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When Splendid People Cheat

I'm not definedSo, yesterday I got to tangling with remorseful cheaters on an infidelity board (Talk About Marriage).

Someone posted my article skewering that Victoria Milan survey published at HuffPo about the reasons women give for cheating, the foremost of which was “lack of a sense of humor.”

For some reason, this article got the dander up of several reformed cheaters who post over there. Look, TAM is a pro-marriage site that is anti-cheating. So, naturally, it’s a place for people in reconciliation, most of those folks chumps, and a few cheaters — or “wayward” spouses as they prefer to be called. (The cheating thing is all in the past.)

The satire in the HuffPo response comes from the fact that the “reasons” active cheaters give for cheating are freaking RIDICULOUS.

But apparently, some reformed cheaters can’t really laugh at stupid shit cheaters say. So skip it, right?

No — kill the messenger. Here’s one thoughtful response.

I went ahead and took the liberty of copying the entire column from the TAM and Huffington Post renowned Chump Lady. To be honest, I think the biggest “chumps” are her faithful readers. You see, she, and her high priced, divorce lawyer, hubby (hubby #2, of course, because without hubby #1, there would be no Chump Lady, at all) make big bucks off of us “bad! Bad! Bad! Idiots.”

Her hubby makes his big bucks off of handling big money divorces. And, the Chump Lady makes hers off of continuously stirring the venom pot, of those who have been affected by infidelity, in her regular column/blog/whatever it is,  in The Huffington Post. To quote the famous line from a Seinfeld episode, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” And, I suppose there isn’t…… really??? But, what exactly is good about her column? Well, it’s probably a very good source of income for the Chump Lady, and her high-priced divorce lawyer hubby! In fact, it may even help keep her hubby’s business booming by providing an ongoing, and steady source of disgruntled, stirred, and shaken clientele! And, that, too, would be very good for the Chump Lady, indeed!

She then went on to say she doesn’t read my column.

So, I took the bait. I got on and said, actually my husband is a civil rights attorney for mostly poor people who are victims of race, gender, or pregnancy discrimination, and work place injury. (Texas is the only state in the nation, that doesn’t require workers comp). He does plaintiff side only work, on contingency — which means he takes NO money from his clients, and only collects if he settles or wins their case in court. (In other words, he’s awesome at what he does.) He enforces the Civil Rights Act every day with his own damn money and is not a high priced divorce lawyer. (But we did get a good chuckle about that.)

Oh, and for anyone who is curious — I don’t make money on this blog. You guys are terrifically kind about donating and Amazon sends me about $20 a month for ads, cafe press the occasional $5 for mugs sold — but over all for what I’ve spent to create it, versus any income its generated in two years — it’s a negative cash flow (not adding in my time either). Now, when my book is for sale next month? I will shamelessly promote it, now that I’ve built this community. Just so you know my nefarious plans, chumps.

ANYWAY — back to cheaters. What was fascinating to me is that here is a community of REFORMED cheaters who cannot admit that cheaters give stupid excuses when they cheat.

I guess the fantasy reformed cheater in my mind looks at that shit and goes “Oh yeah, I used to say crap like that. I’m so embarrassed now that I blameshifted my affair on to my chump. I cheated because I was selfish and because I wanted to. That’s on me 100 percent.”

It will probably come as no surprise to any of you who spent 5 minutes in reconciliation that NO, it’s waaaaay more “complicated” than that.

Chumps, you need to own your part in making them cheat.

It is too easy to say that the affair is all on the WS and that’s that.

Yes, it’s easy because it’s common sense. Unless the chump and the cheater were boffing the same person, only ONE person was in the affair, and duh, it’s all on the cheater.

I think that there are many many reasons why spouses cheat. It can be entitlement, it can also be narcissism, it can also be because the wandering spouse just wants hugs.

Yes! Cheaters go out and wander in search of HUGS! Can you imagine that scenario — lonely guy just approaching random people on the sidewalk looking for an embrace. Who does that? A sad person who is hug deficient, that’s who!  A person reduced to such circumstances is not a person who is getting hugs at home.

Hug me before I cheat again!

But the biggest reason cheaters give for cheating is their “brokenness.”

You see, they’re splendid people who were in a dark place. And they live with the crushing weight of what they’ve done, so don’t mention it, or make fun of it, or point out that, uh, it was a million times worse for the chump. DON’T YOU THINK THEY KNOW THAT?

I love this trope that cheaters go around with the heavy weight of remorse. I understand that no one wants to be reminded of their mistakes, but I think an element of sincere remorse is the ability to suppress your embarrassment and discomfort and express contrition.

I find it highly suspect that the reason you can’t express displeasure with a cheater, or make satire of remorseless cheaters, is that they’re so sorry already. Isn’t this just a bit of mindfuckery to get chumps to shut up? And make the cheater the real victim here?

 Sure, sometimes, perhaps even often, one never knows exactly why it took place. But often the reason is something toxic in the marriage and that needs to be fixed.

What reasons do they now give? That they were deeply broken people. That they had huge psychological flaws and damage and poor mechanisms for coping with them.What do they say about it now? That they live every day with the knowledge that they were not the people they thought they were, that they are people who are capable of inflicting horrific damage on the ones they loved, and that they live with that self-knowledge every day of their lives.I know how bad I feel about the way I neglected my wife and failed to be there for her during my major depression. I cannot imagine how bad these remorseful waywards feel. I wouldn’t trade places with them for all the tea in China.

Some are my friends now, and I worry every day about how deeply they are scarred by what they did and how prone they can be to depression. It is a very, very heavy weight they carry.

Look, just because you have a poor mechanism for coping with stress does NOT absolve you of responsibility for your CHOICES. Infidelity is a choice based in entitlement. Why can’t cheaters who claim to be reformed let the buck stop with them? Why are there addendums and caveats and White Papers on the complicated issues that arose that compelled them to cheat?

From the woman who thinks my husband is a divorce attorney:

though I regrettably, eventually, choose selfishness, as a coping mechanism, during a time when I felt very sad, lonely, hopeless, defeated, demoralized, and broken, before, during, and after my affair, (for quite some time) I am not, was not, and never will be bad! Bad! Bad!

No, you’re just another splendid person who cheated.

Where is the ice pick of shame? (Sigh)

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Wow – “the knowledge that they were not the people they thought they were”??? NO, on the contrary, they knew who they were. They just didn’t want their chump to know. Since when is lying and deceiving someone who loves you a “coping mechanism?” sheesh.

    • “Since when is lying and deceiving someone who loves you a “coping mechanism?” sheesh.”

      Depending on their brokenness and emotional hurting, poor things, I suppose that shoplifting, assault, abducting people for ransom, or bombing buildings could be coping mechanisms too.

      Apparently in their warped little minds we owe them understanding and maybe even gratitude that “all” they did was lie, steal, and cheat. I mean they could have done worse, right?

      I know of a cheater (not mine, but they are pretty much the same anyhow) who said he wasn’t a bad person because he wasn’t a druggie, he had a job, and didn’t beat his wife. Implying that she should be somehow thankful and appreciative of him that he wasn’t as bad as all that.

      They like to think they are good people who did some unfortunate things when the truth is they are entitled assholes who made selfish, mean choices they knew would hurt people.

      • Oh dear lord, my husband once told me (during his gambling addiction stage) that he was a good husband because he didn’t get drunk or beat me up!

        What’s worse? I took it as a valid point!

        I’m still not sure if I’m just a hopeless, spackling chump with no boundaries, or if he’s been messing with my head the whole time!

        • The truth is, that there are plenty of “bad” or “wrong” things that people can do that don’t rise to the level of being a ‘crime’.

          But it doesn’t mean they’re “good” things…

        • My ex also gave me the same line. I think mine truly believed his lack of domestic violence made him a great husband, and therefore entitled to whatever moods or affairs or anything he wanted.

          • I have actually addressed this on a different forum about 1.5 years ago. Seems that as long as the cheater/abuser hasn’t murdered anyone or robbed a bank that they think of themselves as ‘good’ people…

            …as if the self-control it takes NOT to murder anyone or rob banks is SO GREAT that they have to compensate by “allowing” themselves a ‘time out’ from self-discipline.

            Imagine their surprise when they actually have to face consequences for their lack of self-control…

            G.

              • “Imagine their surprise when they actually have to face consequences for their lack of self-control…”
                Face consequences? Not my STBX! We are smack dab in the middle of a divorce and since I didn’t roll over and die, give in to his demands, and throw roses after he and the OW as they rode off into the sunset, it’s a whole new ballgame for him. Instead of taking responsibility for what HE did, somehow he’s managing to turn in on ME. Everything is suddenly MY fault. So nope..no consequences for my asshole. Apparently he’s above all that.

            • In my circle of friends, we call this a “bitch cookie.” Expecting praise or reward for something you should/shouldn’t do anyway.

              Oh, you actually did your classwork and DIDN’T abandon your group presentation partners? …Do you want a f*cking bitch cookie?

              Oh, you did your laundry instead of leaving it all over the floor? Here’s a bitch cookie.

              Oh, so, you DIDN’T murder/rape/beat the shit out of your spouse? Bitch. F*cking. Cookie.

              You don’t get a damn gold star for meeting standard expectations. And cheaters don’t get gold stars for not being physically abusive. Bitch cookie.

              • Kara,

                I am so using this! I think my Flaming Turd may have a garage full of bitch cookies.

              • Love it! Chris Rock did a bit about that same concept, but I like your take a bit better!

              • oooh. I see the beginnings of a Chump Cookbook…

                — Bitch Cookies

                –Chucked my Cheater Chuck Roast

                –Court Bouillon de Divorce Court

                –And, of course, Freedom Fries!

              • Ooh-Ooh-Ooh!

                When the book comes out and sells gazillions CL can tie it in with (kind of like a Girl Scout) ” Bitch Cookie” as a classy little bonus when you buy the book!

                I mean really, who wouldn’t LOVE to be able to pick up something for a newly Chumped friend all at one time when you get “that call” from them and they need you NOW?

                Instead of the old magazines / chocolate / tissues …..you can bring the
                CL book / shit fudge / and a packet of fancy CL napkins (with a CL cartoon) all ready to go? If nothing else it would be a convo piece! A great thing to have on hand on your way out the door!

      • My ex-cheater thinks he was a good husband and father although he cheated on me for at least 17 years of our 25 year marriage with “family friends” including unprotected group sex, making fools out of me and our children and most importantly himself. (We all unknowingly socialized with the AP’s, their children and families before the D-day revelations). After leading such an astonishingly deceptive double life, why does he think this? Because he clings to the idea that since we BELIEVED him to be the man he pretended to be at the time, he therefore WAS that man in a way… and thus all those years of deception should still somehow be “real” to us….and so those were not wasted years of horrible lies, they were “good” years.

        You see, my ex is not just a normal narcissistic cheater, he is a KING AMONG NARCISSISTS– unlike your normal peon cheaters out there, my ex had enough attention and love for EVERYONE, his wife, his children, and his AP’s….he is supreme as the most PERFECT cheating spouse ever, one who can pull off the deception so brilliantly that he STILL was a good husband and father to his family! See!! It all makes sense and it is all okay!!

        Yeah, your eyes will cross trying to understand that logic.

        • It completely boggles my mind that there are seemingly loads of people who engage in “group sex.” If I’ve ever met them, I don’t know it, I suppose. Who are these freaks?? Do they just walk around looking normal? Have I met them and just been put off by their general ickiness? I think maybe that’s it. Maybe I should wonder if people who make my skin crawl, with their grabbing and leering, “I’m just JOKING!!” are all group sex aficionados. Is that it?

          I just shake my head all the time nowadays…. I never realized how naive I am. I guess that’s the whole point. When you’re naive, you have no idea of what you don’t know.

          • Last yr I found out I was engaged in group sex! You see, asshat’s fuckbuddy and her husband did lots of group sex and swinging and who knows what else.

            If you live in Orange County or LA, WE MAY BE FUCK BUDDIES too! 6 degrees of makin’ bacon. ( the fuck buddy is a wide-loaded pig cow. I know. I’ve seen the thong. My mini van could drive thru it.)

          • “When you’re naive, you have no idea of what you don’t know.”

            Miss Sunshine, this is so true. I didn’t even know what a Brazilian wax was when D-Day rolled around, couldn’t figure out why the people in the porn I found on ex’s computer all appeared to have hairless genitals. Sigh…..

            And yes, my ex and his AP’s and their cabal of little friends were sorta the kind of people who gave off creepy predatory vibes, the women always pawing at and “adoring” of any man they met, like something out of the remake of Dracula with Keanu Reeves. But I was married for so long, I trusted my husband, he was just a bit flirty, those women may do things with others but not with my adoring spouse, not while they were guests in my home and both of our “friends.”

            Of course the answer was, yes they were doing those awful things, yes they got off on doing it around me and my children, no I truly never thought my ex could be so cruel, sick and disgusting. I do think he was a “sex addict and porn “addict” for want of a better term. They have to keep upping the excitement ante because “normal” sex and increasingly abnormal ex just doesn’t do it for them anymore. I now admit that I KNOW there was so much more he did, possibly so much WORSE, but also know I cannot even imagine what that is (fifty shades? Sex with animals?) Oh and I did have to ask our 3 children if ex and his AP’s ever did any thing sexually inappropriate to them…their answer was no but I still worried.

            Sick fucking perverts.

      • “They are entitled assholes who made mean choices they knew would hurt people” This is correct!

  • My STBX’s excuse was first ” he was curious” now 6 months down the track his excuses when asked why he did it and I quote ” I have been released from an unclean sexual spirit” WTF???????????? No Buddy just like every other person that walks this earth you were given free will and you chose. But it is not a subject that is easily discussed as clearly according to him I am unable to deal with my issues and cannot understand how much this hurts him when I bring it up.

    • I should also mention
      In my STBX’s F’ed up world his 8 years of infidelity is not the issue in our marriage, it is my unwillingness to forgive him and love him unconditionally as I promised to do when we exchanged vows that is the issue.

      • Yeah, not that he BROKE the vows, but your inability to look the other way.

        Wonder how he’d feel if you were the cheater and he was the betrayed?

        • Honestly Red if it had been me who had cheated I would have been frog marched to the front of our church and all my my transgressions laid bare. His have been kept secret and then the deliverance thing gave him the perfect out. He is free of all responsibility.

          • Why is he getting off Scot free? Why is this being kept a secret? Why is he free of all responsibility?

            • As one of the elders in our church put it to me when I asked the same thing in the beginning. ” we are not going to tell everyone what has happened as it may hinder his recovery” they are standing by this notion that when they are done with him that they can just reinstall him back into our family unit and that I as the dutiful wife should just sit and wait no matter how long it takes.
              What they do not realize is he has bigger issues then infidelity and by keeping his shit secret they are enabling him because in his mind they are with him against the rest of the real world and they are arming him with all he needs

              • I had something similar. I was pressured to forgive and let go because he’s “being a good person now.” Well no kidding he is. That’s part of the way abuse works. Tried showing them that but they believe he’s had a miraculous identity transplant.

                It made me look like a grudge holding bitch because he has been a really nice person for several months now. They don’t understand that he was this nice and good before and how stupid would I be to disregard eight straight years of asshole behavior for five great months of Mr. Nice. It’s been so bad that I frequently remind myself of the lies, abuse, and cheating he did, so that I won’t become accepting, numb, or complacent. In short, I am afraid of being duped again before I can get out of this completely. And I should be afraid. I’ve been through the nice periods before and don’t see why this one will stick when the others didn’t.

                Stay strong, Sammie D.

              • Wow! Just…wow.

                So, they’re going to “fix” him and put him back in the family like nothing happened? Maybe THEY should live with him for awhile instead of you!

              • Sammie, I applaud you for leaving that church.

                And, FWIW, there are theories out there that telling others would have HELPED his “recovery”, because less people would feed him ego kibbles and believe his bullshit.

              • Sammie–good for you for leaving. I’d be like, “Y’all can forgive him all you want. I’m outta here. Good luck!”

                And, Hawk–ex is just better at hiding now, or biding his time. As long as it serves him in the basest way, that’s what he’ll do.

              • That’s simply crazy. Like the church elders get to decide that you have to take his abuse. So glad you walked away from that mess. What a nest of crazy people, thinking they have the power to fix him and decide your life for you. Sounds more like a cult than a church.

      • Yes, I got that, too. If I truly loved my XH, I would have let him freely have OW as that made him happy, and if I truly love him, I wanted him to be happy. And when that relationship didn’t work out for him, I should have taken him back with open arms, because that is someone who truly loved him would have done. It’s like the cheater is trying to make the chump the selfish, unloving bad person in this drama.

        It’s sort of like male-to-female transsexuals who are married to women and have children with them and for all intents and purposes have led largely heterosexual lives. Suddenly, in middle age, because of their sexual fetishes, they have a need to undergo sex reassignment (they get sexually aroused by the thought of dressing/behaving like a woman; this is different from people who suffer from gender dysmorphic disorder, who have felt “trapped” in the wrong body since early childhood). If you read what they write (which I have, as XH indicated to me after D-day that he was seriously considering gender reassignment surgery if he hadn’t had the affair), they generally feel entitled to their wives’ love and faithfulness after they’ve pretty much threw a bomb into their lives. They generally want to stay married to their wives and have the benefits of married life with their “best friend,” while living as a woman and having “just sex” with men. And if their wives decide to leave them, many of them blame their wives, saying things like: “If she really loved me, she would have stayed. Nothing has changed about me, just my outward appearance. She obviously never loved the real me, the inner me. How can she be so selfish?” There are actually a lot of women who stay married to their men after they undergo sex reassignment; I’m not sure how they do it.

        • This is such warped logic. If he truly loved you, he would have been faithful to you, because that is what makes you happy.

          If he loved you unconditionally, after he cheated, he would accept your anger and do what you wanted.

        • You can’t love someone you don’t respect and admire. You’ll have to call whatever those feelings are something else. There are lots of reasons why people stay after being abused, but it’s not because either person is emotionally healthy.

          • OK. If someone is fine with a spouse getting his or her gender “re-assigned,” that’s up to them. But in the real world, where the sane people live, we generally know what gender we prefer, what our sexual preferences are, and we limit the pool of prospective spouses to that group (or groups, for bisexuals). It’s a deal breaker for me, at least, if someone wants to change teams in the middle of the marriage because I get choices too. Just as if I felt it was important to marry a person who works for a living rather than robbing banks, for the spouse to turn to bank robbing–dealbreaker. End of story.

    • ” I have been released from an unclean sexual spirit”

      Oh my fucking God did he really say that !!!!???? ? Did you smash him upside the head with the iron skillet after he said that !!?? ? I thought my ” I need a connection” excuse was bad,, holy batshit fucked up !

      • Wow their excuses are dumb as hell. Spirits, connections, yadda yadda. Bullshit.

        Mine said that he was possessed by alcohol and it made him do whatever the women around him said to do. As a never been much of a drinker I wouldn’t know. I mean the chumpy part of me realizes it influences people and he certainly did look and act different while he was in the drinking years, but miraculously, he never screamed at his coworkers or whores, never got violent with anyone besides me, etc. during that time.

        So either the alcohol demon just hated me personally, or it loosened him up to act on his resentment he already had been building up against me.

        I think the most damaging excuses are the ones where there could be a small smidgeon of truth because they make chumps question their role in all of it.

        I suppose I was an enabler because I didn’t have a clue and then once I did know I made him move out because he wouldn’t get help. But he was abusive, cheating before I kicked him out anyway.

        Some of the shit these cheaters come up with is just so stupid, I don’t understand how they don’t die of embarrassment after being such idiots.

        • I think this is where why doesn’t help. If he has a drinking problem, that’s still a reason for divorce.

      • Oh MichaelD you nearly made me spit my chocolate milk.
        Yep he really said it. No he didn’t get hit as we were on the phone. which is a good thing because if I had hit him the next excuse would have been ” it is all a result of my violent tendencies” which is one of the stories he has used to explain our separation or his part of it. This was his counter for my telling people the truth. His initial reason he gave our friends for our separation was that I had put him out because I caught him doing porn.

        Oh the crap they tell……… “but their not bad people” just ask them

      • The “unclean sexual spirit” thing makes me think of my ex. When I was stupid enough to take him back in bogus reconciliation, he said he had a mantra that was going to keep him from having sex with men: “I will not be someone else’s demon.”

    • Figures . . . I’m ruled by the spirit that makes me an awesome mom, I pay my bills on time, and go to work everyday. Fuck!

  • All the things I did wrong in the marriage? XH can talk for days. All the things HE did wrong, including the affair? Skip it. Because it makes him look like “the bad guy,” like he’s something less than spectacular.

    I didn’t read the TAM post, but it sounds like those reformed cheaters are still hanging on to the “I’m not a bad guy” mantra to some extent. Yes, they cheated, yes, they’re sorry, and yes, they want to reconcile. But take full blame for betraying their spouse and gutting them emotionally? NO WAY.

    It sounds like they’re still feeling too entitled to be that humble.

    • “Oh, sure, make me the Bad Guy”. I heard that a lot.

      Looking back, I think that’s the result of OW brainwashing, positively reinforced with every orgasm.

      My ex’s four sisters and his schmoopie were all OK with a middle aged, supposedly respectable man blowing up his marriage and having a kid out of wedlock, because I WAS THE BAD GUY. I was this, I was that, I did this, I didn’t do that, man, they sure were experts in me, and how I should be dealt with. It made the divorce all about destroying me, and not getting free to be with his tru wuv. That was the big tell.

      This is the level of intellectual introspection that goes on, I’m positively sure of it:

      http://soulmateshmoopies.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/part-1/

      • Chumpalucious I laughed so hard!!! It made my morning, I am still grinning lol.
        Boy it’s spot on and still struggle about him saying I was not a good homemaker and I don’t cook very often!! it blows my mind the lies and justification he gave for reason he was not happy in our marriage.

        • I know, right, Wow? I wasn’t the best housekeeper in the world, but I did fold his underwear! Including the boxers he inherited from his brother-in-law when he died.

          That’s right. My ex wore a dead man’s underwear. In some twisted way I’m sure he thought he was honoring him. What the ex sister-in-law thought by giving them to him I can’t even imagine.

        • Mine always expected the house to be clean when he got home…so after 10hr days in a factory myself, I was the little homemaker too. Only I didn’t do it good enough. House was never clean enough, so he’d come through behind me re-cleaning everything while telling me how I just didn’t clean like his mother did. I also didn’t cook like his mother could. *eye roll*

          After enough time and bitching, I gave up cleaning and cooking after work as he’d just redo it and complain about dinner. Aha! Now I was the lazy bitch who wouldn’t lift a finger around the house while he paid all the bills. (Apparently my paycheck was just extra spending cash…that somehow ended up being used to pay bills after he spent his on whatever or was “jipped” on his check, again.. ) *Snort*

          After DDay it was all “Yeah but she cooks me a fantastic dinner, asks me how my day was and IS ACTUALLY INTERESTED in what I have to say.” If you’re not screaming at her, after her full day of work, about the cleaning and the cooking it’s much easier for her to ask and listen.

          And if anyone asked how much of the housework he did on his own during the winter (as he only worked during the summer and that was his excuse for not cleaning during those 4 months) it turned into “You have no idea what it’s like to not have work. She (me) doesn’t understand either. It’s horrible! (he made as much in unemployment wages a week as I did working full time…not that I saw any of it) *face/desk*

      • OMG that is about the funniest thing I have seen and I’m pretty sure that conversation happened

      • Sure. And why wouldn’t the one who was cheating on the marriage vows be the bad guy? That’s the whole mindfuckery the Jackass is still peddling. He’s “not that kind of guy.” He’s “different that the other men” I have known. Lie, deny, lie, deny, gaslight, add mindfuckery. Blah blah. But when he smirks, he gives the game away; that smirk shows he’s convinced he is superior to me, he knows things I don’t know, he’s got it all under control. That smirk shows he knows what he is, a liar and a cheat and a guy who broke every promise and betrayed me in a cruel way–and he’s just fine with that.

        • Oh I know that smirk too, LAJ. While I stumbled around the house speechless and in tears on D-Day, my ex had that same nasty superior smirk on his face, it was incredible.

          But now, two 1/2 years later, with my romantic life going on, my children and I doing better than ever emotionally and financially, our kids not speaking to him, his self-employment as a “consultant” failing to take off, and his being faced with the prospect of being forced to marry one of his AP’s for financial reasons and because if he doesn’t do so soon she will boil the bunnies, I think that my ex’s smirk has been finally and most wonderfully wiped off his face.

          Odd, now I feel a smirk coming on 🙂

        • I hear you LJ. That all knowing Smirk. You see it and you know they think their ahead of the game. They don’t care who is getting hurt or if their actions are appropriate. I see it now and it leaves me feeling cold. They are cruel and calous and that smirk screams ” I DON’T GIVE A SHIT”

      • Oh my. That had me laughing so hard I was crying! Not sure if it was the dialog or tye almost deadpan delivery of said dialog, but wow, I needed that laugh!

      • Holy shit! It’s funny cos it’s true! The pathetic narcs in my life tried to convince everyone that I was batshit crazy. Even the police. I held my shit together which just didn’t play into their plan, so I’m sure it was all my fault because…”insert random illogical shit here”.
        I needed this laugh today so thank you.
        My scenario would need all STBXH’s family standing around them nodding their heads sagely at the wisdom of cheater and OW.
        My ex-MIL tried to convince the cops I was a danger and they should take my kids. That didn’t work. They couldn’t turn me into the bad guy so now she’s trying to put a restraining order on my Dad!! Is the narcissism genetic??!

    • I read through a few pages on the TAM site. Far more support for CL than naysayers, I was impressed. Plenty came to her defense and flat out said that the ones with issues (liked the one CL called out) are the ones that haven’t come to grips with what they did.

    • I want to know why that is??? Is it just selfish entitlement… my ex ran away from his family with barely a glance back and yet that is all my fault!!??!! Still is my fault 3 years later that his kids have very little to do with him. I guess my mindset is will never be like that. Everything is put on me. I refuse now (although it has taken a couple of years to realise this is NOT on me) none of this was my chosing or my choice in anyway.

  • It just occurred to me that the woman I quoted said she wasn’t a bad person while she was IN the affair. Really? Okay. You’re not bad, bad, bad! But you’re certainly not sorry either.

      • No their not Bad, they are down right horrific and they will destroy anyone who get in their way.

      • Yeah they’re bad. I mean, how do you define bad people”Answer: people who do bad things…I mean how else? I’ve mentioned before the SLAA meetings where this came up, and I told my Ex (who to his credit did not buy the, “no, we’re not bad we just did bad things” line). “Where do you draw the line at enough badness? Does it have to be Pol Pot level of badness? Zodiac Murderer? Or is just shitting on, and wrecking the lives of the people who love and trust you the most, enough to make you a “bad person”??? (the alternative being “good people who did bad things” blech).

        He said that the folks in the group could not comprehend that level of philosophical nuance.

        Two further points: one of the other cheater lists on that site (in the comments) listed my Ex’s first reason , “I was already not married to you, in my mind.” WTF? But I’m strangely relieved to know that other people have heard this crap.

        Also, my Ex seems to have actually been devastated by what he did. Not that I would take him back…or even talk to him, in 10,000 years (unless I need to talk to him). But he admits that he fucked up; he lost the best thing he ever had; he was an asshole, yadda yadda. Still didn’t change the behavior though, and he’s been know to lie, since 😉 Summary: not as bad as some, still a cheaterpants, and someone to stay away from.

          • Alas, le sigh. Many do not. Oh! Hollow, hollow, hollow! (obligatory Gilbert Sullivan ref. I’ll bet we could really mine the shit out of Patience, whose anti-hero is a primo Narc. ) heh. (incidentally, calomel is chloride of mercury and a common, though poisonous, 19th century medicine… it killed people, often.)

            G&S:

            “It is the wail of the poet’s heart on discovering that everything is commonplace. To understand it, cling passionately to one another and think of faint lilies.

            “OH, HOLLOW! HOLLOW! HOLLOW!”

            What time the poet hath hymned
            The writhing maid, lithe-limbed,
            Quivering on amaranthine asphodel,
            How can he paint her woes,
            Knowing, as well he knows,
            That all can be set right with calomel?

            When from the poet’s plinth
            The amorous colocynth
            Yearns for the aloe, faint with rapturous thrills,
            How can he hymn their throes
            Knowing, as well he knows,
            That they are only uncompounded pills?

            Is it, and can it be,
            Nature hath this decree,
            Nothing poetic in the world shall dwell?
            Or that in all her works
            Something poetic lurks,
            Even in colocynth and calomel?
            I cannot tell.

        • namedforeva, my stbx said the same!!!! “I am already divorced in my mind”. Wow. I am shocked and somehow relieved as I keep reading these posts to realize the cheaters say the same stupid nonsense excuses again and again. And here I was thinking my ex was a piece of art. He is as common as any other sick cheater.

    • If you ever get the chance to go back and read that woman’s story (that EI drone), you will see that she is very adept at charming people( particularly the men) on that site and that she flirts and preens a fair amount.
      According to her, her husband had low Tand refused affection for years, but ,he has since gotten therapy and they are now fucking all the time.
      You can read between the lines with this woman’s story. She has the site convinced that she was , somewhat, justified in her cheating. She is good at turning the word salad phrase and she used to have her avatar with a picture of herself with a cute little hairdo and an impish smile. Very much designed to attract the weaker make members.
      She reeks of NPD or HPD , IMO.
      Notice how, when called out on the huge mistake and the defamatory stuff she posted about you and your husband , CL ( I consider being called a divorce lawyer, libel per se), she merely glossed over her apology, giving a perfunctory little allusion to it as a mere mistake. In fact, she had tried to use these misrepresentations about your H and you to bolster her criticism that you were just money hungry conspirators.
      Yet, when her glaring mistake was pointed out, she just continued the criticism and acted as if it was no big deal.
      I cannot tell you how much this woman reminds me of my first wife, a glib, articulate, word salad pro, who was pretty good looking and could garner allies with ease. She could charm people , just like this EI person, but if you really stopped to look at her behaviors(multiple affairs during the marriage, an OW to a married asshole father before our marriage, drug and alcohol abuse etc) you could see what a disordered asshole she is.
      But, men in particular, when faced with her smile and double D’s, jsut glossed over her past. Women , at least the non-groupie, non-new age types, were much quicker to figure her out.
      You will not see too many of the women on TAM defending EI, for a reason.

      • Exactly Arnold. I am a member on TAM , back from my days of trying to save my marriage with a cheater, LOL. Then I found CL from there actually and eureka! The betrayed fog was lifted! She’s mad because CL sees right through her. I read this member’s massive thread with her husband posting in the CWI section, and she was not a bit sorry at first, and after a year had eventually come around to, ok she was wrong, but they BOTH , had problems (Blameshift! Blameshift!) She’s good, real good, at the whole it takes two to have an affair, and it’s complicated, gimme a break!

        • Yes, Freeatlast. This woman should be the poster child for NPD and the ability to manipulate. I bet she is formidable, in person, and if she could get someone in front of the right audience, she could make him/her look very bad.
          I’ve become quite familiar with the persuasiveness and seductiveness of the practiced NPD. They really know ,both instinctively and through years of practice, how to play to an audience. One is best advised, unless very skilled as well, not to engage with them when they try to perform in front of others.
          EI plays on being something of a coquette, the clever little banter and compliments to the men there; the avatar with her impish, sly little grin with her head tossed etc.
          It is pretty obvious stuff , if you know something about PDs.

          • BTW, CL handled her well. A little too much intellectual candlepower for EI and imperviousness to EI’s charm.
            Notice how EI resorted to the old “taking my ball and going home” tactic to try to get posters to rise to her defense?

            • Yes, that was pretty funny. CL did great! She didn’t insult her , just stated she had her facts wrong. She (EI) seems to now get her kibbles by being of service to other cheaters and helping them on their “journey” and help THEM heal. She talks a lot about HER healing. Um…. what about your husband, you know… the one YOU betrayed. TAM is just her current supply , for now.

      • Yep, Arnold hit the nail on the head. You can smell the disorder right through the computer screen. Just another narc getting her daily dose of kibbles from supposedly reformed cheaters. Narcs really don’t care WHO gives them kibble, or what the kibble is made of, as long as they get their supply. Worse than a junkie jonesing for a heroin fix.

      • The moderator closed down the thread (truth is too painful for some people I guess) The level of viciousness towards Chump Lady was disgusting. EI starts with the personal attacks and then claims victim status when she is on the receiving end of return fire. She really is quite “reformed” cheater.

    • Chump lady, I get the same vibe from them. They’re all always so defensive about anything they think is against them. In my mind with that sort of attitude, that means to me that in reality they are only sorry for getting caught. Definitely NOT sorry for what they did. As far as I can tell, about everyone of the waywards that post on TAM are still in that denial/fog. But thankfully most of us over there can sniff them out a mile away, no matter how “offended” they get. I mean because that’s what being a chump is all about. We can sniff out your bullshit from a mile away! Now, that is.

    • I will never, ever, in a million years, understand the mind set of these people . They’re not bad when they’re having an affair, they’re not bad after the affair – when EXACTLY does the badness come into play??? What level of denial does one have to be in to actually believe this crap?

      I’ll never forget my own brush with this “I’m a good person” bullshit – and it wasn’t from my X – it was from one of the mom’s in my kid’s elementary school. We were having coffee one morning together, and I was smack dab in the middle of dealing with one of my then-husband’s affairs. She knew this – everyone in our little group of moms did – and since we were alone, I guess she figured it would be a good time for her to come clean and admit that she had her own affair just a few months prior. To my horror, she regurgitated the whole disgusting story, ending with – you guessed it – “Just because a person has an affair, doesn’t make them a bad person.” I sat there stunned for a few minutes, not knowing if the coffee I was holding was going to stay in my hands or be poured in the lap of this person…this BAD person.

      I composed myself, put a $5 on the table and told her that unfortunately, I believed otherwise. Then I left. I avoided this babe like the plague for the rest of the term.

      These people ARE BAD PEOPLE. They may try to sugar-coat it, but the facts shine through one way or another. The only ones who believe that they aren’t bad are those who have done the same crap.

      Sometimes, I think we should bring back public shaming.

      • That sucked, Babushka, in the middle of your own agony like that. I think you handled it extremely well.

      • This bad person did a bad thing and then picked a very bad and selfish time to tell you about it, hoping you would swallow any bad feelings you had about her. You see, she HATES that the group sympathized with the chump in your case. She, being a coward, didn’t have the guts to stand up to the group and tell them what she did–no, she smelled you for a chump and figured she’d dump her shit in YOUR coffee, and that you’d drink it–you’re a KNOWN chump, after all. She figured, “Me: alpha, you: chump.” And you, I’d like to think thanks to Chump Lady and the Chumpster Nation, has a fresh and evolved perspective. So you stood up, figuratively and literally, and refused to return the volley.

        WELL FUCKING DONE!!!

      • These “people” live by a different set of rules and those set of rules are ALWAYS in their favor. You cannot win against them. After 4 years of dealing with this shit I truly believe they ALL share an extreme personality disorder. There is no other explanation to the way they view themselves and the way hey view and treat others who don’t share their rule set. But they ARE good people…..LMFAO

      • Wow, you handled that beautifully. Kudos! I’m not sure I would have had the guts to call her out the way you did, then walk away.

    • To do something which is the epitome of selfish and fucktarded sure as hell does make you a bad person, no matter what the justification otherwise. She sure as hell wasn’t thinking of her husband when she was fucking OM was she?
      That woman disgusts me – every post she makes on that site is full of “I, I, I” all the damn time, as well as her classic non-apology apology. If thats not a textbook NPD, I don’t know what is.
      Wouldn’t be surprised if her husband was in false R and she was underground with OM again – at all.

      • Also, would like to add – well played on calling her out, CL!
        The “I, I, I” thing is almost comical now – if it wasn’t so disgustingly pathological.

    • My XH told me it was because I didn’t pay enough attention to him, that I paid more attention to the kids. They were 9, 7, and 4 when he began the affair, and I had just started being able to sleep through the night again after nearly a decade of not doing so.

      He refused to get up with them, couldn’t be bothered with school runs, and generally left 95% of the parenting to me. But it was MY fault that he felt lonely, that I couldn’t do all the child care AND still make him feel like a prince.

      So if I wasn’t paying any attention to him, how come my work load went WAY down when he left? Yeah, the KIDS were taking all my time. Uh-huh…

      • Red, your XH sounds like mine. I actually get more sleep now that he’s gone, as during the pick-me-dance I was spending all this extra time and energy trying to cater to his “needs,” while working a full-time job and taking care of two young children (one who was only 6 months old).

        • Is there a bigger sign of narcissism than a man being jealous of the attention his children receive from their mother?

          • My ex once said to me about our youngest, son 14– “HE’S your boyfriend!” Said in an angry, complaining and somewhat bitter voice.

            Now mInd you, unbeknownst to me, ex had been cheating on me for literally decades with at least two women, but was jealous of the love for and affection I showed to our own son (one who incidentally looked and acted the most like my ex), and who was then 11 years old.

            Sick sick losers.

          • LaJ, I know of cheating narcissist whose 14 year old son spent most of his summer break painting an amazing scene in the breakfast nook. I don’t know what it looked like, only that it was detailed and awe-inspiring.

            The cheater owned a company and had a business soiree at their home in early September. All of his clients went on and on about how beautiful the breakfast nook looked and how talented his son was.

            So what did the cheater do? Accept the the thanks? Pat his boy on a the back for a job well done?

            Hell, no!

            He had painters in the next day to paint over all if. NO ONE was allowed to get more attention than the cheater, particularly in his own house.

            Sadly, XH is pretty much the same. If the kids do anything of merit, it’s because their HIS children, not because they are smart or have talent. That’s why we never share any of their accomplishments with him anymore…

            • Oh, Red. That is a heartbreaking story. That poor kid. Years of therapy in his future, I expect.

            • what is wrong with these twisted jerks. Red, Kelly, LJ life is strangerthan fiction.
              I thought is was just my STBX that had a major issue with his kids, omg for the last three years I have been watching this bizarre jelouse attitude come out in my STBX. Our son is a very good sports man and has excelled in his sport of choice. Soccer- STBX never cared about sons sports when he was younger couldn’t care if his son even played sport. But as our son got older and excelled all of a sudden STBX is taking up the sport. and he does lessons on how to umpire, but son is still improving and many comment on his ability even bagging STBX as they question where sons skill came from. X is clearly not a sportsman. So STBX ups his game by joining the commity and maning the BBQ (hes such a great guy) Son gets picked for a national team X has a mantrum as he too wants a team jacket. Sorry buddy your the parent of the player NOT the player. Sons attitude towards his father has decintergrated over this time and son would often remark “dad always makes everything about him. Narc Narc Narc but added with his other crap I suspect posible Borderline. Kelly I am so glad joy when the dust settles.

          • I’d say a cheating wife passing her affair partner’s kid off as her husband ranks right up there.

  • They sound like offenders who cannot admit it was really a crime. No probation for you sonny boy/girl! Unless you ‘get it’ you will carry on saying ‘nice people rob banks and steal glittery jewelry’ and then what’s to stop you doing it again? Eh, Pink Panther? Of course their recidivism will be caused by the exploitation of selfish people by international capitalism and a poor exchange rate.

    ‘I know how bad I feel about the way I neglected my wife and failed to be there for her during my major depression.’ You dreadful person. How could you?

    • Exactly!

      That’s why I will never knowingly date a cheater. I’ve read those pro marriage sites full of “remorseful” waywards. And mostly what I’ve seen them do is get better at justifying and blameshifting. They just use more subtle terms and pick more acceptable blameshift targets for their “broken” selves, like their FOO.

      And eventually their BS or the WS themselves come back after a long time of “successful” R to admit a “slip up” or a new affair or some other equally destructive wayward behavior.

      Cheaters are selfish and selfish people do not make good spouses. Probably most of these people shouldn’t be married to anyone because they wouldn’t know how to be part of a team if the instructions were printed on their forehead.

  • FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY

    For some bazaar reason I went on TAM yesterday for the first time in many months and read this stuff about Chumplady. Wow I thought ,she is kicking some arse. What a poor deranged woman that thing called a writer is. She made these outrageous unfounded accusations against CL. Desperate attempts to be little.

    As for cheaters, how I wish to place them in the Supreme Court. I’ll settle for Judge Judy just for a little bit of justice.

    Groceries thinks she’s done nothing wrong. OMG the entitlement. She thinks her shirt doesn’t smell. What a perfect fantasy she and chainsaw man have. Just the two of the drowning in their own splendour.

    Oh the cheaters love being victims. What they don’t realise is that they are victims forever. Trapped. Shamed. Guilty.

    A Splendid prison sentence.

    Pass me a tissue

  • Poor widdle cheaters.

    Being all broken and needing a hug. They’re so sad and the only thing that helped them feel less broken was the unicorn affair partner.

    In a hotel room, where cheaters meet to soothe their brokenness, is a hotel room smelling fresh of unicorn farts. Unicorn farts smell like roses and the ceiling is transformed into a rainbow. Every kiss is like candy and that blow job is just like a sucking on a fruity lollipop. It’s all about hugging. Two lying individuals, one who claims to be “working late” and the other who claims to “running an errand”.

    Hugs are addictive.

  • Of course the cheater is broken. However, ignoring that fact and spackling over it does not address the problem. As long as they locate the problem outside of themselves (cheaters, that is), there’s no real hope for reform/change. They don’t have the power to change because they given it to external forces (e.g. my depression, the bad marriage, etc., etc., etc.).

    A lesson I learned in high school football during the day after the game, you own your choices. It wasn’t fun watching your mistakes on film in front of the team, but it was how we learned. Ignoring those mistakes and blameshifting by cheaters is just them trying to avoid adulthood at the chump’s cost. Reformed cheaters? I doubt it from what CL has shared here.

    • Well said, FSA. That’s it exactly — why the defensiveness? (especially about a post that doesn’t pertain to them — cheaters IN affairs giving stupid reasons).

      Isn’t part of being sorry admitting responsibility? These “reasons” seem like excuses to me, and worse, like more blameshifting to the chump.

      No one is saying chumps are perfect in their marriages. But the betrayed person did not compel the cheater to cheat. Very simple concept really.

      • Choices and character. I have thought some more today about the critic playing the martyr by denying that she is ” bad! Bad! Bad!”

        Personally, I am not into shaming people. I do not see that as really benefiting anyone. It is like play with a turd…all you get is dirty and stinky…to borrow an image from Martin Luther.

        That said, choices over time reveal character. Would we have a problem calling a rapist a bad person if they showed no remorse for what the did and actually blamed their victim? Is a murderer a bad person if he kills people and cares less about the families he hurt but blames his actions on being broken? How about a physically abusive man? Does he get a pass as a good but broken person because he was abused as a child and she called him names?

        We all make mistakes and hurt people. It’s what we do when we do this that matters and reveals our character. That said, I actually think some cheaters could be good people (maybe it’s my eternal optimism). But if there are good ones, they own their poor choices and take responsibility for the damage they have caused.

        For me, it’s not so much the one act or multiple acts that’s the problem in my mind. It’s the demonstrated, coldblooded, selfish choices over time that tells me the content of someone’s character.

        Are you “bad! BAD! BAD!”? I don’t know. But blameshifting is not a good way to demonstrate otherwise.

      • Since the cheater cheated on his/her spouse, then the SPOUSE must be a ‘bad’ spouse. But since the innocent spouse didn’t cheat on the cheater, then the cheater must be a ‘good’ spouse.

        At least, that’s how the cheater sees the situation

        G.

        • Wait . . . I think I get it. If a tree falls down in the forest and nobody hears it, it doesn’t make a sound, but if my cheater chops down the tree and it lands on me, it’s my fault.

          I get it now! Thank you!! 🙂

    • Choices and Character. Can someone be ” bad! Bad! Bad!”? (Side note: can you spot the her playing the martyr here?)

      What’s the problem with labeling someone as bad when they are bad? Do we have this problem with rapists who can not for their victims but blame them? Do we have this problem for murderers who blame society for their misdeeds and coldly regard the pain of the families they’ve destroyed by their crime?

      Character is demonstrated over time. I agree that one choice is not enough to make this assessment. How does the cheater respond to being caught? Does she own her bad choice(s) and the incredible pain they have caused her chump? Or does she blame-shift?

      We all hurt people and make bad choices. It is what we do after we make those bad choices that reveals our character. Do we care about those we have hurt? Or do we go into image control?

      I hear a lot of image control going on with this critic. THAT is a sign of bad character in my book. That’s not to say she’s beyond redemption but character is something that is hard to change.

      On a positive note, I do know of someone who admittedly destroyed his first marriage through his bad choices. He owned that and told me that he had to take a long, hard look in the mirror in the end to get himself fixed. I say that to make the point that people can change from “bad” people to decent folk. But you don’t get there through blameshifting onto your chump!

  • I love this trope that cheaters go around with the heavy weight of remorse .

    Are you fucking kidding me ?? Her remose did not come until after I caught her ass puuuuhlease !

    And really they are busting your balls for making a living ?? Fucktards.

    • Apparently, I don’t have to. My husband is a high priced divorce attorney, you see, and you’re all his clients. (Meditate on the monumental stupidity of that for a moment. People read this blog from as far away as Nigeria and India — divorce law doesn’t pertain to anyone outside of their STATE let alone country.)

      • CL even if your hubby had an ad or link on here we could care less,,,,, the last time I checked this is AMERICA please feel free to make a lot cash to feed your family !! Plug a book its yours you own this site !!!!! ASS WIPES like that make my blood boil. Put them in your shoes they would be selling mug, thongs, shirts, summer retreats etc etc etc anything and everything that could branded would be branded. Fucking hypocrite !

        • CHUMP thongs, MEH Band-aids, blame-shifting deflection caps, Queen/King of Spackle work tees, chump charm bracelet with a different charm every month, first one being a sparkly unicorn charm of course :), and Overcome Your Codependency in Only Two Weeks kits, wow CL, you are really holding out on us.

          I can’t wait to buy your book.

          Fuck the entitled haters.

      • This cheater, who bad mouthed you CL, did what most cheaters do, they spew nonsense make uniformed statements and try to discredit someone who threatens their sparkly turd persona.

        It’s a typical knee jerk narcissistic jab, to insult, make false accusations, belittle and smear someone who they feel is too close to the truth.

      • Frankly, CL, I think you SHOULD be making and selling information products, above and beyond your upcoming book. I spent hundreds (thousands?) on the reconciliation industry offerings, and it cost me 2+ years of heartache and pick me dancing.

        Had you been around then with a $97 (or $197 or $297) product to tell me step-by-step how to get my head on straight, get my ducks in a row, and get that man out of my life, I could have saved a bundle on useless advice and been a lot farther along in the healing process and getting to “meh.”

        How many people write and tell you that they spend hours going through your old posts? I say bundle it in one place, in a step-by-step fashion, and sell it – sell the shortcut. Not only would you be able to defray the cost of running this blog, you’d be able to recoup many of the expenses you incurred learning your sage advice in the school of hard knocks, like lawyers’ fees and moving expenses.

        Just a thought…

        • Well, that’s essentially the idea of the book. It’s a survival guide to infidelity. Your step by step guide for how to navigate out of this shit storm. Only I’ll sell it for about $15-20 (unsure of the page count now), less as an e-book — and there are cartoons!

          I’m sorry you lost so much time and money on snake oil. Those people piss me off. They’re selling false hope to vulnerable people. Nothing wrong with trying to save your marriage — there’s something VERY wrong with those cult-like “affair proof” your marriage sites though.

          • Hopium is VERY expensive – and addictive as any drug. I fed it well, right up until I was served with divorce papers.

            When I told a friend that I’d, “Fought and fought for that marriage,” her response pretty much said it all:

            “Yes, Red, but you were the only one in the ring.”

            You know when XH finally got rid of OW and started realizing the consequences of his actions? About 4 months after I found you and started working on “meh.”

            Coincidence? Hardly…

            • I don’t believe in burning literature but I would love to build a whopping big pile of all those books that claim if you follow its con tense you will have the happily ever after marriage and set it alight. No amount of hoping, wishing or even praying will prevent a cheater from cheating or create in them the ability to stop once the have started. Only those without a conscience cheat and once you don’t have one anything goes really.
              I had our minister tell me the reason my husband cheated was because he did not read his bible daily.

              • And CL is telling the victim of a relationship to get out. SHE’S not telling the chump to get out because their spouse:

                -lacks a sense of humour
                -has poor hygiene
                -is a lousy lay

                Hmmm, wait a minute–is there some website out there that makes millions a months off people who tell themselves those (usually false) narratives? Because THAT would be unethical…

            • I am looking forward to your book! Your honest approach to dealing with cheaters has helped me allow myself to face the facts. It is not that I am hopeless, it is that I am no longer swallowing hopium. At my age, I am learning to consider my actions before I do anything. Both your words and the input of my fellow chumps has helped me understand my situation. Keep it up!

              • I can’t wait to read the book and also plan to buy copies for friends-and several young women I know who are in relationships with lots of red flags. Maybe a Chump Lady Christmas basket?

            • “Yes, Red, but you were the only one in the ring”.
              OMG. That totally hit home, when I read that. Your friend is brilliant.

          • Just out of curiosity, CL, how do you think someone like one of my cheating XWs would react to having your book sent to her anonymously?
            In particular, i would like to send it to my first XW ( we have been divorced for 18 years, now). For a while , after her second marriage ended and mine had, as well, she would, on occasion , ask me for a hug or ask to hold my hand and look into my eyes with crocodile tears, and say Arnold, I love you. I was always weirded out by it.
            But, now she is a “certified spiritual counselor” at a CD recovery facility. She has tried to just bury what she did , serial infidelity, child abandonment etc.
            I would love for her to read your book, as you are a woman and smarter than her. I bet she would , pretty much, talk about you in a fashion similar to that EI asshole from TAM.
            I plan on buying several copies to give to some betrayed folks I know but would also like to send one to her.

            • Arnold – The only problem is (and you know this) they *still* won’t GET IT! They don’t get it, they’ve never “gotten it” they ain’t gonna get it now. Spend your money more wisely and send the copy to a poor chump who could/would actually benefit from it. Just my 2 cents 🙂

            • Arnold, my guess is she would claim that proved YOU were some sort of abusive, horrible person. She most certainly would not see herself as in the wrong. Morals and rules are for normal, little, boring people, don’t you know? Not for special, entitled, better people like your narc ex wives or my narc ex husband.

            • My guess Arnold is if I drew her as a cartoon she’d enjoy the kibbles, but wish it was a more glamorous depiction of her beauty.

              All kibble is good kibble.

            • Her first instinct would be visceral: she’d feel threatened.

              Then she’d move into her best coping skill: blame-shifting (Oh, Arnold, you need to move on! You’re so bitter!) and hand-waiving (I’ve moved on, I’m in a spiritually peaceful place.) All of which is total bullshit.

              Never have I run into such bullshitters who wear the hypocritical cloak of “spirituality” as I have among cheaters and homewreckers, which only bolsters my understanding of most of the con-artist pedagogues in this world.

              If you’re so grounded and insightful, I’ll figure that out quickly by how you live your life–by what you DO–not by what you say. Healthy people I admire do not have to tell me how admirable they are.

              • Seriously Arnold, don’t waste the money. They are all the same. They never learn and they never will. You’d be better off buying 15 lottery tickets. You probably wouldn’t get anything out of that either but at least you’d have a day or two worth of fun fantasies.

                Blameshifting, cowardly cheaters NEVER change their stripes. What a waste of space and oxygen!

              • I agree. I will still buy an extra couple copies, perhaps send one to her boyfriend.

          • I hope you are making a list of red flags. I started that after the post the other day and have a full page, so far.

          • You should hook up with the’Dummies’ series. ‘How to dump a cheater for dummies’

        • I read every word, every comment. It felt like a lifeline to me. So grateful for CL and all the people who have written.

        • Oh me too Red. I brought into the whole reconciliation crap. I poured hundreds of dollars into how to fix your marriage. Spackled, pick me danced for months and months. Yep Chump Lady would have certainly put my head on straight.

          I so wish I had found this site 3 years ago (no make that 10 years ago :)) when my ex was having affairs all over the place. I splackled like crazy for years. The first moment I came onto this site, it was like somebody opening my eyes for a very long time. I suddenly thought, this is not me… Chump Lady you so totally rock 🙂

      • It’s just a suspicion, but I often think that when somebody levies wildly off-base accusations, it reveals more about them than it reveals about you.

        In this case, the context of some of the more serious and false allegations would seem to be:

        1. You husband is a “divorce lawyer”
        2. This blog is a source of $$$$ big money for you.

        Taken together, the implication is that you are profiting from promoting the idea that people dump cheaters.

        This would seem to imply the M.O. of the post would be to promote the idea that one should not “dump the cheater”.

        More importantly, the post ascribes a nefarious and hidden agenda.

        Thinking about all of these things and putting them all together and assuming that the off-base allegations reveal something about the person who posted them, I come up with this:

        1. The person posting has a hidden agenda (and probably normally has hidden agendas).

        2. Part of their agenda is to promote the idea that chumps must reconcile with cheaters.

        3. Part of their agenda is most likely fueled by a need to control the narrative, and hence the very personal attack (it struck a nerve, it must be killed).

        • I think it’s very threatening to a lot of cheaters to think that chumps do not owe them reconciliation.

          As I’ve said elsewhere, to me one of the telling signs of a cheater’s entitlement is that they feel entitled to reconciliation at all. If you’re at all sorry, you should concede that that decision belongs with the chumps. You don’t control the outcome.

          But controlling the narrative, as you say, is a way of controlling that outcome. No one must dump cheaters!

          • Yeah, I totally agree that controlling that particular narrative is about trying to produce that specific outcome: nobody must dump cheaters!

            I just suspect a more general pathology. (need an ascii emoticon for “crazy” to end this sentence.)

            For example, the bit about “My family would prefer… ” was basically invoking “family” like human shields (from criticism), and then stomping off (from the thread, I presume). That’s pretty obvious manipulative behavior. If I can’t control the conversation (determine exactly what ideas have merit, and here’s a hint, I have a compendium of which ideas have merit), then I will stomp off and indicate that having a discussion with you is harming my family, or … hold my breath or do whatever has worked for me since I was about 4 years old.

            I’d be terribly surprised if that doesn’t carry over into all sorts of areas and isn’t necessarily about controlling specific outcomes unless being regarded as a sage oracle and final arbiter of all things having value is the specific outcome being sought 🙂

            I could be wrong and may be “jumping the shark” a bit there, but I do suspect that this kind of behavior doesn’t exist in a bubble where only this one agenda and one desired outcome exist.

            I think the short version of my suspicion is: entitled, narcissistic and manipulative person with totalitarian leanings.

    • Exactly. My now ex had some remorse, AFTER getting caught but he’s done with that now and he’s happy dontcha know and so why can’t I move on – he has. That’s their thinking! Or if it’s not truly his thinking then he throws that up so she doesn’t have to continually admit he was horrible.

    • Yeah, the part about cheaters and their “heavy weight of remorse” made me laugh. My ex certainly never felt one moment of remorse. In fact, what he felt was hatred towards me because my very existence was a constant reminder that he had done “bad things” in the eyes of normal people. I say in the eyes of normal people, because cheaters really don’t consider their own actions to be bad at all, but they ARE hugely concerned with their image, and they understand that being a lying cheater is something normal people consider unacceptable.

      • “My ex certainly never felt one moment of remorse. In fact, what he felt was hatred towards me because my very existence was a constant reminder that he had done “bad things” in the eyes of normal people”.

        Yes! This is a major reason why some cheaters won’t even entertain the idea of reconciliation or come back to the chump if the affair blows up in their cheater faces.

        Facing the chump on a daily basis would be a CONSTANT REMINDER of their own ‘badness’, and the cheater would find that reminder to be intolerable.

      • My STBX is so consumed with his image and because our church thought they could fix him and send him home they even advised him not to tell his mother. And he is living with her. He doesn’t want me telling people the truth he would prefer that I get on bord the his sanitized version of events as they paint him as being a good guy and me as being an unreasonble bitch. He is more upset about how the truth is making him look than actually being upset for doing something bad.

  • I checked out that thread CL.

    What I observed was how indignant she got when she gets challenged. Gosh, she’s only trying to “help” us chumps out and if we can’t understand HER PAIN then, she needs to go elsewhere!

    You know my cheater isn’t broken. He’s doing just fine thankyouverymuch. I’m sure he could “look” sorry if he needed to. I bet he could manufacture some tears, but real remorse – not a second of it.

    So if she’s all bent out of shape because you call her on her shit, I say her input won’t be missed.

    • Here’s what actually ‘broken’ people do – they realize their life is not going well and they change. They realize its not all about themselves. For spiritual people, they take direction from God or another higher power because they realize that they don’t have it all figured out on their own.

      The serial cheaters that I know don’t do this. They don’t make lasting changes. And they certainly don’t have any intention of recognizing a higher power. They hate authority and continue to say with their actions “You’re not the boss of me!”

      • Here’s what actually ‘broken’ people do – they realize their life is not going well and they change. They realize its not all about themselves. For spiritual people, they take direction from God or another higher power because they realize that they don’t have it all figured out on their own.

        Amen LUD & you dont have to totally broken I was just cracked a lot to realize my life had become unmanageable & I would be totally broken if I did not stop and change & reach out for that help 🙂

        • And no I am not a cheater the booze never told me to cheat, it just told me to drink more, but who signs on for that shit & thats why I got sober many moons ago 😉

          • You are an inspiration, MichaelD!

            I’ve been a bit broken myself but it didn’t cause me to cheat, lie, or steal either. Both my husband and I have major FOO issues(like most everyone I guess) but even when he wasn’t drinking he was always different than me about consequences. Almost like he either couldn’t be bothered to think of them or they never entered his mind in the first place in the way they do for me. He was always complaining about being “caught in the headlights” of life. Like any crisis or change catches him off guard.

            I guess drinking was coping for him, but it made him miserable and miserable to be with. But he’s been “splendid” besides all that!

            That’s what’s been crazy, seeing him be two seemingly different versions of himself. And he says, “well maybe alcohol didn’t make me do all those mean things but how can you explain how those behaviors disappeared when my drinking stopped?” And I’ve had other people say that alcohol fucks with your brain and makes you do bad stuff and act like someone you’re not. It’s hard when he’s nice to trust that he sucks. He’s seems genuinely changed, but it happened mighty fast, within 24 hours.

            That’s what has gotten to me so I have to remind myself of the seemingly small flags there were during his nondrinking years. It sometimes seems like none of that bad stuff ever really happened. But I think that’s his game plan though. Ugh. It’s a bit more complicated to get untangled from someone like that when finances are tight and there are young children involved who don’t understand. I initially stayed to prevent them from having to endure drunken visitation with him.

            All of this has gotten me to work on myself and hearing the people on here and all that they’ve overcome has been so uplifting.

            Sorry for being longwinded about this and getting off topic.

            Congratulations on your accomplishments and thanks for sharing your insight.

            • No prob hawk, I understand. Booze & drugs really do steal the persons heart mind & soul. It robs you of any rational thinking or living. All you want is that next drink or fix. Its sick sick sick. Your life becomes unmanageable money is tight there are fights kids are afraid lots of yelling lying bad mornings just a God awful way of life. A drunk FEARS change and really fears life more so they drink.

              To quote you,,
              I guess drinking was coping for him, but it made him miserable and miserable to be with and

              “well maybe alcohol didn’t make me do all those mean things
              He is in DENIAL Hawk & does not think he has a drinking problem.

              It sounds like he is drinking to forget,,,, to erase,,,,to sleep,,, to mask his feelings and yes he changes into that angry pissed off monster you speak of. And YES THE BOOZE AND HIS DISEASE ARE TO BLAME. It is a family disease that affects all of you.

              You cant control the disease and the best thing you can do is push him to get help,,,, and for YOU to take care of YOU & the kids.
              Hang in there I wish nothing but the best to you & your family.
              Sorry all for sounding like I am preaching.

              • I don’t agree that alcoholism is to blame, I believe it’s a symptom of mental illness that is not being addressed. My ex played the “it’s the alcohol, I’ll stop” card many times, what he would not do is go to therapy and address his mental health issues. He did go when shit blew up but he didn’t think he had a problem, it was all for show. He is still using the alcohol as an excuse for his bad behavior, he will never work on the root problem, it’s too “hard” for him. I have great respect for you MichaelD, you recognized the void in you and found yourself. I think that is the only way an alcoholic ever can stop, when they stop blaming the bottle and realize they are using the bottle as another excuse.

              • My ExH is not the cheater, but our marriage is over because of his drinking and probably abuse of prescription meds. He may or may not have cheated–who knows? He spent every weekend in his favorite bar. I have no idea what he was doing. I knew what I was getting into with him when I married him (hello, co-dependency) but I spent years in therapy working on my own FOO and PTSD and finally got to the point where I couldn’t live with the drinking. I still love him as a person, still wish him well, and will still be his friend, but he preferred drinking to his wife and marriage. I paid most of the expenses and I still have no idea where all his money went. Now that I am taking care of the whole place, there are so many things that were neglected. He’s such a kind, decent, funny, smart and handsome man. I loved him from the first time I saw him. But loving an active addict is a lonely, one-way street and I’m done with it. And MichaelD: you give me great hope that I’ll find a guy who is working as hard to be healthy as you are, as I am, as our fellow Chumps are.

              • Datdamwuf, You have a strong point about mental illness. I have been leaning toward that theory mainly because even when he wasn’t drinking he had/has a reluctance to dig deep and work on steps to fix himself. Even now, for instance, he will read websites, etc. but won’t go to meetings or get a sponsor because he said that the desire to ever drink is gone from him. I get the feeling he’s saying he doesn’t need that support. That strikes me as a red flag because a) he went seven years that I know of where he didn’t drink, and yes I know for a fact he didn’t because I could account for every cent and he wasn’t gone anywhere I didn’t know about and couldn’t verify. Not because of trust issues but because that’s the way circumstances were back then and b) to hit what he says was his rock bottom and to deal with the remorse, etc. he appears to have, it seems odd he wouldn’t need to have support to work through any of the shit his alcoholism caused him, not to mention us who he appears to truly love and regret hurting.

                I mean, I’ve been getting support several places, here for instance, because of everything I’ve been dealing with so it would seem he would need help for himself.

                Also, the one counselor we both went to is convinced he has seen the error of his ways and is on the right track. Another therapist said some people manage to do it on their own and he seems genuine.

                But somehow I am not thoroughly convinced. For one thing, he was drinking the very night before he came back and gave it all up. So in less than 24 hours he ditched the howorker, porn, and alcohol for good?

                I do know that the howorker was an alcoholic too and a huge enabler and he has never expressed the slightest feelings for her, but rather disdains her and blames her too for using his alcoholism to ensnare him.

                The Lundy Bancroft book says that alcohol doesn’t cause abuse.

                All I know is he is mostly great when he isn’t drinking but there were some red flags before too.

                I think the bottom line is there is no safe way to stay with him to see if his change is real or not. That’s what being on here has helped me to see. Funny too how he was the one who filed for the divorce I am finishing but he now cries and says he never wanted it.

                Ultimately, whatever his problems are, they have taken enough from me and I’d like some peace and order in my life.

                Thanks for offering so much support.

              • Dat he could have a mental illness, I didn’t and I don’t, I am a alcohlic and if I drink I become a mental and soulless man. I was born with the I love to drink gene meaning my dad grandfather etc etc loved to drink also. It’s what they did. Mental? Maybe a little lol. It’s a disease Dat and once you wrap your brain around that it becomes easier to come to terms with and accept. He blows up because he is in denial. You have to get sober first before you work on the other shit, if not it will not work.

                Love man that sucks & it hurts he chose being high over your marriage and yup I see it everyday,,, you are soo strong to get out of that ,,,be proud of yourself . Since you don’t say what pills I will take a guess it’s prob perks or Oxys. Right now they go for about $ 40 to 50 bucks a pop so yea that’s where his cash went & to the bar. I hope he finds help. He lost you and if he doesn’t get help it will kill him.

                Hawk read the AA big book it’s my bible 😉 I hear ya he might have bottomed out he’s just a sober dude. Me I want to feel life and have a plan when I get that feeling that I want to drink again I know what 1 drink will lead me to so I work at being sober. It makes my smile that much bigger from the inside out 🙂

                Have a good night all 🙂

  • “I find it highly suspect that the reason you can’t express displeasure with a cheater…is that they’re so sorry already. Isn’t this just a bit of mindfuckery to get chumps to shut up? And make the cheater the real victim here?”

    This hits the nail on the head. Mindfuckery.

    Plus, serial cheaters often think they’re very special snowflakes. Too special for all this contrition stuff.

    • Special snowflakes, yep. They tend to get irritated and huffy when we remind them how nothing they did is essentially different or special from any other cheater. They aren’t reinventing anything but they sure seem to need to think they are.

      Pathetic.

  • “But often the reason is something toxic in the marriage and that needs to be fixed.”

    The “something toxic” in my marriage was my husband. I fixed that by making him my ex-husband. And he’s still using the “my mommy didn’t love me enough” bit. Gag!

    • Yep. The ‘something toxic’ in my marriage, otherwise known as – that nagging feeling I had that I wasn’t really loved or respected, was my husband. And, his habit of soothing himself with whichever woman wandered into his radar, every time our life got a little tough or stressful! Right, he needed hugs. Well, gee, I could have used an actual partner, who would pull in the same direction (or at least stop destroying everything!).
      Nope, he was over at the neighbor’s house, leaning his head on her chest, because he needed comfort (he actually told me this!).
      What a fruitcake! And CL, you had me laughing so hard, I was crying, cheaters are so ridiculously funny!

  • CL- Haters always want to count other people’s money- it’s no ones business how much, or how little you financially profit from your blog. We appreciate you, and love how you empower people- simply because you can. Cheaters fear what they don’t understand- ‘strength in character’ doesn’t translate well in ‘Cheater ese’.

    • Thanks. But that criticism comes up again and again. I suppose part of it is this myth about blogging as some get rich quick thing — fact is most blogs fold after a year. You have to be dedicated to come up with content day in and day out, unless you’re an aggregator site.

      I’m certainly not above making money on this site — I’d love to monetize the thing in time, but you have to an audience. How do you build an audience? You have to work hard at it, unpaid for a long time.

      But that’s not why I built the site. I had ZERO idea how it would take off or in what form. I created CL because I strongly felt there was NO place on the internet that said “leave — you’ll be happier, it’s okay, infidelity isn’t your failure to own.” It was all unicorns and reconciliation — over sold, over hyped, and exceedingly rare IMO. I wanted a community for strong people who left cheaters, or who were on the fence about it who needed encouragement.

      Which I’m sure pisses off cheaters. The message is bad enough. It’s probably doubly worse if I made money off the message.

      • “I wanted a community for strong people who left cheaters, or who were on the fence about it who needed encouragement.

        Which I’m sure pisses off cheater”.

        I’m sure it will piss off ANYONE who is supposedly pro-marriage, such as TAM. I really can’t see remaining married for the sake of being married.

        It’s kind of like getting a driver’s license JUST to have something to put in your wallet. I mean, God forbid that you’d actually use it to DRIVE…

        G.

      • Yes, it’s your message that pisses them off. You strip away the mindfuckery and call it like it is. And you lay out the cheater-playbook for all to see.

        The RIC makes *tons* of money off its unicorn message. But I guess cheaters don’t mind that because the chump -spouse is the one writing the check for the quack therapist/marriage retreat/amazon binge.

      • I reiterate, you SHOULD make money off of this. As I said above, I would GLADLY have paid to learn from your experience – it would have saved me a bundle.

        During the height of the “pick me” dance, I spent $20K cash on a luxury car coming off a lease and gave it to my cheater. What’s the first thing he did? Drove it over to OW’s to show off. It still burns me up every time I think of it. Had I known then what you’ve taught me since, he would STILL have his POS truck and I would have the luxury car.

        Just sayin’…

      • I just ordered a “Welcome to the state of Meh” shirt. It should be here today. :). I’m contributing to your empire Tracy. 😉

        I love you and this site and the posters here because I too, was looking for a place where I didn’t step in unicorn shit. I don’t want to hear about how the poor cheaters haz the sadz, or are broken, or how I have to eat part of the blame for his betrayal. Fuck that, fuck that message, and fuck the people who continually spew it. This is the only place where I read the truth.

        For once, I’d like to hear a cheater say “I was a selfish person and I made a huge mistake entirely on my own . . . ” without adding a “but” on the end. Own your shit. Christ is that so fucking hard?!

      • CL, first of all, I hope some day you can benefit financially from the work you do, here and everywhere that you spread the word that cheating and betrayal is not a benign recreational hobby, a “victimless crime,” or an appropriate response to marital problems. People should be paid for their work, and as you say, blogging requires considerable laying of groundwork before any payoff can occur for the blogger. Yesterday, a colleague and I roughed out an idea that we hope will solve a problem for teachers and students. We kicked around ways to package it and decided for now to start with YouTube. Get it out there, see what happens, tweak things, learn, and most of all try to use what we know to help people. And while that won’t make us money, and the work you have done so far on this site has you in the red, of course, we are rich. We are rich. We take our best stuff and put it out there to share it. There’s Karma attached to that too. What we put out in the world–in your case a lifeline for people going through horrific emotional pain and life trauma–comes back. And what you do ripples out as Chumps tell other Chumps, as people read Huffington Post (how I found you), as people who can’t keep food down search the internet for help.

        • “We are rich. We take our best stuff and put it out there to share it.” This is absolutely perfect and true, LAJ.

          When I found this site, it was like HOME BASE for me. I met some really nice people on SI and a few of them I still privately email back and forth to catch up. (I’m meeting two later this year and really excited about that.) So, I’m grateful for that place too. But Chumplady is different in that it is more empowering. At least for my way of thinking.

          Hey, I’m grateful to everybody and everything that helped me through this nightmare. It’s just this site was instrumental. I didn’t have to twist my brain into pretzels with what I read here. Everything made complete sense. 🙂

      • Perhaps you should have your “high falutin atty husband” see about filing a slander lawsuit.

      • I’m going to go out on a limb and say… unless you are going after the big class action suits, contract law probably pays best.

        I imagine whoever is looking over multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions gets paid well (or as Christian Bale’s character in “American Psycho” called them “Murders and Executions”).

  • Since we’re dropping Seinfeld quotes, here’s one that seems to be the mantra for most cheating spouses: “Remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” George Costanza.

    • OMG , I love that quote. “remember it’s not a lie if you believe it”

      My STBX is so wound up in the web of lies he has been telling himself for years that a few of as a certain he has lost contact with reality, which is pretty scary shit given his excuses for his 8 years of extra marital activity.

      • I always like the Homer Simpson one (paraphrasing): ” I don’t mind when people don’t believe me when I am lying. But, it really upsets me when they don’t believe me when I am telling the truth.”
        I actually see similar complaints from “reformed” cheaters when they are frustrated/mystified that their BS questions their ongoing integrity now.

      • This must be the motto my XH lives by. He moved to some little town and has purchased a hardware store down there. There was an article written in the paper about it and when it was describing him they wrote that he is an “engineer”. Not unless he went to college in the last 4 years since we divorced. Although, when he first got together with the OW, he sent her an email telling her he was sent to college by one of his earlier employers and became an engineer. Evidently, he has told it so much he believes it.

  • It is a well known scientific FACT that a failure to receive the FDA approved daily minimum requirement of hugs and affectionate murmurings from one’s spouse increases by 100% a person’s chances of contracting Skimpy Hug Aggregate Go-to-bed-with-anyone Syndrome (“S.H.A.G.S.”). This disease (and it IS a disease which Chumplady has for too long viewed with disapproval and shame) is a serious problem for those who suffer with it. Symptoms include aimless wandering, boundless self-pity, and spontaneous erections prone to uncontrollable intercourse with any sad thing that’s available.

    Remember, Chumps: Only YOU can prevent S.H.A.G.S.

  • BTW, am excited to hear that your book is already done and nearly ready for sale! If you mentioned this already in another post, I must have missed it. That was certainly fast. Can’t wait to see it and very glad you will be sharing your insights with a larger audience so it can help other chumps stuck in RIC.

  • Chump Lady, this simply cements for me that the cheater mentality is hopelessly entrenched. “Reformed cheater,” my ass; she is steeped in “cheater-speak”. Patently absurd.

    By the way, cannot wait to buy your book! Hope you roll in the benjamins, girl! I would love to see someone benefit financially on doing good for others!

  • These days, the trend in psychology seems to be, ‘love the sinner; hate the sin’. In other words, psychology often teaches us that just because we did a ‘bad’ thing, it doesn’t make us a ‘bad’ person. What’s ‘bad’ is feeling ‘bad’ about YOURSELF for doing this ‘bad’ thing, when we should REALLY be blaming the ‘bad’ parents who influenced us to make ‘bad’ choices.

    Feeling bad about ourselves for ANY reason is now seen as dysfunctional. Guilt is something that only *religious* (also dysfunctional) people experience. No one should feel bad about themselves for any reason. Or, if they do, it should be very short lived.

    Gypsy

    • Very true! “Don’t hate the player, hate the game”. Only the players think it is a “game”, I hate both.

      • Ooh, that saying always incensed me! As if that absolves responsibility for being sneaky and untrustworthy…

      • This really steams me too!
        I had this discussion with X, after he confessed to banging the neighbor. He moaned – Don’t judge me! And, she’s really nice! She’s mostly a good person!
        I told him- some people go around judging others by, say, how cool their hair looks, or whether they party every weekend, and always have the most witty comebacks. (All things OW was into).
        I judge people on their actions, and that’s the only thing that really shows what they’re made of, deep down inside. Do they hurt people? Do they see someone’s spouse, and throw themselves at them? They’re morally bankrupt, and I can say so to anyone I want!
        Ooooh, he hated that! No, judge me and her on how funny and cool we are, not on our actions of tearing up a decades long marriage, and sneaking around and telling lies for four years!
        I knew I couldn’t make him see, he will still judge me to be ‘uncool’ because I’m loyal, and I’ll judge both of them to be heartless punks.

    • This is otherwise known as the pussification of America. Everyone gets a trophy, no one loses and no one gets scolded. The result is that those people grow up and sit on clock towers with rifles the first time life hands them a disappointment.

      Makes. me. sick

  • You reminded me of the scene in “A Christmas Story” when the teacher is trying to get the class to confess who dared Flick to stick his tongue to the pole:

    Teacher: Now, I know that some of you put Flick up to this.
    But, he has refused to say who.
    But those who did it know their blame.
    And I’m sure the guilt you feel is far worse than any punishment you might receive.
    Now, don’t you feel terrible?
    Don’t you feel remorse for what you have done?
    That’s all I’m going to say about poor Flick.

    Ralphie: Adults love to say things like that. But kids know better.
    We knew darn well it was always better not to get caught.

  • I think it’s ironic that the former cheater that was criticizing CL and making shit up, is just like our cheaters making shit up about their ” horrible spouses.”

    • I was thinking the same thing WhiskeySour, it’s just more incident of cheater-sponsored abuse– my translation is: “hey Chump Lady, you’re a CHUMP. So you should shut up and take it, and since you won’t, I’m going to tell everyone how crazy, greedy and wrong you are. Because you know, I’m all sparkly and stuff….”

  • “If you can’t get rid of that skeleton in your closet, you’d best take it out and teach it to dance.” ~George Bernard Shaw

    Cheaters don’t want ‘Dancing Lessons’ but, dammit, those Chumps just won’t turn off the music and keep their hands off the doorknob!

  • My cousin cheated on her husband. They have reconciled, and she (as far as anyone can see) is genuinely remorseful. She openly says “I was an asshole, I was selfish and I wanted the attention”. I know people on here are skeptical of genuine remorse and I am too considering my ex, but the point is that my cousin is not online chatting up other cheaters and exchanging excuses/blasting people who defend chumps. That site sounds like a lot of hopeful chumps and a few current cheaters (thriving off of the adoration of the eager-to-believe chumps). They’ll be here soon enough.

    • lale — your cousin, IMO, is doing remorse the right way. That’s what it looks like — I was the asshole. Not you drove me to be an asshole. Best wishes to her on her reconciliation.

      • My ex admits he was selfish and an asshole and he doesn’t blame me (even when I try to blame myself), but still says he doesn’t know why he did it and he didn’t think it would hurt me so much. I can’t get over all the lies and the 4 month relationship he had while I was getting our new home ready in a new state without some introspection on his part. Am I being too hard on him? Is this enough remorse?

        • That’s entirely up to you. Is it acceptable to you that he had a four month relationship and cheated on you? The fact that he’s owns it, is one small step. There are a gazillion others, but hey, you don’t have blameshifting. That doesn’t mean he’s a safe bet, however.

          To lale’s cousin, she’s in a reconciliation — to anyone in that position, I wish them all the best. Good luck. I sincerely hope you’re a unicorn.

          For all the reasons I’ve outlined elsewhere on this blog — I don’t think the odds are likely that R can succeed. If you want to try, at the end of the day it comes down to your comfort with that risk and your deal breakers. For some people infidelity is NOT a deal breaker. It was for me. But it took several D-Days to come to that realization.

          Just because someone is sufficiently truly remorseful does NOT mean you owe them reconciliation.

          Besides which it’s a huge investment of your time to see if their remorse holds up over time. So, I tend to advise people to move on and see what your cheater does on their own.

      • I think Dr. Simon has an excellent article on what genuine remorse and making amends would look like. Personally, I would love to meet someone who cared enough to do that. Gotta say that I have only once met a cheater who could tolerate the pain of the person he or she betrayed. He did the right thing, saw a spouse through breast cancer, and built a great family life. Most all of them want the consequences to be over–yesterday. If you’ve ever seen a cheater on Dr. Phil, they always whine about when they “won’t have to hear about” what they did. Genuine Naugahyde Remorse.

        • There is a great Dr. Simon article about true contrition that I read on counsellingresource.com. Part of it:

          “I’ve counseled many individuals who have displayed irresponsible behavior patterns as a result of varying levels of disturbances in their character. Although many of these individuals experienced profound periods of unhappiness and regret over their actions, only a handful ever made any significant changes in their once destructive patterns of behavior. Those who did change their lives for the better displayed a rare quality that seemed to make all the difference: true contrition.

          True contrition is a rare but essential feature of changing one’s life for the better. Remorse is a prerequisite for contrition, but it’s not sufficient for it. Remorse is a genuine empathy-based expression of one’s regret.

          But true contrition has to go far beyond even genuine remorse. The contrite person’s prideful ego is literally crushed and torn asunder by the weight of their guilt and shame. The contrite person not only hates his/her “sin” but dislikes the person he/she has become that permitted the travesty in the first place. So, contrition necessarily demands a firm internal resolution to make of oneself a better person and to conduct oneself in a better fashion in the future. It requires a true “change of heart.” The most reliable outward sign that a change of heart has actually taken place is the willingness and commitment to make amends — that is, the contrite person is not only “sorry” for what he/she has done but is willing to repair the damage inflicted on the lives of others. I’ve known so many irresponsible characters who will challenge their skeptical victims with retorts like, “I’ve said I’m sorry a million times now. What else do you want from me?!” — attempting all the while to throw the other party on the defensive for doubting their sincerity.”

  • Chump Lady: you are the heavyweight champ of cutting through the BS of cheaters and their excuses. Thanks for setting these clowns straight!

  • LOL! Nailed it! *sad trombone music for your “critic”*

    How funny that they made up lies to discredit your work and your husband’s job. Unbelievable.

    I have heard people say before that this site is “too negative,” blah, blah, blah. Quite frankly, it is cathartic like therapy for me. Also, it makes me happy because it reminds me every day that I don’t have to “accept” disrespect and hurtful actions from a partner. Using this site plus therapy, I have learned to start shaking my head at mean/empathy-free people instead of untangling their skeins. Sure, I have been close to making more judgment errors with my partner “picker,” but I catch myself quickly and leave before things get serious. I can’t possibly say CL didn’t help me get better at standing up for myself, and holding other people accountable for their actions.

    • Thanks DS. You know, I don’t think the message here is negative at all — but I’d rather be perceived as negative than SAD, which is what all those save your marriage sites look like. People desperately trying to untangle skeins, reliving their pain — and setting themselves up for more of it.

      I think of this place as learning self defense as a chump — don’t get mugged again.

      • If telling me to respect myself, recognize my own worth, not put up with abusive bullshit from unremorseful, conscienceless, donkey-shit smelling, burning turds from hell and that my life would get better as a result is negative, then sign me up for all the negativity you’ve got. I’ll have a heaping two helpings of it please.

        I think that trusting people who lie to and deceive you and who have done no real work to earn your trust, but feel entitled to it, is negative. Oh! You tried to shoot me and missed? Here, I reloaded the gun for you, try again. WTF!

        You keep doing what you do Chump Lady! Your site definitely was the most positive thing to happen to me (besides therapy) after DDay. In my estimation your site is positivity personified.

  • My STBX said “I take complete responsibility for what I’ve done, but I did it because of how you are.” Ha! The “brokenness” cheaters claim, the hugs they claim they’ve been missing, is really just another way of saying “I cheated because of you.”

    STBX also said (when our kids were babies/toddlers): “On the weekends I watch the kids so you can take a shower. That’s a luxury and you never thank me for it.” I guess I should have been more aware of the sacrifices he made for me. Stupid me.

      • Right on, CL. To him, “complete responsibility” meant nothing more than doing what pleased him and rationalizing it later.

      • Far out JA did you thank him for being so willing to take one for the team as it seem its probably the only time he has…… what a load of crap. He took responsibility for what he did, but he did it because of how you are.
        And how are you? I’m assuming honest, faithful, hardworking, great mum, reliable. Good in a crisis considering the load you got dealt. He’s another one of these cheaters that needs to find a reason because there is no way the reason could be him…….what a jerk.

        • I think a lot of us chumps embody the qualities you listed, SD. I’m reliable and loyal by nature, and honest to a fault (have to fess up to even the smallest lie or it eats away at me). This is perhaps what made me (and other chumps) such good targets. Our best qualities are/were used against us.

    • In what quadrant of the universe is taking a shower a “luxury” for which you have to thank someone?

      • Seriously!

        And I should have thanked him for allowing me to shop for, cook, and clean up after, dinner … and allowing me to clean the house & do the laundry, all while working full-time. The potty breaks and showers actually WERE luxuries in comparison to everything else. 🙂

        • Yeah, I’m speechless on the shower being a luxury thing. Just wow!

          Of course it’s just one more example of their insane entitlement as a group.

          My ex-h thought that I should be grateful that “he chose me after dday”. That should’ve been all the proof I needed that he was sincere. I told him that he chose me 27 years ago when we got married and he didn’t get any bonus points for doing it after he fucked someone else”.

          If I only knew about bitch cookies!!

    • Somebody give that man a Bitch Cookie for watching his kids for 5 so his wife could have a shower!!

  • It makes me laugh when I think back over the last couple of years and the blatant double standard set by my STBX, and how that effected me. Like feeling guilty for watching ‘Big bang theory’ because he disapproved of it moral content. That I should be remorseful over my accusation towards him (as i did suspect him of being unfaithful and confronted him more than once, each time he denied it ) how dare I? and the one that was bizarre was the spiteful way he accused me of being a cheat when I came home and mentioned that my guitar teacher had suggested that I use a capo while learning new cords. (he is a very talented piano player and is very condescending to other musicians especially guitarists).
    And now the truth is out, He has no moral content, he is not remorseful for his action, and the only cheat in this relationship is him.

    • Projection. That reminded me of how the ex suddenly would start a-hemming and coughing and saying “ick-don’t look!” to the kids during movies when any show of affection (kissing mainly, we didn’t take them to R movies) was on the screen. I shoulda know’d.

      • Oh gosh, this. Mine had several mantrums during movies if a guy would have his shirt off, accusing me of being a hypocrite because I said while we were still dating that I didn’t want porn in my life.

        Then when my son tried to watch a Winnie the Pooh movie on our computer one day and porn came up instead (briefly, thank goodness I was nearby) and it was met with cheater’s denial.

        Kind of like when I finally realized he was an alcoholic and confronted him he said that I was the addict in the family because I sometimes ate Snickers bars.

    • Sammie D, I love how they think we should be sorry for accusing them of something they actually DID.

  • Also,
    Cheaters don’t like mirrors because what they see is Frankenstein’s monster: human-like, but not quite a fully formed person. CL, you’re their mirror. Hence the backlash.

    Actually, I think calling cheater’s Frankenstein’s monster is an injustice. The monster actually had depth and compassion. Maybe they’re more like … Dracula?

    • Hugs with Chris Hemsworth (pre marriage) would definitely heal me.

      Although I would still be prone to using expletives to describe the evil X. I’ve become quite attached to my potty mouth. I think I’ll keep it. 😉

  • I really wish you didnt put that linky up there I am having a hard time resisting going on there and turning the flame thrower on high ~~~~~~~~~~~

    • Poor cheaters….they just need a hug. Naked hugs are the best, especially at the Motel Six. Bed bugs need hugs too.

  • Hey chump lady I would have no objection if you were making money from this, I spent too much time trawling sites that gave me poor advice and messed my life up even more because I believed them. Then I found you and it all became clear, it was okay to feel angry, it was okay to feel hurt but most importantly it was okay not to want him back.
    Thanks for straightening me out, I think you deserve millions for the help you give .

    • Me, too! I would have spent many more years being fooled by his front. He was a great con artist. When I stumbled on this site, it was a complete revelation, and matched what my therapist had been gently leading me to.
      Painful, but better than living a lie!

      • Me too! Also, I think you should considering selling dyi glittering turd kits in your store. I’d buy one just cause.

  • I work in construction management, and we are not the most PC of groups. Anyway, at my company, we say
    “You can wax it and bleach it but it’s still an asshole.”
    That’s what I have to say in response to Splendid Cheaters.

  • “Just because I do bad things, doesn’t make me a bad person” – my genius x. Umm… YES it does !!!!! Talked to my counselor about this, and she sa you’re right. Doing bad does make them bad. I said , of course they can change and become good, but they have to genuinely want to, that’s the problem.
    After my whichever D-Day it was, can’t remember(chumpy me), my then husband said he didn’t want me telling people about what he had done because he didn’t want the nasty version of it being heard. So …. there’s a nice version of infidelity and a nasty one, huh…. news to me. He then went on to say that I was vilifying him to others. In his mind, me telling the truth about what he did is vilifying him. Wow. Just. Wow.

    If it walks like a cheater, acts like a cheater, and fucks in a parked car in the woods after work, ……….its a cheater !

    • It is funny how they want their reputation to remain untarnished, isn’t it?

      I am certain that my husband doesn’t bother to tell his friends that he cheated on me and abandoned me after he used up my last cent. After all, that would make him look bad.

      It’s easier for him to tell them I have “emotional” problems and he did the best he could, but had to get out. Poor him.

      • Yep, I am sure my X probably tells them that I am a crazy psycho, just like literally ALL the other women in his life who give him problems ( mom, sisters, exes), that’s what he says about them. Those that sniff through his BS, well he takes his ball and goes home, because they’re jerks. Poor Sausage !!!!!

      • Yeah, first thing out of the Jackass’s mouth when I told him I knew about his MOW and their Facebook page was, “You’d better not go public with this.” Yeah, didn’t want all the neighbors to know he was having an affair with his buddy’s married sister who lived up the street.

  • It amazes me that they didn’t even think of criticizing Veneral M. First, for their evilness, but second for the way they set up the survey. I strongly suspect that the did not give cheaters the option of saying they cheated because they were selfish. It would look bad. They set themselves up for your article, though.

    The “I am not bad” thing comes up so often in our culture. At some point it’s ridiculous to say I do bad things, but I’m a good person. I’m generally willing to sidestep the question, though – okay, who cares if you’re a bad person or not, you’re doing something bad. You need to stop and you need to make amends.

    I don’t mind at all the idea that someone sees themselves as broken and flawed. That actually seems like a reasonable way to look at it – it still leaves the responsibility on the cheater. The thing is, though, you can’t follow that up by saying that people cheat because of problems in the marriage, etc.

    As for the weight of guilt – yes, I would rather not be the one who did something bad. On the other hand, if you’re really feeling guilty, you can’t make it about you. You have to recognize that the spouse who was cheated on might have felt suicidal, too.

    Overall, I think it’s great that they featured you. It may get a few people over here to read your website. There just might be some betrayed spouse who looks at their discussion and says, wait a minute, are they really sorry or not?

    I confess, though, that deep down, I wish there were more examples of people who really were sorry and trying to change their ways.

    • I agree, but I tend to think they go about their lives and don’t spend time on infidelity sites justifying themselves and their affairs.

      I mean, really, what more is there to say if you agree you were at fault? The buck stops with you. And I don’t have a problem with brokenness either, if it’s the context of reparations. What are you doing to FIX what you broke with your “brokenness”?

      But too often it’s shorthand for “It’s not really my fault.” My brokenness is the only brokenness that matters. The collateral damage is just peripheral.

  • I don’t know what the statistics are, but I’m guessing that you can spend as much time as you want trying to reconcile after an affair and having DDay after DDay, but in the end, the vast majority of marriages will dissolve over this issue — it’s just a matter of sooner or later.

    I feel sorry for the men and women who were cheated on who spend very long in the reconciliation zone because I found it to be so painful, even more than when I decided to stop getting my husband to pick me and embarked on my own single life.

    For me a big part was just hanging on to a shred of dignity. When I realized he had fucked someone else, I knew that I didn’t deserve that after all I had given him. As heartbreaking as it is, and in spite of the fact that for some reason I still love him, I know without a doubt that I cannot get over that he fucked someone else. Period.

    These people are so defensive, aren’t they? That must mean they realize they’re wrong.

    • They’re defensive because they know they are wrong. Productive discussions do not bring out defensiveness, also people who often get defensive are immature, so you won’t be able to have a productive conversation with them anyway.

    • That’s how I feel, too. I can’t get over that he had sex with someone else. I can’t even stand thinking about him having kissed somebody else, never mind telling them that he loved them and that I didn’t exist anymore. I just will never be able to love him again after he did that. That is not the man I loved.

    • Even when we are little kids, we don’t like cheaters. People who cheat to pass tests and get better grades because make their own rules. People who cut in long lines because they are special. People who don’t pay their share of taxes or who take mulch from another neighborhood’s supply. And for most decent, faithful people, marital infidelity is like cancer–something we pray never happens to us. While some people will side with a cheater for familial or social reasons, or because they have cheating going on in their lives, cheaters know that good people–faithful, kind, loving people–don’t hurt the people they love in such terrible ones. At some level, cheaters know what they are; they know they are not playing by the rules that others play by; they know that good people will think less of them. They can’t have that; they just don’t want the mask to slip so others can see.

      • Yes. My husband used to scold me for “over sharing” at times, but what he really meant was he was annoyed that I tell the truth. He really mastered the art of pretending he had money, contacts, power, etc. It was too exhausting for me and it was a skill I didn’t want to learn. This was one area where our morals were really different from one another. I’d rather be a simple over sharer than someone whose life is one lie after another.

        • Exactly. And there is an advantage to what might look like “over sharing” if you are living with someone who alters reality with lies and gaslighting and a secret life. . When you tell someone the truth, you are grounding yourself in that truth and reality. It may actually only be “over sharing” for your H because he has so much to hide.

  • Disgusting but not surprising. The disordered NEVER admit they were “bad,” no matter what they did. There is ALWAYS blame to place on someone else. Sure, plenty of disordered are very good at making big puppy dog eyes, quivering their bottom lip and saying how SORRY they feel, because they know they HURT you while they were in that “dark place” looking for hugs. But that’s just bullshit. They do, of course, know that they hurt you. The bullshit is claiming they GIVE A FUCK about that, because they DON’T.

    For the record, I do not believe all cheaters are disordered. But the serial cheaters, the ones who abandon, the bizarre mind fuckers we read about here, the ones who go to their graves blaming someone ELSE for their cheating….. disordered, IMHO.

    • “The disordered NEVER admit they were “bad,”

      Glad, I am not trying to be a smart ass, really…. but that’s why they are called “disordered.”

      I don’t believe most cheaters are pathologically disordered either. What they have needed all their lives is to be taught how to assume age-appropriate responsibility and to have their assed whacked with a boat paddle when their behavior became inconsiderate and hurtful.

      Ha, ha. My parents used to say, “I love you too much to allow you to behave like that. This (whatever consequences) is going to hurt you more than it will me, and I mean for it to do so. Followed by, “YOU did it; YOU are going to fix it. NOW, how are you going to go make it as right as you can?”

      “Entitled” is just a fancy way of saying, “Spoiled Brat.”

  • “To be honest, I think the biggest ‘chumps’ are her faithful readers.”

    Hi EI! Screw you and screw your favorite vegetable! I’m being kind. 😉 There is an emoticon for you since you like those so much.

    One more thing: “I am not, was not, and never will be bad! Bad! Bad! Nor am I an idiot.” Actually, you are! Just like I am a chump, not only because I read Chump Lady’s blog, but because like you, my husband decided to spread out, paint the town, stuck his fingers in another pie. Your cavalier bravado is is vapid at best.

  • Well you are up to 8 pages on the site maybe you should spam,,,whoops pimp by dropping your link in there a few hundred time lol !!!

  • One of the few times that my stbx and I spoke after dday I was told ‘she is a really nice person. You would like her.” Ah I don’t think so. I feel nothing but disgust for his married gf who boinked him every chance she got. Still hasn’t divorced her own husband. When I told him I didn’t think he was her first rodeo, “She is a really good person and They didn’t mean for it to happen.” He did not mention the various sites he would go on and prey on married women. When I got into his fb account I was surprised at how many women he tried to engage. His previous affair started on fb was with a married woman and lasted about 4 years. I trust that he sucks.

    • Same story as the Jackass and his married OW. Only he had just the one skank on his FB. She’s still married but boo-hooing on Pinterest about how heartbroken she is and he hopes when he gets lonely he will come back to her…

    • I swear, if one more cheater says about the person they’re screwing on the sly is a ‘really nice person and you’d like him/her’ my head will explode. My ex tried to pull this shit on me and even thought once things calmed down we’d all be friends. You know, hang out with the kids, get on, share memories, etc. He learned very quickly that that was never going to happen. Drink wine with one of the skunks who fucked my husband and knowingly helped hurt my children? Fuck that.

  • And, finally, Chump Lady, though I regrettably, eventually, choose selfishness, as a coping mechanism, during a time when I felt very sad, lonely, hopeless, defeated, demoralized, and broken, before, during, and after my affair, (for quite some time) I am not, was not, and never will be bad! Bad! Bad! Nor am I an idiot. You declaring that I (as a FWS) am, does not make it so. It makes you a foul-mouthed *****. Neither does my declaring that about you make it so. A quick glance at your column/drivel is all that is necessary to confirm it.

    WOWser really ?? !! Cray cray crazzzy train !! this is from the other site.

    • Yeah, haven’t seen her lash out at someone like that before. Me-thinks CL made her a wee-bit uncomfortable.

  • If you’re a good person who just happened to do “bad things”, yet that doesn’t make you a bad person, then I would like to know what a bad person is. What does a BAD person do that makes them bad?

    • In their minds, a “bad” person is someone who does a little more “bad” than THEY did…

      …until they do it themselves.

      If they had an emotional affair, they’re not “bad” because the EA wasn’t physical.

      If the EA became physical, they’re not “bad” because they ONLY had sex with their affair partner twice.

      If they had sex MORE than twice, they weren’t “that bad” because the affair only lasted for 2 months.

      If the affair lasted MORE than two months (such as 2 years), they weren’t “bad” because there were no children involved…

      Since they can ALWAYS find someone whose behavior is “worse” than theirs, they will never be “bad”!

  • I will not be returning to this thread. It takes my limited time and energy away from my ability to post on other threads where I may be able to make a positive difference. Honestly, my family would prefer that I log off of TAM and never come back.

    You cant be fucking serious this shit is priceless bahahahahaha. I am never going to come back so there poopy head !!!!!

    • So, was that the internet equivalent of taking her ball and going home? Seriously?

      Poopyhead indeed.

      …and yeah, she’ll be back.

      Hey, if you run this babe’s post through the RIC-speak to English translator it would read something like this:

      “I will not be returning to this thread. It takes my limited time away from my ability to post on other threads where I may be able to make a positive difference” >>>>>>>>TRANSLATION>>>>>>> I’m not posting here anymore. Deep down inside, I know I’m shit and people like CL know it too. If I keep posting here, maybe others will find out that I’m shit. Can’t have that…must stay relevant!

      “Honestly, my family would prefer that I log off TAM and never come back” >>>>>>>>TRANSLATION>>>>>>>Uh oh. I’m spending far too much time online and spouse-police does not approve. Can’t have that…must get kibbles!

      🙂

      • “Honestly, my family would prefer that I log off TAM and never come back”

        My translation: Instead of fucking peoples bodies for ego kibbles, I like to fuck minds online…who gives a fuck about the people I live with and ignore?

    • “Honestly, my family would prefer that I log off TAM and never come back”

      Actually EI, your family would prefer you didn’t fuck other people. SMH.

    • But she DID return after that, LOL! To not so humbly accept an apology from another poster and then ramble on some more about the poor sausages.

  • Grrrrrr……… I said that I wasn’t coming back

    Your right a day later LOL holy shit crazy LOOK AT ME . Ok sorry I will stop people at work are looking at me pissing my pants in my cube,, ,, , sorry CL I didnt mean to double post this crap.

    • You know she’s hovering over this site with an itchy mouse finger . . . Trying to come up with some witty retort to blow Chump Nation out of the water.

      It’ll never happen bitch. Sit the fuck down.

        • You guys better be careful. She’s going to get weally, weally mad and never come play with us again. She’s going to take all of her little emoticons and complain about all of us on that fancy website she belongs to. And won’t we all be sad 🙂 … I mean 🙁

  • I find the almost universal sense that the chumps are just supposed to “get over it” and accept part of the blame to be completely offensive. Sorry, but we’re not going to just “get over” or take responsibility for the fact that you:

    –likely had unprotected sex and may have exposed us to STDs
    –used our marital assets to fund your affair in any way, shape, or form
    –told your affair partner intimate things about us and/or painted us as monsters that you had to escape
    –hurt our children
    –gaslit us and carried on a double life when we trusted you implicitly
    –broke up our families
    –didn’t bother going for counseling or asking for an honest breakup when you were dissatisfied with the relationship

    I could go on and on. A normal, healthy human being who loves his/her partner doesn’t just “get over” those things. If any of those people were truly remorseful, they’d understand that and not expect an overnight healing. They would also take full responsibility for their actions. Those comments make me wonder if there is such a thing as a truly remorseful cheater. I think they are the stuff of unicorn legend. It takes a certain mentality to cheat in the first place, and that mentality doesn’t just vanish once the cheater is caught.

    • Moving On..SO WELL SAID!! I couldn’t have put it better myself. I only wish I could get my STBX to read it, although he wouldn’t give a damn anyway. He’d probably laugh it off, because cheaters are infallible!!

    • MovingOn,

      Standing on a chair, stomping, clapping, whistling and cheering. You nailed it.

  • Chump Lady, you are a gift from God. Chump Nation, let’s thrown down the gauntlet when that book comes out and raise it to the top of the charts. Use our social media, etc. I’m going to buy a copy and make it my mission to get at least 20 other people to buy it and have them tell all of their friends about it and mention it in general conversation at least 10 times a day.

  • It’s amazing how easily these cheaters lie. They just make shit up about everyone and anyone who says things they don’t like. They can’t take an ounce of responsibility and clean up their own mess. They have to keep smearing their excuses shit all over the place. They are a type of incontinent. Spreading shit lies instead of flushing them.

    Tracy you have to have a lot of anger control to do this work. You deserve a lot of money for dealing with these people, but responses are needed. Thank God for yours.

    • Yes: recently I heard from a former coworker of my wife that her affair with her boss lasted about a year longer than she’d claimed. Her response was to say the former coworker “had issues” and (my fave) “is a very deceitful person.”
      “So it lasted how long?”
      “What did I tell you? From December to March.”
      “You said May.”
      “Well, I can’t remember every little detail.”

  • To cheat: to deceive, swindle, dupe, defraud, fleece, bilk, delude. And fuck around because you felt like it.

    I can see why cheaters flock to TAM. They need validation that anything they do is justifiable and forgivable.

    Personally, I could never stay with someone who broke my trust and our marriage vows. That is all.

    • Yes, but it’s OK because they felt “very sad, lonely, hopeless, defeated, demoralized, and broken, before, during, and after their affair.”

      See? The whole time she was allowing herself to be penetrated by strange, she felt really, really bad about it. Awe golly . . . you’re breaking my heart.

      • You think they’re sad about embellishing the resumes of CL and her husband as part of an attempted smear too?

        Probably all choked up and brimming over with remorse, right?

        The more some things “change”, the more they stay the same, eh?

  • Well, the fact that somebody who doesn’t know you would basically make up lies about you, your present husband, and so on… pretty much tells you who you are dealing with, if you ask me.

    Reformed “cheater” my ass.

  • Hey Tracy . . . before you put that book out, I think you should change the name of the site to Chump Nation. That way, in encompasses ALL chumps, including the men-folk that might shy away because lady is on the tag. Because as we know, it happens to everybody.

    That’ll be 20 bucks and a hug . . . I’m just helping out.

    • That’s not a bad idea! I’d have to do a whole site redesign — but I do like the Nation over Lady notion… or incorporate both or something. Problem is, I’ve already copyrighted Chump Lady, the logo, brand, etc.

      But I’ll take the hug and give you the $20. 😉

  • “They like to think they are good people who did some unfortunate things when the truth is they are entitled assholes who made selfish, mean choices they knew would hurt people.”
    I LOVE THIS. Mine thought that, because he was such a good provider, and because he is a handsome/successful man and is a “target”, his numerous affairs should be put behind us…NOPE!

    • “Mine thought that, because he was such a good provider, and because he is a handsome/successful man and is a “target”, his numerous affairs should be put behind us…”

      That same egotistical thinking about himself is what got him into trouble in the first place.

      “I’m a GREAT provider. I’m handsome, well-liked, charming, well-off financially, well-educated, and I have a great BIG schlong. I *DESERVE* to have women falling all over me, and who am I to deprive them of my wonderfulness? My spouse will just have to accept that I’m DESIRED by others, and if she doesn’t like it, it’s HER problem.”

      But they’re also cheaters, liars, deceivers and entitled azzholes. They DESERVE to be with OTHER cheaters, liars, deceivers and entitled azzholes and to leave people with integrity alone!

      G.

  • Truly remorseful people do not get defensive nor do they need to. They own what they did, they see it exactly for what it is, no justification. Only then can they truly change and they know that is the only way to change. Those who have to convince themselves they’re not all that bad and don’t take 100% responsibility for their actions? They simply are leaving room to justify another affair when “justifiable” circumstances find their way into their lives again.

    Tracy, I have a feeling EI is checking out your blog to see if you posted about her.

  • I read through some of the posts over at TAM. This particular woman who went on the defensive with CL and made a fool of herself by quantum leaping to conclusions then posted this:

    “For the life of me, I truly cannot see how using extremely derogatory, demeaning, and demoralizing words to describe anyone, yes, even the WS who betrayed you, helps to facilitate the healing of BS’s. I truly do not understand it. ”

    This ^ is all we need to know about cheaters. They don’t get it and they don’t want to get it because it might make them feel something like (gasp!) GUILT!! And that would be, um, icky.

    Newsflash lady, there is no healing without anger.

    By the way, I thought her profile picture with her young son was a nice touch. Gotta manage that image. Bleh.

      • Hey, that’s a compliment. I’d take foul-mouthed ***** over lying, cheating, soulless whore any day.

      • It cracked me up that she was throwing herself a pity party while slamming you. Then her non-apology follow up was so exactly what you’d expect…from a cheater.

    • Apparently she never made it past the “Denial” and “Bargaining” stages of the grief process.

      • Actually, she seems to have invented the “Self-Pity and Bombast” stage of the grief process.

  • Please tell me that EI is not short for Emotional Intelligence.

    Good God above these people are delusional.

  • Ummm “Bad” is well, bad. And Tracy, you are very “Good” at what you do, how you call it out and how you’ve given us a place, space and time to discuss, vent, and recognize cheating for what it is. There are no excuses for it – it’s just “Bad”.

  • On SHIT & EI

    In the shrink business we use a phrase, “OWN Your Shit.” This means seeing shit for what it is and taking TOTAL responsibility for 100% of the shit you’ve laid down.

    ***

    This EI woman (metaphorically speaking & in scatological descriptors) seems to be bumbling around in the Shit-Yard picking up the little, round, dry easy-to-lift balls of shit, and avoiding the big messy Cow Flop Piles (what they call Turd Blossoms in Texas) and the Long Glittery Turds with multiple “rest” marks on them.

    I have this mental image of one of CLs cartoons depicting: A cheater in hip boots with a small shovel who is running frantically around a dump truck [w/huge sign on side saying COMPOST], tossing little marble size balls up over the sides, shaking one foot wildly to dislodge a mass of knee high yuck into a box labeled “Excuses & Rationalizations” while trying valiantly not to fall completely backward into what looks like a mountain of steaming Dinosaur Doo.

    ***

    In order to change, we have to OWN our shit. There is no other way out of the treatment plant (pun intended).

    Its been a long time since I indulged in such sophomoric humor. I need to exit the toilet. 😉

  • It is a very deep sadness that must be felt by a cheater. I got so many weird things said to me, it is a progression of weird statements.

    It started with a kiss (does you must remember this come after that in their heads?

    I don’t know how it happened (aliens took him he awoke in her place naked)

    I couldn’t stop I went back for more (oh yes that was said)

    It’s none of your business

    I’m not going to talk about it

    The last one I actually see as an improvement, I really do, only it is very far below anything that should be said at this point.

    Oh, so that talk about marriage feels that you stir the pot? That this is a bad thing? I will say, I was lost in making sure I mirrored him and didn’t treat him disrespectfully, and to make sure not to do any love busters, plan a, plan b, oh how about a 180, nc, you did that wrong now you will have to go backward and start with plan a again.

    I thought the years I was with him sort of stood for my plan a, and I am so glad I found this site where it seems a lot of talk and sharing are about how being cheated on really feels, and it is healing to me, and to read how others were hit, how they coped.

    This is the only glimmer of hope I have had since I heard it started with a kiss.

    And I want it to end with me in reality.

    Thank you so much chumplady for making this site.

    • Yeah, they never want to talk about it, do they. And, if you persist and try to pin them down, you are an abusive, bitter person who has never moved on.
      I tell you if I were dumb enough to try to approach one of my XWs regarding what transpired( no admissions, ever) this would be the line of defense.
      So, I just give up. I know enough. I knowhowtheir minds work and how they are devoid of empathy etc.
      We just need to accept that these folks are , fundamentally, very different than a normal person.
      Think about all the weird things that have been pointed out about that EI woman. I mean this is a really devious, manipulative asshole of a woman. There is no sense taking her on.
      I learned with these folks that you cannot score points with them, Their world view and value system is many standard deviations from normal. Sure, in front of others, if you get the right crowd and are good at maintaining your composure. and can keep focusing on their weird rationale, you can score points with third parties.
      But, watch. See how they operate. Deflection, blame shifting, diversion, distraction, turning the tables, changing subjects- some of these folks are masters of these.

  • NEGATIVE CASH FLOW, people.

    Come on, we cannot just take without also giving. In the 12 steps, service (giving) is a very important part of recovery.

    Chump Lady should not suffer like this.

    Have YOU donated for this year? I donated $10.

  • Oh, I agree–sort of–with this part of the cheater’s post:

    Sure, sometimes, perhaps even often, one never knows exactly why it took place. But often the reason is something toxic in the marriage and that needs to be fixed.

    Sure, there is something toxic that probably “needs to be fixed”, and if she would position herself directly in front of a mirror, she’d probably have a very clear view of “it”.

    Of course, it’s nobody else’s job nor is it even possible for somebody else to fix that crap, right?

  • The absolute best part about laying the blame on someone else is that your halo remains fully untarnished and you can look at your spangly self in the mirror every day and say I am a wonderful person and I deserve only great things!

    Meanwhile the rest of the world cleans up your mess, works over time to cover what you wont and picks up your slack, giving you more time to work on your spangles.

    Well shit who wouldn’t want to live like that if those are the two options?

    Bumping uglies with someone who didn’t sign the marriage license DOES make you bad. Even the Bible says so. And only God has to hate the sin and love the sinner. Im fully entitled to sit here and say shame on you (and you, and you and anyone else who cheats)

  • This is crazy. These people will go to extremes to justify themselves and look as the victims. My stbx out of the blue told me he was leaving me after 20 years because he didn’t love me anymore and I wasn’t his friend. He said he couldn’t tell me a lot of things (like he had been cheating on me for 14 years I guess). I was in shock and spent 15 days begging and being his doormat, praying, fasting, turning myself upside down to make him stay. He really was good on convincing me that I was the problem. I took all the responsibility for all our problems, I was desperate…
    Then I found about the OW… and I didn’t let him come back. Still I was waiting for him to wake up and realized his incredible mistake, stop this midlife crisis nonsense, repent and come home. Didn’t happen. And I started finding out about more and more women and cheating.
    So. The crazy thing is that he wrote to me saying “I have a noble heart. 90% of who you thought I was I still am. It is only 10% that you didn’t know”!!!!!!!!. He is in a full blown campaign to show people that he is going to be (quote) “The best ex-husband ever”, because he IS a great guy and his heart is good and Jesus loves him and already forgave him. He walks around telling people “that he really cares about me…but they don’t know the whole story”.
    What??? He is sooo good deceiving others, he makes it sound like yes, he cheated, but, well, you don’t really know why he had to cheat, I mean, you don’t know the whole story. So I guess people think I am responsible. They must be asking themselves what the heck did I do to push this dear sweet charming man to cheat. Unbelievable.
    The hardest part for me is still to process and accepting that he doesn’t take responsibility and he thinks he is amazing and he deserves the title of “the best”. Delusional. So hard to understand.

  • Sheeee’s baaaack.

    She left the building, but made her comeback. She’s a bitch cookie covered in bitch sparkles. Bitch cookies come in one flavor and are shaped as a turd.

    She made up shit about CL, her husband and insulted her readers.

    I quote EI
    “I think the biggest “chumps”, are her faithful readers.”
    “Her hubby makes big bucks off handling big money divorces”

    EI pulled these comments right out of her ass. CL, set you straight, about about her husband, who is actually a civil rights lawyer. And yeah, you insult her readers because they see right through people such as yourself. You want to spackle, you recent chums who don’t spackle and refuse to eat shit sandwiches.

    People like you talk shit and backtrack. You play word salad and are a pro at making shit sandwiches. You can dish it out but can’t stand being set straight.

    Oh…really, you just want to learn and grow. How’s that working for you. You are full of it.

    Namaste y’all.

  • In case you’re not aware CL the moderator at TAM actually has locked that thread because one of the posters, in fact the one who falsely tried to call your husband out for being a high priced Marvin Mitchelson type divorce lawyer, herself got called out for basically lying and fabricating up stuff about you/your husband (which you handled fine on the TAM thread itself.) This resulted in a couple of honest posters calling that liar/cheater out for it. Since TAM evidently is very reliant on traffic from cheaters/ex-cheaters/whatever it had to be locked. They are very cheater-tolerant over there I’m sad to say. I think most of the longer-term supposedly “reformed” cheaters over at TAM, the ones who post over and over giving their “advice” (LOL) to others, yet get their noses out of joint when their own conduct is questioned, and pretty much use DARVO tactics incessantly, are all pretty much running a “long con” of some kind or another. They’re not really repentant, they just got caught, yet they use posting on that site and others like it to get validation for their bad behavior while never really owning up to it. Possibly also it’s all for “show” to keep the wool pulled over their own chump’s eyes.

  • Well, EI is complaining about having been insulted over here on your blog. She doesn’t like having her comments on the forum taken apart and criticized somewhere else.

    I’d say she had a point EXCEPT, EXCEPT, this while thing started because EI attacked ChumpLady on the forum over there. She didn’t just disagree with CL’s point of view, she accused CL of saying what she does because she makes money causing divorces.

    EI has never really apologized for the accusations. She has changed her tune to talking about the book and saying it’s even worse if CL isn’t making money. To EI, CL must filled with hate to talk the way she does. Also, CL uses bad language.

    • She posted on a public forum. I take apart stupid shit cheaters say every day on HuffPo and wherever else I find it. I used her as an example of “kill the messenger.”

      I’m sure it’s galling to her that she doesn’t control the narrative on this blog.

      And what’s worse — bad language or bad character? I think profanity reflects the experience of being cheated on.

      You give those folks enough rope they hang themselves.

    • “I’d say she had a point EXCEPT, EXCEPT, this while thing started because EI attacked ChumpLady on the forum over there.”

      You mean she’s reading things on a public forum and criticizing them… and… horrors, she doesn’t like it when the same thing happens to her?

      Imagine that.

  • EI, this comment is for you. I see CL as angry not hate-filled.

    I can see why what she says bothers you. She does not believe in reconciling with a cheater unless they are remorseful. She does not think the faithful spouse should have to take any blame or work on themselves. I can see why that would be an upsetting thing to hear if you cheated, particularly if you needed time to take responsibility for your actions.

    Why does she think this way? Because she married a cold-hearted cheater who pretended to reconcile and was generally abusive to her. Also because she has seen others go through the same thing.

    Why is her column popular? Because a lot of other people have experienced something similar. Their cheaters never were sorry. It didn’t matter how hard they tried or how forgiving they were.

    Sometimes anger, even cursing, is a good thing. It gets people out of a situation where they are being mistreated.

    EI, you’ve said a number of times that cheaters aren’t all bad. You’ve suggested that things are complicated and referred to the way your husband treated you before you cheated. Well, not everyone has the same experience as you. Read about their lives before you judge them for being angry.

    Fundamentally, though, I think the reason this site bothers you so much is that you don’t want to face what you did. You’ve been working on it and you think you’re there, but you have a ways to go yet. Stop bringing up your husband’s past behavior. He shouldn’t have to worry that if he messes up, you’ll cheat again. He shouldn’t have to feel bad about what you did. Look at his pain and forget yours. Focus on your repentance and changing yourself as the way for you to heal. Look inside and think about why it is so hard for you to apologize.

    I think the site also scares you because it tells the faithful spouse to take care themselves and not accept any bad behavior. CL sees divorce as a good option, better than trying to please someone who isn’t sorry.

    EI, you obviously have an amazing husband who loves you very much. Be thankful.

    • Diane L —

      I don’t think the chump should blame themselves for the affairs. I do think, however, that chumps should work on themselves. NOT to “win” a cheater, but to explore their chumpiness. Why they may have trouble setting boundaries, why they accepted disrespect and abuse. To ask themselves what their values are and honor those values. And I believe everyone should try and be their best self, regardless of what relationship they’re in, if any.

      I don’t think cheating is “complex” — it’s wrong and it’s about entitlement, period. The hugest amount of entitlement I see from people like EI is that they feel entitled to reconciliation, period. The cheater broke the vows, they get ZERO guarantee of a relationship after that. To assume that reconciliation is their right and due, is IMO a flaming sign of their lack of remorse.

      • CL,

        Anyone who bothers to read your blog for more than a few minutes can readily see your stance on betrayal, cheaters, chumps, and the pursuit of unicorns.

        As for those who get offended, well too bad, this is your blog and you can say what you want using whatever language you choose. (I personally got an extra chuckle out of the potty mouth day post because it’s incidentally a right good ‘in your face’ to the self-appointed censor-god critics.)

        You don’t have to explain yourself when ridiculed or questioned here, though you are quite patient in doing so. You’ve made it perfectly clear you’re not hateful, bitter, or money grubbing. Some people have decided to dislike you, your hair (which is rather pretty BTW), your writing, and even your husband it seems, though from all I’ve gathered he seems to be a genuinely decent fellow. The haters can leave and start their own blogs or slam books. Nobody is stopping them. They don’t like being told the world is round and not flat. Boohoo. The truth cuts through their hollow souls like a sword.

        I realize too that concerning the particular cheat who has been discussed in this post, being typical within her breed of fuckward cheater, she gets off on any attention she receives, including the negative comments she reads here that are directed right at her. I’m loosely referring to your NC policy on this, whereby we don’t give her the time of day no matter how loudly she whines and stomps her feet because it doesn’t help us progress in our healing and success.

        I also agree with something you mentioned earlier about how truly contrite fuckward spouses are busy with the hard work of reconciliation and won’t be found trolling marriage and infidelity sites looking to build coliseums of drama with themselves at the center, by whining, blame-shifting, or pathetically attempting to justify the despicable choices they willingly and knowingly made.

        I’m reiterating, CL, that I and many others appreciate your wisdom even when it is painfully challenging. Meanwhile, I won’t be empathizing with or directing remarks to any of the fuckward spouses of chumps, no matter how whiny or even sparkly they may be, because I don’t talk to people who are best left invisible.

        You rock.

    • One poster referred to Chump Lady’s readers as a “cult”. What I find annoying is that they complain about venom and negativity while producing it by the barrel themselves.

      • There were a few people who attacked Chump Lady, but there were more comments in favor of her column.

        I think the final result of their debate was that the person attacking CL the most ended up looking bad. I wouldn’t be surprised if CL gained a few readers.

  • CL, one thing I wonder about is the extent to which our society encourages cheater entitlement. I don’t want to excuse anybody, but I think it’s a real issue of a way society should change. I guess a lot of your columns touch on it, but it might be worth a column of its own.

    • What is also infuriating is cheaters feeling entitled to reconciliation if that is what THEY want as well as their extramarital affair. To cheaters the world is about one thing – THEM!!!

  • Ah yes, doesn’t surprise me coming from “EI” over at TAM. You know, the very same EI that gaslighted her husband, yelled and screamed at him about how he was at fault and drove her into the arms of another man, and also posts pictures of herself showing off her boobs, and B1 apparently has no problem with it. Now THAT is a chump.
    I’m not saying that someone that takes back a cheater is a chump. But for him to see that she still sticks to the cause and effect blameshifting of cheating, and likes to show off her tits in her avatars over at TAM, one can only come to the “chump” conclusion.

    And here is the thing. Anyone over there that says cheaters aren’t protected. Ya, whatever. I read that post when I was a poster over there and reported her post because she engaged in a direct personal attack on CL and called her names. And as I suspected. They didn’t want to ban their titty parading little princess. I am so glad I don’t post over there anymore. Its a cesspool of cheater entitled wh0res and bastards, who are protected by the mostly cheater mods.

    So seeing as how this reply at TAM came from “EI”, think nothing of it. I wouldn’t wish her on any good man.