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Dear Chump Lady, Maybe I was a bad wife?

muffintopDear Chump Lady,

What if I really was a “bad wife”?

I gained weight after we got married and even more after having children. Which, btw, he never sat me down to discuss my weight or the problem he had with it. I guess given the fact that society in general certainly approves of/accepts skinny/thin and disapproves of/rejects fat, I should have know better. Nonetheless, the “Fat Wife” card was the one he played after D-day.

From my perspective, things seemed to be really good between us right up until D-day, which was totally blind-siding at 17 years of marriage. (I thought) we enjoyed each other’s company, had deep love, care, and respect for each other, and I never doubted his faithfulness and commitment. Our sex lives had dwindled considerably over the years, but I foolishly didn’t think much of it given we were in the throes of the “difficult” years of him working hard at his job and my managing the household and raising 3 small children. All in all, I thought we had a wonderful life together. I was happy. I thought he felt the same.

After having children, I became very distracted with raising them and, thus, focused less on my soon-to-be-ex. He was no longer the center of my world, but rather had to share it with 1, 2, then 3 other people (one with special needs). I had no idea he had a problem with this, but, apparently he did.

Also, and, in hindsight, I think this was a biggie: I did not comply with his need to watch porn during sex. It made me uncomfortable for several reasons. My disinterest in porn was, unbeknownst to me, a fatal blow to our marriage. Again, he never said anything to me about his porn requirement. He just went on to have sex less frequently with me and more frequently with himself and our computer in the wee hours of the night while I was asleep.

So, between my weight gain, my disinterest in porn, and my attention lacking due to diversion to the kids, maybe I really was a “bad wife”. Of course, my soon-to-be-ex had options. There were things he could have done…things we could have done together…to remedy these issues. But, he chose to keep his complaints or disillusions to himself — and to indulge himself in a long-term affair with a co-worker behind my back. It wasn’t until after D-day that I learned of the dire seriousness of my weight, disinterest in porn, and the effect of sharing attention with the kids had on him and our marriage.

Anyhow, This stuff just nags at me sometimes as I wonder sometimes…maybe I really was a bad wife.


Dear Mae,

Well whatever degree of “bad” you are, you’re exponentially surpassed by your fuckwit husband. You didn’t keep your complaints to yourself, fuck around on him, and then try to pin your bad behavior on HIM, did you? Nope… didn’t think so.

Look, none of us are perfect. And even if you were perfect — the perfect body fat ratio, the perfect interest in porn sex, the perfect children shipped 2,000 miles away at the perfect boarding school — he could probably find something else to bitch about. “You’re too perfect Mae, I can’t compete with perfect. I need to fuck Cheryl because she’s flawed in that human way you aren’t.”

It’s a no-win, Mae.

I’m not saying that weight gain, kinks, and marriage/child balance aren’t real issues in a marriage. They are. They’re very real challenges. But the difference between a loving spouse and a cheating douchebag is that a loving spouse acts like a grown up. They raise the issue compassionately — and they work hard with you (not against you) to fix it. They compromise. They address their own behavior, and check in with you about your levels of satisfaction. They go with you to therapy. They do the diet with you. They don’t begrudge the childcare costs it takes to have a dating life with three children. And if all of these measures fail, they own THEIR problem with continuing the commitment and they check out honestly with a divorce lawyer and a fair settlement.

That’s how grown-ups behave, Mae. You didn’t marry a grown up. You married a man-child. Waaah! It’s hard to raise small children! (Especially one with special needs!) Waah! Not enough kibbles! Waah! My wife’s figure looks like she had three children! Waah! I want fantasy porn sex like the kind on my computer! Waah! Real life isn’t like cyber life!

All cheaters are some manner of crybaby. Waah! I don’t want to work a real job! Waah! I want more toys! Waah! You’re not the boss of me! Waah! I don’t want to pay my bills! Waah! This isn’t FUN!

When a chump treats a crybaby as if he/she was a grown-up the result is cognitive dissonance. You assumed faithfulness and consideration, instead you got a black hole where a husband was supposed to be. You assumed he’d speak up, instead you got suckered punched with his list of complaints. You assumed intimacy, instead you got a guy who jerks off alone to porn.

You’re dealing with a fuckwit, not a man. When you recognize that the failure is HIS, you’ll stop dwelling on your chubby thighs. When he insists that the ONLY way he can get it up with you is by watching OTHER people (anatomically improbable people) have porn sex, he’s made you a prop, not a person. You can’t connect with that and it’s not your fault. You’re broadcasting a signal he won’t tune in to. “I want your full attention, let’s make love!” when his channel is set to co-ed-takes-it-in-the-ass-by-well-hung-black-dude.

Is porn titillating? Sure. He’s entitled to his fantasies. The problem is his fantasies have eclipsed real life, he prefers the cyber fakery over the real deal. Now, his affair partner is real — but it’s naughty and dangerous because it’s an affair, which means extra zing. My guess is after you divorce his ass, and he has 24/7 access to her, he’ll want her to watch porn with him to get it up too. All to say, I don’t think this is the Love For the Ages. He’s a guy who requires a lot of escapism to exist marginally in Grown Up Land.

Please don’t fault yourself for his cheating. If you’re fat and you have a problem with that, address it for your own health and well-being. A lot of people find, infidelity diet aside, that they get a lot healthier once they eject the cheating idiot from their life. Your body-mass index has nothing to do with your odds of getting cheated on. Supermodels and celebrities get cheated on (Christie Brinkley, Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, etc.) Fat cheaters cheat with fat affair partners. Cellulite has nothing to do with it — it’s all about ego kibbles.

If it’s any consolation, my serial cheating ex had three wives (that I know of, the list may have grown by now). The first skinny and petite, the second busty and considerably over-weight, and me — tall and squidgy, but pretty average looking. He cheated on ALL of us. When I confronted him about the second wife, he said he cheated because she got fat. Funny thing, when I asked his sister about that, she said wife #2 had ALWAYS BEEN FAT. Hell, she was fat at their wedding! (And I saw pictures, the woman was like 300 lbs — a very nice person, but yes, fat.) He apparently didn’t mind fat whatsoever. He was with Ms. Too Fat for 11 years and seriously enraged when she dumped his ass and remarried later. (And lost a ton of weight too — funny how that works.)

The beautiful karma of this story is that while he bitched about wife #2 and the terrible burden of being with someone So Fat — he got fat. Really, really fucking FAT. He gained at least 60 pounds while I was married to him (which wasn’t very long). And when I had the misfortune of seeing him a year or so after my divorce, he was even FATTER. A bald, 5’9″ guy, so he doesn’t carry it well. Looked like an over-cooked sociopathic potato.

All to say, your cheater, probably a legend in his own mind and so deserving of All Good Things, will suffer his own imperfections in time. A limp dick, a beer gut, hair loss. And he won’t be with a good woman who’ll love him anyway.

His loss, Mae. HIS LOSS.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • “He’s a guy who requires a lot of escapism to exist marginally in Grown Up Land.”

    OMG. Chump Lady, you have just summarized my ex-husband exactly. I have never seen it put that way before, but that’s IT. Holy Moley, that’s it. It explains EVERYTHING.

    I will never be able to thank you enough for that one sentence.

    • Yeah, that really struck me as well. My ex couldn’t handle Grown Up Land at all, and exited it entirely after dumping me. These days he exists in a pathetic existence of mooching off family members, moving from couch to couch, having his phone shut off because he didn’t pay the bill and working jobs under the table while collecting unemployment. This is a guy who once had a good career, a beautiful home, a loving wife and what appeared to be a good life. But hey, he is “following his dreams” now, so it’s all good. As long as people watch his YouTube videos and “like” him on Facebook, he is happy.

      • Hey GIO, I would hazard a guess that the majority of his YouTube views are people from this site checking out to see what a weirdo he is. I know I did.

      • Oh my goodness, mine does youtube videos too! He tells people how to make make money from home…even though he doesn’t make any money. From anywhere.

  • Hi Mae,

    You were stuck with a man who had no interest in being your equal. Sure, we gain weight and kids are a difficult mix in a relationship but that’s no excuse to go out and cheat. If a person doesn’t like something then speak up. Last time I checked I couldn’t mind read and I bet you can’t either Mae.

    Thing is your cheater knows he’s an ass but to live with himself it’s easier to blame you for his shitty choice. “Why bother looking at myself when I’m so adorable?”, said every cheater to himself (or herself) since the beginning of time.

    He’s trying to lay all this guilt at your doorstep so he can justify himself. Don’t let him. If you want to change do so for yourself and your own well being. It was HIS CHOICE to cheat on you and his inability to speak up and tell you what he needed from the relationship. You are in no way responsible for that. He is a coward and it’s your work moving forward to believe that.

    Nobody’s perfect Mae but you didn’t cheat on him. You loved him as best you knew how. You were MARRIED and not dating and you know, just hanging out. It’s work to be married and it takes compassion, honesty, forgiveness and trust. He doesn’t have what it takes. You do.

    You have three children, your own good sensibilities and kindness. You are better off without this freak.

    • Beautifully put, thensome.

      Mae, you sound like an awesome wife and momma, do whatever you want to do for yourself and don’t internalize his pathetic, cowardly pathologically-lying drivel. Oh, and make sure you kick him to the curb and move on. There are great men out there who would love and appreciate a wife and mother like you, he’s just not one of them.

  • Mae: Last night I had a talk with my H who was recently dumped by the OW. It was a one-sided conversation all about poor him. I just sat ans listened as it was possibly the first time he opened up about the whole sordid EA. Told me hall the bad things about her, how he had been played ect… She really is a hot mess with alot of baggage. We’ve been married 23 yrs no kids and this has given me the time to pretty much devote alot of attention to him and help him gain career success. At some point in the conversation I said “Listen it is obvious you are unhappy with our marriage why?” You want to hear his answer ” I asked you to change your work schedule and you wouldn’t! ” I work 3 days a week with a 4 day weekend! My point is you could possibly do everything as well as you could and if he is a cheating bastard at heart he will do it. Please put the blame where it belongs. Please don’t fault yourself for his cheating. If you’re fat and you have a problem with that, address it for your own health and well-being. A lot of people find, infidelity diet aside, that they get a lot healthier once they eject the cheating idiot from their life. Your body-mass index has nothing to do with your odds of getting cheated on. Supermodels and celebrities get cheated on (Christie Brinkley, Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, etc.) Fat cheaters cheat with fat affair partners. Cellulite has nothing to do with it — it’s all about ego kibbles. I had to cut and paste CL’s comment here as she cuts through the shit better than anyone. I know how you can lose about 150 lbs show him the door and don’t let him back in.

  • Mae,

    You seem to have a handle on this from what I am reading. You wrote, “he never sat me down to discuss…” Exactly, as CL points out, that is what an adult would do and is completely HIS responsibility. It is not your job to mind read. Besides what you described sounds like he is trying to blame-shift and justify after the fact. Please listen to CL, she is right that he had responsible options to take that he did not because he was not a responsible adult.

    Another point to make is that I don’t see a loving spouse forcing any sort of thing upon their spouse in the bedroom. That isn’t loving. And that isn’t even talking about the damage porn does to unrealistic expectations plus welcoming others visually into your own bedroom. To insist that is why is to insist that he is a jerk and not loving towards you.

    Also, my heart hurts when I hear how he fat shamed you adding to the cultural rejection. I hate such shaming tactics (both personally and socially). That is NOT loving. And he did this to you–his wife who bore three of his children! I agree with CL if you want to lose weight–go for it–but don’t give shame and the lie that you are not worthy of love (i.e. his rejection) air time in your head. You are worthy of love.

    Blessings on you and your children. I hope you find relief from self-blaming cycles and feel encouraged!

    • Yes, I agree: “Besides what you described sounds like he is trying to blame-shift and justify after the fact.”

  • Mae, I think I was married to the same guy for 28 years, minus the porn (yuck). The total inability to engage in communications that might result in conflict, the weight issue, all of it. Ignoring the porn, I doubt if your H was perfect in every way. How did you deal with that? Not by feeling entitled to go outside the marriage. Probably by accepting that no one is perfect, and realizing that what you share together outweighs their imperfections. That is commitment, something he knows nothing about. He doesn’t deserve you, no matter how much you weigh.

    By the way, during the stress of the divorce I lost 35 pounds and, four years later, it’s still off. I haven’t even had to work at it. Divorce is a really tough way to lose weight, but the results aren’t all bad.

  • Mae,
    These morons all do the exact same thing. It’s as if they’ve all been to the cheater seminar to learn blame-shifting. Don’t fall for it.

    My XH tried to blame me for his affair too. He never once really said, “Wow, I fucked up.” It was more like “If you had did X,Y, or Z, this would have never happened!” It’s bullshit. He knows it and I know it.

    You were doing exactly what you should have been doing in your marriage, and he’s been having an affair and well, wacking off to porn by himself at night. Sexy! Gee Mae, who wouldn’t want to have sex with that!?

    I think once you have some time to disengage from the loco, you’ll feel so much better. You’re life is going to open up when you are free of this idiot.

  • I could have written your letter. It is not about you. It’s about his need for things that are shiny and new, and superficial, and not real. We get old, our bodies change. The passion of those first dates fades into the comfort of a soft place while you work/raise kids/do what needs to be done. He’s trying to justify the unjustifiable. He pretends that he’s not getting older, that he’s not bound by marriage vows, that he doesn’t have responsibilities. My son used to hide his math homework in the bottom of his closet and lie to my face that he didn’t have any homework so he could have more play time. Not so great in a second grader, not excusable in a grown man.

    Remember the story of the velveteen rabbit? “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” Your boy-man doesn’t want Real. He wants cheap brightly colored plastic laden with BPA.

    Take care of you. Take care of your kids.

    • “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

      Wow, beautiful Vivianne, and so apt, brought tears to my eyes.

    • Thanks for the Velveteen Rabbit quote…it fits beautifully in this context. And I guess most cheaters want the shiny, newest toy…BPA and all.

  • Mae:
    Your cheater husband is a seriously flawed individual! And, I think you already know this. It is normal to point the finger at yourself when something like this happens because it is hard to imagine this person doing these things to you, the person they love. So really, it HAD to be you! WRONG!!!!! This had absolutely nothing to do with you, your weight, your hair, your political beliefs, etc. You get the picture.

    I am a fairly attractive woman. I had sex with my husband on a very regular basis. I was a good cook, great mother and hard worker. I did everything at home and I worked outside of the home. I took care of our children. I practically raised them myself. I was not demanding. In fact, I rarely asked him for help with anything. Mae……I’m a catch!!! IT STILL DID NOT MATTER. He still cheated! For five long years. I gave him many chances to right the course. He knew what he would be loosing! He continued. He threw away 22 years of marriage!

    He came up with MANY far out reasons for his bad decisions. And guess what? Not one of those reasons had anything to do with him. It was all MY FAULT! Each and every cheater has to make it about their partner, otherwise they can’t make sense of it either and they have a hard time looking at their reflection in the mirror. To live with themselves….they need to make it about YOU!

    Mae…..It wasn’t you. He failed to treat you with the respect you deserve. If he needed something else in the relationship he needed to address that WITH YOU! He didn’t respect you enough to discuss it with you and find the solution. Instead he threw you in front of an approaching bus and watched you get run over!!!! WHO DOES THAT????!!!!!!

    Fuck that guy! He doesn’t deserve you! Thankfully, he showed you who he was….now believe that he sucks and go enjoy life without him!

    • Mae- I could have written your letter as well. It sounds like a normal life to me.
      My ex told me that he was “no longer attracted” to me after my first child. Two more kids later I was labeled even less attractive with weight gain and age.
      Weekends were the same as weekdays: filled with cooking, cleaning, diapers, homework…and him saying “aren’t you going to work out today?”
      15 years into the marriage, I found “massage parlours” on the computer and love letters to affair chick. The level of disrespect and wandering eye through the marriage was staggering. I did the whole dance of not going out, not wanting beach vacations, not wanting to watch movies with attractive women because I couldn’t bear to be ignored or compared.
      When you’re with your husband and he’s constantly checking out other women…even staring at them across the crowd at parties and football games, your self esteem takes a beating through the years. I would walk into a restaurant and pick a table where I would grab the seat with the best view of any women. It was exhausting.
      By the time I figured out the affair chick, I didn’t stand a chance against the superficiality of someone 20 years younger than me.
      And him telling my 14 year old son “Your Mom wasn’t the best wife, you should be happy for me (with affair chick).”
      After he left, I dropped about 10 pounds, nothing major…started writing, doing theater and film and landed a modeling agent and contract. At 50 years old.
      He and the “so cool, so hot” affair chick are getting married, which is hard to see…grown ass 50 year old men in big white weddings with all the trimmings.
      Just want you to know you’re not alone in this experience. But fuck him. I hope you find your beauty inside and out.

      • Just wanted to say that landing the modeling job at 50 years old is pretty damn cool. It’s even better knowing that your self esteem recovered fully enough to even apply for such a thing. (Knowing that your ex will eat his words is pretty neat too.)

    • Amen. I’m also attractive, take care of myself, dress well, blah blah meaningless fucking blah. Dickhead chose to bitch about his(who knew!) horrible (not his fault of course) marriage to an unpolished married train wreck of a subordinate. Maybe her girly bits hid the 8th wonder of the world, but if so she’s got a hell of a cover, styling courtesy of strip mall 2-for-1 shops. I left town with the kids for 2 months and all of a sudden she got dropped and he wanted me back, because in the light of day, meaning no fun reason to hide or call me cuckoo for cocoa puffs, he was suddenly embarrassed to be seen with her. Looks mean nothing – the same way we can spackle these shitheads, they spackle over the ugliness in the AP – like the fact they are both morally corrupt cheaters, let’s say, while screwing over their spouses and children. Now that’s ugly. Ugly is having so little self respect that you step out on your marriage and then react by saying, “yeah but you got fat”. I struggled with the conversations I had with myself about this stuff, and still do, it’s only been 2 months. But taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for you and for your kids. Hang tough. And shoes and lipstick never let you down and always make you look and feel better, even if you’re just dialing it in some days.

  • After having children, I became very distracted with raising them and, thus, focused less on my soon-to-be-ex. He was no longer the center of my world, but rather had to share it with 1, 2, then 3 other people (one with special needs).

    This sounds… wait for it… normal. That’s the thing about having kids: it’s no longer all about you. That can really suck if you are immature and egotistical, I bet.

    I wouldn’t worry about that. I agree, with CL that a man (or woman) who doesn’t get this is immature.

    I did not comply with his need to watch porn during sex

    Again, kind of normal. And certainly not an excuse to cheat.

    The weight thing is something you might think about doing something about for yourself if it’s a real problem. A concerned spouse would be supportive of efforts to improve health and fitness, not use it as a stick to beat you with or an excuse to screw other women.

    In the end, we’re all going to get all wrinkly and saggy, hair will think and/or turn gray, and if the only thing you are in a relationship for is a constant stream of attention, watching porn during sex, and how firm your spouse’s ass is, then that partnership is doomed eventually anyway.

    Please, stop beating yourself up over these things.

        • LOL. In my Dad’s case… it will wish it didn’t look like a white topiary;his just kept getting thicker until it sort of looks unreal and has to be sculpted 🙂

          My eyebrows have to be plucked because they apparently want to turn into Andy Rooney’s eyebrows 🙂

          • As a man with thinning hair, I cling to this saying…”They don’t put marble tops on cheap furniture.” 😉

              • You guys are a hoot!!!

                This conversation concerning Mae’s situation is stunning! I have laughed, I have cried, I have snorted….Just hope I do not mess myself! 😉

                Keep it coming!!!

                LOVE all of you!

                Forge on, friends, Forge On!…….

          • TH they have little buzzy tools for that sort of thing. (Works on the ear hair too, just saying.)

        • Yes, clearly I can’t speak for bald men. I’m blessed (cursed?) with too much hair.

          One side of the family refers to me as “She’s hairs all messy.” (What my older cousin said the first time she met me. I didn’t look right.)

          • Woman have good hair days and bad hair days. A good hair day for a man HAVING HAIR!

            • And while STBX has all of his, he’s really insecure about his hair. This is why he’s growing a goatee that has come in completely gray when the hair on his head is still dark brown. Go figure.

              As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care if men have full heads of hair or are cueballs reflecting both sun and moon. I’ve seen attractive men with all stages of hair or lack thereof.

          • CL, your hair is a double blessing! (IMHO)

            After all, can you imagine what your banner cartoon pic would look like if you had ‘normal hair’?!? 😉

            Forge on, hairy one, Forge On!

  • OMG Mae, wake UP! Smell the coffee!

    “After having children, I became very distracted with raising them and, thus, focused less on my soon-to-be-ex.”

    Mae, adults RAISE children. They’re not a DISTRACTION. Having children isn’t a hobby option….”Gee, let me…scrapbooking? Too girlie. Scatology? Too much shit. Hey, let’s take up childrearing as a pastime!”

    You are an adult. You are raising children. You are repeating the shit that asshole has been feeding about “being distracted.”

    In fact, your whole letter reads like a manipulative script especially designed to feed him ego kibbles while he feeds you shit with assorted condiments.

    “He was no longer the center of my world, but rather had to share it with 1, 2, then 3 other people (one with special needs).”

    Hon, he’s feeding you more shit covered in mooseturd. Adults with children SHARE their world–your family is your circle, where you take turns. There IS no centre in a healthy family (unless you count God or some special values you all share).

    “Also, and, in hindsight, I think this was a biggie: I did not comply with his need to watch porn during sex. It made me uncomfortable for several reasons.”

    Sweetie, that’s shit covered with snatchup. Read this: A real man has sex, makes loves, gets all shaglacious with REAL women, not some picture. Imagine cavemen jacking off to stick figure cavepaintings of fertilitye goddesses–does that seem like an actual NEED?

    And on the topic of that article: “I gained weight after we got married and even more after having children.”

    Darlin’ that’s more shit with his special brand of relish. Did you read the “happy ending” of the article I posted? Even with his choice of playmates whose pictures he’s whacking off to, even Hugh fuckin’ HEFNER can’t get it off with them. What you look like is not the issue here.

    And you know what else kills me? “Which, btw, he never sat me down to discuss my weight or the problem he had with it.” (and you posted some other bits he didn’t talk about his issues)

    Real people communicate their needs. Real people talk with their spouses. Real people contribute to their family, their home, their sex life.

    His contribution to you is a script of dressed-up bullshit that you’ve continued to chew. Spit it out girl! It’s gross!

    (OMG I don’t think I’ve ever written a post this long, but holy shit girl, your story is killing me over here–I even shrieked as I was reading it!)

    • “Imagine cavemen jacking off to stick figure cavepaintings of fertilitye goddesses–does that seem like an actual NEED?”

      Oh my, Named for Vera, LOVE THIS!!

      • I had to change my clothes after–I was frothing at the mouth while I was writing it!

            • It’s all good. I’m in my fuck-you forties, and there are times I can’t even remember my name…

              • Chump in the Sand, I’m so damn envious that I cannot come up with your delicious expressions myself! Love it!

        • Well, keep writing & frothing!! We ALL needed to hear that! That was an amazing collection of superior wisdom and advice! Thank you so much CITS!

          And my dear CL, Thank you for posting this letter from Mae! ALL of us, male & female chumps both, heard all of this type of poo & we need the reminder of how warped, twisted & distorted it all is. Like the fun house mirrors…..And the advice & reminders that are being posted are truly outstanding. (and I have not even read them all yet…..long work week)

          Forge on, ChumpNation….ForgeOn!

    • I know a lot of young families with babies, toddlers and kids in early elementary school. (I work with college kids and we often stay in touch when they move on.) The fathers in these young families are deeply engaged in their marriages and in raising their children. Chump in the Sand is right–adults, including male parents–raise children. They also respect and support the women who gave birth to those children. The old saying applies: “The greatest gift a man can give his children is to love their mother.”

    • Amen, Chump in Sand.

      Mae, this is what a good, honorable man and father looks like:

      My late husband (not a cheater), was a wonderful dad, husband and my best friend. Even though he traveled M-F (we had 4 children), he jumped in with both hands and feet on the weekends. He praised what I did to make a home for all of us. I worked on and off during our marriage, but was primarily a SAHM when the kids were small. He often said that I earned the paycheck we SHARED more than he did, because my job was harder. I didn’t get to eat out every meal and not have to do dishes, no one else made my bed, I had to get up and attend to sick kids alone. truth is, I knew how much he hated being away, sleeping in a different bed every night, missed tucking the kids in at night. Know what? That level of adoration and love only made me work harder for US.

      THAT is what a good man looks like. One who cares about you and your children more than himself. One with respect, who isn’t selfishly demanding what he wants in bed with no concern over whether it works for you or not. Not some jackass beating off to porn in the middle of the night and jumping into the sack with the first (and probably every) woman who gave him a shot.

      Fat, schmat. Had nothing to do with it. That’s just him being selfish and wanting to control the narrative of his cheating by attempting to make it your fault. Passive-agressive BS. Tell me, did he ever go out and buy a couple of bikes and help make lifestyle changes for his family? Did he take daily walks with you? Did he research healthy recipes and offer to try them with you? Did he make it about your health or about how you looked? See the selfish difference?

      Your STBX, as far as I’m concerned, can’t get out of your awesome presence soon enough. He doesn’t deserve a woman as good as you.

    • Chump in the Sand,

      Wow – did this rattle your cage! Quite rightly too. Bottom line is, this cheating get of Mae’s has done a major job on the poor woman, and you called it like it should be. Hear! Hear! Every word you’ve written straight as an arrow!


      Putting weight on after having children is NORMAL. A good, close wonderful friend of mine is a big woman and she is irresistable to men – do you know why? Because she likes herself. Self-confidence (and fuck the sizest dickheads in society – they are sheep and stupid) is an incredibly attractive quality in any human being. Don’t let your selfish, man-child ex take your self-confidence. You were not wrong to not want sex to porn – jeez, he just needed to buy himself a blow-up doll in that case. God, he makes me angry! You are awesome and beautiful. Big can be and is BEAUTIFUL – don’t let the morons in society make you feel ‘less than’. Sadly, your ex is a moron extraordinaire and I hope his karma bus runs him down immediately, for your sake!

      Don’t look and see fat and ugly – look and see burlesque and gorgeous! xxxx

      • Chump in the Sand,

        I replied to your invite – in ‘Nice Guy’ post 😀

        • PS Mae,

          Think also voluptuous, think womanly curves, think Rubens.

          Stick – thin is a modern fashion statement. It wasn’t always this way. Fuck stick-thin celebs with their ‘air-brushed’ designer pregnancies and their ‘back to normal weight by the time they leave the birthing pool! God, this weight fascism rattles my cage, that’s for sure!

          • Don’t hold back Jayne, I think you should tell us how you REALLY feel…lol…

            D’you know, I grew up visiting my family in Germany, at the times when nudity was quite common on beaches. Saw many extra “bits” of my extended family. We are truly sick the way we don’t accept women all different shapes in all different stages of life. We need to value the maid, the mother and the crone for ALL they have to offer…

            • Absolutely right! Jeez, we’ve got enough real problems as a species without this irrelevant and petty obsession with other peoples bodies, and whether they are slim enough, muscular enough, young enough, tall enough, dressed modestly / or sexually enough. In the end ‘IT’S ONLY A BLOODY CAR’ for getting the human spirit about – and that is the only thing that matters.

              OMG – I think I’m channeling Germaine Greer! 😀

            • Exactly! My ExH would freak if I gained 2 lbs. He expected a Martha Stewart/pinup model whos world revolved around him. He could get fat during the winter if he wanted, but MY appearance directly reflected my respect and love for him. If I got fat, it said I didn’t care about him as a man or as a musician ( who apparently needed a model for a wife).

              My fiancé (who I’ve been with for 5 years now) saw me go from 150lbs (im 5’10”) to 220 because of undiagnosed hypothyroidism and never batted an eyelash. We joined a gym together and he finally dragged me to the doctor when nothing (exercise/diet change/lifestyle change) worked. I was so upset and just thought I wasn’t working hard enough. He’s the one that pointed out that it worked for him, it should have worked for me.. so perhaps we were missing something. He’s happy that I’m happy now. He never lost desire for me or took it personally. This is what love is supposed to be. There is still work to be done as a couple, but he’s never reluctant about any of it.

              • I hate going to the doctor and had put it off for years, cause I’m just smart like that.. *sigh* Sorry I got all gushy. And clearly I have yet to reach the state of “Meh” over the ex.

                But the point of all of it was that its not Mae who was the bad partner. These guys use any and every excuse they can find/make up to excuse their behavior and pin it on you. Its not you, its them. They will NEVER be happy because no one is perfect enough for them.

      • D’ya think, Jayne? 😉

        Tee-hee–blow-up doll—karmic drive-over…good ‘un, Jayne!

  • It’s all just excuses to justify their behavior
    I still struggle with this still today, 2 years later.
    I was blamed for things he never spoke to me about, etc. I got one email where exH admitted the root for our problems was his lack of honest communication. But even that was said under duress, and he still has never really apologized for the cheating.
    He never said anything on is own. He still does not think he did anything wrong. N understanding of the betrayal etc.

    It gets better, Mae. Chin up, it’s all on him, it’s not you.

    • zyx321, his ‘lack of communication’ may have been one of his big contributions to the failure of your marriage, but if he’s like most, his lack of attention to YOU and your needs, to any kids and their needs, to the real maintenance and appreciation that are needed to keep a marriage strong were probably right up there, too. But these narcs would never recognize that, eh?

      During the first of several attempts to get me to reconcile, after his long pity party about how messed up and unhappy he was six months after DDay #2 and my kicking his ass out, and about how he ‘doesn’t understand’ why he did what he did, I asked my ex what he would do differently, if he could go back and re-do our marriage. His sincere and thoughtful answer? ‘I would be clearer with you about what I needed.’

      NO MENTION of all he DIDN’T do for me, our marriage, and worst of all, our kids. All selfish entitlement, all of it.

      • LOL. So he thought long and hard and came to the conclusion… it was all about what he wanted and needed, right?

        Something gets stunted with some folks. I don’t understand, and I’m not even sure I really want to try to understand this anymore 🙁

  • Oh, Mae: First off–big hugs. (Mine said crapy things to me too, to try and justify his behavior.) But it sounds like you are in no way a ” bad wife”.

    What would a bad wife be, hmm, one who screws around on her husband…. I don’t hear that you did that!

    …one who takes every opportunity to cut down her spouse, preferably in front of other people…I don’t hear that you did that!

    ….one who neglects the couple’s children for vanity projects, or to free up time for fucking around…I don’t hear you doing that!!

    Mae: you had a bad husband projecting all his badness onto you. The heart of a good *mutual* sex life is that both partners feel happy and satisfied, right? Not, “my way or the highway.” …Or you’re bad. Or, “my porn or it’s bad sex.” Really?? Fuck that noise. What an inconsiderate lover. Whose the bad one here?

    A good partner takes pride in all the work you’ve done to produce those 3 wonderful, irreplaceable children, including body changes. Special needs? Piffle. We’re not talking about Toy’sR’ Us where you take stuff back, right? You get what you get, and you’re lucky for it and you parent that child with everything you’ve got. Preferably with a partner who has your back so you can each take a break if you need it.

    Mae, repeat after me: “There is nothing wrong with me. I have/had a disordered spouse.”

    My therapist said that my ex was “a bottomless black hole of self loathing” and that’s why he, and others like him–like yours– have to project all that self-hatred onto others. Also the blame is handy in finding a justification for cheating.

    You sound like an awesome partner, and his loss that he couldn’t see it! But your kids are so, so lucky they have you.

    best of luck in everything.

    • Mae,

      Hugs to you – from yet another mommy chump who was told pretty much the exact same stuff by my exH (except instead of porn it was some other stuff that was just NOT ok with me…)

      This is their game – they turn all their inabilities and inadequacies around on us chumps, so WE can keep dancing to the crazy drum, trying to make it all better.

      When he left, I weighed less than when we married. I did gain weight due to fertility drugs and a high risk pregnancy – and I took those F’ING drugs because HE wasn’t willing to cut back on the 2 packs a day to help with HIS fertility issues. (Cosmic sign there). But whenever I’d ask if he would watch the kids so I could work out? Nope. And he’d bring home big nasty bags of fried food and Chipotle at 11pm, and get really PISSED when I wouldn’t eat what he bought and be grateful…because everyone wants fried chicken and cold Chipotle at midnight. Yep.

      We were not “bad spouses” – we were/are normal, imperfect humans, doing our best, and assuming that our spouses wanted a loving, healthy family. The bad shit? That’s THEM. In a sad way, the total rejection of our children made this even more clear…he always said I MADE him crazy – I was pathetic, disgusting, stupid, crazy – and that’s why he cheated and left and disappeared for almost 5 years. But a sweet 2 and 5 year old? What did they do to deserve that? Nothing. Because it’s not US, it’s them. Hugs to you Mae. Turn his lies into YOUR truth. You get to write the rest of this adventure – don’t let him.

  • Mae, this type of person will never be happy with you no matter who you are or how much you weigh. That’s the truth.

    My husband (we’re still trying to “make things work”) has had several emotional affairs and one that went physical. I’ve had two children in less than five years and I was one of the genetically lucky that had their body bounce back. Other than a few stretch marks, I’m still very thin and have a flat stomach. He. Still. Cheated. The woman he was most obsessed with, though three years younger than me, was significantly overweight and crosseyed. He just “had a connection with her”. Yeah, which translates into he doesn’t share a ton of student loan debt, two small children (one with mild autism), and all the other responsibilities of family life with her. Of course she’s more fun than I am. She beats me to hell on the fun scale because THAT’S ALL SHE HAS TO DO ALL DAY.

    My whole story is to illustrate that Chump Lady is right. You can’t win this competition and it’s not because there’s something horribly wrong with you. Also, it’s on him to communicate if he’s not happy in the marriage, if your weight is a problem, if he wants more kink, whatever. He failed on his end of the deal. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s a problem.

  • Mae, keep coming here. Keep reading all the spine stiffening posts from strong people, who won’t be chumps again – it is better than any therapy you could pay for!

    Your ex is trying to blame you for his bad behaviour. He wants you to think that you could have prevented his defection, if you’d been the “perfect” wife – but do you know what, you couldn’t have. He’d like you to think that, because it gets him off the hook in his own sick mind. He can justify his shitty behaviour by pretending that he needed to shag his co-worker because you were fat, busy with the kids & not into porn. However, believe all of us on here, who tell you that this is just self-justification. If you’d looked like Cindy Crawford, locked the kids in the garden shed & watched Debbie Does Dallas 7 nights of the week with him – he’d still have had the affair. He’d have just blamed you in a different way.

    Don’t let his blame-shifting tactics worm their way into your head. He is a cowardly cheater & doesn’t deserve your love.

    • English Lady,

      You just made me laugh so hard I spit my coffee. Thank you 🙂

  • Mae, if it helps, I think there is a healthy and normal urge underlying your question. You’ve had a devastating experience, and since you’re human, the loss of control is terrifying, so you’re looking for ways to regain control. If you had been a bad wife, that would explain what happened (=not scary and unpredictable), and would give you a path forward: you could become a better wife!

    However, what everyone is telling you here is that particular path is not actually fruitful: because cheaters cheat no matter what, and because the things you’re “admitting” to here are NOT ACTUALLY BAD (raising children? gaining weight because you had children? not liking porn? NOT BAD THINGS). I totally concur with CIS that you’ve internalized his crazy messages — now you can give yourself the grace of letting go.

    Consider redirecting your urge for control (and even self-improvement). You could focus on improving your picker, for example. You could focus on learning more about what healthy love looks like, so that next time you’ll neither berate yourself for your “failings”, nor accept the kind of extraordinarily bad behavior he displayed (not just cheating, but blame shifting!) as normal. (We’ve all been there: just trying to be patient and forbearing, assuming everyone put up with this kind of stuff.) You could also focus on totally unrelated self-growth, bringing joy into your life and your children’s lives. What would you all like to do that you will now have room for in your newly reclaimed lives?

    • Psyche – so insightful! “If you had been a bad wife, that would explain what happened (=not scary and unpredictable), and would give you a path forward: you could become a better wife!” In some ways we eat up the criticism, even when it’s blame shifting, because if it’s something I’ve done wrong, then if I stop doing it or start doing the right thing, then I can fix it all and have back the life I thought I had.

  • Mae,

    You should be happy he is out of your life. I can somewhat relate to the children issue, although I cannot relate to having a special needs child. I was the stay-at-home parent, took extra jobs to maintain financial stability, and in the end I thought that maybe that’s how I screwed up. But honestly, she was going to leave me regardless, so I’m not going to think about regretting anything that I did.

    And the need to watch porn during sex…That should tell you all you need to know about him and what he thinks about you. He would rather make love to his laptop and fantasize about everything else than place his attention on you where it belongs.

    You definitely deserve better.

  • Mae- I’m in that boat right now. I was this fun hot trophy girlfriend but after our son I was a boring mom with a major responsibility. I put on weight, become busy caring for our son and I was no longer hot or caring for his needs. I developed PP at 6 months after our son and became depressed and he went looking for affection and sex elsewhere. I too blame myself at times for being a bad partner. But then I look back at when our son was born and he got weird and distant. He acted like he didn’t have a child. He’d go out with friends while I stayed home with our son. He would only be home to see our son in the morning saying he was busy at work. He was the bad partner. Not me. But man what a mind fuck these people practice.

    • Rain, What a great post illustrating the immaturity of cheaters and the way they expect the “falling in love” state and the ego kibbles it brings to go on and on. I wonder if your depression was not made worse because “he acted like he didn’t have a child.” Certainly PPD has a biological component but depression is never improved by dealing with a huge life change without the support of the one person who is supposed to be a true partner. Just a thought.

  • I empathize with you, Mae. I too have these feelings. It’ll be a month past dday for me tomorrow and I’ve tried so hard to be strong, I woke up this morning crying because I couldn’t stop thinking about the other woman. I’m a average built Caucasian woman and she is a petite, exotic looking, flight attendant. I keep feeling like he traded up and it caused me to become obsessive about diet and excersize. I’ve lost 25 pounds this month and the whole time I’m running or abstaining from the foods I want, the image of the two of them together drives me on. I’ve had these feelings of inadequacy throughout our whole marraige, like I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, or his ideal woman. I feel like this affair proved that my worries were all correct.

    I know exactly how you feel, but am trying to convince myself that I’m wrong. Everything ChumpLady writes is true, but it’s hard to break out of that routine of self doubt. I hope you are able to do it. I read your story and completely agree with the response. It’s not your fault. You’re perfect the way you are and he’s the one who is fucked up. Who cares about how you look on the outside, your abity to give yourself to your children and your marraige makes you far more beautiful than he could ever be. He’s an ugly disgusting person and he is the one who was the bad spouse and not good enough for you at all. Hugs.

    • “It’ll be a month past dday for me tomorrow and I’ve tried so hard to be strong, I woke up this morning crying because I couldn’t stop thinking about the other woman.” I’m right there with you, RNE. I’m 2 months past Dday, and I’m still bawling at the drop of a hat. Like you..all I can think about is the OW. And comparing myself to her, STILL wondering what she has that I don’t. And as CL and everyone hear will’s not US, it’s THEM. “I know exactly how you feel, but am trying to convince myself that I’m wrong. Everything ChumpLady writes is true, but it’s hard to break out of that routine of self doubt.” It IS hard to break out that routine of self doubt, especially when we are stuck on the OW. So when I’m crying in the car..the shower..on the couch..walking the dog, I think of all the advice that CL and everyone here have given, and try to push the thoughts of the OW away. In my case, the H traded waaaayyyyyy down. I mean yuck! I’m not Miss America, but she is just plain trashy and disgusting. In your case, you say your H traded up. I bet not! She is probably dumber than a box of rocks; has zero integrity; and is dysfunctional as HE is. Let’s both work on not thinking about the damn OW. Although truth be told..if I could line them both up and shoot them in the head..I’d be very, very tempted! (Hope there are no cops reading this!) Let’s try hard to stop comparing ourselves. WE are the better persons in this..THEY are the ones who suck. And our H’s don’t deserve us. Not. At. All.

      • I’ve been crying again lately too. The affair is long over, also 2 months since dday and h is doing everything the mc says, but the pain takes me by surprise. I know she’s nothing, also trashy, disgusting and well versed in cheating, but I seesaw between feeling like we can work this out and wanting to run away screaming. And crying of course. My BFF of 27 years told me yesterday that my confidence obviously contributed to his looking for a sunshine up the ass blower and I felt like she had kicked me in the stomach, she basically said I was to blame, I feel like I’ve been run over again, and a whole new level of hurt to add to my arsenal. My previous strong confident self could have handled set back after set back. I turn 45 in a week and never thought this is what my 45 was going to look like. I guess I need to remember that I’m having more good days than bad, and that’s rockin news, but these den days blow. And so does my BFF. Hot damn.

        • Oh Nic,
          I’m so sorry for what your friend said. Sometimes well meaning people are those who hurt us the most. Your friend should have told you that he was a POS bastard. Blaming you is like yelling at you for getting hit by a bus after you already looked both ways to cross the street. Getting cheated on sucks. Not having your life turn out the way it’s decently supposed to be sucks. And then having someone who’s supposed to support you make inferences…salt in wound x 1 million. I don’t know your bff but it sounds like maybe she falls into the ignorant “affairs only happen for reasons” category. I’m sorry. You rock your amazing confidence because the affair had nothing to do with that and being a strong woman is a gift. As for your bff, that’s totally up to you. But after a while I either gave up trying to explain to these people or I cut them out of my life. Thank goodness for this site. I feel like there’s more common sense, morals and maturity, humor and character and healing here than I could get in my friends, family or therapist all put together. And I actually like my therapist.

          • Since he walked I have systematically elliminating anyone who makes me feel like shit…..this includes a former bff, I have also made it quite clear to my parents that there is certain behaviour of theirs I won’t tolerate either. My “bff” was very supportive when she thought everything was falling apart for me. When she realised I would thrive she cracked it with me like how dare I come out of this ok (read better off than her). Now that is truly fucked up, I did not need that. Ties cut!

        • Dear Nic,
          Oh. My. Word.
          Someone who is supposed to be part of the ‘sisterhood’. Someone you thought would have your back like a best girlfriend should.
          I am so sad for you….
          What she said……Same as blaming a rape victim…..Makes no sense at all.

          Did you read Muriel’s account a few weeks back? The way she put it is: ‘Fire the enemy!”
          As sad as it is, it sounds like your ‘supposed-to-be bbf of 27 yrs’ has defected to the side of ‘the enemy’. Fire her……

          Hang tough…..and Forge on!…..

          PS: IMHO, you should opt for the ‘running away screaming’ NOW!

    • RNE, please see a therapist if you are not already, obsession over the OW is easier to get past with some help, same with the shattering of your self esteem. It’s very likely he’s been putting you down for years and making you feel “less than” without your realizing it. Please don’t do this do yourself, your ex lucked out finding someone pretty to fuck around with. That’s all it is, if not her it could easily have been someone who is not as hot as you. He did not “trade up”. Repeat he A person who would fuck a married man is no prize.

    • Thank you guys. Coming to this site has been like group therapy, but I’m starting to realize that I need some one on one talk therapy too. It’s amazing to me how one person can mess me up this bad. I’ve always thought of myself as a strong person and hate to admit weaknesses. I even have always felt really embarrassed to cry in front of anyone. All of this, though…it’s just too much for one person to carry alone. I love everyone on this site because we all try to help carry the weight together. <3

  • That ability to examine yourself and strive for self-improvement is valuable; however, I’d point out that being with a cheater (or any bad spouse) tends tends to bring out our own weaknesses. That may result in overeating, a lack of affection, selfishness, or any dozens of other flaws. Rather than a reason to beat yourself up for the marriage ending, it’s a reason to be glad you’re out of such a toxic mis-match.

    A good marriage involves two people who bring the best out in each other. Perfection? Certainly not. But a self you are glad to be.

    • I watched a TED Talk recently featuring a neuroscientist. Apparently being in a high stress, lonely situation actually temporarily re-wires your brain. The more isolated and lonely you are, the more “selfish” you become. In other words, it really does bring the worst out in us because it puts you in survival mode. You don’t engage in as much self care, you don’t reach out to friends, you start assuming the worst of people around you, etc. Here’s the good news: when the loneliness is resolved (or being stuck with a jerk of a spouse), then your brain can slowly return to normal. You’ll find it’s easier and easier to see the good things about yourself and those around you. You’ll be able to take pride in yourself and take care of yourself. All of this isn’t possible when you’re just trying to make it day to day moment to moment.

      • “Apparently being in a high stress, lonely situation actually temporarily re-wires your brain.”


        Did they say how long it takes to get back to normal? Or whether or not cuddling with a fluffy herding dog helps? I wonder if I can sue my ex for brain damage.

        • Haha Kat, so true. I find kissing my sheltie over and over really DOES help (I try to limit it to one kiss in public lest my neighbors think I’m as crazy as my ex claimed). Wish we could sue these bastards for the damage caused.

          • AWWWWW, you have a sheltie?!?!?!?!?! That almost made me cry. Um, because I’m hormonal and pregnant, not because shelties cause tears. Er…lol. The dog I was referring to is also a sheltie! We have a border collie in the house too, but he tends to run the other direction whenever there are ladies crying.

            And as a random side note. Did you know that Kelly means warrior queen?

            You know I think it’s true about the suing part. Really the amount of damage that can be caused by one person in our life is astounding. If it were another situation we may have legal recourse financially or criminally, but you tack the word marriage or relationship on it and it’s considered part of standard for the way these things go. I think that’s part of why it’s so damn hard to move on at first. Forget revenge…I would’ve like to see consequences of any kind for my ex. I’m still hoping for ball cancer though.

            • Kat, yes my baby is a Sheltie, an adorable boy. I didn’t know, but love that Kelly means Warrior Queen, sometimes I feel like one. I am a lawyer and if I could figure out a way to sue these bastards I’d feel like I contributed something valuable to the world.

              My kids are older but I’ve always felt like the expectant mammas on this site are the REAL warrior queens. (((BIG HUGS)))

    • “A good marriage involves two people who bring the best out in each other. Perfection? Certainly not. But a self you are glad to be”.
      Well said nomar. After knowing my ex husband for nearly 45 years and married for 37 years, I finally came to this conclusion. There is not a thing wrong with marriage but the people in it. From my personal point of view, it isn’t hard to be honest and reliable. My ex husband was the opposite, hence I am no longer what he wanted to be seen with but he wouldn’t tell me, he got our 31 year old son to tell me I was leaving. My ex is no oil painting (his work colleagues refer to him as Mr.Burns from the Simpsons which he thinks is a compliment!!). I was never enough for him and yet people would ask him where he got me from because I was gorgeous (their words not mine, I personally think I am ugly which is conditioning from my Mum). Maybe I was set up to fail and choose the wrong spouse before I could understand all that has happened.

      • Wow, your ex sounds like a real jackass.

        He’s out of your life? As Mr. Burns from the Simpsons would say. . . .


        • Yes, he is out of my life as I have gone no contact but my kids have taken his side. My heart and mind couldn’t take any more of the heartache. Suffice to say, I still have bad days but mostly good ones now. I make sure when I go out I take my dark glasses because the tears are still close to the surface but they are starting to dry up now. Why do I still miss him or the abuse? It is a question I am puzzled by. I don’t want him back or to even see him or speak to him because he is not authentic although he does a great job of pretending to be authentic. It is a trait he got from his toxic controlling Mum. That is itself is another topic altogether.

          • I used to wall off the tears when I pulled out of the driveway and started crying when I pulled back in. Really. I thought I would die from crying. But it gets better if you focus on yourself, for once, and not “you + cheating jackass.” What has helped me, aside from my very loyal supportive friends, is figuring out what kind of life I want for myself. Wishing you all good things as you figure out what your heart wants most, other than an abusive cheater, of course.

            • “I used to wall off the tears when I pulled out of the driveway and started crying when I pulled back in. Really. I thought I would die from crying”.

              Thank you for sharing. This is where I’m at every day but my family and frieds do no know this – I hide from them. Fridays seem to be the worst – sheer exhaustion I guess. I keep wondering how much longer I will feel this way – and I know no one can answer that for me 🙁

    • Jeez I am starting to think there really is a cheaters handbook out there and they all read it!

      this is blameshifting 101 straight out of the cheaters handbook. They ALL do it. Don’t buy into his bullshit. He’s the disordered one, not you. Blameshifting takes the focus off them and the fact that no matter what you did or didn’t do, it doesn’t excuse them for cheating. Your husband could’ve spoke up, could’ve been supportive, could’ve filed for a divorce. He defaulted to escapism and cowardess to deal with his issues. In the end that’s what all cheaters are-great big cowards.

      Nomar is totally on point with the observation that being with a bad spouse brings out our weaknesses. I don’t think it’s a big coincidence that people that leave bad marriages have health improvements, including weight loss. A lot of people attribute it to the stress of the divorce but if you’re covering up (spackling) disordered wingnut shit, some people will over eat or excessively drink to cope with those feelings or the lack of intimacy.

      One more thing: When you’re in the thicke of this mess it’s harder to see. The longer you are away from your stbx, the clearer things will become. That clarity usually brings about the realization that they were actually not so awesome to live with and if you followed their horribly flawed logic they gave you legitimate reasons to cheat. You didn’t though and that’s why you’re awesome.

      Hold your head up high and do what makes you feel better and healthy for you. You did nothing to “make” him cheat, you are not a bad wife. I don’t know him from Adam, but I know he was a horrible, coward of a husband.

      Big hugs and hang in there!

    • Nomar~
      Spot on!!!!! I told my STBXH that his affair partner brought out all of the horrible new traits I saw in him. I feel your partner in life should encourage you to be your best YOU. Affair partners CANNOT bring out anything good.

    • Oh Nomar, being with a cheating spouse tends to bring out our own weaknesses. Amazing insight! I never thought of it like that before but this does make sense. With him I did let myself go, I was not my best self. I liken it to “if he doesn’t care about me, why should !?” Problem is by living/thinking like that, I took away my own ability to make myself happy. That’s what I’m looking for now.

  • Mae, hang in there! It’s a cliche, but time really DOES heal all wounds and putting some distance really puts things in perspective! One day, you’ll realize what complete BS he was spouting (and maybe you’ll be able to use the line “He was so full of sh*t his eyes were brown”!).

    The issue is with HIM not YOU! My ex did the exact same thing of “We never go out anymore” even though HE would be the one shooting down all my ideas for that weekend! They try to blame others because they are INCAPABLE of taking responsibility! It’s like they all have Peter Pan Syndrome – they REFUSE to give up or bail when life gets too real! Find a real man (when you’re ready) and you’ll see and appreciate “normal” 🙂

  • So glad I read this today. Thanks Chump Lady. Last night my emotionally defective ex-asshat told me he’s moving in with his whore. Our kids have no idea he has a girlfriend and that was the reason why he left us a year ago. Now they are going to have to face the fact that Dad is going to cohabit-ate with her. Good times. Cheaters are the gift that keep on giving when you share children with them.

    • On the bright side, once he moves in with her and the secrecy is gone, the excitement fades and the OW will now have to deal with his real life. They both richly deserve the misery their life together will bring them. You might consider being straight (but classy) with your kids if they ask about the OW’s role in the breakup of the family; just as you can’t heal until you know the truth, neither can they, once they are old enough to understand. The less ex-asshat and OW matter emotionally to you, the better you and the kids will be. Best of luck, Kay, as you put the asshat in your rear-view mirror.

    • Kay… I have been following your story on your blog and know that you have done an incredible job of coming through your f-ed up situation with a lot of grace. I’ve been where you are and I just want to let you know this too will be okay eventually. As LovedaJackass said, this is where the OW gets to see what the idiot is really made of. And yes it’s a new level of fuckedupness that you now get to share you kids with a whore, but kids are smart and they will figure it all out sooner than you think. And if its any consolation, my exH and his trollop lasted for exactly 10 months of co-habitation bliss before they imploded. In that time my poor kiddo had to meet the whore, get to know her and like her, and then find out that she was *poof* gone. But, she adjusted to it all and is still completely fine. She has figured out that her dad is a mess without me ever saying a word. Your kids will too. Regardless, I know how hard this pill is to swallow. HUGS!!!!!

  • Fuckin’ ayyy, ChumpLady.
    Your response brought a tear to my eye…Mae’s thoughts are the very thoughts that circle my head on those nights when I still can’t sleep….and this was the perfect thing for me to read today as the fuckwit I was married to still tries to control my life through my three kids.
    He’s like the dogshit stuck to my shoe.

  • Needed this Post today…..
    Thank YOU!
    Feeling low, feeling fat, feeling unlovable.
    Stop that…..

    • Welcome to the club. I think today I will go out to a good movie and shout myself lunch somewhere nice. I hope you also have a lovely day.

  • It really is true that these narcs can’t share when kids come along. They need to be the sparkly center of the cosmic family mobile – with everyone else dangling from thier every world, and spinning around them – and then becoming all tangled up at their whim.

    I’ve never told anyone this, but we adopted our son at 9 months. ExH had told me even before we married that he REALLY wanted to adopt, and I took that as some sort of “sign” because that had always been a dream of mine. Fast forward to two months after we brought our son home, and exH tells me, “Don’t you just feel like his babysitter? Don’t you ever wish we could take him back?” What an evil, horrible monster. It didn’t even occur to him that this was our CHILD. I couldn’t even speak, and told him that NO, I could never even consider that. And he just went on with his day, with no emotion at all. Oh, and regarding our biological daughter? His comment right around that same time? About the daughter who was his “princess” and who he “loved more than anything”. He looked right at me with the cold, dead eyes and said, “I look at her, and I feel absolutely nothing.” She was 5.

    Somedays I think I’ve forgiven him – (for me, not for him). And when I remember those words, about my precious children, I hate him with a white, hot hate. What an evil, evil creature.

    • No Friggin Way..
      FUCK Him, Re.
      What a DISGUSTING Piece of SHIT. You ALL Deserve Better

    • RDM- These disordered minds think they are just being honest and authentic and have no clue how they reveal their utter sickness. My cheater had made similar comments that I wish I had recorded for the doubters who think he is such a charmer. No wonder you were speechless. No words could ever express, how repellent his sentiments were to any decent human being.

      • You can’t go anywhere with a person like that except FAR AWAY.
        Your children deserve a sane mom, and if possible down the road, a loving stepdad.

    • Ahhh Redefining, reading what your ex said made me nauseous and I had to swallow hard– the inner workings of a sociopath: There. Is. Nothing. There. My own ex apparently got off on bringing his AP’s around me and our children, making us believe they were co-workers and “family friends.” I realize in looking back that my ex periodically would say or do things that were “tells” but I spackled furiously. But in all fairness, who could believe their husband of so many years could be THAT evil?

      After D-Day 2 years ago, my ex walked out and has not seen our children since. He does not inquire about them, not even about our youngest, a wonderful son who is only 14 now.

      Like you, I approach the thought of forgiveness (for myself) and then remember what he did to our children. White hot rage indeed. These “men” make my skin crawl.

  • “Looked like an over-cooked sociopathic potato.”

    Laughing out loud in my office………..

  • Mae,
    If it’s any consolation I lost a lot of weight when I discovered the affair. I couldn’t eat or sleep for months. Then when I got well I started exercising and kept the weight off and lost some more. And guess what? The OW got FAT! and I mean really FAT!

  • A good friend told me, “Cheating is about opportunity, not aesthetics.” That statement helped me quite a bit actually. That and CL’s comic “The muffin top that launched a dozen affairs”

    The good news is that you CAN do better than that jackass and if you ever want to wade into the dating pool again, you WILL do better than that jackass. (((HUGS)))

    • Thanks AF. This post needed a cartoon! Just added the muffin top above. 🙂

    • A dear friend of mine told me “Show me a beautiful woman, & I’ll show you a man tired of fucking her.” Beauty is fine, but after about 15 minutes, you better have something worth saying.

    • “Cheating is about opportunity, not aesthetics” — ooh, I wish I had been able to say that when XBF insisted that he couldn’t have been cheating with OW, “because she’s ugly!”
      And yet after we broke up, he described their relationship as “friends with benefits”. Apparently being ugly is no bar to “benefits”!

  • Sweet Mae,

    (I wanted to add Sweet to your name, because that’s just such a cute name I could imagine a character on My Little Pony with bouncy yellow hair and a strawberry for a cutie mark and her name would be Sweet Mae.)

    In all seriousness, while weight gain, divided time and child-rearing are all real things that can come up in a marriage, (because let’s face it, we live in reality, not a porn…unlike your jerk husband wants to think) none of them, repeat, NONE of them are excuses to backstab you. They just aren’t.

    Coincidentally, my husband and I were watching “The Kids Are All Right” last night, and *spoiler* one of the moms cheats with the sperm-donor. The betrayed mother said something that made a whole lot of sense:

    “It’s always about what I don’t do, huh? Well, here’s another thing that I don’t do. I DON’T DEAL WITH MY ISSUES BY FUCKING OTHER PEOPLE!”

    This is your husband’s problem. He may have had some legit issues he needed to deal with, but he dealt with them in the most immature, selfish, and hurtful way possible. You said it yourself, he didn’t talk to you. He could have. He could have been a responsible adult and talked to you about the issues he had like a functional husband and a caring human being. From what I can tell by your letter, you would have been willing to communicate with him to resolve the issues for the sake of your marriage, because you loved him, and, despite the way he treated you, there is a seed of self-esteem within you.

    So no, you were not a bad wife. You were a normal person. Lots of people gain weight after giving birth to three kids. Lots of people end up with divided time raising them. And y’know what else? LOTS of people don’t live up to porn star standards. There is NOTHING wrong with that.

    There IS something wrong with being so wrapped up in pornographic fantasies that it overtakes your real life and your ability to have sex with your own wife. That isn’t your problem, it is HIS. He can spin it any way he likes, blame you for not being ok with his obsession, but the truth is, HE ruined his own sexual satisfaction with you by letting porn overtake it. That. IS. NOT. Your fault.

    Also, I gotta say, in addition to please, please, PLEASE not internalizing his self-centered blame on you, please don’t internalize “society’s” standards on top of that. You really don’t need that. It’s just piling bullshit on top of bullshit. Even when your body fits “society’s” supposed standard of thin beauty, it’s not greener on the other side. It really isn’t. Because it’s never enough. If your fat, society wants you to be skinny. If you’re skinny, well damnitt if they don’t want you to be skinnier. But not TOO skinny, because then you’re “gross” or “anorexic” or “needs to eat a cheeseburger.” Or your body is thin enough, but your boobs aren’t big enough, or your thighs are touching too much, or your butt is too big, or your butt is too small, or your body is perfect, but your face is too round, long, oval, etc. etc. etc. what have you. It’s just never enough.

    It’s just like cheaters. Doesn’t matter what you do, there’s always something else. Think of cheaters as the relationship parallel to beauty standards. They always find something else wrong with you. Standards you can never live up to. So you have to realize that it’s NOT YOU. It’s them.

    Don’t add cheater blame on top of nebulous beauty standards. When I feel bad about myself sometimes, I like to think of a line from Roald Dhal’s “The Twits:”

    “You could have a whonkey nose, stick-out teeth and a big belly, but if you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun rays and you will always look beautiful.”

    Give yourself good thoughts. Not his poisoned bad thoughts.

    • You’re soo Right about The ” Beauty Standards”. No matter WHAT a Person can Only be Themselves. And Even If you Did try to Change to make Them Happy, There’d be Something Else you Couldn’t Change..or Their Bar Would Change..You Cannot Be EVERYONE for an Asshole who Wants EVERYONE and EVERYTHING and isn’t Satisfied EVER No Matter WHAT they Get cause They are UNFILLABLE HOLES.

      • Pretty much. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Same concept with AP’s. They aren’t special. If it’s not one OW it’s another. Nobody and nothing is special to a cheater but their own interests. Even the one-time-off cheaters. The moment they decided to have their one-nighter, they decided that what they wanted was more important than respecting the integrity of the marriage.

        And even the one-timers use the same excuses as long-term or serial cheaters anyway.

        If it isn’t “you got fat” it’s “you didn’t appreciate me” or “you didn’t support me” or “I didn’t get enough xyz.” It’s always something.

        • My ex stated about his Asian piece, “it is something that just happened”, even though he took his own supply of condoms along with him on his trip. This is from a man who hated condoms but he knew he would be dicing with danger and still had to be tested for STDs upon his return home because he kissed the trollop.

          • Oooohhhh. That’s what he told my then 16 year old daughter. Sometimes these things just happen…..although being on 3 different dating sites and pursueing her like a stalker would have helped yeah?

          • “It just happened.”

            “I can picture that. She was lying on the bed, naked, with her legs spread wide apart and you happened to walk into her room, naked, and . . . . you tripped on something and your penis went all torpedo or something?”

            Actual dialogue.

            • That made me laugh. He told me she couldn’t say his name in English, so I asked him how she knew what he wanted. Then I said, “oh it must have been your erect penis that gave her an idea”.!!! I want to vomit when I think of it. He is a 61 year old pervert and a predator.

    • “I could imagine a character on My Little Pony with bouncy yellow hair and a strawberry for a cutie mark and her name would be Sweet Mae.”

      All I wanted to say was, ” EEEEEEeeeeeeeee! (sparkle, sparkle).”

      • If my scanner was hooked up I would draw a little pony like that and show it off in the forums. (I draw a lot) but I don’t have it set up. 🙁

        • When you do, make sure you give her a big over-sized head and ridiculously large eyes. I’ll print it out and put it in my cube. 🙂

  • Mae,
    Please Don’t Confuse HIS issues with Yours.
    Deal with Your Own Priorities, and Let That Self Important Arse, Deal with Himself ..his ONLY Priority.
    You take Care of You and those beautiful Kids, as you Always Have.

    • Oh, and hon..remember this..if The D.B .was into Beastiality ..Another Really Fucked Up Kink that is UBERNASTY, He’d Blame You for Not Being Furry with Four Legs.
      He’ll Never be Satisfied with Any ONE thing or Person..He’s NOT Capable. His Incapability is Not YOUR Fault.
      REAL MEN can love ONE Woman WELL . REAL MEN Prioritize their FAMILY over EVERYTHING Outside..Besides GOD..Then again, GOD IS INSIDE.

  • Thank you ALL for such an array of perspectives and comments!

    In my heart, I do KNOW that I was actually a very good wife. But, there is that intrusion of nagging self-doubt that is sometimes difficult to shake. Ironically, the ‘fat wife’ card my stbxH played is rather comical because he, himself, has had weight issues over the years. Of course, his weight, premature gray hair, balding head, and his barely average looks were NEVER a threat to my love and loyalty. I never even ‘saw’ his flaws.

    As far as my weight, it has fluctuated over the course of our 25+ yr marriage. The periods when I was thin went unnoticed by him. There was never a word of encouragement, recognition, or a compliment when I would have success with getting my body into shape. He even rebuffed my suggestion that we work out together and criticized my exercise plan for us. So, I guess, really, he communicated nothing: not dissatisfaction with weight gain, nor satisfaction at the attractive results of diet and exercise. Why? Because, the problem isn’t ‘me’. He came into the marriage with deep issues (unbeknownst to me). My being fat was just a convenient card I handed him to play in the blame game…because, really, he had nothing ‘on me’. Like I said, I was a very good wife. Perfect? Of course not. But, I have done nothing to deserve what he’s done to me and our marriage.

    Thank you ALL for helping me to get re-centered and grounded again in the truth and reality of my situation. His cheating was all about arrogance and entitlement, with self-gratification trumping all else.

    • Mae–I’ve commented on the fat thing below, but I thought I’d mention that my STBX was extremely skinny when I first met him. He was 6’2″ and 140lbs. Of course he was sick all the time. He put on about 20 lbs and his health improved. Fast forward to his early 50s. After nearly 2 years in an affair, he looks terrible! He is pre-diabetic, and has been for about a year. He needs to lose weight–at least 20-30 lbs. However, it’s too hard for him to make the effort to lose weight.

      Instead, he reads about healthy diets and made a call to the wellness program provided by his company. In his mind, he’s now taking the steps he needs to lose weight and get into shape. That fish oil capsule is going to offset the 2 lbs of American cheese, 2.5 lbs of peanut butter, and 1.5 lbs of candy he consumes each week, I am sure! 😛

    • Mae- You sound completely in possession of the facts and headed for a wonderful recovery after living with an entitled, disordered moron. He is too blind to even grasp his great loss and isn’t even worthy of our pity. Bravo to you!

    • Mae, I’ve previously said that my ex cheated on me when we were young and when we were older, when I was skinny and when I had gained weight, when I was working and making good money and when I was a stay at home mom. He cheated on me when we had sex a lot and when we rarely had it. He’s just a fucking deceitful lying cheater (or as perhaps Chump Princess would say, a cheater shat out of hell baboon’s ass).

      And obviously neither your ex nor mine are George Clooney (or whatever one would consider god’s gift to womankind). Where do these assholes acquire such an unwarranted sense of entitlement?

      Was he taking care of YOUR needs for companionship, child-rearing help, housekeeping? Was he taking care of YOUR sexual and spousal needs? Obviously YOUR marital needs included a man who didn’t want to fuck his computer….did he care about THAT? What about YOUR needs, Sweet Mae?? Jeez, and you didn’t go out and cheat on him now did you? And why not? Because you’re a decent fucking human being! Fuck him, now I’m really mad.

      Anyhow Mae, it’s clear you’ve got this. And we’ve got your back.

      • Kelly, you hit the nail on the head. Beautifully put and something really to think about.

  • I have always had a problem with my weight (I still do, dammit!)
    For our last holiday I lost around 50lb and bought my first ever bikini, it took 9 months and regular ‘fat club’ meetings to get there. He had to be prompted to ask me how I’d done each week. He never commented once…I never had a compliment…. I was crushed and started eating again when we got home.
    I realised later that all those evenings I’d been at meetings, he’d been visiting OW.

  • Mae–I’m going to join in the chorus; your weight did not make him cheat. Focusing on the kids did not make him cheat. Being uninterested in porn didn’t make him cheat.

    Cheaters cheat because they can. It’s that simple. Why can they cheat? Because you trusted in them. You believed them when they said they were working late, when they said they were short on cash because of some unexpected bills, when they pleaded fatigue to get out of having sex with you.

    Weight is a big issue in divorce. Some people lose while others gain. I lost, but not because I wanted to play Pick Me with STBX. You see, while I know that STBX sees OW as the hottest supermodel, in fact, she’s 5’3 and over 200 lbs. That makes her 4 inches shorter than I am, and heavier than I ever was. Yet she’s hot.

    Oh, and by the way, STBX says I’m now “too skinny,” though I’m wearing the same clothes I did when we were married.

    The kids issue is right out of the cheater’s handbook. Go check out the cheater sites and the cheater comments on HuffPo. You’ll see that they all whine about how wifey has to deal with the kids. They’re all entitled about their needs, but none of them think that maybe Real Men pitch in to help with the kids. Jeez, be a dad, for pete’s sake!

    And the porn thing? I know that there are some women who like porn, but to be honest, it’s a bit of a turn-off for me. Respectful partners don’t require that their spouses engage in activities that make them uncomfortable. With a bit of actual conversation–something that real adults do–the couple ought to be able to expand their sexual repetoires in a mutually-agreeable fashion.

    Could I have been a “better” wife? Sure. There’s always room for improvement. And there are some honest challenges to a marriage. Successful couples learn how to argue constructively, how to ensure mutual sexual fulfillment, and how to lend a hand when their spouse needs it and when not to lend a hand. All of these involve adult communication. When one person shuts down communication, the other person is left guessing.

    You’re better off without that lying jackass in your life.

    Go out and learn to be the best you can be. You and your children will be better off. 🙂

    • Although i am overweight, I am tall and carry it not too badly. OW is wwwwwwiiiiiiiidddddeeeeeee in the behind and only 4ft something. He did not leave me cos I was too fat! We have 3 kids and I am, was, and always will be devoted to them, but he didn’t leave until he got her pregnant, and now with a 9 month old baby, I suspect he didn’t leave cos I gave the kids more time than him cos he stepped out of the fat into the fire with that one. I was quite keen on sex…and he wasn’t really, actually I used to think gee he’s not very good at this, oh well I’ll just have to work harder….until it wasn’t worth the effort, so it can’t be that either. It was my fault he didn’t follow his photography hobby, but I bought him a $1000 camera. It was my fault I cut up his credit card, I was trying to protect us all from him nearly going to jail for not taking responsibility for his debt. It was my fault I didn’t trust him, um???????? The benefit of hindsight!!!! If I went away I’d leave nice meals for him, I called him just to hear his voice. I worked hard to make a life for us and he shat all over everything. Any old excuse, any means of not accepting responsibility. If I made his life hell…it was worth it!

  • I also got the “I’m not sexually attracted to you anymore because your stomach is too big” excuse, and this was 6 months after I had given birth. I could lose 10-15 lbs., but I’m not fat. Apparently, I didn’t lose my pregnancy weight fast enough. I also got the “your gray hairs are showing,” ” you’re not feminine enough,” “you don’t dress fashionably enough,” “you don’t wear enough make-up,” “you don’t shave your legs and armpits” and “your nails aren’t nicely manicured” excuses. Mind you, I am a young-looking, reasonably attractive woman in her 40s (people frequently think I’m about 15 years younger).

    But, as soon XH told me these things, I immediately booked that hair appointment, bought lots of new clothes, make-up, etc., and lost a lot of weight (not intentionally, but it was the D-day diet). Even when I did these things, XH said, “Too little, too late,” and “How do I know your changes are sincere? You just did these things because I told you I was leaving you. I complained about these things all these years, but you never listened to me.” It’s true he did complain about these things from time to time. If I did address his concerns earlier, would it have made a difference? XH never did remark on my post-D-day weight loss (though others did).

    XH also said I would need to get a “mommy makeover”–liposuction and boob job after breastfeeding. He actually performs these procedures for a living, but not sure if that makes him an “expert.” Another thing XH would do is bring desserts home for me that he knew I liked (when I didn’t ask for them). When I responded that I shouldn’t eat these as they’d be bad for my figure, he said he just liked buying me desserts because he liked making me happy.

    • Mine actually said, in MC, “she’s going through menopause soon, how will she satisfy my sexual needs?”

      The MC scoffed and looked at me like “this guy is an asshole.”

      • Blue: Oh my gosh. When I addressed my now-ex’s concerns, I did the same thing. Tried very hard to meet all of them. He said, “Yeah, but now you’re just trying. I want it to come naturally.” Of course, didn’t even try to address any concerns that I brought up.

        Journey: I got, “You’re turning 40 soon. It’s all downhill from here.” He literally said those exact words.

        • Ooh! I got one better: When I asked mine what I could do to make him feel more respected (his complaint), he REFUSED TO TELL ME. Because “if I tell you, then you’ll just be doing it because I told you.” So… I was supposed to not only do everything at the right time (i.e., before I knew there was a problem), I was also supposed to read mhos mind to figure out what to do!


        • I got a variant of this about something: “Yeah, but now you’re just trying. I want it to come naturally.”

    • The mindfuckery these guys engage in is astronomical. So subversive to anything healthy.

  • Mae, you sound like a good, normal wife. It is your husband who was the bad partner, not you. A cheating, lying, manipulating, childish freak who has to watch porn to get off is NOT a good spouse. Of course you lost interest in sex, who would want porn blaring every time they are intimate with their spouse? And it is NORMAL to have attention focused on children when they are young. Only a CHILDISH adult would expect different.

    Mae, please don’t blame yourself. He CHOSE to cheat, it had nothing to do with you. Cheaters cheat because that’s how they roll. You could have been a combination of playboy bunny and saint, and he still would have cheated and then BLAMED YOU, because shifting blame is also how cheaters roll.

  • Mae, they will always find some way to justify their behavior. For me, he didn’t love me anymore because I didn’t want to have kids, even though I never heard one word from him that he ever wanted children, in fact he told me numerous times he was not interested in having kids.

    Other reasons included that I needed to exercise more to control my diabetes (my diabetes is well-controlled and I’ve always been this weight, fwiw), and because I was too independent and I didn’t like movies as much as he did.

    See how absurd that sounds? We were together NINE YEARS before we got married. They’re all excuses for him to get all the ego kibbles.

    Don’t fall for his shit, Mae. He sucks. Get away from this man and gain that life. You deserve it.

  • Hi Mae, yet another Chump here who was fed the same the same BS about my weight after DDay as a reason he needed to be unfaithful. He directly told me “as long as you are overweight I will feel the need to cheat”. Also, his OW was very fit, I came to find out. The combo of these things had me feeling just awful and guilty, exactly like you are writing about. I knew in my mind that it was awful of him to say these things to me, but I didn’t FEEL it made him awful, I only FELT the guilt and brokenness that came with being cheated in such a manner.

    But Mae, here is a little update that might help show you how it truly is BS…years later my husband has continuously tried to cheat on her (the fit OW whom he now lives with) with me! Ironically, she’s still smaller and I’m still a little overweight. (I’m a little slimmer than I was back then but not radically different) He’s made multiple attempts to cheat on her. Ha I actually just got another text yesterday and roses at Valentine’s Day.

    …I wonder what she’s got “wrong” with her that he tells himself is driving him to cheat, hmmm? Maybe she’s too skinny.

  • His interest in porn dealt a fatal blow to your marriage.

    It was not your disinterest in porn. Not wanting to have sex while watching porn is normal. There is nothing wrong with couples who want to do it, but it makes perfect sense that you might feel like you want his full attention or the porn was unappealing or whatever.

    We’ve moved from a society that shamed people for having kinks to one that shames people for not having them. Which is strange because some things are kinks because most people don’t like them.

    I don’t think this is just a case of he likes one thing, you like another, so compromise, though. I think watching porn changes people. It makes them want partners who look more perfect. It makes them think people should be willing to do all kinds of unusual things that many people just don’t want to do.

    Most of all, it makes it harder from them to get it up. This makes them want things that are more unusual or women who are more like models.

    I’m sure your husband started with some flaws and immaturity to make him get so into porn that he didn’t like real sex with a real person, but I think the porn made things worse.

    I am not trying to let your husband off here, I am saying that your disinterest in porn was not the problem. His interest in porn helped to break up your marriage.

  • I could have written your letter. I’m still blaming myself, too. It hurts.

    I needed this today.

    My husband and I met in college. We have been together ever since. After 3 children I weigh exactly what I weighed the day we met. I run religiously, it’s really my only hobby outside of single parenting 3 small children. We had sex 3-5 times a week despite his insane “work” schedule and my exhaustion from…oh yeah, single parenting 3 small kids. I never complained about his porn habit, I let him bring it into the bedroom. We tried every single toy he ever purchased. And every orifice. There was kink. And plenty of it. I justified it because he was my husband, my one and only. Anything I did with him was OK.

    In the end? He left me anyway. Cheated, lied, betrayed in the worst possible way.

    And actually said it was all because we didn’t have enough sex. He also added that I was too skinny and needed a bigger butt and bigger boobs. And complained that I went running at 7am Saturday mornings before he and the kids were out of bed. I should have woken him up for sex instead. After 20 years with me and telling me how beautiful I was…he actually told me he had decided he liked curves…and left me for a fat woman.

    It’s never enough. There is a hole inside of them that we can not fill, no matter what we did. I played pick me for 11 months and bent over backwards. I did EVERYTHING! Seriously chumpy. EVERYTHING!

    And he still left. It’s not you.

    • Hi Helen, I could have written this except for the kinky sex part!! Don’t get me wrong, each to their own and if feeling comfortable with our partners is the way to go, so be it, My ex husband wanted things which made me very uncomfortable which I would not take any part in. I had to ask him to stop looking at porn because it was making me uncomfortable and he wouldn’t. He told me that my standards were too high and he also called me a lesbian!! That comment alone broke my heart because I certainly am not. I have a gay son so different sexual preferences is not an issue with me. I am not sure what my ex thinks or does any more but I am very glad that I am not part of his depraved thoughts and behaviours any longer. They are never happy and will keep going from one tramp to the next. He is the loser as is my ex. It is about them not us.

      • Hey! The “lesbian” slam! I got that one too. It didn’t come until after I asked for a separation, and then he told me I must be a lesbian because it was unfathomable to him that any heterosexual woman would choose to leave him.

        Of course, the truly unfathomable part is why any person of any gender or sexual orientation would choose to stay with a partner that routinely lies to, betrays, verbally abuses, and generally mistreats him/her . . . but that’s what makes us chumps special.

        (And just for clarification, I don’t consider being a lesbian an insult, I just thought his attempt to use the term to attack me when his ego was starving for kibbles was pretty shocking. It meant that rather than spend a minute considering the damage his behavior had caused, he preferred to think that I had been lying to him for the entire fifteen years I had known him about a central piece of my identity.)

        • Hi Eilonwy. Thanks for your comment. I wasn’t insulted but surprised by the comment. As we have a gay son, it actually stopped me in my tracks. Funny, his Mother tried to insinuate almost 40 years ago that my ex husband may have been gay but it was her way to get rid of me, but I have had an uneasy feeling about him for 37 years that I have never been able to put my finger on. It actually gives me the creeps but he now prefers 20 year old Asian prostitutes and our daughter is 35 years of age. He is one sick puppy in my opinion.

    • You know, I had reached a point where I had mellowed out toward the Flaming Turd From Satan’s ass – for my own sake, certainly not his. However, reading this letter, CL’s response and now particularly Helen’s comment, has the bile rising up and I am ANGRIER than I have felt in awhile.

      Helen, I was so you with the porn in the bedroom, the kink, although I did avoid one orifice. He was my husband, we were partners, and I was pretty open-minded about sex. No corpses or animals, because come on, really, why, but to that which adults can reasonably consent, I was pretty flexible.

      In the end, none of it mattered. He threw me over for someone who, on her best day, isn’t fit to polish my shoe. As I mentioned to him just recently, when I found out with whom he was involved, I was disgusted and insulted more than hurt.

      I really loathe these cheaters and the disordered shit they bring into our lives. They are huge wastes of human skin. (((HUGS))) to everyone.

    • “It’s never enough. There is a hole inside of them that we can not fill, no matter what we did. I played pick me for 11 months and bent over backwards. I did EVERYTHING! Seriously chumpy. EVERYTHING!

      And he still left. It’s not you.”

      Helen gets to the heart of the matter. The disordered are broken beyond repair. They have a hole of need inside that can never, ever be filled, not by their spouse, not by their affair partners, not by paid prostitutes, not by porn, not by anyone or anything. They will always be searching for a way to fill up that hole, and I do believe when they start a new affair, somewhere inside they think they have finally succeeded. But soon, the thrill of the new wears off, and they grow dissatisfied and then blame their partner. But the truth is, they are black holes of need that suck the light and the life out of everyone they have intimate contact with. They will destroy you if you let them.

      • Totally agree…and forms of destroying you are picking on your weak points, doing exactly what he knows you don´t like, or choosing an OW that is symbolic of having features that are the opposite of you or like you but in a downgrade version. It is not uncommon that once they have left you and are stable with the OW, they will try to cheat on her with you! What could hurt the former OW more than cheating on her with his former wife?

        • I wonder why this is. My X would cheat on the OW in a heart beat with me. He has lived with her for several years and he can’t seem to leave me alone. I’ve finally gotten to MEH (and it happened on a Tuesday coincidentally) haha!
          Sometimes I talk to him, most often I don’t. Depends on what he’s saying.
          After spending time on Chump Lady’s blog I’ve learned so much and the best thing is that I would never take a cheater back in a million years.
          I’ve learned that they are character disordered narcissists with black holes in them that nothing and no one can fill. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t any of us.

      • “But the truth is, they are black holes of need that suck the light and the life out of everyone they have intimate contact with. They will destroy you if you let them.”

        Truer words have not been spoken Glad.

  • Mae, I doubt your weight had anything to do with it. Or your preference to have intimate sex with your husband, without the intrusion of porn.

    The “wife got fat” and “not enough/bad sex” are cheater’s go-to excuses. Usually, they’re not even true.

    • Yep! Cheater’s handbook, I tell you they all read from it! They say all the same shit.

  • Dear Mae,
    Your husband sounds exactly like my STBX asshole…17 years of marriage, porn addict, and then blaming me for getting too focused on the childre, my weight and my lack of interest in porn for his affair…(I was slightly overweight after two children – who isn´t- but my flabby stomach seemed to bother him, as well as how I smelled, what I ate, the clothes I wore, how I disciplined our daughters, my family, my friends….etc) But precisely yesterday, I read a blog article about narcissists as chameleons : they will criticize and put you down on whatever is your weak spot, so if the OW is skinny, he will also, once the excitement phase is over and is in a boring normal adult relationship, criticize her for that (if she cares about her weight) or whatever other issue she is sensitive or insecure about.

    “This is the deal…. In order for the narcissist to punish you, he or she needs to find your weak points. The places to hurt you, get you to react and supply significance whilst ‘kicking the cat’. The blindspots that you are insecure enough or confused enough about that you will hang around and take the blame for them….How the narcissist behaves is not about him or her (there is no-one there), it is always about YOU….The narcissist is a no-body, he or she is a no-person, and has no power and has no real substance. He or she is purely feeding off the ability to suck your energy and incite your attention to know he or she exists, and additionally you are the receptacle for the narcissist’s darkness and pain. You are THE target for punishment.

    So how do you heal and escape this?

    The only truth is this – by healing your weak links, and evolving and up-levelling yourself. Then not only will you escape the pain, attachments, obsessions, addiction and illusions of ‘love’ and ‘meant to be’, or the ‘need to hold the narcissist accountable’ – you will also become immune to narcissists. More than that, you will evolve a vital part of yourself that was not only co-creating ‘being abused’, but was also holding you back from your incredible, expansive, flourishing, joyful, love-filled TRUE life.”

    • Once my ex convinced me to marry him, he withheld sex. He said he had issues and I loved him so much I deprived myself of sex for years. I tried everything, and talked to him about it and he “tried” by getting pills a few times. At one point he said to not ask him because it was a turn off, he needed to initiate; so I waited and waited. No sex for years, I frequently thought about divorce, always convinced myself I loved him and he couldn’t help this. I was wrong. I say that to say this; it is true, a manipulative asshole will find your weakness and use it to hurt you, to control you. AND. When we went to MC, the first reason he gave for cheating? We had not had sex in years…

      • Exactly the same for me…I would wait for sex like if it was a present “Maybe for my birthday, our anniversary, Christmas…” He knew that was my insecurity, even though I had no problems physically, but he would do anything to avoid me (never going to sleep at the same time, wearing thick sweat pants and sweatshirt to bed, working on his computer). I thought he had a health problem, was simply not the type who likes sex, or towards the end, my theory was that he was gay! Now I know he was having sex all the time, and that he could even have sex without the OW being there (phone or screen sex) ! What assholes…!

        • Yep. I cannot even count how many times I asked ex how we could improve our sex life, how we could do it more, what would get him to want it. It was the biggest issue throughout the entire 20 years of our marriage. We didn’t even have sex on our honeymoon. During our dating days, he told me I was a nymphomaniac for wanting sex with him three times per week. We were both in our early 20s, healthy, attractive and single, any normal guy would have wanted it three times a DAY. Throughout our marriage, if we had sex twice per month, that was a good month. We often went six months without sex.

          He would always agree we needed more sex, would always claim he wanted more. But he routinely stayed up much later than me, usually on computer. I realize now he must have been looking at porn or chatting or good only knows what. He would say he was going to start coming to bed earlier, but never do it. Once I suggested he get a doctor to check his testosterone levels, and he got really angry and said his testosterone was just fine. Yeah, I guess it was, because he sure had no problem getting it on with hundreds of dudes at the gay bathhouse.

          Two decades of that left me convinced I was unattractive, unlovable, undesirable, lousy in bed. It’s very hard to get over all that.

  • Mae, Dear Mae,

    You are a good person married to a jackass. You were too fat? You spent too much time attending to your children? Seriously? Fuck this guy and that disordered donkey he rode in on. Unless your husband looks like George Clooney after he has spent a weekend at a spa, I would venture to say that he has a few miles on him that make him less than “Hey, have you considered a career as a leading man?” material.

    Everyone who has written is correct – there is nothing about you, nothing that you could have done that would have stopped him from cheating. His cheating is about him, not you. It’s the same with any abusive behavior – the perpetrator blames the victim. I wouldn’t slap you if you had my dinner ready on time. I would not have broken your arm if you didn’t try to run when I came after you to beat your ass. I wouldn’t have fucked that horse-faced OW if you didn’t have cellulite. What the fuckity-fuck!

    My cheater STBX has always blamed his behavior on something I was doing or not doing. And you know what? If I changed whatever it was he said made him cheat, he’d raise the bar and create a new excuse for cheating. It’s the neverending story. Cheaters, by their very nature, don’t want to be accountable or responsible, particularly for their foul behavior. My STBX cheated on me when I was thin, when I was overweight, when we were having sex all the time, when we were having kinky sex – it never mattered – because the cheating was never about any of those things.

    Mae, you want to lose weight and improve your appearance? Let that donkey turd of a husband be on his way and start living your best life. (((HUGS)))

  • “I did not comply with his need to watch porn during sex”

    Honey, if he had a “need” to watch it during sex or this was his norm….um yeah. That kind of points towards an addict and a much different issue. This isn’t a lack of kink in the woman, this is a serious illness in the man.

    Not that it matters. Hey, I’m normally a size 2-4, have been asked hundreds of times if I model (and as someone above said…blah blah blah doesn’t matter). We had plenty of sex, in fact I was usually requesting more, I am most certainly not prude and hey…I helped him support his frickin kids. It doesn’t matter. It isn’t about the package, or the sex etc.

    I didn’t use his “failings” to cheat on him. I could have just as easily said “you’re balding, you’re 40lbs overweight, you don’t make enough money, you can’t see through walls and shoot laser beams out of your ass. So I’m justified.” Actually he could shoot laser beams out of his ass come to think of it.

    In the same way that what a woman is wearing NEVER justifies rape and what a person did or said NEVER justifies domestic violence… matter what he said you did or didn’t do it didn’t justify his cheating. Replace cheating with BEATING when you doubt that.

  • Fuck porn. Porn ruined me. He ruined me. I’m phobic from repeatedly “catching” him fuck his computer instead of me. I used to love sex. We had great sex. I didn’t care one way or the other about porn. Porn is becoming Every Woman’s OW. He snuck his cocaine and porn. When I whined to my friend she said “tell him to go snort some porn.” I wish I could keep that perspective. Now I assume every man will always be thinking 24/7 about PORN.

    • Oh, and “when you treat a baby like a grown man you get Cog Dis.” Brill. (iant.)

      • Oh, and Mae- when I tried to be his Porn Buddy he said he was “too ashamed.” Which was also the reason he “subconsciously left it where I could find it, because something in him “wanted to be caught.” He wasn’t prepared for me to find him in Live Action though. Nor at all ashamed. False Shame Syndrome? But the pros say narcs are ashamed at the core? Did I say fuck them yet? And all you good chumps with lotsa hair…can you send some my way? It’s my birthday and I just pulled clumps from the shower 🙁
        And I’m Old. And Yuck. And Not Porn-y.

        • Sara, I don’t buy the whole “narcs have low self esteem” or “self loathing” or “shame” etc bs. When I asked my ex “BUT WHYYYYYYYYYYY???” shortly after D day in a 2 minute window of admitting stuff, he told me it’s because he had really low self esteem. A narc claiming they need more kibbles because they have a self esteem deficiency is like a coke addict saying they need more blow because they have a coke deficiency.

          That hole where all those missing hugs from their childhood are supposed to go? Yeah, that’s not a hole, that’s a mouth. With very sharp teeth. That’s a shark swimming in a pool, pointing to it’s maw and saying “check out all this shame”.

          Just my 2 cents.

          • THANK you Kat! That’s so refreshing to hear. How come I read these theories about deep seated crying shame as the root of narc damage? Mine learned just enough psychobabble to be dangerous. “We had to move a lot when I was a kid so I can’t bond” blah blah fear of abandonment, EVEN “…der, I can’t feel empathy” (but he cried watching a reality show about a family in crisis?!) I like your analogy much better.

            • “…like a coke addict saying they need more blow because they have a coke deficiency.”

              Perfectly put Kat. And he had that, too!

              • Precious Sara,

                Reading Dr. Simon’s books and his web-site/blog, Manipulative People, will totally clear up for you all the myths about narcissists and why they are what they are.

                Also, Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi. There are others, but these are about the best.

                And iNLP….That would be Mike Bundrant.

                Happy reading!

                and, Forge On!

  • My STBX had various complaints about me, always made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. One day, in a moment of honesty when he was trying to suck me back in he told me
    “I’ve said a lot of mean things to you, things I didn’t even mean…

    …but that’s how you break someone down.”

    And there was the truth. It was all a mindfuck to beat me down and control me. Asshole.

    • I keep thinking about how my ex said one time that he was trying to “tame” me. I thought he was joking at the time, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder…

  • Wow, Mae. We could be married to the same fuckwad. Anyhow, BIG BIG hug to you. Our mates are emotionally stunted somewhere between 10 yrs old and maybe 14. I would say 16, but I have a 16 yo who has more emotionally maturity than the asshat who sired her.

    Anyhow, if you think you are a bad wife for being a responsible adult and a good parent who thought she was part of a loving team, well I am a bad wife too!

    You have a great big better life to live without this clown. Your kids are going to be better off without this creep modeling how to be an ass to a mate. Let him have the fuckbuddy. A fuckbuddy who KNOWS that her man is married AND has children AND has devoted, gas lighted wife is just as fucked up as the creep you are divorcing.

    Love yourself. Love your kids and get your ducks lined up. You will have an awesome life without him.

  • Mae, if being a ‘bad wife’ means to be happy in the face of life’s challenges. devoted to nurturing your family, honest, loyal and real… Then I hope I have been a ‘bad wife’ too. You are right the deny responsibility for his ugly shortcomings, and choices. He’s not worthy of you.

  • Mae,
    Please DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF up!!! NO matter what you did or didn’t do, he was going to cheat…that’s what cheaters do. Listen to CL, she is absolutely right. So please give yourself a break and stop beating yourself up, you did nothing wrong. You deserve a great life, so honey, start living the great life you deserve.

  • You can’t help but admire the disordered. Their lives read like the want ads, ” Single, successful peace officer seeking a little on the side. Wanted tall willowy blonde who can do it all, uh no fat chicks, because my penis is not very big and that is what I love about myself the most. You must not mind my wife, we married young and have nothing in common, I hate working for her and supporting our kids so you are preferably without children, should make some money so I can deposit it into my uh play account, must cook my meals when I show up, do my laundry, rub my back and feet, and should be able to clean well. Oh experience doing yard work, and telling me I’m doing a great job all the time is good as well. Must be willing to relocate when the divorce is final so we can marry as quickly as possible. Hopefully you have assets because I had to dissipate our community property. Call me, Dick356.” Mae, all I can tell you is to keep moving forward. You will look back on this journey and know you are a great woman. Grieve that fairy tale but keep taking those baby steps forward.

  • Thank God for this!

    All of us have our ‘was it me’ ‘what did I do to contribute’ moments, so this is a real help. Thanks, CL.

  • When I used to see the ex with his trade-up, I wondered if it was me in the wrong after all until I saw him walking ahead of her like she was on a leash. I knew then that he was bleeding her dry of all her money and sticking around for her future inheritance. With her, he would save a few of his better tricks for later. This didn’t stop him from running around with other women though!

    • Please don’t think (or say) “his trade-up”. Language is powerful. That person has no character. That person is no prize. Like I’ve read before, that person was available. That person isn’t special. That person settled. That person was no/less work.

      Don’t even waste your time thinking about people who are less worthy. Give your energy to yourself, supportive people, and positive activities.

      I also love what Ann Landers wrote: “If you marry a man who cheated on his wife, you are married to a man who cheats on his wife.”

  • I think that you never really get over it, but you learn to make peace with it. It helped me to focus on my job – I still had kids to raise – and myself. I slowly took control of my life, started working out, eating right – all that. And understand that it is over, it is something that happened, it is in the past.

    You may or may not have been the perfect wife, I was not the perfect husband, but there is no excuse for betraying your spouse. You will hear that you need to get over it, that you need to move on, that you need to forgive. To regain trust is a process of acknowledgement, apology, amendment and atonement. For my spouse, acknowledgment seemed to be the hardest step. She blamed me, her “soul mate”, everyone but her. Until she could face up to what she had done, there was no forgiveness.

    It comes to you in stages but you will come to understand that you are stronger than you know. Trust in yourself, do right by your children, and push the self-doubt out of your head. You were a better wife than he deserved.

  • Hey Mae
    I had a conversation with my working-on-being-ex that went
    Me – I am afraid of you and what you will do when you get angry
    WOBE – well if you just did what you were told to, there wouldn’t be a problem.

    Sadly my mind reading skills are less than nil, and I have completely lost interest in what he tells me to do.

    I cant count the number of times he has listed all the ways I have “let him down” with regard to my habits, looks, housekeeping, cooking, child rearing, budgeting…. you name it I suck at it. I finally decided it is kinder for both of us for me to just bow out and let him find his Perfect Match.

    Im sorry you are hurt. He is a dick.

  • The narcs totally will say just about anything to try to control us and ‘get us’ when we’re not being controlled.

    My ex used to love it that I did little caring things for him, like making a coffee for him in the evening, preparing a dish he really liked, buying him cute stuff to wear. And, because I’m a Chump, I loved doing those things for him. Then during some fight about his needing to treat the kids and I better, he declared that he wasn’t very good to us because HE didn’t feel loved! When I pointed out that not only did I tell him I loved him, and support him in very practical ways in HIS ambitious work goals etc, I also made these small loving gestures in day to day life (didn’t even bother to point out that he didn’t do any of these three things – like a good Chump, I was blocking even myself from seeing that clearly). He told me those small gestures were just ‘normal’ and didn’t mean anything to him. And when he saw how that hurt me, he insisted on it.

    Like a good Chump, I later told myself he didn’t really mean that, he was just angry at the time, we all say things we don’t really mean sometimes when we’re angry ….

    But of course, weeks or months later at our next fight, he insists again on how these small loving acts didn’t mean anything, implying that I had to do a way better job of showing him he was loved (because the problem here was HIS unhappiness, of course).

    But I again discounted this, and kept making my loving gestures.

    After the third time he said the same thing, though, I decided I needed to take that seriously; I stopped those small things. I actually missed doing them, but felt so devalued and disrespected, I knew I needed to stop.

    So of course, another six months later or so, when he’s busy justifying having just started his second affair, the one that led me to kick him out, he tells me about how he NEEDED to fuck someone else, because he didn’t feel loved at home. And his explanation for that – it was because I had stopped doing those small loving things that I had done for 14 FUCKING YEARS prior!

    (And of course, he never, ever asked why I had stopped, or if I was OK when he noticed I had stopped.)

    I swear, sometimes I embarrass myself with the bullshit I put up with. What an idiot I was. But he was a much bigger idiot, to risk his relationship with someone like me, who saw who he was and loved him anyway.

  • Dear CL,

    I think I smell the topic for a future post: “You Might Be a ‘Bad’ Spouse if…….”.

    Forge on, ‘bad’ spouses….ForgeOn!

    • “You might be a ‘bad’ spouse if … you only gave 110% of yourself but it still wasn’t enough !! I wanted 200% dammit.

  • Why do cheaters say the same thing? Whoever said “cheater school or university” is right!
    I thought that you did not care about me-
    We grew apart-
    I had a lousy childhood-
    You gained weight and I am not attracted to you-
    You knew-
    We both did not get what we wanted from this marriage-
    You are not are good housekeeper-
    Telling me ad nauseam that I am a good mother-really meaning a lousy wife-
    Etc Etc Etc

  • Mae,
    You weren’t a bad wife, you were a fairly normal wife with what you thought was a husband sharing a life together with your children.

    Basically what I see from my experience and everyone else’s here is that the people we think we are sharing our lives with are not doing the same in return. Simple as that.

    They are emotionally retarded and just want fun and good things like a child and the minute reality seeps in is when the trouble starts and where the pretend relationship ends. They all seem to be born without emotional unavailability and character. It’s like they are stunted emotionally at the age of a toddler and like a toddler they can not communicate their feelings or wants or needs and just crawl to the next toy or bottle to keep them satisfied and don’t tell you they just do it. It’s not complicated at all, their fuckedupness. I have learned this. It’s quite simple and really doesn’t have anything to do with any of us. It’s who they are and probably always will be and always have been, Before, during and after their interactions with us. They don’t learn, grow or change, they just pick up new ways to manipulate people to stay with them.

    All it takes is to show interest in them and they stick around for as long as you will have them while they do what they feel like without your knowledge.

    It is out of our hands and control and once the HONEYMOON is over in their minds so is the relationship and if there are suddenly New Rules (Reality and Responsibility) Oof, forgettaboutit. Yet they will stick around until you say NO MORE because they don’t care and will not do the work of leaving when they can stay and continue to do what they want.

    Once you realize how simple what happened was, and it really is as I now know without a doubt. It makes it so much easier to think about how you want your life to be and what you want to focus on with yourself and what your wants and needs are. Then you can get on with fulfilling them.

    It’s kind of funny when you think about it, you lost nothing yet all of the drama, emotionally, spiritually and physically that follows after they are gone is produced by ourselves within ourselves because we thought what we had was real. They have no connection at all emotionally only if it pertains to them but there is no connection to us. I now know this as well.

    So stop thinking about what you could have done differently to save the relationship, the answer is nothing! Now focus on what you will do differently to save yourself and live the life you want to!!! : )

    Chalk it up to a mistake and learn from it. You didn’t know but you know now and unlike them we learn and grow. As you can see from this large and ever growing community here you are certainly not alone in your mistake. You know you can love so surround yourself with others who have that capacity as well.

    Do what you can to block him out of your mind and forge on with your new life!!!

    • Wow Deborah, that is absolutely brilliant, what incredible insight. I’m saving this one in my chump-archives to read and re-read.

  • Very well said Deborah. Very well said indeed.

    Mae, I hope you read Deborah’s comments as she has hit the nail right on the head.

  • Mae,
    For twenty years everything was my fault. I had an anxiety disorder, MY FAULT. I worked on said disorder and improved. No credit given, no support with trying to get better. I suffered severe pelvic organ prolapse that required robotic surgery with six weeks f no lifting, this after having my second and being basically a single patent save for hubs pick ups and drop offs at school. Had to wait two years (!) to get my surgery because hubs couldn’t be put upon for six weeks because he was a Very Important Artist with deadlines, most of which would magically fade away and be rescheduled almost without fail but chumpy me took it like a champ and held my head high while my young body utilized a 75 year olds pessary just to keep unimportant internal organs like, say, my bladder, internal. Decades long porn addiction been though I was considered attractive and got male attention? Check. But all my fault. Couldn’t get it up for a ready and willing wife? My fault. He sad I just wasn’t attractive to him any more. His OW looks like a man. I too have a special needs kid who is now at disordered dads house 50% of the time. My son is small and is losing weight because he is picky eater due to his aspbergers (oh yeah, also my fault). Ex and OW are driving him crazy so much so that he expressed to his ranting father that he wants to kill himself. He’s going into therapy but now ex is trying to micromanage that too.
    Mae he didn’t leave because you put on weight, he left because Peter Pan has to keep it light and be in the drivers seat, always. Narcissists never work too hard on getting ladies, they will cheat with anyone willing. I thought I was loved, I now know I was just there until something easy and strange came along. And they did.

  • I was thinking about this the other day actually… whether I have been forgetting about my role in our non-awesome marriage because I have so much to blame on him. And I do want to make sure I am honest and do accept things that I could have done better as well. Specifically I was thinking about how I just WASN’T that into having sex with my now ex. For a long time. I didn’t go above and beyond there to “spice” things up… and he did talk/complain about it sometimes. I had a good time during… occasionally a VERY good time… I believe the same for him at least until close to the start of the affair… and I thought that was enough. We had sex regularly, but it was usually me essentially acquiescing to him. And I noticed the affair pretty quickly because I actually had the feeling that he wasn’t “bugging” me for sex as much. And yes, I did think the word “bugging”. None of these things are good things for a marriage. So, I am willing to take some blame there that I could have done more to make our sex life better. However, he also could have done more. I literally got no intimacy outside of sex. Basically, if he touched me in any way, I knew he “expected” sex. And yes, I did tell him a few times that I felt that way. So while I take some blame it’s also a weird catch-22 that I feel like it could never have been any different because it was with him. Because he was only concerned about his own sexual needs and demanding things of me and telling me ways I wasn’t being good enough. There was no way for us to grow together here. I guess I just didn’t feel safe with him to fully explore myself sexually with him. He was also my first so I don’t think that helped… so I don’t know, now I do have some insecurities about my abilities/tastes in the bedroom – that I could be “boring” and whatnot.

    Anyway, so, I wasn’t perfect. But I did not deserve to be cheated on because of this. Though we clearly had issues that we weren’t dealing with. Nothing I can do about it now but find someone I actually AM into having sex with! 🙂

    • Another Erica, after years of verbal and psychological abuse, when my hormones took over and I was a willing partner, he would either finish or lose it just before I was to climax. I would literally say “I’m close, don’t stop.” And bam, he would stop. Guess what? My fault! He said my enthusiasm would bring him over the edge. Really? Are you 16? I got resentful, I felt a d still believe I was being sadistically abused. Needless to say, sex became infrequent. Imagine, a robust man that wants to make me feel good. No games. Won’t that be something. If anyone experienced something familiar, please share. Looking back I find it disturbing.

      • Whatawaste, that is disturbing.
        Very abusive in the most disturbing way.
        I never experienced that but reading what you wrote, it hit me hard.
        Let’s say I never experienced it with a marriage partner but I’ve experienced some very icky men since single.
        Just a few but enough to make me tread very lightly in the dating scene. I’m trying to figure out a nice way to come right out and ask them on the first date what’s up with their dick. Can you do that? haha

        • Not on the first date, but before we ever became intimate, I DID ask my boyfriend if he had any weird fetishes I should know about. He laughed and said no, and so far, that has been true. It’s nice to have sex with a guy without having to bite him really, really hard for him to have enjoyment.

    • anotherErica, I hear you. He never expressed verbal affection and he never touched me unless he wanted to get laid. After a few years I felt like an object, not a lover or partner. This clearly did not help me to be a sexual goddess, I had a really hard time generating much enthusiasm for sex. And yes, after the affair started he couldn’t perform with me anymore the few times I initiated it. I didn’t suspect the affair as the reason at the time, just thought he was getting older.

      In hindsight, I now realize that I needed to communicate with him about this issue. It probably would have led to divorce instead of love forever after, because his lack of affection probably meant that he was just not that into me, but at least it would have been honest. The difference between the two of us is that I didn’t check out of the marriage or feel entitled to cheat because of this issue. I was 100% committed and willing to stick with the bargain even if things weren’t perfect.

      PS Since the divorce I discovered that I am not a freak and I can totally enjoy, even by obsessed with, sex with a considerate, giving partner. Unfortunately we broke up for other reasons. I’m heartbroken but am glad I found out that it can still happen for me.

  • I too had a hard time connecting sexually with my ex. I attribute it to the fact that he was a Narc and my reactions I believed mirrored his lies. Hard to have a good time with someone like that. When we were young there was a learning curve, I expected that but thought that over the years it would get better. Sex was fun but there was something missing in it and in our relationship and I could never quite figure it out. As time went on my ex worried more about his performance (not really focused on my pleasure) and his “I’m not attracted to you” definitely influenced my behavior in the bedroom. I became more inhibited because it seemed as if having sex was just his idea of “sixteen different positions”, no foreplay, no kissing, no romance, no connection, everything a normal person requires. I often suggested ways to improve our marriage and our sex life but it seemed that the more I asked for something the less willing he was to give it to me. In the beginning we had sex all the time but as he got older he was less present mentally and that’s a total turn off. Oh yeah and his unilateral decision to sleep with his racquetball fuckbuddy. We are well and truly rid of these people.

  • Deborah, sounds like you’re talking about my fake ex-fiancé. Fake, as in, he faked the whole “I put your ring on layaway” thing in order to induce me to sell my house, put the money into his neglected crib, and move in with him. Lied to our families and friends, and his own sons, put on a whole charade for about 3 years total, before and after, the “proposal.” In a way, I would have been better off marrying the asshole and then divorcing him immediately, so I could have gotten some of my money back. But I don’t think I could have survived in his presence any longer…Hope you’re not talking about the same jerk, all these douchebags sound the same…And Mae, keep coming to Chump Lady and the Nation, we’ve got your back.

  • I love you Chump Lady for making me laugh with your expressive , wonderful and very colorful use of the English Language, for making us see every day how foolish & pathetic our Exes are & making us feel better & laugh about it.. Laughter is good for the soul!

    Dear Mae, chump lady was right, your cheater cheated because he is a FUCKWIT( I love that word by the way.)…I am a slim size 6, I take very good care of my appearance, we had only one child & I never ever stopped giving my STBEX HUSBAND ATTENTION, LOTS OF IT,

    I never stopped giving Love, Respect, Affection , Sex & all the while holding down a very lucrative full time job & cooking dinner every night ! .. But guess what , he cheated on me multiple times , he even had a kid with a nurse who was a 120 pounds heavier than I was, while his Physician wife was cooking dinner every night!.. It has nothing to do with you.. His cheating is all on him.

    I kept trying yo be a “better wife” but it made no difference.. He cheated because he wanted to. Lose the weight for yourself if it will make you feel better .. your kids will be shown a good example.. But do it only for you and not for your scumbag ex.
    Best wishes!

  • Weight is NOT the issue, Mae, no way. stbxh and I exercised like maniacs throughout our lives. He was into body building when we first married and it was hard on the marriage – (a little narc-ism? ya think?) But, I stayed step in step with him throughout the exercise stuff for 34 yrs. However, he quit 10 yrs ago because all the weight-building left him with serious arthritis when we got into our 50’s. I was always a walker, more so when he quit exercising and I had to (forget running, poor knees) walked all 4 Danes every day by myself. At 57, I’ve never felt so fit. Was he EVER interested in me sexually? NOPE. Looking back, I gave up that part of my life for whatever his quirks were. He liked to only masterbate while I had on sexy lingerie and was ready for anything, even kinky (no, no porn, thank you!! ack). My therapist said 1/2 of his cheating WAS my fault because *I* put up with no sexual attention from him for so long. Took me awhile to wrap my head around that one, but she’s right. That part of our marriage was so off-balance in my direction, but I loved him and put him first.

    SIZE or athletic ability has NOTHING to do with cheating. Please know that.
    Wishing you good luck on moving on. All this really blows the self-esteem.

  • I love you people and you, ChumpLady. It is 6 months since my husband announced he “didn’t want to spend the next 20 years with me” after our 20th anniversary and then immediately upon moving out, let my 8 yr-old daughter tell me that “a girl was sleeping in Daddy’s bed at his new apartment” – on New Year’s Day, no less. How long the affair was going on before he left, I have no idea. Against all advice of friends, I continue to think maybe it was just an emotional affair until he moved out? In any case, in this entire 6 months, I still have trouble releasing myself from the delusion that “He’s really a nice guy” with conflict-avoidance issues and that “Maybe I was a bad wife” – well, I wasn’t the best wife. I had a lot of stress in my career and I think I did my own bit of blame-shifting by feeling a lot of pent-up anger and sometimes letting that loose on him. I didn’t think my occasional yelling was more than normal in any relationship, but maybe I was wrong. But now, he is living it up with other woman together with MY KIDS twice a week and making NO MOVES WHATSOEVER towards legal divorce. I am chumped on a constant, everyday basis. But he’s that moved out and seems to want a divorce. I guess it’s not fun to file. I don’t want to file because I didn’t want this in the first place. I loved our family. I don’t know what to do.

  • Oh sorry, And Mae: You sound like you were a much better wife than I was and in no way deserved any of this. You deserve way better. Thanks for posting your story and best to you in moving on with your new, better life without him!

  • My experience with women is a bit limited, I suppose, by having serious relationships with two over the years. I’m now about 60. I’ve learned the hard way to say NOTHING about how overweight they are. Every time I even infer such a thing as being fat, they go ballistic. I’m beginning to think that the women I befriend have worldviews seriously differently than men. Those women look at the world as they would like it to be, rather than as it really is.

  • Mae-
    Just know that you are not alone but that your soon to be X is a total porn addicted fuckwit.
    Run as fast and far as you can & never look back. These men are SERIOUSLY messed up. I recently found out my soon to be XH is porn addicted. They cut you off sexually because they are incapable of any true intimacy of any kind. They prefer the images of women (movies or pictures) or go to new/strange women (pay for sex) because they do not have to have any connection with them. Any sex you or some other woman would have with these disordered narcs is letting them use you as a prop or to masterbate to. It is truly pathetic & you need to know that it has NOTHING to do with you-it is all their sick bullshit! Dont let him try to pin it on you. By the way, these guys hide these addictions well for a long time but once there are found out it gets ugly. Oh, and as it turns out in most cases it has something to do with mommy issues.

    Good luck Mae & Run !! I have already bought my running shoes and preparing for my escape!

    Stay strong Mae

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