didn’t know what kind of socks he wore when they took off. Oh, he mumbled some stupid cheater shit about how it was an accident that it happened. Oh yeah right. He walked into her office and tripped and his dick fell in her.

    But you know what? They appear to be doing fantastic and that does bug me. They both got jobs at Yale and bought a house on the ocean. It pisses me off that it’s been 6 years and I ain’t seen no karma bus show up in their driveway. Although he just left this past November to move out there. They hadn’t lived together in almost 3 years. I hope he still gets shit house drunk and passes out and the only thing you can see when he’s slumped over in his chair is his bald spot. Ha! And I certainly hope he’s still the guy who turns into a complete asshat when he’s drinking.

    I felt like such a stooge. First I put up with him but he was very good to me in other ways. (Before he cheated) Then I took care of him when he was ‘dying’ of cancer. Then he recovers and INSISTS we ‘renew our vows.’ Five months later I catch him in a motel room fucking Skank. I know what’s in a murderer’s heart now. It’s terrible that another human being can do THAT MUCH damage to another one. One that supposedly you loved so much you married her twice. Gawd, it was all so humiliating!

  • That’s another question I’d like to ask, does anyone know the percentage of cheater’s that make it?? I read in a post above 5%. Sounds about right but I don’t know.

    My XH’s father left his wife and had an affair with his secretary who was also married. This was back in the early 70’s. He was about 20 years older than her but they stayed together for 30 years and it seemed to work. His first wife, my x’s mom, died a few years later when she was 51. I know that the new wife ended up changing diapers (I was there) and when he was on his death bed all he could do was cry out for his first wife. (I was there for that too) It was strange. She had to get ‘counseling’ afterwards. Thirty years for the Karma Bus to show? Whew. I won’t even care by then.
    I want to see it in my life time.

    • Gio, I’ve read somewhere it was 1%. Honestly, do you really want to be the OW in that 1%? The problem with statistics is that it measures if they stayed together, but it doesn’t indicate if they’re happy together. So really the 1% “success” rate simply means that they have successfully lived under the same roof. I do that quite well with my Kitchenaid mixer.

      • Thanks UniqueLyme.
        No I would never want to be the OW period. I steer clear of married men and I’ve have my share hit on me. Like I would do to a woman what Skank Woman did to me?!!

        That’s funny that you are living happily with your Kitchenaid mixer. I’m living happily with my books and treadmill in peace. I don’t have to try and keep a drunk company on a bar stool anymore.

        But, I do hope they are torturing the shit out of each other. I don’t know how she ‘trusts’ him. I was his fifth wife (I didn’t know that when we married, told me I was his second) Come to find out he cheated on them all. She knows this because I told her. On another of CL’s posts, Dr. George Simon, says it’s not they don’t see, they just don’t agree. I hope so bad that XH finds a new OW soon and blasts the old one to the moon. Maybe then she’ll see how wicked her ways are.

        I ran into OW’s exhusband and asked why she went after married men and he told me that she was absolutely desperate for a man because she thought she was too old to get a man. So it didn’t matter if they were married. SHE ‘WON’ A MAN!!

      • I have read this statistic many times too and think, well, I am already in the minority (since hardly any men leave their wives for the OW. As a matter of fact “only 10% or less of men actually leave there wives for the OW” – wish I had this much “luck” in other areas!). So to know that the odds of them staying together are as low as 1%-5% but they are beating the odds so far makes me cringe.

        I guess, unfortunately, now my x (he was my x2b earlier today!) will be in that 1%-5%. Just found out my divorce was FINAL YESTERDAY after a little over a two year separation since D day. Found out last week they are buying their property/a house (were closing right after our settlement hearing), and they are supposed to be getting married now that both couples are divorced.

        So this posts are so relevant. I am definitely not to meh. I hope I will be some day. I thought I would be more upset signing my divorce papers last week. I wasn’t as upset as I thought (especially since he was being a real pr!ck during our settlement conference and almost called off the proceedings over a freaking ladder and I wouldn’t let him come back and do a walk thru through our house! Two + years later???). But I was upset seeing “divorce granted” on the civil court website today (and will probably be a little upset when I actually GET the papers in the mail). I was also upset about them buying the house. So many mixed emotions.

        (Of course as a number of you have said…. he gets to be happy, he gets to be in a relationship, he gets to be free of all responsibilities, I have the task of singlehandedly (because he moved an hour away) of taking care of the house and our three children whom he rarely sees…. I still struggle with this because like many of you I wanted to “fix” what was wrong or at least have him be with someone other than HER and when I read that statistic long ago I thought oh good, maybe the odds will be in my favor at least they won’t work out and stay together (the 1%). Well, they are still together after living together for over two years. To know I will have to see them together at our children’s events forever now (when he comes -she parades him at her children’s events already) is something I am afraid I will never get to meh over. 🙁

        I just have to remember: Listen to Chump Lady and know that THEY BOTH suck. Easier said than done though.

          • AllaLie, it’s only been two years. The story isn’t over yet. In the meantime, focus on yourself and your children. Please be good to yourself. Once you do that, you will only attract people who will treat you well. You won’t put up with any crap. And them lo and behold, you will reach meh and whether they stay together or not is irrelevant. What will matter then is you got rid of a cheater. Your cheater ex and his cheater wife will always wonder who will cheat first.

          • I am also in that club — ex husband left me for the other woman and they are still together 15 years later, with a small child. The truth is, I really do think she WAS the one for him. He certainly wasn’t the one for me. I can honestly say that him leaving was the biggest favor he ever did for me — I moved on to a life I love, with friends, work, a good husband, a lovely child. I do believe in fate, to a degree, but I always come around to this: Everything is going according to plan, just maybe not your plan.

            Have courage. Wonderful things are possible.

            • Persephone, a good friend’s ex left her for someone else 15 years ago to marry his OW. They had kids together and she seemed to be the one. Last month he left his wife (the original OW) and we recently found out he’s now deciding between 2 OWs! His wife is devastated and my friend can’t wipe the smirk off her face.

              • It took a while, Persephone, but it did. My friend (she has a child with the cheater) does know that marriage has not been easy.

                Glad – the best part? The original OW turned into wife called my friend after her DDay and asked her, “How could he do this to me?” My friend promptly reminded her she did the exact same thing to her 15 years ago. My friend had so much fun with that conversation. They are civil because their kids are half siblings. My friend never ever thought the karma bus would come. It did; it’s speed was just a bit slower than my friend hoped. By the way, my friend has been happily remarried for over a decade now to a really good man.

          • Mine is in that supposed “1%” as well. They were together 2-3 years during 18 year marriage, and now 3 years out from DDay, they are engaged. And she’s 20 years younger. Same thing. House, travel, sparkly.
            I think that 1% is off.

            • Another 1%er here – and I don’t mean financially! 2 year divorce anniversary today – 70 day divorce – ex filed within a month of saying he wanted a divorce. He and whore have been married for at least 6 months now.

    • My bio father was a big cheater. He left my mom back in the early 70s, moved in with one of his OW. They did get married and remained so until he died 16 years ago. My bio father actually told my mom that it wasn’t that he especially loved the OW, but she “gave him his space” and made no emotional demands on him. She was a very cold woman, and he was emotionally stunted, so I guess they were a good pair. Whether or not they were faithful to each other, or even particularly happy together, I could not say, but I tend to doubt it.

      My guess is that a fair percentage of marriages that begin as affairs do survive, but who knows whether they are happy or solid marriages.

      • Actually the stats I’ve seen say that 80% of marriages that began as affairs fail, usually fairly quickly. YAY for the karma bus!

        And even if the ex-AP relationship does last, they got a lying cheat off your hands, and into theirs. We have to thank them for that.

  • Kate,

    She’s the one, alright. One of the many more to come. This is not true love – this is more like, “dysfunction, meet my dysfunction.” This appears to be true love on the surface because your husband is feeling the highs of feeling completed by this woman when the issues are really within him. Whenever we seek wholeness from the outside, it’s bound to fail. I know that for sure after being co-dependent for over two decades. It is a lot easier to feel better by dumping that responsibility on another person. They are still in the “in love” stage because they have not spent sufficient time together. Watch this blow up once they live together. They are “the one” for each other until they’re not.

    Like you, I initially thought my ex found true love with the third OW. They moved in together after knowing each other for three months (red flags much?), my ex introduced her to his family before I even filed for divorce and within a year, my ex came begging for forgiveness. I calmly and firmly told him never to step foot in my house again. He’s still with the OW and I’m not surprised. What is he supposed to do? Leave her … and what? I suspect he will leave her when he finds a replacement and that will be the predictable pattern for the rest of his life. The best part? I am not part of the equation.

    I know this is painful, Kate, but please remove yourself from the drama, stop believing the lies about true love (yeah, based on lies and deception – way to start a relationship) and take care of yourself and your child. Only the two of you matter now. Your husband will self-destruct on his own. He doesn’t need your help to do that. The guy is simply another name on the long list of cheaters. Different name, different height, different color hair, etc, but still your run of the mill cheater. There is nothing special about his lack of character. Character – you either have it or you don’t. No gray areas on this one.

  • After I left, he moved his soul mate in immediately… after denying up and down that there was “nothing between them”…. yeah. Sure. Haha. Well, he was also sneaking around with our daughter’s best friend’s mom…. so, I reached out to her. I apologized for having ever been cold or standoffish to her, because I had a gut feeling my ex was cheating on me and I had assumed (wrongly lmao) it was with her. I realize now that couldn’t be the case, since he was living with miss thang. So sorry…..

    She was livid!!(on my behalf, of course)

  • “Yes, she sounds really special. Kay Jewelers should make a diamond heart pendant for the sort of special occasion that says, “I like to fuck you, and fuck with your head, but I prefer to do it from the comfort of my marriage.” She must really know how cherished she is.”



    my ex told me he never had sex with the OW, then he gave me an STD. Don’t have sex with your husband. Think about the depth of the lies he told you for all these years to carry on an affair and you will realize that all he’s doing now is damage control. Maybe like my ex, he wants you to be his mama while he keeps fucking around with this other woman.

    my ex dragged me to marriage counseling and swore the OW was a “friend” who helped him with our marriage…he said that. At the same time he was telling his brother that he was “in love with two women”. In the end he told me the truth, he wanted to live with me and be taken care of and still have his “friend”. According to him I was “evil” because I wouldn’t go along with this plan. What I see in your letter is that the OW was ready to marry your husband so he went the pity party route with you. Pity me cos she is the one…or maybe your husband isn’t very bright and when busted that was his best hand.

    The whole “the one”, “soul mate”, “destiny” thing? Yeah, that’s how your husband talks to the OW to hook her, that’s how the OW talks to herself to justify fucking around with a married man. That’s how they both justify hurting you and your kids. “It was meant to be and we are powerless against it”. That’s what your husband is feeding the OW now to get her back on the train. You know why, right? Because you found out what he was doing and he is afraid you are jumping off the train. He has to get someone to fill the empty hole that is him.

    Jump off the train Kate. He’s not special, I thought my “poor” ex (17 years together) was having serious mental health issues above and beyond what he’d already had. I was wrong, he was just upping the gaslighting, lying, bullshit ante because he knew I was a chump. He used my love to hurt me, and he did hurt me, to the bone. He could have broken it off clean but he didn’t give a shit about me, my pain couldn’t touch his entitlement to his pleasure. Don’t buy the bullshit. Cut it off, cauterize the wound – it will hurt a lot less to do it now then to let it fester.

    But you want to know how to come to terms with the idea that your husband didn’t actually love you and now he has found his soul mate/love of his life. How do you do that? I think we all have dealt with that part just as you are doing now. There is no secret sauce. It really doesn’t matter if your husband found his dream woman or if he just stopped loving you, or, if he never loved you. You are dealing with the fact he doesn’t love you now. Stop giving your love and caring to him and direct it at yourself, do what is best for you. Don’t try to figure him out. Jedi Hugs are definitely in order – Jedi hugs Kate.

  • Kate,

    Honestly, so what if the OW is “the one”? You’re still better than her! Doesn’t justify anything that he did to hurt you. You deserve better than what your STBXH has done to you. What matters is that he’s going to be out of your life soon and you will do better than him, whatever that entails (and hopefully have a nice laugh when his relationship with “the one” blows up in his face).

  • Kate, the media is conditioning us to believe that the ever prevalent yet phony “God ordained,” “soul-mate,” “lightning strike,” “authentic” love rightfully trumps all. Every time I see a movie, hear a celebrity or politician spout this nonsense, read a magazine article, or a book, where infidelity is glamorized as the norm, a given, an unfortunate but acceptable happenstance, I want to puke! It becomes Post Traumatic Stress for the betrayed. I worry that marriage like everything else in our society is becoming disposable, with terrible consequence for our kids and grandkids. But all we can do is carry on, dump the POS and Trust that they suck. It is a leap of faith, but knowing others have made it through the sewage and come out smelling all the sweeter, gives me hope of my success.

  • Kate,

    I think it’s been said better than I can say but trust that this OW isn’t all that and a bag of chips. Seriously, who REALLY wants to be with a cheater? I think you have to have a shit load of spackle to make that workable, or be desperate.

    My STBX is a cash cow to his latest piece. She’s young with small kids and in her world, he’s a ticket off the street and away from Mom’s basement. In a perfect world she’d probably pass too. But she gets the job of spackle tossing cause I quit that shit. Maybe her kids each get their own room now but everything has a price-tag. She’ll find out in time. And so will yours Kate.

    She isn’t better than you. She can live with a cheater. You can’t. How does that make her better in any possible way? Hold yourself high. You deserve better. You ARE better. Trust it.

  • Amen, thensome!

    It has taken a while, but in the end, I think we will get to ‘Meh’ when we don’t feel the loss.

    What did I lose? A disordered douchebag who put his dick above his kid’s emotional welfare, a stone-drag liability.

    Kate, it may not feel it, but you are already soooooo much better off. Who gives a rat’s arse if she is the ‘one’. One what? One in (I predict) a long line of abused partners.

    • Oh! if only I did needle point or some such…

      “What did I lose? A disordered douchebag who put his dick above his kid’s emotional welfare, a stone-drag liability.” would look lovely in some kind of crafty-thing.

      I bet they’d sell like hotcakes at the fall fair too–there are so many disordered douchebags out there, lots of people must need them. Maybe a license-plate campaign. If we can have “save the animals”, why not “save the chumps” ?

  • You got it Mephista.

    The further I get away from my cheater, the happier I am. I have bad days but overall I’m healthier than I have been in years.

    Today I’ve had a good laugh (not at you Kate…this HURTS and it SUCKS) at the ridiculousness of cheaters. I just shake my head. I cannot for the life of me understand how these folks think and I’m glad I can’t!

      • I got the “one kiss” excuse too! The understatement of the year as it turns out.
        Is there a handbook for these assclowns that we don’t know about?

        • it must be and now the gig is up they need a new handbook. Don’t you just love it, when they give you that sob story then say, “it was just one kiss” that was it and nothing else happened and they expect you to believe that shit?. Yep it was just one kiss, that day, then she was kissing his willie until the next time. YEP YEP that was it, just one kiss per day..

          • My ex said the same thing, it’s a matter of admitting the least they can, and since you bought the rest of the bullshit they figure you will buy the “one kiss” crap too.

      • The disordered NEVER admit to the whole story. They only admit to what they think you already know, or are about to find out. They minimize to make themselves sound better, and to fuck with you a little bit. That’s why it is so typical to hear stories here about escalating admissions:
        She’s just a friend
        Well, I only kissed her once
        Well, we only slept together once
        Yeah, it was really a weekend
        We’ve been seeing each other for months
        She’s my soulmate

        Whatever a disordered person says, you can be sure there is much, much more to the story and it is way worse than you imagine. That’s why it’s so important to just WALK AWAY from these sick fucks as soon as possible.

        • Datdamwuf and GladIt’sOver,

          your both right, I finally came to grips with that, it took me a long time to get it, but I finally got it and I WALKED AWAY. My only and BIGGEST regret is not walking away any sooner, loosing sleep, being gaslighted like you never seen, the pain and wasting years on this asshole and it makes me sooooo angry! His family knew all about it, they all knew and they covered for him!! but they were telling me what a great/good guy he is etc etc. and it turns out this asshole has never been faithful to any woman he has ever been with, not one!! and he gave me the sob story of how his ex-wife cheated on him blah blah and it was him who was doing the cheating during their marriage. When none of his stories added up, I told him I was going to give him a lie test, you know what he did? He went online to find, how to pass a lie test, idiot used my computer, even though he tried to delete the search but I had a program on it so that’s how I knew. When I asked him “why would you search and try to find how to pass a lie test if you got nothing to hide and you are telling the truth?’ His answer “because I am not good at taking tests and I didn’t want to fail” yep talk about a mind fuck! I never got the she is my soulmate thing, I got the, she is a crazy, lying, stalking whore who wouldn’t leave me alone and in her crazy mind she thought we had something. Now that’s priceless!! He claimed I am his one and only, soul mate, one true love, he loves me, always have and always will. He fucked up and he will never do it again, he said he will go to counseling to better himself for me and to be honest in every way from now on, while he was still doing what he wanted too and just got sneakier. Now I look back and just shake my head, how he was messing with my head with his gaslighting and what a truly fucked up in the head, POS that he really is! One thing I have to add, going complete NC was the best! I wish I did the NC from day one, but live and learn right?

      • Yup, mine said the “one kiss” thing too, except it was on her forehead! So, I guess my ass hat is morally superior to your ass hat!

        • echo, mine said at first it was just a quick peck standing, then it was a “one kiss, just 5 seconds” in his car! my next question should’ve been, which lips?

          wow on her “forehead”?!? imagine that!! yep, I guess he is morally superior fucktard!

          • and my ex said in his exact words “after that one kiss I ignored her, I NEVER talked to her, other than what you know, when did I talk to her? I don’t remember talking to her at all!” its funny how he forgot, that they “always” took their work breaks together, everyday, for 3 1/2 years and were “very good friends”. He doesn’t remember, but everyone else worked there did.

  • All very wise words here Kate and I hope they make you feel better. I can’t believe how much better I feel discovering this site a month ago. It must have been the right time.

    My daughter adopted two little orphan girls from China and they adored their ‘Papa.’ I thought he adored them back. It hurt me so badly that he hurt them. They had already been abandoned once. It all felt so unforgivable at the time.

    He called me Sunday because we had some business to finish up. It’s the first time I’ve talked to him since he left in November. His voice sounded weary and tired. Of course he’s not going to tell me that his life sucks. He moved to an area with a qerbillion people with horrendous winters and took a $40k job cut to do it. All to be with the OW. And she’s so ugly she’d make a train take a dirt road. The insanity of it is sinking in and I realize what a goofy fucker he really is. I think I’ll go do a jig now that she has him and I don’t.
    Hooray for our side!!

  • “And it seems as though they might legitimately be in love.”

    Honey, I know you are looking for answers but there is NOTHING legitimate about an affair. You will be okay when you finally wash that spackle from your eyes. It hurts like a bitch but one day soon you will get to sit back with a big bag of meh and a nice cold glass of unicorn antidote and watch the whole situation implode. In the meantime, be kind to yourself and trust that he (and the married whore) suck!

  • I knew something was up for about two months before I caught him. I just had a hinky feeling. They were little things but shit wasn’t making sense. All of a sudden he didn’t care if I did things with my grown daughter or with my friends. He was controlling of my time with them at one time. Now he didn’t care! I could go to lunch with my friends and then a little shopping and he wasn’t even upset for once. It was so cool. Come to find out it was so he could be meeting his skank at the Econo Lodge to fuck.

    Enough silly little things that when I started connecting the dots it made sense. The night I caught him red handed…something powerful and compelling told me to check on him. Somehow I just KNEW he was up to something and yes he was!

    But he insisted they hadn’t had sex yet! Swore on his dead mother’s grave!! He was just ‘confused’…oh so confused! A good guy buddy of mine told me at the time that was the biggest load of bullshit ever. He said when guys say they are ‘confused’ that means they fucked her. I didn’t want to believe him at first I was so broken hearted. But wow oh wow~~he was right. They’d fucked a bunch of times before I caught them. I figured it out over time.

    The mystery trips to a bigger city down the highway from this town. Once he told he was going in there to get me a Valentine gift. He had seen something in a kiosk at the mall over Christmas and it was the coolest thing ever and he knew I’d love it so he was going to go try to find it again. On Valentine’s day I got a gift certificate for a massage at a place a mile down the road from my house. When I asked about the mystery gift in the city he said ‘he couldn’t find it again.’ That’s because he was fucking her at the Econo Lodge.

    How in the world does a real person use their spouse’s love and good nature against them?

    Sometimes you don’t even have to trust that they suck. You know they suck.

    Yeah my X told me that ‘they hadn’t had sex YET’…..he was just ‘confused.’

  • Do you know, this is the bit I really struggle with. I know so many people who’ve had affairs. They aren’t serial cheaters, but they’ve had “exit” affairs. They appear to be decent people, with good jobs, community minded, nice kids etc. Most of them don’t appear to be narcissists or character disordered.

    I know that having an affair is wrong. I know this because it was how I was brought up and my ex-H had one (and is a narcissist and is mean about paying his share for the children & has generally been a thorn in my side).

    So, I often wonder if these other people are just pretending to be nice & if I met my ex-H, I’d think “oh, he seems a decent person, he just had an exit affair” or if all the people I think seem ok, who I know had exit affairs are really pieces of work?

    So my question is, if you fall in love with someone else outside of your marriage (which let’s face it does happen, even though it shouldn’t) is it somehow better to leave first & then hook up with who you fell in love with, or do you have the exit affair? For the person who is leaving, is the pain any less? I often think If my ex-H had turned around and said he didn’t love me anymore and was leaving, would it have been more damaging? At least by him having an affair I was able to console myself with the fact he was a piece of shit.


    • I think you can come across as a decent person but still be a piece of shit! Isn’t that part of a narcissist’s personality? Its all a facade. I thought my ex was a great person who had been in a lousy marriage previously – he left his first wife when his daughter was six months old. I met him two years later and believed everything he said – bad marriage etc. Well, eight years on, he left me when I was 36 weeks pregnant for the new “love of his life”. Hold on, I thought that was me? Well apparently not anymore! Anyway, I know he is a piece of shit. If others don’t realise it, that’s their problem.

    • I also struggle with this. My husbands exit affair happened after we made a big move into a dream house that we had saved for for 15 years and hunted for for six. before that we were living in a one bedroom apartment that we owned in our multifamily in a borderline ghetto with murders and break ins weekly. This move became like Moby Dick, just couldn’t make it happen and I was the stay at home mom doing all the research and looking and I was on the brink of maddness as to why “we” just coulnt find a place or arrange our ample resources to make it happen sooner. I used to openly kid with neighbors that I think I was a ghost and just didn’t know it, that’s why I could never leave. Well in 2011 the house in the town finally came up and it couldn’t be argued with, no excuses, offer made and accepted. Three months later he is messing around with a married serial cheater out int the opened on my sons school play ground. When I k ew in my gut and the fighting started he did all the usual gas lighting, including claiming that nothing happened until I kicked him out. So he’s spinning it as an exit emotion affair that becMe something more after he left his crazy wife. The town we moved to is a little hipster enclave and my ex is a successful illustrator so people here who are mostly no talent struggling artists think he’s just grand. His skank is besties with the local gay power couple who owns the biggest park front house in town. She is an uneduated gold digger that could never afford to keep up with her pals. Now she can on the business that I broke my back establishing and managing for neRly 20 years. I couldn’t buy it out be ause I was a stay at home mom with no income. FML. Anyway, I only have two people in my life who get it, everyone else, including people I’m friendly with, don’t care About what happened to my family. Society doesn’t care either. These two are now a celebrAted power couple. People try to be around them, insteD of being repulsed. I’m barely able to deal with it, now he has hijacked all my kids birthday and holiday activities sand has left me marginalized in their lives while skank plays Susie Home maker in the five bedroom house he bought for her and her three kids after our divorce was finalized. The pain is exquisite, the isolation is lead heavy. And yes, people that I admired, some have admitted to premarital affairs with other married people. It’s disappointing, I’m no religious zealot, but it does seem that truly common decentcy has be construed as somehow pedestrian and silly. I feel like Pollyanna in a porno.

    • Nobody falls in love at one glance. It doesn’t happen. So let us not forget that there are steps – and you have to choose to let yourself take those steps.

      You find someone attractive, physically, intellectually, personally. (You can choose to stay far away from them, or keep meeting up with them. If you really value your marriage and the attraction is strong, find excuses to get off the shared project at work, get a different job if you absolutely cannot avoid them, and always, always be very professional, business-like, even a bit cold. Let them think you don’t like them much.)

      You develop a full-blown crush. (You can choose to avoid them. At this point you MUST tell your partner about the crush, and discuss how to protect your relationship from it.)

      You become emotionally close. (Can’t do this without talking, texting, e-mailing. You can choose not to talk to them about ANYTHING personal, and to stay away from them.)

      You let your mutual physical attraction show. (Really?? That’s what you’re doing when you’re supposedly in a committed relationship? Really? YOU have greased that slipperly slope well. Now it’s getting too late. Not yet too late to TELL YOUR PARTNER what’s happening and work TOGETHER to protect your relationship, though. That’s a CHOICE.)

      How do I know these things? Because I’m in my mid-50s, been married twice, spent 10 years single in between. I was cute and fun and had a very high libido (pre-menopause – who knew that a drop in libido could be one of the BENEFITS of menopause!). I had MANY opportunities to be unfaithful, and MANY to be the other woman. I stumbled a couple of times in my early twenties, then figured things out.

      Monogamy takes effort, but if you value what monogamy can bring, that effort is totally worth it.

      And the idea that there is a ‘right’ person out there for us, and when we find them we should do whatever it takes to be with them (including lying, sneaking around, crushing the loyal spouse who has been loving us for years, destroying our children’s family etc etc)? GIVE ME A BREAK! We’re not fifteen years old! There are LOTS of people we can be attracted to, there are fewer we can build long-term relationships with, but there’s NO magic! Grow up! What is THAT relationship going to be like 5 or 10 years down the road? So much different from this one? Allow me to laugh!

      If your ex put EVERYTHING into making your relationship work, as you did, but was still really unhappy, then the honest thing to do when experiencing that attraction to someone else and CHOOSING to follow it, would be to end the relationship AT THAT POINT.

      Anything else is irresponsibility, cowardice, selfishness.

      And yes it would hurt to be left honestly, although you’d probably know by then that could happen (you know, they put a huge effort into making your relationship happy, but still weren’t!). But it would be a very different experience from figuring out that the person you cared for so much for so long was a piece of shit.

    • An excellent question and I don’t know. My ex had an exit affair. All was great up until the time it wasn’t. No serial cheater here or off behaviors. But if he had just left like I wished he had and then I found out he was dating someone, I think that would have almost hurt worse because he found someone so quickly. But what’s faster than finding someone while you’re still married you say? I think the difference is that you can see the other reasons that the affair happened – that he was a POS, weak, but had he left and then immediately started up with someone, I would have simply felt replaced. Sure I feel replaced now (although he and OW are not together now) but I can hang my hat on what a dissorded piece he is. It would have been harder to snap out of thinking it was all me, that I wasn’t worthwhile had he left then taken up with somenone. I probably make no sense and sound circular.

      • I don’t know, I’d take relationship failure over betrayal any day. Betrayal involves Violation and Abuse. It involves pulling the rug out from underneath your core values, belief in yourself and quite often your sexuality. Never mind that I think it also affects a person spiritually and the longer it goes on can be incredibly damaging in that respect. If my ex had left honestly I would have come out of that thinking it was his loss. My ex betraying me and cheating on me left me devastated, questioning myself and most definitely screwed. Cheating, even if it is “just” an exit affair takes away the spouse’s RIGHT to choose in the reality they’re investing in. It’s a ponzi scheme rather than an honest loss. Are there decent people who make really shitty mistakes? I don’t know, maybe if you’re 20. My narc ex looks like a decent person from the outside. Hell his BPD ex looks like a decent person from the outside. But what really makes them who they are is that the ends justify the means. That their ethics are completely situational. That’s the difference between my ex and I. And I think if you looked into a lot of these supposedly ok people who had affairs you’d find that they also have situational ethics.

  • And in answer to your question, yes surely it is better to try to make your marriage work and figure out why you might be looking elsewhere before embarking on an affair? I wish my ex had given some indication he was unhappy before I discovered his affair. Even if we hadn’t been able to fix things, I think it would have been a whole lot better than finding out that he was cheating while I was at home with severe morning sickness, looking after our toddler and working full time. And all the while telling me how much he loved me and couldn’t wait for our new baby. Like others have said, she only became the one he couldn’t live without when I discovered the affair – he said he didn’t know if or when he ever would have left otherwise. If you have a bad marriage, try to fix it. If that doesn’t work, then leave but don’t cheat!

    • Lisa, I think I agree with you. My ex-H also only finally left & “choose” the OW, because I kicked him out. There wasn’t anything wrong with our marriage, other than we had an SN toddler & tiny baby. So, I suppose that although it looks like an “exit” affair, it wasn’t really, it just looks like that because I kicked him out.

      I fear for society sometimes because of the number of people I know who have had or are having affairs – and I imagine that to some extent it is the tip of an iceberg, as I’m presuming a lot of people do try to keep it a secret.

      • Sounds like we have a lot in common English Lady. I am also an English lady and our kids must have been similar ages. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with our marriage and I don’t really think he did either. Ow offers him a life without full time childcare responsibilities and she is new and shiny. Wonder how long it will last!

        • ex-H is still with OW. They got married in 2007, and have 2 small children. I’m very “meh” about it these days, as D-Day was 11 years ago & we were divorced 9 years ago.

          I stopped wanting to be with him as soon as I found out he’d been with someone else, but I’d have stuck with the marriage if he’d made even half an attempt to meet me half way. I gave him a year to “do the right thing”.

          What frightens me is how acceptable the “exit affair” has become. People don’t seem to bat an eyelid. There is next to no condemnation, it has just become a part of every day life.

          • “There is next to no condemnation, it has just become a part of every day life.”

            “Condemnation”? Heck, I saw outright support for my cheating ex wife from purportedly good “Christian” women.


  • What An English Lady said. My xh left after a 38 year marriage and has been married to OW since 2007. They were colleagues for many years, and he lied his a** off at the time of the split. Three months later they bought a house together, and married two weeks after her divorce was final. And he said ‘it just happened after I left’. Whatever.

    My grown d’s now accept it all (including the $$ he gives them) and that’s that. I am somewhat meh most of the time, until I think about the trips, the homes, the tons of money, blah, blah, blah. No one cares about the family trashing anymore. And that makes me sad. I still struggle with that. The fact that the most important thing in my life, my intact family, meant so little to him. I do not miss him, but I miss his family when they have gatherings and after almost 40 years I am no longer included. And I miss my intact family at each and every holiday, and probably will forever.

  • I also struggle with this. My husbands exit affair happened after we made a big move into a dream house that we had saved for for 15 years and hunted for for six. before that we were living in a one bedroom apartment that we owned in our multifamily in a borderline ghetto with murders and break ins weekly. This move became like Moby Dick, just couldn’t make it happen and I was the stay at home mom doing all the research and looking and I was on the brink of maddness as to why “we” just coulnt find a place or arrange our ample resources to make it happen sooner. I used to openly kid with neighbors that I think I was a ghost and just didn’t know it, that’s why I could never leave. Well in 2011 the house in the town finally came up and it couldn’t be argued with, no excuses, offer made and accepted. Three months later he is messing around with a married serial cheater out int the opened on my sons school play ground. When I k ew in my gut and the fighting started he did all the usual gas lighting, including claiming that nothing happened until I kicked him out. So he’s spinning it as an exit emotion affair that becMe something more after he left his crazy wife. The town we moved to is a little hipster enclave and my ex is a successful illustrator so people here who are mostly no talent struggling artists think he’s just grand. His skank is besties with the local gay power couple who owns the biggest park front house in town. She is an uneduated gold digger that could never afford to keep up with her pals. Now she can on the business that I broke my back establishing and managing for neRly 20 years. I couldn’t buy it out be ause I was a stay at home mom with no income. FML. Anyway, I only have two people in my life who get it, everyone else, including people I’m friendly with, don’t care About what happened to my family. Society doesn’t care either. These two are now a celebrAted power couple. People try to be around them, insteD of being repulsed. I’m barely able to deal with it, now he has hijacked all my kids birthday and holiday activities sand has left me marginalized in their lives while skank plays Susie Home maker in the five bedroom house he bought for her and her three kids after our divorce was finalized. The pain is exquisite, the isolation is lead heavy. And yes, people that I admired, some have admitted to premarital affairs with other married people. It’s disappointing, I’m no religious zealot, but it does seem that truly common decentcy has be construed as somehow pedestrian and silly. I feel like Pollyanna in a porno.

  • Listen… the OW’s husband. My STBXH has been having an affair with this OW for five years! Five years of lying, cheating and manipulating me. Five years of spending money on her, helping her because he was her hero! He never once thought of what he would be doing to me and our two daughters if I finally had enough and pulled the plug (something I threatened many times but never did) until now.

    After I had the last discovery, while believing we were once again reconciling, I demanded a divorce and called OW’s husband! It wasn’t easy. My STBXH BEGGED me to take him back. Claimed he didn’t love her. Only ever loved me and couldn’t live without me. He left a year ago and is now shacked up with slut face. He is a broken man.

    The BEST part of this story is that I called OW’s husband and helped him with some closure in his life too. His wife had left him a year prior and was leading him to believe she would be coming home to him. Meanwhile she was playing “girlfriend” to my husband. He was totally unaware. We became friends, helping each other put the puzzle pieces together of what our lives became and what went on behind our backs. It was liberating to say the very least. We met for dinner. We talked on the phone many times. He asked me out on a formal date because we hit it off so well. We really like each other. THEY don’t come up in our conversations very much any more. We didn’t plan for this to happen and we don’t know where it will go but we both smile now!!!!

    I’m glad I called him. Not so I could meet him or date him but because he had the right to know. He was being chumped too. He was putting his life on hold until “she figured herself out” and he was helping her with money and asking her out for dinner. He was a chump! AND it totally sucks!

    • OMG Kimmy, now that’s a clutch!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Wow that’s absolutely delicious to hear something like that! You and the whore’s ex? Man this reminds me of Shania Twain, remember her assistant/friend were screwing her husband behind her back? Shania and OW’s ex husband got together and happily married. Wow, hopefully it will work out 🙂
      What should I do? My ex’s first OW/ho-worker is still happily married to her husband, after screwing my ex for over 3 years, including in their marital bed. But here is the thing, the last time they had sex, as far as I know was in March 2008 and we are in 2014. They have 2 boys and so much time passed by and I found about them 4 years ago along with others, while I was digging for more answers and being gaslighted by my asshole ex I didn’t say anything to anyone. One of my friends said let it go, since their fuckfest ended in 2008. The others, except one, was married too, it seems he was picking married women so they would keep his secret. I wish someone told me about everything (his family knew and covered for him) so I wouldn’t have wasted so many years on this loser but I still am not sure, if I should or not because they have kids and I heard the guy is a very hard working man so he can provide for his family, while this whore was complaining about her husband in every way, every day. I am conflicted about this…

      • I struggle with contacting the OW’s husband too, even though my Dday was this fall. I am not wanting to reconcile with my husband and plan on divorcing him, so it’s not like I am trying to rebuild anything with him. He has told me that there has been no contact since Dday (don’t really believe him), so should I care? Part of me hopes that she is always anxious when the phone rings or a unidentified letter arrives, not knowing if it could be me calling her out. The affair was for 4 years and I go back and forth about what to do. Do I want to make her life hell like mine has been the past 4 months? Do I give her any satisfaction that I am wasting any energy on her? Will her husband even care??? What if the OW becomes my kids’ step monster one day? Do I let it go or just keep it in my back pocket until the right time?? I have to admit, that I do like having some control, especially since I had no say to be in this fucked up life, that I am living!

        • Piper,
          at the time he so mind fucked me and with all the gaslighting, I didn’t know if I was coming or going and were in shock and so numb. I didn’t know what to do, I know this OW knew what I knew and she even had the nerve to call me one morning and said “whatever happened happened, its been years ago and I am not in the area so you have nothing to worry about” and hanged up on me. But when I text her and said I had the phone conversation recorded where they were covering each other asses and she admitted to one kissing only,(he let her on quickly as soon as she answered the phone that I was listening) then she said “its not like I go out looking for affairs” now no one said anything about an affair. (but they were) When she was following his lead with the cover ups/lies (and I found they were all lies)and she even asked if this conversation being recorded, my ex said no and when he asked “did we ever have had sex?” she giggled like a school girl and flirtatiously, her reply was very unconvincing noooooooo, just from the way they were talking, I knew right then it was more than just one kiss and more than just friends and when she found out there may be a recording of their conversation she completely panicked and I knew she contacted him at work, freaking out and changed their phone number. I know their address and I wish I wasn’t so stupid and I should’ve let her husband know about this right away. But since its so much time passed that’s where my dilemma comes from..I mean I have proof, I have phone records, how is she going to explain to her husband she was meeting some co-worker who worked on the other side of the building (not together) and she met him after work and kissing him. If I were you I would tell him, because its has been 4 months. In my case years, that’s why I am so conflicted. If I had to do all over again I would’ve contacted her husband right away. She screwed your husband and she cheated on her husband for 4 years. Its fresh so let him know. Boy how I wish someone told me when it was happening, so many years wasted…but again, what should I do since its been 6 years in my case?

          • n14,
            Would you send a letter with some info. and then say contact me if you want to know more or would you call? I think part of me is still in denial that this shit even happened or am I still trying to protect him in some sicko way?

            • oh don’t protect your POS, did he care about you? NOPE! close your ears to what he says and watch/look what he did and for 4 long years!

  • I think you should send couple of anonymous letters first, a week or two weeks apart and maybe some proof but not all, like copy of the phone logs or something. If he doesn’t believe, just say contact his wife (you) if you want to know more and watch his reaction. He may not call you back right away, but he will. My friend did that in her case and it worked like a charm. The reason I said couple of letters (not in your hand writing) she may get it before he does, this way a little insurance. 😉
    I may just do that also.

  • The betrayed spouse has a right to know what is going on. I wish I had talked to my STBXH’s OW’s spouse WAY sooner! Would have saved us both a lot of pain and heartache. I would have moved on much sooner knowing more details. As it turned out, OW’s husband was suspicious and sort of wondered what was going on behind his back even before his wife moved out on him. He asked if she was seeing someone and she lied of course. She continued to work for him and have access to his money and bank accounts. He is now trying to piece together his money issues and believes she may have been deceiving him in that area as well. So…..I think it extremely important that us betrayed spouses let the other betrayed spouse (if there is one) know about the affair. It is really tough being a chump! But once I stepped away from the crazy and now that my STBXH and I are separated I can see things A LOT clearer and I feel empowered to make my life happy and authentic.

    Send a letter, make the phone call, send up smoke signals……whatever it takes. Wouldn’t you want to know what is or was going on behind your back??!

  • Hey guys, the OP, Kate wrote to me to say:

    Hi Tracy,

    I just wanted to thank you for posting my letter and responding. When I sent it, I was only looking for your feedback (I make it a habit not to read the comments sections on the web because they’re so often full of batshit crazy people, so I admit I’ve never even taken a look at the comments section of your web site.) But when you mentioned the comments starting to roll in on the post, I of course started to read them and was overwhelmed. What a thoughtful, hilarious, amazing group of supportive people. I am so thankful for you and your following. THANK YOU!

    Since I sent you the letter, I’ve had further conversations with my husband and have come to re-realize that yes, you all are right; he is indeed an insane narcissist and a piece of lying shit who has been drinking his Kool-aid for way too long and somehow when I wrote this post I managed to find some of the Kool-aid and drink it myself. I don’t know how that happened. I think it happens to all of us. I forgive myself and hope that I can just stay strong and get the hell away from him before he manages to inflict further damage.

    Anyhow, your words and your site have helped me more than you will ever know. Thank you for all you have done for all of us out there going through this. I can’t imagine the number of people you have saved from additional and unnecessary pain, sorrow, and insanity.

    • I always took “OP” to mean “Other Person,” the gender-neutral term for either the “Other Woman” (and I use the term “woman” loosely, here) or “Other Man,” (again, loosely, only as a biological trait, not someone male of strong character.)

      Here, what does “OP” stand for?


  • I know this is a late comment, but I just wanted to add that I actually felt BETTER when I had the thought that maybe the OW was ‘the one’ and he would live happily ever after with her!

    I thought of this possibility about 2 months post DDay; maybe he’s right, maybe something about me or our relationship is why he’s acts like such a selfish, crabby idiot. Maybe w/this OW he’ll be happier, and a better person. Maybe he’ll be a better dad because he’s happier, and because I won’t be ‘interfering’ in his relationship with the kids! Maybe he’ll step up when he doesn’t have me there as the default parent, and treat the kids better, spend more time with them.

    And this possibility made me feel MUCH better about the 2nd affair and the end of our relationship. Because if that were true, then he wasn’t throwing away our relationship for nothing, for stupidity. He wasn’t throwing away his kids’ intact family for nothing, for stupidity. He wasn’t throwing away the life we had built together, which was finally getting easier after so many years working so hard, being broke, raising our kids while so busy, for nothing, for stupidity.

    But NOOOOOOOO, 6 months post DDay he was back to tell me how miserable he was, how the affair was ‘never meant to be a long-term relationship’, how he hadn’t thought at all at the time of the affair about what it would be like to end our relationship, to have to re-build our lives. How he really had never even thought about how he had been sabotaging our relationship for years, couldn’t understand why he’d done that. Now he wanted his wife back, his kids, his house and friends and good life!!!

    And of course he hadn’t stepped up and become a better father, or even continued to be the mediocre one he’d been before. He became a worse one after the separation, even more neglectful and uncaring about his kids.

    So it turns out that all that, everything he put us all through, really was for NOTHING. It was stupidity. The special stupidity built out of entitlement, selfishness, complete refusal to take responsibility for anything, basically emotional toddlerhood in a grown man.

    And I found that harder than thinking the OW might be ‘the one’. He threw away so many things I valued so much, for NOTHING.

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