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Dear Chump Lady, Sympathy for the OW?

bicentennialwallpaperDear Chump Lady,

My ex cheated on me with multiple women over the course of our relationship. The last one appeared to be the most serious, since their affair went on for several years.

My ex and I were long distance for much of this time due to circumstances beyond either of our control, so I was forced to learn about the affair online. As soon as I confronted him, my ex began scrambling to rearrange things so as to maximize his cake-eating opportunities (i.e., he recommitted himself to me but insisted on maintaining a friendship with the OW, who desperately hoped for something more but took what she could get now that I’d entered the picture).

In my fervent desire to restore normalcy, I pretended that this was okay with me while secretly cultivating an obsession with the OW and her perceived failings. I actually believe that my ex kept things mostly platonic with her after I discovered their affair, but allowing her to retain a central role in his life made for some awkward moments as we both pick-me-danced our hearts out on opposite sides of the globe while pretending we could care less about one another.

In what I think may have been a twisted attempt at brokering peace (read: facilitating the next level of cake eating), my ex revealed that the OW had confessed to being tormented with guilt over her role in my betrayal. I, of course, was glad to hear it and wished her many more years of torment.

After a while, both the OW and I became disillusioned and broke things off in quick succession. It’s been years since I’ve spoken to my ex, and in the meantime (according to Facebook) the OW settled down, had herself a kid and proceeded to improve her decision-making abilities. Looking back, I can see that I wasn’t “real” to her (being thousands of miles away and all), and that she was just a troubled girl who was susceptible to the same types of manipulation that I was. While I still think that any guilt she may have felt was well deserved, these days I find myself wanting to reach out and tell her that there are no longer any hard feelings. It may be crazy to assume that she still feels guilty after all this time, but I can’t seem to shake this strange impulse to absolve her. I guess I feel bonded to her in an odd way, thanks to our shared experience of being royally mindfucked by my ex and then kicking him to the curb.

Am I crazy for harboring friendly feelings towards the main accessory to my relationship’s demise? Is it a terrible idea to extend an olive branch at this stage of the game? Help!

Shifting Loyalties in NY


You know what’s nice about having a sibling? They remember the same things you do, but provide their own spin on events.

“Remember Aunt Mildred’s goiter and how she’d make you kiss her?”

Then your sibling adds, “And that Hammond organ she had in the front room with the cha cha setting?”

“No, that was Aunt Marion.”

“No Aunt Marion had the pool table. Aunt Mildred had the organ. And the bubble lights at X-mas. And the bicentennial wallpaper.”

“Oh, right. I forgot the wallpaper.”

“No one could forget that wallpaper.”

Siblings are our reality checks. Yes, these things really happened. I was THERE. I saw the wallpaper. It existed. You remember it too?

I think you’ve got a trauma bond. You imagine the OW is your sister in mindfuckery. Your ex’s mindfuckery is your bicentennial wallpaper.

Yes, I think it’s nuts to want to contact her and say “no hard feelings.” Because a) she clearly knew she was competing with you in the ‘pick me’ dance and persisted in having a relationship with your ex anyway. So you don’t owe her anything.

And b) Why have feelings for this person in the first place, good or ill? You admit to “cultivating an obsession” with the OW, and that seems to have continued after you broke up with your ex. (You know she moved on, had kids, it’s some years later.) The goal here is “meh.”

Nowhere in your letter do you say you were married to your ex. And you say it was long-distance. I wonder if what’s nagging at your mind is if the OW knew she was an OW at all? After all, you weren’t around. He was probably spinning some crazy bullshit to her that he was keeping it platonic with YOU and that you were  “tormented with guilt” over your role in HER betrayal.

All I know from your letter is you were in a long-distance relationship with a man, who had another woman, you were both aware of each other, and you both pick-me danced, and he committed to neither of you. Which makes him a douchebag. And she’s an idiot for pick me dancing, and you were an idiot too. But for a time you both hung in there believing his lies.

I think you want to contact her to find out what her lies were and do they match your lies, and GOSH, it really WAS HIM ALL ALONG!

Look, whether she’s a nefarious OW or a mixed up kid — it doesn’t matter. Trust that he sucks. 

Guys who love you, who are truly committed to you, don’t disrespect you this way. They don’t keep you off balance. They maintain boundaries with other people. They don’t goad you into the pick me dance.

I think it’s starting to dawn on you that you were both had. You don’t need to compare notes. You have enough information here to know that he sucks. Unlike the premise of dimwitted upcoming movie plots, chumps and OW don’t become BFF and get their hair highlighted together and plot revenge on the cheater.

No, in real life, you slunk away and rebuild your life best you can. Maybe she learned her lesson. Maybe you’re improving your picker. Maybe he tripped and fell into a vat of acid. I dunno. He’s in the past. She’s in the past. They represent regrettable life choices, like bicentennial wallpaper. Totally out of sync with your life now, and you’re mortified to recall when you EVER found that shit attractive.

Better days ahead SLINY. Don’t look back at the ugly wallpaper.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Agreed with CL. There’s a good chance that any “meetup” might not go as you planned. Lots of possibilities. The OW could:

    1) Still believe that she was the first, and you were the OW, and harbor resentment
    2) Think that you’re stalking her and be weirded out by that
    3) Be emotionally unstable herself (many OW are) and be a Pandora’s box of trouble
    4) Have learned no life lessons at all, thus not friend material for you. She might even be cheating again with someone else.

    Just because she had a kid doesn’t mean she’s a great person. And…just because she isn’t with your ex any longer doesn’t mean she has the same outlook and experience that you do. Hers could be waaay off from yours.

    You’ve learned from this experience, moved on, and forgiven the OW in your heart. Best to leave it at that. It would really suck to have all those warm, fuzzy feelings for her turn sour if you actually talk with her and realize she’s a nutcase who is still giving you the stink-eye from across the globe.

    • I agree with DuckLinerUpper. Everything you know about this woman’s thoughts and feelings came through your ex. You KNOW he’s a liar, she what you “know” may be far from the truth. Yes, you can learn things about her on the internet through Facebook or something, but you really know nothing about who she is. Trust that HE sucks and forget about this woman.

    • DLU, great reply.
      I can’t stop snorting laughter over “vat of acid.”
      I’ve tried to walk forward while looking behind me and kept falling down.
      Yea, don’t do that.

  • Maybe I’m in minority, but I don’t get the sympathy for OW (or OM.) I’m already close to a year post DD, and my hate for OW has only increased, to the point where I wish her dead and have posted several times about her on “she’s a homewrecker” website. Tracy is spot on with her response, no surprise. This is a classic example of “have not gotten to MEH yet.”

    • For the most part, I am at meh, but I will never, ever, feel anything but hatred for the OW (and I am someone who always told my kids to say they”strongly disliked” people because I don’t like the H word). I can only speak for myself and my experience, but I truly believe people who knowingly implode a long term marriage are evil motherfuckers, who deserve to live miserable lives!

      Heartbroken, it has been four years for me and I can truly say that I hate the OW more today than I did when I first learned that she had seduced my aging and extremely ill partner. Yes, he was a narcissistic shithead, who always put himself first. She, however, was and is a Jesus cheating golddigger, who had only one objective- to get her hands on alot of money. In fact, one of her daughters actually bragged about it to one of MY employees! Pure evil dressed up as the church lady. As we like to say around here, I wouldn’t piss on her if she was on fire!

      I made sure she didn’t receive a dime of my hard earned money. Did it make me look like a complete and total bitch? Yes, but I don’t care because, as it relates to that hypocrite, I proudly wear that label. She is now totally broke, can’t find a job, living with her mom cause she can’t pay her mortgage and I still don’t think she has suffered enough. Oh, and of course she tells everyone who will listen that she is afraid of me and that I “ruined” her life. No, she managed to that all by herself. As did my ex, who lost the love of a good and faithful woman, who had taken care of him through many, many difficult times.

      • I should add that one of the reasons I even think about her is that, until a few months ago, she continued to “shadow” me and me kids. We never knew where she was going to show up, always with a bullshit excuse of why, in a city of over a million people, she just happened to be where we were. It has been quiet for the past few months. Maybe I can now get to meh.

      • Great Karma Bus story. You are not a bitch. You simply held your ground. So many wives don’t even get a chance to protect their assets because the husband has dissipated them, hidden them, etc. before the affair comes to light or while wife is doing the “pick-me.” I will hold this image of your OW in my mind to make me smile.

      • hey Louise, do you want to know something funny? 2 OW’s were patiently waiting for him to throw me and my kid out of my house, so they could live in this beautiful huge house, decorated with beautiful expensive things, sleep on my high thread count sheets 😉 and drive my vehicles, have clothes and jewelry like mine. He was telling them he couldn’t bring himself to do that to me and my son (what a great guy! lol! ) but will do it soon, for year and a half. He made them believe everything that I have was his or because of him. When I threw him out and when they all realized everything was mine and they were used and he had NOTHING lol!!! Their DREAMS were shattered!! Boo ya!! :)))))

        • HA Nicolette – now that’s Karma. Same sitch here. Tramp had moved into my house, used all my things – yep, the high count bed sheets and all. No boundaries. I’m sure she figured, after going full-ass predator on him as the gold digger she is – that she would get it all. After all, she managed to steal this ‘gem of an old/arthritic hasband from me. Well, just signed the almost-final documents and the exorbitant alimony is going to leave the naturally-tight-assed cheapskate even more puckered up than he was when I lived with him. Annnnd, I GET the house! Fuck her.

          • YAY!!!!

            there you go SheChump!! I am high-fiving you through the computer girl!! now they can both go fuck themselves!!

            Thank you so much for sharing it and besides enjoying your wonderful freedom, enjoy YOUR HOUSE!!! life is good!!!! 🙂

      • yea.. ” the HOLY Ones” that Act like GOD’s Got THEIR Backs after acting Dispicably behind the Scenes Really Get My Back Up..
        Karma’s NOT Done with her Yet…Believe Me. Like GOD Doesn’t SEE Her…KNOW What she is… THOSE People Really Have Nerve to act like GOd isn’t Wise to Her Shit..Mocking HIM, Basically for Kibbles from others and making THEM Prey because she’s a ” Christian” so they Trust her.

        I HATE Those Dangerous FRAUDS.

      • why would anyone consider you a bitch for not giving any of your hard earned money to the home wrecking ho? None of that is your fault! She made her choices, she made her bed-she gets to lie in the shit storm she helped create.

        Nothin bitchy about that at all unless you’re gonna count Karma!

    • I don’t feel sorry for OW/OM either not one bit, in my case the first OW knew about me, begged him to stop seeing me (she was married btw but she wanted to be the only woman in his life, SMH..) but took what she could get and continued having sex with him for over 3 years, knowing, after giving him a bj in a car he was coming home to me. I wouldn’t believe anything that comes out of a proven liar/cheaters mouth! Let it go, he is a lowlife sick fuck and scum! He played you both, accept that and know he is a certified douchebag and he sucks!

    • I’ve decided that June 1 sounds like a good date to file.

      Anyway, much about how I feel about OW will ride on the crap that will hit the fan once I do file. If she’s a nut job, if she’s a stalker–well, I’ll happily wish her dead.

      However, I also know she’s a train wreck of an individual. She thinks she’s hot. She has sent 20-year old photos of herself to STBX, telling him about how she won some kind of wet t-shirt sort of contest when she was 17. Wtf? How sad! She’s now 41, and a 5’3″ woman tipping the scale at 200lbs. Who sends their lover a teenage picture of themselves as a representation of what they are now? Okay, I get that emotionally, she’s still a teenager, but…

      Anyway, at this point, my real anger is directed toward STBX. OW didn’t swear any oaths to me. He did. OW is a homewrecker, that’s for sure, but she would not have had any traction if STBX had told her thanks but no thanks.

      My feelings toward OW are complicated. Would I want to interview her? No. I’d have to recuse myself. Would I give her a good recommendation if I found out she were interviewing at my shop? No, but I’d also say that since she fucked my husband and has a track record of sleeping with the men she works with, that my perception is skewed. However, yes, I’m angry with her. I also view her as pathetic.

      In fact, one very real reason why I’d not consider reconciliation is that she’s so clearly a trade down that if that is all it took for him to betray our marriage, then our marriage was clearly of no value to him. In fact, I’m embarrassed for him, or rather, if I were he, I’d be embarrassed.

      So at least for where I am now, I’m not “meh” with OW, but I am not filled with a loathing hatred of her.

      I would tattoo a warning across her forehead, though: Caution: Shark-invested waters. You will be eaten alive.

      • “In fact, one very real reason why I’d not consider reconciliation is that she’s so clearly a trade down that if that is all it took for him to betray our marriage, then our marriage was clearly of no value to him. In fact, I’m embarrassed for him, or rather, if I were he, I’d be embarrassed.”

        ^^^THIS!! that’s how I felt when I found about the OW’s, who they were and what they look like. That still blows my mind! its funny though, it used to drive him insane when other men will just gawk/stare at me and more than once he loudly said “not even in your dreams asshole, keep dreaming and keep your eyes to yourself!” that also included his own brother and now he is wishing he was still my man, not even in his wildest dreams asshole!

  • “Guys who love you, who are truly committed to you, don’t disrespect you this way. They don’t keep you off balance. They maintain boundaries with other people. They don’t goad you into the pick me dance.” THIS!!! THANK YOU CHUMP LADY!

  • I don’t understand how a chump can feel anything for those OW/OM. They played a big part in crashing your marriage in the first place. I cannot get it into my head that forgiving them or contacting them has a pathway to meh. Working toward meh is working to “they don’t matter any more in my life”. Putting that much emphasis on either of them is putting them back into the forefront of your life. A place where you should be, not them. Work toward “complete indifference”. That is a big part of the healing process. In time it will happen. Put yourself #1. You will never move on if your still in their drama whether they are together or not. Learn to love yourself and be kind to yourself. You are so much better than they are. You COUNT, not them. Blessings!

  • Thank you for this message today. I need it. I’m losing the battle for “meh” and looking up ways to even see a picture of this OW today. I feel sick to my gut and like there’s no way out.

    • The OW doesn’t have any special powers. She’s someone who, like your cheater, has crappy life skills and crappy character. And that’s going to go forward with her, unless she has some serious life turnaround.

      These people don’t “win” cheaters. They win the pick me dance. And the reward is — MORE of the pick me dance.

      The long-term OW in my story I’m “meh” about — and she was a bunny boiler, as I’ve posted elsewhere. Cyberstalking, fake profiles, spam, subscriptions, etc. Showed up a my house with furniture the DAY after I moved out, etc.

      I don’t know anything about her except what wife #2 told me and what the ex said (who is a liar). She seems to have gotten pregnant with her brother in law’s kid (her sister’s husband) and gave that kid his surname. But the kid is the spitting image of my ex. So, how fucked up is that? All I know is I saw the correspondence he saved. The cards, the valentines, the pitiful invitations to her son’s birthday party, the pictures she sent of them both — the very sad and pathetic vestiges of a 20 year pick me dance. I know that he married two other women that weren’t her. (She was OW back at marriage #1). And she hung in there, rejection after rejection, believing his mindfuckery.

      Who does that? Who is a side dish fuck for 20+ years? Who begs for that kind of attention for herself and her illegitimate kid? No one I envy, that’s for sure. No one I measure myself against or whose opinion matters to me. On my days of non-indifference I feel pity and disgust for her. Anger at her hating ME. Me? Seriously? But whatever hatred she acted towards me is nothing compared to the hatred she must feel for herself to stay with that sociopath that is my ex.

      CITS — these people don’t “win.” They just think they do, and they’re kidding themselves.

      • Thank you. Today is a day I need to remind myself–AP aren’t as sweet and supportive when they live with you 24/7. If they were, they would treat their spouses that way too–and wouldn’t be looking elsewhere.

      • “. . . unless she has some serious life turnaround.”

        I don’t believe people can change. They can modify their behavior. They can grow. But I think they are essentially the same people.

        My ex-husband used to really get pissed when I made this point during hypothetical debates. He insisted that no, people change all of the time. He called it “negativity”; I call it healthy cynicism.

        As he was literally walking out of the door as I pleaded for some sort of rationale, after all, who just announces he wants a divorce likerightnow and leaves, he cited woefully, “You said yourself that people cannot change.”

        Silly me. I wondered, “What in the hell does that have to do with anything?” Shit hit the fan shortly thereafter.

      • Similar story here CL, one of my ex’s AP’s had a 15-plus year affair with him, while my ex also had a 15-year plus affair with her best friend, and they BOTH engaged in group sex with him as well.

        As many of you know from my prior posts, these AP’s, and in particular AP#1, hung around us and our family, becoming insinuated as a co-worker of my ex, a family friend, someone who painted us pictures which hung on our walls, someone who spent overnight visits in our home and us in hers (with and without our respective children and with and without her husband), ALL WHILE HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH MY HUSBAND. When I caught him on D D-Day my ex told me he was “never going to tell” me or leave me and “just always thought we’d be together”.

        I found out later that after I kicked ex out, AP#1 suddenly demanded a divorce from her husband and was in such a hurry she left him with primary custody of their 2 sons and their lovely home. Once her husband realized what was going on, he had the joy of having to DNA test his youngest son to determine (thankfully) it was not my ex’s. AP#1 also announced to her then-husband that she and my ex were the “loves of each others’ lives” and were going to be married the minute her divorce was final in March 2013. As far as I know that has not occurred but I sense my ex’s finances are taking a downturn so who knows what the future may hold.

        As you said CL, “WHO DOES THAT?”

    • Chump in the Sand..I can’t count how many times in the 3 months since DDay that I’ve looked at pictures online of the OW. Great way to torture myself, huh? I just want to keep reminding myself that she is a piece of crap trashy fat ugly skank. It’s like driving by the scene of an don’t want to look, but you just can’t help it!

      • I Look back and Laugh cause I KNOW WHAT she is..and her Having literally Hundreds of Selfies, ** Hello NARCISSIST ** Fishing for Compliments, Including a Really FOGGY one that made her look Somewhat Decent–>>Funny… one of her ” Friends” said she looked like a Hooker..and she Replied ” guess that makes You my John” ..I HOWLED. LOL… She FINALLY told Something Resembling the Truth, for Once.

        Her ” Friends ” cut her Up ALL the time, and make it CLEAR they just Wanna FUCK her, and she Takes it and Thinks it’s ” Funny”. Stupid Bitch is Well on her Way to 50 and STILL Acting like Lil Miss ” FREESPIRIT “…. with 2 kids under 10, still… Draggging them ALL over God’s Earth, hoping to Snagg the Next Fool, looking to take on HER BAGGAGE. Mrs. HotShit, She ISN’T.

        Jealous ?? UMMM..NO..not Even CLOSE.
        Pity Her ?? ….well..She IS Pathetic.

        OH WEll…

        • Man I feel bad for the kids,,,how fucked are they going to be. Its not the kids fault 🙁 How do you look at yourself in the mirror and then look into your kids eyes ??? Fucking heartbreaking shit.

          • Michael, I Seriously Hope You’re not Trying to Make ME feel Bad for HER Actions.
            She HAD a Good Man who Allowed her to Stay home with her 3 kids.. Raised One that wasn’t Even HIS. And All she could Bitch about was that She wanted to go out Runnin round with her Friends and never Let her Outta the House…so she wanted her CAKE and eat it Too… Well…
            Evidently she left him and took the kids with her.. HE didn’t Deserve that shit from her. The REASON he kept her Home was cause HE didn’t TRUST Her…
            GEE, I Wonder WHY.

            I Face Myself in the Mirror JUST FINE and Look into My Daughter’s Eyes with a Very CLEAR Conscience.. She’s My TOP PRIORITY.
            I’m not taking on ANY GUILT for HER Crap Decisions..
            ANSWER YOUR Question ?

            • Oh..and BY the WAY…” Coincidently” Enough, she Waited to leave him till HER Oldest *not his* was at Least 15..Old Enough to be Left Home with Their Two Little Ones So SHE can go out Acting like SHE hasn’t a Care in the World. You Tell ME her oldest Isn’t gonna feel USED.
              Indeed, How DOES SHE look Herself in the Mirror ?? I Wouldn’t Know.

              • Last Thing..She’s NEVER Been Married to Either of The Fathers Cause.. She’s Waiting for TWOO WUB to Last FOREVER.. **eyeroll* WHATEVER.

              • BloomingRoseinWinter, your comment, “Neither of them Wanna admit the TRUTH about What they BOTH they’re Trying to Show Themselves to be Something they Aren’t, to Avoid Judgement they BOTH Deserve…”

                That’s it exactly. They are disgusting hypocrites. You know it and we know it and they might fool some people but they don’t fool God for one second.

            • I got the impression Michael was saying that about the slutty OW. I thought he was using the word ‘you’ as in how could a person do that and look at himself/herself in the mirror and then into their kid’s eyes. That’s what I took from his comment. He thinks it’s a heartbreaking, horrible thing to do and how could anyone do that shit, meaning the OW should feel guilt, not you. Nobody here is going to try to put guilt on you because you aren’t the fuckup, she and your ex are.

              • Sorry, Michael and Hawk…
                RAW nerves… See, Thing Is..She’s Always posting shit about GOD, Faith and Guidance and doing the Right thing and Doing GOOD for Others…and she Plays the ” Lil Miss Sweet and Innocent, Everybody Done me Wrong,Nothing’s Ever MY Fault, Those Mean Men ALL Used Me, All ALONE with 3 kids ” Shit..and Seems like Everybody BUYS It. Makes me SICK..and I’m the HORRIBLE one cause I SEE HER for what she Really IS.
                Gotta Admit..I got taken in….for about a ” MINUTE.”
                Her and EX Spit Daggers behind Eachother’s Backs..Kiss Eachother’s Arses in Public..and make it ALL Look Peachy Keen for everyone Else..that’s how I got Drug Into ALL this Mess.. They Made it SEEM like they were Decent People, Both of them..Only for her to drop a HUGE Bombshell AFTER I was Already Pregnant By him and Left Him..
                and I Think the Dumb bitch is Still Messin with him to this Day on the D.L. Neither of them Wanna admit the TRUTH about What they BOTH they’re Trying to Show Themselves to be Something they Aren’t, to Avoid Judgement they BOTH Deserve…

                Then Again…They BOTH Evidently believe in BREEDING and LEAVING like it Ain’t NO Thing, and Letting Others Fit the Bill..Till they’re of NO USE Anymore.
                They DESERVE EACHOTHER.

    • Chump in the Sand, don’t do it! BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK!! I am sorry you feel this way today but you are not alone, we all are here for you. BIG HUGS to you sweetie!!

      • Thank you. Was at the therapist this afternoon and ranted there. Mentioned this site often, particularly when I told her I was refusing to untangle the skein of fuckupedness–she was really impressed and supportive of it.

        The one thing that Andrew Marshall had right is that the AP looks all sparkly until you have to live with them. My husband needs that reality check (not moving in with them–just that basic uncommon sense). He is NC, though.

          • Oh Chump in the Sand… I am so sorry! We are all so glad you are here with us now!!!!! Hugs to you, today and everyday!

          • Sweetie, no one and I mean NO ONE is worth that much, for you to even consider something like that! He is a worthless POS! Life is a gift and its your gift, I know its hard being betrayed like this, we all do. The one who suppose to have your back stabs you in the back, that I so understand, but you will make it I promise you that. Of course the AP looks all sparkly until they have to deal with everyday things. Its fun and games with all the secrecy, all the fantasy and if they move in together or no need for hiding it anymore, when its out, it loses its spark, that high… when these assholes move on to the next person they don’t magically get a character transplant, they are who they are and its a matter of time before their true colors shows with their new partner, just wait and the mean time keep NC with the asswipe, the longer you are in NC the better you will feel and someday you will look back and this pain will be a long distant memory. Hang in there and big hugs from all of us!

            • CITS, I second what Nicolette says. I know the feelings of despair and disbelief and such incredible sorrow, we all do here. You are a beautiful person and those POS’s a aren’t worth it. Hold onto the anger if you have to, know your self worth. You may think that wrong has own but it has not, the evil will always fail although you may not be there so witness it or know exactly how. It is a long hard road and I know there were days where I could barely crawl. But do it for yourself, your family, and for us! We are all here holding your hand and cheering you on.

          • CITS, I am so glad that you are here. Yours is one of the voices that rings strongest and truest for me out of many, many other strong and true voices in our Chumpdom. Please know that every comment you make and every story you share gives credence to the rest of us on the board, and hope as well. Thank you so much, and God bless you. Only someone with a beautiful heart and spirit could write the kind of courageous posts you do, and even though you’ve been through hell, I do believe the worst is past.

            As Dani said, “hugs to you, today and everyday!”

            • Me too, CITS. Your posts always resonate with me and I get so much strength from them. You are a kick-arse, feisty woman and so much better than your ex and his skank. And when you’re not feeling so kick-arse? We’re all here for you to lean on.

              Hang in there…

            • CITS, I also wanted to lay down and die after D-day, I remember the terrible urge to drive to our nearby graveyard and just lay down in one of the open graves they were digging. I was so tired of living! But I have joy back in my life, I feel so much better after getting through the valley of grief. I think you will too, you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

  • There’s at least 2 OW from my marriage (that I know of); several more I suspect.

    Five years out, I can say I don’t hate them with the blazing “want to see them suffer” hate like I used to – it’s morphed now into a “trust that they are pathetic” and “someday it will all catch up with them” kinda feeling. I’ve learned enough to see that yes, they were both snowed a little too by the ex, but I also know that they both KNEW he was married (one knew me; the other could have found out in 1 second with a google search), so I’ve never felt pity, more like disgust – like when you see a worm that’s squished on the sidewalk. Yep, sucks to be that worm, but YOU crawled out on the sidewalk…

    I do have a few sentences prepped in the back of my mind, in case one or both ever contacts me, or I run into the one on the street. I do know that they are both, by OW nature – liars – so what I say and/or what they say back is largely irrelevant. I just don’t like being unprepared, and thinking, “I wish I would have said THAT…”.

    For your own well being, put this behind you. Have a plan, if YOU are ever contacted, but until then, say whatever you’d like to say to the wind, or write it on a balloon and let it go. We’ve already wasted far too many years and tears on these folks, don’t let them steal another minute.

    • Oh God, you touched upon something really sensitive for me: RuNNING into OW! My irrational fear is considered “silly” by my friends, even therapist, because technically I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, but nevertheless, I’ve got this anxious feeling that this will happen and it will be traumatizing because I am an anxious person to begin with. Btw, it is totally realistic that the run in will occur at some point because we live a mile from each other! OW (one of them, the other I don’t know what she looks like), is an ex stripper, total trash, but she does have a mouth on her and since I’ve told her husband, she is beyond pissed at me.
      Question for you and everyone who wants to chime in: what do you say to this type of person? I’m not confrontational by nature but I don’t want to give her the satisfaction of blushing, running out of the store, etc.

        • I like your response, but one of my daughters handled it best when the OW showed up unannounced and uninvited BY HERSELF at a school event (where she knew absolutely no one),” Look Mom, there’s that crazy whore who stalks us everyone we go! What the fuck is she doing here? Hey, everybody, this is that crazy bitch I was telling all of you about!” Did I mention what a warrior my daughter is and how proud I am that I am her mom?

          • Louise, that is awesome! It made me laugh out loud! Kudos to your warrior daughter. I have a daughter just like that but she’s a bit older. Yes, you are right to be proud.

          • Dear Louise,
            I too have a warrior daughter and I am so PROUD of her too!!!!! The only good thing that came from my dog turd.

            I have run into the OW because we both work at the same place. I hold my head high, told all my colleagues about her having an affair with my husband. I hold my head high when I see her because I have nothing to be ashamed of and I am amused how she slinks around trying to avoid me. However, I also know I can’t have this a permanent situation so I found a new job that starts at end of summer in another state so my daughter and I can start over. Being farther away from the dog turd will help us both move forward. I don’t have to see or have any communication with him and my daughter will be far enough away I don’t think he will feel he needs to periodically needs to pretend he’s interested in her or cares about her.

            • A fresh new start for you and your daughter will be great, TKM. Good on you for putting that together! It’s really inspirational.

        • Doop, I ran into OW#2 in a small mall and she approached me and told me “I’m so sorry. I know he’s married but I can’t help myself.” I just looked at her then moved on since I didn’t want to share my breathing space with her. OW no.1 apologized profusely when I confronted her and begged me not to tell her husband. I didn’t. She did since she was terrified I would and he threw her out that evening. They were married for less than a year. Third and final OW? I owe her a thank you note.

        • Heartbroken…Do the ‘Total Ignore’ look right through her as if she doesn’t exist. If she confronts you draw yourself up to be 6 feet tall and calmly dial 911 and tell them you are being harassed.

      • say nothing, just smile then turn your back at her, that would fuck with her head! that’s all you need to do.. 😉

          • LMAO!!! yeah that may work too! I did that to the last OW. I was in a store and there she was, I just smiled and turn my back at her, then the loud, obnoxious, lowlife, no class redneck bimbo started to yep, I heard her saying “OMG did you see what she just did? she smiled at me, why would she smile at me, she thinks she is better than me!” walking away with a smile, all I could think was, you bet your ugly fat ass I am better than you! the fat cow was in her redneck getup, a shirt that was 3 sizes too small, her gut and rolls hanging over her 4 sizes too small shorts with flip flops and she thinks she is the shit lol! I couldn’t believe my ex would go so low and fuck someone like her,(another ho-worker) when they were together she was chunky but not this fat, she posts publicly she wants to lose some weight then a minute later she is asking “who will bring me some deer meat and apple pie?” LOL!! she takes pictures of herself everyday, in her words “in my itsie bitsie lil bikini” (that would make you lose your lunch) and talks about her ex husband, who cheated on her, left her with 4 kids and married the OW and has the nerve to post “does every men cheat?” and without giving any names calls my ex, now her ex too, a “leech and a player” geez talk about a dumb ass lowlife!

          • When I had moved out, but was not yet divorced, I ran into my then husband and a married woman he had begun having an EA with while we were supposedly trying to reconcile. The *moment* I said divorce they moved it to the next level. So, this night they walked into a restaurant/bar and saw me. My H looked petrified and her face froze. I said “Huh, I know where my husband is tonight, where’s yours?” She got out, “Oh, he’s – ” but then she was talking to my back…

      • I ran into final OW a few months ago. I smiled at her, while staring, and made her highly uncomfortable. 🙂

      • I feel mostly irritation towards the OW but not much else. I really don’t give her much thought. My thoughts are more with my ex, who totally lied to my face over and over about his relationship with her. I’m glad I don’t have to pretend to be nice to her as our “family friend” or his “coworker” any more. If I saw her I would look through her like she was invisible, then I’d turn and walk away. The two of them deserve each other.

        • This is the thing… They DO Deserve EachOther.
          That’s what got me Through ALL of the Pain…and I found myself Saying ” THANK YOU .. Two Shitbirds with One Stone, Taking Eachother Out of MY Life “

    • I ran into the OW about two weeks after dday, while walking down the sidewalk. I think I stopped momentarily in my tracks from the shock of it. I had sunglasses on, (thank goodness for that little bit of armor), and I just kept on going. After I passed her, I did a double-take to see if it really was her, and she was doing the same with me. Then she crossed the street quickly to get on the other side. That shook me up a lot. About a month after that, I saw the two of them together at an event, and I just avoided them completely. Thankfully I had a friend with me and she stayed by my side. I did happen to accidentally look up shortly after I got there and see that my ex was looking right at me with a look I had never seen before. It looked like he felt bad that I was there seeing them together for the first time, only about 5 weeks after dday. That was a really hard night. But I survived. I have not seen them together since. Well, maybe once. I think I saw them in the car together.

      • The few times I’ve seen ex and final OW together ex gets all squirmy and looks like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Final OW just looks like a kid who doesn’t want to be noticed. It’s actually kind of funny that they so obviously feel off balance and wrong when I’m around. I don’t feel that way at all. Once I went over and said hello to her and she looked like she was going to shit herself. Apparently she’s ‘scared’ of me. Because, you know, I’m the big, bad, evil wife who got REALLY pissed off when I found out what was going on, without my knowledge, in my own life.

        Now I feel no sympathy when I think about it. What a couple of twat waffles.

      • I ran into the other women while I was walking my dog on the trail, and I said really loud”oh look speak of the devil”

  • You have a better heart than I do. If I had a chance to speak to the OW I definitely wouldn’t absolve her of anything. I’d ask her what she is thinking while sleeping in my bed on the high thread count sheets I just recently bought. How it feels to use the pans that I took months to pick out and eat off the heavy silverware that was a wedding present. What does it feel like to have a nooner with my husband on the sectional that I special ordered for us and just generally why she is okay with stealing another woman’s life. Oh f*** it, I probably would just call her a whore and tell her to go to hell. So. Much. Anger.

    • Do you still need the anger? When you don’t anymore you will want to work through it. I love the “Fear is the mind-killer” quote from Dune, I modified part of it for you. Jedi hugs!

      “I will face my anger. I will permit it to pass over me and burn through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the anger has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

      • Thank you. I love the quote. I do still need the anger. Every time it starts to waiver, the sadness comes and it ends up making me want to call him and beg him for an explanation of why. The anger keeps me no contact. I’ve pretty much wrapped myself up in it like a cloak. The only thing is that I find myself looking at everyone through angry eyes, even strangers. I just feel so consumed with rage and pain

        • RNE, I don’t know how long it’s been for you – shit takes time to process. Either way I hope you have a therapist to talk to, if so and you feel like it’s not helping, I’ll recommend EMDR again. It helped me so much. I have difficulty with anger, I usually turn it inward or I feel sad. In EMDR, for the first time ever, I was able to rage out in her office, to express all of it without guilt. And I kept expressing it and letting it “burn through me”. That was cathartic for me and it’s why I thought of changing that quote.

          • I do have a therapist. I’ve used emdr for panic disorder in the past and it was like magic, within two sessions the fear was gone. I had to leave that therapist when I left stbx and have a new emdr one now. The new one says it’s too soon to use the therapy because I’m still going through the trauma. It’s been 2 months since dday and me leaving him. Every time I turn around, another bomb is dropped at my feet and I feel like I’m going through the first day again. Learning that he moved the ow into our home has decimated me. Now, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next horrible thing to happen, is she pregnant, does he want to marry her after our divorce, is he going to try and take my kids away and move on like they are a happy family? I can’t sleep or eat with the constant anxiety. I’ve lost close to 40 pounds in the last month and suffer from horrible stomach aches. The new therapist isn’t helping at all. I LIVE with my inlaws who are very supportive but are constantly talking to stbx and tere are pictures of him and I everywhere. I have to means to get my own place because my lawyer had advised me not to get a job until things are settled. My stbx is limiting money to me for me and the kids so I feel like I owe my inlaws to stay here (I do love them very much they are great people) since they’ve helped me and they love my children dearly. It’s just a bad situation all around and I feel like I’m in this bottomless pit and can never climb my way out.

            • Aw Jeez, RNE. I feel that. I was there about two years ago. It gets better, it helps me to remember that time is an ingredient. My only solution was to get the eff out of dodge for DD’s sake. And I live on family charity now, job-hunting like stink. My inlaws turned as rabid as Mr Fab did.

              I may try emdr. The rumination sucks, doesn’t it? But I use that for research. Up to a point.

              Only you will know in your gut if these inlaws are worth the price of keeping your kids in a narcissist cluster-if they are genuinely good peeps, then they may counteract Daddy douchebag. Sounds like they might be in big denial, though-after all their son’s behaviour reflects on them-and your cheater ex had to get it from somewhere. I think there are some control issues here, maybe?

              George Simon is good about navigating this. Sam Vaknin, handle with care.

              Your own place will be your way out, same as me. And those walls will sing!

              Big hug, Hang in there.

            • No wonder you are angry. How does he get to move her into your home and you and the kids are with his family? What the heck is your lawyer doing? And while I see why the lawyer wants you not to work, and you may not be ready, you can get the work SEARCH started. Get resumes updated. Start to network if you can. And have you filed for child support? If you are living with in-laws child support might be a lot less because you have no expenses. At least try to figure out where you want to live? Do you want the house back? You are still in trauma so you might not yet now, but making a list of decisions to make and questions to ask the lawyer (most definitely about child support) might help you move through things.

              And what kind of women moves into another women’s house? I just don’t get it.

              • My situation is extremely messed up. My husband is in the Army. We were in Hawaii, where he was stationed, and he got sent to Guam for nine months. He met the AP there in Guam and then came home, and tried to act like everything was normal for five months. Well… he was extremely emotional and verbally abusive towards me during that time as week as checked out of our family life and marriage, but I thought he was dealing with depression and ptsd from prior combat deployments, so I coddled him through those 5 months. He was constantly on the phone, though and in contact with the OW although she is Guamanian and was in that country at the time. Fast forward those five months, i find out about the affair, tell him I’m leaving because I had to get out of there and off that island, I was afraid for my safety because he can be scary when angry. The home I left was base housing through the military but all of mine and my children’s possessions are there excluding what we could fit into suit cases. I just found out last week, that only two weeks after leaving, the Guamainina AF came to Hawaii and is staying in my house. He’s been parading her around as if she is his wife/gf or something.

                I’m a writer. I write novels but it’s not enough (not even close) to support myself with. Besides that, I’ve been a stay at home mom while we’ve moved around the last 11 years with the Army (5 states we’ve lived in during that time.) We’re in California now and my kids have to live here for 6 months before I can file anything or the jurisdiction falls under Hawaii for the custody case. Therefor, there isn’t much I can do and my stbx has been very limiting on the support he’s given me since I’ve been here. If I go to his command with my story, he will lose rank/pay and possibly might be kicked out of the Army so we’d lose any kind of support whatsoever. Anyway, I’m terrified about rejoining the work force because I’ve been out of any real work for so long, I fear I won’t qualify for much, but I do want to do something. I need an outlet to take my mind off of everything. I plan on going back to school for an IT certificate in the fall and see if that makes me more marketable for employers. I just want to feel like I’m worth something again. I’ve had this worthless feeling for so long. I started to believe it was true.

            • The reason your lawyer telling you not to get a job right now, because if you do, it will be less child support, less alimony or none and he may end up taking more of the assets you two accumulated through your marriage. But if you don’t have a job until everything is settled, you will be awarded more of the assets, decent child support and alimony and once everything is settled, and then get a job it will be very hard for your ex to reduce the amount in the case of the alimony and/or the child support. Be patient and listen to your lawyer and also if you can prove the OW moved in your house right after you moved out and while you were forced to live with your in-laws because you had no other means and had no where to go with the children, which would look pretty bad to the judge and in return the judge will hand his ass over to him. It will get better and you will climb your way out. There is a light end of that tunnel. My best wishes!

              • Thank you. I’m not sure if I could find physical proof that she’s there, but I have a couple of friends still in Hawaii that have seen her and know she’s living there. I’ll definitely ask my lawyer about this. CA is a no fault state, so I’m not sure how much it would help.Thank you for the support. It really means the world to me.

              • I had no idea your STBX was in military and yes that changes things and I do understand why you are keeping it a secret since military will either cut his pay or discharge him, then you and the kids will pay for it. Well bide your time and it really doesn’t matter you live in CA no fault state, if there is a way you can prove he spent any money on the AP his ass is grass! Since you’ve been married to him over 10 years ask that SBP will be in your divorce degree(he may not agree but put it out there, you never know you know) Also make sure your children will be covered as far as medical/dental through military until, I think its 23 years now, if in school 26 years and he will also be responsible for all the copays/prescriptions etc. and ID cards so they can use military facilities, in return you will too until they are of age. Also ask for cobra and he pay for it, since you’ve been a SAHM. ASK ASK ASK, you may get it and don’t let him intimidate you which he will try, if your lawyer says no to anything, you still insist to what you want, remember your lawyer works for you! I don’t understand how he could be bringing his AP on base, living in base housing which is a big no no! I do know ex spouses of military who got SBP in their divorce, portion of the retirement pay (it falls under property) and made the retired military member pay for it. These women gave 20-30 years to them, sacrificed their life for their careers and in the end these guys found other women who were 20,30 years younger to replace and take their place, and they wanted to dump them like they were someone kind of garbage, without a penny, so fair is fair. I am so sorry but it seems he got you where he wants you, which most abusers do, but don’t despair and you are not worthless! its him who would do this to his wife, the mother of his children and kids is a worthless POS! I know you are scared because you were a SAHM but you did that because of his job, you gave up your career and moved 5 times because of his job, make sure your lawyer brings it up and ask for alimony, since you haven’t been married long enough you probably wont get permanent alimony but ask for temporary 5 year alimony until you can get back on your feet. Like I said ASK and ASK and you probably will get it. My best wishes and big hugs from all of us to you!

            • RNE, I wasn’t making much money working part time and my attorney told me that what I could possibly make full time would be factored into the settlement. So she advised me to get a full time job. Which I did. Which saved my life because I was so distraught at the time ( 2 months post DDay). It distracted me when I needed distraction. I am now almost 1 year out. It DOES get better, trust me. It’s horrendous at first.

              I would get out from under the inlaws if possible. Perhaps they could provide childcare for you but you know who is still number one for them.

              You have been through hell and continue to be in hell. Get a new therapist if this one doesn’t work!

              I’m so sorry you have to go through this! It sucks! Your stbx is a terrible person.You don’t deserve it! Hang in there–it really does get better, day by day. Hugs hugs hugs

              • Thank you, I’m leaving the inlaws and moving in with my parents in June. It makes me feel pretty pathetic to be living with anyone since I’m in my 30s and have been on my own since 18. I love my inlaws. It’s so hard because I’ve been a part of their life since I was 14. They treat me like a daughter, but when it comes down to it, you’re right. He is their son and I would never want to do anything to mess up that relationship, even after all the terrible things that my husband has done. That’s why I have to leave. I just wish I could have another place to go, a place of my own. It’s just not feasible for me at this time, though.


              sorry i guess my anger got to me on that one

            • Look into technical writing. Training materials, etc. There is really nice work to be had in that field and fits more than one industry.

        • “Thank you. I love the quote. I do still need the anger. Every time it starts to waiver, the sadness comes and it ends up making me want to call him and beg him for an explanation of why. The anger keeps me no contact. ”
          This 100 percent, RNE! If my anger starts to waver, I feel the exact same way as you do. The sadness starts to take over..along with the why did he do it, why pick her, what did I do wrong obsession. I too feel as though I need to beg him for an explanation, even though I know I will never get one. If I feel a burning-hot rage at the asshat, it tends to keep the sorrow, sadness and loneliness at bay..even for just a little while.

          • Me too on the anger. Thankfully, I put my new dictionary on a back shelve as I think my language was getting too much for some folks….and I feel less sad every day I’m angry. But, I STILL want an answer to the QUESTION – WHY??
            I think that will keep me angry until he tells me, which may never happen. So, I will always hate him and her.

        • RNE, hey! I am supremely angry too.

          I do have an IC because this shit (cheating spouses) is NOT normal. I don’t know how long you are out from your DDay. It’s ok to be mad and angry. It’s not ok to have it consume you. Being angry is a way to cope and possibly avoid the extreme sadness and hurt and betrayal your shithead gave to you.

          It’s ok to be sad. Sounds like you will never get an explanation from him. That jerk knowingly and willfully murdered your marriage. You need to grieve its death. Let yourself be sad. It’s normal and will help you get through this. Staying white hot angry will keep you stuck.

          I’m trying not to be afraid of the sadness and hurt. I’m still pissed as hell. Asshat is the Jeffery Dahlmer of emotional abuse: my house-a supposed safe place- was littered with “trophies” of his fuckfest with the AP. He displayed trinkets, brought home mugs and cups for me and the kids to use and used to show me all the photos of his cool business trips with the cow in the background. What kind of person fucking gets secret pleasure from THAT? A sick ass dude.

          • Mine did this too. He came back from Guam with so many new things that I have linked to the AP, it makes me sick. Plus, he knew how to make all these new dishes and different ways of marinating food for bbq. He’s never taken an interest in such things before. I realized afterward that he was feeding me the food that she fed him while he was there. Makes me never want to eat again. Seriously, he became a big fan of the marinade for steaks that they make over there and the thought of all the steak he made in our last months together has completely turned me off of red meat as a whole. Just the smell makes me nauseous. What is wrong with these people? I just don’t get how they can do it. I’ll never get it.

            • Sick sick thrills, RNE, so many of us have been through versions of the same. The mind wobbles trying to understand. Loving normal chumpy people just cannot wrap our minds around it, we have to try to accept that we never will.


              • O.W. Said she Wanted to Send me ” Brain Booster Pre-natals ” so My Baby would be Really Healthy **eyeroll**

            • Mine did the same type of stuff, RNE. He gives the candles his AP sells to our kids for Christmas gifts. I want to throw them out the window when I see them, but I have to act like it doesn’t bother me. Not sure if the kids even know where my ex gets them.

            • RNE, you mentioned you write novels. I wish there was a way to let me know some of the titles while protecting your anonymity. I’m always on the lookout for more books. That’s assuming that I haven’t read any of them unknowingly already.

          • Another page from the Cheater Handbook. For Christmas the asshat bought our 12 year old daughter a tablet. This coming from someone who is clueless about technology (except for Facebook..he’s a master at showcasing his love for the OW). Something made me wonder about that. Now that I know about the all clicks. The whore OW is the one that picked out a Christmas present for MY kid! I want to throw the damn thing out the window, but of course I can’t do that to my daughter. I think I’ll make a list of the other things I’m sure he brought home that were connected to the OW.

            • Makes sure EVERYTIME you look at it ,Makes you Wanna Spit FIRE.. at the Same time, knowing Damn well you Can’t Possibly Take it Away, Else YOU Look like the BAD Guy.

              • Reminds me of The JOY LUCK CLUB with the Gifted ” Pearls “. **shakes head**

        • RNE, your posts resonate very deeply with me. Like you, I feel absolutely gutted, and at 7 months out, the rage and pain is all-consuming. The anger is especially overwhelming, and I feel so scared that I’ll get stuck in it, but at the same time, I trust that it’s necessary and that it’s temporary. I just have to be IN IT and allow all the ugly feelings to show up. I also don’t want to look at everyone through these eyes of anger and mistrust and resentment. Like how the fuck dare anyone be happy or contented when I’m feeling like such utter shit. Like such nothing. Less than nothing! A few seconds later, I’ll be so grateful that other people are happy because it means that the possibility of feeling other than awful still exists in the world. Wow, what a roller coaster ride this whole thing is.

          As far as any other shoes dropping, I think they done dropped. This is as bad as it can get, and we’re already there processing it all. The people we thought had our backs simply didn’t. We were disposable commodities. That’s the ultimate chumpy truth, and I honestly think everything else is a corollary of that. Having faced this, we can only get stronger. Thinking of you with love and hope today. Hang in.

          • I felt very disturbed in the anger phase because I was taught to never show anger. It felt so unnatural and upsetting, I couldn’t even think of my ex’s name without putting an F’ You in front of it. It gets better when the divorce is final and things are resolved. It’s hard when you’re still having to deal with them and negotiate the settlement. The anger phase does end, though, so try not to fight it. Anger is a useful emotion for propelling yourself forward and digging out of depression.

        • RNE…I felt the same way for a long long time. Too long I think but everyone processes grief differently. But honest to God it finally went away. There is an end to this. I promise.

      • I do not think there is anything wrong with constuctive anger. It keeps us safe. Too many women do not allow themselves to feel or express anger. I think it is important to direct that anger and not turn it inward, but anger itself is a sign, for me at least, that I need to be paying attention to what is going on. Or as my kids say,”Danger, Will Robinson!”(from an old T.V. show).

        • I agree. The anger has helped me so much. It kept me from doing the pick me dance when I first found out. I’m so happy that I didn’t beg him to pick me. Of all the things I’ve done over the last 2 months since d-day, that’s the thing I’m most proud of. I’ve never once let him know how much I miss him (the person I thought he was when I married him), I’ve never once asked him why, even though I want to know, and I’ve never once given him any indication that I’d be willing to forgive or think that anything he’s done is okay.

          • You are mighty RNE! That is awesome. I wish I did all of those things when I found out. I admire those who are so decisive. You should be very proud!!!

          • Yes. How great for you. Like the others, wish I could say the same. It only took me three months of “pick me” before I moved forward but I still regret those wasted three months!!!!!

  • I don’t hate the OW in my situation mainly because she’s sure not the first and she won’t be the last for him. Granted she knew all about me and has earned 50% of the blame in the demise of my marriage, but like I’ve said before, if it wasn’t her, it would have been someone else. I guess I’ve reached “Meh” enough that I just don’t even feel like expending the energy it would take to hate her. She’ll get her’s soon enough anyway . . . that’s guaranteed.

    One thing that helped me get here . . . I stay the fuck off Facebook and I don’t hunt for information on the internet. That really helped me to give less than a fuck. I’m just learning how to focus on myself and what I want, and that keeps me busy and happy. She can have him. My fear and angst at having a cheating fuck for a husband has now been gift wrapped and presented to her. Now I’m free. I’ve got the rest of my life to be happy and she’s got a man she can never trust. Enjoy!

    • “One thing that helped me get here . . . I stay the fuck off Facebook and I don’t hunt for information on the internet. That really helped me to give less than a fuck”

      Agreed! If you reeeeeally don’t want to give a phuck, then you have BEHAVE *as if* you don’t give a phuck! It will feel foreign at first, but after some time passes, your feelings will catch up with your actions.


      • Exactly. What’s that quote . . . “Act the way you wish to become” ?

        After D-Day, I spent hours looking for things. I even had a stalker FB account so I could see what they were doing. I finally took the advice I had been reading and stopped it. Got rid of the fake account, stopped looking for information, googled nothing. As soon as I made the conscience effort to stop picking at the scab and focus on just me, I started to feel so much relief. I realize I have it easier than a lot of chumps because I don’t have kids with this dirt bag. God am I grateful for that. 🙂

        • A to the men. I closed my old FB (which had X, all his family and friends, friends of friends, co-workers, hangers-on, etc.) and just opened up a new account, which has only MY family and very close friends. Smartest move I ever made. Yeah, I could have just un-friended a bunch of people, but it really wasn’t their fault that my X is a lying cheating manipulative fuck. Can’t just unsubscribe, either, because the ONE person you left as-is will comment on a photo or status and then, DING! You’re right back in it, even if you didn’t go looking. Besides, who needs 400+ FB friends anyway? Now when I’m on FB, I can be real, with people who are real, and it’s just great. And I don’t have any more lingering temptation to keep tabs on his EA OW, who (total narcissist that she is) has zero privacy settings, all the better to share her fabulousness with all of Christendom. I also don’t have my X trying to micromanage his image through me anymore. That’s the best thing of all. Right after DDay, when I was just reeling, I made a comment about how it blew my mind how quickly people rush to judgment, even though they have no clue what is actually going on. In my case, I had a few people insinuate that I was some kind of heartless abandoner, and it really really REALLY pissed me off, because I couldn’t defend myself without hurting innocent kids. The day I posted this about the rush to judgment, my X comes to me and says, “You know, all day people have been asking me what your status is all about. If it’s about me, or someone else. Let’s keep this classy. Let’s keep this off of FB.” So I deleted the status, and a few weeks later I simply deactivated the account.

          Thinking of this comment now, I just can’t believe his fucking gall, especially when I think of what I’ve got stored on 2 separate flash drives. I took screen shots of his browsing history, going back a year, and those screen shots are, to say the least, damning. I could ruin him, with a simple click of the mouse, yet here’s this dude telling me to “keep it classy.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

          But seriously? Leave the scab be and let it heal. Best advice ever.

    • Rumblekitty, I think that’s one of the reasons I have moments of sympathy for final OW. She was one of many and wasn’t even really the last in a long line. She was one of several ‘lasts’ in that long line, it turns out. Hell, on dday I found out about her AND that ex was making plans to see another OW that he had had an on/off thing for a few years. And final OW knows about all this but has stuck around. It’s only a matter of time before she has the same fate, although I suspect she’ll go the route of sticking it out no matter what because otherwise she looks extra dumb.

    • Oh, Rumblekitty…. this needs to be read and re-read again:

      “I’m just learning how to focus on myself and what I want, and that keeps me busy and happy. She can have him. My fear and angst at having a cheating fuck for a husband has now been gift wrapped and presented to her. Now I’m free. I’ve got the rest of my life to be happy and she’s got a man she can never trust. Enjoy!”

      THIS is it in a nutshell, all gift wrapped and presented to US! Wonderful way with words…thank you!

    • I unfriended my ex on Facebook and anyone who was related to his work, etc. I’m never tempted to look at anything he’s doing because it would be akin to walking through land mines. Chances are good that I’m going get hurt if I do, so I protect myself by not looking. The weirdest thing to me is not speaking to someone who was central to my life for 36 years, though. Just last night I woke from a dream with an anxiety attack, though, because in my dream we were still a family and having a good time at my son’s soccer game. Guess sleeping let my defenses slip.

      • Lyn-

        You can go one better and “block” him. That way it’s like he doesn’t even exist on FB. You can’t see his posts if he posts on a mutual friend. He can’t see anything you do either. To him it would be like you deleted your account.

        • Hey Lyn,
          I blocked Ex and his gf on fb too. I’m only one year out from DDay. I also spent 36 years with him (2/3 of my life). I dream about him every night. I am past most of the rage but am now mired in sadness. When I read your posts I have hope, because I know you have found happiness again.

  • I sometimes feel sorry for final OW because despite knowing that ex was cheating with others while cheating with her she seems to have convinced herself that she is special. She’s much younger and seems to have bought the same song and dance I bought when I was her age. So I sort of feel sorry for her sometimes because I can see her future.

    And then she does something or says something completely twatty and my sympathy goes ‘poof’. She’ll learn the hard way and the only thing I really get annoyed about these days is that she’s a part of my life, if only on the edges.

    • The ow was/is a serial cheater. Apparently the greatest things about her are her ability to be a myna bird and mirror back any man’s thoughts, and a superhuman ability to traipse thru life as a wife and mother of 4 on her back with her legs open, like a slutty Ginger Rogers. She’s ugly inside and out and her professional reputation is about to collide with the karma bus. Beep beep.

      I don’t hate her (anymore) because she’s not a threat to me. She represents so much deceit and manipulation on the part of my husband. I’m learning that she managed to manipulate a cast of thousands in this epic, so she seems more and more unstable to me, just pathetic. I’ve never contacted her, Ive heard from her once. But I do have all the emails and cavity inducing correspondence at the ready to send certified mail to her chump. If she acts out, it gets sent. I probably won’t ever need to send it, but as my h said about the affair, “it was so easy, it was just there, and I didn’t have to do any real work to have her make me feel good about myself”, that’s how I feel about all the info I’ve collected thanks to her love of the typewritten word. Clueless hillbilly.

  • “It’s been years since I’ve spoken to my ex, and in the meantime (according to Facebook) the OW settled down, etc”.

    Are you also cyber stalking/snooping your ex? BTW, if you contacted me after so many years, I’d be really freaked. This is so unhealthy for you, have you tried a therapist to work through the memories and get free of this obsession? It seems like you need to find a way or never get to meh.

    I agree with CL on the “who’s the OW?” question. I mean if you were a world apart how do you know that in fact you are not the OW? Liars, they lie. As far as his telling you the woman felt guilty, well cheaters love to paint their AP as wonderful, caring people to chumps. This is designed to make us feel bad about ourselves, “see, AP is better than you, she is so nice” kinda deal. He may have told her the same thing. She may also be a chump and so you feel kindred, but seriously it is time to give this up and get free of the burden you are carrying. Jedi Hugs!

    • Also, put yourself in the OW’s husband’s shoes–would you want someone to show up and rehash the good ole bad times with some fucktard your spouse had in the past? Even if she saw the light and did backflips in church, each of you need to move on–separately.

  • Er, no. You are not in a sisterhood because you both screwed and were screwed by the same man. This isn’t “John Tucker Must Die.”

    Occasionally, I feel a pang of sympathy for my husband’s mistress. She is far from family, gave up her job, and married the bastard. Clearly she suffers from low self-esteem, absent dignity, and a lack of character. The idea of another woman being mistreated by him is unsettling. I mean, she probably did not consider herself a “mistress” and I am sure he misled her because is incapable of telling the truth.

    Then I rub my eyes. The bitch knew he was married and precisely what they both were doing. She gave no fucks. She made her bed. She can wallow in it.

    Even if she called tomorrow to say she was sorry and he did it to her too, I have absolutely nothing to say.

    • “Even if she called tomorrow to say she was sorry and he did it to her too, I have absolutely nothing to say.”

      This is me too. I’d hang up the phone and keep going on my merry way. Besides, I have to get through this on my own, she’s going to have to do it on her own too. She should take notes though, because my past is her future.

      • “She should take notes though, because my past is her future.”

        True words that OW/OMs don’t think apply to them.

        • That would be a good response to those who are worried about ‘running’ into the OW – ‘my past is your future.’ My ex’s AP, when warned by people that he treats women badly, that he has a well established reputation as a womanizer, said, well, he doesn’t treat me that way. I am special…

          We all were, honey. We all were.

      • No truer words, Rumblekitty. A friend’s cheater ex married his OW 15 years ago, and very recently left the OW/2nd wife for another woman. OW/2nd wife called my friend (they’ve had contact because they both have kids with the cheater) and cried, “How could she do this to me?” Friend replied, “May I remind you that you did the exact thing to me 15 years ago?” Karma bus took a long time in coming, but it did.

    • “Er, no. You are not in a sisterhood because you both screwed and were screwed by the same man. This isn’t “John Tucker Must Die.” ”

      HAHAHAHAHA Oh, man. Thanks for the great laugh!

  • I would only speak with an OW who truly had no idea that cheater was married.

    In my case with the 2 PA partners and the 1 EA partner, they all KNEW exH was married, and got involved anyway. I have never had any desire to speak to them.

    OWife was in the car with the new baby last month, and I was ALMOST tempted to come up to her and say, “You realize you are #3, right? Good luck with that.”
    But I didn’t. I have integrity.

    The kids just visited their father and new family last week; grandparents went along.
    My exMIL called to tell me that the OWife treats my children well; she thought I would want to know that.
    I pointed out of course OWife can be ‘nice” during a week long vacation, but the fact that she got involved with a married man, and then married him before she had formed a relationship with my children, indicates that she is NOT a nice person.
    She is selfish and only thinks of herself. I pity the baby.

  • SLINY, in the past, I fell into similar thought processes about the OW. It helped when a dear friend described the OW as being “utterly insignificant”. She was right. This woman was a player in a scene from your past — leave her there, that is where she belongs.

    For a while when my thoughts would return to him and her, I had to remind myself that they are two human beings who are completely devoid of integrity. They suck.

    Now, when my thoughts return to her, I stop myself and say “forward”.

    It has helped me to have this tool to interrupt those thought patterns, which no longer serve a purpose in my life. Forward.

  • I think not all OWs and OMs are equally evil. If you’re not married and you live apart, the cheater who says they’re going to break up with you is more believable. They might even not have known about you when things first started.

    Being very young may mean that someone is very naive. The might also be messed up, but are more likely to grow up and change than an older cheater.

    Anyhow, SLINY, I think it’s great if you forgive her and feel sympathy for her. I agree with CL, though, that contacting her might open a can of worms you won’t like. So if you decide to contact her, it should just be a letter saying you’ve forgiven her and not getting together to talk or anything.

    It’s possible OW is feeling guilty, but I would guess that after all these years and moving on to a new life, she has probably gotten past that. I don’t think you need to worry or feel guilty about any bad feelings she has.

  • “You have enough information here to know that he sucks.” CL is right. Neither the ex nor the OW are worth any more of your thoughts or time, SLINY.

    As for the OWs in my situation, one of them took herself out of the picture as soon as I called her and told her she and the other girl could have him. She was nothing more than dumb and easy because she didn’t even know there were other people in the picture. She didn’t even know I was in the same part of the country as her. She was a drinking buddy/ temporary roommate fuck and he didn’t even know her last name because she didn’t mean enough to him to find out. The other one was a howorker who dug her nails into him and tried to make true love with a raging alcoholic who was there for the free rent and booze she provided. She sent me a few aggressive texts but I didn’t stoop to her level. She is an insecure, emotionally broken, mean whore who throws herself at whatever men she works with because (to actually quote her) “You never know when you might need a job.”

    All any of those details mean is that every single one of those people sucks and just because they each might suck a little differently in some ways, they really do suck.

    If you have to feel anything more than meh about the OW then a Mr. T’s, “I pity the fool,” is as far as I would go.

    Your ex dumped a huge bucket of shit on your head. So you get your clothes cleaned or throw them the hell out and you take a nice hot shower. You buy new clothes, maybe get a massage and a mani/pedi too. You get your hair done. You put Chump Lady’s advice into practice until it comes naturally. If you want to tell the good people in your life you survived a shitstorm; you tell. And you own the role of hero in your story because you are the hero. You saved yourself because you are worth it. The shit you crawled out from under isn’t important. Don’t feel sorry for it.

    • Reminds me of the movie the shawshank redemption where the lead character Andy breaks out of prison by swimming out of a sewage pipe that the length of 2 football fields. The narration says something to the effect of him going through the most unimaginable thing to come out clean on the other side.

      We chumps can survive a shitstorm

  • ” This woman was a player in a scene from your past — leave her there, that is where she belongs.”


  • …meanwhile, my OW (ExH’s 2nd wife) just asked me via facebook whether I still talk to my ExSIL. Oh goody, what can this be about?

  • Yep… Right On, Chumplady…
    The FIRST thing that popped into my head was Traumabonding.
    And by the Way, It’s a BAD Way to Start a Relationship with Someone..Especially when the ONLY thing you two have in Common is an Asshole you BOTH Regret.
    I went through this sort of thing after The Other Chick in My Circumstance, the FIRST Baby Mama, Extended the Olive Branch by Friending me on Facebook, after I was Totally Finished with his Arse.
    ALL That I Wound up finding out is That..He had Another Kid Besides the Ones I found out about BEFORE…That He was an Even BIGGER Piece of shit than I Already KNEW… and I had Even MORE to be Worried bout in Regards to EVER letting him Around My OWN Daughter…
    I ALSO, after Finding out JUST How Messed up ALL these people he Chose to Surround himself with ** water-rises to it’s Own Level ** Chose to After Knowing the Absolute Truth About This Demon, Decided to Sweep it ALL Under The Rug and Make NICE with him When they ALL had Every Opportunity to Kick his Sorry Ass to the Curb..
    THEIR Daughter is Getting Mindfucked by ALL of them and is gonna need MAJOR Therapy, Because Basically She’s the Sacrificial Lamb because of Those Narcissistic, Ball-Less Wonders, Who are Thinking of No more of Retaining the ” Image” of ” Happy,Perfect Family ** IT’s SOO NOT** whilst Spitting Venom Behind Eachother’s Back..and that Little Girl Keeping Her Trap Shut and Feeling Betrayed Under it All to Have to Keep up the Illusion. She’s a PROP…and I HATE Them ALL for It…
    So After About 2 Months…I Told Her I Thought They ALL Were Fucked and I Wanted NOTHING to Do with ANY of Them…I Had to Worry About my OWN, Being THEY are ALL so ” FINE and DANDY” Staying in the Fucked Up Situation…
    But they Weren’t Doing MY Daughter That Way.
    I Hope and Pray One Day their Daughter will Heal from ALL That…but I can’t help thinking, Once she Realises WHAT they Did to her, She’s gonna Despise them ALL… and They’d Deserve It.
    Some Bitches will do and Put Up with Anything to Hide the Truth in order to Get Laid Further to Prove she Wasn’t Just a FUCK.. **She Was** and ” Keep the Peace “.
    I’m Proud to Say, I’m NOT One of Those Bitches.
    LOL..and THESE Arseholes were the Ones Treating Me and MY Daughter like 2nd Class Citizens…. LAUGHABLE !!!!!!!
    Farewell to Bad Rubbish.


  • Leave the past behind where it belongs. Living in the past robs you of your present, which is the basis of the “future” past. By reliving the past, you’re simply replaying the same crap over and over again. By doing so, your future will look exactly like your past. I don’t think you want that.

  • I don’t hate the OW with a burning white hot hate like I used to, thank dog. She willingly and knowingly went after a married man. We met at the company Christmas party where she shook my hand and told me ‘how nice it was to meet me.’ Now who in the hell does that? What a phoney disgusting desperate pathetic POS. She’s butt ugly, make a train take a dirt road ugly. Now she’s gotten fat. Bwahahaha.

    She went after two other married men before my stupid weak H fell for her ‘charms.’ I know because I worked at the same institution and these other guys told me. One said she was the most shameless and brazen woman he had ever met. His Exact.Words.

    I know for a fact that X has cheated on her. They’re still together but not married. She’s super jealous of me …can’t even stand to hear my name. Poor sausage. She got a job 3000 miles from here and took X with her. I finally got to Meh with him so chat with him occasionally. He was extremely generous to me financially in the divorce settlement and didn’t do the mindfuckery that I read so much about here.

    She got a man who will cheat on his wife and he got a woman who will fuck a married man. He’s an alcoholic and terrible with finances. Their bliss must be complete.

      • He had a life threatening cancer while we were married and I took care of a very sick and ‘dying’ man for 2 years. He called me his Nurse Angel. Haha. Guess it was guilt. And in his twisted mind I think he still loves me but really, who cares? He did everything for me except be faithful. The only thing that really mattered to me.

      • My ex is being far more generous to the kids and I than required, as well. In the beginning I think he really really thought he’d come back (cue my most evil laugh here!), so it would have been dumb to sell the house, and he wanted the kids and I staying in it, not him (way too much like work/his former life to be looking after the house, right?). So that meant he had to fork over the $. Now I’m not sure; maybe still trying to show the kids he’s ‘working hard on being a better person’??? ‘Cause they’re barely speaking to him, and he hates that.

        Plus his mom would have skinned him alive if he had screwed the kids over financially!

  • Sorry! I just have to say it. I know we had that wallpaper in my house growing up! “Early American” furniture too!

    Again, sorry.

  • There was a time I used to fantasize about getting an apology from the “soul mate” OW. Now, years later, it would only freak me out and bring back terrible feelings to hear from her. Although my ex did not end up with her, he does seem to maintain contact with her, and occasionally tells our son he is “seeing her” again, although God only knows what that means. Perhaps just that ex sends her occasional texts.

    I actually told ex, during our bogus reconciliation, that without an apology from the OW, she was nothing but a whore who deserved hell. I am sure he told her that, since I now realize they had to be contacting each other during that bogus time, but I never did hear from her. Ex, however, told me that he actually called her husband to apologize, but got voicemail and didn’t leave a message. I know perfectly well my ex felt no remorse whatsoever. He made that call to rub salt in the wound, to do a little bit of gloating and to fuck with the OW’s husband’s head.

    These days, I don’t think about the OW, don’t feel hatred or burning anger anymore. I admit that I would laugh if I heard the karma bus struck her down, and I do think I would feel traumatized if she ends up back with my ex. I feel so sorry for the many chumps here who have ex’s married to the OW/OM. That would make it a lot worse.

    Sorry, rambling as usual. My point is, no, there is no reason to contact this OW, and if you are still really obsessed with her YEARS later, it would be a good idea to figure out why.

    • Hi Glad, not sure why this popped into my head when I read your post.
      I just remembered the probable EA partner coming to my office after she heard exH and I were divorcing…. Offering her support, she was there for me. The next day she threw herself at him, two years after the first time.
      She apparently had been giddily going around the halls, thinking the divorce was because of HER, and now was her.

      I guess this was triggered because I never got any sort of apology from her… Even though she spent 5 years pursuing exH. She really is mentally ill, so I try to keep that in mind, especially once a year when she ignores requirement to not contact me on a personal level…. Work only.

    • As someone who “got” an “apology” from the other woman – let me just say its not all its cracked up to be. They are never TRULY SORRY. Mine used it as a means to lecture ME on “integrity.” My marriage had been over for YEARS, doncha know, and this is what allowed her to get involved with a married man even though she is not normally the “type” to do so. I don’t know. Once you fuck a married man, I think you are the “type” to fuck a married man. I do find it funny she throws my husband under the bus at ever turn, too.


  • I agree with everyone-I wouldn’t contact her. It’s nice that you want to forgive her but I think you’ll be surprised (and not in a good way) if you wound up speaking with her. You were both hoodwinked by that asshat and with so many miles between all of you, who even knows what is truth and what is fiction. Best to let that sleeping dog lie and be happy all of the crazy shit that a disordered wingnut brings to the table is not your table anymore!

  • Shifting loyalties,
    The good thing is that you found CL. You’ll get clear of all the crap here. It’s a nation of smart, strong women and men who got chumped. I am sure I acted like an idiot by trusting and believing but that’s who I am. I did not like the scared and scarred mouse I’d become. We all sought answers to questions that continue pop up. For a long time. We all made decisions the best we knew how with the information we had at the time.
    Some of us know the ow/om some us will never even know what they look like.
    Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones kept running through my head today. The evil is always there. I just choose not to seek it out anymore. Good luck.
    And by all means do not go see that dumbass Cameron Diaz movie. Hugs to all.

  • That was just a beautiful, and insightful, piece of writing. It’s no wonder we all come back here daily for some soul food!
    I need constant reminders to strive for Meh. My life is becoming so very peaceful now, I only let people and activities in that are helpful, and good, and it is definitely working. I do less and less looking back to untangle the cruel things he did to me, because my new life is becoming what I always wanted my life to be!
    Thank you CL, and all the friends here, too!

  • I do still hate the OW with a burning hot passion. After DD, she continued to contact my husband, concocting reasons to connect with him. After she made up a lie about my then 12-year-old son, trying to drive a wedge between a boy and his father, who was already separated from the family, I said enough, and filed a police report against her. At the station where her dad is a cop. That did much to stop the contact. I’m sure the word got around that station pretty quick.

  • I should add, however, that I no longer entertain fantasies about beating in her head with a baseball bat. I guess that’s an improvement for my own mental health. I do, however, mention to people in the neighborhood, if her name ever comes up, what she did, and expressly point out how she set out to deliberately harm a child whose family she had already devastated. I do run into her occasionally, as she lives on my street a few blocks away and we have kids the same ages. Now she stays far away and leaves whenever I show up.

    • Still a chump….I certainly had my fantasies of beating in OW’s head with a baseball bat too. What really made me angry/hurt/sad was that I knew, REALLY KNEW what was in a murderer’s heart and that is something I never knew until the day I caught them fucking at the Econo Lodge. That’s what cheaters do to good people. A lesser being would have snapped. You read about it all the time. These cheaters are so stupid to put their lives in that kind of jeopardy. But you know, it’s just Twu Luv and FATE! and Nothing can stop that kind of Luv!~ Fuck ’em. Like I said he’s cheated on her many times since they’ve been together and is the stupidest drunk on earth every night. Plus he’s ornery when he’s drinking. As I said above, her bliss must be complete.

      • I hear you. I learned a lot about myself in this experience that I didn’t necessarily want to know… And certainly felt things that I never wanted to either. I am much more Old Testament (eye for an eye and all that) than New (turn the other cheek) for example.

        • Wow. There must be something about baseball bats. I am 6 months from d-day (tomorrow, to be precise) and still regularly fantasise about introducing her face to one. I find this level of rage disturbing. I am a gentle person.

          Gio – I don’t think you need a baseball bat. I swear, you get the perfect revenge every time you say ‘I caught them fucking at the Econo Lodge’. Such a glamorous affair! So klassy!!

            • I used to imagine punching the OW so hard in the face, my fist actually went right through her entire skull. I told ex that, during bogus reconciliation. He just stared at me and said nothing. Now I realize he had to be in touch with her during that time, and wow, what a serving of CAKE it gave him to hear that fantasy.

          • Rosie Boa….yeah I know. Just a class act affair. Definitely not the Bellagio ….the Econo Lodge!!!

            And I felt my level of rage very disturbing too but I promise there is an end to it. It took me a long time but I got there.

    • About 12 hours after I found out a colleague threw herself at my H, asking him to leave his family for her, I happened to be in a meeting with said OW, carrying a rock hammer. I had so much fun sitting next to the head of security (and across from her) joking how I had my hammer and I knew how to use it!

      She confronted me after that meeting, wanting to talk and said she did not know how my H “spun it.” In hindsight, I should have kicked exH to the curb that day. I would have been free three years sooner. Ah, well. I get to enjoy smirking at her when I see her in the hallways. She is still single, in her 40s, and she wasted 5 years of her life chasing a married man.

  • Sing along:

    Please allow me to introduce myself
    I’m a skank who has no taste
    I’ve been trolling dating sites
    Stole many a marital state

    And I’ve been round parking lots
    Those gear shifts sure are a pain
    Make damn sure my pix are hot
    Washed in photoshop before my weight gain

    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you “friend” my name
    But what’s fucking you
    Is the nature of my game

  • I just read this review from NPR about a new movie that’s out “The Other Woman.”
    Apparently it’s being billed as a movie about the “relationship” forged by a wife and the OW as they attempt to get revenge on the cheater husband/ex husband. Good lord.

    Seems apropos to share it here. Love this.


    • OMG. Love that review. Thank you for sharing and thank Linda Holmes for writing it. GAWD I really don’t want to see that movie, and yes, the very premise is complete, total bullshit.

  • I’m going to get a lot of flack for this. I believe while dating, it’s ok to see other people. Until someone is engaged or married, it’s fine. The cheating we are speaking of is marital cheating. When there are vows and legal repercussions involved. I think that’s the problem with society. We treat marriage as just another relationship, not the institution its supposed to be.

    • ” I believe while dating, it’s ok to see other people”

      I get this; however, I would expect the maturity of the people, while dating, to communicate their intentions honestly and openly.

      • Whether you are married is not the point. Once you commit to be exclusive, seeing other people is cheating. Never having wanted children I also didn’t want to marry. My first relationship was 12 years, no marriage but exclusive. The asshole who cheated on me did it the first time before we married. He convinced me to marry after 12 years living together, that was such a mistake for me. Point being, a committed relationship does not require marriage. Not to mention places where it’s illegal to marry if you are gay.

      • Once you have THAT TALK about being True to EACHOTHER Only…then Anything After that IS Cheating..Ring or No Ring.

    • I agree TennisHack. I’m dating different people because I have NOT agreed to be in an exclusive relationship with anyone. If I did, different story.

      • ‘Dating’ and ‘Sleeping with someone’ are two different things I think.

        I believe I have made it quite clear that I’m not interested in marriage to my dating partners.I’ve told them that straight up. After Cheaterpants unilaterally blew up our marriage I’ve lost interest in the institution. When you marry someone you wrap yourselves into one ball and basically become one entity. Then one decides to derail that train and there you are. I decided if I’m going down in a ball of flames, I’m going alone.

    • I think that depends entirely on what you mean by ‘dating’. And the core of that is honesty and being clear about what you want to get and to give. If you’re dating someone and either of you wants it to be exclusive, you need to have that conversation. If one of you wants it to be exclusive and the other doesn’t, that needs to be clear too; it’s then up to each to decide what they can agree to, and be honest about that.

      But if you know the other person believes you’re in an exclusive relationship, it doesn’t matter AT ALL whether there’s any formal commitment like an engagement or marriage. If you’ve allowed the other person to believe they are in a monogamous relationship with you, and you date others, that’s cheating, and needs to be labelled and treated as such.

      • I agree with KarenE, Datdamwuf and Chump in the Sand whole heartedly!!

        My ex made me believe when we were dating we were exclusive, he didn’t even want me to have any male friends, was extremely possessive and jealous. He was cheating…he proposed we got engaged, he was still cheating…he moved in to my house while engaged, he was still cheating…Then ONCE he tried to tell me we weren’t married as an excuse/justification for his cheating, I ripped him a new one! Like piece of paper makes any difference on anything…

        So if you “want to” see others or see others while dating someone, make sure the person you are dating knows about this, otherwise its CHEATING…..

    • If both parties are in agreement, sure. If one party thinks the relationship is exclusive, then it’s cheating. I might be only dating Nice Guy at this time, but if I find out he’s seeing another woman, bam! He’s out the door. That would constitute cheating in my book, since our understanding is that we are exclusive to each other. What’s so nice about Nice Guy is that I’m not at all concerned that he IS seeing anyone else, however. What a refreshing change after my ex!

      • If you’re lying to someone, saying you’re doing one thing and actually doing another, you’re an asshole. If someone you’re dating thinks you’re dating them exclusively, and you leave out the truth, and you see other people on the sly, and you’re dishonest about it, you’re a jerk. If the other person would be hurt by the truth, if they’d have made different decisions knowing the whole story, and you intentionally kept that from them, you’re a cheater.

        If you are dating someone casually, and you make it clear that you are also dating other people or MIGHT do so in the future, then the other person should take the hint that they’re not special to you. I don’t know why you’d continue to see someone who isn’t special to you, except maybe for casual sex, but that sure seems sad to me.

        • Miss Sunshine…maybe I’m dating different people because I would like to get to know them better. And implying I’m having sad casual sex is kind of insulting.

  • I felt bad reading your turmoil. In what happened to me I noticed something, which really made me see I had lost a lot of respect for myself, I didn’t even think I had value.
    After I found out and the church said if he divorced I couldn’t get remarried or anything since we would still be married, I snapped. I started pleading, calling everyday, might as well have been the morning radio update pleading show. The thing is, it started to become a habit, a routine, it by my actions started to be the new reality, and me calling was like me saying each day look it’s ok, giving you the update.

    And then I started thinking maybe the affair was the real relationship and how dare I upset them, THAT IS HOW MINDFUCKEDUP I was.

    You didn’t say if you were married to your ex so I think maybe he is a royal jackass player who dupes everyone, and please don’t call the ow she probably thinks you are the ow too, and who cares, he is a rjp

    He wasted a lot of you life and time with your mind and thoughts, look he still is.

    Let the rjp go.

    I am not at the meh stage but I sure recognize the stage you are in, it is painful, it will stay that way, until you just let go of the steaming crab bag of pain.

    • Tess,
      It sounds like you may be RC. Have you investigated an annulment? I surely don’t want to offend your religious sensibilities, but I personally find it hard to believe that God would not want his faithful who have kept his commandments to have a full life with a committed spouse, if that is a possibility for you.

      • And the American RC church gives tens of thousands of annulments a year – they’re quite flexible about it.

        • But it is a lot of paperwork to get one. My kid sister had a very disastrous first marriage to a man who physically abused her and stole her student loan money from her. After she divorced him, which happened only after she saw him make a physically threatening gesture towards my mother, he discovered that he missed having a wife that would pay his way in life, so he married a sweet young thing who’d had two children, a girl and a 3-year-old boy. That piece of slime abused both children, including biting the boy around the penis. Thankfully, he went to jail.

          At any rate, you’d think that annuling that marriage would be a slam-dunk, but it still involved filling out a lot of forms, and also the family and friends had to fill out a lot of forms, too.

      • Tess, I hope you are able to work things out with the church. One thought has comforted me is that Jesus said divorce is allowed when there has been adultery. So, the ultimate Judge knows and understands our moral problems. We aren’t at fault here. The cheaters are to blame. Hold your head high!

  • If you weren’t “married” maybe you are saved from filing and detangling yourself from him. He sounds like a real jackass.


    • I gotta Agree with you..So much harder to Detangle after marriage. Be Thankful for Small mercies.

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