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Dear Chump Lady, What kind of person DOES this?

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Dear Chump Lady,

A few months ago my world was turned upside down. I received a letter from a someone claiming that she was the other woman.

My story is a little bit different from most that I read on your site, as I have only been married about two years, from what she says, the affair was going on for a couple of years before we were married, and continued until recently when he realized that she was about to find out about me. When I first read her letter I was sick. I couldn’t believe someone would make up such lies, and in my head I still feel that way, but the more I read what she wrote me, the more I believe in my gut that what she says is true, but I don’t want to believe it. I want to believe that she really is just a jealous woman that he went to lunch with a few times because they are from the same home town. I want to believe that he is the wondeful kind man that I married. The one that I thought was perfect for me. He is sweet, handsome, smart, funny, we work I the same industry and have so much in common, everyone loves him. Including my family. I dont want to believe her.

In her letter she told me she told me that they were friends long before they started sleeping together, and that they spoke everyday. HOW is that possible????????? If it’s true, that hurts the most. I think I could deal with a one night stand, that could be a mistake I could get past, but if he has been sleeping with a close friend, who acording to her, contacted me as soon as she found out, how do I get past this???? How could he do this??? I have given him everything. He moved in with me when we got married, I’ve introduced him to so much, we had a beautiful wedding, my family has loved him like their own, and he still kept seeing her!!??

She told me how he explained away moving out of his bachelor apartment, she knew so much about what he has done recently, so much about his life, his family, she knew so much!

I need to know what you think about letters like this??? Are they usually true or bullshit?? I don’t want to believe that he is capable of the lies.

And I need to know WHY he married me if he was seeing her this whole time????????

I’m smart, I’m successful, I’ve given him everything. But according to the letter, he initiated the friendship, he wanted it to become more, and he wanted to see her so much more than shen she was able to. Now she wants nothing to do with him.

What do I believe??? That my wonderful husband was lying for years, or that she is a crazy jealous woman??
Chicago is a big city, but how did he think that I would never find out??? If its true, they have mutual friends that they grew up with???? WTF was he thinking???? I feel like I don’t believe her because he just couldn’t be that stupid.

I’m so afraid my heart is going to be broken.

Help.

Jonesy

Dear Jonesy,

I would believe her. I had a very similar thing happen to me, but before I bore you with my story, let’s review yours. This woman contacted you, she knew many intimate, recent and past events in your husband’s life, and your gut says she’s right, he was cheating. Did she give you her name or contact information? One way to put this to rest would be to simply ask her for some emails he sent. Or check your cell phone bills. Or ask her for his secret cell phone number. As she’s supposedly broken it off (hmmm… you never know there. OW are about as reliable as cheaters, she may want to throw down the gauntlet in the pick me dance…) she shouldn’t mind outing him further.

You could, of course, confront him. I wouldn’t do that, because cheaters only cop to what they think you know, and he’ll spin it pretty and tell you exactly what you want to believe — she’s a jealous ex-girlfriend. He’ll gaslight you, and because you’re so invested, and heart broken, you’ll want to believe him. So — let’s please avoid him for the time being.

You need to become the marriage police. I’m sorry, but before you detonate your marriage, you probably want some proof. Get on his computer, check his phone, key logger, GPS, voice activated recorder, private investigator (assuming the woman gave you anything to go on).

Could he be that stupid? HelloOoo — have you read my site? They’re ALL that stupid. Every cheating one of them. Flamboyantly stupid. Risk taking, playing you for a fool, is all part of the high. It’s what gives affairs that frisson of danger and excitement — colossal stupidity and entitlement. Damn straight he’s that stupid.

Which is good, because they get sloppy when they think you’re still a chump. He feels entitled to your trust, so play along.

There is a chance I may be replying too late and you already confronted him. If you got defensiveness, if he’s balking at transparency, pop checks on his email or phone accounts, if he’s strangely indifferent to your distress — those are huge red flags. On the very, very off chance this person is a loon and is making it all up (How? She’s been stalking his social media for four years? Carefully piecing together a plausible narrative of his comings and goings?) — an innocent spouse should be beside himself with grief and a heartfelt desire to do ANYTHING to assuage your fears. A polygraph. An ankle monitor. Standing on his head reciting the pledge of allegiance. Anything to demonstrate his distress and fear that you could believe such a thing.

Faux remorse? Anger? Defensiveness? Blah WTFeverness? Blameshifting — how COULD you think such a thing of ME, if you thought I was that sort of person you shouldn’t be with me! You get that shit? Yeah, IMO he’s a cheater.

Whatever stage of disclosure you’re at, may I also suggest seeing a lawyer soonest? You need competent legal advice. People who are this versatile at double lives will fuck you over a multitude of other ways as well, especially financially. You mentioned he moved in with you, you’ve shown him a good life, etc. — apparently, you’re of use to him. So protect yourself legally and financially.

Now to your question — how could he DO this? Best not to look too deeply into that skein of fuckupedness. He could do it because he’s a con. Because he’s shallow and traffics in kibbles instead of deep love and intimacy. Sparkly people are very convincing, at least in the beginning. Watch him because exceptionally UN-sparkly and pissy after discovery. If he’s a narcissist, they never shine quite so bright again after they’ve been unmasked.

Unless of course they need something. There are three channels to the manipulation then — charm, rage, and self pity. If he makes that letter about HIM? About how hard done by he is? And not YOUR pain? Yeah, you have a freak. If he rages at you. Freak. And if he is oddly seductive about all this? Freak.

I’m very sorry you’re going through this Jonesy. Same thing happened to me, but I got a phone call 6 months in. And at first I got a very similar story (mine admitted to bit of it — what he figured OW had told me already). She was an old girlfriend, they met up a “couple” times. She was so into him, couldn’t let him go, was a tragic and pathetic figure who “needed” him. Mistakes Were Made. Etc.

Truth? (That took over a year to find out and I still don’t know all of it…) Twenty year affair spanning three marriages. She wasn’t the only OW. He was a serial cheater, sociopath wing nut. And yes, on the surface normal, successful, and charming. But he really couldn’t sustain it.

If your gut is telling you this woman is right, my guess is yours couldn’t sustain “normal” either, and there’s a lot of stuff that makes sense after that letter. But it’s such a fire wall of grief, you probably can’t go there right now.

Please go there and protect yourself. You’re not freak of the week. You’re not the only one this has happened to, shockingly your story is very familiar to the folks here. (Welcome to Chump Nation… we’re legion.) Yes, your heart will break, but your eyes will open too. Dumping this fraud means you get an authentic life and a chance at real happiness. A person who could do this is deeply fucked up and cruel. Please get professional legal advice and your own shrink (not a marriage counselor) to help you enforce your boundaries as you go through the “discovery” process.

There’s no good explanation for this, IMO, other than he’s a cheater. I’m sorry.

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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.
  • Jonesy–

    what I’d like to ask you is pretty much the same (distilled down) as CL—how is it that this woman could have accurate, up-to-date information on what he’s doing if she is not in constant contact with him and he is TELLING HER these things?

    You said she wants nothing to do with him now, I suspect that this is a scorched earth thing for her. The threat was real that you were going to find out about her—he unceremoniously dumped her—and this is her way of retaliating. She may be “throwing down the gauntlet”, but I doubt it–he’s not going to stick with her after she’s seen what’s below the mask, either. Whether OW was in this affair knowingly or not….NPDs and SPaths can’t remain in the relationships where their mask has been removed.

    They need a mark that believes their bullshit. She clearly doesn’t believe it (or else she’d have kept her mouth shut and continued with the Pick Me Dance!)—and now you are having your eyes opened to it.

    IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE what her motives are—if the information is accurate and true—and you meet with her (I highly suggest doing this if you can manage it. Take a friend.)

    We all wanted to believe in our respective spouses, it’s why we got married in the first place. Trust. You thought you could trust what he says.

    Although in hindsight, I would have preferred not to have become the marriage police, I think we all have to go through that stage of it—it’s the Denial Stage of Grief. You do it because you want to NOT find out he’s a sociopathic cheating douche. CL covered this with the Trust that they Suck and the barbed wire monkeys–and being hard wired to bond.

    Best advice? Quietly play along, gather evidence, DO NOT CONFRONT if you haven’t already (BAD MOVE. it just drives them underground and you give them ideas on how to thwart you.)–TELL EVERYONE in your circle of close friends and family, lawyer up and THEN confront him (if what this woman told you is true. which it seems to be.)

    You need support, not isolation. It’s embarrassing and humiliating, yes. But the people who matter will understand and take your side, supporting you through this. The ones that don’t? I learned who my REAL friends were in my hour of need….and I am actually grateful in some ways that this happened. I don’t need those phonies in my life.

    Meet with her. Don’t analyze her MOTIVES, because this is about YOU and what you want and deserve.

    • This. Buttercup, the ex-OW in our case outted him to me after he dumped her. He told her he was done, and disgusted with what he’d done, and there was no future for them – and if she told me, there was certainly no future for them together, there wasn’t anyway. Scorched Earth was definitely the way. It wasn’t a case of her (my “friend”) telling me so I knew who he really was, she didn’t do it because I deserved to know, her behaviour AFTER telling me was so bunny boiling there was no way she was “saving” me from a cheating arsehole. She did it to implode my life. I was pleased I knew the truth, but it has been a steep, craggy climb to get to today, and there is a bloody long way to go yet.

      Her motives are irrelevant. Your happiness and peace with the world are paramount, Jonesy. I wish you a speedy unearthing of the facts you need to get on with your life. And I am sorry.

      • This. horsesrcumin, is me.

        “It wasn’t a case of her (my “friend”) telling me so I knew who he really was, she didn’t do it because I deserved to know, her behaviour AFTER telling me was so bunny boiling there was no way she was “saving” me from a cheating arsehole. She did it to implode my life. I was pleased I knew the truth, but it has been a steep, craggy climb to get to today, and there is a bloody long way to go yet.”

        I also found solace in the song “Dog Days are Over” is that where you get your name?
        I take comfort that our roads have crossed this way. You are a kindred spirit.

        The “friend” who told me prefaced with “OW thought you should know” this was after jackass stopped communicating with her because he did not want to marry her and take care of her kids. She was mad and told “our mutual friends” who had a gossip party for years before letting me know with my kid in the back seat. Not a care for me at all—just to implode my life. These people suck big time and are also so pathetic you have to be eternally grateful you are not them.

        • You know, this is something that bothers me a lot.

          I have said, and I sincerely mean it (at least I do now) that I am grateful that someone stepped forward and let me in on the “KICK ME” sign tacked on the middle of my back by my husband. Although it wasn’t the OW who did it, it was someone who I didn’t really like or care for and they did it (I believe) to see me crash.

          Does that matter that these “friend of the AP” and the AP themselves or even complete strangers are the ones who let us in on how our very lives are at stake?

          Really? I don’t give a shit who she is/was (OW). All I care about is what HE did. I’m not going to shoot the messenger, no matter the source. I may be angry at this “friend” who outed my husband, but do I sit there and parse her motivations?

          OW/OM may go home to their respective lives and lie their asses off to their respective people. That doesn’t concern me or my kids or my family. What concerns me is the person that comes home to ME and lies his ass off, destroying our finances, endangering my health and the safety of all of us.

          I am on the fence about whether or not OW knew–and again, it doesn’t matter. She could have written the letter after a few months of thinking about being duped—maybe at first, when she found out, she ran and was glad to be rid of him.

          Writing the letter does not imply that she knew beforehand or during the affair. It means that she did eventually find out—perhaps she thought about it and decided that this guy needed a good ass whupping that only she could give.

          At the end of the day though—it always boils down to—-Spouse Fucked Another Person Outside The Marriage. Yes. It matters who and why and what for—when I get out of the situation and safe.

  • I agree with CL, get what evidence you can and go from there. I’m so sorry, I know the stomach dropping feeling of reading a letter like that. But again I agree with CL, don’t make the mistake I did of confronting him, he’ll only say what you want to hear and blame her and it’s WAY too easy to fall into that. I also made the mistake of reconciliation and please believe me that you would only get more of these letters from her and/or others in the future…and they hurt more each time.

  • Jonesy,

    Trust your gut. Listen to CL. Lawyer up and get a good therapist. You’ll need to forgive yourself and not focus on how you, a pretty smart person, could be so duped/CHUMPED.

    Listen, I just received my cheater’s ” Mein Kampf” last week. The narc dude has USED ME FOR 20 Yrs! Well, certainly 17 out of 20. We were of use to them, socially, professionally and personally.

    Get out of this relationship. You don’t have red flags, you are walking on the red carpet. Find a therapist to heal yourself.

    I’m in the Chicago area too. You can contact me at any time. You’ll need to vent here and maybe in IRL with other chumps.

    Big Hug.

    • I would like to emphasize the necessity of researching and learning everything you can about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. What you’re navigating through now will take months to completely understand if you’ve never been exposed to these freaks before. And from the apparent shock in your letter to CL, this is your first trip to the freakshow. If you don’t develop a strong understanding of this disorder — and especially the fact that it’s incurable — you will suffer the same fate as many of us who kept going back to ‘work things out’ and get back on track. You’re only two years into this marriage and the sooner you face reality, the sooner you can get to your path forward. I spent 12+ years trying to untangle the skein and make sense of the fuckedupness and it just got worse with each passing year.

      I’m also in the Chicago area and am happy to talk anytime. There are so many online resources that can offer very detailed information about narcissism and I’ll bet that as soon as you start reading, you’re going to recognize so much that you’ve already been dealing with but just wasn’t fully aware. Knowledge is a very powerful thing and will ultimately lead you away from this narc who will most definitely bring more of this pain into your life.

      Best of luck!!

      • Absolutely. The hardest aspect of all of this for me (not the most painful, the most difficult) is wrapping my head around how he could do what he did. The answer is: there’s something wrong with him. And there’s something wrong with anyone who gets married while carrying on an affair. I used to think the Jackass’s X was a narcissist. That may in fact be true; they had a very horrific marriage, which we might expect if two narcissists got together. But even though I had a narcissist mother, I simply didn’t see it in him, even as he was running one of the typical narcissist playbooks on me. (See CL’s posts on “spackling.”) I had it fixed in my mind that he was a truly good guy (she said, banging her head on the table). It should be enough that he did the gaslighting, the lying, the betraying, the smirking, the disengaging, the blameshifting. It shouldn’t matter why. The way he treated me should be enough. But it helped me to see that the behaviors he exhibited are typical of narcissists, which means there was really nothing I could have done to make a difference, short of turning myself into a machine that dispenses ego-kibbles.

  • I’m so sorry you’re going through this Jonesy. The same thing happened to me. I’ll never forget February 15, 2011. I came into work and had an email from a complete stranger. As soon as I opened it, someone came into my office so I had to minimize…and wait 20 minutes before I read it. I was shaking and honestly don’t remember why that person was even in my office. This guy had found me on Facebook and told me my husband was having an affair with his girlfriend. He knew since January but she assured him it was over and they were “working” on things. He found out it wasn’t over and contacted me.

    The best thing I ever did was respond to his email. For the whole day I asked him questions and got the facts straight. I also contacted someone who knew him (ironically my ex was sleeping with his student so I was able to contact one of the other teachers about this guy…also a student). That teacher told me that he could be trusted and I went from there. I, like you, wanted to make sure that this wasn’t some asshole who was out to get my ex for some reason. Once I knew everything I needed to know I called my ex and told him to come home. I arranged for my kids to be out of the house and I showed him the initial email (but not the ones that followed…he didn’t need to know exactly what I knew). He lied. Surprise, surprise. Be ready for that, if and when you’re ready to confront him. He told me he had kissed her on the cheek because it was her birthday and there were a whole group of them out for dinner. I knew otherwise and knew where he went AFTER that dinner…which was just the two of them.

    Unfortunately for me, this wasn’t the first time he had cheated. Two years prior he had an ’emotional’ affair. I think it would have turned physical if I wasn’t such a detective. He didn’t know I knew his email password so every time he had “plans” I would make him stay home with the kids. I kept blowing up all his plans. After 6 months I confronted him on that one too. My point is, get all your ducks in a row, and get lots of PROOF because I can guarantee you that he’s going to lie and blameshift. I have friends who confronted their spouses about affairs and had no proof. They ended up believing what the guys had to say…that there was no affair. It’s sad watching their relationships today.

    Jonesy, please do the work before confronting him. Without evidence you know he will say it never happened. With evidence, he either admits it (which you’ll then know the truth), or he lies (you then know another truth…that he’s a liar and can’t be trusted). The saddest thing I ever experienced was when my ex said “I swear on the lives of our girls that I’m not cheating on you”. I then handed him an email with evidence and walked away. I’ve never been so disgusted in all my life.

    Good luck to you Jonesy. Hugs as you navigate these dark days. Please know we are all here for you.

    • My heart breaks for you Jonesy. I agree with all the advice given here. Pull yourself together, act as if nothing is going on at home (towards the cheater) and become a DETECTIVE! You must know details, every detail, and work the evidence like a case. I think without doing this, he will hoodwink you into staying and not believing what has happened. It’s devastating to know that someone you love isn’t at all who you thought them to be (I know this), but you must take care of #1 and that is yourself!

      Like Sick of Her Chump, I, too, was contacted by a friend of the OW who outed my ex and his cheating ways. Got the email at work as well. I was physically ill and distraught in front of my co-workers. Humiliating. But I also asked questions, dug deep, had the evidence to confront him. You must do the same. And do not be fooled by his pleas of ignorance. You have been fooled enough. Get support from those around you- you will need it while you untangle this mess.

  • I look at the marriage police a little differently. If you are looking into if this letter is true, it is not really marriage police to me, it is you finding facts. The other is more a checking after finding out and they are wanting to stay, that they are not cheating still.

    Am thinking she didn’t put a reply address. I think the letter is very true. I think if you can hire a pi to see if they uncover anything. If possible if you had proof as texts or emails if she had sent them, then you would know for sure.

    So, sure he was lazy and used the computer in the house, maybe take it is or get a keylogger right now, (as she may have told him she told you) and see what is on that computer.

    Move fast on this.

    She is probably as blown away as you are to find out he was married all this time, married you in the middle of what she thought was a relationship. He is really a player. He has tangled himself up in you financially.

    Please get a lawyer now to protect yourself financially.

  • <i< And I need to know WHY he married me if he was seeing her this whole time????????

    Canned response: Because he could, and it wasn’t terribly difficult? It’s not like he was playing Vivaldi while simultaneously performing Cirque du Soleil acrobatics and doing string theory calculations in his head.

    • …because if he were smart enough to do that, he wouldn’t have cheated.

      You deserve better, Jonesy, and you will find it.

      hug.
      x-Meh

    • And because you moved him into your house…you were useful to him. Financially useful probably in many ways. I am so sorry you are hurting, but better early than late.

    • That is going to be the hardest part for the OP. Why did he marry her.

      I too struggled with this, alot. My WXH was a serial cheat, multiple OW, and at least one predated me. So why marry me? Especially since it was his idea to get married?

      I have come to suspect that the answer to why these types of cheaters who marry while in the middle of cheating is that they are users. They have a revolving door of women that they use for various things (sex, money, ego strokes, image, etc) and if they find one that they can use for multiple things that are important to them, they will marry her to keep her around – and still keep the other women on an as needed basis too. It is the pinnacle of selfishness.

      OP should just get the evidence to ease her mind and run as fast as her Nike’s will carry her. Nothing to salvage there.

      • ThatGirl: Yep, me too. Multiple OW. Spanned our whole relationship. His idea to marry.

        I think you’re spot-on: They need that cover story that makes them seem normal while they do what they do behind the scenes. My ex is getting ready to marry his next cover story. I’m so glad it’s not my job anymore.

        • I like to think of them as Dragons. Those of us they marry are a jewel they find particularily shiny/attractive. But dragons are greedy hoarders and can’t help but capture up any bit of treasure even if it’s only baubles.. None of my ex’s myriad of hookups or ow was that attractive. And certainly none of them were classy. What narcs do to their primary relationship has nothing to do with that person, but rather everything to do with a narcs overall behavioral pattern.

        • And they like the second income or they want someone at home to do things for them–cook, clean, shop, sex on demand, whatever. And once they get you, then they get the extra kick from sneaking around and deceiving you, “getting over” on someone who has a legitimate claim on their time and emotions. Like little kids enjoy fooling their parents, only with adult debris left behind them.

  • Of course everyone loves him, this is what he does to get everyone’s guard down. How can you hate a person everyone loves, right? Yeah, do the keylogger today before he removes the evidence himself.

  • Welcome to the fold

    1) Keylogger – Install one on your home PC.
    2) Lawyer – Find a good one.
    3) Know where you stand financially with bills, credit cards etc.
    4) Water, Ensure shakes, try to eat and sleep.
    5) See your doc and get Xanax and Prozac if you need it.
    6) Therapist – mine was very helpful
    7) Read this site, everyday.

    These are the first things I did when I found out my husband was cheating on me. I was running on adrenaline mostly. The first month is kind of a blur, but had I not done these things, I wouldn’t feel so good today, and I’m 8 months out from D-day and divorced.

    The next few weeks are going to be so difficult, but you’ll get through it. All you can do is focus on what’s in front of you. Chump Nation can definitely help you out.

      • Yep. I came down with a mysterious case of bacterial vaginosis after my STBX came back frim a busuness trip which my GYN said wasn’t necessarily a STD but, u know….”you might want to talk to your sexual partner about it…”

  • Oh boy, Jonesy, you have the misfortune of a marrying cheater who is truly leading a double life. All cheaters suck, and all of them lie and finding out about infidelity is always like an ice pick to the head. But not every cheater leads a double life like your husband. That is even more painful, because the confusion goes so much deeper.

    CL’s advice is sound. Hopefully you haven’t confronted him yet, because he is going to LIE and spin the whole affair into just what you want to hear. Gather evidence quietly, and talk to an attorney ASAP.

    I’m sorry for what you are going through, and the pain that still lies ahead. It is a roller coaster of nightmares, and the only way off is riding it through. But the ride does end eventually. Read here, get your ducks in a row, and DO NOT BELIEVE a word your husband tells you.

  • “And I need to know WHY he married me if he was seeing her this whole time????????”

    Because he’s fucked up, a narc, wants to eat cake (read that post) and that’s what cheaters do. Be wary of the “why?????” That is a really big trap to blame YOU for his actions. Read the “Joseph’s letter” bull shit pull apart. Don’t be Joseph. You need answers to your questions, yes, and yes, you deserve to know them. BUT, cheaters are assholes and don’t usually give those answers to you because it involves actually admitting fault on their parts and looking in a mirror. If/when you ask questions, keep them straight and to the facts: Who? When? How many? Get yourself tested for STDs too.

  • I am so sorry you have to go through this, but glad you have found chump lady.com. It took me too long to find this site, and it was not until I did that I was able to find words to describe my feelings, and feel like I was just to feel what I was feeling. The pain caused by any affair is ineffable-an emotional connection between the man you love and a stranger makes it even worse. My story is similar. But…the my STBX and his affair partner have yet to admit their relationship. Trusting my gut, and doing the research was the only thing I could do. They don’t want you to know-that is why it was kept a secret. It sounds like your OW is hurting right now too-but do not let her ‘outing’ of their relationship fool you. Do not trust her. Believe half of what she says, and verify the rest on your own. She is not your ally-and its probably pretty likely she is lying if she wants you to believe that she had no knowledge of you-his wife, the woman he outwardly committed his love and life to, the woman with whom he shares a home. How could she not know about that? Be careful, and as CL says, protect yourself first. If your husband denies his relationship with her, and he wants you to believe him, he will do everything in his power to prove her wrong. He will do everything you ask, as far as providing cell phone records, his credit report, and all his social media passwords. I made the mistake of doing all the work, to find out what was really going on behind my back. I feel like I lost a year of my life, digging through details that were never meant for me to see. Its a lot of work, lost sleep, rumination, and stress. If he is the man you thought he was, he will willingly prove his innocence. He will willingly do everything in his power to help you feel safe and secure again. If he’s not, he will simply get better at his craft, and will use your insecurities to harm you. Find a therapist that you feel you can talk to. Let your friends and family protect you. Immerse yourself in your faith, and stay here at chump nation.com, we can help you through this.

    • And remember, if he lied to you when he married you {that foresaking all others part), he will lie to you when you confront him. The first thing I said when the Jackass started defending himself and Schmoopie with yet another lie was, “You lie and lie and lie and lie.” Best thing I ever said to him.

    • I have to second the idea that OW is not an ally and possibly also a liar. Has she not known where your husband has been living for the last few years? Or wondered why she’s never been invited to his home? Has she not been even a tiny bit curious as to why she’s not spending time with his friends or family? Or gone to work functions as his date? (And if any of these things have happened, then surely she would have been able to figure out that he is married…especially when they allegedly have mutual friends)? Etc….etc….MAYBE she didn’t technically know that he was MARRIED, but there are serious red flags that scream he was in a some type of romantic relationship with someone else. I can buy it when people find out after a few weeks or perhaps a couple of months that they were unknowingly dating a married man/woman — but YEARS? Let’s assume the best case scenario: She’s not a liar, just an idiot who is too stupid to put two and two together. It’s not helpful to have an idiot on your side.

      • I don’t think anyone said “Get her on your side.” or that she is on Jonesy’s side at all. Like I said, I think it’s a scorched earth thing with the OW.

        You are encouraging Jonesy to get caught up in the skein of fuckupedness—parsing the HOW and the WHY and the HOW COULD OW NOT KNOW—when this has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether or not OW “knew”.

        This is about JONESY. And what this guy did or did not do TO HER.

        You’re making this about the OW, whether she’s a skank or not, whether she couldn’t figure out he was married or not, whether she went to his home or not (and how do you know she didn’t?)….

        You think that these sociopaths don’t lead double lives with double families in multiple states—“traveling for business” “overseas job”….blah blah blah?

        This isn’t about the OW or her motives, because they simply don’t matter. She either knew or she didn’t. Ok. Let’s say she knew.

        What difference does it make to the veracity that her husband is screwing another woman and lying about it?

        You’re encouraging Jonesy to participate in the Favorite Cheater Narrative—-You and Me against the Evil Temptress. She may be evil. And a liar. And a skank. And it makes absolutely no difference if what she said is true—they she was in an affair with this guy.

        She needs to find out, first and foremost—what the truth is and that includes using all of her resources. Right now, that includes the information that the OW is bringing to light.

        • Wow, all I am saying is to trust herself in this situation beyond anyone else — beyond other woman’s words and whatever her husband may or may not eventually say. The OW and the husband are both going to have their own motives in whatever they do — and no, she shouldn’t bother wasting her time analyzing those motives (although that is a LUXURY people usually realize LATER and not in the midst of emotional shock) but she should still be wary of why this woman suddenly contacted her entirely out of the blue. She’s not the letter writer’s friend or ally, something has obviously suddenly happened to spark this letter —- so be careful in trusting her. I am not sure how this is so very different from the people arguing that she should go to a P.I., get a keylogger, see a lawyer, etc…Each of these suggestions is based entirely on the same idea: Don’t blindly trust OW or the husband.

          Also I never absolutely claimed “THEY ALL HAD MUTUAL FRIENDS.” The letter writer simply says, “If its true, they have mutual friends that they grew up with????” In other words, the OW and the HUSBAND (not the wife) might have friends in common — which to me, simply makes the whole scenario of “I absolutely knew nothing” even more strange and worth taking with a grain of salt.

          • I see what you’re saying, Bee—but what you’re doing is focusing on OW and suggesting that Jonesy do this. “Figuring them out” is the thing that’s not helpful here.

            Nobody is advising Jonesy to trust OW. Not at all. Again, “why is OW contacting her all of a sudden.” Trying to figure out WHY. What happened to cause the dam to break.

            Well, when a torrent of rancid, putrid, debris laden water is rushing towards you, about to drown you—are you going to stand there and ruminate about why the dam broke?

            • I am not suggesting she “figure them out”; I was simply echoing the sentiment that she find other less biased sources of information. LW seems to not be entirely certain that the allegations even are true (I am not the only one reading it this way or there wouldn’t be multiple suggestions that she seek out other sources of evidence). I would argue though that if you aren’t even sure something has or has not happened, then motivations actually do matter. However, for the sake of argument we’ll just say that yes, this guy cheated. Frankly, I think it unfairly invalidates a person’s genuine and reasonable emotions to suggest they simple skip over thinking about ‘why’ or ‘how’ or (as the LW says) “WTF was he thinking?” There are very few people in this world who, upon discovering infidelity or any other betrayal, have the capacity to go straight to the enlightened state of, “I don’t care why.” No, one shouldn’t wallow in this question for months or years. But it’s not reasonable to never ask either. Generally, we all discover that there is no real answer to this question anyway (at least not one that will justify pain and lies). That revelation, however, generally comes with the passage of time. Telling people in the midst of discovery to not even think about it is: A) Unrealistic and B). Setting them up to feel like a failure when they inevitable do consider these things because that’s what real human beings (the ones with empathy and true emotions) do.

              • Bee, I agree. She should ask “Why”. Later.

                First, I never told her “don’t think about it”. We ALL are advising her to ACT and not stay paralyzed. Very, very different than “don’t think about it”. THAT is what rug sweepers do. Repress and suppress. It’s a fake safe haven for those who are shell shocked.

                And those questions should be directed AT HIM, about HIM. This is what I’m saying. The WHY should not be….”why didn’t she know he was married”.

                Well, to follow that logic, then why didn’t we all “know” our spouse was cheating?

                That’s what this site is all about, isn’t it? To advise others of how NOT to wait around for 20+ years of “reconciliation” and multiple OW/OM and multiple children and ruined finances and STDs and you get the point.

                I’m not going to argue that this advice is or is not “realistic”, because we all know that each of us has an individual story, unique sets of baggage of our own, differing capacities to deal with these types of issues.

                If the OW can direct Jonesy to finding the truth, I say use her to do that. Nobody said be her best friend, nobody told her to trust OW. What I said and what I will reiterate is that OW should not be the focus at this point, and it’s a trap that everyone here is attempting to get Jonesy to AVOID.

                It’s the purpose of asking for advice, no?

      • I don’t know about that – some men have literally had 2 families that didn’t know about each other. Not saying she for sure didn’t know (or that I’d believe anything OW says), but I wouldn’t focus too much on what she’s lying about or what’s wrong with her for fear of drawing attention from the real problem, OP’s husband, who did know that he was married.

      • I’m also not sure where you’re seeing that she claims that “they all had mutual friends”. Jonesy doesn’t say anything like that in her letter.

        You are assuming, too—that none of these things went on with a group of “separate” friends that Jonesy didn’t know about. I think you’re getting confused as to how a “normal” person would conduct themselves. This type of thing would be exhausting to me—to juggle people and lies and who knows what when—but to cheaters? It’s business as usual.

        Are you sure that his family doesn’t know OW or met her? Ask some here—families and friends of cheaters cover for them all the time. It doesn’t seem to me that Jonesy has had the opportunity to question friends, neighbors and family—there could be an entire “other life” that this guy leads.

        It’s what cheaters do—that’s the core and the essence of the betrayal–how thoroughly they fool everyone around them, PARTICULARLY the ones who are intimate with them.

      • I hate the attitude of “how could she have not known he was married?” I guess she didn’t know for the same reason that the OP (or any other cheated-on spouse) didn’t know. Girlfriends / Boyfriends are not any more psychic than spouses when it comes to cheating.

      • I don’t think it’s plausible she didn’t know he was married simply because she sent the letter.

        But… that’s neither here nor there. Who wants to do the painful pick me dance with your spouse’s scorned lovers?

        Not exactly a heart-warming tale you are going to share over a Thanksgiving meal or anything.

        • I can believer the OW didn’t know he was married, espececially since she told Jonesy that she couldn’t spend as much time with the cheater as he wanted her to. I’ve dated guys in the distant past that wanted more than I did and never thought a thing about it.

  • Jonesy, I also want to say I’m sorry you’re going through this. Of course it’s possible that the letter is a lie, but highly unlikely.

    The biggest favor you can do for yourself is not ask yourself (or him) the “why” questions because to be honest, you’ll never really know why.

    As others have said, get the evidence you need, get a therapist, see a lawyer, and try to protect your assets. Once a cheater knows the game is up, they will do things that you could never conceive of. Be prepared, too, to find him cold and unfeeling towards you. These people seem to have an emotion button they somehow turn off.

    We are not so lucky. Your road will be hard and long. The pain will sometimes be more than you think you can handle, but you can handle it. You will come through this on the other side and you will be an even better version of yourself.

    Try to remember you are not alone. Chump Nation is here for you 24/7.

  • jonesy–CL’s reply is so good I put snippets of it in my Chump Lady Wise Words file. Read it and re-read it.

    Let me say that you should call a lawyer RIGHT NOW. If you know one who did a good job for someone else in a similar situation, use that person. Or go online and read some websites until someone’s clicks. That will do for now. You don’t have to keep that person. You need to learn in one hour how to protect your assets and yourself.

    Second, tell someone you trust. Or several someones. Your mother. Your best friend. Your cousin. A neighbor whose husband cheated. A good therapist! What you are going through is incredibly painful and debilitating. You will need support. But make sure it is NOT someone who will shame you or try to steer you in some direction or another. Someone who will know you are in deep trouble and be there with a life preserver. Your “move the body” people.

    Rumblekitty made you a good list. Make your first priority to save yourself, not the marriage. You can’t see this now, but if he is a cheater, that letter is an incredible (although possibly maliciously intended) gift. You didn’t give up decades, have a couple of children to worry about, or move across the country and give up a life for him. If he is a cheater and a con artist (which he would have to be to marry you under these conditions), you have to begin the work of acknowledging that you were conned, that the guy you loved and married didn’t really exist. He was a construction designed to sell you on a relationship with him that he entered into for purposes you will never understand–because you are not a disordered cheating jackass with no conscience. It was easy for me to cut off the Jackass cheater in my life. It has been much harder to secure my financial life, my home, and my mental state. The hardest thing is learning at some deep cellular level that he is like a different species. He can do things to other people that would make me sick to think about, and all to feed his monstrous, insatiable ego.

    • If the OW gave her name, do a google search and see what is out there about her. Even if she has a friends only setting on FB, she may use Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites. You can learn a lot from looking at that stuff. If I were you, I would hire a private detective in addition to putting the keylogger on the computer. The detective has no biases going in; he will know the things to look for.

      • Yep. It is so so easy to get information on people nowadays. Once I had the OP’s FIRST name, it took me less than 45 minutes to find out where she lived, worked, her address and phone number, and the same information on her husband, which came in mighty handy when I emailed him and let him know his wife was a pin cushion.

        Thanks Internet!!

        • Yep! And she might well have posted pictures or other stuff on FB that could provide some confirmation of what’s going on. If she thought in the beginning he was not in a relationship, there is likely to be stuff cached out there to look at.

  • It really, really hurts, but you should believe this woman. She knows intimate details about his life, where he’s lived, his family, I’d say that the painful writing is on the wall and he’s a cheater.

    Though, I wouldn’t say she’s an OW, I would say she too, was chumped. Like the others, I would say that she didn’t know about you and was about to find out without him saying or doing anything. So to get ahead and cut her off, he dumped her and she ended up finding out that way. Considering she wrote you a detailed letter and said she wants nothing else to do with him, you might consider that possibility. If that really is the case and she was unaware of your existence and only just recently found out, you could become friends sharing a mutual grief. (That’s how I became friends with a girl I met a couple years ago. Dating the same guy at the same time, completely unaware of each other. She didn’t know I existed and I didn’t know she did either.)

    I would follow the advice of others and believe her. If she left any contact information, try to reach out to her and get any more information. DO NOT TELL YOUR HUSBAND WHAT YOU ARE DOING. Not until you have compiled solid evidence, and lawyered (and counseled) up.

    Believe us too, when we tell you that a person capable of that kind of deception will absolutely try to mindfuck you. He will do whatever he can to deny responsibility, blame you, blame her, change the subject, etc. etc. WHATEVER he possibly can to avoid consequences for his shitty choices.

    And yes, they are choices. Don’t ever let anyone, especially him, tell you that he didn’t have a choice. There will be people, possibly friends or family, who will spill bullshit about reconciling and how you need to “own” your part in his affair and what you did to make him think he needed to cheat.

    IGNORE. ALL OF THAT. There was no “fog,” he wasn’t forced, he wasn’t trapped, you did not “make” him lie to you for several years, it wasn’t a mistake, accident or screw-up, he didn’t trip and fall into her vagina several times, you did not make him cheat. He CHOSE to do it. Cheaters always have a choice. They make the most selfish, narcissistic, hurtful choices and try to blame other people (you) for the consequences when they get caught. Arm yourself and realize that THIS WAS NOT YOUR FAULT.

    Stick around and we will give you support through this. We’ve all been there and we all want to see each other to the other side of a better life.

  • So sorry for your pain. Everyone here has given great advice. So stay tuned here. It’s a life saver. Just, a deep breath. And so, so sorry.

  • Hey, I know you must be reeling, and why, why did this happen, why did he do this is spinning in your head. What disturbs me quite a bit is this is someone from his past, they have mutual friends, and I am thinking one of them may have known about this double thing maybe. It is reeking he has done this before. The more I think about this the more it is really looking like he was treating marriage like dating, and even in dating, this is pretty bad.

    I really hope you don’t sit there asking yourself why to the point of not moving on this. I am very concerened he married you and moved in with you, if you make more money than him, you could actually have to pay him alimony.

    So really, TODAY install a keylogger and get a lawyer and possible file and wonder why later.

    I am really concerned she told him she has told you, so you pulling off you don’t know, out the window.

    Even if he thinks you know, what is there to say? There he is in all his lying glory, yuck.

    Also, get std tests today, and a therapist as he has done a number on you and your trust and so many things.

    I remember I could barely think, I stared at the wall, cried, slept, woke up crying, it was horrible. I repeated that cycle, it was painful.

  • Jonesy, trust your gut. I denied my gut for years and discovered in the end it was telling the truth all along. Don’t focus on the OW and how crazy she is. Focus on your husband. Enlist a PI, check his phone records, do whatever you need to do to discover the truth. Don’t look the other way or sweep it under the rug because you don’t want it to be true. You deserve to know the truth. It’s the only thing that will set you free from this nightmare. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. Really, I am.

  • And, tell your parents, you will find a very strong support system there.

    You married the shell he wanted you to see, he was with her 2 years when he married you.

    It was a shell, think of it that way.

  • I call BS on the OW. They haven’t broken up. They are firmly together. She is just tired of being the OW and wants the whole ball of wax.

    The first time I found out my XH was cheating I was at work 2 days before Thanksgiving and 2 years after we were married. His OW happened to be an old girlfriend that he had been living with before I came into the picture. He dumped her for me (I didn’t know it at the time). Of course, I confronted him and he did the usual, telling me what a loon she was (after all, she called me at work). I got angry, but, unfortunately, it was aimed at her instead of at him.

    I didn’t trust him and put spyware on our computers at home which showed me much about him. We went to counseling and time marched on. Was he faithful? No. He was back and forth with her many times as well as posting his profile on so many adult dating sites I can’t even count them all, and we had the same tired arguments about it all the time. Of course, he was innocent. She was chasing him … blah, blah, blah. And those websites? Someone was setting him up … probably her. Then explain how they were on our computer.

    She and I would trade venomous emails back and forth. Then, for awhile, she would be very sorry and would tell me how she wanted him out of her life and how she would help me get him out of mine. And then the tide would turn again. Eventually, she died waiting for him to leave me, and I thought my troubles were over.

    Enter old girlfriend #2.

    It never ends Jonesy. If not this girlfriend, there will be another one and another one. You have doubt in your mind about your husband and the trust has been broken. This woman isn’t telling you this stuff to help you out. She’s telling you this stuff to help you OUT (out the door).

    Do as CL has said, lawyer up. Do it on the QT so that you are protected financially because it sounds like you have all the marbles. No one does this sort of thing because they are crazy, jealous or whatever you want to tag her as being.

    I am sorry that your marriage has ended this way, but believe me when I say, there is life after divorce. We are always tougher than we think we are. Come back and visit us often. You will find so many gems of wisdom here from people who have already walked the road you find yourself on.

    • “It never ends Jonesy. If not this girlfriend, there will be another one and another one. You have doubt in your mind about your husband and the trust has been broken. This woman isn’t telling you this stuff to help you out. She’s telling you this stuff to help you OUT (out the door). ”

      Yep.

    • “Enter old girlfriend #2.

      It never ends Jonesy.”

      ^^^^^It was really important for me to remember that not only would the cheating not end if I stayed with my ex, but also it wouldn’t (and didn’t) end for the next women either. I remember being scared to death that he would treat the next one right. DOESN’T HAPPEN. This made it muuuuuch easier for me to move on (when I finally did). You’re not giving up a prize, you’re shaking off a misery-bringing piece of shit. It’s like a rigged slot machine, nobody will ever win with these people.

      • I worried about that too, that it was me and not him. You know, they had the love of a lifetime and just had to be together. Even though I cringe now when I think of the pick me dance I did, at least he was cheating on her with me :). Also did my heart good to find his profile on dating websites even though they are living together.

        • What helped me was going backwards in Jackass’s history and seeing he treated wife #1 worse than he treated me. Then it was a matter of going forward and seeing the patterns, based on what he told me that I had spackled over…The next woman will likely be married like his Schmoopie and the ones who came before her and will get love-bombed via text and/or FB until one of three things happens: either she will decide to end it; she will decide to leave her husband, having torched her marriage, and then the Jackass will end it; or she will string him along and stay in a longer-term affair until there aren’t enough kibbles in it for him. The minute it gets serious with a woman who expects him to be an adult, he will run. They don’t change.

    • “It never ends Jonesy. If not this girlfriend, there will be another one and another one.

      Truer words were never spoken. My ex broke off our wedding because “he thought he saw someone he might like better.” Then he came crawling back saying he was confused, I was the one he wanted, he begged me to take the ring back. I’ve often thought of that moment when he was holding the ring out to me, begging me to take it back. Something in my gut was telling me to wait, but my heart was saying I loved him, he was confused, he’d realized we had true love, etc. Guess what? We get married. We go on to have two young children. One day he comes to me and says “I wish you were different. In other words, he’s seen someone else he thinks he “might like better.” What am I supposed to say to that? I have two young babies at home to take care of, they’re really sick with asthma and he’s never home. They’re so sick I can’t even work for several years. I start finding love notes in his pockets, I get weird phone calls asking if I know where my husband is. Fast forward a couple of years, it’s his boss who’s calling, she’s telling him about her sex life and asking his opinion which boyfriend to choose. She’s calling after hours. They’re traveling around together all the time. They’re just “friends.” He tells me they practice presentations in her hotel room. I threaten to leave. Things gets better for awhile. Then comes another coworker…it just never ends. Cut your losses and get out now, while you’re still young.

  • Jonesy,

    I had the same thing happen to me BEFORE I was married, and let myself be gaslighted. He had already told me how cray-cray his ex was, so when she showed up in my inbox cloaked in a phony identity, I was good and primed to disregard her, particularly when he copied me on emails telling her jig was up, she must never have contact with either of us again, and that she had done the unforgivable by “deliberately hurting” me. Turns out he had cheated on me with her and they stayed in contact even after the email spouting phony outrage. He even reached out to her after my miscarriage scare to get her sympathy (and give her hope, no doubt). At that point in my pregnancy, he slept with yet another ex. He never used protection and he knew that none of his partners were using birth control (one of them had three unplanned pregnancies under her belt by then – two of them w/him).

    In any event, my trust was rewarded by him collecting at least two more affair partners after we married (and continuing on with at least one), communications with other women from his past, and profiles on craigslist, overweightdate.com, Ashley Madison, Match, mate1.com, and probably many more (he claims he was just looking). I too was treated to a version of the “own your part in this; I just wanted attention; you never loved me” counter-offensive. It was by far the most devastating, painful, heart-crushing experience of my life to discover that my entire marriage was a lie.

    I was a naive, smug fool not to listen and let my fear of the truth blind me to the consequences. Please don’t do the same because it is a safe bet that it won’t end with this gal, assuming she’s the only one now.

    • Yep, yep, everyone who’s been trough this form of gaslighting knows that: OWs are always the ones who are portrayed as liars by the cheater. In my case, she was a jealous married stripper/prostitute with mental health issues who just “wouldn’t leave him alone.” Ha ha

      • I know — after struggling to understand how he could do this to ME, I woke up and saw the pattern of disloyalty to ALL OF THEM (gulp, all of US). The thing is, serial and long-term cheaters are, by necessity, extremely self-focused and very comfortable with deceit and betrayal. Every OW is crazy, needy, a stalker, helpless, aggressive, depressed, dependent, manipulative, dishonest, etc. Of course that begs the question as to why would you risk your family for someone you think so little of? Answer: because they think very little of us, too (and probably speak of us as poorly as they do of the OW).

        • Yeah, the circumstances change a little along with the people, but the mindfucking, cheating, betraying and gaslighting stay the same.

          • Once you can establish enough emotional distance from the cheaters, you’ll be able to see that this pattern of betrayal and dishonesty is woven throughout their entire existence. It isn’t unique for only their ‘romantic/sexual’ variety relationships, but throughout extended family, children, in the workplace, literally everywhere. If the cheater is a true narcissist, by their very definition, they are constantly wearing their mask of deceit to obtain whatever ego-boosts (kibbles) suit their need-du-jour.

            In the beginning, this is so hard to wrap your brain around. But in time, it’s somewhat comforting to understand that the lies and betrayals were not IN ANY WAY caused by us. It’s completely on them – they’re truly damaged goods. Always were, always will be.

            The upside for us, as we move forward with our own relationships, we develop a razor-sharp awareness for true sincerity and genuineness. Chumps no more!!

  • Before I read any replies or anything else I’ll say this:

    Ask him for his phone and then say you need to use his email. His reaction will tell you all you need to know. The. End.

        • She can ask for access to that. Either way, any move to look at his ‘personal’ stuff will show everything. Just look at his face and his reaction. The story will be told.

        • Yes Nord a 100000 % yes,,, and check the bill the bill never lies unless they have a burner !! But my narc thought I was stupid and would not catch 200 texts in a 24 hr time span.

            • You need to get adept at reading the browsing history file on your husband’s computer and find out what/where he is going when he is online. I found several email accounts on my XH’s computer. Your radar should go off if he wipes his browsing history clean every time he exits his computer.

    • I wish I had grabbed the fucking phone out of his hand the first second my spidy senses tingled. I woud have run, locked myself in the bathroom, seen what was going on and not had 14 mos of thinking I needed to be sent to the loony bin due to the mental breakdown I was having. When he held that thing over his head and said, for the first time in 27 years, “I don’t want you in my shit”, I should have kicked him out. The rock star I used to be would have. But I ignored my gut and I’m more disappointed in myself than in him.

      • Don’t waste time being disappointed in yourself. You were only trying to think the best of him and spare yourself the hurt. Be disappointed in him.

        • I am a Rock Star. I did the same thing – didn’t trust my spidy sense. He knew I had all the info on home puters, phones, etc because I’m the techy-one that set them all up. Only access I didn’t have was that damn Blackberry. He used to go to bed early and I’d catch him texting like mad and, like the markets are totally dead at 8pm pst. What’s he looking at? Japanese Markets – SEE. Then when I asked him for his password to fix something for him, he refused.
          Yup Nord – that’s just one of the red flags. But probably the best one in this day and age.

          • And the minute a man you are sleeping with says, about his phone or computer or he whereabout, that he doesn’t “want you in his shit,” it’s already over. You just don’t know it yet.

              • I’d like to suggest a standard reply to that famous line: “You want your privacy? Then I’m done with you. Get your shit and leave. You can have all the privacy you want.”

  • I wish I would have waited and collected more evidence before I said anything to my cheating husband. I was being fair and up front. I didn’t know what a liar he was! So listen to all of this good advice here! You will be better off being careful!

    • Linda2,

      The first two times he did it, I confronted because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do–that he would see how angry, sad, devastated, anxious, heartbroken, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH I was, and he would get his shit together. This is the third time (that I can prove), and I’m keeping all my cards close to my chest until I get my ducks in a row.

      • Lily, good for you! I was able to get info after things settled down and after Shankawhorus got mad and sent me loads of texts/emails. They are all floating in a cloud until I need them! Best wishes for you as you go through this season.

  • Jonesy, have you ever watched the movie Deceived with Goldie Hawn and John Heard? Some people are sociopaths and there is only one answer to WHY they do things -to they get what they want. Watch the movie.

    It’s been a few months since you got the letter and obviously you have confronted him n he told you she was a buddy he had lunch with n she is now obsessed with him. You want to believe him but know in your gut it’s a lie. If you are at the stage where you want to know WHY you are close to seeing / accepting the truth.

    You are smart, established, financially well to do ( since he moved in with you) and lead a life with good standard of living ( if you introduced him to good things). Plus you work in the same industry so potentially have good contacts that are of potential value in future. Also working in the same industry means there is a way to hold you hostage in a relationship n get the best deal from you since most normal sane people would be loath to implode their image professionally.

    Sounds diabolical? You can’t believe he would do this deliberately? Believe it. Cuz in your letter you don’t mention what he brought into this marriage other than humor, looks n charm. You have given him financial security; better standard of living and opened up your heart n family. Social n professional status plus money? N you believe him. That’s a jackpot he can’t pass up. The OW? That’s entirely different … She can’t give him what YOU can except sex. So he decides he needs both.

    Watch the movie. Gather evidence. Ask yourself this… If they have mutual friends then isn’t it likely some one attended YOUR wedding to your hubby?

    Don’t ask why. Just do.

    Don’t doubt yourself. My first experience with cheating men was when I found out that my boyfriend / colleague was seeing my roommate / colleague as well. She n I were buddies n v all hung out together n worked in the same office.

    She had NO clue I was the girlfriend. She honestly believed him when he told her about a stalker ex so they needed to keep their relationship a secret .

    What about you – you ask? Everyone knew us to be buddies n no one thought twice when v hung out together or went for walks or to the movies or hugged or held each other. We were engaged n he did not want anyone to know until his parents gave us their blessing. Sounds bizzare? You bet. Did I buy into it? You bet. When did I find out? When v went on a group trip n hung out with another buddy of his. She asked who wanted to bunk in with her for the night n looked only at him. He didn’t react or reply. When he doubled bk to chat with her I followed him n the rest is history . So I believe diabolical when I see it now.

    So don’t ask how it’s possible for him to talk to her everyday while sharing your life. These fucktards can juggle two girls who live under the same roof. So believe it n move on with your life. It’s just money at the end of the day but you have the gift of second chance. That’s priceless.

    • Chumped and Well. I needed a movie to watch and that one was damn good! Deceived. It shows so much gas-lighting and deception of what some guys will do. Unfortunately, the guy reminded me so my of my stbx with his charm and the way he handled my suspicions….with such mock and humor. But, fortunately, there’s been no murders. At least not yet 😉 Thanks for the recommendation on a rainy day here.

      • Shechump, you are welcome! I have a movie for every occasion 😉 happy to help out any day.

  • Jonesy,

    I understand what you are going through. You see the evidence before you and your mind can’t wrap itself around it. He’s so charming, so loving, so perfect, your family loves him, his family loves you, and the list goes on and on…. It can’t make sense to you. You are thinking how can a man that stares deeply into your eyes before he leaves for work while holding your face in his hands be THIS MONSTER? Basically your heart and your head are in a war. Jonesy, the best way I can explain it is that you are in muddy waters. You can’t see your feet. Keep taking steps back and get to the clear waters. Then it’s amazing what you see. The advice here about being a detective for yourself , hiring a PI, meeting with the OW to get your facts straight, hiring a lawyer is good. Confronting your husband without SOLID evidence is bad. These freaks are MASTER MANIPULATORS. They have been doing this for a long time and they are really good at it. Your husband knows what to say to get you confused and unsure of yourself. Trust your gut! Trust that you may never know ALL the information you want. When you know enough to convince yourself that the happy life you had was not REAL, then make all efforts to dump him and go NO CONTACT. Get him out of your home.

    I will tell you that I met with 2 of my cheater’s OW. Neither of them knew he was married. It was the best thing I did to get the information I needed to convince myself that the husband I loved was a con. It’s a difficult journey. Be brave. You can do this and know that you are not alone.

  • Ugh Jonesy,

    My heart breaks for you because I was there 6 months ago, and in many ways, I am still there.

    Focus on the evidence. Get it, to either prove she is correct or prove she is lying. Hard evidence is the only way you will get him to admit what he has done, otherwise he WILL lie if you are only acting on suspicion.

    If he is cheating, act fast, protect your money and your living situation. Kick the fucker out. Get a divorce, FAST. Illinois is awesome at swift divorces.

    Then, when you have your shit settled, start figuring out what happened. That is the time to cry, to fall apart, to take time off work.

    In the words of Dan Savage…it gets better. Antidepressants kept me functioning.

    • Who cares if he admits it? No brownie points for getting a cheater to admit part of the truth, in my experience. They’re just blame it on you or something like that anyway, but go ahead and dig that hole if you need to hear the laundry list of things you did to make them do it.

      I left socks on the bathroom floor.

        • Oh, I talked.

          Apparently he liked the ow because she never talked.

          And she went shopping all the time with her girlfriends. Excuse me for being a thrifty wife and not being into shopping and ignoring my jr high girls.

          The douche bag.

          Oh, also the ow thought we were divorced I had a past that was way different from reality, ask any of my h co workers/ho workers

          • Hahah, Beach!

            I first became suspicious of STBX when he started running out of money one summer. Schmoopie was, as far as I knew at that time, a colleague whom he’d invited over and who’d invited the two of us over to her place for parties. That’s it. However, I knew she’d quit her job for another job, and then was let go during the probationary period of the new job. I asked STBX if he were giving her money. No, he said, he just had a lot of unexpected bills. Big chump me, I believed him.

            I found out that instead, he’d been paying her mortgage and her health insurance. This was probably out of the money he got from his father’s estate.

            However, I googled Schmoopie’s email address, and discovered that she’d made a rather expensive purchase on eBay: an item that was obviously a gift for my husband. This during the time she was mooching money from him!

            One reason I’m filing in the next couple of weeks is because I can see the karma bus approaching from here. I figure it will arrive in about 6-10 months.

      • It sounded to me like she needed proof, and when you wave the proof in front of their face, they have very little choice but to admit what they did. I never got the full story, but I got enough to show him the door incontrovertibly. And there is no he said/she said going on. Obviously there will be blameshifting, that’s part and parcel to the whole thing of being married to an asshole liar.

  • As far as the cell phone, are you the administrator? If so, you can go online and see his calls as of today even before they come out on the bill. And forward calls and all kinds of things.

    I wonder if he had her over to your place and just hid pictures and things? It is amazing that a person doing this thinks it can be pulled off.

    Hope you are doing ok.

  • Jonesy,
    I lawyered-up fairly quickly, which I also recommend. The tricky part is doing this and being able to put your emotions on the back burner, especially when you are choosing a divorce attorney. IMO there are many out there that will prey on your emotional chumpiness. Although my settlement went in my favor, I went through two atty’s. (and alot of $), before I found a kick-ass atty. who had been through her own divorce from a NPD and knew what I needed and how to handle a passive/aggressive, NPD man-child. Also, you can get many of your basic divorce questions answered through initial consultations with an atty. , which are usually free. I probably went to 4-5 different free consultations before I finally “pulled the trigger.” Hang in there, you can do this 🙂

    • That’s a great idea, to go in for the free consultation. And go with scenarios RE: how would the attorney handle this or that issue. I also think a recommendation is the best place to start. A friend of mine went through a messy divorce from a man who wasn’t working but her attorney kicked butt and got it done.

  • Jonesy:

    I am one of the very few who’ve managed NOT to go into full confrontation with my cheating SOB. However, that’s really rare. My STBX lives in a daze, and while I think he is worried that I might know, he also desperately wants to believe that he’s clever enough to pull the wool over my eyes. I let him think that.

    I am very sad that you’re going through this. It isn’t fair. Also, it isn’t something that you can truly understand. This is because you are normal and he is not. Cheaters cheat because they can. It is that simple. Anything else is trying to Untangle the Skein of Fuckedupness. Do not try to go down that rabbit hole.

    1. Go see the lawyer. Find out your state’s laws. See what you need to do to protect yourself. The lawyer is #1 on the list of things you should do.

    2. Get therapy. Ask your lawyer for references. Avoid any therapist who wants to find out what YOU did to make him have an affair. Nope. He CHOSE the affair.

    3. Make an exit plan. What do you need to do to get out? If there are family heirlooms, then remove them. Same with photos. Even if he’s never shown any tendency toward violence, you have no idea what will happen when you tell him you’re divorcing him.

    Lots of us here at Chump Nation are smart people. However, intelligence has zero to do with being Chumped.

    We’re Chumps because we have the capacity to trust, to love, to empathize. Our cheaters use these qualities as tools to deceive us. For example, if we know our spouse has a tough situation at work, we believe our spouse when they say they have to work a few minutes late. What we don’t know is that they’re late because they left work early to be with their AP. They’re running late from their date with the AP.

    We are Chumps because we can’t see how they can fit an affair into their lives. This is because we want to spend time with our significant others. Cheaters, however, steal time from both their spouses and their APs. They’re the masters of quickies.

    Dollars to doughnuts you’ve already confronted your cheater. It’s the normal thing to do, after all. You WANT to believe him. Go get all forensic on him, but instead of showing him the cell phone texts, the emails, the car tracking logs so that you can say, “AHA! I have CAUGHT you in the act!”–what you want to do is use those to remind yourself that he sucks.

    Oh, and if he’s told you that he’s all sorry, his poor sausage self loves you and won’t hurt you–have him sign a post-nupt.

  • Hi Jonsey,

    I will just add that I understand the disbelief that he became a member of your larger family and still lived this double life. Mine did just that. My family embraced him and loved him. We lived with my brother and his family after moving from Bloomington to New York before we found a place. We celebrated weddings, bar mitvahs, we had fun passover seders, and mourned loved ones together—my sister-in-law called him “her favorite brother-in-law.” STILL he lived a double life. Very deranged.

    Once when he was so horrible and I said I wanted to plan to divorce, he suggested we go to my brother to be in “a nice atmosphere.” There, he acted all happy go lucky. I said to him “I have such a hard time pretending” He said, “I don’t. It’s natural for me.” Can you believe this? Yes, you can.

    This was before D-day. Yes, it’s possible to live in deception. Run don’t walk away. No one sends letters like that about me or about you about CL or people on this blog…the misery is in the details. Save yourself before you become even more entangled—yes it could be worse–you could have a kid and you could have 20 years of trust-abused to bludgeon you.

    RUN

    • My family is a large one, too, Chumpectomy, and we welcome the in-laws with open arms. It is a source of much anger to me that STBX has completely turned his back on the family that treated him better than his own parents. It is bad that he deceived me, but to lie to my family like that?!

      That’s when I truly become angry.

      • kb – hear hear. I also had a big loving family – 3 sisters and brother who thought he walked on water. We got together all the time.
        They felt offended that he threw them away like he did me.
        The went through their own process of grief; anger, denial..etc.
        That’s when you need to reach out to them.
        Friends too, feel the hurt.

        I’m just glad both our Dad’s are no longer alive because they would not have understood this man they loved.

        Yep – he threw everything away without a look back of remorse.

  • kb, can we please go on a trip to the Amazon rain forest or a safari in Tanzania–swimming with Dolphins? : ) —I wish this was not our experience. Yes, me too about the anger, killer rage really, images of one of his clients beating him to death : ) very very ugly. I want to see the physical signs of mental anguish on him, I want him to get hit by a bus. The rage is intense.

    I have since shored up my family. They are mine. They now know what they did not before and feel revolted by him. They just want me to feel better. I am grateful.

    • Chumpectomy – well said. Family and friends are revolted and want to put him out of their minds…and just want me to feel better. That also makes me feeling incredibly grateful. The support I’ve had has almost-almost buried a lot of the pain – I just need to focus more on the good that came out of it but dammit! I’m still too fucking pissed off.
      Ways to go here~~
      …..and he wants to be ‘friends’ now? ha ha ha

      • He’s currently up in the Alaska ‘wilderness’ flying small airplanes w/o a current license.
        Yearly trip that always bothered me.

        Anyway, I told him to ‘break a wing’ and really meant it.

  • She’s telling the truth. He’s telling a lie. He wants his cake….Don’t give him a slice by believing the bullshit he’s throwing at you….if you give in, he’s going to do it over and over and over again because he thinks he can keep getting away with it. I gave my husband SEVERAL slices, each time believing the bullshit….Now I’m reading this blog to get prepared to leave his manipulative, lying ass!

  • Best of luck to you, Lily! It’s a bold step and hard to find a good-signature with a shaking hand on the D documents….but you’ll get it done. This is a tough emotional time and it sounds like you are as ready as I was. Keep us posted how it goes!

  • Jonesy,

    you are currently in the Shock and Awe phase of this nightmare. Him, the person that I love so much and have given my heart to, can’t POSSIBLY BE LIKE THIS.

    Do NOT confront him. If you confront him, you are choosing to trust and connect in the HE CAN’T POSSIBLY BE THIS PERSON state of disbelief.

    Do NOT say a word to him. If I were you, I would contact the OW again and ask for : details. Times. Places. Phone records. Emails. Maybe he has a certain hair pattern or birthmark in an intimate place… ?

    Get a therapist, get a lawyer, and get the proof. Do NOT trust him.

    It will absolutely break your heart to find out he is not the person you thought he was. The pain is indescribably, and produces trauma reactions that seriously victimised and battered people have. No one can EVER hurt me like this again. But in that heartbreak are lots and lots of opportunities for growth and learning boundaries and self belief and finding out what love and respect really is.
    How lucky you are finding this shit out at such a young age, instead of 20-30 years investment and 50, 60 years old like some of us Chumps.

  • The biggest mistake I made was confronting my (hopefully) STBX. Pitifully, my 24 year old daughter is who figured out something was going on and told me that if I didn’t confront him, she would. Although I wanted to gather evidence, she insisted, and in order to keep her out of this crap, I told her I would. (I guess my daughter learned how to walk all over me like she witnessed my H do for her whole life.) Needless to say, major denial, just friends, just gave a ride when it was cold out, etc. etc. The hundreds of texts and a photo of her in a bra were harmless…..but of course I never got to see them on his locked phone. They will never admit to more than is required, and the lack of remorse is mind blowing. I overreacted, he stated, and I should know what he is really like: the best father who has never cheated. He also told me he didn’t count omissions as lying. Okay….I think he omitted a lot. WTF?? I will now never know the truth, but I will also never trust him again. Yesterday was the first day I experienced happiness again…just a good day overall….after finding out five months ago. I think “meh” is in my sights!

    Gather evidence. Be strategic. Get a lawyer. Enlist help from family to protect your assets. Good luck to you. Hugs. Keep us updated.

  • Just so you know. Two years married is nothing when it comes to splitting assets, paying support. Most modern judges will tell your husband to hit the ground running. Figure out what percentage of the bills you are paying and what he is doing. Pro rata share. Take a really close look at your finances. Close joint accounts. Give him his half then throw your money into your own account. Get to a lawyer with questions you want answered. The vague ones are the ones you want to dismiss. File and get a meeting scheduled ASAP. You can get online and copy most documents. Do your homework. Legally a two year marriage is not a nightmare. If you know what you want (re settlement) have your lawyer draw it up today. Cheaters love playing with someone else’s money. Cut off the supply.

  • Divorce or Separation … – California Courts
    http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-divorce.htm
    Basics of Divorce, Legal Separation, and Annulment … or domestic partnership, the requirements for each, and basic information about the court process.
    Most States have good info. Divorcenet.com is a great website too. Just google info. The internet is an invaluable tool. Oh and if you can get a record of the amount of money your husband spends on entertainment (especially if that money is coming from you or a joint account) then that is what we call dissipating assets then be sure to collect that as well. People who cheat are really creative w/finances. My ex kept pulling equity out of our homes and refinanced every 2 to four years. He lived beyond his means. Another red flag even when they are making good money they are sabotaging the future.

    • Yes. First I started to suspect something in my marriage was a little off was when my ex got us all cellphones for Christmas. He and our two eldest got … You guessed it Blackberries! While my youngest and I got the ten dollar flip phones. Yup. Disordered fucktard spent the next four months busier than ever. His fucktard sister knew about his affair way before I did. (His family all suck but really his OW did me a favor. She can have his cheating ass!) Two days before I knew about the affair (two years of gag me red flags though! ) he spent two hours on the phone with her. Barf, barf, triple barf. I will never trust a man who freaks when his significant other picks up his phone. OW/OM kibbles, fantasy sex lives, and a Schmoopie blowing smoke up his ass “I love you…” Blah, blah, blah, are just too much competition for a regular old marriage. Or even a new one! How does being around your husband feel? Be honest. Are you his first or last priority? Does he spend a lot of time away from the house? Is he fun to be with or preoccupied? Pay attention to your gut. Best wishes, Jonesy. We got your back.

  • Jonesy, I feel for your and with you I have been married 14 years lived with him for 4 and currently going through the same thing. Its the hardest thing to do i think childbirth was 100x easier! I live in the far west end of I88 in the middle of nothing so if your in Chicago take comfort in friends, family and well just people! I would love having people around to keep my mind occupied. I wish you the best and I know good things are coming …… for both of us!

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